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Crowd runs right to replace Blunt in
Some hopefuls for a southwest Missouri congressional seat want to save money by putting the U.S. Department
of Education on a permanent recess. Others propose melting down the Department of Energy. And another has
said the Federal Reserve ought to shutter.
Conservatism is the coin of the realm for Tuesday's congressional primary, and the roughly dozen candidates
seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt in the 7th District generally have tacked to the political right.
That has meant pledges to reduce federal spending, cut taxes and support the military. It also has prompted
candidates to support the wholesale elimination of federal agencies and some front-runners to endorse the
repeal of a nearly century-old amendment to the U.S. Constitution that allows voters _ instead of state
legislatures _ to elect U.S. senators.
Fundraising leader Billy Long, an auctioneer from Springfield, promotes himself as a political outsider and jokes
that there is enough experience in Washington to "choke a horse."
"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got," Long said. "We keep
sending career politicians _ lifetime people _ to D.C. I think we need to send people from the business
Other top competitors, state Sens. Jack Goodman and Gary Nodler, have pointed to their government
Nodler, of Joplin, has served two terms in the Legislature and worked for a former southwest Missouri
congressman and other federal agencies. Nodler says he can be effective immediately.
"That depth of experience and breadth of experience prepares me to begin on day one to do this job at this most
critical time in our nation's history where the fight for freedom is immediate and the time for training is limited,"
Nodler said.
Goodman, of Mount Vernon, has seen his fundraising pick up in the campaign's later stages. An attorney, he
argues he has fixed numerous problems while serving in Missouri government and that there are plenty of
repairs needed within the federal government, such as economic development and health care.
Congress "forced this (health care overhaul) through against the overwhelming, loud will of the people of this
country," Goodman said. "And that makes us for the first time as Americans, the subjects to a ruling elite in a far
away city, and that's what our founding fathers fought to free us from."
Eight Republicans and two Democrats are competing in the primary to replace Blunt, who has represented the
district since 1997 and this year is running for the U.S. Senate. The district stretches across southwest Missouri
and includes Joplin, Springfield, Branson and Bolivar.
The election is one of the few competitive Missouri congressional primaries, and for the Republicans, it is likely
to be closer than November's general election.
The district is a conservative juggernaut. More than two-thirds of voters picked George W. Bush in 2004 and
nearly as many opted for John McCain in 2008. Since World War II, only one Democrat has held the district _
which then stretched farther north and east.

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George Connor, head of the political science department at Missouri State University in Springfield, said the race
will be decided in the GOP primary, where candidates have competed for the banner of the most conservative.
"That is what you have to do in any Republican primary and especially in the 7th district," Connor said. "That is
as conservative as you can get."
Goodman and Long support allowing state legislatures to elect senators. Nodler said he supports the concept
but doubts it is realistic.
With pledges to slash government spending, cut deficits and lower taxes, the leading Republican candidates
also have proposed to aggressively chop the federal government.
Goodman has proposed eliminating the Department of Education. Nodler says education policy should be
handled locally and cites the federal department as an example of wasteful federal spending, and Greene
County prosecutor Darrell Moore said during a candidate debate at Missouri Southern State University that state
and local governments should handle education issues. Goodman has suggested putting the Department of
Energy and foreign aid on the chopping block, and Nodler says the federal government lacks the authority to
spend money on things such as AIDS education, sex education and dues to the United Nations.
Moore, whose fundraising has lagged the leaders, has called for more spending on national defense.
Former state Rep. Steve Hunter, R-Joplin, says income taxes should be scrapped to make the Internal Revenue
Service unnecessary. Hunter also wants to eliminate the Federal Reserve, instill eight-year term limits and
reduce regulations on businesses.
"I've seen this country progressively go from land of the free, home of the brave to land of the fee, home of the
slave," Hunter said.
The Democratic candidates also point to conservative leanings. Tim Davis, an economist and attorney from
Branson, contends that lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be abolished and that federal budget
deficits need to be curtailed to promote economic development.
Scott Eckersley, an attorney for Republican ex-Gov. Matt Blunt who was fired after accusing his bosses of
violating state records laws, contends that he is not beholden to any political party and criticized the federal bank
bailout legislation and health care overhaul.
Eckersley has contributed to his campaign $100,000 from a $500,000 legal settlement with the state over his
firing by the governor's office.

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7th District candidates share their role

These answers are edited from answers candidates gave when they were interviewed by News-Leader editorial
page editor Dave Iseman. Billy Long and Michael Wardell were interviewed individually. Others were interviewed
in two groups.
News-Leader: Talk about a specific political role model from history or current times and how you would emulate
him or her.
Answers from the first group:
Republican Darrell Moore: Lincoln would still be the person I would emulate.
He cared about how law could be used to help people. That's been a driving force to me. How does law actually
help people?
I think you need to have civil discourse. You never heard Lincoln say "We're going to go down to Richmond and
we are going to kick Jeff Davis out of that phony Confederate White House, and then we are going to get our
hands on Robert E. Lee and string him up from a tree.' ... He followed principle but he was always courteous and
civil and tried to preach a doctrine of national unity ...
So I'm not going to go to Washington to kick Nancy Pelosi's butt. That's not the role model I would follow. It's
Lincoln's model. Follow policies that help people.
Republican Jack Goodman: My answer would also be Abraham Lincoln for slightly different reasons.
One of the things I really admire about Lincoln was his deliberate effort to recognize the strengths of everyone
on whose talents he could draw. He built his cabinet from those that had been stating as their career goal his
destruction, in some cases ...
While I am a consistently conservative individual in my policies and positions and in my votes and things on
which I advocate, I've tried to work very deliberately in the State Capital to identify the real problems we need to
address in the state and work with the many people of diverse philosophies, that had great intellectual or other
talents to share.
Democrat Scott Eckersley: I'm a guy whose been disillusioned recently. People I thought I looked up to, I don't
any more ...
If you had to have an honest answer who my political heroes are ... the first name that popped in my head was
[former News-Leader editorial page editor and columnist] Tony Messenger.
He's no Abe Lincoln, I guess. I didn't know Abe Lincoln. I love the founding fathers and their stories. I love
Patrick Henry. I love their quotes and learning about them.
But when rubber hit the road for me and I was being threatened with all types of smear tactics and my family's
name was on the line ... I didn't find any help anywhere but in this building. And it wasn't even in this building. I
never came to this building. It was in Tony Messenger's basement when I looked him eyeball to eyeball and I
said "I can't walk away from this."
He beat a drum across this state that I think did something for folks around here. It said something about
importance of open government and about the ability of a person to stand up.

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Democrat Tim Davis: My favorite political figure is Roman emperor Justinian who was a Christian emperor, the
greatest emperor of the Roman Empire in my view ... He made a lasting change on western civilization, perhaps
one of the most influential people -- apart from the Apostle Paul and Jesus -- on western attitudes.
And here's why. He established the system of law called the Justinian Institutes ... It was a radical departure
from anything that had been seen before.
Roman law prior to Christian Era did not recognize fundamental human rights ... Justinian Institutes accord
human rights to everyone, including slaves ...
In addition, Justinian was a very pragmatic leader. He built a marvelous infrastructure in the empire: Much of it is
still standing today.
That's exactly what a Godly and capable leader ought to be doing: upholding rightness in law and in day-to-day
work providing basic structure for society to flourish and prosper.
And, oh, he was a great patron of the arts, by the way. I know people question if the government should support
the arts. I happen to like the arts.
Answers from the second group:
Republican Jeff Wisdom: I consider Ronald Reagan to be my political mentor ...
If you think back to late '70s, early '80s, things looked pretty bad: similar to what we see now. We wondered if
things were ever going to get better.
The military was in decline, the housing market was also on decline. We had double digit unemployment, double
digit inflation, double digit interest rates.
But Reagan brought us back from verge of economic disaster ...
He and Tip O'Neill were political opposites, but they worked together to get things done for the American people
in the best interest of the country. So when you have a conservative president able to get a conservative agenda
through a liberal Congress, to me that's quite a feat ...I will reach across the aisle and work with the other side
without compromising my conservative values and principles.
Gary Nodler: Three presidential models I like: Eisenhower, Lincoln and Reagan.
Eisenhower said there is no limit to what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit.
He built the interstate highway system, basically designed the United States through radio television frequency
allocation in the FCC. He created the Small Business Administration. He probably impacted the infrastructure of
United States more than any other 20th century president and it appeared to happen automatically while he was
playing golf! That's a leader.
Then you've got Abraham Lincoln. If the book "Team of Rivals" is accurate, he was able to identify strengths in
adversaries, bring them into his administration, utilize their skills -- and was not threatened by those who
opposed them ... an admirable model, seldom followed. To some extent I think Obama has tried to intentionally
copy that.
Then Reagan, because of his unbridled optimism ...
At the congressional level obviously, my old friend and mentor Gene Taylor. He was as grounded in the identity
and history of his district as any congressman in the country. ... He never moved to Washington, and never lost
flavor or perspective of a southwest Missouri resident ...
Republican Mike Moon:
Some may find this hard to believe: John F. Kennedy.

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One of the things he did that I think every president should take a good hard, fast look at: that is the way he
viewed taxation. To stimulate economy, he said, "You don't raise taxes, you reduce taxation." And he did that.
There was a great result of his doing so.
Probably not surprisingly: I'd say Ronald Reagan, as well. He had the ability to capture attention of most anyone,
whomever he was around. He was able to, as Jeff alluded to, reach across the aisles ...
Trickle-down economics that came about as a result of his administration is one that is a good model that we
should follow ... He was a true leader when he was able to do things like getting Gorbachev to tear down that
wall. That was a magnificent feat ...
Interviewed separately:
Republican Michael Wardell: I don't know if he'd be considered a politician, he's more known for economic
theory: Adam Smith, who wrote the book, "The Wealth of Nations." He's the one who first described the invisible
hand of supply and demand ...
Another leader I've always looked at was [Gen. Douglas] MacArthur. I have a little bit of family background with
him. My grandfather served on MacArthur's staff. I've always enjoyed his leadership, how he ran the war in the
Pacific from a military as well as a political standpoint, although he did a [Gen. Stanley] McChrystal failure and
got fired, too. He had big mouth.
I've always been a big fan of Jefferson. Jefferson had his flaws, we all know that. I don't think his flaws were so
horrible as to not include him of my top choices as a leader. He was a visionary for small, limited government
where people had control at a local level of how to handle their business.
Interviewed separately:
Republican Billy Long: Ronald Reagan. When he took office, if you remember back to that time, people thought
the best days of the United States were behind us. That's what everybody was saying. Ronald Reagan came in
with positive attitude, a salesman's attitude -- someone with a little charisma. All of which I think I have ... When I
walk in room, normally, you know I'm there ...
He said "I see a shining city on the hill." That's the attitude we need in this country.
Reagan wanted to get government out of our lives, off our backs. I want to get the government out of our lives,
off our backs. I want to reduce taxes ...
Government needs to do less things, and do it better. They don't need to be all things to all people. Reagan saw
that. I see that.

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Missourians to vote on Proposition C,
which relates to purchase of health
The Star’s Jefferson City correspondent
JEFFERSON CITY | In practical terms, it may end up meaning nothing. But symbolically, Missouri’s health care
vote on Tuesday could have national implications.
Proposition C asks voters to approve a state law that prohibits governments from forcing individuals and
businesses to purchase health insurance and from levying fines on those who refuse to buy coverage.
A “yes” vote on the question favors putting the language into law and declares opposition to the federal health-
insurance mandate. A “no” vote rejects the referendum and favors leaving current law unchanged.
The issue took a fairly uncommon — and some say overtly political — path to the statewide ballot. Missouri
lawmakers this spring introduced, debated and passed the measure as they do most bills. But rather than send it
to the governor for final approval or veto, they opted instead to send it directly to the voters.
It’s a fairly unusual way of passing laws. Lawmakers have given voters the final say on statutory changes only
11 times since 1955, while thousands of bills have been passed on to governors during that period.
Changes to state law are more often put on the ballot through the initiative petition process, in which proponents
gather signatures rather than work through the legislature.
But Proposition C is aimed squarely at the federal health care law passed by Congress and signed into law
earlier this year by President Barack Obama. It mandates the purchase of health insurance beginning in 2014.
Proponents of Proposition C maintain that the proposed law would put a meaningful restriction on Missouri’s
state government, which might be forced to implement or carry out various aspects of the federal law.
“We implement a lot of what the feds put in place,” said Rep. John Diehl, a St. Louis County Republican and the
bill’s sponsor. “What this law is meant to target is whether or not the state is required to implement federal
Tuesday’s vote will be the first statewide referendum in the nation to test an aspect of the health care law.
Similar questions will be on ballots in Oklahoma, Arizona and Florida, but not until November.
Given Missouri’s tendency to be a bellwether on national political sentiment, the outcome of the Proposition C
vote could influence the rest of the nation, Diehl said.
Missouri State University political science professor George Connor, however, cautioned against reading too
much into the results of what is likely to be a low-turnout, Republican-dominated primary.
“This may be more of a referendum on Obama’s policies writ large rather than on this particular issue,” Connor
said. “And, ultimately, the vote will be used as a marketing campaign. It’s not really about policy — it’s about
Although the vote might have ample political currency, critics and governmental experts question its legal or
practical significance.

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Indeed, Democrats who oppose the measure call it a cynical obstruction by Republicans who offer no viable
“We’ve seen that they have no plan at the federal level and no plan at the local level,” Rep. Mike Talboy, a
Kansas City Democrat, said of Republicans. “This just fits right in. Sometimes you’ve got to be something, and
you get nowhere just being against everything.”
Political scientists and constitutional scholars, meanwhile, said Missouri’s proposed law appears to conflict with
the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, which gives federal law precedence over state law.
“You can’t opt out of federal law,” Connor said. “This is something that was decided by the Civil War.”
It may be that simple — or it may not be, said Carl Esbeck, a constitutional law professor at the University of
Missouri, who thinks it’ll likely take a lawsuit to decide.

Go to for the Midwest Democracy Project, The Star’s new comprehensive election portal.

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Opposition organizing to Mo. health care
Opponents are organizing against a Missouri ballot measure seeking to defy the new federal health insurance
The measure on the Aug. 3 ballot would prohibit laws requiring people to have insurance or penalizing them for
paying their own health bills. It's intended to clash with a federal requirement for most Americans to have health
insurance or face fines by 2014.
Supporters of Missouri's measure have been raising money for weeks and are running radio ads.
Opponents have been less centrally organized. But they plan a rally Thursday in Kansas City.
The Missouri Hospital Association also has mailed out materials suggesting passage of the measure could cost
Missouri hospitals millions of dollars _ resulting in higher costs for insured patients.

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Laptops to greet voters
Check-in process will be affected.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Boone County clerk’s office took over part of the Boone County Government Center yesterday to train poll
workers to use computerized poll books and to package the laptops, printers and other hardware needed to
access the digitized system.
“My elves have been working like crazy,” Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said as temporary election workers
manned work stations to label each component for the new e-poll book system. Meanwhile, poll workers were
trained on the new equipment in two conference rooms.
The e-poll books will replace the bulky paper books each polling site uses to issue ballots to voters. Noren said
the electronic system using laptop computers should speed up the process for voters to check in, sign their
names and mark their ballots.
The system only involves the poll books containing voter information, not the ballots.
“It has nothing to do with casting your ballot,” Noren said this month before she decided to have the e-poll books
in place for the August primary.
“I think this is going to be easier,” said Donna Davis, a poll worker since 2008. Davis, a corrections officer at
Fulton Diagnostic and Reception Center, said locating voter information by flipping through pages in the paper
records is not a process she will miss.
Davis, a Columbia resident, said she appreciated the step-by-step training. “Wendy is very thorough,” she said.
Davis, 61, said she was already “a little” computer-savvy but thought the system might be more difficult at first for
others who don’t have computer experience.
By the November election, Noren said, her office will have 256 fully equipped laptop systems for workers at each
polling place. The computers and equipment are being purchased through her election services fund, an account
that gets $25,000 to $35,000 annually from the state as a share of transaction fees.
“I’ve been squirreling this money away for quite some time,” she said.
Noren said she will have 450 to 500 temporary employees on staff for the August primary and as many as 800
for the general election. The estimated $200,000 annually needed for election training costs will be reduced
significantly as a result of the e-poll books, she said, because less training will be involved once the system is in
place. Also, fewer workers may be needed.
Noren said she can also use e-poll book data to set staffing levels and to make other administrative decisions
based on voting records.
The electronic check-in system will allow poll workers to scan a bar code sent with the sample ballots mailed to
voters. The system should be set up to scan a voter’s driver’s license by November.
Noren said e-poll books are favored by county clerks.
“All of us feel that this is the way to go,” she said. The system is in place statewide in Maryland, where poll
workers seem to have embraced it, she added.
“Their poll workers, if you tried to take this away from them now, they’d riot,” Noren said.

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Campaign mailings turn aggressive
The Kansas City Star
Mike Stieben, a Republican from Tonganoxie, Kan., is confused.
His daily mail — utility bills, credit card offers, catalogs and magazines — is now sharing space with nasty
brochures, frightening claims, frowning faces and lots of big scary print.
Election Day is Tuesday. The political mailer season is in full swing.
“I don’t know what the truth is, and it sort of seems on purpose,” Stieben said after recently scanning his mail.
Even in an Internet age of blogs and tweets, old-fashioned mailboxes this week are still packed with political
messages that often contain the most aggressive and misleading claims anywhere.
“I wouldn’t put any stock in any of these ads,” said Joe Aistrup, a Kansas State University political scientist.
But the political pros who put together mailed campaign literature make no apologies for their work. They say the
ancient technology of printing political messages on paper and snail-mailing them to your home remains one of
the most lethal weapons in their arsenal, largely because likely voters read them.
“They absolutely pay attention,” said local consultant Jeff Roe, who coordinates mailers with dozens of
campaigns each year. “People are going to go to their mailbox every day.”
In addition to their unavoidability, there are other reasons for the deluge of mailers:
•They’re cheaper, particularly in local races. A Jackson County candidate, for example, can send out four direct
mail pieces for the cost of just one week of broadcast television.
•They’re effective. Mailers can be targeted — to likely voters, party members, even specific ages and sexes. And
because the overall volume of mail has dropped, political pieces stand out more.
•They can be timed. Mailers can be sequenced to arrive before early voting begins, for example, or timed to hit
mailboxes on the Saturday before an election, when voters are making their decisions and opponents have little
time to respond.
•And because of that, mailers can be much more negative — and misleading — than TV or radio ads. Moreover,
voters don’t link candidates to mail pieces as much as they do to broadcast commercials, giving campaigns
more leeway to slash and burn.
“You have some distance from the candidate who is doing the attacking,” said local consultant Steve Glorioso,
who is working the mails for a handful of candidates this year.
While much of the most scurrilous material is found in smaller races down the ballot, accusations of misleading
mailers and fliers abound in bigger races, including the Kansas Senate GOP primary.
A recent mailer from U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, for example, accused opponent Rep. Todd Tiahrt of voting to “seize
control of Kansas schools … to pass Ted Kennedy’s massive government takeover of our schools.”
The bill to “seize control” is no other than No Child Left Behind, which sought to improve education performance
in part by requiring schools to show student test score improvement. President George W. Bush, the Republican
who actually proposed the measure, is not mentioned in the mailer. Nor is the law’s full name. Instead, it’s
described only with the initials “NCLB.”

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A recent Tiahrt campaign flier, on the other hand, accuses Moran of voting to “raise taxes and expand
government health care.”
Obamacare? Nope. The claim actually refers to Moran’s support for reauthorizing the Children’s Health
Insurance Program, which depended for funding in part on higher tobacco taxes. In the brochure, Tiahrt doesn’t
mention his own support for adding a prescription drug benefit to Medicare, one of the biggest “expansions” of
government in history.
Not surprisingly, partisans in both camps claim their print pieces are accurate, but that their opponents are
shading the truth.
Other races offer similar examples:
•A flier from Republican Kevin Yoder’s House campaign for Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District seat compares
one GOP rival, Patricia Lightner, to this season’s political bogeywoman — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a
“A Nancy Pelosi record,” the flier states in comparing the two. It features a picture of a donkey in an elephant
costume wearing a pink tutu with the headline: The Truth About Trish.
Although the flier outlines several reasons for the comparison, it still gave some Republicans a chuckle because
Lightner, a former state lawmaker, has a reputation as a staunch conservative.
“That’s a real stretch,” said former state Sen. Kay O’Connor, an Olathe Republican who has endorsed another
contender in the race, Daniel Gilyeat. “I read it and thought, ‘Oh my goodness.’ Then I dropped it in the trash.”
•A mailing from incumbent Johnson County Commission chair Annabeth Surbaugh claims she lowered general-
obligation bond debt by 54 percent during her nearly eight-year tenure as chair.
That’s true. Left unmentioned, however, is the size of the county’s overall debt, which also includes money
borrowed for building roads and public buildings, wastewater and airport revenue bonds. In the same period,
debt more than doubled from $226 million in 2002 to $458 million last year, although revenue streams are paying
off some of that load.
•A flier from Missouri 8th District state Senate contender Bryan Pratt, a Blue Springs Republican, claims that he
was “the only candidate endorsed by both Missouri Right to Life and Missourians for Life.”
That’s true, although veterans of the anti-abortion movement said they’ve never heard of a group called
Missourians for Life. State campaign finance records contain filings for a group with that name, although the
group had no activity this year, and little last year besides a $1,500 campaign donation to Pratt.
But those veterans in the abortion wars have heard of Missourians United for Life, as well as Missouri Right to
Life, which rank as the state’s two biggest anti-abortion groups. Both organizations have endorsed Pratt as well
as his two Republican rivals, Will Kraus and Gary Dusenberg.
Political pros admit mailers aren’t perfect. Many voters simply toss them, and in statewide races they can be
almost as expensive as broadcast ads.
But for a relatively low-cost, low-technology and often low-road campaign solution, a political mailer remains the
blunt weapon of choice.
“The flier can be very effective,” Aistrup said. “Very direct.”

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Mo. scholarships cut below law's minimum
Associated Press Writer

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- An influx of needy students and a decrease in state aid have combined to place
Missouri in the awkward position of potentially violating its own law when distributing college scholarships during
the upcoming school year.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education said Tuesday that it doesn't expect to have enough money to
meet the minimum scholarship amounts set by a 2007 law that created the state's main financial needs-based
scholarship program.
In a letter sent to college and university leaders, the state agency cited a twofold reason:
- A cut of more than one-fourth of the money available for Access Missouri scholarships to a total of around $60
million, instead of the $83 million that lawmakers originally had budgeted for the 2010-2011 academic year.
- A nearly 19 percent increase in students eligible for the scholarships to a total of 102,000, compared with
86,000 during the recently concluded academic year.
When funding falls short of the amount necessary to fully fund scholarships, state law requires that scholarships
be reduced proportionately.
But the 2007 law that created the Access Missouri program never contemplated such a severe budget crunch.
The law established a scholarship range of $300 to $1,000 for students at community colleges, $1,000 to $2,150
for those at public universities, and $2,000 to $4,600 for students at private institutions.
The Department of Higher Education said the scholarship amounts are estimated to fall just short of those
minimum thresholds. It said community college students are projected to receive $275, public university students
$950 and private school students $1,900.
Missouri's law doesn't specify any consequences for failing to meet the minimum scholarship amounts.
Higher education officials had little choice but to go below the law's requirements, said Leroy Wade, the assistant
higher education commissioner for financial aid.
"It kind of is what it is," Wade said. "Given the amount of students we're anticipating will receive awards and the
available funds, this was the amount we felt confident we would be able to pay."
Wade said officials plan to re-examine the number of eligible students in August and again in December to see if
any adjustments need to be made to the scholarship amounts.
The scholarship reduction could have been larger.
Gov. Jay Nixon last month cut about $50 million from Access Missouri scholarships, citing an expected shortfall
in state revenues. But a portion of that cut was offset when the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority
decided to give $30 million to the state for Access Missouri scholarships.

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Cuts to scholarship fund are mitigated
Access Missouri, a scholarship fund that Gov. Jay Nixon slashed by more than half in budget cuts last month,
will pay a maximum of $950 to students attending four-year public colleges, according to the Missouri
Department of Higher Education. That's down from nearly $1,700 last year.
Students at four-year private schools will get $1,900 at most, while those at two-year public schools will get up to
The cuts could have been worse. Nixon reduced the need-based scholarship fund to $32 million from $82
million. But the state's student loan authority kicked in $30 million to use for scholarships.
While the awards are shrinking, the number of eligible students has soared to more than 102,000 this year,
compared with 86,000 last year, education officials said.
Students who receive support from Bright Flight, which targets the state's top students, are still awaiting word on
their scholarships.

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Mo. auditor to release 2 reviews on
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee plans to release reviews of the state
Department of Higher Education and a college campus construction program.
Montee scheduled a news conference Wednesday to discuss the findings.
Montee's office looked into a 2007 plan for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to sell some assets to
pay for college construction. The student loan agency has fallen behind on payments and some of the
construction projects have been put on hold.
The other audit examines how the state's Department of Higher Education is governed.

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State representative escapes injury in car
KRCG-TV by Rajah Maples
Posted: 07.27.2010 at 8:08 PM

COOPER COUNTY, MO. -- State Representative Rachel Bringer was in a car accident Monday afternoon in
Cooper County, which is located in central Missouri.
She was not hurt, but the other driver was taken to a Boonville hospital for moderate injuries.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says Bringer was driving north on Missouri 87 when her vehicle hydroplaned and
crossed the centerline.

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Missouri Lt. Gov. visits former colleagues
in prison
MONTGOMERY, ALA. (KMOX) –Missouri Lt Governor Peter Kinder wraps up a visit to some old colleagues now
serving time in prison.
Kinder tweeted that he ….”Just left T.D. El Amin @ fed. camp on grounds of Maxwell Air Force Base. He looks
good, smiling, relaxed, has gained 30 lbs.”
El Amin is serving an 18 month prison sentence at the Montogomery Alabama federal prison for accepting a
Kinder told KMOX news he spent 35 minutes with the former state senator Tuesday morning. The Lt. Governor
also went to see former state lawmaker Jeff Smith, a St. Louis Democrat, who pleaded guilty of lying to
investigators to conceal his involvement in an anonymous political attack.
Kinder did not want to elaborate why he went to see both men in prison but said he made up his mind to do so
some time ago.
Kinder will say more during a live interview this afternoon at 5:20 on Total Information PM on KMOX .

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Convicts training dogs for adoption in
Licking, MO prison

LICKING, Mo.-- A new program is giving Missouri prison inmates a chance to train shelter dogs. "Puppies for
Parole" allows convicts to prepare them for adoption, while repaying communities.
It's been a long time since Joe Denti has had the chance to pet a dog, let alone care for one. He's been
incarcerated for 21 years. But the program gives selected offenders like Joe the opportunity to become trainers
to rescued dogs.
"It's a very strict criteria," says Tina Holland, South Central Correctional Center. "They do have to reside in our
privilege unit. So they have to be conduct violation free for a year"
Other requirements involve education and anger management classes.
"It's more than just giving back and helping out," said Denti. "It's also proving ourselves in being worthy of
responsibility that's been given to us"
It's a win-win for the offenders, the dogs of the Texas County animal shelter, and for the community.
"This program definitely made a positive behavioral change and even some thinking changes," said Michael
Bowersox, South Central Correctional Center. "When they go back out hopefully we'll see a different individual
than what came into the system"
"I've created a lot of harm in my life and these dogs are out suffering and that gives me a chance to give back,"
said Denti.
"For our shelter, which is a small shelter, it frees up space because they are a no-kill shelter," said Holland.
Training a dog can be a real challenge, from commands to house training. They also learn to sit, stay, shake,
and rollover.
Denti admits that it's rough at times, but it certainly has its rewards.
"There's nothing better than seeing a dog smiling at you in the morning, first thing in the morning, you just can't
beat it. It's priceless"
So far, five rehabbed dogs have been adopted, and five have already been trained. The food, dog crates, and
treats are all provided by the local animal shelter. This program is currently operating in 7 institutions.

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Child welfare improving in Missouri, holds
steady in Illinios
Missouri children gained slight ground in a national study ranking the quality of life of kids in all 50 states.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released on Tuesday its 2010 Kids Count, an annual analysis of child welfare
statistics around the nation. Missouri ranked 31st among all states, an improvement from last year's 33rd spot.
Illinois ranked 24th, the same as last year.
The study, which uses indicators such as child poverty, teen pregnancy, child death and high school graduation
rates to track child welfare, warned that far more of the nation's children are living in poverty, and those numbers
are expected to increase.
Data from 2008 put the national percentage of children in poverty at 18 percent, up 1 million children from 2000.
Officials with the Annie E. Casey Foundation predict that rate will climb past 20 percent within the next few years
as more recent data reflecting the full impact of the recession come to light.
About 19 percent of Missouri's children — or 259,000 — now live at or below the poverty threshold, defined as a
family of four living on less than $21,834 a year.
The Missouri child poverty rate is up from 16 percent in 2000.
Those who study child welfare in the region said the ranking is still disappointing.
"It is good to see an improvement, but we're in an environment where obviously things are getting tougher
economically," said Richard Patton, executive director of Vision for Children at Risk in St. Louis. The agency puts
out studies tracking similar child welfare indicators by ZIP code in the St. Louis region.
"We just don't, as a state, make the kinds of investments that a lot of states make and we need to make to
promote the well-being of families," he said.
In Illinois, about 17 percent of children — or 535,000 — live in poverty. Children there experienced a 13 percent
increase the poverty rate.
Other factors of national concern in the report include increases in the percents of babies born with low birth
weights and children living in single-parent families. In Missouri, children living in single-parent families remained
about the same over eight years and on par with the national rate of 32 percent.
The report had bright spots. Nationally, infant mortality, child death, teen death and teen birth rates each
decreased, while the percent of teens who failed to graduate high school or failed to attend school also
Although Missouri saw considerable decreases in child deaths, it still ranked higher than most states, placing
40th overall for children, 1 to 14.
Overall, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Vermont ranked highest in the Kids Count report.
Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi ranked the lowest.

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McCaskill panel finds more problems,
millions wasted at Arlington National

WASHINGTON | Investigators digging into the scandal at Arlington National Cemetery believe that thousands of
graves -- rather than hundreds -- may be unmarked, wrongly identified or mislabeled on maps.
Documents released Tuesday by the Senate Homeland Security Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight found
that between $5.5 million and $8 million was spent for failed grave-tracking systems over the years.
“Despite these expenditures, Arlington National Cemetary still does not have a system that can accurately track
graves and manage burial operations,” according to a memo from investigators.
The failures will be the subject of a hearing Thursday conducted by Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat and chair
of the contracting subcommittee.
A spokeswoman for McCaskill said this afternoon that subpoenas were issued for two Army officials who were in
charge of the cemetery before they retired recently.
The officials had refused an invitation to attend.
In June, the Army’s inspector general released a repart detailing major flaws at Arlington, where more than
330,000 people are buried.
The report found hundreds of mistakes associated with graves, including mishandling of cremated remains and
urns with remains discovered in the cemetery landfill.

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Errors found at Arlington rile McCaskill
Senator to lead panel’s inquiry.
POST-DISPATCH By Jodie Jackson Jr.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cremated remains dumped into landfills. Tombstones that don’t match gravesites. Five and a half million dollars
That was the grim picture U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill painted yesterday of what she called “heartbreaking
incompetence” and mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery.
At a news conference in front of the war memorial on the Boone County Courthouse grounds, the Missouri
Democrat outlined the steps her Senate oversight subcommittee is taking to investigate possible contracting
fraud at Arlington. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on contracting
oversight will have its first hearing Thursday in Washington, D.C.
The Army inspector general issued a report last month that identified at least 211 discrepancies between burial
maps and gravesites at the national cemetery, a site McCaskill called “the country’s most sacred burial ground”
for military service members, former presidents and U.S. Supreme Court justices. The investigation revealed
unmarked and mislabeled graves and carelessly handled cremated remains.
The report linked a reliance on paper records to burial site errors. McCaskill fears the number of errors could be
much higher because only a small section of the cemetery was audited. There are more than 300,000 people
interred there with military honors.
“I think the problem is much wider than we know,” she said. “I would be surprised if there weren’t problems like
this in every area of the cemetery.”
McCaskill said changes were implemented when the report was issued to prevent future mix-ups. There is an
average of one burial every hour at Arlington, she said. She said it was not clear whether graves will be
“This is not complicated,” she said. “It is basic scheduling and keeping track of burial remains.” Fixing the
management and contracting problems will be easy, she said, but addressing the “heartbreak” of families will be
“a much thornier question.”
McCaskill said the Veterans Administration, which operates other cemeteries across the country, had previously
offered Arlington officials the digital software system the VA uses to track burials and gravesites, but the Army
turned down the offer “and failed this country,” she said.
The government has spent more than $5.5 million on multiple contracts in the past seven years to digitize burial
records, but the effort has failed, McCaskill said.
“At the very essence here, you have waste,” she said. “You could have fraud.”
McCaskill said the problem is traced back at least 10 years and is an example of no-bid contracts she said were
a staple of the Bush administration.
The list of invited witnesses for Thursday’s hearing includes former cemetery superintendent John Metzler and
deputy superintendent Thurman Higginbotham. Both retired this month after they were forced to resign, and
McCaskill said she is not certain if either will show up. An Arlington spokeswoman declined to comment, noting
that Army leaders “will provide insight” on Thursday.

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Don't tell anyone, but the Democrats are
POST-DISPATCH by Jake Wagman
Free tickets to Chuck Berry concert
Free tickets to the Chuck Berry concert at 8:30 p.m Thursday at Kiener Plaza are available at the website for St.
Louis' Democratic National Convention host committee, Priority will be given to individuals who
commit to be volunteers for the convention if it is held in St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS • The mayor is clearing his schedule. The Cardinals are preparing an inside pitch. And St. Louis' rock
'n' roll icon is tuning up his guitar.
But just don't ask them to confirm it — this week's special guests are supposed to be a secret, even if it is the
worst-kept one in town.
Representatives of the Democratic National Committee will arrive in St. Louis this evening to grade the city's
chances of hosting the party's 2012 presidential nominating convention.
Each of the four finalist cities has agreed to a confidentiality pact, so St. Louis is breaking out the welcome mat
with a pronounced wink and a nod.
On Thursday night, music icon and St. Louis native Chuck Berry will headline a concert in Kiener Plaza to
support the city's convention bid. Tickets are free, but priority will go to those who submit their names into a
database of potential volunteers.
"We really want to show our supporters a good time. We've gotten so many requests from people who want to
help with this convention," said Brian Wahby, chair of the city's Democratic Central Committee, who is
spearheading the effort. "We thought this was a great opportunity to have a concert and celebrate."
Left unsaid: A site team from the national party will be watching, too, gauging whether St. Louis is suited to host
their quadrennial gathering, which brings tens of thousands of visitors, millions of dollars into the local economy
and a prestige boost that remains long after the speeches are done.
Details of the Democratic visit are scarce. The group will tour Forest Park and the Gateway Arch grounds, a
possible site for an acceptance speech. It's the same spot where President Barack Obama addressed more than
80,000 supporters at a campaign rally in October 2008.
The party is eyeing the Renaissance Grand Hotel downtown as a potential "headquarters hotel," meaning the
staff of the West Wing would essentially move there the week of the convention, which will begin Sept. 5, 2012.
On Friday morning, the officials will listen to a presentation from the Cardinals at Busch Stadium about using the
ballpark. The Cardinals have already indicated they would ask Major League Baseball to arrange their 2012
schedule to accommodate the convention, should the city land it. Party officials will likely see Scottrade Center,
which is in play for the main convention venue.
Mayor Francis Slay will accompany the group, though the details of his involvement are, of course, being kept
under wraps.
"When they do come in," Slay spokeswoman Kara Bowlin said, "we're trying to drop everything so that he can be
with them as much as possible."

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The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission — a publicly funded tourism agency — declined a Post-
Dispatch request under the Missouri Sunshine Law for a copy of the bid application, claiming it could be kept
confidential because it included 'sealed proposals and related documents."
So concerned is the party with secrecy that a Democratic official in Washington would speak about the process
only on condition of anonymity — and, even then, the answers were circumspect. The source said the top
priority of the visits would be to make sure the city has the logistical capability to host such an event.
Why so many tight lips? It could be an attempt to prevent the competing metropolises from producing an
artificially rosy tableau of their cities. Party scouts want a candid view of the competitors.
Politics plays a key role in picking a convention city, so those in swing states have a built-in advantage. But the
team visiting this week is interested in the nitty-gritty of the experience: security, hotel capacity, transportation.
In Denver, which hosted the most recent Democratic convention, the visit included driving from downtown to the
most distant convention hotel to replicate the travels of a participating delegate. "And we did it during rush hour,"
recalled Rachel Benedick, vice president of Denver's Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Site visits are not the wine-and-dine experience they once were, Benedick said, with fewer party bigwigs and
more consultants with a specific expertise such as transportation or lodging.
"There was a lot more — fluff is not the right word, but a lot more people involved that weren't the experts in that
particular field," she said.
The site team is coming to St. Louis straight from Charlotte, N.C., another finalist for the convention, where a
local news report said the group was invited to dine at an upscale restaurant that specializes in French table-side
In Minneapolis, organizers sought to differentiate their bid from the 2008 Republican convention in St. Paul two
years ago. Cleveland rounds out the finalists.
St. Louis' sales job has taken some unconventional turns. The host committee includes St. Louis native Jack
Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter. He has "retweeted" the committee's official announcements to his 1.5 million
Twitter followers — the equivalent of the population of Idaho.
The city's bid package also included a support letter from the mayor of Chicago — Obama's hometown — which
typically considers itself a civic rival of St. Louis. For Thursday's concert, the city's Young Democrats are
peddling shirts that say "Paint the Town Blue."
The pizza restaurant Pi — which made a special delivery to the White House last year — will be selling its pizzas
out of a mobile kitchen, with half the proceeds going to the convention effort.
Claire McCaskill, Missouri's Democratic U.S. senator, is also in on the effort. Not only will she be on the ballot in
2012, but, as an early Obama supporter, she has the ear of the White House.
McCaskill said last week that she has talked to Obama's top aides — political adviser David Axelrod and
campaign architect David Plouffe — about the city's convention prospects.
Like everyone else, she didn't find out much.
"They're keeping it pretty close to the vest," McCaskill said. "They'll tell me a lot, but they're not showing their
cards on where they're headed on the convention pick."

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Labor peace and Chuck's guitar among the
enticements during DNC visit
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter
Posted 3:34 am Wed., 07.28.10
Bob Soutier, head of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, says the region's roughly 50 unions are signing "a
solidarity agreement'' that will promote their support and cooperation for the city of St. Louis' bid to host the site
for the 2012 Democratic presidential convention.
The move is among a number of actions -- along with singer Chuck Berry's Thursday night concert -- aimed at
impressing Democratic National Committee representatives during their visit here this week.
St. Louis Democratic Party chairman Brian Wahby says he can't confirm or deny that the national Democratic
delegation will even be in town.
But speaking hypothetically, Wahby said with a chuckle, "obviously we're going to show them the very venues
that make St. Louis competitive."
That includes:
-- Hotels, union and non-union, that will provide the 18,000-plus rooms needed;
--The three major venues: The Scotttrade Center (for the convention itself), the Edward Jones Domes (for
various meetings and press operations) and Busch Stadium (for some of the convention's outdoor functions,
reminiscent of now-President Barack Obama's speech in Denver's Mile High Stadium.)
-- Metrolink:"Most of the venues are along Metrolink lines,'' Wahby said, which should make it easier for
conventioneers (and the tens of thousands of reporters and hangers-on) to get around town.
"We also will highlight the political support we have in our region,'' he added, as well as the support from labor
and business.
Overall, said Wahby, the main quest of the DNC while in St. Louis will be "kicking the tires'' of what the city has
to offer.
Berry's concert in Kiener Plaza is designed to underscore the excitement factor, which St. Louis officials and
allies arealready promoting as the key element that could set the city apart from its competition: Cleveland,
Minneapolis and Charlotte, N.C.

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Senate eyes online privacy rules
Updated: 7/28/10 9:46 AM EDT
Top Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee signaled Tuesday that they’re eyeing sweeping new rules
to regulate online privacy — even as top tech players like Apple, AT&T, Google and Facebook cautioned them to
tread carefully.
The tech companies told senators at a hearing Tuesday that they’ve worked hard to address privacy concerns,
but Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) vowed that legislation will be coming next year anyway.
“We have learned a great deal more about this issue over the past decade. And working together, I believe we
will successfully enact this legislation next year,” Kerry said in a statement, noting he would work with Sen. Mark
Pryor (D-Ark.) on a proposal.
He gave scant details of what the bill would include or when he would release it.
Representatives from Apple, AT&T, Google and Facebook said little about the role of federal regulation during
opening statements and questioning Tuesday. But in prepared remarks, they each pleaded for regulators to
leave online privacy primarily up to the innovators who can devise creative solutions to protect consumers.
Bret Taylor, Facebook’s chief technology officer, implored lawmakers to avoid vague orders that would harm
innovation. Meanwhile, AT&T’s Dorothy Attwood, senior vice president of public policy, called in prepared
remarks for the creation of a “trust framework” not too unlike the existing process in banking transactions. And
Google’s top engineering lead, Dr. Alma Whitten, said in testimony that government should play a limited role in
privacy but ultimately emphasized the need for “self-regulatory rules.” Apple said little about what lawmakers
should do.
Still, any congressional effort is likely to arrive after the Federal Trade Commission finishes its much-anticipated
report on online privacy recommendations, due this fall. Yet the agency’s chairman, Jon Leibowitz, told the
committee in the first part of Tuesday’s hearing that a “legislative approach” to the issue might be necessary if
other efforts prove ineffective.
Democrats seemed to agree. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) called online advertisements based on her search
results “creepy” and called for regulation of the practice, while Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) began the
hearing by noting the need for parity in privacy rules in the physical and digital worlds.
But as Senate Democrats pondered possible legislative fixes on Tuesday, their counterparts in the House said
they planned to forge ahead with their own online privacy proposals as soon as possible.
The issue is a policy priority for some House Democratic leaders, according to a spokeswoman for Rep. Bobby
Rush (D-Ill.), the chairman of the House’s consumer protection subcommittee and the architect of one of his
chamber’s predominate bills. The spokeswoman later noted that Rush’s committee has already held a hearing
on the matter this month – a sign, she added, that supporters had made great progress and think the proposal
can clear the chamber by the year’s end.
Rush’s plan seems to have at least tepid support from tech companies, which greatly appreciate that it would
allow the industry leverage to police its own privacy practices. But the congressman’s effort arrives at the same
time as another by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), the chairman of the Communications, Technology and the
Internet subcommittee, which would set clear rules on which websites could collect which kinds of information
and with what form of consent.

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Boucher’s proposal has been assembled as a bipartisan staff draft over months, with the input of tech leaders –
perhaps guaranteeing it some early GOP support and industry support. But the congressman told a small
gathering of reporters last week that a vote on his bill this year is unlikely; he still pledged to work with Rush on a
unified proposal during the August recess.
In the Senate, however, Kerry made it clear that much of the legislative legwork on his effort will begin next year.
He is likely to have the full support of the committee’s top Democrats, who have held or called for a series of
tough online privacy hearings throughout 2010 – on issues ranging from online advertising, to laws that would
protect children online.
“But this is actually the first time I think in committee history that we have had precisely this kind of writ large
online privacy hearing,” Rockefeller said in his remarks. “We have a duty to ask whether these people – and the
millions of Americans just like them – fully understand and appreciate what information is being collected about
them, and whether or not they are empowered to stop certain practices from taking place.”

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Filibuster reform is short of needed votes
THE HILL By Alexander Bolton - 07/28/10 06:00 AM ET

Senate Democrats do not have the votes to lower the 60-vote threshold to cut off filibusters.
Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate are pushing for filibuster reform at the start of the new
Congress next year.
 Five Senate Democrats have said they will not support a lowering of the 60-vote bar necessary to pass
 Another four lawmakers say they are wary about such a change and would be hesitant to support it.
 A 10th Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), said he would support changing the rule on filibusters of motions to
begin debate on legislation, but not necessarily the 60-vote threshold needed to bring up a final vote on bills.
Other senators who are not co-sponsors of filibuster reform did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Many Senate Democrats elected in 2006 and 2008 favor changes to longstanding chamber rules, as do liberal
activists who have grown increasingly frustrated over their party’s failure to pass legislation despite controlling 59
Reid told more than 2,000 liberal activists at a political conference held over the weekend in Las Vegas that he
would work to change the filibuster rule.
“We’re going to have to change it,” Reid said, comparing the tactic to throwing a spitball, which Major League
Baseball has banned.
Eliminating the filibuster would ease passage of much of the president’s agenda, ranging from climate change to
immigration reform to “card-check” legislation.
Senior Democrats say Reid will not have the votes to change the rule at the beginning of next year.
“It won’t happen,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said she would “probably not” support an effort to
lower the number of votes needed to cut off filibusters from 60 to 55 or lower.
Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) echoed Feinstein: “I think we should retain the same policies that we have instead
of lowering it.
“I think it has been working,” he said.
Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said he recognizes his colleagues are frustrated over the failure to pass measures
such as the Disclose Act, campaign legislation that fell three votes short of overcoming a Republican filibuster
“I think as torturous as this place can be, the cloture rule and the filibuster is important to protect the rights of the
minority,” he said. “My inclination is no.”
Sen. Jon Tester, a freshman Democrat from Montana, disagrees with some of his classmates from more liberal states.
“I think the bigger problem is getting people to work together,” he said. “It’s been 60 for a long, long time. I think
we need to look to ourselves more than changing the rules.”
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who is up for reelection in 2012, also said he would like the votes needed for cloture
to remain the same.
“I’m not one who think it needs to be changed,” he said.

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Republicans argue that it would require a two-thirds vote of the Senate to change what they call the standing
rules of the body.
Democrats pushing filibuster reform argue the rules could be changed at the beginning of the 112th Congress
through a ruling of the presiding chair that would then be ratified by a simple majority vote.
Democratic lawmakers say there are precedents since World War II when the Senate minority agreed to change
the chamber’s rules after the majority threatened to use this procedure.
Under such a scenario, the chamber’s presiding officer, presumably the Senate president, Vice President Joe
Biden, would recognize a motion to adopt new rules for the 112th Congress. Republicans would object, but
Biden would overrule them and his ruling would be sustained by a majority vote.
In February, Biden suggested he was in favor of filibuster reform: “From my perspective, having served here,
having been elected seven times, I’ve never seen a time when it’s become standard operating procedure,” Biden
said of the filibuster.
Filibuster reform is popular among Democrats running for seats this year.
Democratic candidates such as Alexi Giannoulias in Illinois, Jack Conway in Kentucky, Elaine Marshall in North
Carolina, Lee Fisher in Ohio, Rep. Kendrick Meek (Fla.), Robin Carnahan in Missouri and Rep. Paul Hodes in
New Hampshire have voiced support for lowering the 60-vote requirement for ending filibusters.
Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic nominee for Senate in Pennsylvania, has said he would favor Sen. Claire
McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) proposal to do away with the use of secret holds to stall executive branch and judicial
Barring a Democratic wave this fall — an unlikely scenario — Democrats will not have the votes needed to lower
the filibuster threshold.
Democrats control 59 Senate seats but are expected to lose four to six in November. That means the loss of six
Democratic votes on a proposal to change the rules would doom it.
At least 10 Senate Democrats oppose or are leaning against a proposal to overhaul the filibuster rule by lowering
the number to end debate.
Unless Reid can persuade the 10 Senate Democrats who oppose or who are leaning no to support reform, he
would not have the votes to reduce the magic number for passing legislation to 58, 55 or even 51 votes.
Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) said they are wary of
filibuster reform.
“As frustrating as it has been, I just think we have to be careful about it,” Landrieu said when asked about a rules
change to respond to GOP obstruction.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said he needed to think about it. Earlier this year,
he warned that a change would need to be reviewed carefully.
The Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), will hold its fourth hearing on filibuster
reform Wednesday.
A Senate Democratic aide noted that while Democrats may not have enough votes to lower the 60-vote
requirement to cut off filibusters, other reforms could prove more popular.
McCaskill’s proposal to eliminate secret holds is thought to have more support. So does a plan to exempt
motions to begin debate on legislation from filibusters.

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Levin, for example, supports speeding up the pace of business instead of lowering the bar for passing
controversial bills.
Another proposal would require the minority party to muster 41 votes to wage a filibuster. That would place more
of a burden on the organizers of a blocking action who now merely need to deprive the majority of 60 votes. This
allows the minority to filibuster without all its members attending the vote.
 Lieberman has previously supported a proposal sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would lower the
number of votes needed to cut off a filibuster.
Marshall Wittman, a spokesman for Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), said Lieberman “supported this legislation
when it was first introduced 15 years ago, and he will assess the various proposals for filibuster reform when the
issue is again considered, which is not expected this year.”

Eden Stiffman contributed to this article.

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Only a quarter of Missouri voters expected
to cast ballots next Tuesday
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter
POSTED 12:02 PM TUE., 07.27.10
Based on projections from local elections officials, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is estimating
that less than a quarter -- 24 percent -- of Missouri's registered voters will turn out next Tuesday.
In the St. Louis area, the turnout predictions ranged from only 19.26 percent in St. Louis to 25.41 percent in St.
Louis County and 27.78 percent in St. Charles County. Even Jefferson County, which has a spirited Democratic
primary for county executive, is projecting less than 20 percent of its voters will cast ballots.
Across the state, Kansas City is predicting a turnout of only 10 percent.
The larger projected turnouts are generally all in rural Missouri, where some counties expect half or more of their
voters to show up.
Low turnouts in urban areas, coupled with higher ones in GOP-leaning rural Missouri, could be good news for
backers of Proposition C, the ballot proposal that in effect asks voters if they want to opt out of the federal
health-care changes. Republicans initiated Proposition C, and the measure is supported by various conservative
groups, including the Libertarian Party.
Stronger turnouts by Republican-leaning voters could affect local ballot measures -- such as proposed tax hikes
or bond issues -- around the state.

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Kinder visits El-Amin in prison, reports
former legislator has gained weight
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter

POSTED 12:46 PM TUE., 07.27.10
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder reports, via Twitter, that he visited former state Rep. T.D. El Amin, D-St.
Louis, today in prison in Alabama.
El-Amin is serving time on a bribery-related charge, in a federal prison on the grounds of Maxwell Air
Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.
A spokesman for Kinder, a Republican, said he was in the vicinity because Kinder is attending the National
Lieutenant Governors' Association summer meeting this week in Biloxi, Miss.
Tweeted Kinder after the visit: "Just left T.D. El Amin @ fed. camp on grounds of Maxwell Air Force Base. He
looks good, smiling, relaxed, has gained 30 lbs."
Earlier this summer, Kinder visited another imprisoned former Missouri legislator -- former state Sen. Jeff Smith,
D-St. Louis -- who is serving time in a federal facility in Arkansas. Smith was convicted of a felony in
connection with illegal campaign activities during his failed 2004 bid for Congress.

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With Prop C, Missouri voters will be first in
nation to weigh in on health-care reform
By Robert Joiner, Beacon staff

POSTED 9:57 AM TUE., 07.27.10
The federal health-reform train began rolling across America this summer, dropping off benefits at every stop
along the way, offering coverage to children with pre-existing conditions, giving added protection to young
people about to be removed from their parents' health plans, and setting up temporary high-risk pools for some
unable to buy affordable insurance.
That's one view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Barack Obama signed into
law four months ago Friday. Another view is that this train is on an illegal run, set into motion by an overreaching
federal government that is trying to force everyone to buy a product, health insurance, they might not want or
election resources
The prolonged debate over the law comes to a head in Missouri with the Aug. 3 primary, the day the state's
voters will become the first in the nation to have their say on the federal health-insurance law. On the ballot is
Proposition C, which asks voters whether Missouri law should be amended to deny the federal government
authority to penalize a resident for refusing to buy health insurance.
A Hot Issue
It's a measure on which voters like Jen Amunategui and Nick Kasoff don't see eye to eye. There are times when
Amunategui asks herself whether the $240 she pays in premiums each month might be put to better use in the
family's budget. But she dismisses the thought the minute she looks at her two young children and decides it
would be irresponsible not to have coverage. A resident of Florissant, Amunategui, 44, manages a Starbucks
and is grateful to have medical benefits. She dislikes Proposition C, fearing it could undermine a federal efforts
to put affordable health insurance within nearly everyone's reach. According to the Congressional Budget Office,
the new federal law means about 95 percent of Americans would have health insurance.
Read more
Beacon readers share their views on Prop C
Kasoff, 44, a self-employed computer consultant from Ferguson, doesn't buy Amunategui's argument. The father
of two, he thinks his $750 monthly health insurance premium is a pretty good deal. The only thing the federal law
is guaranteed to do, he argues, is raise his premiums, perhaps beyond what he can afford. Not surprisingly, he
will say yes to Proposition C when he walks into the voting booth on Aug. 3.
Though he will vote for Proposition C, Kasoff isn't convinced the measure will slow the momentum of the health
reform train. So why support it?
"Because it takes the same amount time to say yes" as it does to vote no, Kasoff jokes, then adds in a serious
tone, "I don't think it's going to do anything really, but I think it's making a statement" about mandates.
A statement about mandates is probably the key reason some voters are attracted to Prop C, says Dave Roland,
policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute.
"I do think that a lot of people in this state are very unsettled by the idea that Congress can force people to
purchase something that they don't want," he says. "It's helpful to recognize that the issue is not just health-care

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reform; that just happens to be the issue's current face. Rather, they're worried about what they see as a
government willing and able to dictate more and more of their daily decisions."
Will this view prevail at the polls? There's a perception that proponents of the state measure are more organized
and energized, but Roland cautions that "the timing of the vote leaves both parties room for all sorts of spin,
given the unpredictable turnout of primary elections." The Missouri Secretary of State’s office says it expects
only a quarter of Missouri's voters to turn out.
Two Kinds of Mandates
Ironically, some of those who complain about federal health-insurance mandates have no problem with
mandates like the one requiring some coverage in Missouri for autism.
Roland makes a distinction between these two types of mandates, both of which he says are bad public policy.
He says mandates like the one for autism mean people end up having to pay for “a whole set of coverages that
they may not want or need. This makes insurance policies more expensive than they would otherwise need to be
for the majority of people -- meaning that fewer people can afford to purchase coverage."
Inform our coverage
This article contains information gathered with the help of our Public Insight Network.
The St. Louis Beacon, in partnership with KETC/Channel 9, is using this journalism tool to help us solicit
knowledge and insight from people who become sources through the Network.
To learn more about the Network and how you can become a source, please click here .
On the other hand, he says the federal health-care law not only mandates certain coverage but it "requires all
adults to purchase one of these policies." Citizens would be better off, he says, if they could make their own
decisions about what insurance coverage they need or whether they need insurance at all.
Notwithstanding the distinctions between the two kinds of mandates, Roland says "it is something of a
contradiction" for a person to be for or against one mandate and not the other.
If Proposition C passes, Roland says, it has the potential of having a political effect, but not a legal effect. He
cites the case of the Real ID act, the post-9/11 mandate involving federal regulations concerning state-issued
driver's license and identification cards. Half the states passed laws or resolutions opposing the act. The upshot,
Roland says, is that Congress has been unable to implement the bill's provisions.
If enough states balk, he predicts that "Congress will have little choice but to refrain from enforcing the health-
insurance mandate -- and they may feel compelled to repeal it altogether."
Some States Oppose Health Mandate
It’s probably significant that about half the states did not approve initiatives challenging the federal health reform
law. But opposition to it the health mandate has cropped up in many forms. Ballot measures similar to
Proposition C will be put to voters in the November general election in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and
Oklahoma. Also, some state attorneys general, along with Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, have filed lawsuits
against the federal health provisions. These developments are in addition to decisions by Georgia, Idaho, Utah
and Virginia to enact state statutes against the federal law.
The statutes are all similar, except in Utah, says Richard Cauchi, program director of the National Conference of
State Legislatures health program. Utah seemed to have given more thought to the ramificaitons of saying no to
the federal law. It's statute requires state agencies to report to the Utah Legislature the consequences of
noncompliance with the federal health-care legislation and the effect that noncompliance would have on Utah's

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Without taking sides in the national health reform debate, Cauchi says it's misleading to argue that regulatory
control over insurance rests solely with states.
"Right now, states have a right to regulate insurance, but there is a big federal exception," he say, pointing to
self-insurance programs set up by large employers, which are regulated by the federal government.
for Health-care Law, against Prop C
Notwithstanding arguments by Proposition C proponents, the public should embrace rather than fear the public
health-care law, says Ruth Ehresman, director of health and budget policy at the Missouri Budget Project.
Speaking as a consumer, she acknowledges that the federal law might cause her own health premiums to rise,
but says she expects them to rise at a slower rate because of health reforms.
Unlike Roland of the Show-Me Institute, Ehresman regards Proposition C as meaningless, a measure that, if
approved, is likely to cause "a waste of state resources to defend against a constitutional challenge in the
courts." It's a legal challenge that Ehresman and many others argue the state will lose. She adds that it is
essential to develop insurance pools that include healthy people to extend affordable coverage to people with
pre-existing conditions.
"Healthy people cannot be allowed to choose not to purchase insurance until they get sick," she says, adding
that Missourians should focus on carrying out the federal law as efficiently as possible instead of "throwing up
The Tea Party
One of the biggest roadblocks is perceived as coming from the Tea Party movement, a loosely organized
operation that has come in for both praise and criticism as health reform moved through Congress and became
Some Republicans who say they do not belong to the Tea Party praise both the group and Proposition C alike.
One is William Middleton, 62, who has retired from sales and marketing and now sells real estate part-time.
He's in favor of Proposition C, he says, because he lacks faith in the competence and integrity of Obama and
other Democrats who had a hand in drafting the federal legislation.
On the other hand, no legislation out of Congress is perfect, argues Karl Frank, 34, a Democrat who is a
computer consultant and a member of the Mehlville School Board. "I am very happy that something was finally
He feels the proponents have "created an environment of ignorance" by spreading misinformation about what
Proposition C would do in relation to the federal law. He says the rhetoric by Proposition C proponents amounts
to shouting to the rest of the country: "It's true! We really have no idea what we are talking about, and we don't
But Frank's computer consultant counterpart from Ferguson, Nick Kasoff, would take issue with that
Sure, Kasoff says, Proposition C is the equivalent of "a politician making a speech." But there are grains of truth
in what's being said, Kasoff adds. He especially believes the part about how federal spending causes taxes to
"We don't have an experience of any federal program coming in below the estimated cost," he says.

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Missouri Hospital Association joins fight
against Prop C
JEFFERSON CITY -- Proposition C isn't getting a free ride to the Aug. 3 vote after all. It turns out the Missouri
Hospital Association has decided to spend some of its money opposing the ballot issue that would allow
Missourians to opt out of federal health insurance mandates.
The hospital association, a powerful lobbying force in the state Capitol, spent more than $200,000 this month
sending out fliers opposing Prop C, which is being pushed by conservative Missouri Republicans who opposed
President Barack Obama's health care bill.
(Liberal blog Show Me Progress had the news last night. Check it out here).
According to a statement on the hospital association Web site, the group opposes Proposition C because
hospitals get hit with the bill when uninsured patients come through their doors. The federal health care plan
aims to increase the amount of people in the country on insurance.
"Without an enforceable individual mandate, fewer individuals are likely to purchase coverage at a cost of approximately
$500 million throughout 10 years. That’s right — Missouri’s hospitals could lose up to a half billion dollars through the loss
of the individual mandate. That money will either go back to the federal treasury, or more likely, be sent to other states to
fund additional coverage. MHA made this argument in the General Assembly," wrote MHA CEO Herb Kuhn. "Much will be
said during the next few weeks about the individual mandate and the notion of “individual freedom.” That is a powerful and
persuasive argument. There is, however, another side of the story, and that’s the notion of “fairness.” Fairness to make
sure Missouri’s hard-earned Medicare and Medicaid dollars stay in the state and fairness in sharing in the cost of health
coverage for all"
A recent Post-Dispatch poll indicated Proposition C was likely to pass. See poll results on attached stories.

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McCaskill wants answers from Army officials on why thousands of
bodies at Arlington are mismarked (AUDIO)
by Jessica Machetta on July 27, 2010
A report issued by the inspector general shows thousands of bodies might be mismarked or misplaced at
Arlington National Cemetery. Senator McCaskill says she intends to get some answers this week about what she
calls “heartbreaking incompetence.”
McCaskill’s Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight is holding a hearing Thursday with Department of Army
“The problems at Arlington National Cemetery result from a failed effort to digitalize burial records,” she says.
“Despite spending over $5.5 million on multiple IT contracts over seven years, the cemetery’s complex records
remain in paper form and prone to human errors.”
McCaskill’s subcommittee is investigating possible contracting waste and fraud at the cemetery.
The initial report, which examined a small section of the expansive cemetery, found 12 graves were either found
empty or misidentified. One vereran’s remains were placed in a grave that was already occupied.
The report notes ”the loss of accountability of remains, remains encountered in gravesites believed to be
unoccupied, unmarked gravesites, discrepancies in burial documentation (and) improperly marked gravesites.”
Two men who resigned over the controversy, former Arlington Superintendent John Metzler have been called to
testify Thursday, but McCaskill wouldn’t speculate on exactly who would be at the hearing.
More than 330,000 people have been buried at the cemetery since 1864.
McCaskill talks with reporters in Columbia [Download / listen Mp3, 10:39 min.]

Missouri Guard leaders have ideas for new American war strategy
by Ryan Famuliner on July 28, 2010
Three leaders of the Missouri National Guard authored an article published in the Military Review this month.
The article says the U.S. is not being as effective as it could be in stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Iraq
and Afghanistan. Brigadier General Steve Danner, one of the authors, says right now there’s not enough training
and organization for stabilization and reconstruction teams before a deployment.
“We do too much on an ad hoc basis, basically we just throw a team together and try to accomplish a mission,”
Danner said. “That’s like going out on the playground and you’ve got a bunch of people out there ready to play
basketball, and so you just throw a team together and just play right then and there. That kind of pick-up team is
not going to be nearly as good as the team that you work with in the league and you practice every day and you
prepare, etc, etc.”
He’d like to see the National Guard establish a “civilian reserve corps.” It would allow the military to use
American experts for specific tasks.

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“Civilians; who might be doctors, nurses, medical personnel, civil engineers, attorneys, mental health specialists.
Those who have specific applications that we are short of in the military forces,” Danner said.
The article gave a recent example of a need for an expert on fisheries, when the Guard was able to bring in
someone from the Missouri Department of Conservation for a short two-month project. That expert fortunately
had a previous reserve affiliation.
“I don’t think that they would have to have prior military experience, they would certainly not have to have the
military entrance requirements. It’d be more like a civilian job, where you apply for it, you have your civilian skills
and the employers hire based on those skills and the need,” Danner said.
Danner says this is the complete opposite approach to the current “top to bottom” strategy in war efforts.
“Look, let’s start at the village level, let’s start at the town level, let’s start at the provincial level and work our way
up so that we gain the support of the people in Afghanistan first. Without that support, I mean we learned that
lesson in Vietnam, without the support of the population, you’re not going to be successful,” Danner said.
The article also states that while this is meant to be a solution in the vein of counterinsurgency in the U.S.’s
current entanglements, it may also have other long-term applications.
 “Since the end of the Cold War we really have not had a new American strategy. And really our precept is that
this paper really point to a counterinsurgency strategy which we all talk about, it’s in the news all the time. But it
points to a strategy that can handle counterinsurgency and at the same time be a strategy for America for the
next 25 years,” Danner said.
He’s not sure how it will be received in Washington.
“We all have to start somewhere, whether Washington listens or not only time will tell. But I will say that I’ve had
several meetings at the Pentagon and at National Guard bureau, and I think several others feel the same way,”
Danner said.
AUDIO: Ryan Famuliner reports [1 min MP3]
AUDIO: Complete interview with Gen. Danner [15 min MP3]

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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
Government already pays health care costs
for most Missourians
POST-DISPATCH Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010 9:00 pm
Government health care: The Medicaid program pays for about 60 percent of Missouri nursing home patients.
If you haven’t yet heard that federal health care reform really is just cover for a “government take-over” of health
care, you haven’t been listening.
Republican leaders have been making that claim for nearly a year. If they knew the truth, they’d be even more
alarmed: The government already owns much of the health care system. Take Missouri, for instance.
The most popular government health care program is Medicare. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that
991,000 elderly and disabled Missouri residents were enrolled in 2008, the latest year for which an estimate is
Then there are the 865,477 people now enrolled in Missouri Medicaid. Add Medicaid to Medicare and you’ve got
1.8 million Missourians — roughly one in every three — in a government health care program. But that’s just the
tip of the iceberg.
Government health care may be dirty words in the right-wing political playbook, but not to people who work in
state and local government, including many conservative lawmakers.
Some 299,000 of them work for local government and schools. Most have government-funded health benefits.
Add them and some of their family members to the total.
About 108,000 state workers and family members are covered under the Missouri Consolidated Health Care
Plan, including part-time legislators who get full-time coverage. And 30,000 state prisoners, too.
Then there are veterans, along with soldiers and their families at Fort Leonard Wood and the airmen and their
families at Whiteman Air Force Base. The Census Bureau estimates that 286,000 people in Missouri were
covered by military health care plans in 2008.
The back of the envelope estimate for the number of Missourians with government-paid health care comes to 2.5
million people, about 43 percent of the state’s residents.
Most of them get care the same way the rest of us do: from private doctors, at private hospitals. Government
pays for the care, but private health insurance companies actually administer the policies. That doesn’t change
under national health care reform.
In fact, of the 32 million uninsured Americans who stand to gain health insurance coverage under health care
reform, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that about half will obtain it through private health insurance
companies selling on what will be called a state “insurance exchange.”
Thus, the so-called government take-over of health care will result in more Americans having private health
insurance. That’s exactly what happened in Massachusetts when similar health reforms went into effect there in
There’s another group of Missourians who get government-funded health care: The 739,000 people in the
state that the Census Bureau estimates were uninsured in 2008.

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When they get sick and need care from a hospital emergency room or clinic, federal and state governments help
pick up part of the tab.
Counting the uninsured, the number of Missourians with government-paid health care rises to nearly 3.3 million.
That’s roughly 55 percent of the state population; that jibes roughly with the fact that government payments
account for 60 percent of revenue at St. Louis-area hospitals.
Missouri Republican want to repeal health reform and go back to the way things were before it passed. It’s hard
to imagine what they think “government take-over” would look like, or that it would be much different than the
status quo they want to preserve.

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Hembree: End discrimination in military
"Don't ask, don't tell" not in step with armed forces' rich legacy of civil rights.
July 28, 2010
During my lifetime, the armed forces of this country have led the way in advancing the constitutional rights of all
our citizens. The most powerful example of this was President Truman's 1948 Executive Order ending racial
segregation and providing equality of treatment and opportunity for African-Americans in the armed forces.
That leadership was blocked in 1993, when Gen. Colin Powell convinced President Clinton and Congress to
accept a policy of "don't ask, don't tell" to permit homosexuals to serve in our armed forces. In order to prevent
the president from changing the policy by Executive Order, Congress made the policy law.
In World War II, men were not asked if they were gay -- they were drafted. When the war ended, many returned
to their old jobs or furthered their education using the GI Bill. We had many gay veterans here in Springfield who
entered school, returned to work and re-entered civilian life.
I served in Korea for 16 months. During that time, I knew that several of the soldiers in my artillery battery were
gay. Their sexual orientation was never an issue; I needed these soldiers to accomplish our mission, and they
were good soldiers.
In my 22 years in the army, I served with gay and lesbian soldiers of all ranks, including a general officer who
was gay. In all that time, I never experienced or heard of any event involving gay soldiers that was prejudicial to
discipline and good order or any diminishing of unit cohesion.
Despite the progress that has been made after President Truman's courageous action, there is still one glaring
inequity that must be corrected. We now have an opportunity to right a wrong and end the years of shameful
treatment to loyal gay Americans who serve in our armed forces.
The defense appropriations bill, soon to be considered by the Senate, includes a provision to repeal "don't ask,
don't tell." I urge Sens. Kit Bond and Claire McCaskill to protect this provision from changes or deletion. Their
support will show that Missourians are on the side of human rights for all Americans- especially those willing to
risk their lives for our country.
Today, Gen. Powell and numerous other officers, retired and active duty, including Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm.
Mike Mullen and Gen. David Petraeus, agree: It is time to end the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that has excluded
so many brave Americans from serving their country.
When President Obama signs the defense bill, I hope it will bring an end to this discriminatory law. I also hope
he immediately issues an Executive Order to ensure that all honorable and physically able women and men, who
want to serve, may do so with the equality of treatment and opportunity that President Truman made possible for
Americans should expect no less.
Jack E. Hembree LTC, U.S. Army (Ret.), lives in Springfield.

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‘No’ vote would let Missourians tackle real
Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Proposition C, which will be on the Aug. 3 ballot, is a distraction from the real issue: how to ensure Missourians
have access to affordable quality health care.
Missourians are already experiencing the benefits of federal health care reform. A high-risk pool for those with
pre-existing conditions will begin offering coverage in August. This is a temporary pool and will still be too
expensive for some Missourians. It is a stopgap measure until 2014, when insurance companies will not be
allowed to charge higher premiums for women and those with health problems. Seniors who fall into the
Medicare “doughnut hole” will get $250 of relief this year, and eventually the doughnut hole will be closed. In
September, young adults will be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, even if they are not in
college. Small businesses and not-for-profits will get refundable tax credits this year to help with the cost of their
employees’ insurance.
Prop C is flawed in a number of ways, beginning with its structure. It asks two unrelated questions but allows
only one answer. The so-called Health Care Freedom Act is an attempt to allow Missouri to opt out of the
requirement for individuals to purchase insurance. This is a key piece of federal health care reform that will allow
Missourians with pre-existing conditions to have affordable insurance options by creating large pools that include
healthy people. To gain passage in the General Assembly, it was amended to an unrelated issue regarding the
liquidation of some domestic insurance companies. If voters are confused by this, they should be. It denies them
the right to vote clearly on each issue.
At the heart of the matter: A “yes” vote is meaningless. States do not have the option of picking and choosing
which federal laws, or parts of laws, they will follow. A “yes” vote for Proposition C will likely result in an
expensive legal battle over the constitutionality of the law. Attorney General Chris Koster has been wise in not
joining other states in lawsuits. But if Proposition C passes, we will be brought into the fray. Paying for an
expensive lawsuit that will likely be unsuccessful should not be a priority for cash-strapped Missouri. The state
has already made deep cuts in services that are priorities for most Missourians: school bus transportation,
college scholarships, Parents as Teachers and a host of mental health services and public health services. We
need to be wise stewards of our limited resources and prioritize our spending carefully.
Some issues are too big and too interconnected for individual states to tackle alone. These are most effectively
and efficiently addressed through a federal policy framework. Social Security is one example. It has been
modified numerous times since its original passage and will continue to be modified in the future. While not
perfect, it has been overwhelmingly successful in providing some economic security for seniors in Missouri and
in the rest of the country. Other examples include our federal highway system and the extended unemployment
benefits that have helped keep families afloat during this time of high unemployment.
Insurance trends in Missouri paint a grim picture. During the recession, tens of thousands of Missourians have
lost their jobs and, with them, their health care benefits. Even before the recession, the number of employers
who were able to offer health insurance as a benefit was trending downward. Premiums continue to escalate in
part because the health care costs for the uninsured are rolled into the premiums of those who are insured. It is
evident Missouri cannot fix the broken non-system of health care alone. But it can be done.
A “no” vote on Proposition C will allow Missouri — and the rest of the nation — to focus on planning how to
implement federal reform well and how to improve parts that might need changing.

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Those wishing to make political statements should be careful to not do it at the expense of the estimated
500,000 Missourians who will gain access to affordable health insurance through federal reform. Voting “no” on
Proposition C is a wise choice.
Ruth Ehresman is the director of health and budget policy for the Missouri Budget Project. The Missouri Budget
Project is a public interest organization whose mission is to advance policy that improves economic opportunity
for all Missourians, particularly those with moderate and low incomes.

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Free high-performing public schools for
every Zip code?
By Earl Sims, Special to the Beacon
Posted 5:00 am Wed., 07.28.10
The Missouri Supreme Court recently ruled that students in unaccredited school districts have the right to
transfer to, and must be accepted by, an accredited school at the cost of the unaccredited district. The law
upheld by the court also allows the transfer to be to a school "in another district of the same or an adjoining
county." This ruling should serve as a wake-up call that serious statewide education reforms must be passed in
the 2011 legislative session.
Failure to do so will result in a mass of children from the unaccredited St. Louis Public School district transferring
to accredited schools in St. Louis County districts virtually overnight. The ruling also appears to allow students
from the unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District to transfer to schools in neighboring St. Charles,
Jefferson and Franklin counties.
Missouri has nine provisionally accredited districts, two of which, Kansas City and Normandy, are close to being
unaccredited One district, Hickman Mills in Kansas City, is on track to go from accredited to unaccredited by
2011 With an additional eight districts on track to losing full accreditation by 2011, this ruling could have a
drastic, statewide impact on the future of problem schools and districts and their neighboring schools and
districts. Three significant reforms could alleviate the burden that these districts will no doubt feel as a result of
this court ruling.
First, the legislature must remove the geographic caps on opening public charter schools beyond the St. Louis
and Kansas City School districts. Allowing for quality, accountable charter schools to open in all areas of the
state will give parents of children who are stuck in failing school districts many more options than just transferring
to another zoned school site. Expanding charters across the state will provide an incentive to many of the high
performing charter school operators to open schools in Missouri. Just as critical, the legislature should pass laws
to increase accountability on charter school operators and sponsors.
Second, the legislature should expand the private sector's use of tuition-assistance programs for disadvantaged
families in Missouri. The St. Louis region has an effective and efficient way of providing immediate scholarships
to families located within the city - through programs such as the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation.
In the past three years alone, more than 1,700 children have found alternatives to government assigned schools
- without state assistance. With enabling legislation allowing private charitable contributions to a state program
available to other families in financial need, Missouri could join other states like Florida and Iowa that have
successful private contribution-based, tuition assistance programs.
Finally, open enrollment legislation across school districts should become legal. Open enrollment would allow for
the orderly transfer of public school students wishing to find another public school option nearby. Both Iowa and
Arkansas have flexible working policies that Missouri lacks. These laws and rules provide for early, reasonable
transfers to other public schools of choice without litigation.
While this case was remanded back to a lower court for further review, the court was clear that Missouri law was
written in "straightforward and unambiguous language" allowing students in unaccredited districts to transfer to a
school in the same, or an adjoining, county at the cost of the unaccredited district. To not undertake significant
education reforms in the 2011 legislative session that allow for expanded parental choice in educating their
children could result in a free-for-all of transfers to schools in neighboring counties. With 18 districts scattered

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across the state provisionally accredited, or close to losing full accreditation, how long will it be before such a
costly free-for-all spreads statewide?
Since 1875, the Missouri State Constitution has said the General Assembly "shall establish and maintain free
public schools for the gratuitous instruction of all persons in this state." (Article IX, Section 1(a)). The children of
every zip code, not just those residing within 63105 (Clayton) or 63124 (Ladue), deserve the best our state can
Earl Simms is state director of the Children's Education Council of Missouri , a not-for-profit organization that
"supports individualized learning opportunities for all children through issue resolution, community education and
civic engagement." To reach Voices authors, contact Beacon features and commentary editor Donna Korando.

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GUEST COLUMN: Helping Missouri small
business owners reach their dreams
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Tuesday, July 27, 2010 | 12:52 p.m. CDT
JEFFERSON CITY – On July 30, 1953, the Small Business Administration was founded and has since helped
millions of American small business owners find the loans and information they need to be successful. Today,
the SBA estimates there are more than 100,000 small businesses in Missouri with fewer than 20 employees.
These are the mom and pop shops, such as hardware stores, pharmacies and restaurants, we visit every day.
These small business owners and the jobs they create – 75 percent of the jobs created during an economic
recovery – are one of the focuses of my administration and the low-interest loans we provide through the
Missouri Linked Deposit Program.
Providing access to low-cost capital is one of the best ways we can help this economic recovery continue.
Through the Missouri Linked Deposit Program my administration offers exactly that – loans that generally cost
borrowers 30 percent less than a standard loan. Additionally, as we celebrate the SBA, we look to continue to
combine programs for even more value.
"The Small Business Administration routinely partners with the Missouri Linked Deposit Program to help small
business owners make the investments they need," says Gary Cook, Kansas City District Director for the SBA.
"The low-interest loans from the Missouri Linked Deposit Program combined with loan guarantees from us are a
powerful economic tool for small business owners throughout Missouri. Every small business owner should look
to partner the power of the two programs when accessing capital."
Gary's comment is exactly right. As I travel throughout the state, I regularly visit with local business owners who
have used the low-interest loans and many who have combined them with SBA loan guarantees. I can tell you
this effort is making a difference. Since January 2009, my administration has approved more than $340 million in
loans impacting nearly 3,700 jobs and 1,400 farmers. These are jobs for contractors, jobs for pharmacists, jobs
for scientists and jobs for farmers. The best part is that these loans are available to almost any Missouri small
business qualifying for credit from a participating lender. Just go to to see if you are
Recently, I traveled to Trenton to celebrate the opening of Hometown Pharmacy. This is the only locally owned
pharmacy in Trenton and brought with it six new jobs for the community. Pharmacy owner Mike Palmer has used
the Missouri Linked Deposit Program for loans in the past, helping him to own and operate pharmacies and
health-related stores in Chillicothe and Carrollton as well. This is economic growth for our state.
The Missouri Linked Deposit Program is about spurring investment in all corners of our economy. This past
October I was fortunate enough to tour newly opened LipoSpectrum, a life science start up in St. Louis that uses
patented technology to perform lipids research in the fight against diseases such as diabetes. Milind Sant used
his low-interest loan to purchase equipment and to help maintain his business as he began to commercialize the
Missouri Linked Deposit Program loans have been used by manufacturers of clay pots, cabinet makers, flower
shops and more. These loans help Missourians start their dream businesses, expand ones they currently have
and retain jobs during these difficult economic times. Almost any farm in Missouri is eligible to receive a loan and
small businesses with up to 99 employees qualify. Additionally, local governments, housing developments and
alternative-energy focused projects may qualify for the low-interest loans.

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As we celebrate the 47th anniversary of the Small Business Administration's founding, I encourage all Missouri
small business owners looking for capital to visit my website to learn more about this low-interest loan program,
search the 100 lenders I partner with and learn about the opportunities it can provide for them. Together, we can
help keep Main Street strong.
Clint Zweifel is Missouri's state treasurer.

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MONDAY, JULY 26 -- Jefferson City — State employees and retirees soon may have to pay more out of
pockets for health care — a result of state budget troubles that also have led to frozen wages and pension
changes. The board of the state Consolidated Health Care Plan approved changes that will switch people from a
co-pay to a deductible model for their health insurance, beginning Jan. 1.
TUESDAY, JULY 27 -- Columbia — The public school district is preparing for its largest number of students
whose native language is not English when school begins this fall. The number of English-language learners, or
ELL students, in the school district has risen steadily since 2008, said Jenifer Albright-Borts, the district's ELL
coordinator. In 2009, 592 ELL students were enrolled.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 28 -- St. Louis — Heavy storms and scorching temperatures have failed to deter rock
bands from performing at an outdoor stadium here, but a bombardment of pigeon droppings proved too much for
the Kings of Leon. The band halted a concert at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre after three songs because of
bird droppings.

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