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What do the Blunt administration’s
released e-mails say about his office?
By Kurt Greenbaum
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star and the Associated Press sued the administration of Missouri Gov. Matt
Blunt to obtain the release of thousands of e-mails. These are e-mails that Blunt‟s office originally said didn‟t
have to be saved, much less released.
The lead to the story the Post-Dispatch ran on Sunday summarizes the pattern:
The administration contended that a fired staff lawyer never offered advice about the governor‟s policy requiring
public records, including e-mails, to be retained.
But he did.
Blunt‟s staffers said the administration did not regularly conduct state business out of public view on campaign e-
mail accounts.
But they did.
And the governor‟s then-chief-of-staff denied the existence of e-mails showing he had engaged in political
activities on state time.
But hundreds of them exist.
Did you read the story? Does it matter to you that there were attempts to rebuff an administration official who
argued that the e-mails were a public record? Does it matter that the e-mails themselves contradict public
statements by the governor and others in his office?

                  On the Web :   www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Missouri aide raised e-mail concerns
before firing
By DAVID A. LIEB – 14 hours ago

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A review of e-mail records by media organizations including The Associated Press supports
claims by a former legal counsel to Gov. Matt Blunt that he was fired shortly after cautioning his colleagues that
their defense of e-mail deletions ran contrary to state law.
But the e-mails also confirm that Scott Eckersley performed private-sector work with state resources and was
repeatedly late to work, two factors cited in his dismissal. Blunt officials have claimed Eckersley never raised
concerns about their e-mail practices and was fired for justifiable reasons.
The roughly 60,000 pages of e-mails released under a legal settlement with the media put focus on the
assertions of Eckersley, who went from being praised by his bosses to banished from the office in a matter of
weeks — just as he was raising red flags about their handling of e-mails.
An analysis of the e-mails was conducted as a collaboration of the AP, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The
Kansas City Star, all of which had submitted Sunshine Law requests about a year ago seeking Blunt
administration e-mails culled from Missouri's computerized backup system.
The office of Blunt, a Republican, initially said it would cost $23,000 to retrieve, review and copy the e-mails. The
media groups sued, and the governor's office provided the e-mails for free under the legal settlement.
The AP submitted an open-records request for the e-mails in October 2007, shortly after Eckersley went public
with allegations that he had been fired in September after raising concerns that colleagues weren't following e-
mail retention requirements.
Eckersley's attorney, Jeff Bauer, said Friday that the newly released e-mails confirm his client's account that he
was fired after raising concerns to top Blunt aides about their e-mail policies.
"It is a sentinel event which shows you everything he's been saying from day one is absolutely true and
everything they have said is absolutely false," said Bauer, who declined to let Eckersley comment.
Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson said the e-mails reinforce the position of Blunt's administration about
Eckersley's dismissal, noting that none said Eckersley was fired for raising concerns about the e-mail policies.
"The reason for his firing had nothing to do with the Sunshine Law or the record-retention law, and his e-mails
bolster what we had said and our contention that he was dismissed for poor job performance and doing outside
work on a state computer and on state time," Robinson said.
At the same time Eckersley made his allegations, Blunt's administration sent an unsolicited stack of documents
to the media defending Eckersley's dismissal and disparaging him by claiming he had viewed a "group sex
Internet site," among other things.
Eckersley has since filed a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit against Blunt and his top aides.
The controversy over e-mail deletions in Blunt's office began in September 2007, when the Springfield News-
Leader said it had requested e-mail communications between the governor's office and anti-abortion interests
but was told the e-mails didn't exist.
Blunt's spokesman asserted "there is no statute or case that requires the state to retain individuals' emails as a
public record."

               On the Web :      www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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In fact, e-mails are public records under state law. Depending on the topic, some can be deleted soon after
receipt, but others must be kept for three years, and those that relate to the development of state policies must
be permanently saved.
About the same time the media were questioning Blunt's e-mail policies, records show Eckersley was assigned
to update the office's Sunshine Law policy. On Sept. 14, he sent an e-mail to several top Blunt officials
recommending they respond to the media by acknowledging that e-mails can be public records that must be
Eckersley also e-mailed the governor's chief of staff Ed Martin to say the employee manual included an official
office policy on records retention. Eckersley was fired Sept. 28.
In a letter to the media a month later, Blunt's deputy administration commissioner, Rich AuBuchon, said he was
fired for cause "after months of performance-related problems."
Associated Press writers Chris Blank, Christopher Leonard, Alan Scher Zagier and Christopher Clark contributed
to this report.
On the Net:
      Gov. Matt Blunt: http://www.gov.mo.gov
      St. Louis Post-Dispatch: http://www.stltoday.com
      The Kansas City Star: http://www.kansascity.com

               On the Web :      www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Report: Blunt misled public on e-mails
Published: Nov. 16, 2008 at 6:40 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt's administration misled the public on several
issues, including whether e-mail records were saved, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
The newspaper said Sunday the governor's office has issued misleading statements on a host of issues during
the past year. The report said Blunt's staffers falsely claimed the administration did not regularly conduct state
business out of public view on campaign e-mail accounts.
The Post-Dispatch said evidence of the misstatements is contained in more than 60,000 pages of e-mails that
were turned over last week to three news outlets, including the Post-Dispatch, which sued for the records.
The media outlets sued for access to the records to determine whether the governor's office was violating state
laws that require the state's business to be done in public.
"The newly released e-mails portray a staff caught off guard by news outlets' queries and unable to determine
whether the governor's office even had a policy on public record retention," the newspaper said.

                  On the Web :        www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Release of Blunt e-mails appears to
vindicate fired staff lawyer
The Kansas City Star
ST. LOUIS | The release of thousands of e-mails from top officials in Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt‟s administration
appears to partially vindicate a disgraced staff lawyer who was fired last year.
Scott Eckersley‟s rise and fall — and proof of his longstanding claim that he had warned the administration over
e-mail secrecy — are documented in a cache of 60,166 pages of e-mails released to an unprecedented
consortium of media organizations, including The Kansas City Star.
In seven weeks he went from being well-liked in the administration to being out of a job, fired in the midst of a
spiraling controversy over whether e-mails between top staff members should be released to the public.
The e-mails also reveal that Blunt‟s former chief of staff Ed Martin orchestrated political opposition with outside
groups to judicial nominees and to the state‟s system for selecting judges.
The printed e-mails were delivered in 22 boxes as part of a settlement between the governor‟s office and the
media companies, who had joined a lawsuit filed by the attorney general‟s office. That lawsuit is ongoing. The e-
mails cover midsummer 2007 to October of that year.
Among the documents released Thursday are e-mails showing that Eckersley had advised administration
officials that certain e-mails are public documents and must be retained, a legal opinion at odds with what Blunt
and his spokesman, Rich Chrismer, were saying at the time.
A Blunt spokeswoman, Jessica Robinson, said the released documents only proved what the administration has
been saying all along.
“The reason for the firing had nothing to do with the Sunshine Law or the records-retention law,” Robinson said.
“His e-mails really bolster what we have said and our contention about … poor job performance and doing
outside work on state computers and state time.”
Eckersley, Robinson added, never advised anyone that any staff member was skirting the law.
Eckersley‟s lawyer says the e-mails point out the opposite.
“It … shows you that what we‟ve been saying from day one is absolutely true and what they‟ve been saying is
absolutely false,” said Jeff Bauer of Springfield.
Eckersley, the former deputy chief counsel to Blunt, would not comment. He is a central figure in the months-
long legal dispute between the administration and The Star, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Associated
Press over whether e-mails written by top governmental officials constitute public records.
The Blunt administration initially insisted that no law required e-mails to be saved as public records, a stance that
officials have since recanted. Eckersley appears to have been the first administration official to stipulate
internally that e-mails must be saved.
Eckersley, 31, was fired on Sept. 28, 2007. He has said the termination was linked to his stand on e-mails,
although administration officials blamed the dismissal on his job performance and for doing private work with
state resources.
The e-mails contained correspondence from Eckersley regarding that outside work. Other work-related
allegations were contained in mailings from Blunt‟s office delivered to several statehouse reporters after the firing
last year. Included was an allegation that Eckersley had viewed adult Web sites while at work and may have

               On the Web :       www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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used illegal drugs. Eckersley said the accusation about adult Web sites referred to spam he received in his e-
mail account and that a reference to smoking “pipes” referred to tobacco smoking.
He has sued the state for defamation of character, wrongful termination, violation of whistle-blower laws and
violation of the Missouri Sunshine law. No dollar amount is attached to the lawsuit.
Eckersley is now a graduate student at the University of Southern California, driven from the state by the swirl of
bad publicity that surrounded the case, Bauer said.
The administration withheld about 1,400 e-mails, including several from Martin written on the day Eckersley was
E-mails from Blunt himself are relatively scarce. When he does appear, he‟s seen frequently correcting staffers
on spelling and grammar, once insisting that the first letter of “Internet” be capitalized.
Eckersley joined the administration in February 2007 as a policy adviser.
“It seemed like a cool idea and something I could try out and then go back to Lathrop afterwards,” he wrote a
friend in August 2007. Eckersley had worked in the Springfield office of the law firm of Lathrop & Gage.
He committed to working for Blunt through what was then expected to be the governor‟s re-election race in 2008.
The e-mails show Eckersley receiving repeated praise from Martin, as well as Eckersley expressing remorse for
sometimes being late to work.
On Aug. 10, 2007, Eckersley sent Martin an e-mail with the name of a contact “to get the straight scoop on
Breckenridge” — Patricia Breckenridge, a judge whom Blunt was to consider appointing to the state Supreme
Martin responded enthusiastically: “Great work, Scott. You are a great part of our team. I am not sure I have said
„thank you‟ to you enough. I tease you a lot because I like you…”
But just one week earlier, Eckersley had e-mailed his boss, legal counsel Henry Herschel, apologizing “again” for
showing up late: “I know how unprofessional it is to show up late, and I really do not expect this to happen again.
I want to gain your confidence and I understand that you need to be able to rely on me for things like this.”
On Aug. 27, Tony Messenger, then a columnist for the Springfield News-Leader, formally requested e-mail
correspondence from or to Martin regarding Attorney General Jay Nixon‟s defense of a new state law on
abortion clinics. Nixon, a Democrat, was presumed to be Blunt‟s general-election opponent the next year.
The request went to Eckersley. He asked Martin and Herschel whether he should forward the request to the
entire governor‟s office, his normal practice when receiving Sunshine Law requests.
Martin wrote back a one-word response: “no.” Herschel responded from his Blackberry with “Who asked this.”
On Sept. 4, Martin wrote Messenger that he had “no documents that were responsive — e-mail or otherwise.”
But by Sept. 10, the issue of the administration‟s policy on e-mail apparently was becoming a concern. That day,
Herschel asked Eckersley to pull some cases on the law and find the office‟s Sunshine Law policy.
The same day, Eckersley e-mailed Herschel a passage from the state‟s employee handbook that stipulates that
“every record made … in connection with the transaction of official business of state government … shall be
retained in accordance with Missouri law.” In many cases, that means saving e-mails for up to three years.
In the following days, Chrismer insisted to reporters that “there is no statute or case that requires the state to
retain individual‟s e-mails as a public record.” Blunt told reporters that staffers would not be required to save e-
mails for three years.

               On the Web :       www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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The next day, Eckersley advised Martin about the existing office policy on records retention. He told his boss,
Herschel, that the governor is “going around saying we don‟t have an office policy” and that “I don‟t think
Chrismer gets it.”
Later the same day, Chrismer asked Herschel to direct Eckersley not to e-mail anyone about e-mail retention
policy, and Herschel asked Eckersley to go through him “before you start e-mailing people.”
By then, governor‟s office staffers appeared to be growing uneasy with Eckersley. A Sept. 19 e-mail from
Herschel to an office employee asked the employee to call him and noted that “Scott looked at (the matter) but
I‟m not sure of him.”
On Sept. 20, Eckersley wrote an old friend from the office on the subject of e-mail, saying, “I fired on people
yesterday about that — I just got so sick of it — I e-mailed Chrismer and HH and Ed.” “HH” is Herschel and “Ed”
is chief of staff Martin.
On Sept. 24, Martin ordered locks on office doors be changed to keep Eckersley out. Officials from the Office of
Administration sought access to Eckersley‟s phone records and to the hard drive from his computer. On Sept.
26, Martin berated Eckersley face to face in what the lawyer would later describe in a lawsuit as a “profanity
laced tirade.”
Eckersley was fired on Sept. 28.
The next month, Eckersley spoke out, saying he was dismissed after challenging the administration‟s position
that it did not have to save e-mails and could routinely delete them. Blunt denied the allegation, insisting that the
firing had been “handled appropriately.”
The same day, Rich AuBuchon, the acting commissioner for the Office of Administration, told The Star that he
could find no records showing Eckersley had advised Blunt‟s office on the issue of e-mail retention.
Included among the thousands of documents released last week are hundreds that fall within Sunshine Law
requests made by the three media organizations and the News-Leader throughout the fall of 2007.
None of these requests was fulfilled. In most cases, the governor‟s office cited exemptions allowed under the law
or said it would cost thousands of dollars to provide the documents.
In at least one case, though, a review of the documents proves the availability of e-mails that administration
officials said didn‟t exist.
At the time of his Aug. 27 Sunshine request, Messenger, the Springfield columnist, already had a copy of an e-
mail that would have complied with his request. But when he followed up with Martin in early September, Martin
replied: “As to your Sunshine request, I have no documents that were responsive — email or otherwise.”
Later in the e-mail conversation, Martin said he didn‟t save e-mails “for any period of time.”
Chrismer also replied, saying none of Martin‟s e-mail on the topic “are or were available anywhere.”
The documents released last week show that to be untrue: The e-mails were, at the very least, recorded on the
state‟s e-mail backup system.
One such e-mail to a conservative activist, from Aug. 21, comes from the American Center for Law & Justice.
Martin is copied on the message.
The e-mail‟s author, Francis J. Manion, notes that Blunt‟s office “may be looking to bypass the pro-abort, pro-
Planned Parenthood A.G. in defending a suit filed yesterday by PP” and asks for advice on how to force the
attorney general off the case.

               On the Web :        www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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On Aug. 22, Martin received a memo from Eckersley examining the attorney general‟s duty to represent the state
in lawsuits and suggesting Nixon could be removed by the governor.
On Saturday, Robinson said Messenger‟s request did not specifically ask for e-mails on state backup tapes.
“We had not ever been asked to go to the backup (tape) before and when we were asked to go there, we did,”
said Robinson.
Asked for comment on the release of the e-mails, Martin wrote in an e-mail Saturday morning that he was deer
“I have not reviewed the e-mails that have been released,” he wrote.
The Star could not reach Herschel for comment Saturday.
During the period covered in the e-mails, the governor‟s office was consumed by a fight over an open seat on
the Missouri Supreme Court.
In Missouri, the governor appoints high-court judges from a slate of three applicants selected by an independent
commission. In 2007, the Blunt administration expressed deep dissatisfaction with this process and the three
judges offered for appointment.
The documents released last week shine new light on that dissatisfaction, as well as attempts by Martin to
coordinate with outside groups to drum up support for changing the selection system.
Several e-mails show Martin corresponding with members of the Federalist Society, a Washington-based legal
think tank, to undermine Breckenridge, the only Republican among the nominees from the state judicial
nomination panel.
In one, from July 25, Martin includes a short biography of Breckenridge and ” says, “We need to frame her
tomorrow as „out of the mainstream.‟
In a later e-mail, he criticized her for sitting on the boards of nonprofit organizations “that serve illegals” and
jokes, “Yup, she‟s a real republican alright — a mccain repub!”
Blunt ultimately appointed Breckenridge to the court, angering many of the supporters Martin courted and
collaborated with.
Martin‟s efforts went beyond opposing Breckenridge and the other nominees. On July 27, he corresponded with
a conservative activist about the need for radio and TV ads criticizing the judicial selection system.
Martin even appears to offer state resources for private political work.
In his correspondence with Martin in August, Messenger questioned whether such levels of coordination were
“Part of the job, I suppose, to keep coalitions informed and focused,” Martin replied in an e-mail.
Responding to questions on Saturday, Robinson defended close cooperation between the governor‟s office and
its allies.
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with communicating with coalition groups on issues of public policy,”
Robinson said in an interview.

Journalists’ collaboration
The analysis of e-mail records released by Gov. Matt Blunt‟s office was conducted as a collaboration of The
Kansas City Star, The Associated Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

                On the Web :       www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Citing the state Sunshine Law, the three news media outlets each submitted records requests to Blunt‟s office
about a year ago, seeking correspondence recovered from a computer system that routinely makes backup
copies of state e-mails.
After the governor‟s office refused to produce the records for The Star and sought to charge the AP and the
Post-Dispatch more than $23,000 for the records, the media sued by intervening in a lawsuit already brought
against the governor‟s office by representatives of the attorney general‟s office.
In the resulting legal settlement, the governor‟s office agreed to provide the e-mails for free to the three media
The e-mails were delivered to the outlets in a stack of 22 boxes Thursday. A team of 12 reporters spent two days
examining each of the estimated 60,000 documents, which included e-mail correspondence covering July
through October 2007.
The records include e-mails sent and received by six people: Blunt; former chief of staff Ed Martin;
communications director Rich Chrismer; former general counsel Henry Herschel; former legal counsel Scott
Eckersley; and Rich AuBuchon, acting commissioner of the Office of Administration.
On Friday night, the governor‟s office also supplied the three media organizations with a list of some 1,400 e-
mails that were not included. The office cited exemptions under the Sunshine Law. As part of the agreement, the
three organizations can now contest those exemptions to a special master.

               On the Web :      www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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E-mail record contradicts Blunt claims

Mike Meiners (center), the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Director of News Adminstration, and Metro photo editor Teak Phillips
(right) wheel in 22 boxes of copies of e-mails sent within Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt's administration. (Emily Rasinski/P-D)
By Tony Messenger,
Jo Mannies,
Jake Wagman and
Virginia Young

For more than a year, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt‟s administration has defended itself against accusations that it
has ignored laws that guarantee an open government.
The administration contended that a fired staff lawyer never offered advice about the governor's policy requiring
public records, including e-mails, to be retained.
But he did.
Blunt‟s staffers said the administration did not regularly conduct state business out of public view on campaign e-
mail accounts.
But they did.
And the governor's then-chief-of-staff denied the existence of e-mails showing he had engaged in political
activities on state time.

                On the Web :        www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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But hundreds of them exist.
Proof of that pattern of mistatements is contained in more than 60,000 pages of e-mails, filling 22 boxes, that
were turned over late last week to three news outlets, including the Post-Dispatch, which participated in a lawsuit
seeking the records.
Most of the e-mails spanned about three months in 2007, from August to October, when Blunt and his staff were
buffeted with questions about how the office treated e-mails. Media outlets sought the records to determine
whether the governor‟s office was violating state laws that require the state‟s business to be done in public.
Blunt‟s office stymied the attempts, in some cases claiming the records didn‟t exist, and in other cases, seeking
to charge tens of thousands of dollars for them.
The newly released e-mails portray a staff caught off guard by news outlets' queries and unable to determine
whether the governor‟s office even had a policy on public record retention.
Fired staffer objected
When Blunt and his staff were telling reporters last year that e-mails weren‟t public records and didn‟t have to be
retained, then-deputy counsel Scott Eckersley objected. His complaints were rebuffed.
"Henry, can you, in a very kind way, ask Scott to not send me emails about email retention," asked Blunt
spokesman Rich Chrismer in a Sept. 19 e-mail to Eckersley‟s boss, Henry Herschel.
Earlier that day, Eckersley had sent a note to chief-of-staff Ed Martin making sure he was aware that the
governor‟s office had an official records retention policy, contradicting a statement Blunt had made to the Post-
Dispatch that morning.
Martin told Eckersley to send the note to Chrismer.
But it wasn‟t the first time Eckersley had brought the subject up. A few days earlier, on Sept. 15, Eckersley had
sent Martin what he called a "boiled-down version" of a memo he and Herschel worked on together. The memo
made it clear that e-mails can be public records subject to retention just like other government documents.
The records clearly contradict statements from Blunt and other staffers over the past year denying that Eckersley
ever discussed the Sunshine Law or e-mail retention with his bosses.
Even on the day the deputy counsel was fired, Sept. 28, his boss asked another staffer to send him a copy of the
Sunshine Law memo Eckersley had produced on Sept. 14, according to an e-mail.
"It's about as significant as you get... Scott gave the advice they claimed he never gave,'' said Jeff Bauer,
Eckersley‟s lawyer, on Friday when told about the recently released records. "That's exactly what we expected.‟‟
Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson now says that Eckersley‟s advice was improper.
"The emails that he sent were an unsolicited effort to provide communication strategy," she said. Eckersley "was
not being truthful to supervisors as to whom the email was distributed."
Eckersley contends he was fired because of his persistent complaints about potential violations of open records
laws. Blunt has asserted that Eckersley was fired for doing work on state time for his father's health care
business, for tardiness and for insubordination.
Since being fired, the 31-year-old attorney has filed a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit against the
governor and his staff members. The suit claims that Martin told staff members "to make sure they deleted their
e-mail in both the inbox and trash files to ensure they did not have to be turned over to the press or public."
The e-mail records portray Eckersley as a loyal but sometimes tardy Republican foot-soldier who wasn‟t afraid to
join in verbal attacks against Blunt‟s key political rival, Attorney General Jay Nixon. Eckersley had exchanged e-
mails with the Republican presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, whom Blunt was backing.

               On the Web :      www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Some of Eckersley‟s e-mails discussed personal business dealings and a failed romance.
Robinson said Friday that such e-mails "demonstrate one of the reasons that he was dismissed," because so
many were personal in nature.
But dozens of the released e-mails written by Herschel and Martin also were personal. Martin and Herschel
discussed personal finances with their wives and received dirty jokes from others, for example.
Robinson declined to comment when asked about them.
Sunshine requests denied
A string of e-mails from Sept. 4, 2007, spells out the beginning of the Blunt administration‟s runaround with
reporters seeking information. After telling the Springfield News-Leader that Martin retained no e-mails
concerning his attempts to rally anti-abortion groups to bad-mouth Nixon, the News-Leader produced one such
"It sure looks like an e-mail from me," Martin wrote that day, before justifying his use of government resources for
what amounted to a political campaign.
When pressed the same day about the existence of such e-mails, Blunt spokesman Rich Chrismer denied any
ever existed.
"None of Ed‟s emails on this topic are or were available anywhere," he wrote.
On Thursday, the state produced dozens of such e-mails. Martin wrote Catholic bishops asking for their help. He
wrote anti-abortion advocates pleading with them to attack the attorney general.
Nixon — now the governor-elect — launched an investigation last fall into whether Blunt's office had broken any
laws deleting e-mail. Whistleblowers in the Office of Administration had told Nixon‟s office that Blunt staffers tried
to order that backup tapes be scheduled for destruction.
Blunt‟s staff told investigators appointed by Nixon‟s office that it would cost more than $500,000 to produce
documents they were seeking.
Those investigators filed suit, and the Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star and the Associated Press intervened
in the legal action, to protect and obtain the documents they sought.
The e-mails that were produced Thursday show Blunt was largely silent in many of the conversations with staff
members, serving mostly as proofreader-in-chief, offering minor edits to speeches and letters.
When Blunt did participate in e-mail discussions, he usually used a handheld Blackberry device purchased by
his campaign. Nearly all of Blunt‟s e-mails came from his campaign-funded MattBlunt.com account.
Martin, too, used a campaign Blackberry for much of his correspondence, though he used both his state and
campaign email accounts.
Asked on Saturday whether Blunt approved of Martin‟s prolific communication with partisan groups on state time,
Robinson said: "The governor does not and cannot possibly monitor every e-mail that is sent from the office."

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Governor's office statement following
Star, P-D, AP stories
Here's the full statement Gov. Matt Blunt's office released earlier today following the publication of stories
regarding administration e-mails:
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt's spokeswoman, Jessica Robinson, today issued the following statement
on the governor's office's recent release of more than 60,000 pages of e-mail records in response to a massive
open-records request by three Missouri media outlets costing taxpayers more than $20,000:
"The governor's office was proven correct as recently released documents support statements by the governor's
office about why a former employee was dismissed, and not one e-mail supports the false claims of the former
employee about his dismissal.
"This former employee has lied to the public and the press about his dismissal. He was not dismissed for any
issue involving the Sunshine Law, e-mail retention, the records retention law or for any unsolicited
communications advice he provided on those issues.
"While no e-mail backs up his false claim about why he was dismissed,there are many e-mails proving our
statements about the true reasons he was fired: poor job performance, insubordination, tardiness and using
state resources for private work. In fact, e-mails show he knew his job was in jeopardy for reasons that have
nothing to do with e-mail retention. Well over half of his e-mails are personal or for a private business he was
working for out of the governor's office using state time, state resources and his state e-mail account. The e-
mails also show he was coming to work late and was so concerned about his tardiness that he was worried
about being fired for it.
"Aggressive reporters have looked at more than 60,000 pages of e-mail documents, and they are arguing about
a summary of a communications memo. First, this communications memo had absolutely nothing to do with the
reasons he was dismissed. Second, it does not suggest anyone in the governor's office was violating the law.
Third, it does not suggest anyone was saying anything incorrect to the media. Lastly, this was a summary of a
memo the former employee admits he did not write, but summarized with a 'boiled down' version.
"The facts continue to be on our side despite the media's best efforts to assert otherwise, and the e-mails clearly
strengthen our case."
Submitted by Jason Noble KC STAR PRIME BUZZ BLOG

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                                 C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r M o n d a y , N o v e m b e r 1 7 , 2 0 0 8 -- Page 14 of 35

With campaigns finished, some look to ’10 election
By JASON ROSENBAUM of the Tribune’s staff
Published Saturday, November 15, 2008

EVANSTON, Ill. - Political reporters have plenty of time on their hands now that the election is over.
Although some might be planning vacations to third-tier tropical islands or scooping up tickets to heavy metal
festivals, others are beginning to handicap potential contests in the next election cycle. Such an event occurred
at the beginning of the week when the Washington, D.C.-based Roll Call published an article examining U.S.
Sen. Kit Bond‟s potential re-election bid in 2010.
Bond has yet to formally announce whether he‟ll seek another term in the U.S. Senate. The article did note that
the Mexico, Mo., native recently lost a "considerable amount of weight" - which has led some to notice "that the
aging brawler is getting back into fighting shape."
The writer of the article tacitly suggested Bond could be in for a tougher fight than his 2004 cakewalk against
then-state Treasurer Nancy Farmer. That‟s because of the general assumption that Secretary of State Robin
Carnahan, the daughter of former Gov. Mel Carnahan and former U.S. Sen. Jean Carnahan, D-Mo., could
challenge Bond for his seat.
It might not necessarily be an easy task to defeat a pol whose name seems to adorn every building or bridge
within a 10-mile radius of Columbia. And Bond‟s well-honed political organization is also considered quite
formidable. Still, Carnahan‟s political pedigree and prolific fundraising abilities could make this contest one of the
more intriguing U.S. Senate matchups in ‟10.
Bond‟s re-election bid might not be the state‟s only marquee federal matchup in two years.
A couple of hours after securing a victory in the at-times unpredictable U.S. Ninth District congressional race,
U.S. Rep.-elect Blaine Luetkemeyer suggested he could face a challenging bid for re-election.
"As long as the Democrats are in the majority, they can build up a war chest like they did this time, I‟m sure,"
Luetkemeyer said earlier this month. "We‟ll be a target."
Luetkemeyer was alluding to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee‟s significant investment in
advertisements to help Democratic congressional candidate Judy Baker‟s campaign. Luetkemeyer poured
hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money into the contest while receiving help from the National
Republican Campaign Committee
Baker, a state legislator from Columbia fell roughly 2.5 points short of Luetkemeyer‟s final tally. She didn‟t rule
out another congressional campaign. After all, she could have the right mix of fundraising contacts and name
recognition to make another go of it in two years.
If Baker decides to sit out the next election cycle, other hypothetical challengers that come to mind include
former Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell, state Sen. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, and state Rep. Jeff Harris, D-Columbia.
Maxwell, a former state senator from Mexico, could be a formidable candidate in the northeast portion of the
district if he decides to join the contest.
With only a few weeks left before she departs statewide office, state Treasurer Sarah Steelman is holding an
event Tuesday in Springfield to promote a video game called "Financial Football." The NFL-themed, interactive
money management game will be distributed to Missouri high schools.

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                               C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r M o n d a y , N o v e m b e r 1 7 , 2 0 0 8 -- Page 15 of 35

Joining Steelman is St. Louis Rams kicker Josh Brown, one of the few bright spots for a franchise sinking further
into the abyss of ineptitude. No word on whether underperforming Rams running back Steven Jackson, who was
unceremoniously traded from this writer‟s fantasy football team on Thursday, will make an appearance.
Steelman, a Republican who unsuccessfully sought her party‟s nomination for governor, will be seeing a lot of
Springfield in the coming months.
The Springfield News-Leader reported this week that the Rolla native was hired by Missouri State University to
teach a political science class called "Leadership, Change and Public Policy."

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Kinder’s choice, Lloyd Smith, the
favorite for new state GOP chairman
By Jo Mannies
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

As first mentioned a few days ago on our KY3 counterpart across the state, the maneuvering is underway to
replace Missouri Republican Party chairman Doug Russell when the party leaders meet shortly.
(We saw Russell a couple weeks ago at a Mizzou game, and he hinted then that he expected to step down.)
In any case, the chief contender appears to be Lloyd Smith, Republican consultant/adviser extraordinaire, who
long has been chief of staff for U.S. Rep. JoAnn Emerson, R-Cape Girardeau.
Among Smith‟s earlier forays: state director for the Bush/Cheney campaign in 2004, and Jim Talent’s two
campaigns for the U.S. Senate (successful in 2002 and lost in 2006).
By all accounts, including ours, Smith is the choice of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who hails from Cape Girardeau and
who is among the defacto leaders of the Missouri GOP in the wave of the Nov. 4 shellacking on the statewide
level. (Only Kinder won.)
On Nov. 5, sources say that Kinder met with U.S. Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo. and the other
Republican powerhouse in the state. Bond‟s fourth term is up in 2010; at the moment, he says he‟s running for a
One source says that Bond told Kinder, “Peter, you‟re in control.”
Bond reportedly recommended his longtime protege, now U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway. She hasn‟t
returned phone calls to us, but she did tell KY3‟s Dava Catanese that she:
A) Can‟t even publicly entertain such an idea, because she holds a nonpartisan post.
B) Isn‟t interested.
Talks over Smith also are said to have involved GOP consultant (and longtime Bond protege) Jason Van Eaton,
Kinder ally David Barklage and new Kinder chief of staff Rich AuBuchon (who‟s also a key figure in the
unrelated controversies and lawsuits over Gov. Matt Blunt’s e-mails and the firing of former Blunt lawyer Scott
Eckersley. We mention this because we were knee-deep in e-mails when the Smith-Hanaway rumors first

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Jay Nixon's campaign promises meet
financial reality
By Virginia Young

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov.-elect Jay Nixon won a landslide victory this month by calling for the state to invest
hundreds of millions of dollars in human capital — health care, education and jobs.
But two months before he takes the oath of office, Nixon's campaign promises are running smack into financial
Missouri appears headed for the worst downturn in state revenue since 2003, when tax collections plummeted
nearly 5 percent and spurred deep cuts, especially in education funding.
So far this fiscal year — which runs from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009 — state revenue is $2.41 billion, down
about 1 percent compared with the previous year.
If that trend holds — and many experts believe it will actually get worse — the state is on track to collect about
$300 million less than needed to cover budgeted expenses.
The grim outlook could jeopardize Nixon's plans to expand health care for the poor, make college more
affordable for the middle class and cut property taxes for senior citizens, among other proposals. Just paying for
current state programs could be tough.
"It'll be about as much fun as a root canal the next 18 months," said former Gov. Roger Wilson, whose
background includes a stint as Senate appropriations chief during a tumultuous economic time in the early
Nixon, who will be inaugurated Jan. 12, has sidestepped questions about whether he must scale back his
campaign promises or even make midyear budget cuts.
He acknowledged at a recent news conference that "the dollars could be down somewhat." But Nixon, a
Democrat, expressed confidence that he could work with the Republican-led Legislature to advance his
"We'll do it with the resources we have," Nixon said. "We'll not complain about the resources we have. People
out there are hurting. They're not able to pay their bills. They're hurting a lot worse than the government is right
Other states are hurting a lot worse. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington reported this
month that at least 31 states face midyear budget shortfalls.
In Illinois, the Department of Revenue reported last week that because tax revenue is coming in well below
projections, the state could face a budget hole of $800 million or more this year.
In New York, one of the hardest-hit states, Gov. David A. Paterson called last week for reducing spending by $2
billion by April, primarily by cutting health care and education.
Missouri is in better shape because the state last year built up an $833 million surplus.
But with that cushion evaporating, the next budget could have a gaping hole, and that has many groups worried.
The Missouri Budget Project, a nonprofit advocacy group for low-income residents, is eager for Nixon to
reinstate Medicaid coverage for 100,000 people, as promised.

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"There's definitely a significant revenue problem," said Amy Blouin, who lobbies for the group. "Implementing the
new governor's priorities is just going to be harder. It doesn't mean it can't happen."
Nixon left no doubt during the campaign about his top priority. He pledged to reinstate the Medicaid benefits cut
by Gov. Matt Blunt and the Legislature in 2005.
The state and the federal government share the cost of Medicaid. It pays for health care for low-income senior
citizens, people with disabilities and some families with children.
Blunt ratcheted down the eligibility level for adults to the lowest levels allowed by federal law. About 100,000
adults, mainly single mothers, lost coverage. He also eliminated some services, such as dental and eye care.
Nixon said the cuts were shortsighted. He said reversing them would cost the state $265 million but would draw
$431 million in federal money.
Nixon's opponent in the governor's race, Republican Kenny Hulshof, said during the campaign that Nixon's plans
would break the bank. But Nixon maintained no tax increase would be needed and he could find the money by
revamping state priorities.
Nixon may look to hospitals to help cover the state's share. Dwight Fine, senior vice president of the Missouri
Hospital Association, said no talks have begun. But he expects hospitals to be open to contributing some of the
public money they now receive for providing care for uninsured patients.
Other big-ticket Nixon promises included:
— Providing health coverage for every uninsured child. Nixon wants to let all families, regardless of income, buy
into the state's Children's Health Insurance Program.
— Beefing up the A-plus program. Now, eligible students who stay out of trouble and keep their grades up can
attend community colleges tuition-free. Nixon wants to pay for them to go on to four-year schools. The price tag:
$61 million.
— Easing property taxes for the elderly. His $50 million plan called for expanding tax credits to elderly individuals
making up to $32,000 and married couples making up to $52,000. The current thresholds are $30,000 and
$34,000, respectively.
Nixon also touted incentives to lure high-tech and life-science jobs and to promote energy independence, but he
has not yet offered detailed cost estimates.
Last week, Nixon asked former Sen. Wayne Goode to lend a hand over the next two months on a spending plan
for the next budget year. Nixon must present a budget proposal in January.
Hinting at the challenge to come, Nixon praised Goode, who is volunteering his time, for his prowess in finding
ways to make government more efficient.
Goode, a Democrat, served 42 years in the Legislature. He headed appropriations committees in both the House
and Senate and was widely praised for his knowledge of the budget.
Asked whether he expects the surplus to be largely used up this year, Goode said, "That would seem logical."
The housing crunch, the credit crisis and the downturn in the stock market have all contributed to a slowdown
that has pushed Missouri's unemployment rate to 6.4 percent, its highest level since the 1990s.
As job losses have risen, state revenue from individual income taxes and sales taxes has stagnated or declined.
That's a big problem because together, those two taxes deliver more than 90 percent of general revenue.

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According to the Missouri Office of Administration, for example, sales taxes have lagged by 3.3 percent since
July 1.
The budget assumed revenue would grow by 2.8 percent, a modest goal compared with the average 5.2 percent
growth the last 23 years. But now, that target appears out of reach.
Analysts note that the treasury hasn't yet seen the impact of the stock market's meltdown. That will show up in
April, when taxes are paid on dividends and capital gains.
Luckily, the state has a savings account. While it grew to $833 million in June, the Legislature obligated all but
about $300 million of it. Now, the remaining money is being used to cover the revenue gap. In other words, next
year's budget is likely to start with no cash balance and expenses that outweigh revenues.
"It's a very serious situation," said former budget director Jim Moody, who lobbies for various business clients
and gives seminars on the budget.
Republicans say Nixon is already backpedaling.
"The economy and budget situation didn't change the day after the election," said Missouri Republican Party
spokeswoman Tina Hervey. "Everyone knew the things Nixon campaigned on were unaffordable."
Goode said he hadn't reviewed the numbers yet but knows that Nixon faces a tough challenge.
"Everybody that has their eyes open at all," he said, "knows we're in a national and even a worldwide financial
situation that exceeds anything that's occurred in recent years."

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Some area school workers may have to start paying
into Social Security after federal decision
Sunday, November 16, 2008
By Lindy Bavolek
Southeast Missourian
School districts are grappling with a decision that would require certain school employees to begin paying into
Social Security.
Local superintendents said the decision is a cause of concern, as employees worry about larger monthly
withholdings and the effect the changes will have on their retirement benefits.
Currently "classified" staff members — generally those that hold a teaching certificate — pay into the Missouri
Public School Retirement System. But following an audit of two Missouri school districts, the Internal Revenue
Service and Social Security Administration determined some of those employees should not have been exempt
from paying Social Security taxes.
In an Oct. 22 letter, the Missouri Office of Administration said only the positions of "teacher, teacher-secretary,
substitute teacher, supervisor, principal, supervising principal, superintendent or assistant superintendent, nurse,
or librarian" should be exempt.
That means counselors, speech pathologists, instructional aides, Parents As Teachers workers or bus drivers
may have to begin paying into Social Security starting July 1. The state Social Security Administration has not
released a list of exactly which employees will be affected.
"There are all kinds of speculation and all kinds of rumors. People are saying 'Oh, it might be librarians or it might
be counselors.' It's a big mess, and everyone's panicking because they think it's them," said Leila Medley,
political director for the Missouri National Education Association. "No decisions have been made yet."
The association posted information on its website showing how an employee could be affected. It says
"nonexempt" employees would pay 9 percent of their salary to the Missouri Public School Retirement System
and 6.2 percent of their salary to Social Security, for a total of 15.2 percent. A person making $60,000 a year
would pay $9,120.
A teacher or exempt employee would pay 13.5 percent of his or her salary to the Missouri Public School
Retirement System, or $8,100 for someone making $60,000. School districts are required to match employee
"Right now we still don't know exactly how much money we're talking about. ... We don't even know who all will
be affected. It has not totally been defined," said Dr. Jim Welker, superintendent of the Cape Girardeau School
Noncertified school employees who already pay into PEERS, or the Missouri Public Education Employee
Retirement System, will not be affected.
Eight statewide organizations representing school groups have approved a resolution asking for more time
before the changes go into effect. Sen. Kit Bond, R-Missouri, wrote a letter to the commissioner of Social
Security, saying the change would cause a "dire hardship" on districts.
Dr. Ron Anderson, superintendent of the Jackson School District, said he has more questions than answers.
"I've heard some people speculate on this group or that group. I wouldn't want to venture a guess. This is a
major concern we have," he said.

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Kennett native is named chief of staff by Gov-Elect Nixon
SEMISSOURIAN - Sunday, November 16, 2008
George Anderson
On Friday, Nov. 7, Governor-elect Jay Nixon announced that John R. Watson, formerly of Kennett, will fill the
role of chief of staff under the new governor's administration.
Watson, who has served as Nixon's chief of staff at the Attorney General's office since 1997, will now serve as
the governor's top advisor, overseeing the operations of the office and staff.
As chief of staff in the Attorney General's office, Watson has overseen all legislative and budgetary matters, as
well as policy issues involving public safety, consumer protection, education, health care, and government
Prior to being appointed as chief of staff at the Attorney General's office, Watson was an assistant attorney
general. He has also worked for the state's Department of Economic Development, as well as Emerson Electric
in St. Louis, Mo.
"John has been a trusted and valued advisor to me throughout my tenure as Attorney General, and I know he
will be an asset to the people of Missouri as chief of staff in my administration," Nixon said. "John will bring his
incredible intellect, keen knowledge of state government, private sector experience and passion for public
service to the Governor's office. Missouri will benefit greatly from John's service as chief of staff."
Although Nixon acknowledged that he has a long history with Watson, he said it was because of Watson's
qualifications that he was selected.
"The appointment of John Watson is because as I look around the state, he's the best person prepared to be
chief of staff to the governor of Missouri," Nixon said.
"It's an honor to have the opportunity to serve Missouri as chief of staff to the governor," Watson said. "Over the
past 15 years, I've come to know Governor-elect Nixon as a highly skilled, dedicated leader. The governor-elect
has a bold agenda to change the direction of Missouri's economy, and I look forward to helping him turn those
ideas into public policies that will make a difference for Missouri families."
A graduate of Kennett High School, Watson went to earn both his bachelor's and law degrees from the
University of Missouri at Columbia. He is the son of John and Mary Lou Watson of Kennett.

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State to enforce immigration law
By Tonyi Crandell
On Jan. 1, 2009, state and local governments in Missouri must begin complying with the new provisions of
House Bill 1549, better known as the Illegal Alien and Immigration Status Verification law. The provisions include
stiff financial penalties for hiring illegal immigrants and prohibits issuing public benefits or driver‟s licenses to
unlawful immigrants.
Hollister City Administrator Rick Ziegenfuss said his city is mostly prepared for the provisions and recently
discussed the issue at a board of aldermen meeting.
“We will use the E-Verify system to electronically verify the citizenship status of anyone wishing to gain
employment,” he said. “I have tried using it out on the Web site and it is really easy.”
The changes also include regulations that public and private employers must participate in the E-Verify program.
Private employers must also correctly classify employees or face penalties, according to provisions in House Bill
As of January 2006, there were an estimated 11.6 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States.
Nearly 4.2 million had entered in 2000 or later and an according to reports provided by the Department of
Homeland Security, it is estimated that 6.6 million of the 11.6 million unauthorized residents are from Mexico.

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Fearing restrictions, gun lovers buy now
Weapons flying off shelves, area gun sellers say.
Chad Livengood

Barack Obama's election to the highest office in the land has triggered some Ozarkers to stockpile guns and ammunition,
fearing the new president will seek to restrict their constitutional right to bear arms.

Their general belief is that Obama and his fellow Democrats who control Congress will move quickly to pass new laws next
year restricting gun sales or adding new taxes on ammunition.

"The more liberal side of the Democratic ticket will rear its head like it did during the Clinton administration, and it will come
up with more restrictions," said Dennis Naber, owner of Ozark Gun Traders & Pawn at 429 E. South St. in Ozark.

Obama has said he respects the Second Amendment, but he has a voting history of favoring higher taxes on guns and
ammunition and restrictions on purchasing weapons for self-defense and hunting.

"At every opportunity he has had, he has voted against hunters and gun owners," said Andrew Arulanandam, public affairs
director for the National Rifle Association.

The NRA has not instructed its 4 million members to stock up on weapons and ammunition, Arulanandam said.
Nevertheless, the gun-rights group is not surprised by the surge in sales, he said.

During the campaign, the NRA warned that Obama would be the "most anti-gun president in American history."

And while Vice President-elect Joe Biden owns shotguns, he has supported a ban on assault weapons and has said private
sellers at gun shows should be required to perform background checks.

Gun dealers say the run on ammunition and weapons -- especially semi-automatic rifles and handguns -- began about a
month ago when it became apparent Obama was likely to win the presidency over Republican John McCain, who also has
supported new laws requiring background checks at gun shows.

Last month, as an Obama win looked increasingly inevitable, there were more than 108,000 more background checks for
gun purchases than in October 2007, a 15 percent increase. And they were up about 8 percent for the year as of Oct. 26,
according to the FBI.

"This last week, we've been just swamped," said Cindy Hungerford-Clark, co-owner of EZ Pawn & Jewelry in Republic.

Most people are requesting large quantities of ammunition or hard-to-find military-style assault weapons, like AR-15s,
dealers say.

Dan Burton, a gun dealer and locksmith from Ava, said one customer wanted to order 4,000 rounds of .223-caliber

"That's not normal at all," he said.

Ammo sells out at show

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Dealers say buyers have stated they want to stock up for the next eight years -- just in case laws are changed and Obama
wins re-election to a second term.

"They're afraid it will be unavailable or priced so high it will be out of reach," said Burton, who owns Burton Key and Gun
Shop in Ava. "They may not outlaw guns, but they may price ammunition so high that they can't afford it."

Some southwest Missouri gun dealers attended a gun show in Tulsa last weekend, where 35,000 people showed up and
cleaned out many of the dealers' supplies. The Wanenmacher Tulsa Arms Show's promoter ran newspaper advertisements
that said "Buy Before New Laws."

"By Sunday, they were out (of ammunition)," Naber said.

Naber said his weekly handgun sales have doubled since the election. And assault weapons are flying off the shelves as
well, he said.

"I sold five, where normally we'll sell one or two," Naber said of sales one week after Election Day.

Part of the increased sales for guns and ammunition was likely because Saturday was the start of the firearms deer-hunting
season in Missouri. But dealers who were selling handguns and assault weapons weren't catering to the shotgun-and-rifle
hunting crowd.

Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops has seen an increase in sales, but a spike is normal as the hunting season draws near,
said spokesman Larry Whiteley.

"We don't know why they're buying them, we just know they're up," Whiteley said.

Obama's victory also has sparked purchases by numerous first-time gun owners, dealers say.

"Everybody's afraid they're not going to be able to buy one, so they're buying one," said Carl West, owner of Gunslinger
Gun & Pawn, 303 W. Sunshine St. in Springfield.

"Since the day of the election, business has probably doubled. It's all related to the liberal view on guns."

What Obama said
Obama, who lives in Chicago and represents Illinois in the Senate, has said he favors "common-sense" gun laws aimed at
restricting the flow of guns in inner cities. Gun-rights advocates interpret that as meaning he'll at least enact curbs on
ownership of assault and concealed weapons.

As a U.S. senator, Obama voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to lawsuits; and as an Illinois state legislator, he
supported a ban on semiautomatic weapons and tighter restrictions on all firearms.

Gun advocates take some solace in the current makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 this summer to strike
down the District of Columbia's 32-year ban on handguns.

For now, gun-rights supporters hold a narrow edge on the court, but Obama could appoint justices who would swing it the
other way.

During an October campaign appearance in Ohio, Obama sought to reassure gun owners.

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"I will not take your shotgun away," he said at the time. "I will not take your rifle away. I won't take your handgun away."

Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said his organization will continue to press for
what he calls "sensible" restrictions -- background checks at gun shows, a ban on military-style assault weapons and
cracking down on illegal gun trade.

He believes he has the backing of the new administration on those issues but said any fears of a broader crackdown are

"The one thing that they agree strongly with us on is that it's too easy for dangerous people to get guns in this country,"
Helmke said. "I guess if you're a dangerous person, you might want to run out there and buy some more, but otherwise you
should be OK."

Additional Facts
"The more liberal side of the Democratic ticket will rear its head like it did during the Clinton administration, and it will come
up with more restrictions."
-- Dennis Naber, owner of Ozark Gun Traders & Pawn in Ozark

                 On the Web :         www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Social Security ruling could lead to many
changes in Columbia Schools
November 15, 2008 | 9:11 p.m. CST
COLUMBIA — Between 70 and 80 concerned Columbia Public School District employees met Friday afternoon
to discuss their retirement security after a ruling issued earlier in the week left workers uncertain about their
After an audit of two Missouri districts, the Social Security Administration decided too many school employees
were exempt from paying Social Security. As a result, the administration has determined which positions will
remain exempt. . Those positions are teacher, teacher-secretary, substitute teacher, supervisor, principal,
supervising principal, superintendent, assistant superintendent, nurse or librarian.
Currently, Columbia Public Schools match the 13 percent that each employee gives to the Missouri Public
School Retirement System annually. Under Section 218 agreements, Missouri employees who contribute to the
retirement system are not required to pay Social Security. Most Missouri teachers fit this criteria and thus do not
pay Social Security.
But under the Social Security Administration‟s ruling, employees who aren‟t exempt from paying Social Security
will pay two-thirds of the former contribution, or about 9 percent of their income, to the retirement system and an
additional 6.2 percent to Social Security.
Mary Laffey, assistant superintendent of human resources, said "everybody‟s situation is individualized,"
meaning people will be affected differently based on their circumstances and where they are in their careers.
Laffey said she thinks the ruling could have a substantial effect on Columbia Public Schools.
“If everyone that we‟re concerned about would fall into this category (of people who are non-exempt), it will have
a huge impact on our work force,” Laffey said.
Laffey hinted at potential job losses, which could become a possibility if money must be reallocated to cover
retirement security. Already, 83 percent of the Columbia Public Schools budget is tied up in personnel.
Laffey said she hopes for a delay of at least one year before the ruling will go into effect. She said the district
needs time to inform people about the changes.
Chief Operations Officer Nick Boren gave attendees a breakdown on Friday of how the ruling would affect the
amount employees give to the retirement system as well as to Social Security if they are no longer exempt.
Christi Phillips, assistant coordinator for the Adult Learning Center, thinks all of the adult learning teachers could
be affected by the ruling. She said though those teachers have adult education literacy certificates, they do not
have a basic teaching certificate, which could require them to pay.
“Most (adult learning teachers) make less than the average teacher,” Phillips said. “They don‟t have the salaries
to support that.”
Aside from having an impact on Columbia schools, the ruling will also affect PSRS, Laffey said. Employees who
start paying Social Security will give less money to the retirement system, meaning Columbia Public Schools will
give less money. This will lead to the retirement system having less money to invest, she said.
The state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will meet with the state Office of Administration
on Tuesday to discuss and explain the different job descriptions. Laffey said she hopes this will bring some
clarity as to what positions will be affected.
But Laffey said the Office of Administration has already stated who will be affected by the ruling. If an
employee‟s position doesn‟t fit with those that have been identified, the employee will have to start paying Social

               On the Web :       www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Bond will back auto bailout plan
By The Associated Press

Missouri Sen. Kit Bond said Friday he would join Democrats in supporting a plan to loan $25 billion to the
beleaguered auto industry.
Bond is only the second Republican senator to back the proposal, which faces opposition from the GOP minority
and the White House. Democrats want to carve the emergency loans for automakers out of the $700 billion
financial rescue package passed last month.
“The idea of the government getting involved in the free market is very troublesome and potentially dangerous to
the health of our system, but we have to act in unique times of crisis when tens of thousands of Missouri workers
are in danger of losing their jobs,” Bond said in a prepared statement.
Bond made the decision after seeking assurances from Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan that the plan
would include protections for taxpayers, executive accountability and financial reforms to bring automakers' costs
back under control.
The Senate will take up a measure to extend the emergency loans to automakers on Monday. General Motors,
Ford, and Chrysler are pushing Congress to approve the aid.
Democrats have been seeking about a dozen Republicans to support the measure and push it past an expected
filibuster, but the only other Republican to back the plan so far is Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, a state with
several auto plants and manufacturers of auto supplies.
The White House said Friday it favors an alternative plan to speed release of a separate $25 billion loan
package for the Big Three carmakers that was approved in September and aimed at helping them meet stringent
fuel-efficiency rules.
Missouri has more than 221,000 auto-related jobs, which includes workers employed at three automotive
production plants in the state as well as manufacturers of auto supplies. Ford Motor Co. builds the F-150 pickup
truck in Claycomo, near Kansas City; GM has a plant in Wentzville, that builds fullsize vans, the Chevrolet
Express and GMC Savana; and Chrysler produces the Dodge Ram at its North Assembly Plant outside St.
Last month, Chrysler stopped production of Dodge and Chrysler minivans at its South Assembly Plant in Fenton
and laid off about 1,500 workers.
Missouri's junior senator, Democrat Claire McCaskill, says she supports the concept of extending the loans, but
wants to see the protections guaranteed to taxpayers before she can vote for the bill.
Bond also is supporting a separate measure with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., that would make the interest on
new car loan payments and sales taxes tax deductible for a year. The deduction would be available to families
earning less than $250,000, or individuals making less than $125,000 annually.

               On the Web :      www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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State Senator Stresses Importance of
By Evin Fritschle, Washington Missourian Staff Writer
Republican State Sen. John Griesheimer stressed the need for charter government Thursday night at the
Franklin County Constitution Commission's regular meeting.
"The general public doesn't realize how hamstrung counties are in normal operations," Griesheimer said.
"They don't realize how antique and archaic our county laws are," he said.
Currently, counties can only bid for certain items such as oil once a year and can only vacate roads four times a
year, he said.
Some laws at the county level must be approved by the state Legislature, which is a tricky process, Griesheimer
"Quite frankly, every time (the state) does a specific legislative piece for a city or county, it's unconstitutional," he
"The courts have deemed you cannot do special legislation. If someone wanted to, they could go to court and
knock out almost every piece of special legislation," Griesheimer said.
The laws passed by the Legislature that pertain to specific counties are considered special legislation.
But with a charter government, a county could pass its own laws which would not be considered special
legislation, he said.
"That is why I've supported this and why what you guys do is very important," Griesheimer told the commission.
Griesheimer said he supports eliminating the offices of county treasurer and auditor as was suggested to the
commission by presiding commissioner Ed Hillhouse Oct. 30, but said he would oppose making any of the other
county offices appointed.
The position of a combined auditor and treasurer could be appointed because their jobs don't deal with the
general public, Griesheimer said.
Currently neither one of the positions, with its current job duties, requires a full-time position, he said.
The auditor is currently only responsible for verifying funds exist in an account and signing off on it before a
purchase or payment can be made.
Griesheimer said the office has other duties, but many had been delegated to other offices or departments over
the years.
The office of treasurer also does not have too great of a workload, he said.
"Before the new government building, the county treasurer used to voluntarily work four days a week," he said,
citing past experience as a county commissioner.
Griesheimer served as a Franklin County commissioner from 1989-1992.
Last week the commission discussed the two positions but deferred the decision to any future council, which
would be elected, rather than make the decision itself, by its members who are appointed.

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"Our idea is to keep things pretty much the way they are in order to get (the charter) passed," Chairman Frank
Wood told Griesheimer.
Griesheimer said he understood the hesitation to eliminate the offices.
The commission has been working on drafting a document for home rule government since June.
Eliminating offices could give people "something to hang their hat on in opposition," commission member Ed
Heisel said.
"You're looking at it the politically correct way. I feel you need to put your best product out there. You have to
make up your mind what the right thing to do is," he said.
Griesheimer said eliminating the two offices would create more efficient county government, but it was not the
most politically correct thing to do.
The two positions don't have any qualifications and are elected based on "a popularity contest," he said.
Commission members J.T. Hardy and Travis Blankenship both said having someone unifying county purchases
such as a business manager would be more efficient.
The commission agreed to keep the offices elected, but will include a special provision in the charter to allow the
offices to be abolished at the end of the current officeholders' terms if the seven-member county council desires.
Hardy asked Griesheimer his thoughts on the nonpartisan city council proposed in the charter.
"I was surprised when you decided (to make it nonpartisan), I'd rather see it partisan, but it's not a deal killer for
me, and I don't think it would be for anyone," Griesheimer said.
More people may run for the council positions since they won't have to disclose a party, he said.
If he agrees with the final document, Griesheimer said he would be willing to attend public sessions around the
county in support of the charter.
"I'd make a point to be there if you need me because I think (having charter government) is that important," he
For more information about the commission, people may visit http://www.franklincountyconstitution.com/.

               On the Web :       www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
It's time to work on health care

Bickering needs to stop; progress will require a commitment to compromise.
In a few months, Missouri will enter its fifth year of a time-consuming, acrimonious debate over health care.
Many call it a true crisis hurting the uninsured sick, and the poor.
There's been lots of talk, and debate, and labels, lots of labels.
Mo HealthNet. MAF. Mo-Health-Max. MC+. SCHIP. Insure Missouri. TMA.
It's been an alphabet soup of confusion, missteps and ephemeral political promises. And it seems likely it will get
worse before it gets better.
We hope not, but progress will require a commitment to compromise from many parties, difficult work by our
state lawmakers and unselfish input from hospital and insurance officials.
As it stands, advocates for the working poor, lower middle class and the disabled say they cannot afford
adequate care. Many are forced to either simply ignore medical symptoms or flock to emergency rooms --
inflating the cost of care for all of us.
Estimates vary, but hundreds of thousands of residents are either ineligible for coverage or waiting for the state
to establish new rules under which their coverage can continue.
In recent interviews with our editorial board, legislative candidates talked about the problem and possible
solutions. Many defended the 2005 push by Gov. Matt Blunt to remove about 90,000 people from the Medicaid
rolls to keep the system from bankrupting the state. But, they also said the sweeping cuts should have been
more "surgical," acknowledging some people heavily reliant on state help were hurt.
Most Democratic candidates predictably called for all people cut from the rolls to be reinstated; most
Republicans suggested other ways to re-establish a safety net, perhaps by subsidizing their purchase of private
insurance plans.
Other Republican officials in the state do not acknowledge a crisis, opposing any system that appears to help the
poor but actually pours more money into hospitals, and fattens administrative salaries.
In between, fingerpointing and blame distracts.
Democrats call the reduction in the Medicaid rolls cruel; Republicans call the cuts essential.
Forebodingly, governor-elect Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has already taken a stance at odds with the Republican-
controlled House and Senate he must work with when the legislature reconvenes in January.
Meanwhile, we believe the sick are getting sicker and the poor are becoming more disillusioned, and desperate.
Health care has often been a topic in this space over the years. In the spring of 2007, we tried an ambitious plan:
with the help of editorial advisory board members, we interviewed experts to come up with a four-part editorial
series called "Rx for Health Care."

               On the Web :       www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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We think it remains an important body of work, and valuable in explaining problems and issues, nationwide. It
was broad in its scope and general in many conclusions.
Now, however, we think it's time to get specific.
If you're suffering because of health insurance, we want to hear your story. We'll try to give your Voice some
attention. However, we'll also ask you in advance to be able to answer some tough questions: for instance, why
can't you pay more and whether you've exhausted all your options.
We will also do our best to convey to your representative in the Missouri legislature your tale.
Additionally, we plan to press Missouri lawmakers to go on the record, in their own words, with their plan to
address this problem. We want it in writing, so we can try to hold them to their statements.
We realize that this complex problem has no simple solution. We worry it will fester through another legislative
session, with state lawmakers looking to their federal counterparts for a plan, and vice versa.
We can't let that happen. Missourians are getting sicker and we're all paying for it -- year, after year, after year.
Additional Facts
Uninsured in Greene County
   -   In 2006 in Greene County, the total population was 254,779.
   -   - Estimate of the uninsured was 37,000 or 14.5 percent
   -   - Estimate of the underinsured was 74,000 or 29 percent
   -   - Of that same population, about 20,600 were enrolled in Medicaid for those 18 and younger, about
       15,970 were enrolled in Medicaid for those 19 and older, and about 35,280 were enrolled in Medicare for
       those 65 and older
   -   - Another type of breakdown shows that 71,927 or 28 percent were publicly insured and 145,852 or 57
       percent were privately insured (about half of them fully insured and half of them underinsured)
       Source: compiled by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department with leadership from the Missouri
       Department of Health and Senior Services and other community health leaders within Missouri.

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Missouri needs more public defenders
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1963 that states, under the Sixth Amendment, must provide legal counsel to
defendants who face possible jail time but can‟t afford a lawyer.
But public defender systems in some states contend, with good reason, that they are too overloaded to fulfill
their constitutional responsibilities.
Missouri is one of those states. With caseloads overwhelming some offices, the Missouri Public Defenders
System is taking unprecedented measures to halt the pileup.
In Jefferson City, the public defenders office has stopped accepting some cases in which a defendant‟s
probation is at risk of being revoked.
In Columbia, the system is involved in a dispute with a judge. When public defenders said they couldn‟t take
additional clients in cases involving probation violations, the judge appointed them anyway — as private
attorneys rather than public defenders.
In the Springfield area, the courts have created a pool of lawyers in private practice to take over cases when the
public defenders are too busy. Their work costs state taxpayers about three times more per case than if the
public defenders office handled the defense.
The typical full-time public defender in Missouri has a workload of close to 300 cases a year. The U.S.
Department of Justice‟s recommended standard is no more than 225 cases.
The brutal workload and low pay cause high turnover among lawyers, which costs taxpayers and delays justice.
In some states the situation is even worse. Public defenders in the Miami area handle as many as 500 cases a
year, The New York Times reported this week.
State legislatures are facing a difficult year. But indigent defense is a constitutional obligation, not a discretionary
In Missouri, the number of cases has increased by more than 12,000 over the last eight years, but the system
has added no new staff members.
Part of Missouri‟s problem has been Gov. Matt Blunt‟s reluctance to increase the number of state employees.
Incoming Gov. Jay Nixon, the state‟s longtime attorney general, is familiar with the burdens of the public
defender system. His arrival brings hope for some relief.

               On the Web :       www.senate.mo.gov/sencom – Telephone : (573) 751-3824

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Missouri loses power on Capitol Hill with Blunt stepping down
Sunday, November 16, 2008, 10:30 PM
By Brent Martin

Missouri has lost a bit of its power in Washington.
Southwest Missouri Congressman Roy Blunt has decided to step down from his leadership position within the
United States House. Blunt came ever so close to becoming Speaker of the US House. Instead, Republicans
lost their majority, Blunt lost his bid to become the Minority Leader and settled in as Minority Whip, the number
two Republican in the House.
Blunt says he's leaving that post voluntarily, denying that his high-profile work on the $700 billion financial rescue
package, opposed by many Congressional Republicans, undermined his popularity in the caucus.
A Republican leadership post has also been devalued with election of a Democrat as president.
Blunt's view is that if he had wanted to, he could have remained the Republican Whip, but says after ten years it
is time to move on. Blunt now will leave leadership and concentrate on issues dear to him: energy, health care
and telecommunications.

When the first winter storm hits, MoDOT will be ready
Sunday, November 16, 2008, 10:01 PM
By Aurora Meyer

While some communities across the state are preparing for winter weather with a limited salt supply, the State
Department of transportation will not have trouble keeping highways clear.
Last year's harsh winter depleted much of the country's road salt. Add a strong hurricane season and high river
levels which kept barges from delivering salt and the supplies dwindle and the salt becomes more expensive.
MoDOT is not affected because it took salt bids in May.
"There are some towns in Missouri who may be concerned about salt supplies however MoDOT will not have
trouble this year keeping the highways drivable," said spokesman Laura Holloway. "There's plenty of salt for
MoDOT to clear the roads this winter."
MoDOT has already received the first shipment of salt.
"When the first winter storm hits MoDOT will be ready," Holloway said.
Last winter, the department spent $65 million on all snow and ice removal and prevention efforts.

Retiring Ethics Commission official sees transparency as greatest
Sunday, November 16, 2008, 8:00 PM
By Steve Walsh

There's a new Executive Director of the Missouri Ethics Commission as Julie Allen takes over the post. And the
man who held the post from March of 2002 through March of this year and then stayed on as an advisor, is

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Bob Connor has seen a lot of changes since he started working for the Commission. He believes the biggest
accomplishment during his time at the helm is the transparency regarding donations and donors. "When I came
in," says Connor, "The reputation of the Commission in automation and so forth was very, very low. The press
was upset with the Commission and so forth and we went from a grade of F to a grade of A this year in a
national poll."
Records that at one time had to be viewed, in person, at the Commission offices, can now be viewed from
anywhere in the state, the country, or the world - online. And, thanks to legislation passed by the General
Assembly, large contributions must be filed, electronically, shortly after they are received. Says Connor: "The
new $5,000 ... I think that was really good for the Legislature and for the public because now you can see who
donated and how much money they were donating and it is there within ... 48 hours."
Connor says that while he is open to various opportunities he is retired and has no intention of working full time
again. His plans are clear: "I'm just gonna go home and enjoy life."

Federal judge will allow suicide testimoney in cyber-bully case
Saturday, November 15, 2008, 8:52 AM
By Brent Martin

A federal judge in Los Angeles has relented and jurors next week will hear testimony that a St. Louis area teen-
ager committed suicide after receiving a series of vicious fake Internet messages. The judge had appeared
inclined to agree with the lawyer for 49-year-old Lori Drew of O'Fallon that mention of the suicide of 13-year-old
Megan Meier would prejudiced the jury. Prosecutors, though, countered that mention of the suicide was integral
to their case against Drew, even though they haven't charged Drew with causing Meier's death.
Drew is charged under an anti-hacking law with conspiracy and accessing computers without authorization.
Prosecutors, in effect, claim Drew criminally violated the terms of service of the MySpace online social network,
which is based in California.

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Monday, November 17
Kansas City - The opening of a proposed arts high school could be delayed because it lacks a sponsor. Three
colleges have turned down requests to sponsor the Kansas City School of the Arts charter, which planned to
serve grades nine through 12 next fall. The school is appealing to the state for other sponsorship options.

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