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Less-visible races mean more
headaches for candidates, voters
By JASON NOBLE
The Star‘s Jefferson City correspondent

JEFFERSON CITY | In a debate last month, Clint Zweifel and Brad Lager outlined their priorities as candidates
for Missouri treasurer, one of five statewide offices on the November ballot.
Lager, a Republican, promised to bring transparency and accountability to the office. Speaking moments later,
Zweifel, a Democrat, pledged the exact same thing — transparency and accountability.
Pity the poor voter trying to tell the difference.
In Missouri, as in many states, bureaucratic posts like treasurer are filled through the electoral process, forcing
candidates and voters to view apolitical offices through a political lens.
States vary widely in the statewide offices they elect. At one extreme is Texas, where voters choose obscure
offices like railroad commissioner alongside governor and attorney general. At the other end is New Jersey,
where voters elect a governor who appoints every other statewide office.
Some states elect their education commissioners. Some, like Kansas, elect an insurance commissioner.
―Much of the time in these administrative posts, the real business the office conducts doesn‘t lend itself to
partisan politics,‖ said Peverill Squire, a political science professor at the University of Missouri.
That presents challenges for candidates and voters alike, especially in a year like 2008, when superheated races
higher up the ballot demand so much of voters‘ attention and patience.
This year‘s races for attorney general and treasurer feature no incumbents, leaving the seats wide open for
slates of candidates with little statewide name recognition. In the secretary of state contest, an established
Democratic incumbent faces a long-shot Republican challenger and two third-party candidates.
Rather than staking out stances on hot-button issues or political priorities, these candidates must emphasize
harder-to-define qualities such as expertise and competency, political observers and strategists said.
―Candidates have to attach some positive connotation to their name and see if they can break into the voters‘
consciousness,‖ Squire said.
It‘s not easy.
First of all, candidates must convince voters they have the biographical qualifications for the job, said Jeff Roe, a
Republican strategist who is advising Lager and attorney general candidate Michael Gibbons. In these
administrative jobs, competency is key.
A case in point is Gibbons‘ opponent, Democrat Chris Koster, who is running hard on his 10 years as Cass
County prosecutor.
―If you want to be the state‘s top law enforcement official,‖ Koster is fond of saying, ―it probably helps to know
something about law enforcement.‖
Once credentials are established, a candidate must articulate a unique vision for an office constrained by limited
powers and clearly defined duties, Roe said.
―Whether it‘s lieutenant governor or treasurer or secretary of state, you don‘t have wide swaths of power, for
sure,‖ he said. ―But you do have major influence over the focus or shape of state government.‖



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As such, Lager and Zweifel have staked out classically Republican and Democratic philosophies that they say
would guide them as treasurer.
Zweifel is firmly pro-government, arguing the state must provide an ―infrastructure‖ on which individuals can
achieve success. Lager, in turn, calls government a hindrance to individual success and says he would seek to
minimize its role in people‘s daily lives.
But linking high-minded ideals to the mundane duties of a down-ballot office can require a logical leap many
voters aren‘t prepared to make.
―You can talk about those issues and your beliefs on them and line yourself up with people who have similar
beliefs, but the reality is those issues don‘t have anything to do with the job,‖ said Missouri Auditor Susan
Montee.
More often, it takes a whiff of scandal to get voters‘ attention.
―In the absence of any scandal involving the office, it‘s hard for candidates in a lot of these offices to generate
enough interest in their campaigns to be able to draw distinctions,‖ Squire said.
That was certainly true for Montee in her run two years ago against Sandra Thomas.
Montee, a Democrat, campaigned on her background as a CPA and an attorney, but didn‘t gain much traction
with voters until Thomas was blamed for a $195,000 accounting error in Platte County, where she served as
auditor.
Only then, Montee said, did her arguments begin to resonate with voters.
―The whole race was about competency, but had (the accounting scandal) not happened, and had it not been
discovered that July, it would have been a lot harder to make my case,‖ Montee said.
Montee also benefited from running in 2006, when she had only a U.S. Senate race to compete with for voters‘
attention. This year, experts said, the high-profile presidential, gubernatorial and congressional races leave only
a small window in which down-ballot candidates can make their case.
―It‘s a very quick campaign,‖ Roe said. ―Campaigns must do a lot of work in the run-up to a very fast explanation
and delivery of their values.‖
In the end, Squire said, all the politicking may not matter all that much. A high tide that sweeps a president or
governor into office probably will bring an attorney general or treasurer along with it.
―Voters generally tend to fall back on party ID and vote for the candidate from their party,‖ he said. ―For
candidates, that‘s frustrating because they‘re out there trying to become known and make a real argument for
why they should be elected.‖




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October 13, 2008

OP-ED COLUMNIST


History and the Really Very Weird
THE NEW YORK TIMES By ROGER COHEN

PECULIAR, Mo.--Back when he was vice president, Dan Quayle noted that: ―People that are really very weird
can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history.‖
He was right, as the Germans know, even if his own impact was limited by the fact the president he was
understudying for stayed alive.
Quayle‘s words came back to me because, like a lot Americans, I‘ve come down with Palinitis: the acute fear
that Sarah Palin might get into one of those ―sensitive positions.‖
This is no ordinary moment. More than two trillion dollars have disappeared from Americans‘ retirement
accounts. The hedge-fund high priests of the universe have suspended their Warhol purchases. Iceland, de-
banked, has gone back to fishing (if there are any fish left). On the next president will hinge the choice between
recession, with a small ―r,‖ and Depression, with a big ―D.‖
It‘s not a time, in history‘s great sweep, for Quayle‘s very weird people to run the world. Tremendous might prove
an inadequate description of their impact. What we need is a safe pair of hands. Or we‘ll all be fishing.
Then I pulled into Peculiar.
I‘d decided to go for a spin around Missouri because this bellwether, battleground state has voted for the winner
in every election since 1904, with the sole exception of 1956. In many respects, it is America miniaturized.
Of its more than 100 rural counties, all but one voted Republican in 2004. But its big cities, St. Louis and Kansas
City, are another story, trending heavily Democrat. Rural, Bible-belt, America-first Missouri tends to views St.
Louis as the fallen East Coast.
The growing number of conservative, Evangelical voters led John Kerry to abandon campaigning here four years
ago; he lost heavily to President Bush. In Peculiar (motto ―Where the ‗Odds‘ are with you‖), Democrats are rare.
Cass County, where it‘s located, voted 61.6 percent Bush.
There‘s not a lot to Peculiar, a smattering of low-slung buildings off Highway 71 in western Missouri. At a general
store, I asked about the name and a woman told me: ―When they incorporated the town, they tried a few names,
but those already existed, and somebody wrote back saying we should try something more ‗peculiar.‘ And, son,
we did.‖
End of story.
Or not quite: America‘s become a place where Peculiar folks think the city folks have lost the plot and city folks
think the rural folks are peculiar.
In this culture war, where Palin‘s hockey moms and Joe Sixpacks are supposed to be the only patriots left
standing, believing in a woman‘s right to choose gets cast as unpatriotic. (Remember: belief in regulating
markets used to be unpatriotic too.)
I pulled out of Peculiar, passed a sign saying ―Nothing‘s hard for God,‖ cranked up the radio and got the Eagles:
―And I wanna sleep with you
In the desert tonight
With a billion stars all around



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Cause I got a peaceful easy feeling
And I know you won‘t let me down ...‖
Man, that felt good: a peaceful easy feeling is not something I‘ve had about the U.S. in a while. But around
Humansville (I didn‘t ask), a country music station brought me this:
―I‘m just a common man
Drive a common van
And my dog ain‘t got no pedigree
I‘m just happy to be free
Way I wanna be
Because highbrow people lose their saniteeee ...‖
That did it. Not wishing to lose mine, I asked Kenneth Warren, a professor of political science at St. Louis
University, how Missouri‘s battle of the Republican common man and the Democratic highbrow crowd was going
since the Dow dived and the Bush presidency began its final descent into flames.
―There‘s strong movement in Obama‘s direction,‖ he said. ―He was trailing by 10 points in August, and now two
polls show him ahead. You‘ve got a perfect storm for him. With the financial collapse, the Republican White
House gets blamed. McCain‘s looking rattled and disconnected on the economy. And Palin‘s become a liability
because she doesn‘t look qualified for a crisis.‖
In Branson, in southern Missouri, I met Gail Hinshaw, a business executive. He told me he‘s an independent
who‘s ―leaned Republican.‖ But, he said, ―I‘m an orthodox Republican, not big on big government, and who‘s
spent more or grown government more than this president?‖
Hinshaw said no person has all the answers. So he‘s looking for someone who can pull people together. It‘s
time, he said, to paint or get off the ladder. He senses movement toward Obama as independents like him
decide. ―We got to do something different.‖
Missouri‘s still a toss-up. But if the Hinshaw drift continues in Republican areas and Obama wins the state, he‘ll
likely be elected president by a landslide. Compared to Missouri, most other battleground states look more
comfortable for him.
I‘m starting to believe in a Republican bloodbath. You can‘t fool all the people all the time. As Quayle noted, ―The
future will be better tomorrow.‖




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County reports record number of new
voters
Missouri is investigating cases of possible voter fraud.

THE MANEATER -By Gretchen Mahan
Oct. 14, 2008

Boone County officially broke the record for new voter registration with a total of 21,220 new registrations this
year, but the registration process across Missouri remains complicated as evidenced by recent controversy of
voter fraud.
The new record is slightly more than the previous record of 20,805 in 2004.
The Boone County Clerk's office received many more registrations than what was expected, completing more
than 4,000 new registrations since Sunday.
"We've actually been planning for the last year-and-a-half for this to be a record year," Boone County Clerk
Wendy Noren said.
Throughout the year, Boone County had been trailing the record of 2004.
Other counties including Cape Girardeau County and Scott County in southeast Missouri broke records earlier
this month. Noren said she was disappointed that Boone County hadn't been doing as well.
"I was feeling a little left out," Noren said.
The office still needs to work through the verification process, which has been slightly delayed due to Columbus
Day on Monday, on which the security administration shut down its system.
Voters are now able to check their registration online to find their polling place, unless there was a problem with
their address.
As soon as the verification process is complete, which will probably take until the end of the week, the clerk's
office will send out mailing forms to voters to retrieve any missing information.
The only option for the people did not get their information in before the deadline will be to vote using a
provisional ballot. Only the ballots of those who can prove that they should have been eligible to vote will be
counted.
With several states under scrutiny for voter fraud, people are questioning whether the registration process is
reliable.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now has received allegations in 11 states stating that
they are involved in voter fraud.
Some of the allegations against ACORN include turning in multiple registrations with the same signature in
Indiana, the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys in Nevada and unverifiable addresses in Missouri.
Jeff Ordower, Midwest director of ACORN, said the Jackson County Election Board found 85 duplicate
registrations and 35 where the addresses could not be verified.
"Some of those we flagged and some of them are going to get through," Ordower said.




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Ordower said that because of the sheer number of registrations ACORN sent into Missouri offices, they most
likely would have missed some of the questionable registrations.
This is why state offices are required to re-verify all the registrations.
"No one should have any worry that people who aren't supposed to be voting will be voting," Ordower said.
Tina Hervey, spokeswoman for the Missouri Republican Party, said voter fraud "undermines the fabric of our
country,"
If this is allowed to go unchecked, Harvey said, this year's election could be similar to the 2000 presidential
election, in which a recount of Florida's votes delayed the certification of the election results by two months, but
on a larger scale.
"If we can't trust the system, I don't know how we'd trust the results," Hervey said.
Ryan Hobart, spokesman for the Missouri Secretary of State, said the registration process remains secure.
"There is a thorough process in place for verifying voter registrations in Missouri, and it catches registrations that
are questionable before they get on the voter rolls," Hobart said.
The Secretary of State's office sent out a news release on Friday commending the Jackson County Election
Board for identifying questionable registrations.
The release also stated that the office has been in contact with Jackson County election officials and
recommended that the "questionable" applications be forwarded.




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“Truth Squad” frenzy comes full circle,
um, again?
By Tony Messenger

I‘ve stayed out of the blogging loop on this whole ―Truth Squad‖ flappadoodle because, well, it‘s basically a made
up news story. Nobody ever threatened prosecution, but when somebody said they did, it became a story about
truthifying the story, get it?
Fact is, both sides use county prosecutors and the like on their own ―truth squads‖ and that‘s about all there is to
that.
Want more proof? This is why I can‘t help but post today. Below, Adam Jadhav posts to Gov. Matt Blunt’s Fox
News interview today about ACORN and the discord over possible voter registration fraud.
One sentence in his interview, sent out by the Republican Party, caught my attention:
BLUNT: ―We need everybody to be vigilant out there. we need local election boards, county prosecutors,
looking over the election, of course, not intimidating anybody, but watch the process.‖
Note the emphasis (mine): county prosecutors. Shall we go round and round again?




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Obama leading McCain in state polls
Chad Livengood
News-Leader

Two separate polls released Monday show Democrat Barack Obama leading Republican John McCain in
Missouri with just 21 days until Election Day.
A Fox News/Rasmussen poll showed Obama holding a 50-47 lead in the Show-Me state over McCain.
Another poll by SurveyUSA shows Obama leading McCain by 8 percentage points, 51-43. McCain led Obama
by 3 points just three weeks ago, before the economic turmoil and credit crisis took root.
The same poll says Obama is gaining his new margins among white voters. Three weeks ago, McCain led
Obama among white voters by 11 percent. Now they're tied, according to SurveyUSA, which conducted the poll
for KMOX radio in St Louis and KCTV-TV in Kansas City.
SurveyUSA's results show McCain remains the favorite in the traditionally Republican areas of southwest
Missouri, leading 57-41.
Fifty-four percent of McCain supporters said they own a gun, while 66 percent of Obama supporters said they
almost never attend church.
Missouri is a traditional bellwether that has picked every presidential contest since 1960.
Obama supporters attribute his recent success in the polls to the expensive grassroots organization in Missouri
created by his campaign.
They also say economic policies that redistribute the nation's wealth to help struggling middle-class families is
attracting women supporters who had been on the fence following Obama's victory over Sen. Hillary Clinton in
the Democratic primary.
"I feel confident that the women of Missouri are all going to join with us and we're going to elect Barack Obama,"
Democratic state Auditor Susan Montee said Monday in a conference call with reporters.
Nixon's lead expands
SurveyUSA's poll also shows Attorney General Jay Nixon leading U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof in the race for
governor by 22 points, 56-34.
Three weeks ago, the same polling firm found Democrat Nixon to be leading Republican Hulshof by 17
percentage points.
Pollsters say the nation's economic crisis is not making the election environment friendly for Republicans, who
currently hold control of the Missouri's legislature, governor's mansion and the White House.
Despite Nixon's surge in the polls and waning interest in Hulshof's campaign, some in the GOP are not giving up
hope of having a Republican chief executive.
But can Hulshof pull off a win after a bitter primary and a late start to Nixon?
"There's a lot of folk who are asking that question," said state Rep. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield. "They ask it in a
way that is hopeful. I definitely don't get the sense out there that it's hopeless. This is a going to be a very, very
close election, I think, from the top all the way down."
Wooten endorses Nixon




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Former state Rep. Chuck Wooten, R-Springfield, announced Monday that he's crossing party lines to endorse
Nixon.
Wooten, 80, who represented the 137th District form 1989 to 1999, said Nixon's a good friend of veterans.
"They all do something that you don't agree with," said Wooten, a World War II veteran. "But I look at the most
important thing to me right now is to have somebody in the governor's office who will give the veterans an ear."
Hulshof's campaign is dismissing the growing, yet still relatively small, number of Republicans who are bucking
their party for Nixon.
"Conservatives cannot examine Jay Nixon's record and conclude that he is one of them," Hulshof spokesman
Scott Baker said. "It doesn't matter the issue -- taxes, spending, abortion, guns -- Jay Nixon is about as far from
conservative as a candidate can get."
Marsh endorses Burlison
Term-limited state Rep. B.J. Marsh, R-Springfield, is endorsing Republican Eric Burlison to succeed him in
representing the 136th House District.
Burlison is facing Democrat Nick Beatty in the Nov. 4 election. Since it's an open seat, the state parties are
spending money in the race as Democrats hope to pick up a few seats and narrow the Republican majority in the
House.
"Eric is someone who will listen to what you have to say," Marsh wrote in a recent letter to constituents. "It's
refreshing to have a public servant who understands that their job is to serve the people, and not the other way
around."
Here comes the money
Campaign finance reports detailing donations to Missouri politicians from July 1 to Oct. 1 are due out
Wednesday.
This will be the public's first look at how much money has flowed into the campaign coffers of politicians like
Hulshof and Nixon since contributions limits were lifted in August.




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Former lawmaker crosses party lines to
endorse Nixon for governor
  Former state Rep. Chuck Wooten, a Springfield Republican who spent 10 years in the House before retiring in
1998, has endorsed Democrat Jay Nixon for governor.
 Wooten cited Nixon‘s tough stance on crime and support for Missouri veterans during his 16 years as attorney
general as reasons for crossing party lines.
 In an announcement released by Nixon‘s campaign, Wooten also took a swipe at Republican candidate Kenny
Hulshof, who represents Missouri‘s 9th District in the U.S. House.
  "Too often, Washington has let us down when it comes to making sure we have the health care and benefits
we deserve," Wooten said. "Over the years, I‘ve gotten to know Jay Nixon, and I know he‘s the right man for the
job. He‘ll get our state back on the right track.‖
  Wooten, 81, served three years in the U.S. Navy and was a member of the Springfield City Council from 1983
to 1988 before being elected to the legislature.
 Wooten is the second Republican to endorse Nixon in recent weeks. Len Pagano, the Republican mayor of St.
Peters, endorsed Nixon last month.

Submitted by Kit Wagar KC STAR PRIME BUZZ BLOG




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UPDATED:Gibbons tags Koster with KC
crime-sentence flap
By Jo Mannies

State Sen. Michael Gibbons, R-Kirkwood and the GOP nominee for Missouri attorney general, today attempted
to link his Democratic rival, state Sen. Chris Koster, to a controversy in Kansas City over sentencing in a child-
sodomy case.
At issue, according to a story in the Kansas City Star, are prosecutors‘ criticisms of the Missouri Sentencing
Advisory Commission.
Gibbons noted that he‘d appointed Koster, a former prosecutor, to sit on the commission in 2006.
―The Commission and Chris Koster failed Missourians,‖ Gibbons said in a statement. ―As a former prosecutor, I
expected better in Koster‘s service on this commission than this, and the people deserve better.‖
Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission and former member Chris Koster of allowing violent criminals to be
set free to prey on innocent Missourians. The article not only outlines the failure of the Commission but also
notes the concerns of Democratic and Republican prosecutors also frustrated by the fact that violent offenders
are receiving minimum sentences or even probation rather than being locked up where they belong.
Gibbons is shocked and disappointed by Koster‘s role of supporting lenient sentence recommendations for
violent criminals. Gibbons said he appointed Koster to the commission in March of 2006 because Koster had
been a prosecutor.
―The Commission and Chris Koster failed Missourians,‖ Gibbons said. ―As a former prosecutor, I expected better
in Koster‘s service on this commission than this, and the people deserve better.‖
Gibbons‘ campaign asserted that ―examples of lenient sentencing recommendations include a Platte County
case where the Sentencing Advisory Commission recommended the minimum 10-year sentence for a child
molester, but thankfully Matthew D. Upchurch, 20, was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being found guilty of
two counts of first degree statutory sodomy of a 3-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl following a June 2008 trial.‖
―I am outraged that violent criminals are NOT doing the time for their crimes, putting innocent Missourians in
harm‘s way,‖ Gibbons said. ―I pledge that as Attorney General, I will advocate to change these guidelines to
protect Missourians from these violent criminals making sure they do serious time for serious crimes. I will never
put the goal of reducing our prison population before the safety of Missourians.‖
Expect to see Gibbons‘ accusation against Koster to show up in a TV ad real soon.
UPDATE
Here‘s Koster‘s reply:
―Today‘s attacks from Michael Gibbons are all too familiar to hardworking Missourians who see the same old
tired political attacks each election season. As a prosecutor, Chris Koster spent ten years putting away violent
criminals and sexual predators while Michael Gibbons was voting in Jefferson City to let them out.‖
Koster spokesman Danny Kanner then added, ―Here are the facts:
Michael Gibbons voted to relax sentencing standards, which resulted in 1,400 new criminals on the streets each
year. [Senate Bill 5, 2003]―
Maybe we‘ll see dueling ads shortly.




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Mo. AG candidate: sentence guidelines
too weak
Monday, October 13, 2008
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Republican attorney general candidate Michael Gibbons is trying to raise doubts
about whether his opponent has been tough on crime.
Democratic Sen. Chris Koster has made his decade-long tenure as Cass County prosecutor a key point in his
campaign.
Gibbons, the Senate president pro tem, appointed Koster in 2006 to an 11-member panel that crafts sentencing
recommendations for judges. The guidelines aren't binding, and judges can levy their own punishments.
Gibbons said Monday that the commission has been ''a failure.'' He believes its sentencing guidelines are too
lenient.
A Koster campaign spokesman said Gibbons supported 2003 legislation lowering sentencing standards. Koster's
campaign dismissed Gibbons' criticism as ''tired political attacks.''




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Area superintendents weigh in on
Proposition A
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
By Lindy Bavolek
Southeast Missourian

Proposition A is named the "Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Funding Initiative," but five local
superintendents are deeming it a misnomer.
"I think it's all about gaming. I think they're trying to pass it on the back by saying it's good for kids," said Jackson
School District superintendent Dr. Ron Anderson.
If passed Nov. 4, Proposition A would raise the gambling tax from 20 percent to 21 percent, remove the state's
loss limit and put a cap on the number of casino licenses available. The Missouri auditor's office estimates
schools would receive an additional $105 to $130 million yearly from the changes.
All the superintendents interviewed said they would welcome the extra money but remained skeptical about the
proposition's true intent and current revenue projections.
Distribution is connected to the state's education funding mechanism, known as the foundation formula. Because
the 2005-approved formula won't be fully phased in until 2013, only a portion of Proposition A revenue could be
distributed to schools initially. In fiscal year 2010, an estimated $54.9 million would be distributed, according to
figures from the state education department.
The rest of the money would go into a "tamper-resistant" fund that "can't be spent on anything else," said Scott
Charton, spokesman for the Yes on A coalition, which is backed by casinos.
About a fifth of Missouri districts, including St. Louis, wouldn't receive any funding through Proposition A next
year or potentially beyond. Those districts fall under a separate provision of the foundation formula. Districts that
have high local property values or districts that would have lost money under the new formula are funded
through a separate mechanism. No districts in Cape Girardeau, Bollinger, Perry or Scott counties fall under this
category.
In fiscal year 2008, Missouri casinos earned $1.6 billion and paid $327 million in gaming taxes to state and local
governments, according to the Missouri Gaming Commission. Casinos would have to earn $2.1 billion next year
to meet the Proposition A revenue estimates, said Evelio Silvera, executive director of Casino Watch and a
spokesman for the No on A campaign.
"In these tough economic times, people would have to lose over $2 billion to hit estimates," he said. Silvera
mainly objects to ideas that the Proposition A fund would be immune to tampering and he worries the funding
would be subject to a "shell game." He said there is no guarantee general revenue funds would not be directed
away from educational programs.
"The questions superintendents should be asking is not how much Proposition A will give you but how much will
you lose from general revenue," he said.
Charton said the act specifically states the additional funding should not be used to replace existing funding. He
said a required annual state audit would prove money was being spent as intended, and people could sue if
"they feel money is not being spent appropriately."
Dr. Jim Welker, superintendent of the Cape Girardeau School District, said that "although we always welcome
additional funding, I'm not sure this is the answer." Like others, he questioned the accuracy of projections.



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"The economical conditions we're in can even affect the money we're receiving now," said Nate Crowden,
superintendent of the Delta School District. "There is no doubt we could use the extra funds. But there would be
some doubt in getting the extra funds."
Anderson said an increase would be "nominal" — less than one percent of the district's overall budget.
"I do have some reservations and skepticism. Are we putting the schools first, as it says, or are we repealing the
loss limits on the gaming boats?" asked Oak Ridge superintendent Dr. Gerald Landewee.




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Chuck Graham runs for re-election in
Senate
The Missouri incumbent's experiences connect him to his politics.

THE MANEATER - By Andrea Kszystyniak
Oct. 13, 2008

Sen. Chuck Graham is no stranger to the political process.
Before he was elected in 2006 to the Missouri Senate, he served four terms in the House of Representatives.
Graham, D-Columbia, is running as the incumbent in the Senate race for the 19th District seat.
"Experience is a premium in our legislature because of the lack of knowledge," Graham said. "In the Senate,
knowledge is power. If you don't have any, it takes a while to ramp up to that."
For Graham, this experience is the actualization of a lifelong dream.
"I wanted to serve in the Missouri House since I was 12," he said. "That was the year that we studied state
government, and I was very interested in that."
Graham was born in St. Louis, which is where he lived until about the fourth grade. Then he moved to Louisiana,
Mo., a small town south of Hannibal.
He later attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated with a journalism degree.
After college, Graham worked as a community organizer in Illinois and worked to help people in the disabled
community affect change in government.
"Seems to be a trend in the election this year, community organizers from Illinois," Graham said.
He moved to Missouri in December 1991, and came to MU to do training programs about the Americans with
Disabilities Act, which Graham lobbied to help pass.
"(People with disabilities) didn't have a legal right to go to school until 1975," Graham said. "It's been a long
struggle, and we're far behind other civil rights movements."
Graham said creating opportunities for people with disabilities is something very close to his heart; he has been
paralyzed from the waist down since he broke his back in a car accident, and his brother was in a separate car
accident in which he broke his neck. Their mother also had muscular dystrophy.
"One day you're running track, and the next morning you can't walk," Graham said. "Obviously, that made me
grow up quickly, because I was dealing with a very mature and adult situation. I had to relearn how to be
independent. Instead of people saying, 'You can grow up to be president or run a bank or whatever,' they start
telling you, 'Oh, you can't do this. No, you can't drive, you won't date, you won't go to college, you won't have a
job.'"
Graham also said his mother's death after a long battle with cancer was a defining moment in his life.
"I had to take on a lot of responsibility with that, including making the decision to stop treatment," he said.
Her death was the hardest thing he's ever been through.




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"That was part of what gave me the courage to run for office," Graham said. "I thought, 'Well, even if I lose, it
can't be as bad as what I went through.' It has given me a lot of strength in adverse situations and courage not to
wilt in the heat."
Graham faced another difficult situation in October 2007, when he was convicted of driving while intoxicated, to
which he pled guilty.
"We all make mistakes, and I certainly made a big one," Graham said. "I regret it immensely. If all we can elect is
perfect people, we're going to have an empty legislature."
Despite adversity, Graham says he has a number of accomplishments during his time in the House and Senate.
"I'm a problem solver by nature, almost to a fault," he said. "If there's an issue or a problem, all I do is figure out
how we can find a solution to them."
Graham said he is most proud of "having the courage to stand there and stop the things that (Gov.) Matt Blunt
was trying to do."
He is also proud of his work protecting research at the university and proposing a bill that would give a vote to
the student member on the UM system Board of Curators.
Campaign manager Nate Kennedy took a semester off from MU to assist Graham.
"He's really determined, and he's convinced that one person can make a difference, and he is standing up for
what he believes in and not backing away from that," Kennedy said of Graham. "It's hard. There's a lot of
pressure from lobbying groups and things like that. He's always held firm to his beliefs."
Graham said at times, the Republican majority could make things harder to accomplish, but that it wouldn't deter
him.
"When you have such power on the other side of the aisle and not a lot of people on your side of the fence
motivated to do something about it, I think that it does take a certain amount of courage to go out there and say,
'This is wrong,'" he said.




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Mo. releases two audits regarding
vaccinations
Marshall Griffin, KWMU JEFFERSON CITY, MO (2008-10-13)
Missouri Auditor Susan Montee has released two audits examining the vaccinations of both adults and school
children across the state.
One audit focuses on a new law that bans mercury as an ingredient in flu vaccines.
It found that the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) failed to notify some providers of the new
law, and that some pregnant women and children under three received flu shots containing mercury.
In response, DHSS officials say they'll work to keep flu shot providers and the public informed of all health alerts
and updates.
The other audit found that more than 160 schools did not submit their 2006-07 vaccine summary reports to the
state on time.
It is illegal in Missouri for children to attend public or private schools without being vaccinated for various
diseases.
There are exemptions allowed, however, for medical and religious reasons.




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Meeting to focus on CAFOs
JOPLIN GLOBE - By Wally Kennedy

LAMAR, Mo. — A conference on the environmental and agricultural impact of concentrated animal feeding
operations will be held tonight at Thiebaud Auditorium in Lamar.
Darvin Bentlage, a farmer who has been critical of CAFO operations in Barton County, said: ―We‘re going to give
the facts, and these are facts that are available to anyone. We‘re also going to talk about our personal
experiences, and introduce the coalitions and alliances that have formed in response to these CAFOs.‖
Bentlage said the Missouri Department of Natural Resources‘ oversight of CAFOs will be a topic, as will the
position of politicians.
―People need to learn where their candidates stand on this issue, and get out and vote,‖ he said. ―Most people
don‘t think this directly affects them. If they drink water, it will affect them.‖
The program will begin at 7 p.m. with the showing of a documentary, ―Everyone Lives Downstream.‖ The film,
produced by two students at Pittsburg (Kan.) State University, depicts the impact of poultry CAFOs at Roaring
River State Park. It will be followed by a report from a representative of the Roaring River Parks Alliance, which
is mounting a legal fight.
Those attending will receive an update on another legal issue from a resident of Richland Township in Barton
County, where voters last year overwhelmingly adopted measures to regulate hog CAFOs in the township. The
vote was thrown out by a circuit judge after it was challenged by representatives of the hog industry, but
residents are appealing the decision to a higher court.
Kat Logan Smith, with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, and Rhonda Perry, with the Missouri Rural
Crisis Center, will speak. A representative of the Missouri Farmers Union also is set to speak.
John Ikerd, professor emeritus of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia, will talk about
the economic impact of CAFOs on Missouri‘s family farms.
The conference will conclude with the showing of ―Farming Was My Life,‖ a documentary depicting the impact of
factory farms on rural communities and small family farms.
The meeting will be followed by another conference Thursday in Kirksville.




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Hulshof’s late start in governor’s race leads to challenges
By STEVE KRASKE
The Kansas City Star

A slow-starting Missouri governor‘s race has erupted in vitriol, but some Republicans wonder if it‘s too late for
their candidate, Kenny Hulshof.
In TV ads and a radio debate last week, the six-term congressman from Columbia unleashed a series of
criticisms. Democrat Jay Nixon countered with attacks of his own.
Nixon, the four-term attorney general, ―always voted for a tax increase‖ when he served as state senator in the
‘80s and ‘90s, Hulshof said. ―Every single one.‖
―Washington-speak‖ and false, shot back Nixon. Hulshof is behind and ―desperate.‖ Hulshof supported ―the
economic policies that caused the crisis,‖ Nixon charged in an ad.
The give-and-take comes as Hulshof struggles to get back into contention in a campaign that to date has forced
him to paddle against the current.
He got a late start. He had a tough primary opponent and was left with an empty campaign kitty heading into the
general election.
Compared with Nixon, who has four statewide elections under his belt, Hulshof was unknown, especially around
Kansas City.
And Hulshof comes from Congress, with its 13 percent job-approval rating in the polls.
―We knew it‘d be tough, and it‘s been tough,‖ Hulshof said.
With just over three weeks to go before Election Day, some Republicans privately have begun to question
Hulshof‘s prospects.
Even in legislative districts where top-of-the-ticket John McCain leads handily, Hulshof is struggling, one
Republican leader said. No momentum. No traction.
―I don‘t think it‘s any surprise that it‘s been an uphill battle,‖ said Missouri Rep. Jerry Nolte of Gladstone, a
Republican.
―Nixon started with every advantage in the world,‖ said former state GOP chairman Woody Cozad.
Polls toward the end of September showed Hulshof trailing by 7 to 17 points. Congressional Quarterly rates the
race as ―leans Democratic.‖ Nixon‘s edge is ―partially attributable to his own political strengths‖ and better name
recognition. Hulshof, meanwhile, is ―held in high regard by most of his House constituency … (but) is hindered
somewhat in that he‘s a member of the congressional Republican Party that is held in low esteem by most of the
voting public.‖
University of Missouri political scientist Peverill Squire said time is running out.
―He‘s struggled since the primary to try to figure out exactly what the theme of his campaign should be,‖ Squire
said. ―He has nothing that you can identify that distinguishes himself from Nixon right now.‖
Unless Hulshof moves quickly, ―it‘ll be hard to come up with a reason why voters should change their mind,‖ he
added.
Still, many observers expect the race to tighten, especially because swing-state Missouri splits so evenly
between parties. The 2004 governor‘s race was decided by 3 points, the 2000 race by less than 1.
Hulshof, insiders say, will close the gap. But he has a long way to go.



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―We‘re fighting hard,‖ Hulshof said.
He‘s been here before — twice. When Hulshof first ran for the U.S. House in 1994, party leaders picked him as a
late replacement for Republican nominee Rick Hardy, who was hospitalized. Hulshof wound up within 5 points of
20-year incumbent Harold Volkmer.
Two years later, Hulshof ran again, this time winning by 2 points in a victory seen as a major upset.
This year, the Columbia resident is pushing an agenda that includes public-school reform, stricter ethics
legislation and boosting the state economy.
Nixon is advocating a restoration of Blunt‘s controversial Medicaid cuts in 2005 and advocates making health
care available to every child in the state. He would also offer free college tuition to middle-income and low-
income families.
Hulshof has launched a pair of new ads that attack Nixon‘s character. One accuses Nixon of funneling ―millions
in contracts to his supporters,‖ who in turn ―funneled half a million back to his campaign.‖
The spot also hits Nixon for taking campaign contributions from an entity he was investigating.
―Shakedown after shakedown. That‘s Jay Nixon,‖ the narrator intones.
Nixon counters with an ad bemoaning Missouri‘s struggling economy and blaming Hulshof for supporting
misguided policies in Washington.
The ads contain some measure of truth, though the candidates dispute them.
But voters are seeing Nixon ads more often. Nixon aides said they outspent Hulshof on TV last week 3-to-1. This
comes on the heels of an Oct. 3 fundraiser in St. Louis County that featured President Bush and raised, the
Hulshof campaign said, about $1.5 million.
Democrats have questioned whether that much was raised. Either way, cutting through the intense interest in the
presidential race is tough.
Nixon‘s camp says the race is out of reach.
―Missourians know Jay Nixon, and they know he‘ll bring about the change our state needs,‖ said Nixon
spokesman Oren Shur.
Hulshof‘s uphill run began in January, when Blunt stunned the state with his unexpected announcement that he
wouldn‘t seek re-election. Hulshof jumped in a few days later, but by then Nixon had been running for a couple of
years.
The state treasurer, Sarah Steelman, then got into the GOP race, forcing a primary that at times turned bitter.
Hulshof won by a slim 4 points, and Steelman has yet to formally endorse him.
In the primary, Hulshof spent a paltry $11,000 in the Kansas City market on TV. As a result, he remains little-
known to many western Missouri residents.
―He‘s been having to battle all along,‖ Squire said. ―It‘s a Democratic year. With Hulshof, it‘s been one problem
after another.‖




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Saturday, October 11, 2008


Nixon approaching $4 million mark
Another quarter of a million dollars today has placed Attorney General Jay Nixon less than $100,000 away from
becoming the first candidate to collect $4 million in oversized contributions.
A 48-hour report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission shows Nixon received $254,788.29 Thursday, with
most of the money, $199,788.29 came from the Missouri State Democratic Committee. He also picked up
$25,000 from Western Missouri and Kansas Laborers District PAC, and $10,000 apiece from Randy W. Jones
and Associates, Lee's Summit; Friends of Ryan McKenna, Crystal City; and One Planet Energy LCC, Kansas
City.
At this point, Nixon has received $3,921,163.29 in oversized contributions since limits were removed Aug. 28.
His opponent, Kenny Hulshof, has $3,115,474.17.
What remains to be seen is how well the candidates fare when smaller contributions are added to the mix. Their
quarterly reports are due Oct. 15.
THE TURNER REPORT




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Analysis: Hulshof is Mr. New Plan in Mo. gov. race
By DAVID A. LIEB
Associated Press Writer

Republican Kenny Hulshof promotes a new policy idea every week. Democrat Jay Nixon has spoken about the
same basic proposals for months.
The contrasting campaign strategies in Missouri's gubernatorial race help reveal who's ahead in the public
opinion polls as the Nov. 4 election approaches.
"When you're a frontrunner, the incentive is generally to play it safer and not offer lots of new specific policy
ideas that could be shot down and critiqued by your opponents," says David Kimball, a political scientist at the
University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Nixon fits that mold.
"One thing the challenger needs to do, or someone who is behind, is find some way of throwing the candidate
leading the race off message - get control of the daily media cycle," adds political scientist Marvin Overby, of the
University of Missouri-Columbia. "You don't get that with an old message. You might get that with a new
message."
Hulshof fits that mold.
A congressman from Missouri's 9th Congressional District, Hulshof turned back state Treasurer Sarah Steelman
in a close and contentious Republican gubernatorial primary. Two weeks after that, Hulshof began rolling out the
first of his weekly policy proclamations.
First, Hulshof focused on energy - drilling for oil and attracting a refinery to Missouri, among other things.
Then Hulshof announced his long-awaited health care proposal, which would set up a new statewide insurance
pool with government subsidies for low-income Missourians to get private insurance.
In week three, Hulshof rolled out his education and work force proposals - bonuses to new math and science
teachers and specialized college training programs for the employees of new businesses that locate in Missouri.
Week four focused on higher education for Hulshof - a proposed funding formula for colleges and universities,
and state matching grants to beef up college instructional programs in certain math and science fields.
Hulshof's barrage of proposals took a week off in mid-September. Then he fired up the idea machine again for
several consecutive weeks.
He proposed changes to Missouri's court system; tax credits (denounced by Democrats as vouchers) for
students in urban school districts to attend private schools; and a governmental accountability plan that would
create a state inspector general while restricting the attorney general's ability to contract with private lawyers.
Hulshof spokesman Scott Baker hints that there may be more to come in the weeks ahead.
"Every candidate is talking about change, but only one candidate in this race is providing a detailed map to
change," said Baker, referring to Hulshof. "It was important to put many ideas and many solutions out there."
By contrast, Nixon has not rolled out any major new policy proposals since before the primary election, in which
he faced no significant opposition.
It was April when Nixon outlined his higher education plan - a tuition-free path to a four-year college degree for
students who start at a community college, do community service and keep up good grades.
In June, Nixon outlined his plan to create a performance review commission for state government programs.



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In July, Nixon toured the state announcing his health care plan - a reversal of the 2005 Medicaid cuts enacted by
Republicans and an expansion of the state children's health insurance program to middle-class families.
As the economy worsened, Nixon repositioned his health care and higher education proposals under the broad
banner of his economic plan, though he never held a specific event announcing an economic platform. Either
way, Nixon's message has remained focused on three basic issues - the economy, health care and higher
education.
"It's a matter of priorities and a matter of focus," said Nixon spokesman Oren Shur. "Jay Nixon recognizes that
the No. 1 challenge Missouri families face is this economic crisis and how their families are going to make ends
meet."
Nixon is a known commodity to most Missourians after serving a record 16 years as attorney general. Hulshof,
by contrast, had to raise his profile for his first statewide election - something frequent policy proposals may help
accomplish, Kimball said.
It's unclear, however, whether the public is paying much attention to Hulshof's various ideas, particularly with the
ever twisting presidential race commanding so much attention.
"Most people in the public have only a vague grasp of a particular policy. They operate much more on a broad
sense of comfort with the candidate," Overby said. "A candidate with simpler message to digest - like 'change is
good,' or 'it's the economy, stupid' - they're going to have an advantage, because that's the type of message that
is going to sink in."




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Gibbons vs. Koster
Sharp contrasts highlight the race for attorney general.
By TERRY GANEY of the Tribune’s staff
Published Sunday, October 12, 2008

In 2004 when Republican Michael Gibbons sought re-election to the state Senate, Greg Steinhoff held a political
fundraising event for him at Steinhoff‘s home in Columbia.
Steinhoff turned down the volume of his living-room television set, and Gibbons launched into his campaign spiel
about workers‘ compensation and tort law. Gibbons stood with his back to the television screen where something
more interesting was being portrayed - the mating processes of large, wild animals.
"We got a lesson in the reproductive habits of the rhinoceros," Steinhoff recalled. As Steinhoff‘s guests turned
red-faced and fought the impulse to laugh, Gibbons gamely carried on with his speech, confused by his
audience‘s reaction.
Four years later, Gibbons is still game. Now, he‘s running for state attorney general against Democrat Chris
Koster. Gibbons is hoping the presidential election contest and the race for Missouri governor do not distract
voters‘ attention from what he now has to say about his candidacy.
Candidates such as Gibbons and Koster in "down-ticket" election contests are always challenged to break
through the clutter of the political season. But it‘s more difficult in Missouri this year with highly competitive
contests for president and governor.
But after voters consider those two election decisions, the attorney general‘s race is probably the next most
important one facing them in the voting booth Nov. 4. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has held the office for 16 years,
longer than anyone else.
And the Gibbons-Koster contest provides voters with clear differences in political philosophy, experience,
character and style.
Jim Tierney, who directs the National State Attorneys General program at Columbia University, said Missouri‘s
attorney general contest is "the most hotly contested race" of its kind in the country.
"Politically, the challenge for both candidates running for attorney general is for anyone to distinguish you from
the other races," said Tierney, who is a former attorney general in Maine. "If I were in Missouri, what would I do
to get attention for myself?"
Money helps.
Both Gibbons and Koster will have cash to seek voter attention on the airwaves. Though quarterly campaign
disclosure reports won‘t be filed until later this week, the contributions are rolling in, often in the form of six- and
even seven-figure checks.
The attorney general‘s office is essentially the state‘s law firm. With more than 200 attorneys and about 150 staff
members, the office represents state agencies in civil cases, prosecutes appeals of criminal cases and defends
laws enacted by the legislature and governor. Many people who have served there have used it as an avenue to
higher office such as governor or senator.
Gibbons and Koster have taken different routes to reach the point of seeking the office. Gibbons‘ trek has been
traditional. After serving on the Kirkwood City Council and in the state House, Gibbons was elected to the state
Senate and rose to be its president.




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Koster‘s journey has been more unorthodox. As a Republican, he served as a county prosecuting attorney and
then as a state senator. Last year, he switched parties and became a Democrat and then came out victorious by
the thinnest of margins in a four-way attorney general primary.
CONSISTENT RECORD?
Gibbons, 49, is a sometimes jovial, "glass is half-full" kind of guy. Self-effacing for a politician, he is apt to make
himself the target of his own jokes. He says if the race were a beauty contest, he would lose.
On the other hand, Gibbons can deliver a serious message when comparing himself with his opponent.
"I have a long history of being committed, of making commitments and sticking with them," Gibbons said. "And I
think that‘s something important for people to know. I have a long public record that‘s consistent - a sense of
purpose, a sense of direction - and something can be gleaned from that."
In 1992, Gibbons was elected to the state House. He succeeded Bud Barnes, a moderate Republican from an
area that was reliably but not wildly conservative. Since Republicans were in the minority, Gibbons‘ House
tenure was as a back bencher.
But that all changed in 2000, when Gibbons was elected to the state Senate and Republicans won the majority
there. Within two years, the GOP controlled both the House and Senate for the first time in 50 years.
Though Gibbons has touted his consistency, he once switched votes on a highly controversial concealed
weapons bill in 2003, when he was Senate minority leader. He said it was the toughest decision of his legislative
career.
Gibbons voted to override Gov. Bob Holden‘s veto of a bill that allowed citizens to carry concealed weapons,
although earlier in the session Gibbons had opposed the bill. In a statewide election in 1999, voters had rejected
concealed weapons permits, and Gibbons‘ state Senate district was 70 percent opposed.
In defending his vote to override, Gibbons said passage of concealed weapons was inevitable. He said he was
worried that the conservative legislature would approve an even less-restrictive handgun measure.
"I don‘t regret that vote," Gibbons said in a recent interview. "I studied that issue all summer to try to make sure I
did the right thing for the right reason. I feel good about how it‘s played out."
Gibbons was elected president pro tem of the Senate the following year and helped pass Gov. Matt Blunt‘s plan
to limit malpractice lawsuits, a key plank in Blunt‘s pro-business agenda.
"Mike Gibbons is level-headed and tries to figure out the right thing to do," said Steinhoff, who has known
Gibbons since both were students at Westminster College in Fulton. "He has always been that way - a solid
person."
FOLLOWING THE MONEY
Unopposed in the Republican primary, Gibbons‘ campaign recently got a big financial boost from the Virginia-
based Republican State Leadership Committee, which donated $1.1 million. The committee, which collects
money from businesses and individuals, supports Republican candidates in statewide races across the country
for attorney general, lieutenant governor, secretary of state and state legislatures.
"We are building the farm team for the future," said Carrie Cantrell, a spokeswoman. "We think this is one of the
most competitive attorney general races this year, and we want to make sure Mike Gibbons has the resources
he needs to be victorious in November."
The committee picks and chooses its battles and how much it contributes. The fact that Missouri no longer limits
how much a candidate can accept opened the door for the contribution, which Tierney called "eye popping."
Some people who have been closest to Koster in the past are now supporting his opponent. "Missourians for
Gibbons" has received a $140,000 contribution from Rebecca Nassikas, Koster‘s ex-wife. During the Democratic


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primary, Nassikas donated $200,000 to a committee that produced television ads questioning Koster‘s
fundraising tactics and ethics.
"I believe my experience with Chris Koster, as an individual and as a public servant, gives me a unique
perspective," said Nassikas, who was married to Koster from 1996 to 2003. She said his record shows he is an
opportunist, and she regretted helping him earlier in his political career.
According to Nassikas, Koster obtained a $580,000 settlement from her in their divorce. Nassikas‘ father, Frank
Bowman, is a former publisher in Jefferson City. Bowman has contributed $90,000 to Gibbons‘ campaign.
Koster, in an interview, said he did not want to discuss why his ex-wife was providing such strong support for his
opponent.
"I‘m not going to speak disrespectful about my marriage," Koster said. "That‘s my answer. We were a family
together for seven years. I‘m not going there."
Late last month, Missourians for Tax Reform contributed $25,000 to Gibbons‘ campaign. That committee is
funded mainly by retired financier Rex Sinquefield, who supports the end of Missouri‘s income tax. During his
legislative career, Gibbons tried to overhaul the state‘s tax code but couldn‘t pull it off. Gibbons said he prefers a
flat income tax.
"Too many people have an interest in the status quo," Gibbons said. "No one really wants to tackle it."
During this year‘s legislative session, Gibbons successfully sponsored a bill that requires cities and school
districts to roll back property tax levies if their assessments increase dramatically.
"As much as I had dreams of reforming the entire tax code, at least we got a chance to make a difference there,"
Gibbons said.
POLITICAL AMBITION
Koster, 44, has blue eyes and copper-colored hair. He is a snappy dresser and a shrewd campaigner. Steve
Kraske, a political columnist and reporter for the Kansas City Star, has written that Koster is gifted with "the look
with ambition to match." His political future seems limitless.
That ambition survived the Democratic primary when Koster beat state Rep. Margaret Donnelly of St. Louis
County by 829 votes: 118,934 to 118,105. Koster was helped by the candidacy of Molly Williams, a political
unknown who somehow attracted 23,140 votes.
Koster won despite accusations that his campaign violated state law in raising money from multiple committees.
The Ethics Commission later dismissed those complaints.
He also survived the disclosure that he played a supporting role in a plagiarism episode that damaged Attorney
General William Webster‘s campaign for governor in 1992. Fresh out of law school, Koster worked for Webster,
a Republican, as an assistant state attorney general.
Persuasive in the courtroom and on the floor of the state Senate, Koster articulates his themes on the campaign
trail with the same command of facts and figures.
"He‘s in a hurry to get things done," said Chuck Hatfield, a Jefferson City lawyer who is an old friend of Koster‘s.
Hatfield believes that because Koster‘s father, Rich Koster, died of a heart attack at age 58, candidate Koster is
eager to make his mark.
"I think that‘s part of what makes him aggressive in some of his decisions," said Hatfield. "For some reason he
doesn‘t have the time or want to take the time that other politicians take to build their career."
A former general counsel in Nixon‘s attorney general‘s office, Hatfield said the stem cell research issue is an
example of Koster‘s willingness to stick his neck out. Koster led the charge in 2005 to block a bill that would have



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criminalized stem cell research. He later said the issue helped convince him to leave the Republican Party and
become a Democrat.
Hatfield said Koster could have simply voted "no" on the issue. "That would have been the politically smart thing
to do," he said. "Instead, he felt like he needed to get out in front of the issue."
Koster has been interested in running for attorney general since he was 27. Shortly after he was elected
prosecutor in Cass County in 1994, he began toying with the idea of seeking the office.
In an interview, Koster said former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth, a Republican and former state attorney general,
advised him against running for the office at that time because it was too soon after Webster‘s conviction for
corruption in office. Koster was not accused of the law violations that sent Webster to federal prison in 1993.
For 10 years, Koster served as the prosecuting attorney of Cass County, the western Missouri county that
includes the southern portion of the Kansas City metropolitan area. When he campaigns, Koster emphasizes the
fact that he has argued criminal cases in the courtroom.
"If you were going to be the state‘s top law enforcement officer, it helps to come from the law enforcement
community," he said.
PASSIVE/AGGRESSIVE
Perhaps the biggest difference between Koster and Gibbons is how they propose to use the attorney general‘s
office. This is reflected somewhat in who is financing their respective campaigns. While Gibbons is getting
money from businesses and corporate interests, Koster enjoys the support of organized labor and plaintiff‘s
lawyers.
Gibbons will be conservative in terms of where he wants to go with the attorney general‘s power. He said he
won‘t try to expand the authority of the office beyond what it has now.
"We will focus on justice, not headlines, and not running for some other office," Gibbons said. He added that
local prosecuting attorneys need not worry about the attorney general trying to usurp local prosecuting power.
Koster can be expected to stretch what the office might try to do.
"My strong sense is that the office that I would run would be more activist," Koster said.
Attorneys general in other states have been willing to go after big defendants such as pharmaceutical
companies, mortgage lenders and polluters, obtaining settlements for fraud and other violations. Sometimes
attorneys general launch big cases using private law firms with expertise and resources that exceed the capacity
of state offices.
Koster said he was willing to consider that option, especially in such issues as Medicaid fraud, where he believes
that $600 million is lost to Missouri every year through fraudulent billings. Whoever would get contracts to carry
out such cases would be selected through a competitive bid process, Koster said.
"Prudently aggressive is where I want to lead this office in terms of protecting the state‘s resources," Koster
added.
For many voters, the nuances over how the office would be used will be missed. The state attorney general‘s
race will probably be overwhelmed in Missouri by the presidential and governor contests.
Tierney, the head of the National State Attorneys General Program, put it this way: "The head of the ticket will
define who the next attorney general will be."




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Regional seniors’ assembly offers bill priorities
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS -by Ray Scherer
Monday, October 13, 2008

A group of Northwest Missouri senior citizens recently helped set priority bills during the 35th annual session of
the state‘s Silver Haired Legislature in Jefferson City.
The legislature advocates for senior citizen interests throughout Missouri.
Those attending were senators Sharon Ferris of Trenton, Dale Faulkner of Tarkio and Helen Leimbach-Zech of
Plattsburg; and representatives Edwin and Dorothy Allender and Mary Catherine Damm, all of Chillicothe; Dale
and Patricia Midland of Maryville, Martha Rush of Sheridan, John Murphy of Maysville, James Crenshaw of
Lathrop, Claude Brandon of Savannah, Joyce Nixon of St. Joseph, Jennie Vertrees of Princeton and Howard
Trullinger of Eagleville.
Delegates selected the following five issues as priorities to be presented to the 2009 Missouri General
Assembly:
Simplifying access to information for Missourians needing long-term-care services
Increasing meal funds for area agencies on aging
Adding to the asset limits for the Missouri Health Net program
Increasing the personal needs allowance of senior citizen care facility residents on Medicaid
Regulating payday loans.
The delegates debated and voted on 22 separate proposals over the three-day session.
Betterment honored
More than 350 representatives from communities across the state will attend the 45th Missouri Community
Betterment annual conference and banquet Oct. 20 in Jefferson City.
Community volunteers and youths will be recognized for their efforts to promote economic development and
residents‘ quality of life. The program will begin the afternoon before with registration activities.
Northwest Missouri communities entered in this year‘s competition are Allendale, Jameson, Graham, Grant City,
Albany, Cameron and Maryville.
Sgt. Sheldon Lyon of the Missouri State Highway Patrol‘s Troop H will be among the conference‘s speakers.
Fall color tour
The 22nd annual Poosey Conservation Fall Driving Tour is set for Sunday in rural Livingston County.
The tour is held at the Poosey Conservation Area, which comprises 5,142 acres northwest of Chillicothe.
The area will be open to the public to view examples of Missouri Department of Conservation land management
and the display of fall colors. Resource professionals will be available to explain various programs and answer
questions.
The tour runs from noon to 4 p.m. The Poosey Conservation Area is located on Missouri Route A, one mile west
of the Missouri Route W junction. A sign also marks the area on Route A, one mile east of the Missouri Route U
junction.




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Breaking down the electoral toss-up
states
By DAVE HELLING
The Kansas City Star

With about three weeks to go, 34 states and the District of Columbia are considered solidly behind a candidate:
19 for John McCain and 15 plus D.C. for Barack Obama.
The 16 others — with 188 electoral votes — are still considered either toss-ups or just leaning toward one of the
men.
Based on polling averages gathered by Real Clear Politics, here are the states that will decide the election:
TRUE TOSS-UPS
FLORIDA(27 electoral votes): The financial and housing crises have helped Obama‘s campaign here, while
McCain‘s appeals to expatriate Cubans, Jewish voters and military retirees have apparently stalled. Obama also
heavily outspent McCain here in recent weeks. Joe Biden and Sarah Palin visited Florida last week, so the fight
is far from over. Recent polls showed some movement to McCain. Average of recent polls: Obama +3.1; 2004
result: Bush +5.
OHIO(20): McCain‘s decision to abandon Michigan as unreachable may show why the Republican is struggling
here, too. The issues — the economy, jobs — play to Obama‘s strength, particularly around Cleveland and
Cincinnati. Bonus for Obama: a recent court decision allowing voters to register and vote early on the same day,
subject to later verification. Virtually every McCain victory scenario includes carrying Ohio, which George Bush
won twice. Poll average: Obama +3.1; 2004: Bush +2.
NORTH CAROLINA (15): We said last spring that if McCain was forced to defend North Carolina, he would be in
trouble nationwide. We were right, although most still believe McCain will prevail here. Poll average: Obama
+1.8; 2004: Bush +12.
MISSOURI(11): McCain‘s campaign believes he does three to four points better in Missouri than his national
number. If they can tighten the race across the country, they say, he should still win the state. Many still see
Missouri as McCain country, although it‘ll be close. Bye-bye bellwether status? Poll average: McCain +0.4; 2004:
Bush +7.
INDIANA(11): What‘s Indiana doing on this list? Easy: McCain‘s loud opposition to ethanol subsidies, a bad
economy and his criticism of the farm bill have put this traditionally red state in play. Also, neither he nor Palin
has visited in ages. What‘s that about? Like Missouri, Indiana may be a toss-up in name only on Election Day,
because it was the only state in this list that showed a gain for McCain by Friday. Poll average: McCain +3.8;
2004: Bush +21.
COLORADO(9): Both campaigns are fighting tooth and nail here; the four candidates drop in almost hourly. The
fact that Obama remains slightly ahead is not only good news for the Democrat but also suggests the once-solid
Republican West is crumbling. Poll average: Obama +4; 2004: Bush +5.
NEVADA(5): Should be a sure bet for McCain, but isn‘t. The slumping economy could be a disaster for Las
Vegas. Poll average: Obama +3; 2004: Bush +3.
WEST VIRGINIA (5): Appalachia hasn‘t been friendly to Obama, and this state has never budged from McCain‘s
column. Still, the Republican‘s poll margins are slipping here, too, and so it‘s down to a toss-up. Poll average:
McCain +2.2; 2004: Bush +12.9.
NOT TOSS-UPS, BUT HOW SOLID?


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MICHIGAN(17): McCain‘s decision to give up here surprised many Republicans and may have hurt him
nationwide — it reinforced whispers that the nominee‘s message wasn‘t working with so-called Clinton
Democrats. Poll average: Obama +8.2; 2004: Kerry +3.
GEORGIA(15): Just outside the ―solid McCain‖ boundary. After making noises about competing here, Obama
has pulled resources out, leaving it part of the fertile southern ground that McCain doesn‘t have to defend. Poll
average: McCain +7.4; 2004: Bush +16.
VIRGINIA(13): This former toss-up is another sign that McCain is in trouble. Military retirees and downstate
conservatives aren‘t counterbalancing the growing Democrat vote in the D.C. suburbs and northern Virginia,
where Obama is strong. Poll average: Obama +5.1; 2004: Bush +8..
WASHINGTON (11): Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can see this state from Alaska, sort of, so it remains a possible
pickup for the Republican. Barely. Poll average: Obama +8; 2004: Kerry +8.
WISCONSIN(10): McCain reportedly is ―redoubling‖ his efforts to pick off a Kerry state here. Less than 5 percent
of the population is African-American, and working-class voters may see something they like in the Arizona
senator. But it‘s a moving target — toward Obama. It hasn‘t supported a Republican for president since 1984,
and polls show it just a hair short of reaching ―solid‖ blue. Poll average: Obama +8.8; 2004: Kerry +0.4
MINNESOTA(10): A lingering convention bump? Enough to keep McCain within shouting distance, although it‘s
increasingly hard to hear — even though both sides are making TV stations rich with political advertising. Most
are calling Minnesota safe for Obama. Poll average: Obama +8.3; 2004: Kerry +3.5.
NEW MEXICO (5): In a close race, Obama‘s lead here could be crucial. If the race remains unchanged, the
election could be over before New Mexico‘s votes are counted. New surveys show Obama coming on strong
with Hispanics. That might explain his poll average of +7.3;. 2004: Bush +0.7.




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Saturday, October 11, 2008


Hulshof Cutting TV Ads
Will R.G.A. Continue To Deliver?
Kenny Hulshof's campaign for Governor ran less television ads on KY3-TV this past week than it did the week
before, a potential troubling sign of the financial state of his campaign, political insiders tell the KY3 Political
Notebook.
According to KY3 Sales records, Hulshof spent $19,000 on television ads on Springfield's top-rated television
station for this week, beginning Oct. 6th. On the previous week, beginning Sept. 29th, the Hulshof camp spent
$37,000 on KY3. That's almost a 50 percent cut in ad buys in just seven days. For the week of Sept. 22, Hulshof
spent $40,000 on KY3.
For comparison, Jay Nixon's campaign is moving in the opposite direction, incrementally increasing its
advertising week by week. For the week of Sept. 22, Nixon spent $50,000 on KY3. On Sept. 29th, the campaign
jumped to $56,000 worth of ads for the week. The past week, beginning Oct. 6th, Nixon spent $62,000 on KY3.
If you are wondering why you've seen so many more Nixon ads this past week than Hulshof ads, it's because his
campaign bought triple the time Hulshof did.
KY3 General Sales Manager Bryan Cochran said Hulshof's trend is peculiar. "Typically, campaigns ramp up, not
down," he said.
Hulshof campaign spokesperson Scott Baker said the drop in ad purchases "is part of the strategy." "We started
out heavier," Baker said. "We're going to rotate in some additional messages, more than we have previously."
Still, some Republicans contacted by KY3 who asked for anonymity for fear of upsetting members of their party,
said that the trend can mean just one thing: Hulshof has money problems. With competitive races in North
Carolina and Washington, the question will be whether the Republican Governor's Association (R.G.A.) will
continue to pour money into Hulshof's uphill battle against Nixon in Missouri.


Posted by David Catanese –KY3-TV




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Donor to Hulshof effort also gives to Democrats
By JASON ROSENBAUM

Published Saturday, October 11, 2008

Inside a Jefferson City Eagles Club meeting heavy with the odor of cigarette smoke, Attorney General Jay Nixon
railed against a tuition tax credit plan that some Democrats deride as a "voucher" program. And he‘s also
condemned the manner in which a key backer of the plan is doling out campaign contributions.
But one thing the Democratic nominee for governor wouldn‘t do is criticize Democratic candidates who have
taken thousands of dollars from retired businessman Rex Sinquefield.
"You‘re talking about the Democratic Party, not me," Nixon said, after being asked why he has remained
uncritical of Democrats who accept Sinquefield donations. "Next question."
Democrats have sought to insinuate that Republicans who take funds from Sinquefield are selling out their
support for public schools in exchange for campaign cash from a wealthy proponent of school choice.
That was essentially the charge laid out last week when the party suggested Kenny Hulshof, the Ninth
Congressional District representative and Republican nominee for governor, engaged in a quid pro quo for
taking $100,000 from a Sinquefield-based political action committee at about the same time Hulshof proposed
state tax credits for people who fund scholarships for children in underperforming school districts. Hulshof denied
that his views were influenced by the donation.
Proponents see such tax credits as a means of helping to educate children in failing school districts. Opponents
such as Nixon argue the plan is a backdoor voucher that transfers money from public to private schools.
Nixon trumpeted his refusal to take money from Sinquefield earlier in the election cycle. He wrote to the Missouri
Education Roundtable that Sinquefield‘s "pro-voucher agenda undermines our public school system."
But some major Democratic politicians have a different sentiment about Sinquefield‘s donations.
Democratic attorney general nominee Chris Koster, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and state Sen. Victor Callahan,
an Independence Democrat who could be the next Senate minority leader, each have taken thousands from
Sinquefield-linked PACs.
The PACs have made sizeable contributions to the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, an organization
seeking to elect Democrats to state Senate seats. The SDCC received a $50,000 donation from a Sinquefield
PAC late last month and accepted thousands in a prior fundraising quarter.
Sen. Jeff Smith, D-St. Louis, who chairs the SDCC and has taken contributions from Sinquefield in the past, said
the organization "accepts contributions from many people and entities with whom individual senators agree and
from others with whom individual senators disagree."
"With respect to Mr. Sinquefeld and his views on education, some members of our caucus agree with him.
Others do not," Smith said. "We‘ve been pleased to receive broad-based financial support helping us
communicate our party‘s progressive message in key races across the state, and all Democratic senators are
united in our efforts to elect Jay Nixon as our next governor."
In any case, Missouri State University political science Professor George Connor said Democrats are being
disingenuous - if not engaging in outright hypocrisy - by chastising Republicans for taking Sinquefield cash
without reprimanding their own colleagues.
"Is Jay Nixon the spokesperson for the Democratic Party? The answer is no. Is Nixon taking money from this
man? The answer is no. So he is being legally, morally, ethically consistent," Connor said. "But is it still



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hypocritical? I still think the answer is yes. … It‘s at least disingenuous ... to condemn Kenny Hulshof for taking
this money while the Democratic Party across a wide range of statewide and urban offices is taking more money
from the same guy."
Connor also doesn‘t buy a Democratic rebuttal that it looks bad that Hulshof took the Sinquefield cash around
the time he rolled out a tuition tax credit plan.
"The quid pro quo never washes," he said. "It always comes down to, ‗I‘m giving you money to vote for what I
want to vote for‘ or ‗I‘m giving you money because you have supported us in the past‘ - or some combination of
those things. You can never prove it, but that doesn‘t stop candidates from casting aspersions."
INSIDE THE GOLD MINE
The Sinquefield issue has a bit of local resonance. One of the businessman‘s PACs gave state Rep. Ed Robb,
R-Columbia, a $25,000 donation. Robb, a strong supporter of the tuition tax credit proposal, previously accepted
funds from political action committees linked to Sinquefield.
Robb is engaged in a competitive re-election campaign against Democrat Chris Kelly.




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Page, incumbent Kinder clash in testy
campaign
David A. Lieb-The Associated Press

Jefferson City -- For two weeks, Peter Kinder was a Republican candidate for governor. He started lining up
support from donors, businesses and grass-roots organizers.
Then, Kinder abruptly reversed course, deciding to seek re-election as lieutenant governor.
Now, Kinder finds himself the only of Missouri's incumbent executive officeholders facing a Nov. 4 re-election
challenge from a well-financed opponent. His rival: Democratic state Rep. Sam Page, a physician making an
issue of health care coverage.
Kinder and Page have engaged in a testy debate, accusing each other of shielding records from public scrutiny,
slashing health care and twisting the truth. Often, it's been Kinder on the attack -- a somewhat unusual
circumstance for an incumbent.
"I suit up with a chin strap on tight and I come to play," Kinder explained in an interview.
Through 12 years in the state Senate, Kinder earned a reputation as a bulldog. But as a lawmaker and lieutenant
governor, he also has bridged party and regional differences to occasionally work with political opponents.
When Republican Gov. Matt Blunt unexpectedly announced in January that he would not seek re-election,
Kinder was the first to enter the race. But after U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof and Treasurer Sarah Steelman also did
so, Kinder surprised Republicans by announcing he would instead run for a second lieutenant governor's term.
He said he changed course for the good of the party.
A poll released Sept. 22 showed Kinder ahead of Page 51 percent to 35 percent, with 2 percent for others and
12 percent undecided. The telephone poll of 800 likely voters was conducted Sept. 15-18, by Research 2000 for
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and television station KMOV and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5
percentage points.
Page insists his own internal polling shows a much closer race. As of early September, Page trailed Kinder in
cash on hand $926,047 to $644,449 -- a notable gap, but still enough money to mount a formidable campaign.
During the lieutenant governor's campaign, Page has continued to work one day a week as an anesthesiologist.
Page touts his medical background as a chief qualification, because the lieutenant governor serves as the official
advocate for seniors and on a council for veterans -- groups of people who typically have health care concerns.
Although the lieutenant governor has no direct power over the matter, Page says he would advocate to reverse
the Republican-led 2005 Medicaid cuts that reduced or eliminated health care benefits to thousands of low-
income Missourians.
Kinder, as many Republicans, defends the cuts as a budgetary necessity -- though he had no direct role in
making them. Kinder has picked apart Page's voting record to suggest he, too, backed various health care cuts
by supporting amendments that would have taken money from one area and put it in another.
During a recent debate, they also differed on other policy areas.
Page backed a proposed sales tax increase for veterans services; Kinder said he opposed tax increases. Kinder
backed state financial aid benefiting a new St. Louis Cardinals stadium and a potential development that could
include a soccer stadium for the Kansas City Wizards; Page said he opposes subsidies for sports stadiums.
Kinder cites his support for urban economic development projects along with his advocacy for the union-
represented probation and parole workers as evidence that he's willing to work with those who are not typically
allies.



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"This is another example of my risking my career to reach across the ordinary urban-rural divide in our state -- as
an out-stater myself -- to try to say we've got to do something about the blighted inner city," Kinder said.
As lieutenant governor, Kinder has served as acting governor on more than 100 days when Blunt has been gone
-- an experience Kinder says would give him an edge if the lieutenant governor had to permanently take over the
top spot.




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Carnahan well-financed in bid for
second term
Chris Blank--The Associated Press
Jefferson City -- Robin Carnahan was one of the lone bright spots for Democrats in 2004 when she was elected
secretary of state.
Daughter of a former governor and former U.S. senator and the sister of a congressman, she was one of just two
Democrats to win in statewide elections. And now she is looking for a second crack at overseeing Missouri's
elections, regulating investments and handling business filings.
"My first term has been about common sense and results, that's what I want my next term to be about as well,"
Carnahan said.
But Republican challenger Mitch Hubbard, who lives in Fulton and is the manager of a McDonald's, contends
Carnahan hasn't been fair in how she conducts elections -- namely the summaries her office must write for ballot
measures.
The issue of ballot measures and initiative petitions has become increasingly contentious as a larger number of
groups seek to bypass the state legislature and have the voters decide for themselves whether to approve new
laws and constitutional amendments.
Hubbard was in charge of organizing the central part of the state to oppose one such measure in 2006. He
worked for Missourians Against Human Cloning, which opposed a constitutional amendment that guaranteed
embryonic stem cell research legal under federal law also remains legal in Missouri. The measure narrowly
passed.
Hubbard said the secretary of state's office helped supporters by writing a biased summary. A trial court upheld
that but ordered rewrites for 2008 initiatives on stem cell research and affirmative action. An appeals court later
determined that only one word in the 2008 stem cell ballot summary needed to be changed. But neither of the
questioned 2008 measures actually made it to the ballot.
"Carnahan has glaring examples of writing poor ballot language," Hubbard said.
Carnahan said her office has written dozens of ballot summaries since she took office and that most haven't
resulted in problems. She said that Hubbard's complaints about her ballot summaries aren't valid because he
worked to oppose one of the petitions.
"We're in litigation all the time, and quite frankly, both sides are often unhappy," she said.
Carnahan's high-powered family lineage and fundraising prowess helped keep away higher-profile potential
Republican challengers. State campaign finance reports show that through the beginning of September, she had
raised more than 300 times as much money as Hubbard and had far more cash still on hand -- $789,765
compared to Hubbard's $833.
Carnahan also is ahead in the polls. A survey released in late September showed her leading 51 percent to 40
percent with 7 percent undecided.
The telephone poll of 800 likely voters was conducted Sept. 15-18 by Research 2000 for the St. Louis Post-
Dispatch and television station KMOV and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Libertarian Wes Upchurch, of Columbia, and Constitution Party member Denise Neely, of Cedar Hill, also are
running.
The secretary of state is primarily charged with overseeing elections, but also regulates securities, handles
business registration, publishes state regulations, maintains official documents and manages the state library
and archives.
Hubbard and Carnahan have each focused heavily on the election part of the job.



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Koster battles controversy as friend
Gibbons keeps it close
Chris Blank
The Associated Press

Jefferson City -- Democratic attorney general candidate Chris Koster has already faced fundraising ethics
complaints, a primary election recount and even a negative ad funded by his ex-wife. Now, he faces a friend and
former colleague in Republican Michael Gibbons.
Missouri's governor's race may be hogging the political spotlight, but the attorney general's campaign has its
own intrigue through a series of quirky twists and turns.
Until about a year ago, Koster and Gibbons were Republican allies in the Senate. Gibbons, as the chamber's pro
tem, allowed Koster, then a freshman, to handle key bills involving regulation of large animal farms and eminent
domain.
But then Koster abruptly joined the Democratic Party as he officially announced that he would run for attorney
general.
The battle between former colleagues comes in an attorney general's campaign that wasn't exactly lacking for
subplots.
It's already the first attorney general race in 16 years that doesn't have Jay Nixon's name on the ballot, who is
skipping re-election to run for governor. And then there was the Democrats' highly contentious primary, which
didn't even officially end until more than a month after the primary election because the runner-up requested a
recount after losing to Koster by less than 1,000 votes.
During the summer, controversy seemed to follow Koster, the Cass County prosecutor for a decade. He was
dogged by questions about his party loyalty and claims he laundered campaign donations. The state's Ethics
Commission cleared Koster of most of the complaints, though one is pending. He also faced critical TV ads paid
for by a $200,000 donation by his ex-wife.
Gibbons, on the other hand, breezed through unchallenged in the Republican primary.
After a summer of intense political fighting and rough campaigning among Democrats, the attorney general's
race has become far calmer now that it's a bipartisan affair.
A recent poll shows Koster leading slightly, 46 percent to 40 percent, but the survey also found 14 percent were
undecided.




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Candidates share youth, basic platform
Chris Blank
The Associated Press

Jefferson City -- They each are relatively reserved, with a reputation for studiousness and an affinity for fiscal
issues. And no matter who wins the November election, he will be Missouri's youngest state treasurer in more
than a century.
Clint Zweifel and Brad Lager came into state government together, claiming state House seats in 2002 before
either turned 30.
Lager joined a Republican freshman class that helped the GOP seize control of the House. Zweifel knocked off a
Republican incumbent even as the Democrats limped away from a disappointing election that laid a foundation
for what has been four years of Republican dominance in state government.
Since getting to the Capitol, Lager rose to the chairmanship of the powerful House Budget Committee -- only to
have his leadership post stripped away amid disagreement with the House speaker over state spending. A year
later, he jumped to the state Senate.
Zweifel has toiled in the minority of the state House. He's been a frequent critic of majority Republicans and Gov.
Matt Blunt but hasn't been able to get traction on his own policy preferences.
As state treasurer candidates, they have charted remarkably similar positions.
Both called for expanding efforts to ensure public money is not invested in ways that benefit terrorist
organizations. Each said he would encourage Missouri parents to save money for their children's college
education and would increase transparency in state tax incentive programs.
Each supports requiring the full disclosure of people and companies that receive state tax credits, along with
regular reviews of the incentives' effectiveness.
In a recent poll, Lager appeared to have a slight edge.




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Zweifel eyes efficiency
Treasurer candidate intends office to have bigger role
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS -by Alyson E. Raletz
Sunday, October 12, 2008


A Democrat from the eastern part of Missouri is taking on a Savannah Republican for the treasurer‘s seat.
Both are new fathers.
Both are 30-somethings that started their state political careers in the Missouri House of Representatives.
But they both are approaching the office differently. Sen. Brad Lager sees the office through the eyes of fiscal
conservatism. Rep. Clint Zweifel, a Florissant Democrat, said he wants to run a competent office that focuses on
excellence and fiscal restraint, but also sees it as an opportunity for broader leadership.
―I believe in governing from a statewide perspective,‖ he said.
The son of a carpenter and a hair stylist, Mr. Zweifel, 34, grew up in Florissant, Mo., and was the first person in
his family to attend college.
He earned a bachelor‘s degree in political science in 1996 from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
In 1997, he went to work for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in St. Louis as the research and
education work director. He managed retirement planning and 401K for about 10,000 members.
He earned a master‘s degree of business administration from the same university in 2001.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, when he defeated an incumbent Republican.
In 2007, he led the opposition to the student loan asset sale that funded Gov. Matt Blunt‘s Lewis and Clark
Discovery Initiative, a statewide college building plan.
The initiative, which ultimately prevailed, has slotted more than $50 million for the construction of math and
science centers at Missouri Western State University and Northwest Missouri State University.
Now facing a rocky credit crisis, the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority last month for the second time
had to delay payments to universities.
Mr. Zweifel remains an adamant opponent of the sale. As a candidate for treasurer, he continues to call for more
oversight of the MOHELA board.
―No one is suggesting we reverse the legislation that passed,‖ Mr. Zweifel said.
But he stressed the importance of returning MOHELA to its original mission, to provide lower-cost student loans
— ―not build buildings.‖
He criticized Treasurer Sarah Steelman, a Republican, for not standing up against the sale.
If elected, he wants to make the state treasurer a MOHELA board member.
Mr. Zweifel‘s platform that addresses MOHELA underscores differences between him and his opponent.
Mr. Lager has long backed the asset sale that is sending funds to his alma mater. He contends the loan authority
now is exercising sound financial prudence in that it is trying to ride the market out before it sells its assets, but
Mr. Lager doesn‘t oppose additional board oversight, whether it be from the treasurer or someone else.




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A St. Joseph woman who Gov. Matt Blunt appointed to the MOHELA Board of Governors this spring is open to
Mr. Zweifel‘s idea. Jennifer Kneib said the treasurer‘s presence would help give the board an inside track to state
business.
―I definitely think that would enhance our ability to make prudent financial decisions,‖ she said.
Mr. Zweifel said he sees the treasurer‘s role with a much wider scope than Mr. Lager.
―This is an elected office, not an appointed position,‖ Mr. Zweifel said. ―If it‘s an elected position, it‘s important to
bring some values to the office ... Part of leadership is stepping up.‖
Both candidates pledge to make improvements to MOST, the state‘s 529 College Savings Plan.
Mr. Zweifel also wants to use the office‘s weight to help enact Missouri Promise, a plan that would provide
community college graduates with two years of paid tuition and fees to a public state four-year college in
exchange for meeting community service and grade performance requirements.
In addition to college affordability issues, Mr. Zweifel has outlined a list of initiatives to boost the economy.
If elected, he wants to simplify the application process and increase participation in the state‘s linked deposit
program, which provides low-interest loans to certain businesses. He plans on offering families of deployed
National Guard or reserves members below-market-rate loans. He also wants the state to give disabled
Missourians low-interest loans to purchase equipment or construction projects that would help them become
more mobile and self-reliant.
Since the state treasurer serves on the Missouri Housing Development Commission, Mr. Zweifel said he‘d work
to address efficiency and conflict of interest issues identified in a recent audit. He said he‘d like to limit the
influence of developers and would work to cap their campaign contributions to political candidates.
―I think being fiscally smart should sometimes be put way above being fiscally conservative or liberal,‖ Mr.
Zweifel said. ―That‘s how I define myself — fiscally smart.‖




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Missouri unemployment insurance fund headed toward
insolvency
By DIANE STAFFORD
The Kansas City Star
Missouri‘s unemployment insurance fund is being pushed toward insolvency — again — by the wobbling
economy.
The National Employment Law Project has identified Missouri as one of four states — along with Michigan, Ohio
and New York — that face ―immediate trust fund solvency challenges‖ this year.
―At this point, Missouri is not in a good place,‖ said Rick McHugh, an attorney and unemployment insurance
expert at NELP, an organization that studies policy issues and advocates for low-wage and displaced workers.
―The state fund is only going to continue to go down until April,‖ McHugh said. ―With six months to go (before the
next large infusion of tax dollars to plump up the fund), we don‘t think its reserves are adequate.‖
There is a sense of déjà vu in the law project‘s analysis.
Just 18 months ago, Missouri finished repaying $444 million to the federal government for bailing out its
unemployment insurance fund after it became insolvent following the 2001 recession.
State officials emphasize that the unemployment insurance fund — drawn on to pay jobless benefits to workers
— isn‘t empty. As of Wednesday, the trust fund balance was $205.6 million.
―Even our least optimistic projections, which we make in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor, don‘t
indicate insolvency,‖ said Tammy Cavender, a spokeswoman with the Missouri Department of Labor and
Industrial Relations.
State officials also emphasize that jobless benefits, by law, will continue to be paid, even if the fund is drained.
The solvency of the fund is a matter of intense interest in a weak economy. Missouri‘s unemployment rate was
measured at 6.6 percent in August, up from 5.2 percent a year earlier and significantly higher than its 2.6 percent
low point in January 2000.
Given the amount of unemployment benefits paid out by the state in September — nearly $45.4 million — the
fund could be depleted in about 4½ months, due to rising jobless claims and dwindling tax deposits to the fund.
―It‘s pretty much inevitable that the fund will bottom out before April because of the economy,‖ said Herb
Johnson, secretary-treasurer of the Missouri AFL-CIO.
―And that‘s a shame because, for once in Missouri, we‘re in a legislative position to avoid the problems,‖
Johnson said. ―We‘re on the way to building a strong safety net that doesn‘t hurt employers. We‘ve just not had
time to build the trust fund enough to see us much beyond the end of the year.‖
The fund is built up each year by deposits from employers‘ payroll taxes, the bulk of which are paid soon after
the first quarter of the year.
―We know there are some problems (with possible fund insolvency) and we‘re looking at a lot of options,‖ said
Karen Buschmann, vice president-communication at the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Missouri‘s fund has had periodic insolvency problems over the years. The last time the state‘s unemployment
insurance coffers were emptied was in 2003, after a surge in jobless claims following the 2001 recession. The
state unemployment insurance fund also incurred federal debts in 2004 and early 2005.
The Missouri General Assembly passed legislation in 2004 and 2006 to change the taxable wage base on
employers, readjust the funding formula and change benefit rules — all measures that helped plump up the fund.
Currently, 139,392 employers pay into the Missouri fund.
(In Kansas, a different taxing formula has generally allowed that state‘s unemployment insurance fund to stay
solvent through economic slumps.)


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In its analysis of state unemployment insurance funds, NELP compared trust fund balances as a percent of the
total wages paid in the states. The study concluded that a pre-recession reserve ratio of 2 percent was ―wise.‖
Missouri‘s reserve ratio at the end of the second quarter was calculated at 0.25, when it had a fund balance of
about $214 million. By comparison, Kansas had a reserve ratio of 1.44 and a fund balance of more than $662
million.
The healthiest reserve ratios among state funds were in Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Puerto Rico (which is
included in the fund tabulations) — all above 3.0.
In addition to Missouri, the shakiest ratios were 0.02 in Michigan, 0.17 in New York, and 0.26 in Ohio, the NELP
study said.
―To say they don‘t have a problem would be sticking their heads in the sand,‖ McHugh said. ―The recession
we‘re entering at this point is certainly going to be longer and deeper than we might have expected in May.
Unemployment is going to rise, and there are going to be more demands on the fund.‖
Last month, 32,900 workers filed initial claims for unemployment benefits in Missouri. That compares with 21,986
new claims filed in September 2007.
When state jobless accounts are emptied, states borrow from the federal unemployment fund to be able to
continue paying unemployment benefits.
The federal unemployment insurance trust fund had $39.7 billion in it at the end of the second quarter. The
average reserve ratio in the federal fund for the second quarter was 0.81.
States that borrow from the federal account must repay the amount borrowed, with interest, or face penalties.
Missouri successfully avoided paying penalties by meeting previous repayment deadlines.
The NELP study said that in addition to the four states with the most likely insolvency problems, 14 other states
could be forced to borrow from the federal fund if job losses rise or if those states‘ remainder-of-the-year income
from unemployment insurance payroll taxes isn‘t sufficient to cover the increased benefits demand.
Those states were: Arkansas, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin, according to the report.

State of state unemployment insurance funds
Here is a look at the best- and worst-funded state unemployment insurance funds. Figures represent trust fund
balances as a percent of the total wages paid in the states over the previous 12 months, as of the end of June.

Least funded
Michigan       0.02
New York       0.17
Missouri       0.25
Ohio           0.26
Most funded
               3.9
Oregon
               1
               3.7
Washington
               8
               3.3
Puerto Rico
               0
               3.2
Alaska
               4



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Consumer protection ends for phone
customers
By Michael Sorkin
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/10/2008

JoAnn Becker took a day off work to help her 85-year-old mom in the Dutchtown neighborhood of south St. Louis
get Internet service.
Becker says the phone company first confirmed it could serve her mother's home. But after hooking her up, it
said service doesn't reach her side of the street.
That's when Becker demanded a refund, didn't get one, and began looking for a government office to hear her
complaint.
Good luck with that.
What little is left of consumer protection for phone service in Missouri is gone because of a bill overwhelmingly
passed by the Legislature (House Bill 1779) this year and signed into law by Gov. Matt Blunt.
It eliminated most of what's left of price protection for customers at the state's biggest phone companies.
The companies point out that the law creates a cap barring them from raising basic local service rates by more
than $2 per month for four years.
There's no cap on rate increases for all non-basic services, including directory assistance, call-forwarding and
Voice Mail, to name just a few. Industry experts say these account for much of the profits.
This month, AT&T increased rates for some services, including directory assistance (the amounts vary), non-
listed service (to $2.15 per month, an increase of 10 cents) and for non-published service (to $2.87 per month,
an increase of 13 cents).
The amounts of some other rate increases aren't disclosed on AT&T's monthly bills, which advise customers to
call 1-800-288-2020 for more information, the company's filings with state regulators say.
State utilities laws and regulations used to protect consumers. The new law protects the phone companies from
having to comply with most of the state's quality of service, customer billing and engineering and maintenance
regulations.
The companies can file "waivers" to opt out of regulation. Officials at the Missouri Public Service Commission
have no authority under the law to reject the waivers.
"A customer can't file a complaint with us for anything" involving phone company service or billing, Robert
Clayton, one of five PSC commissioners, says of the new law.
Clayton wrote an analysis of the bill and sent it to Blunt. He pointed out that three years ago, another law backed
by the phone companies (Senate Bill 237) exempted phone carriers from state price regulation in most
metropolitan centers, surrounding suburbs and many smaller towns.
Customers in those areas have since been hit with price increases as high as 78 percent, Clayton told the
governor.
The latest legislation completely deregulates the three largest phone carriers, AT&T, Embarq and CenturyTel, in
their service to 2.5 million customers in the state, Clayton added.



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He urged Blunt to veto the bill.
Blunt signed it, and the law went into effect Aug. 28.
In a press release, Blunt says the law protects innovative technologies, such as VOIP, an Internet phone service
by cable companies, which AT&T says it might offer.
Blunt's statement didn't address criticism from consumer advocates. A spokeswoman says Blunt will still
encourage consumers to file any service complaints with the PSC.
At AT&T, spokesman Kerry Hibbs called the new law "progressive" and said it encourages investment,
innovation and competition by phone companies.
Hibbs said customers in some rural areas pay just $7 a month for basic service, a rate he said has remained
unchanged for 20 years. (That's about half the rate AT&T charges for basic service in the St. Louis area.)
"By allowing modest price increases in rural areas, companies will be encouraged to invest in new services
there," Hibbs said.
Sponsors say competition will replace state regulation. If you don't like your phone service, Rep. Edgar G.H.
Emery, R-Lamar, told legislators, find another carrier.
In St. Louis, AT&T competes for wired phone customers primarily with Charter Communications' VOIP service.
But not everyone has cable or access to another phone company, Clayton says.
Many consumers, he predicts, will find they can't "let their fingers do the walking."
At the Missouri Office of the Public Counsel, the state agency that represents consumers, attorney Mike Dandino
says the phone companies suggested the law would bring price wars.
"I'm not seeing any," he said. "Are you?"
He says the law leaves consumers "out on a limb."
That's what Becker found out about service to her mom's home. No federal or state agency regulates Internet
service.
"Who can I complain to who will address this?" she asked.




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Prosecutors criticize Missouri commission’s sentencing
recommendations
By GLENN E. RICE
The Kansas City Star

A Texas man recently sentenced for sodomizing two children crystallizes the frustrations that Platte County
Prosecutor Eric Zahnd and others have about the Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission.
In that case, probation and parole officials used the commission‘s tables and procedures and recommended that
Matthew D. Upchurch, 20, serve a minimum 10-year sentence after being convicted of two counts of first-degree
statutory sodomy of a 3-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl.
However, Platte County Circuit Judge Abe Shafer ignored the recommendation and sentenced Upchurch to 40
years in prison.
―The sentencing commission‘s recommendations are appalling,‖ Zahnd said. ―While the idea of bringing
uniformity to criminal sentences sounds like a good idea, uniformly giving child predators the minimum sentence
is absurd.
―The public should be outraged at these recommended sentences because they are ridiculously low.‖
The Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission was created by the General Assembly to study sentencing
practices, eliminate sentencing disparities and develop recommended sentences for every crime. Its
recommendations are used as a guide but are not binding on judges.
For years, federal judges labored under mandatory sentencing rules. However, after a Supreme Court ruling,
those rules now are only advisory and federal judges now can consider them with a host of other factors.
Zahnd said he is not aware of any effort to abolish the commission, initiate changes or alter any practices or
policies. However, Zahnd is one of a growing number of area prosecutors who are critical of the commission‘s
sentence recommendations because they are viewed as too lenient for some crimes.
―I don‘t know whether it was their goal to reduce the number of inmates in prison. If it was then, they have
succeed,‖ said Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar.
Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael A. Wolff, chairman of the Sentencing Advisory Commission, said that in
the vast majority of cases, judges follow the recommendations. Judges render sentences based on
recommendations offered by probation and parole officers, defense lawyers and prosecutors.
The recommended sentences range from mitigating, or the lowest sentence imposed, to presumptive, which
represents the middle range, to aggravating, which is the maximum.
In 13 percent of the cases, state judges opt to impose harsher penalties than what was recommended. Judges
handed down sentences below the recommendations in only 4 percent of the cases.
In more than half of the sentences imposed on sex crimes, the defendants were sent to prison.
Wolff said that using the recommendations, the prison population in Missouri has recently decreased by 700
inmates. The recidivism rate also has fallen.
―The goal is to figure in the beginning of the process what is the strategy to make sure this person doesn‘t
commit another crime,‖ he said.
Kanatzar said that is not always the case.



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This past summer, a 47-year-old man was convicted of raping and sodomizing an 8-year-old girl. The crime
occurred 12 years ago, but authorities linked Dwayne C. Jones to it through DNA. A test conducted last year
matched Jones‘ genetic material with that found in the girl‘s underwear.
Jones was convicted of snatching the girl off the street near 4300 Mersington Ave., sodomizing and raping her,
then driving her to the 4600 block of Cleveland Avenue, where he forced her out of the car.
Each crime normally carries a life sentence, he said.
Kanatzar said Jones had three previous felony convictions, but those were not taken into account at sentencing.
The judge followed the probation and parole recommendation and ordered Jones to spend 20 years in prison.
―To me, that is ridiculous,‖ Kanatzar said. ―A lot of changes need to be made to this process. The public has no
idea how these reports are being calculated and presented.‖
However, Wolff said that while the recommendations are statistical reports based on what judges throughout
Missouri are doing, the final decision about sentences are made by the judges themselves.
―The system doesn‘t exist to make prosecutors happy, but exist to give sentences that have some relationship in
avoiding recidivism,‖ Wolff said.




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GOP attacking ACORN's voter
registration efforts
By Bill Lambrecht
POST-DISPATCHWASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF
10/11/2008

WASHINGTON — Trailing badly in new-voter registration, Republicans are waging an aggressive campaign in
Missouri and around the country against a group that claims to have added 1.3 million people to voter rolls since
last year.
Republicans are sending out flurries of "vote fraud alerts" aimed at the Association of Community Organizations
for Reform Now (ACORN), which is under scrutiny in a half-dozen states for allegedly submitting phony
registration forms.
On Friday, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis, who teamed up with Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt on a phone call
with reporters, accused Democratic nominee Barack Obama of trying to cover his past associations with ACORN
and said the federal government should suspend payments to the group for voter registration activities.
Justin Hamilton, an Obama spokesman in Missouri, said the Illinois senator has been open about his relationship
with ACORN and he believes that voter registration fraud should be prosecuted.
Hamilton said McCain and Republicans "are doing everything they can to change the subject from the economy
and to do that, they're attempting to throw the kitchen sink at Obama in terms of false, negative and misleading
attacks."
Republicans are contending with a tide of new registration across the country — roughly 9 million people, many
of them minority, low-income and young voters likely to favor Obama.
As of Oct. 4, Missouri had registered about 225,000 new voters, said Laura Egerdal, an elections spokeswoman.
ACORN says that its representatives had turned in 53,500 forms, most from the St. Louis region.
In the 2006 election, ACORN submitted more than 5,000 fraudulent registration cards in St. Louis that led to
indictments.
But this year, the group has caused no such problems, according to Republican city elections director Scott
Leiendecker. ACORN finished its efforts in St. Louis about three months ago, he said. So far, he said,
"Everything's been on the up and up."




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Carnahan statement on ACORN registration mess
JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan released a statement this morning on the
voter registration issues reported this week in Jackson County.
Here's what she said:
I want to commend the efforts of the Jackson County Board of Election in identifying questionable voter
registration applications. Due to the diligent efforts of the staff in Jackson County, these applications were
identified before they were placed on the voter rolls.
All voter registration applications submitted in Missouri undergo a verification process. This process works;
voters in Missouri should feel confident that elections are secure and run fairly. My office has been in contact
with Jackson County election officials and recommended that the questionable applications be forwarded to the
Jackson County Prosecutor and the United States Attorney.
Anyone who knowingly submits a falsified voter registration application should be prosecuted to the fullest extent
of the law. I will continue to work closely with Local Election Officials around the state to ensure any issues with
voter registration applications are caught early and that anyone attempting to undermine the system is punished.
Carnahan, a Democrat, is up for reelection this year. Her Republican opponent is Mitchell Hubbard, of Fulton.
Submitted by Jason Noble KC STAR PRIME BUZZ BLOG




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Ninety percent of eligible county voters
registered
Saturday, October 11, 2008
By Rudi Keller
Southeast Missourian

There are 51,102 names on the Cape Girardeau County voter rolls and more postcard registrations to be
processed, but election officials said they aren't seeing any of the issues that have raised concerns and caused
fraud investigations to be launched in Kansas City, Mo., and other locations around the country.
By midday Friday, said Sherri Lomedico, voter registration clerk in the Cape Girardeau County clerk's office, the
job of entering the names had caught up with the registration cards received in the mail Wednesday. She said
she still had a 10-inch-high stack of cards in the Jackson office and another 10-inch-high stack in the Cape
Girardeau office.
The voter rolls include 5,300 names of voters considered inactive — people who have missed at least one
federal election but who are still on the rolls as required by federal law.
The number on the rolls represents about 90 percent of the 56,000 Cape Girardeau County residents age 18
and older, a number based on the U.S. Census Bureau 2006 population estimates for the county.
Keeping duplicate registrations under control when people move from place to place has been made much
easier by the Missouri Centralized Voter Registration database, Lomedico said. When a new name is entered
into the county's computer, it is checked instantly against all the other counties of the state. When a match is
found based on name and other distinct identifying information such as the last four digits of a Social Security
number, a driver's license number or a birth date, the registration is removed from the county where the person
lived previously, she said.
"It happens right away," Lomedico said. "It is taken from them to ours so they are not on their rolls any more at
all."
In the latest investigation of voter registration problems in the Kansas City area, the verification process worked
as intended and the problem applications were identified before they were entered into the database, Secretary
of State Robin Carnahan said in a news release.
Along with checking the name against current registrations, the voter database incorporates other databases to
see if the name matches actual distinct identifiers, said Lara Egerdal, spokeswoman for Carnahan. "It flags you,
and rather than putting that registration in the system it calls you a pending incomplete. If you want to get on the
rolls on Election Day we need some confirmable information."
The state also has reciprocal agreements with eight other nearby states to cross-check voter registrations so
voters moving across state lines are registered in a single location, Egerdal said.
Keeping voter rolls clean also requires regular removal of names of people who have moved from a jurisdiction.
In Bollinger County, the voter rolls were decreased from 9,154 names to 7,875 from 2004 to 2006. When that
action was reported earlier this week in the Southeast Missourian, Clerk Diane Holzum said it generated a large
number of calls from outside her county questioning the action.
This year, Bollinger County has 8,312 names on the voter rolls, including 270 inactive voters.
Federal law sets strict standards for who can and cannot be removed from the registration rolls, Holzum said.
The rules include placing the voter's name on an inactive list after they miss a federal election, which takes place


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in November of even-numbered years. The voter must miss two more federal elections and not respond to
attempts to notify them for verification of their address before they can be removed.
Holzum said she has conformed to federal law and works hard to keep voter registration lists accurate and full. "I
feel, like any election official, that that is what I am here for," she said. "My only goal is to ensure it is accurate. I
am not here to keep people from voting."
The state database is part of attempts to comply with federal law and Carnahan's office helps local election
authorities understand when they can and can't remove names from the registration rolls, Egerdal said. "One of
the things we want to do is have clean voter rolls," she said. "Federal law, which all election authorities follow,
tells local election authorities what they must do before removing names."




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Biden unloads in Mid-Missouri
Obama partner attacks McCain.
By T.J. GREANEY of the Tribune’s staff

Published Friday, October 10, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY - Under an arched wooden pavilion in Memorial Park that looked like the bottom of a ship,
Sen. Joe Biden gave Republican candidate Sen. John McCain the verbal equivalent of a keelhaul.
In some of the harshest attacks launched on the campaign trail to date, Biden blasted McCain for being
deceptive, erratic and using political stunts to jump-start his failing campaign.
He even noted that McCain was unable to look his opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, in the eye during recent
debates while criticizing him.
"In my neighborhood, if you want to say something about me, look me in the eye and say it to me," Biden said in
a bellowing voice before the raucous crowd of about 1,400. "Straight up. That‘s the code. That‘s the ethics. Say it
to me."
The attacks didn‘t stop there. Biden also laid into McCain as somebody who is "angry and lurches from one
position to the next" and who "hasn‘t had a good idea" since his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was a
grade-schooler.
Biden said most troubling to voters should be the scattershot way McCain responded to the economic meltdown.
He noted that at 9 a.m. Sept. 15, as the economy was tanking, McCain repeated his assertion that the
"fundamentals of the economy are strong." Only two hours later did McCain call it an economic crisis. That, said
Biden, is what "we Catholics call an epiphany."
"In those two hours, what happened?" asked Biden. ... Folks, the problem with John‘s epiphany is not that he
saw the light, it‘s that he saw the presidency receding from his grasp."
Biden also laid out his ticket‘s detailed plans to provide a middle-class tax cut, increase the availability of health
care, update the nation‘s infrastructure and make college affordable. He was joined on stage by Rep. Ike
Skelton, D-Lexington, and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.
Many in the crowd said they have personally been affected by the market meltdown and came looking for
answers. Charmaine and Bruce Owens of Jefferson City said they‘ve been angry as they watched money drain
out of their 401(k) and have a close friend who lost $40,000 from his account in recent weeks.
"They‘re not going to maybe have Social Security, and they‘re not going to have their 401(k) because these
people have robbed it blind," Charmaine Owens said. "I think those guys that did that on Wall Street should be in
jail. Those guys have legally stolen from us."
Cathy Thomas of Jefferson City was one of the very few undecided voters at the event. She said she‘s scared
Obama and Biden are offering socialized health care, but she says she has been driven closer to voting for the
ticket because of the economy.
"I actually quit putting money into my" 401(k), "and my company even matches it. But it‘s too risky," she said. "I
can save the money on my own terms and use it to put food on the table when food gets too expensive."
Thomas, who brought her 6-year-old daughter, Alex, to the event, said she‘s leaning heavily toward the
Democrats after hearing the speech. "I‘m still torn, but he makes it a little more believable," she said. "He knows
more, and we need people who know more in the White House."



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Outside the event, about a dozen protesters from the Central Missouri Young Republicans club brandished signs
and asked passing motorists to honk.
Chelsea Mantagliati, 20, a University of Missouri student, was dressed as "Lady Liberty." Another member of the
group was dressed as Uncle Sam.
"We‘re here because Biden says paying more taxes is patriotic. Uncle Sam and I are here to show him that, no,
this is patriotic," Mantagliati said, gesturing to her clothing.
The Republican group was angry it was barred from protesting inside the park, but members said they received
an enthusiastic response from passing motorists.
"The honk-to-not-honk ratio has been pretty decent," said Matt Willis, president of the group.




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Watch out for Obama, Danforth warns in Columbia
By JANESE HEAVIN of the Tribune’s staff

Published Friday, October 10, 2008

Former U.S. Sen. Jack Danforth called for a return to fundamental Republican values during a fundraising event
in Columbia last night, where he praised two local candidates for embodying those old-fashioned principles.
After endorsing 24th District Rep. Ed Robb, R-Columbia, and Kurt Schaefer, who is challenging Sen. Chuck
Graham in the 19th District, Danforth urged the party faithful to encourage one another. This year is "just awful to
be running as a Republican," Danforth said. Citing President George W. Bush‘s unpopularity and the economy,
he said. "It‘s a perfect storm against Republicans."
Both Robb and Schaefer said they embrace what Danforth called basic Republican principles: low taxes and
less government interference. "Events like this articulate what many of us in the Republican Party really believe
in," Robb said. "Way too many Republicans are off-base on many of these issues. ... We need Kurt on" the
Senate "side; I‘ll take care of stuff on the House side."
And Schaefer credited Danforth‘s 2006 book "Faith and Politics" for his decision to seek public office.
But many of the roughly 150 guests gathered at the Tiger Hotel were more interested in Danforth‘s opinions on
the presidential race. Danforth said he‘d advise John McCain to better outline what separates him from
Democratic candidate Barack Obama. "Obama‘s slogan is change, and I take him at his word," Danforth said.
"It‘s important to understand what he means by change. Change can be for the better, but change can also be
for the worse. This is not minor stuff. This is not a slogan; it is much more than that."
Mainly, Danforth questions Obama‘s economic promises, international trade policies and how he plans to
combat the risk of leaving Iraq too quickly. "If we want to move that far to the left, let‘s do it with our eyes open,"
Danforth said.
The moderate Republican told the Tribune that McCain‘s running mate, Sarah Palin, is qualified enough for the
post she‘s seeking. "I don‘t think you can expect the governor of Alaska to have the same depth of experience as
someone who has been in the Senate since she was in second grade," he said, referring to Democratic vice
presidential candidate Joe Biden. "But she‘s a quick study. It wouldn‘t take her long to get up to speed."
To the audience, Danforth said there aren‘t enough women involved in Republican politics. His daughter, Mary
Stillman, is beginning an effort in Missouri to try to better engage and recruit women. Stillman said she hopes
Palin‘s experience helps, but she‘s also concerned it might not.
"Whether you agree with Sarah Palin or disagree, I still think she is an inspiration," Stillman said. "She wasn‘t
groomed to be a politician; she‘s a regular person with charisma and a family and, obviously, is bright. To me,
that‘s a message: If you‘re interested in it, you can do it." Stillman said she hopes other women aren‘t scared off
by the scrutiny Palin is under. The jokes and judgment, she said, "could have that effect."
Regardless of who wins Nov. 4, Danforth said he hopes the victory is clear. He‘s co-chairing an effort for the
McCain campaign to expose voter registration fraud. He‘s afraid a close race would lead to accusations of fraud
from both sides. "No election is perfect," Danforth said, but this year, a close election would be "a nightmare."




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Absentee ballot mailing looks official, but
contains a Dem promotion; GOP cries foul
By Dale Singer, Beacon staff
Last Updated ( Friday, 10 October 2008 )
Updated 2:15 p.m., Fri., Oct. 10 St. Louis residents who opened what looked like a mailing from the Board of
Election Commissioners probably were surprised that their application for an absentee ballot had a blatant
political message on top -- Vote for Jay Nixon for governor.
The applications were mailed by the St. Louis Democratic Campaign Committee, along with a return envelope
addressed to the Board of Election Commissioners at 300 N. Tucker. But the outside envelope bore the name of
the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners and its address, making it appear that the mailing was more
official and less political than it really was.
In smaller type than the rest of the notice, the flyer says "PAID FOR BY THE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN
COMMITTEE OF ST. LOUIS CITY, JOE KEAVENY, TREASURER." It also says: "If you have already requested
an absentee ballot for this election, please disregard this notice."
Republicans are crying foul and asking whether the mailing could be considered criminal; Democrats say it was
all a printing mistake. They say the printer put the Election Board return address on the outside envelope.
Having absentee ballot applications mailed out by one party or the other is fine, according to Ryan Hobart, a
spokesman for the elections division of the Missouri secretary of state.
"There's nothing that makes this illegal," he said. "We've seen letters from the McCain campaign that do the
same thing."
What makes this mailing problematic was the appearance that it was coming from the city's Election Board, said
Scott Leiendecker, Republican director of elections for the city.
"I didn't think there was an issue until I actually saw it," he said Friday morning.
"Campaigns do this all the time, sending out applications, and I don't see a problem with it. But I do see a
problem when they use our address on the information they send out."
In a statement released Friday, the Election Board said:
"Although a disclaimer appears in much smaller type that the mailing was paid for by the Democratic Campaign
Committee of St. Louis City, the unmistakable impression is that the absentee ballot application came from the
St. Louis City Election Board and that the Election Board is endorsing Jay Nixon. Understandably, the Election
Board is receiving numerous inquiries from confused and angry voters demanding to know why they received
such a mailing and why the Election Board is endorsing the Democratic Party candidate for Governor.
"Voters in the City of St. Louis should be assured that this mailing did NOT come from the Election Board and
the Election Board does NOT endorse any candidate for any office. Nor does the Election Board mail to any
voter an unsolicited absentee ballot application. Applications are only mailed to those voters who request them."
Leiendecker said the mailings may be illegal, citing election law that says: "Any person who knowingly makes,
delivers or mails a fraudulent absentee ballot application shall be guilty of a class one election offense,"
Leiendecker said the mailings may also be illegal.
He said copies of the mailing have been sent to the U.S. attorney's office to see if a federal offense may have
been committed because the mails are involved.


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But Brian Wahby, head of the city Democratic Central Party, says the whole episode is simply a printing error.
He said that because the return envelope included with the absentee ballot application was addressed to the city
Election Board, the printer that handled the mailing thought the same address should be used as the return
address on the outside envelope as well.
"The printer did it without anybody knowing," he said. "They are fully culpable and apologetic."
The printer acknowledges that the confusion started at the mail house. "We printed the return address of the
Board of Elections on the envelope that voters received," said printer Jeromy Fritz. "The city Democratic Party
did not authorize the printing of that address on the envelope. The reply envelope enclosed, which also included
their address, was to be sent to the Board of Elections. There were some errors in printing and processing, and
we apologize for any confusion with the Board of Elections."




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City Democrats make mistake on ballot
mailing
By Jo Mannies
POST-DISPATCHPOLITICAL CORRESPONDENT
10/11/2008

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Democratic Central Committee this week mailed absentee ballots and a political
advertisement for gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon to about 10,000 city voters.
But the envelope that voters received carried a return address of the bipartisan city Election Board — making it
appear the board was taking sides in the governor's race.
The envelopes were supposed to have had the Democratic committee's address on them, said city Democratic
Party Chairman Brian Wahby. He said he was "as sorry as can be" over the mix-up and blamed the error on an
outside printing company, which has taken responsibility.
Republican elections director Scott Leiendecker said he got complaints Friday from "hundreds of voters" who
thought the board was favoring a candidate. Leiendecker said he accepted the party's apology but was still
concerned about the false impression. He wants Democrats to send out another mailing to clarify the situation.
A spokeswoman for the Missouri secretary of state's office said no laws were broken. The mailer's contents
complied with state requirements, she said.
Wahby said the error occurred at the party's printing firm, St. Louis Pre-Sort Inc., which produced the envelope
and the material inside, and sent it out. About 10,000 were sent citywide, he said.
City Democratic activists had checked out the material placed inside the envelope, Wahby said. Because the
printing firm had done work for the city Democratic Party before, Wahby said it was assumed that the outside
envelope would have the usual return address — the party's post office box.
St. Louis Pre-Sort owner Jeromy Fritz took responsibility.
"The city Democratic Party did not authorize the printing of that address on the envelope,'' Fritz said. "There
were some errors in printing and processing, and we apologize for any confusion with the Board of Elections."
Wahby said the party was planning to send out some sort of mailer — Leiendecker suggested a postcard —
apologizing for the mix-up.
Wahby emphasized that political parties and campaigns are allowed to send out absentee ballots, and both
parties have done so in the past.
"The mailing of absentee ballot applications to voters is a standard mailer that we have done in the past," he
said. "The Republican Party has also done this for years and has also sent a similar mail piece advocating for
John McCain this year as well."
However, the recent GOP mailers had the correct return address.




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Mo. candidates for governor agree,
disagree on higher ed
By Tony Messenger
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/12/2008

JEFFERSON CITY — Call it the Missouri Promise vs. the Missouri Dream.
Those are the names gubernatorial candidates Jay Nixon and Kenny Hulshof give to their plans to increase
spending on higher education in Missouri.
Whether it's Democrat Nixon's promise or Republican Hulshof's dream, university administrators hope to be
calling it the same thing come January: more money.
While they have different ways of getting there, Hulshof and Nixon agree more money is needed. Both
candidates lament the state's low ranking — 47th in the nation — in per-capita spending on colleges and
universities.
"I believe we have been seriously under-funding higher education," Hulshof said earlier this year at a campaign
stop in Jefferson City. Nixon has echoed the sentiment.
That's good news to Steve Knorr, vice president for governmental affairs at the University of Missouri, where
both candidates attended college.
"We are extremely pleased that both candidates have made higher education a high priority," Knorr said. "We
think they understand that we can play a larger role in the state, particularly in economic development."
It may help higher education's cause that over the past couple of years, the state's colleges and universities
have become more united. Historically, colleges and universities in Missouri have been fractured, fighting for
their own piece of the budget pie, often breaking into regional camps.
But last year, all of the state's two- and four-year schools united in pushing for a higher education spending plan
called Prepare to Care. It didn't pass, but in September, the Council on Public Higher Education sent letters to
Hulshof and Nixon urging the candidates to commit to higher, more consistent funding for the state's public
colleges and universities.
Last month, the state's Coordinating Board for Higher Education said it would ask lawmakers next year for a 7.4
percent increase in funding, quite a bit more than the two previous years' funding increases of 4.2 percent and
4.4 percent.
That request is in line with what Hulshof is proposing, though not for next year.
The principal element of Hulshof's plan is to implement a formula of inflation plus 2 percent. Lawmakers and
university leaders have been studying the idea for the past year.
Hulshof says that next year, if he's governor, he'll continue with Gov. Matt Blunt's three-year plan of increases in
funding in the 4 percent range, and his formula, if approved by the Legislature, would kick in the following year.
Nixon hasn't outlined a specific plan to increase across-the-board funding, though he say's he'll do so if the
budget allows.
The hallmark of his higher education proposal is an expansion of the state's A-Plus program. The program
currently qualifies students of certain eligible high schools in Missouri to earn two years' tuition at a community



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college by maintaining a high grade-point average, performing community service and meeting standards such
as high attendance and staying off of drugs.
Nixon would make all high school students in the state eligible, and he would allow students who continue to
meet the high standards through two years of community college to earn free tuition to finish their education at a
four-year college.
Nixon would apply the expanded A-Plus program to families that make $80,000 or less a year. "Our plan puts
students on a pathway to a debt-free four-year education," he said.
Hulshof has criticized Nixon's plan on being too focused on community colleges. But one element of Hulshof's
higher education proposal leans heavily on the two-year community and technical schools, also.
Hulshof refers to "workforce development" and talks about using community colleges to offer training to
companies that might relocate to the state. And Nixon talks about investing in the state's "human capital."
But differences between the candidates remain. Hulshof, for example, has praised Blunt's plan to sell assets of
the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority to fund new buildings and repair others on the state's college
campuses.
Nixon opposed the Blunt plan from the start, saying MOHELA funds exist to help make college more affordable
for Missouri students and should not be raided.
Nixon warned that the plan would put MOHELA in a bad financial situation. Indeed, the state-chartered
organization has fallen behind in its payments to support Blunt's plan.
Nixon would not commit when asked if he would try to undo the MOHELA plan, but he said he would propose
regular capital improvements as part of the yearly budgeting process.
Hulshof also wants to increase the amount of state money that goes into the Access Missouri scholarships.
Nixon would not.
The pool of money available for the need-based scholarships increased to $100 million under Blunt, but some
criticized the program because some of the money goes to students who attend private schools.




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Koster focuses on prosecutor
background in new ad
By Tony Messenger


Democrat Chris Koster is following his successful primary strategy with his first ad in the general election in his
race against Republican Michael Gibbons for attorney general.

The ad focuses on his background as a prosecutor, and is heavy on law and order images, showing Koster‘s
name on a badge and showing him in the courtroom. It‘s a very similar ad to the one he kicked off the primary
with, but he‘s also taken advantage of the economic crisis by thowing in key phrases such as ―corporate greed.‖

One word, however, never is mentioned in the ad. Democrat.




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Candidates and pop culture: Their turn
to vote
By Diane Toroian Keaggy
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/12/2008


The votes are in, and the winner is … David McCullough. Like flag pins and war chests, an unceasing admiration
for the "Truman" biographer seems to be a must-have for Missouri political candidates. More than half of those
we interviewed listed him among their favorite authors. Other essentials include a library of country music and a
DVR loaded with "Law & Order."
Those are just a few tidbits we found in an informal survey of the candidates' tastes in books, music, television
and film.
Though no candidate shares Sen. John McCain's passion for ABBA, Democrat Jay Nixon and the Republican
presidential nominee could probably spend hours talking about "Seinfeld" at their favorite coffee shop.
Both Sen. Barack Obama and Chris Koster, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, call "The Godfather"
the greatest movie. Both Obama and Republican Kenny Hulshof have Sheryl Crow on their iPods.
Candidates also agree that culture must wait until after the campaign.
"My movie intake is the great casualty of the campaign — and golf," Koster said.
GOVERNOR
U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R)
Author: John Grisham
"I've read every one of his books. He was a third-year law student at Ole Miss when I was a first-year. We played
softball against one another. We were both shortstops."
Music: Classic rock
"I probably shouldn't single out one station, but I cut my teeth on KSHE. That's my generation — The Who, the
Rolling Stones. But somehow along the way, I got into blues music. I would say my wife and I have been to the
last 20 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festivals. The food is awesome, and you get to sample so many kinds of
music."
Movie: "The Natural"
TV: "M*A*S*H"

Attorney General Jay Nixon (D)
Book: "Undaunted Courage" by Stephen Ambrose
"The second book from Jhumpa Lahiri ('The Namesake'), who won the Pulitzer Prize, is on my list to read after
the campaign is over."
Musicians: Randy Travis and Bruce Springsteen
Movie: "A River Runs Through It"




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"It has a place in my heart. I watched it on Election Day 1992 before the returns came in. It's a great book, too."
TV: "Seinfeld"


LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R)
Author: History writer Paul Johnson
"I also enjoy books about (Winston) Churchill. Churchill is just an endless source of fascination and humor."
Musician: Emmylou Harris
"I've got Sirius Radio now; you've got the array of stations, the bluegrass station, the jazz channel. I'm also a big
country fan — Rosanne Cash, Dwight Yoakam, George Strait."
Movie: "Patton"
TV: The History Channel

State Rep. Sam Page (D)
Books: "Truman" and "1776" by David McCullough
Musician: Johnny Cash
"I don't have an iPod. I look forward to learning that new technology once the campaign ends."
Movie: "Casablanca"
TV: "Scrubs"
"My wife and I are both doctors, and we get a big kick out of that show and how it portrays medical students
making that transition. I also like 'Dancing with the Stars.' My wife (former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader
Jennifer Page) probably would love to be on that show. I would be scared to death."

SECRETARY OF STATE
Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D)
Book: "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin and "Eat, Pray,
Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert
Musicians: Talking Heads
Movies: Anything by Hitchcock
"I'm not a big shoot-em-up, car-chase person. My husband and I have very different tastes. Invariably we'll pick a
movie and I'll be like, 'You've got to be kidding me.' We go and complain at each other — isn't that what couples
do?"
TV: "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report"
"Those shows make you laugh no matter how bad the news."

Mitch Hubbard (R)
Book: The Bible



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Musicians: The Newsboys and Mercy Me
Movie: "Facing the Giants"
TV: "The Andy Griffith Show"
Hubbard was unavailable for comment but did submit a list of favorites.

TREASURER
State Sen. Brad Lager (R)
Book: "Good to Great" by Jim Collins
Musicians: Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks
Movies: The Bourne series
"I watched all three in one weekend. I'm not a guy who likes slow movies. There's got to be a fair amount of
action."
TV: "24" and "The Unit"
"TiVo changes your world. I'm a guy who wraps up my day around midnight, so it's great to unwind with an
episode of '24.' "

State Rep. Clint Zweifel (D)
Book: "1776" by David McCullough
"My favorite thing to do is to take a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and take my time reading the New York
Times and the Post-Dispatch."
Musicians: Bruce Springsteen and Wilco
"I don't get to do to a lot of shows because I'm not super-disciplined about getting tickets but I did get tickets for
Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello because I donated money to Channel 9. That was a great show."
Movie: "Almost Famous"
"My wife has control of the Netflix account, but she knows what I like. But right now in my house we're watching
a lot of 'Shrek.' " (Zweifel has two daughters.)
TV: "The Office"

ATTORNEY GENERAL
State Sen. Mike Gibbons (R)
Book "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Musician: Toby Keith
"I've always enjoyed the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Ted Nugent. I recently saw the Eagles — for a bunch of old
guys they were really good."
Movie: "The Man From Snowy River"
"Some Adam Sandler stuff is pretty funny. I love slapstick; I used to watch 'The Three Stooges' all of the time,
though I haven't seen them much in the past 20 years" — not coincidently the number of years Gibbons has
been married.


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TV: "Law & Order"

State Sen. Chris Koster (D)
Books: "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand or "The Razor's Edge" by Somerset Maugham
"My dad was writer for the old Globe Democrat, so we had a house full of books. In fact there was little room for
people."
Musician: Bruce Springsteen
"Bruce Springsteen was always the mainstay of my youth, but I also like Led Zeppelin. As far as the music of
today goes, I like Green Day. But as much as I love Bruce Springsteen, the best since concert I've ever seen is
U2's Achtung Baby show."
Movie: "The Godfather"
TV: "Charlie Rose"




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Energy issue to go to Missouri voters
By Kim McGuire
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/12/2008

Editor's note: This story is one in a series about constitutional amendments and propositions that
Missouri voters will decide on Nov. 4.
During the most recent presidential debate, both candidates repeated their desire to increase the use of
renewable energy and wean the nation off foreign oil.
On Election Day, voters will get to have a say about the use of renewable energy right here in Missouri — a state
that currently gets 80 percent of its electricity from coal.
Proposition C is a ballot initiative that seeks to establish a mandatory renewable energy requirement for three
investor-owned utilities — AmerenUE, Kansas City Power and Light, and Empire District Electric — to acquire 15
percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2021.
The initiative defines renewable energy as electricity produced by wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas, small-scale
hydropower projects and hydrogen fuel cells.
It does not include nuclear power.
Supporters say that not only will the initiative result in better air quality, it will help reduce dependence on foreign
oil.
"This is going to set a standard," said Tony Wyche, a spokesman for Missourians for Cleaner Cheaper Energy,
Proposition C's supporters. "Missouri is going to join 26 other states with a renewable energy standard. We're
going to give people a say about where they get their energy from."
So far, there appears to be no public opposition to the initiative — even from the utilities it affects. In fact, Kansas
City Power and Light has come out in favor of the initiative.
Each of the utilities named in the ballot initiative currently sells electricity produced from renewable sources.
Kansas City Power and Light has a 100 megawatt wind farm, while Empire and Ameren sell renewable energy
certificates, or green tags, which subsidize the development of clean energy projects.
Warren Wood, director of the Missouri Energy Development Association, the utilities' lobbying arm, said his
members were officially taking a neutral stance on the issue.
Each of the utilities is committed to expanding its renewable energy portfolio, Wood said, but has concerns about
some of Proposition C's deadlines.
"Make no mistake, when customers call these utilities they're asking about rates. Not whether it comes from a
renewable source," Wood said.
To assuage concerns about rate hikes, Proposition C's sponsors have included an annual 1 percent cap on any
rate increases.
A 2007 Department of Energy analysis of utility rates in states that have adopted renewable energy standards
found that ratepayers have experienced minimal increases. That study found that, on average, state standards
resulted in a monthly bill increase of 38 cents.
Proposition C backers paid for a study conducted by Martin Cohen, the former director of the Illinois Citizens
Utility Board. That study predicted that over a period of 20 years, an average utility bill of $80 a month would see
a peak increase of 53 cents a month during the first four years the standard was in place. Over the course of 20
years, that homeowner would see a peak savings of $1.65.


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Illinois' renewable energy standard went into effect this year. It mandates that the state's two investor-owned
utilities, including Ameren, get 10 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2015 and 25 percent by
2025.
Since the legislation was passed establishing the standard, the state has seen an influx of green jobs, said Barry
Matchett, co-legislative director for the Environment Law and Policy Center in Chicago.
"Three years ago there was one wind company in Illinois, and today there are seven," Matchett said. "Each of
them provides 100 to 300 good jobs at their headquarters. That's not to mention the field jobs."
Missouri took a baby step last year toward adopting a renewable energy standard when legislators approved
Senate Bill 54. That law asks utilities to voluntarily get 11 percent of their energy from renewable sources by
2020.
Supporters say establishing a mandatory renewable energy standard is a prudent thing to do in advance of the
country's adopting a national climate change policy.
And the utilities don't necessarily disagree, predicting that the cost of coal could rise in the future.
"Everyone is anticipating some kind of national legislation that says there's a penalty on carbon," Wood said.
"Everyone has renewable energy in their long-term plans."




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Amtrak ridership up in Missouri, but
delays persist
By Elisa Crouch
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
10/11/2008


KIRKWOOD — Amtrak ridership in Missouri rose 30 percent over last year, according to figures released Friday,
but delays still plague passenger train service between St. Louis and Kansas City.
Area legislators told more than 25 riders who gathered Friday at the Kirkwood train station that the state and
federal governments are working to reduce delays by spending $8.3 million on track improvements west of
Jefferson City.
"Before we spend another trillion dollars on roads, this is an alternative we have to go after," said state Rep.
Charles Schlottach, R-Owensville. vice chairman of the House Transportation Committee.
Most of Amtrak's delays in Missouri are caused by the track-sharing arrangement it has with freight trains.
Amtrak uses a double track between St. Louis and Jefferson City.
But west of Jefferson City, there is only a single track, and Amtrak must share it with 50 to 60 freight trains daily.
The state is working with Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the track, to lengthen two sidings near Strasburg,
Mo., and California, Mo. — bottlenecks where Amtrak and freight trains meet regularly.
The $5 million from the state and $3.3 from the federal government will extend these sidings so they'll be long
enough to hold freight trains. The lanes currently aren't long enough to hold freight trains, which is why Amtrak
must pull over every time it meets a freight train.
The work will be done next year, said Schlottach and Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood. The reduction in delays
should be felt immediately. Amtrak operates two daily round trips between St. Louis and Kansas City.
Ridership for the year ending Sept. 30 was 151,690 passengers, according to Amtrak. But during that time, only
20 percent of those trips have arrived on time.
"Anything that helps to break that logjam is a great value," said Eagle Quint of Ballwin, a regular on Amtrak since
1971.
As for the new downtown Amtrak station, the completion date has been pushed back yet again, by a month, to
November. Marc Magliari, Amtrak spokesman, said three more tracks and a platform must be built at the station
before trains can use it.




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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor

Limbaugh's legacy
SEMISSOURIAN -Saturday, October 11, 2008

The brilliant autumn weather that has graced Southeast Missouri recently helped make the dedication of the
Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. U.S. Courthouse in Cape Girardeau a stunning affair. Several hundred invited
guests gathered to listen to members of the Limbaugh family and local, state and federal dignitaries as they
officially opened the courthouse. They were joined by visitors who toured the building.
The dedication rightly focused on the legal legacy of the building's namesake. Rush Hudson Limbaugh Sr. was a
distinguished lawyer. And he was what we call, in this fast-paced, helter-skelter age, a "gentleman." The
dictionary definition of "gentleman" that comes closest to describing Limbaugh is this: "a courteous, gracious
man with a strong sense of honor." Anyone who ever knew Limbaugh regarded him truly as a gentleman in
every sense. They also were amazed, even after the nation's oldest practicing lawyer lost his eyesight and
needed assistance getting around in public, at Limbaugh's memory, which held entire or long parts of speeches
and historic documents. Members of the Rotary Club of Cape Girardeau, known for its rousing singing at each
meeting, were chagrined by the 100-plus-year-old Limbaugh's strong voice and his ability to sing all the songs
from memory.
Now that the courthouse is being used, it was good to learn that the grandson of the man for whom the
courthouse is named will become the first U.S. district judge to be based primarily in Cape Girardeau. Stephen
Limbaugh Jr., who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate earlier this year to the federal bench, resides here and will
hear many of the cases at the new courthouse. Before his appointment by President Bush as a federal judge,
Limbaugh was a judge of the Missouri Supreme Court. His father, Stephen Limbaugh Sr., who spoke so
eloquently of his father at the dedication, also was a federal judge.




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Contract office improvements
Missourians needing vehicle tags, titles and licenses go to one of the state‘s contract offices. It is not something
most look forward to, which is why we prioritized improving customer service and efficiency.
One contract agent who answered my call for reform is Tracy Graves at the Gladstone office. Unfortunately, Mrs.
Graves‘ name has appeared in this paper because of a fight in Washington that had nothing to do with her. Your
readers should know Mrs. Graves is a capable woman who has run a good office and improved services for
customers.
Additionally, I appreciate The Star’s acknowledging some of the positive changes my administration made to the
contract office system. We were the first to open contract offices to competitive bids. So far we have opened
nine offices to this transparent process, and six contracts have been awarded.
The Star is correct that continued reform is needed. We have created the template and hope the next governor
follows our lead.
We closed state-run offices, because state law changes shifted the operating costs to taxpayers. Using the
private sector saves more than $7 million dollars annually. By changing the old way, these offices are more
efficient and accountable to taxpayers.
Gov. Matt Blunt
Jefferson City
AS APPEARED IN THE KC STAR




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Renewable energy's time has come
by St. Joseph News-Press
Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finally, there is widespread agreement that Missouri can do better when it comes to embracing the worldwide
movement to renewable forms of energy.
A key is ensuring that development costs are spread over several years to avoid a burden on ratepayers.
We recommend voters say ―yes‖ to Proposition C, also known as the Missouri Clean Energy Initiative, on the
general election ballot. This would require at least 2 percent of electricity generated by the state‘s investor-
owned utilities come from renewable energy sources by 2011, and at least 15 percent come from those sources
by 2021.
This proposal arose after several failed attempts in the General Assembly to pass a renewable energy standard
similar to those in place in 26 other states. It has support from likely sources — the Sierra Club and the
American Wind Energy Association, among them — but also from the unlikely.
Kansas City Power & Light, which serves our region, supports the initiative on several fronts. The utility already
reports slightly more than 2 percent of its electricity sales come from renewable energy. The longer-term goal of
15 percent is a ―stretch goal‖ for KCP&L, but one it hopes to meet.
The protection for KCP&L, and ratepayers, is a provision in the law that would allow utilities to opt out of meeting
the requirements if that would require rate increases more than 1 percent above what they would be without this
policy in place.
Investments up to that 1 percent standard are expected to be heavily focused on adding wind- and solar-
powered facilities. Projections call for ratepayers to see a net savings in the years to come because of expected
higher costs for fossil fuels and regulations mandating cleaner fuels.
Currently, 82 percent of power produced in Missouri comes from coal — a far higher share than the national
average of 49 percent. A vote for Proposition C would improve the mix of fuels and lower our reliance on coal
modestly to about 71 percent.
We favor this shift to clean, renewable energy sources, particularly considering the safeguards in place to protect
ratepayers.




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Voting Fraud
WASHINGTON MISSOURIAN

Voter registration apparently is reaching a new high in this country for the general election. The
movements to register voters also have raised the potential for voter fraud in many jurisdictions, mainly
in large cities.
According to the Associated Press, officials in Missouri are checking hundreds of questionable or duplicate
voter-registration forms submitted mainly by ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform
Now. The large number submitted by the Wednesday deadline swamped election officials in Jackson County. An
election official there said there are about 1,000 questionable registration cards attributted to ACORN, which has
been accused of election fraud in a number of states.
ACORN has targeted low income people for registrations because they tend to vote Democratic. The FBI in the
Kansas City area is investigating.
This past week officials in Nevada seized records from ACORN after finding fraudulent registration forms that
included the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys. This past April, eight ACORN workers in St. Louis city and
county entered guilty pleas to federal election fraud for submitting false registration cards for the 2006 election.
False names, addresses and forged signatures were uncovered.
The AP reported that ACORN's Web site said the group has registered 1.3 million people nationwide for the Nov.
4 election. ACORN has encountered complaints of fraud from registration officials in at least seven states this
year. No registrations in Franklin County were received from ACORN.
The potential for election fraud may be the greatest ever for this year's general election




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Prop B too flawed to support
by St. Joseph News-Press
Monday, October 13, 2008

Voters in the Missouri general election will not be asked to endorse motherhood, the flag or apple pie, but they
will face this question:
―Should Missouri law be amended to enable the elderly and Missourians with disabilities to continue living
independently in their homes …‖
And the question continues, should the state create ―the Missouri Quality Homecare Council to ensure the
availability of quality home care services under the Medicaid program by recruiting, training, and stabilizing the
home care workforce?‖
As helpful as all of that sounds, we recommend voters say ―no‖ to Proposition B, known as the Missouri Home
Care Initiative. This appears to be a plan that mixes a few good ideas with others that would duplicate existing
services and increase health care costs for the state and private providers.
Supporters, including the Service Employees International Union, explain that the proposal would establish a
statewide 11-member council to oversee in-home personal services for the elderly and disabled served by
Medicaid. The council would recruit workers and run a registry of screened caregivers; create a backup system
when workers are unavailable; offer training; and negotiate with workers over wages and benefits, if they choose
to form a union.
Many in health care recognize that in-home services are less costly and far preferred to nursing home care. But
the head of the Missouri Alliance for Home Care, the state‘s largest trade association representing home health
groups and private duty companies, is among those who question this ballot initiative.
―It appears the effort is mostly geared toward unionizing this work force,‖ Mary Schantz said. The Missouri
Chamber of Commerce cautioned that the ballot issue ―could greatly increase‖ health care costs.
These interested parties don‘t dismiss the need for improved pay and benefits for in-home workers. But both see
free-market forces, driven by consumer demand, driving those improvements over time while preserving
consumer choice in that matter. That‘s the approach we prefer as well.




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In our view: I-44 safety measures
JOPLIN GLOBE
Cable dividers along Interstate 44 have significantly reduced the number of accidents occurring on the busy
interstate.
It was a low-tech idea that has worked.
Now we would challenge the Missouri Department of Transportation to look at ways to warn motorists when they
are approaching areas most likely to have limited visibility during times of fog.
Last week, two people died and seven people were injured in a series of pileups on I-44 east of Joplin. In all, 17
vehicles were involved — nine of them tractor-trailers. It was early morning, and witnesses said they drove into
fog so thick they could barely see ahead of them as they approached an area just east of the Highway 249-
Highway 71 South exit.
Truck driver Shane Hamilton, on his way to Springfield to pick up some freight, was forced to pull off the highway
when he saw flames shooting out from a collision of truck rigs in front of him.
―It was kind of foggy at first,‖ Hamilton said. ―But when we got down here, the visibility just dropped. You had
maybe five yards of visibility.‖
The carnage occurred within a couple of miles of a pileup that happened on May 18, 2002. Four people died and
eight were injured in that accident. Heavy fog was also cited then.
Missouri has no set of safety measures targeting fog. Flashing lights are used on an Interstate 70 bridge in
Rocheport, near the Missouri River, but largely there are no warnings to motorists to let them know if they are
approaching a low-lying area where morning fog might be a problem.
Other states, including California, have incorporated some automated warning systems to deal with fog and mist.
We believe that if motorists are forewarned of possible dangers ahead, it could prevent the deadly pileups such
as the one we experienced last week.
Motorists face enough dangers on the road. Being blindsided by fog is one of those. We‘d like to see MoDOT
apply some new approaches to this deadly problem.




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Missourinet

IRS filing deadline nears for taxpayers who requested extension
Monday, October 13, 2008, 8:23 PM
By Steve Walsh

Many Missourians are familiar with the April 15th deadline for filing income tax returns, but another tax deadline
is just about here. It's the October 15th filing deadline for Missourians who requested an extension in filing their
documents and/or the money they owe to the Internal Revenue Service.
Michael Devine, Internal Revenue Service Media Relations Specialist for Missouri & Kansas, says if you owe
money it is important to pay what you owe as quickly as possible. Interest on money owed has been growing
since April 15th, but additional penalties will be assessed if the actual return is not filed by tomorrow.
If you do not have all the documents you need, file anyway and enclose a note to the IRS. If you owe money,
pay what you can afford to pay. The IRS will work with you on a payment schedule.

Tough times at the dealership
Monday, October 13, 2008, 10:01 PM
By Bob Priddy

These are tough times for people who sell us our cars and trucks--and some of them might go away. The
National Auto Dealers Association expects as many as 700 vehicle retailers to go out of business this year, 63
percent more than closed last year. Detroit automakers, in fact, already have closed some poorly-performing
dealerships.
The Missouri Auto Dealers Association expects closures and mergers here. Association President Sam Barbee
says tighter consumer credit has hurt. He says dealers without foreign-brand cars and trucks are hit especially
hard because foreign makes have staked out the economy issue.
But he says a lot of dealers are hurting because they struggle to get credit, too, as sales dramatically slow. He
says the financial arms of the manufacturers tend to pull back because they don't want to invest in the vehicles
dealers want to buy if they don't think the vehicles will be sold in a reasonable time.
He says dealers also are struggling because many people have traded in trucks and SUVs for more economical
vehicles----and those SUVs and trucks aren't moving off the used vehicle lots.
Barbee says the car business is a bellwether of the economy...and the bell isn't ringing very well.


Halloween party this weekend despite ongoing mansion renovations
Monday, October 13, 2008, 4:32 PM
By Aurora Meyer

Ongoing reconstruction efforts mean no public tours of the mansion until November, but the annual Halloween
party will be this Saturday. Governor, Mrs. Blunt and their son, Branch, 3, have been back in the mansion for
about a month.
"It's very exciting," said Mrs. Blunt. "The Governor and I were actually out of the mansion for several weeks this
summer because of the renovations going on here at the mansion, but we are thrilled here with the results."




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The family left in June to allow workers to repair the mansard slate roof, restore and repaint all windows, repair
exterior masonry, and the partial replacement of the 23-year-old heating and cooling system.
Mrs. Blunt's said her favorite renovation project so far has been the roof.
"It is just spectacular and just to be able to recreate the original mansard roof with the geometric diamond
patterns has been thrilling," she said.
During the first public event, Governor Blunt praised his wife's efforts to restore the home.
"The efforts that went into the renovations of the governor's mansion it's very important long term for the people
of our state and will obviously benefit the next first family and it's a real privilege to have you all here for the first
event since it was essentially closed down early in the summer," he said.
Mrs. Blunt said now the reconstruction focus will turn to the inside of the mansion.
"We're really getting ready to start on the interior of the mansion as well and there's so much available to us now
with technology improvements and we're able to trace back the first layer of paint in many of these rooms," she
said. "So we're going to really try to recreate this first floor as it would have looked in 1871. We're just going to
take the next few months and do as much research as we can learn as much as we can about the first floor and
hopefully the efforts will continue next year."
Mrs. Blunt said she's open to advising the next first family on the ongoing renovation efforts, but she said what
happens next is ultimately up to them.
The state is paying for the repairs, which will cost around $3 million. Mrs. Blunt is trying to raise private money
for interior updates. Public tours of the mansion will not begin again until about November.

Biden tells Missourinet election will break on economy
Sunday, October 12, 2008, 9:00 PM
By Brent Martin

This presidential election just might well break on economic issues. The state of the economy was the main topic
of conversation when vice presidential candidate Democrat Joe Biden spoke with the Missourinet's Brent Martin.
The Obama/Biden campaign gave us six minutes via cell phone with Senator Joe Biden of Delaware, just
enough time to scratch the surface. Biden tells the Missourinet the ticket can win Missouri if it emphasizes the
issues every family discusses around the kitchen table; such as jobs, health care and 401(K) retirement plans.
Biden lays much of the blame for the current economic crisis at the feet of the Bush Administration, stating that
its economic policies have been an abject failure for middle class Americans.
Biden says that Americans, of course, want their president to be a strong Commander in Chief and they worry
about Iraq. Still, Biden says the collapse of the nation's financial markets and the free fall of the Dow Industrials
on Wall Street the past two weeks have made concern about the economy the number one issue in the
campaign.
The first step a new administration must take, according to Biden, is to make sure the $700 billion package
works. Biden says it will take time to turn things around. The Treasury Department will need to exercise the
authority it has been given by Congress and be bolder in its approach.
Biden says an Obama Administration will also push for a stimulus package: $25 billion directly to cities and
states and another $25 billion to rebuild infrastructure: roads, bridges, sewers and such. In addition, the team
wants to invest in alternative forms of energy.
The Obama/Biden campaign has been placing more emphasis on Missouri since polls show the race has
tightened in the state. Biden visited four Missouri cities in two days: St. Joseph, Liberty, Jefferson City and
Springfield.



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Impact of financial crisis on agriculture could lead to higher grocery
prices
Sunday, October 12, 2008, 6:40 PM
By Steve Walsh

The poor economy is already hurting a lot of Missourians and it could soon hurt the state's agriculture
community.
Kelly Smith, Director of Marketing and Commodities with the Missouri Farm Bureau, says the big problem might
come in the spring when farmers who need credit for crops start to visit their banks. Smith adds producers could
see a few problems as we head into the harvest season, as the sale of corn and soybeans to grain elevatiors will
require credit.
As for those who say they are not affected by financial problems that might affect famers, Smith points out that if
the farmer suffers economically - the consumer will feel the pinch through higher priced groceries.




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USA TODAY MISSOURI NEWS
Tuesday, October 14
Columbia - A global shortage of radioactive isotopes used to diagnose and treat cancer patients has officials at
the nation's largest campus research reactor scrambling to fill the void. The University of Missouri Research
Reactor is hosting scientists from Argentina, Egypt and 16 other countries this week to coordinate research and
spur commercial development of technetium-99.

Monday, October 13
Lebanon - A businessman and supporter of conservative GOP candidates has died. Robert Plaster was 78. He
died of natural causes Saturday at his home south of Lebanon. Plaster made his fortune by turning Empire Gas
into one of the nation's largest propane distributors.




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

				
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Description: Palin Income Tax Returns document sample