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Telephone barrage is planned in quest
to stave off execution
By Jeremiah McWilliams
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/14/2009

Supporters of Reginald Clemons hope to bombard the office of Gov. Jay Nixon with telephone calls on Monday
morning to stop his execution.
Clemons was convicted as an accomplice to the murders of Julie and Robin Kerry, two sisters who were beaten,
raped and pushed to their deaths from the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge into the Mississippi River in 1991.
Clemons, who was 19 at the time, is not alleged to have planned or to have committed the murders.
A federal appeals court recently granted a stay of Clemons' execution, which was scheduled for Wednesday.
The stay, part of a case that challenges Missouri's system of lethal injections, could be lifted on short notice.
Supporters, hoping for more solid protection, base their pleas on issues of police misconduct and shoddy legal
representation for Clemons when he was convicted.
In a spirited rally Saturday afternoon at Lane Tabernacle CME Church, Clemons' family said they would continue
to push state officials to stop the execution.
"It's been a tremendous fight — it's been a long fight,' said Reynolds Thomas, Clemons' stepfather. "We've been
under fire for a long time, but we're still standing. … We haven't stopped believing."
The gathering of about 90 people — many of whom wore bright green T-shirts proclaiming "Justice for Reggie"
— erupted several times in "amen" and claps as a panel of speakers quoted from the Bible and from the Quran
to argue that the criminal justice system had unjustly tagged Clemons for execution. One speaker repeatedly
gave out the number of Nixon's office and urged the crowd to call on Monday before noon.




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Rally calls for change in tax system
Speakers, crowd incensed with IRS.
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE By T.J. Greaney
Sunday, June 14, 2009

A daylong rally in support of replacing the federal income tax with a 23 percent retail sales tax drew thousands to
the Boone County Fairgrounds yesterday.
In the style of a Southern revival meeting, a series of speakers took the stage to rail against a government they
see as recklessly speeding toward socialism and mortgaging the wealth of future generations in the process.
Nearly all interviewed for this story believe it is high time to put the Internal Revenue Service out of business.
―Our tax code right now is a man-caused disaster,‖ said Neal Boortz, a nationally syndicated radio host who has
advocated a ―fair tax‖ over the income tax for more than 25 years. ―It is in every respect an act of terror against
the working people of this country.‖
Another speaker, U.S. Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., is co-sponsor of a bill in Congress to institute the national sales
tax and mused about what he would do with the approximately 105,000 employees of the IRS when they‘re no
longer needed. ―I say put them on the Mexican border holding hands,‖ the congressman said to laughter from
the crowd of about 2,000 inside the fairground arena.
Proponents contend the new tax would be revenue neutral, not taking money away from existing federal
programs. It also would include a monthly rebate check for all taxpayers known as a ―prebate,‖ which equal the
average spending by someone living at the poverty level to ensure no one is taxed on necessities. They also
contend the federal sales tax would not significantly increase the cost of goods because corporations already
pass along federal taxes to consumers as ―embedded costs‖ in everything from cans of Coca-Cola to new cars.
―If the fair tax was your reality, and somebody came along and tried to sell you on the income tax and
withholding and the death tax, you‘d laugh them out of town,‖ Boortz said in an interview. ―Either that, or you‘d
string them up. It‘s one of the two.‖
Many in the crowd wore clothing emblazoned with the fair tax logo or the American flag and toted newly
purchased books on the subject. One woman, Kerri Martin of Jefferson City, held a sign reading, ―Who is John
Galt?‖ — referring to a character from Ayn Rand‘s novel ―Atlas Shrugged.‖ Martin said the character embodies
―the spirit and power of the individual.‖
―We‘ve got to remember, it‘s our money we earn. It‘s not someone else‘s to spend,‖ said Martin, who with her
husband runs a title company. ―And this would give us some control. It‘s a very ingenious plan.‖
A booth run by Columbia gun-rights advocate Tim Oliver advertised introductory courses on owning and carrying
concealed weapons. He was doing a brisk business.
―They‘re sort of kindred spirits, if you will,‖ Oliver said of people who support the fair tax and the Second
Amendment. Oliver then told a reporter to look around and asked who in the group of about 40 people near his
booth did not have a concealed carry permit. ―Almost all of them‖ do, he said. ―And just like all polite people and
all polite company, nobody‘s ever going to know‖ they‘re carrying weapons.
Glenn Chastonay of Moberly drove to the rally along with his wife and father. Chastonay intalls hood hinges for
Dura Automotive Systems and recently had to endure a mandatory one-month furlough because of the
economic slowdown. His wife, Joyce, recently lost her job, and both are angry that the government is using their
tax dollars to bailout corporations. They‘d rather keep all the money they earn.



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―What about the billion dollars they gave to AIG, and those guys got bonuses? And I‘m struggling to put food on
the table and pay all my bills,‖ Chastonay said. ―That‘s our money. The tax money doesn‘t come from the
government; it comes from us.‖
His father, Ruel Chastonay, a retired IBM employee from Jefferson City, said the tax system has become an
overgrown monster. ―I do my taxes every year and it‘s an onerous task,‖ he said of the two days he spends
tabulating his dues. ―And they change it every year; not to help me, but to put in some loophole or to help some
lobbyist.‖
Advocates including Boortz said the choice for people is between being taxed on ―33 percent of everything you
earn or 23 percent of everything you spend.‖ The federal income tax rate he cited refers to the marginal tax rate
on some of the top earners in the country. The median household income in Boone County, however, is about
$45,000, meaning those families pay federal income tax of about 15 percent.
A study conducted by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy said the middle 20 percent of Missouri‘s
income distribution, those with an average income of $37,000, would see an average tax increase of $2,036
under the fair tax.




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Mo. rally calls for scrapping income tax
Saturday, June 13, 2009
By CHRIS BLANK
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Lawmakers, radio talk-show hosts and other advocates called for state and federal
income taxes to be replaced with an increased sales tax during a Saturday rally at a mid-Missouri county
fairgrounds.
Supporters of scrapping the income tax call the new taxation system a ''fair tax'' and contend that doing away
with income taxes would spur economic growth and increase personal freedoms.
Nationally syndicated radio host Neal Boortz called the current tax system a ''man-caused disaster.''
''The fair tax would be the largest transfer of power from the government to the people in the history of this
nation,'' Boortz said. ''These people in Washington D.C. are not going to do this on their own. You have to make
them do it.''
The national group Americans for Fair Taxation sponsored the all-day rally at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
Organizers, who are focused on Missouri as part of an effort to get 2 million supporters, billed the event as the
group's Midwest rally.
Georgia Republican Congressman John Linder, the sponsor of federal legislation to eliminate the federal income
tax, said support is growing and that recent economic problems are ''driving everything in our direction.'' He
predicted that it would be an issue during the next presidential election.
Most of the speakers were conservatives and some sharply criticized the polices of President Barack Obama
while audience members jokingly yelled Obama campaign slogans. But some Democrats also attended.
A veteran of Democratic political campaigns, Jessica Wexler said getting rid of the income tax would spur the
nation's economy and shouldn't become an issue solely for conservatives.
Speaking of an uncle whom she described as conservative, Wexler said, ''We disagree on how the government
should spend our money. We are in complete agreement on how the government should collect those taxes.''
It wasn't clear exactly how many people attended the event, but the main building could hold about 5,000 people
and appeared to be between half and two-thirds full.
Among those who came to show support for tax changes was Shawn McGuire, 24, of Centralia, who attended
with friends and cousins. McGuire, the owner and sole employee of a drywall company, said that he began
supporting tax changes last year.
McGuire said the biggest benefit of eliminating income taxes for him would be paying taxes only on what he
consumes. He said it also would ensure people pay their fair share.
''It's time for change,'' McGuire said.
Efforts to scrap the federal tax have languished in Congress. But in Missouri, the state House approved a
proposed constitutional amendment to replace the state income tax with a higher sales tax. The measure did not
clear a Senate committee.
Missouri currently has a 4.225 percent state sales tax of which 3 percent is the base tax and 1.225 percent are
for dedicated purposes such as state parks and soil conservation. The Missouri legislation would have increased
that to 5.11 percent.
Sales taxes also would have been levied on more purchases.




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Currently, Missouri's sales tax applies to the sale of goods but not when consumers pay for a service. For
example, when you get your car fixed by a mechanic, consumers pay 4.225 percent on the parts but don't pay a
sales tax for the labor. The constitutional amendment would expand the sales tax to cover services too.
Critics of eliminating the income tax argue that Missouri would have to raise its sales tax even higher to around
10.7 percent to generate the same amount of revenue. Opponents contend that higher sales taxes have a bigger
affect on those with lower incomes because they tend to spend a larger portion of their income.
The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, which opposes eliminating the income tax, calculated in 2004
that a national sales tax would need to be around 50 percent to offset revenue from most federal taxes. The
Washington-based organization calculated the shift would result in Missourians on average paying an extra $702
in federal taxes.
''We are very concerned that people in Missouri don't understand fully what this proposal would mean,'' said Amy
Blouin, the executive director of the Missouri Budget Project, which analyzes state fiscal issues for their affect on
low-income people. ''More people would end up paying significantly higher taxes in the state and our economy
would be burdened further than it already is.''
One the Net:
Americans for Fair Taxation: http://www.fairtax.org




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Looking at re-election, Mo. gov.
emphasizing high unemployment
Monday, June 15, 2009
By DAVID A. LIEB ~ The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Jay Nixon has been traveling the state promoting a new economic development
law by asserting that Missouri faces a 25-year high in unemployment.
That was true earlier this spring -- but no longer.
The most recent statistics show Missouri's unemployment rate posted the greatest monthly decline in the nation.
So why is Nixon accenting the negative instead of the positive as he discusses Missouri's economy?
One reason for Nixon's economic emphasis is his place in the four-year political cycle.
Nixon is a new Democratic chief executive who took over from a Republican administration in January after
pledging during last year's campaign that his proposals would help turn around the economy.
In that regard, Nixon is in the same place as President Obama, who mounted a similar campaign and
emphasized the economy's shortcomings during his first few months in office.
At this point in the political cycle, it's too early for Nixon or Obama to be blamed for the poor economy. So they
are safe in citing a high unemployment, because it's assumed they inherited the situation from their
predecessors.
Although few politicians long for an economic recession, there is a sense in which it provides new officeholders a
unique opportunity to show improvement.
By emphasizing Missouri's 25-year high in unemployment, Nixon is establishing a baseline against which to
evaluate his record during a potential re-election campaign four years from now, said Peverill Squire, a political
scientist at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
"Both Obama and Nixon have emphasized how bad things look at the start of their administration so that when
things get better down the road, they'll be able to take credit for it," Squire said.
Pushing policy
Stressing economic struggles also can help propel a chief executive's policy proposals to enactment, because it
creates a reason for urgent action.
Put simply: "People tend to highlight facts that lead to conclusions they wish to draw," said Eric Morris, an
assistant communications professor at Missouri State University whose emphasis includes political rhetoric and
persuasion.
Nixon's comparable accomplishment is the enactment of a bill expanding tax breaks to Missouri businesses. In
his State of the State address in January, Nixon noted that Missouri was experiencing its highest unemployment
rate in 25 years and called upon lawmakers to pass a job-creation bill by their mid-March break. The Republican-
controlled legislature ultimately approved the bill last month, on the final day of its 2009 session.
Nixon has continued to cite the 25-year unemployment high as he tours Missouri holding ceremonial bill
signings.
Missouri's unemployment rate peaked at 8.7 percent in March, the highest rate since December 1983. But in
April, it declined to 8.1 percent -- the largest month-to-month percentage point drop of any state. May
unemployment rates for states are scheduled to be released Friday.



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Instead of highlighting Missouri's peak unemployment rate, Nixon could tout the state's more recent unparalleled
improvement.
But that could prove politically risky if Missouri's unemployment rate were to bounce back up. Consider the
backlash that former president George W. Bush received after posing underneath a "Mission Accomplished"
banner May 1, 2003 -- only to have fighting in Iraq drag on through the remainder of his presidency.
"Things are sufficiently tenuous that nobody wants to risk getting out ahead of real economic improvement,"
Squire said. No politician wants to be "saying things have been improved and the problems are fixed, and then
have a relapse."
In Nixon's case, the assertion that Missouri faces a 25-year high in unemployment is generally true, even if not
fully accurate. Were it not for even higher unemployment rates in February and March, April's 8.1 percent jobless
rate would have been a 25-year high.
In that regard, it might be politically foolish were Nixon to highlight Missouri's recent drop in its unemployment
rate when the public perception is that unemployment remains high.
"There's a need for there to be some semblance between the tone of the president and the governor and the
tone of the people," Morris said. "If people generally feel like the state's in a bad shape, it would be wise for the
governor to have speeches reflective of that."




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House 2010
ARCH CITY CHRONICLE Posted by dave | Fri, 06/12/2009 - 7:04am
Is it too early to start looking at the House 2010 races?
Right now, Republicans hold 89 seats and Democrats have 74. Democrats would need eight seats to take
control of the majority. The inflection point however of changing the way business is done is probably around
four seats. That would make the Republican majority narrow enough that it would find problematic issues.
There are 55 open seats due to term limits. Of them 36 are currently held by Republicans and 19 are held by
Democrats.
Democrats at this early stage are look at about a dozen defensive districts and two dozen offensive districts.
The best guess is that after candidate recruitment shakes out they‘ll be left with a battleground portfolio of 4
defenses and 8 opportunities.




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Missourians urged to wear purple
Monday
Monday, June 15, 2009
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) The state Department of Health and Senior Services is urging Missourians to wear
purple to honor efforts to combat abuse of senior citizens.
Monday is the fourth annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Activities are planned across the world to
demonstrate the need for efforts to prevent it. Senior services department Director Margaret Donnelly says that
wearing purple will help raise awareness about elderly abuse.
In Missouri, there are an average of 78 reports daily of abuse, neglect and exploitation of senior citizens.
One of the most common forms of elderly exploitation of Missouri is financial. State officials says that nearly one-
quarter of abuse reports received in 2008 involved financial exploitation.




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State to route federal funds to assist
small railroad line
JOPLIN GLOBE By Wally Kennedy

A federal grant received by the Missouri Department of Transportation will help the Missouri & Northern
Arkansas Railroad recover losses from flood damage in 2008.
The Federal Railroad Administration awarded a $353,600 disaster-assistance grant to MoDOT through its
Railroad Rehabilitation and Repair Program. The funds will be used to reimburse the company for a portion of
the costs it incurred to repair flood damage to its tracks in 2008 in Jasper, Stone, Taney and Vernon counties.
Damage from excessive rain and high water caused the rail bed to wash out in March near Carthage and in May
in Joplin, and damaged the Nevada maintenance building in August. The bulk of the damage came when severe
storms hit on June 28, 2008, causing 13 separate washouts along the MNA rail line between Reeds Spring and
Branson in Stone and Taney counties. The MNA Railroad had to shut down for eight days to make emergency
repairs and restore service after that storm. Additional flooding near Reeds Spring occurred in September.
―Smaller railroads play an important role in keeping Missouri‘s economy moving,‖ said Rod Massman, MoDOT‘s
administrator of railroads. ―Natural disasters can quickly disrupt service, and have an immediate impact on the
bottom line of the railroad and the businesses it serves.
―We are glad to play a role in helping MNA recover a significant portion of the money they lost to restore service
and keep Southwest Missouri open for rail business.‖
Funds awarded under the Railroad Rehabilitation and Repair Program can cover up to 80 percent of the total
cost of a selected project. Grants may be used to repair bridges, signals and other infrastructure that are part of
the general rail transportation system and have been damaged in a natural disaster.




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Nixon details tax cut during Kirksville
stop
By Vincent Brennan
Daily Express
Thu Jun 11, 2009, 12:56 PM CDT
KIRKSVILLE — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed off on the recently passed House Bill 191 Thursday, a portion of
which is targeted to help small businesses deal with the slumping economy, during a stop at Kellys Furniture.
The bill will allow businesses which record assets of $10 million or less to waive the state‘s franchise tax. Under
the old law, businesses would have to pay the tax if their assets in Missouri were recorded at $1 million or more.
The new threshold of $10 million will eliminate franchise taxes for 16,558 Missouri businesses.
According to Nixon, small businesses are the backbone of the state‘s economy and are a substantial part of the
economic recovery.
―Today, we‘re facing unprecedented economic challenges...and, quite frankly, too many small businesses are
fighting just to keep their doors open,‖ he said. ―This economic recovery is not going to start with CEOs on Wall
Street or politicians in Washington D.C., it‘s going to start with businesses just like (Kellys) in cities and towns
across the ‗Show-Me State.‘‖
More than 20,000 businesses and corporations owed or paid franchise taxes in Missouri in 2008. The new bill
will save approximately $14.5 million for the 16,558 businesses which total assets below $10 million, according
to the Missouri Department of Revenue.
The bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 28-6 and 153-2 in the House.
Nixon said it took a combined bi-partisian focus to make the law a reality for hurting small businesses.
―Even though these economic times are challenging, the legislature, in a bi-partisian way, worked together to
target the tax relief we were going to give this year,‖ he stated.
Nixon estimated the average cut in taxes per small business would be approximately $875.
For a business like Kellys, spokesman Mark Krueger said he is all for any initiative that can help save his
business money.
―That money can be reinvested into our business,‖ he said. ―In our case, (the money) is being used for
construction so we are investing it right back into our business.‖
Krueger added Kellys has hired five new employees at the Kirksville store, supplementing the construction effort
to expand. He is hopeful the business will be able to add a few more positions once his construction is complete.
The bill also increased the annual cap on the Quality Jobs Program to $80 million. The bill removes the annual
per-company cap for jobs in the high-impact and technology categories.
Additionally, the bill will increase the annual cap on Missouri‘s Business Use Incentives for Large-Scale
Development (BUILD) by $10 million to a total of $25 million. As another part of the bill, funding will be provided
for pre-employment training activities through the state‘s job-training program.
Also at the event, Nixon met with Jacobe Britt, a sophomore at Truman State University, who is currently
participating in the state‘s ―Next Generation Job Program.‖
The program, funded in part by the stimulus bill, gives young adults the opportunity to learn valuable skills in
real-life workplaces.




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Britt has been working with the marketing division of the Kirksville Senior Living Campus and noted it was hard
to find a summer job in the rough economy.
According to Britt, the program turned out to be the best option in terms of advancing his career.
―You go through 30 hours of class and they teach you some valuable things that I can use later on in life,‖ he
said. ―Along with the career advice, the (program) can go a long way on my resume and my workplace
experience.‖
Nixon said more than 6,000 people are participating in the program and totals more than any other state.
―We think it is very stimulative and worth for the state by keeping kids in school in a way that might replicate their
future career,‖ he added.




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Kraske: Kit Bond works miracle for Blunt...Nixon
wears out hand signing jobs bill.....and Kurtis for
Kansas governor?
Sen. Kit Bond can still part the waters.
There he was last week at 70, in his fourth Senate term, stretching his mighty arms, splitting the sea and pulling
off something akin to a political miracle back home.
Into the breech walked Roy Blunt, the congressman from southwest Missouri who suddenly, and miraculously,
just may have found himself a clear path to the GOP nomination for Bond‘s own Senate seat.
Just days before, Blunt faced opposition from Washington University law professor Thomas Schweich (backed
by former Sen. Jack Danforth) and former state treasurer Sarah Steelman.
A tough 2010 GOP primary promised the same result as the 2008 Republican primary for governor. That‘s when
Democrat Jay Nixon waxed a wounded, financially depleted Kenny Hulshof.
Enter Bond, who has fought more wars than Patton. If insider reports are believed, Bond was a key engineer in
a process that resulted in a surprise declaration from Schweich on Thursday that he would not run for Senate
and would back Blunt to boot.
Just hours later, Danforth stood before the Missouri Republican Party‘s ―Spirit of Enterprise‖ dinner in downtown
St. Louis and also backed Blunt.
―Let‘s stand together!‖ Danforth declared.
Schweich acknowledged that his discussions throughout the state helped him conclude that his candidacy
―would be divisive and probably lower the chances of keeping Senator Bond‘s seat in Republican hands.‖
But just weeks before, the story from Danforth and Schweich had been way different. In a mini-tour of the state,
which included a stop at the state Capitol, Danforth introduced his former colleague to Republicans near and far
as the one guy who could win in 2010.
―A lot of people,‖ Danforth said then, ―are concerned that this is not looking good right now.‖
What he meant was that Blunt — a veteran member of the U.S. House just like Hulshof — didn‘t look like a
winner.
But that was then.
Bond, Republicans say, went to work behind the scenes, chatting up Danforth and others in a heated search for
a way to clear the field for Blunt, whom he had already endorsed. Pushing the process was an unmovable
deadline — Thursday‘s night‘s GOP dinner honoring, ironically, one Jack Danforth.
The last thing the GOP needed was one more reminder via the media that a divided GOP was meeting in St.
Louis.
 Steelman‘s status remains murkier. She is said to be considering both the Senate race and the U.S. House seat
in southwest Missouri now open because of Blunt‘s Senate run.
Two different races, to be sure.
 Schweich and Steelman are said to have developed a good rapport when they met to discuss the Senate race.
It‘s a stretch to think that Schweich would abandon the race and his new buddy Steelman in one fell swoop by
endorsing Blunt.


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That has led some GOPers to conclude that Steelman already has given up on the Senate in favor of the House
race, which is one she can win.
Now the buzz is that Schweich will run for state auditor next year.
If he does, look for Bond to enthusiastically back him. We may never know exactly what Bond did or how he did
it. But we do know this: The ol‘ boy‘s still got it.
****
For those wondering, cards for former Congresswoman Karen McCarthy — suffering from an aggressive case
of Alzheimer‘s — can be sent to her in care of Unity Temple on the Plaza, 47th and Jefferson streets, Kansas
City, MO 64112.
****
Talk about milking it. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been signing and resigning his freshly passed jobs bill at
stops all across the state, including one in Kansas City.
Here‘s hoping the Nixon team can keep straight which document is the real deal and which are the ceremonial
giveaways.
Submitted by Steve Kraske KC STAR PRIME BUZZ BLOG




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Blunt lauds Danforth's now sort-of-public
endorsement
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter

Updated 11 a.m. Fri., June 12: U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Strafford and a 2010 candidate for the U.S. Senate,
announced late Thursday that he had received the endorsement of retired Sen. John C. Danforth, R-Mo.
Danforth had been honored at the Missouri Republican Party's fundraising dinner held Thursday night in
Clayton. However, since the party barred the press from the gathering, it wasn't known what Danforth said in
his dinner speech.
Friday morning, the state party released a short video of Danforth's remarks. You can also watch the full speech
here (part 2 , part 3 ).
In the meantime, Blunt has issued a statement of what he heard -- since presumably, Blunt was at the dinner. So
was the potential rival who'd dropped out earlier in the day, Washington University visiting law professor
Thomas Schweich.
Said Blunt in his statement:
"Senator Danforth's public service to our state and to our nation has been tremendous and it means a lot to me
to have his personal support and endorsement. I have appreciated Jack's warm personal friendship through the
years and am very much looking forward to campaigning with him.
"With the support of Senator Danforth, Senator Bond, every Missouri Republican in the U.S. House, seventy-one
members of the Missouri House, eighteen members of the Missouri Senate and our coalition of grassroots
supporters, our campaign has tremendous momentum and there is growing Party unity."




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Friday, June 12, 2009

Daily Kos: How To Keep Ike's Seat in
Redistricting
                                                      Although there is no evidence it will happen in the immediate
                                                      future, at some point, longtime Democratic Congressman Ike
                                                      Skelton will retire.
                                                      Republicans believe when that occurs, his 4th Congressional
                                                      district will be ripe for a pick-up.
                                                      Ike after all, is no regular Democrat. Widely respected for his
                                                      foreign affairs and military chops, Skelton easily picks off
                                                      hawkish Republican votes in a relatively conservative central
                                                      Missouri district.
                                                   But when redistricting occurs in 2011, Missouri is one of the
                                                   potential states that could lose a seat because of population
                                                   shifts. (The early betting is that Congressman Blaine
Luetkemeyer's 9th Congressional District will be swallowed up into Congressman Sam Graves' northwest
Missouri district.)
But one Democrat on Daily Kos has designed a way to keep Skelton's district blue, when Ike says goodbye. It
involves a bunch of maneuvering and a "compromise" by Republican legislators, but it's worth a look:
From ArkDem 14:
"Take liberal Boone County out of the 9th and anchor it down in Skelton's new district. From that point I kept all
of Lafayette, (Skelton's home), and Saline counties in and both of these are much more Democratic at a local
level than their Presidential numbers would suggest. Then I shifted the lines and absorbed much of western
Jackson County to add more Democratic leaning suburbs and give it more areas that were trending Democratic.
From there it curled up north, took parts of suburban and conservative Clay and Platte Counties, and then took
in all of the City of St. Joseph, the home of the Current State Auditor Susan Montee. Its a traditionally
Democratic, Blue Dog area and its inclusion, along with Boone, is meant to give the new district two firm
population anchors."
ArkDem concludes that this is a compromise scenario that Republicans could accept.
"Sure it massively cuts down the odds they can pick up Skelton's district when he retires, but in exchange it
creates five districts Democrats can never ever win," ArkDem writes.
And, as for Luetkemeyer, ArkDem suggests that he could still "go off and run in the new MO-05, (the yellow,
forgot to number them), which is actually amazingly like Skelton's current MO-04."


Posted by David Catanese KY3-TV




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Multi-year approval for Boeing Super
Hornet advances
By Bill Lambrecht
Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — As we forecast here yesterday, a House panel today adopted wording that could lead to
purchase of as many as 150 F/A-18 Super Hornets for the Navy over the next five years.
Approval by the House Armed Services Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee means that
the Super Hornets almost certainly will win approval in the full House soon.
We‘re bringing you these updates because of the significance of fighter jets in the St. Louis manufacturing
workforce, which has been clobbered by the decline of the auto industry and is threatened by the loss of
Boeing‘s C-17 line. The Super Hornet line employs about 5,000 workers in the region.
Hurdles remain, noted Rep. Todd Akin, R-Town & Country, the Armed Services Committee member who is
shepherding the Super Hornet approval through the House.
For one thing, there could be less enthusiasm for these aircraft in the Senate. What‘s more, the Pentagon is not
as keen on the F/A-18s as is the Congress.
Akin noted that with the Navy‘s fleet of aircraft aging, the shortage of aircraft on aircraft carriers is several dozen
and growing. How many planes short is the Navy? Akin said that not even Congress knows.
―The Pentagon has been less than transparent,‖ he said. ―They keep obfuscating.‖
Nonetheless, Akin expects the Navy to be pleased at the prospect of congressional action enabling purchase of
the Super Hornets at a discount price over five years.
―We had a real victory today,‖ he said.




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Jay Nixon poised to cut more than $100
million from Missouri state budget
By Tony Messenger
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/13/2009

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is preparing to use his signing pen as a budget ax, cutting more
than $100 million — and as much as $371 million — out of the 2010 budget passed by lawmakers in May.
Revenue in Missouri hasn't kept up with predictions, and Nixon's budget director believes the 2010 fiscal year
budget could be as much as $371 million out of balance.
"Obviously, we've got a big problem here," Linda Luebbering said Friday.
Because of the availability of federal stabilization funds passed by Congress, Missouri could theoretically
eliminate most of the gap between spending and revenue with the money appropriated by Congress to help
states ease budget woes.
Nixon tapped $250 million of that money to balance the current budget year that ends July 1. Some of that
money was needed to pay tax refunds that had been put on hold because of the state's poor cash flow situation.
But Luebbering said Nixon is likely not to use much of that money to stem the tide of red ink in 2010, choosing to
make cuts instead, and hold the stabilization money over for another year or two.
"The governor's goal is to think of this as a multiyear budget," Luebbering said. "The actions he's taking are to
keep the budget in balance in the long run."
Based on current economic indicators, Luebbering's office estimates that the state will bring in $7.4 billion in
2010, about $370 million less than previously estimated by lawmakers and the governor's office.
The budget situation likely means portions of the omnibus economic stimulus bill passed by lawmakers will face
cuts. Two St. Louis area projects — money for Metro transit and Bellefontaine Habilitation Center — are safe,
Luebbering said.
House budget chairman Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, said he would have preferred to have some notice from
Nixon that such drastic cuts would be necessary in the budget, but he supports the governor's decision to cut
rather than fill the gap with federal dollars.
"I'd rather take a little pain next year and the year after that than face the fiscal disaster we'd see in 2012 if we
don't cut now," said Icet.
Shortly after Nixon took office, he announced that he would make cuts to the 2009 budget because of the
economic crisis across the country that wreaked havoc on state budgets. At the time, Missouri was facing about
a $750 million shortfall.
Nixon made about $200 million in state budget cuts since taking office and balanced the budget with $250 million
in federal stabilization funds and about $300 million in a carry-over balance left by the administration of former
Gov. Matt Blunt. Of the 1,300 job cuts Nixon promised, only a handful have been layoffs, Luebbering said. Most
of the cuts were achieved by not filling open jobs.
Luebbering said she expects Nixon to protect education, health care and corrections portions of the budget from
cuts. Those are the areas Congress had in mind with federal stabilization funds, she said.




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Nixon preparing big budget cuts
Office mum on specifics; falling tax revenue blamed.
Chad Livengood News-Leader
Gov. Jay Nixon is preparing to make at least $100 million in budget cuts to the 2010 budget before the next fiscal
year begins July 1.
"We're going to have to trim a fair amount ... at least nine figures," Nixon told reporters Thursday at a news
conference in St. Louis, according to a report in the St. Louis Beacon.
In May, the Republican-controlled legislature sent the Democratic governor a $23 billion budget propped up by
$785 million of federal economic stimulus money.
The governor's office offered little comment Friday on the impending spending reductions.
Scott Holste, a spokesman for Nixon, said in an e-mail, "there's nothing more specific on amounts, areas to be
addressed, or timing at this time."
On Wednesday, Nixon and his top budget advisers were meeting after business hours. At around 7 p.m., their
meeting was moved to the Capitol basement for an hour after Jefferson City came under a tornado warning.
Since taking office, Nixon has been managing a daily cash flow crisis, triggered by the economic recession and
falling tax revenues.
The impending cuts stem from declining tax revenue. Last month, for example, the state saw a $44.8 million
decrease in tax revenue when compared to May 2008 figures. That represented a $325.8 million decline in tax
revenue.
Before Nixon took office in January, his budget advisers and legislative budget writers agreed the state's
revenue was going to come in negative- 4 percent on the year (when the 2009 budget was crafted in the spring
of 2008, lawmakers projected a 3.4 percent increase in tax revenue).
Every 1 percent drop in tax revenue amounts to $75 million less in money for state programs, said House
Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood.
Icet said Nixon has been delaying making tough budget decisions for weeks, and possibly months.
"His office knew or has known for a number of weeks, definitely in May and maybe prior to that," Icet said of the
budget shortfall. "It would have seemed to be more prudent to take action then. In two and a half weeks, you just
can't do a whole lot."
But Nixon is planning to cut the 2010 budget, which Icet and lawmakers crafted and could have reduced before
sending to the governor.
Among the big- ticket items the governor could cut include payments to public schools, universities, community
colleges or Medicaid providers, such as hospitals and doctors, Icet said.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Gary Nodler said it's clear the state has a cash flow problem, though the Joplin
Republican doubts Nixon will withhold money from schools and Medicaid providers.
"The earlier that he can get a handle on reducing the outflow, the quicker he can get a handle on next year's
budget," Nodler said.
Nodler said there may be unspent funds the governor can use to meet his constitutional mandate of balancing
the budget.
For cash flow purposes, Icet said the governor could tap into the state's $500 million-plus budget reserve fund in
July once the new fiscal year begins.
"We have a cash flow problem and given the direction we're going it's not going to solve itself, it's just going to
get worse," Icet said. "It's like a snow ball: it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger."



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Governor signs jobs legislation
Animal-health sector to see gains locally
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS by Ahmad Safi
Saturday, June 13, 2009

St. Joseph is poised to be more of a national player in animal sciences with help from Missouri‘s new economic
development bill, Gov. Jay Nixon said during a visit Friday.
Touting a jobs bill that creates tax breaks and incentives for thousands of Missouri businesses, Mr. Nixon said
the legislation will spur thousands of new jobs in high-tech fields and entice the unemployed into school to fill
those jobs.
Mr. Nixon signed a ceremonial copy of the legislation at St. Joseph‘s new incubator. His visit was part of a
statewide tour to explain the massive bipartisan bill, which he signed into law last month. He calls it the most
important and decisive bill passed this year.
The bill eliminates Missouri‘s corporate franchise tax for most of the businesses that pay it and enlarges the tax
incentives available for employers who expand their payrolls or plants. Animal pharmaceutical company
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica is a recent benefactor.
Mr. Nixon said he is bullish on Missouri‘s current economic state. Although, he said, the state faces a 25-year
high in unemployment, 250,000 Missourians out of work and small businesses struggling to stay open.
The governor likens his role to a basketball coach trying to recruit talent. He intends to use the new jobs bill to
recruit high-tech companies to Missouri.
―I am extremely optimistic that this bill gives me all the tools I need in the short run to stare across the table with
any company, or any investor, or any entrepreneur and provide to them competitive opportunity with any states
in our region,‖ Mr. Nixon said.
He cites a ―cluster-build‖ of animal health science companies in St. Joseph. As part of his visit, Mr. Nixon toured
the Bond Science and Technology Incubator at Missouri Western State University.
Mr. Nixon said he was recently at the National Science Economic conference in Atlanta, trying to recruit
companies to Missouri. ―St. Joe was the centerpiece of discussions down there, and Missouri Western is really
on the map,‖ he said.
The incubator is accessible for start-up life science businesses and as a training center to prepare potential
employees for St. Joseph‘s animal health industries. It can accommodate between 10 and 15 tenants. The
incubator currently has four tenants.




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Mo. governor signs bill expanding
jobless benefits
Friday, June 12, 2009
By CHRIS BLANK
Associated Press Writer
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Gov. Jay Nixon signed a measure Friday to use federal stimulus money to
increase unemployment benefits going to Missourians, but it's unclear whether part of the plan will be allowed
under federal law.
The legislation does two main things: It lets Missourians receive jobless benefits longer, and it expands the
number of people eligible to get them in the first place.
The money to cover the additional people comes from the federal stimulus package and was intended as an
incentive for states to permanently change their laws so more people qualify for benefits. For either the
extension or the expansion to take effect, the U.S. Department of Labor must sign off.
Federal officials have agreed to allow Missourians to get up to an extra 20 weeks of jobless benefits when
unemployment is high, Nixon's office said Friday. Currently, Missouri unemployment benefits run out after 59
weeks.
But the expansion of jobless benefits still is under review, and the U.S. Labor Department previously raised
doubts about whether it would pass muster given its temporary nature.
The legislation would allow benefits for people who leave jobs for family reasons, such as a family members'
illness or disability, because of domestic violence or to follow a spouse who has taken a job elsewhere.
It also would provide an additional 26 weeks of jobless benefits for people participating in job training and
change the way workers' past wages are analyzed to determine benefits.
The problem is that the expansion would end as soon as the federal money runs out unless state lawmakers
agreed to continue it. But the Republican-led Legislature passed the unemployment measure only after receiving
assurances that it would be temporary.
The expansion also wouldn't start until the U.S. Labor Department approves the plan.
Those provisions conflict with the federal law's requirement that states make permanent changes in their
unemployment benefits and start them before receiving the federal stimulus money.
The National Employment Law Project, which advocated for the federal law, has said Missouri is the first state to
try to get the federal money for expanded unemployment benefits with only temporary changes. The group's
Midwest coordinator has predicted Missouri will not get the money.
The governor's office said Friday that allowing Missourians to collect benefits longer could inject up to $65 million
into the state's economy by increasing the amount of jobless benefits going to Missourians.
''Many Missouri families dealing with the loss of a job are going to be helped by these extended benefits as they
continue to seek work,'' Nixon said in a written statement.
Unemployment is HB1075
On the Net:
Legislature: http://www.moga.mo.gov




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Governor extends unemployment
benefits up to 20 weeks
BY ADAM JADHAV
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/13/2009

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Friday giving laid-off Missourians access to up to 20
more weeks of unemployment benefits.
Advocacy groups estimate the measure could affect thousands of people who can't find work but already have
used up the 59 weeks currently guaranteed by the state and federal unemployment insurance program. The
Missouri Department of Labor will send letters to eligible people, and individuals may file claims beginning
Monday at 8 a.m. by calling a Division of Employment Security claim regional center.
The St. Louis Regional Claims Center phone number is 314-340-4950. The statewide toll-free number is 800-
320-2519.
The governor's office estimates as much as $65 million could be claimed under the latest benefit extension. The
money comes as a part of the federal stimulus package.
Other reforms expanding the number of people who are eligible for unemployment benefits were part of the
legislation signed by the governor, but those changes are still under review by the federal government.
People who collect unemployment benefits must generally be looking for work or in an educational or job-training
program.




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Extension of unemployed worker
benefits now law in Missouri
By JASON NOBLE
The Star‘s Jefferson City correspondent
Unemployed workers in Missouri will be eligible for up to 20 additional weeks of state assistance under a bill
signed Friday by Gov. Jay Nixon.
The extension will allow unemployed workers to collect benefits for an additional 13 weeks when the state
unemployment rate exceeds 6.5 percent, and for seven weeks beyond that if unemployment is above 8 percent.
Missouri‘s jobless rate was 8.1 percent in April, the latest month that data were available.
Funding for the additional benefits — estimated at $65 million for Missouri — is available to states through the
federal stimulus package.
Job-seekers can apply for the additional benefits beginning Monday, said Amy Susan, a spokeswoman for the
state Department of Labor.
Unemployed workers already are eligible for 59 weeks of benefits. Those who are currently receiving benefits or
have exhausted them since Feb. 22 are eligible for the extension, Susan said. The extension will expire in
December.
Nixon praised the extension as much-needed help for the state‘s idled work force.
His administration still is working with the U.S. Department of Labor on another aspect of the bill, which would
broaden the conditions under which an unemployed worker could claim benefits. The Labor Department raised
questions with the state‘s plan to cancel the benefit expansion when the federal money runs out.
Also on Friday, budget officials outlined the state‘s dismal outlook for the rest of the fiscal year and warned of
budget cuts in the coming year.
Officials now project to end the fiscal year June 30 with revenues down 6.7 percent from the year before — a
more than 10 percentage point swing from the 3.4 percent growth projection the budget was built on.
―If you look 20, 30, 40 years back, this is just unheard of,‖ said Linda Luebbering, the state‘s budget director.
―This is an economic crisis for states that is historical.‖
To balance the budget, Nixon has cut expenses and drawn down $250 million from federal stimulus dollars.
For the fiscal year that begins July 1, the administration is now projecting a 1 percent loss in revenue, instead of
1 percent growth.
Nixon will look to federal stimulus funds to help plug the gap but also will make significant cuts to the budget that
was passed by the General Assembly.




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Lawmakers debate plan to replace
income taxes
By Adrianne DeWeese - The Examiner
Posted Jun 13, 2009 @ 12:38 AM
Eastern Jackson County, MO — Though the Missouri General Assembly‘s 2009 session ended nearly a month
ago, state Rep. Gary Dusenberg was traveling Friday afternoon to attend a rally and gain more information about
a vote he made this session.
Dusenberg, a Blue Springs Republican who represents the 54th District, was one of four Eastern Jackson
County Missouri House representatives who voted in favor of the Missouri fair tax proposal. He planned to attend
today‘s rally – along with an estimated 10,000 Missouri residents – at the Boone County Fairgrounds. The fair
tax legislation passed the Missouri House this session, 90-65.
 The legislation proposes a constitutional amendment that would replace individual and corporate income taxes
collected by the state with an increase in the sales tax on retail sales goods and services. If passed, the
legislation would increase Missouri‘s sales tax from 4.225 percent to roughly 5.11 percent.
Despite his ―yes‖ vote, Dusenberg admits he isn‘t completely sold on the legislation, known as House Joint
Resolution 36.
―I think it‘s something we need to look at because I don‘t think the current tax system is fair, and I think it‘s
something that is more of a consumers‘ tax,‖ he said. ―I‘m pretty conservative, and I‘ve always been against
more taxes, and this might be an avenue to have fewer taxes.‖
Other area legislators who voted in favor include Curt Dougherty, Bryan Pratt and Brian Yates. State Rep. Paul
LeVota, D-Independence, said he voted against the legislation because of the Kansas City area competing
constantly with Kansas on lower sales taxes. State Democratic representatives Tom McDonald and Ray Salva
also voted against the legislation.
―There‘s no doubt that there needs to be a fundamental reform on our tax system, but when you‘re only going to
change the Missouri tax system and not the federal tax system, it‘s just fundamentally unfair,‖ LeVota said.
Tom Lesnak, president of the Independence Council for Economic Development, echoed LeVota‘s concerns with
retail leakage into states like Kansas and Illinois, which borders the St. Louis metropolitan area.
―My initial response to it is I‘m not a big fan of using sales tax to replace income tax because you get a lot of
border jumping, and people would use the Internet for shopping,‖ Lesnak said.
―People view it as a fair tax, but if you‘re buying everything in Kansas and buying over the Internet, there‘s no
level playing field.‖
The legislation had two reads in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and two public hearings took place
before the session adjourned in mid-May. State Sen. Victor Callahan, D-Independence, said the legislation‘s title
of fair tax ―is in the eye of the beholder.‖ He also is concerned about its potential adverse effects on
homebuilding and education funding.
―I don‘t mind any discussion of improving the tax code; however, I believe the tax code is a misnamed legislation
because fairness to one is unfairness to another,‖ Callahan said.
―The devil is very much in the details and what affect does tax code have on the economy. There were
components of that where when you pass a tax code, you have to make something that is comfortable for
taxpayers – it can‘t be a straitjacket. It has to be a suit of clothes that people can wear comfortably every day.‖



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While he doesn‘t agree with every component of the proposed reform, Callahan said he believes simplifying the
tax code is a conversation that should take place at a state and federal level.
State Sen. Matt Bartle, a Lee‘s Summit Republican who sits on the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said
Friday afternoon that he isn‘t informed enough yet to speak in favor of or against the legislation, though he
understands why the discussion of reforming Missouri‘s tax structure is taking place.
―The current system can provide incentives for behavior that‘s not economically beneficial. There are tax credits,
for example, built into our tax system now that have provided incentives for people to build retail shopping
centers, and now we‘ve dramatically overbuilt those shopping centers,‖ Bartle said.
―All of this is a part of the tax system in general where the government decides it wants something out of the
marketplace, so it provides this or that type of incentive without regard of how it will affect the market.‖
Between now and pre-session legislative filings in December for 2010, Bartle says he‘ll be doing his homework
on HJR 36.
―I‘m going to have to dig in on it because I suspect it‘s coming back,‖ he said.




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House Budget Chair running for State
Auditor
Monday, June 15, 2009, 8:18 AM
MISSOURINET -By Steve Walsh

The Chairman of the House Budget Committee wants to be the next Missouri State Auditor. Representative
Allen Icet (R-Wildwood) has announced his candidacy for the statewide post in 2010.
In a written statement, Icet touts his defense of taxpayer dollars: "Over the past four years as House Budget
Chair I've worked to bring prudent fiscal management to the state's budget," explained Icet. "As Missouri's next
state Auditor, I will use that experience to continue protecting taxpayers by fighting for accountability and
transparency in state spending."
Icet, who was first elected to the Missouri House in 2002, took over as Chair of the Budget Committee in 2005.
He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas A&M University in Civil Engineering and earned a
Master's in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis. Icet and his wife have four children.




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Effort to toll I-70 in Missouri fails again
An annual legislative effort in the Missouri General Assembly has once again failed to garner support from
lawmakers. The legislation would have eliminated a couple of barriers that prohibit toll roads and bridges being
built in the state.
The failed initiative by Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Lee‘s Summit, would have enabled the state‘s Highways and
Transportation Commission to fund, build and operate toll roads and bridges, specifically on Interstate 70
between Kansas City and St. Louis. It marks the fifth consecutive year that the legislation to bring tolls to the
state has fallen on deaf ears at the statehouse.
The bill – SB13 – called for truckers and other drivers to pay $5 to drive the length of the highway in the state. It
was contingent upon the approval of an amendment to the Missouri Constitution. With that in mind, Bartle also
sought a joint resolution – SJR2 – to amend the state constitution to grant the highway commission the authority
needed.
Both efforts remained in the Senate Transportation Committee when the regular session ended, effectively killing
them for year. The previous attempts also failed to advance from committee.
The state‘s constitution currently prohibits the use of state funds to build toll roads. Changing the constitution
would require a public vote after legislative approval. Even if approved by voters, there would still be obstacles to
overcome.
For state-run roads, there could be legislation on specific projects to make use of the tolling authority. But for
interstates, it‘s more complex.
Federal law prohibits enacting tolls on interstates that are now toll-free; however, a state can ask the Federal
Highway Administration to toll an interstate as a pilot project.
State transportation officials contend tolls might be the best, if not the only, way to fund additional lanes on the
250-mile stretch between the two metropolitan areas of Kansas City and St. Louis.
Proponents of toll roads have tried for years to make them an option in Missouri, but voters rejected the concept
in 1970 and 1992. That‘s as far as highway officials have gotten. They‘ve asked for tolling authority several times
since, but lawmakers have refused to let it advance to the ballot.
The issue can be brought back for consideration once the 2010 session opens in January.
To view other legislative activities of interest for Missouri in 2009, click here.

LAND LINE MAGAZINE– By Keith Goble, state legislative editor




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12 Mo. police agencies won't get state
money
Friday, June 12, 2009
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says 11 police agencies and one sheriff's office will not
be eligible for state funds because they have not reported demographic information on their traffic stops.
Since 2001, Missouri law enforcement agencies have been required to report details about traffic stops to the
attorney general's office. The information is intended to track racial profiling, and the governor can deny funds to
agencies that don't provide it.
Nixon's office on Friday said it had directed the Department of Public Safety to withhold money from the dozen
agencies. A Nixon spokesman said that only one police department was in line for state funds at present.
Nixon's order means the Rockaway Beach Police Department won't be eligible for a $200,000 grant.




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Settlement grants $150,000 to worker
fired for anti-Bush letter
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE By Terry Ganey
Friday, June 12, 2009

A man who lost his Department of Corrections job after writing a letter to the editor critical of President George
W. Bush has settled a wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the state for $150,000.
Tim Kniest said the amount equals three years of back pay, although he will have to pay legal fees and taxes. In
2005, the Jefferson City News Tribune published Kniest‘s letter suggesting Bush be impeached. At the time,
Kniest worked for a vendor under contract to handle monitoring equipment for the department‘s probationers and
parolees. Director Larry Crawford, a former Republican state representative, told his deputies he wanted Kniest
removed. In 2006, a department official asked the vendor to reassign Kniest. After Kniest lost his job, he sued in
federal court, saying his dismissal violated his right to free speech.
This year, Judge Scott Wright ruled that although there was no question Kniest was fired for writing the letter, the
law was unclear on whether the state was liable because the vendor did the firing. A federal appeals court was
reviewing the issue when the settlement was reached.
The agreement negotiated with Attorney General Chris Koster‘s office does not acknowledge any wrongdoing on
the state‘s part. Crawford was unavailable for comment today. Kniest said the settlement shows ―I should not
have been required to leave in the first place.‖
―I think it demonstrates that when you make decisions based on politics rather than the policy of a state agency,
it generally does more harm than good,‖ Kniest added.




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Animal ID system: Big Brother or just good
business?
Livestock producers divided on merits of system.
Chad Livengood News-Leader
To remain competitive in foreign markets, Glen Cope voluntarily registered his 3,000-acre family farm in northern
Barry County and southern Lawrence County into a national animal tracking system.
In case of an infectious disease outbreak, South Korea and Japan require data for imported beef so the disease
can be traced back to the animal -- or farm.
For Cope's family farm --where he, his brother and father raise 500 head of cattle --entering into the program is a
means of survival in a worldwide marketplace that's increasingly pushing U.S. producers out.
"They're looking for any opportunity, it seems like, to exclude the import of U.S. beef," Cope said. "We have to
look for that to survive."
Livestock producers across southwest Missouri are conflicted on a National Animal Identification System , which
at this point remains voluntary.
Farmers who have already registered their farms with the government will be eligible to sell their beef in foreign
markets, a potential boon for an industry that's been bleeding red in the face of high grain, land and fertilizer
prices in recent years.
Consumers, both international and domestic, are increasingly demanding information about where their beef is
coming from, so the tracking systems have become necessary for producers to get premium prices.
On the other hand, many farmers don't want the government to mandate the system because it would meddle in
their private businesses by requiring them to register their land and tag each animal sold for commercial
consumption.
"It actually is a license to farm. They will be able to come on to my farm and make sure I'm in compliance with
the program," said Bob Parker, a cattle farmer from Raymondville in Texas County.
Parker compared the potential intrusion to the health department inspecting a restaurant.
Parker was among 54 livestock producers from across the Midwest who spoke Tuesday at a rancorous listening
session the U.S. Department of Agriculture held on the controversial animal ID system. Cope attended but did
not have a chance to speak.
Many who were there turned the hearing into a larger discussion about government bailouts of private industry,
religious freedom, patriotism and the growing presence of government in their lives.
Others in the industry say animal ID critics are out of touch with consumer demand for product safety.
"I think they read Orson Welles' '1984' too many times. They're afraid of Big Brother," said Tom Huff, 49, who
raises 180-head of cattle on a 400-acre farm near Fair Grove.
Huff has voluntarily registered his premises with the USDA to participate in the foreign trade programs.
"The fear of Big Brother on an animal ID is ... ill- conceived," Huff said.
Jeff Windett, executive vice president of the Missouri Cattlemen's Association, said many of the beef producers
in favor of the voluntary tracing program did not attend because they were at home tending to their farms.
"There was a lot of misinformation that was put out by the opponents," Windett said. "I don't hold to this
conspiracy theory that the government is going to swoop in and take all of your cattle."
Among the issues in dispute is the cost to small producers.
Windett said the average Missouri cattle producer with 30 cows would only have to pay for the $3 to $4 ear tags,
which contain a 15-digit tracking number. The work of counting and tracking the cattle can be done by hand with



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a smaller herd, whereas larger producers would have to invest in computers, software and radio tracking
equipment, Windett said.
The $3 to $4 investment per cow could have a $20 to $50 payoff at market if the producer sold the beef through
an export program with Asian countries.
"I think the opportunity for a small producer is every bit as good as a large producer," Windett said.
A Kansas State University study pegged the cost at $16 a head for a herd of 100 cattle.
Like most other agriculture interest groups, the Missouri Cattlemen's Association supports a voluntary system .
"If it goes mandatory and everybody has to do it, then there are no premiums to be had," Windett said.
Foreign beef
In recent years, mad cow and other disease scares have caused meat producers and foreign countries to
require information to prove the age and origin of a cow. In order to be eligible for export, cows must be 20
months old or younger, Windett said.
Huff said NAIS is a result of growing concern among consumers about the safety of their food.
"If that's what the consumer demands, then that's what we're going to have to do," Huff said.
Tuesday's meeting was one of 13 meetings the USDA is holding across the country in May and June to gather
input from farmers about NAIS.
So far, small producers appear overwhelmingly against it, while larger corporate farms and agriculture
organizations are lining up on the USDA's side, said U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri.
"It really works to the advantage of the big guys, and the big guys have a lot of influence on this issue," said
McCaskill, who has been one of the most out spoken critics of NAIS since being elected to the Senate in 2006.
USDA added Tuesday's meeting after McCaskill complained in a May 20 letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom
Vilsack that the country's second-largest beef producer -- the Show-Me state -- had been snubbed from the
nationwide schedule of listening sessions.
McCaskill said many of Missouri's small producers could be forced out of the marketplace if NAIS is mandated.
"I would like us to continue to have more than a handful of companies that can control the world's food supply,"
McCaskill said in an interview.
Missouri's junior senator is not sold on USDA's argument that an animal ID system is needed to trace infectious
diseases and open up foreign trade markets.
Brazil, for example, is the world's largest exporter of beef, but the South American country doesn't have a
tracking system, McCaskill noted.
"It is ironic to me that the federal government cannot figure out who is coming into America, but it's perfectly OK
to tag every bunny, chicken and calf in America," McCaskill said.
Additional Facts
What is NAIS?
It's the U.S Department of Agriculture's National Animal Identification System.
Livestock producers start by voluntarily registering their farms so the government can identify all the locations in
the U.S. where livestock and poultry for commercial consumption live or are housed. Then, farmers have the
choice to register each animal using a 15-digit identification number. That is done by attaching a tag to the
animal's ear.
Some tags may contain electronic tracking devices. From there, the ID numbers are put into a database, which
USDA can use to search in cases of infectious disease outbreaks.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture's Web site, www.usda.gov/nais




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$50M in stimulus will help fish farmers
Saturday, June 13, 2009
By CHRIS BLANK ~ The Associated Press
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. -- The United States is about to spend $50 million on fish food.
The money included in the federal stimulus package is intended to help keep afloat an aquaculture industry
already struggling from foreign competition after feed prices jumped 50 percent last year.
It could provide algae to feed clam and oyster larvae along the Pacific coast, fill the bellies of tilapia in Arizona
and feed catfish, trout and gamefish in the Midwest and South. Supporters say it will help keep fish farms going
in tough times and preserve jobs in areas that have been hit by the recession and lack other industries.
The push for the fish rescue started with producers in Arkansas and the South. The aquaculture industry was
worth $1.4 billion in sales in 2007, the most recent year for which the U.S. Department of Agriculture has figures.
Catfish account for one-third of those sales, and the leading producers are Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.
Missouri Agriculture director Jon Hagler toured two farms to last month to draw attention to the state's $500,000
share of the federal fish food grants. But he wishes there was stimulus money for pork and dairy producers as
well.
"I don't begrudge the aquaculture because someone was able to get aquaculture funding," he said. "I think that's
fantastic, and we're going to take advantage of it because if we don't we lose it. But in terms of the other
industries, I just wish there was more available for them."
The push for money for fish feed came from U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark. Her spokeswoman Katie Laning
Niebaum said the senator understands the needs of other farmers but is specifically concerned about the catfish
industry.
--—
On the Net:
National Aquaculture Association: http://www.thenaa.net
Osage Catfisheries: http://www.osagecatfisheries.com




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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
Youth view: Return funds to programs
JOPLIN GLOBE

One of our youth editorial board members won‘t be with us for a few weeks. She is at Missouri State University,
participating in the Missouri Fine Arts Academy — where she is joining about 185 of the state‘s most talented,
artistic students.
Meanwhile, in Columbia, about 330 students have assembled to take part in the Missouri Scholars Academy at
the University of Missouri campus.
Several of our board members have participated in these programs, and have found them incredibly valuable.
But those programs about to change — for the worse.
The amount of funding for the two programs has been cut by about two-thirds. The current funding level of about
$718,000 has dropped to about $259,000 in the fiscal year 2010 budget, which awaits Gov. Jay Nixon‘s
signature.
If that funding level is approved, it means the programs will be altered significantly. Some of the plans include
instituting tuition costs, asking universities to foot some of the bill, consolidating the programs or making them
shorter.
The three-week programs give students an advanced look at college life, and group students together according
to areas of study. High schools nominate the best of the best students, who go through an additional application
process to gain entrance.
Because costs are paid by the state, it means that entrance is based entirely on merit. That gives students the
chance to meet other teens from all walks of life.
Dropping the number of students in the programs will diminish their quality — especially if they can‘t afford to
pay tuition. Everyone deserves a chance to do something great.
We do like the idea of universities helping to pay the bill, because these programs are also great recruitment
tools for the universities. Students who live on the campuses often decide that they want to continue their
educational careers there.
We also understand that Missouri is in trying financial times. But these programs need to have their full funding
restored by the state. Removing it only punishes the students who seek to excel in their education.




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Fighting meth
SEMISSOURIAN Saturday, June 13, 2009
There is a law in Missouri, passed during the 2009 session of the state legislature, that authorizes a statewide
electronic monitoring system for pseudoephedrine-based drugs. These are the drugs in common over-the-
counter medications that are used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
But the electronic monitoring isn't in place yet because the funding for needed computer software hasn't been
released. This is one of the programs affected by the state's revenue crunch.
In 2005, the legislature passed a law requiring all purchases of pseudoephedrine medications to be logged. This
significantly reduced the sales of these medications and limited meth production.
But meth makers have found how easy it is to avoid detection by going from pharmacy to pharmacy, buying the
legal limit of these medications. This is called smurfing.
With an electronic system, access to all purchases of pseudoephedrine would be instantly available rather than
relying on paper logs kept by each pharmacy. Meth production is on the rise, and it's likely to continue to grow
until there is a better way of fingering those who are buying medications for meth instead of allergies.
The state should consider the funding for the electronic monitoring a high priority. Long-term savings to the state
would likely far exceed the cost of this important tool.




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SPRINGFIELD NEWS-LEADER OP-ED

Unions up to no good with new legislation
Carl Bearden

Union leaders nationally are desperate. With membership falling throughout the private sector -- from 21.5
percent of the work force in Missouri 25 years ago to 9.3 percent today -- unions have turned toward an
Orwellian named proposed federal legislation called the Employee Free Choice Act.
The unions are promoting the act as the best method to increase membership and improve wages and working
conditions. But don't be fooled. This initiative would kill U.S. jobs and send even more jobs overseas. Perhaps
most insidiously, the proposal would provide for less, not more, privacy in the workplace by eliminating secret
ballot voting for employees deciding whether they want to create a union.
Employees currently have two ways of forming a union. If at least 30 percent sign union cards, there must be a
secret ballot vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. If at least 50 percent sign the cards, the
NLRB must certify the union; however, the employer has the right to call for a secret ballot election in those
cases. Under the proposed legislation, that authority would be stripped away from the employer.
In the vast majority of cases, employers require a secret ballot because they are concerned about intimidation.
There's nothing secret about the cards. Union leaders know who signed or not, and have every intention to
ensure that their wishes are paramount.
One union boss, Andy Stern of the SEIU, explained how this works: "We like to say: We use the power of
persuasion first. If it doesn't work, we try the persuasion of power." This is a union boss power grab, an attempt
to force workers into unions without their consent.
This proposal would impose real costs on businesses at an incredibly poor time not just in Missouri, but across
the country. Costs for business owners would skyrocket as wage demands, restrictive work rules and work
stoppages are all used by unions to demand more power. A recent study by Anne Layne-Farrar, an economist
with LECG Consulting, estimates the act would cost 600,000 jobs.
Union leaders say that the current system allows employees to intimidate workers in the weeks leading up to an
election. On its Web site , the AFL-CIO highlights a study claiming that 92 percent "of private- sector employers,
when faced with employees who want to join together in a union, force employees to attend closed-door
meetings to hear anti-union propaganda."
But this claim simply acknowledges that employers want their side on the union issue to be heard. Union
organizers are allowed to disseminate information to workers. Shouldn't employers have the same right?
Are there employers who violate federal law, illegally intimidating and firing workers involved in legally
organizing? Yes, a small number. Fortunately, there are federal laws in place, enforced by the NLRB, to protect
employees from such actions. But if federal lawmakers approve the Employee Free Choice Act, employers will
have no ability to prevent union bosses from intimidating their employees into supporting a union.
Carl Bearden is the state director for Americans For Prosperity -- Missouri.




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Constitutional amendment would
protect the flag
By Congressman Ike Skelton

Submitted to The Examiner
Posted Jun 13, 2009 @ 01:50 AM
Washington, D.C. — From the Stars and Stripes that Francis Scott Key saw defiantly waving through the smoke
over Fort McHenry, to the flag that energized and emboldened the war-weary American spirit as it was hoisted
over Mount Suribachi, to the first national emblem to be planted in the dust of the Moon, our history has been
shaped and defined by the role of our national colors. And as we celebrated Flag Day this year, we were
reminded that as in the past, the flag remains a sacred beacon of freedom, a symbol of hope wherever it is
flown.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved a resolution adopting the Star and Stripes as the
flag of the United States. Official recognition of June 14 as Flag Day began when President Woodrow Wilson
issued a presidential proclamation in 1916. For Americans, the flag is one of the most sacred symbols of our
government, representing freedom, democracy, and all of the things that we hold most dear about our country.
Over the years, however, various laws designed to protect the U.S. flag have been invalidated by the courts. In
a 1989 Supreme Court decision, Texas v. Johnson, the Court struck down the 1968 federal Flag Protection Act,
citing concerns about free speech. Congress quickly passed a new Flag Protection Act, but it too was struck
down by the Supreme Court in a 1990 Supreme Court decision, U.S. v. Eichman.
A national symbol as sacred and historic as our flag deserves better. Millions of brave Americans have fought
and hundreds of thousands have died so that the American flag can continue to wave over the Land of the Free.
To honor their ongoing sacrifices and protect the dearest symbol of our country, I have co-sponsored H.J. Res.
47, which would amend the Constitution by granting Congress ―the power to prohibit the physical desecration of
the flag of the United States.‖ H.J. Res. 47 was introduced by fellow Missourian, U.S. Representative Jo Ann
Emerson and is currently pending in the House Judiciary Committee.
This is not the first time steps have been taken in Congress to protect and preserve the U.S. flag. Similar
constitutional amendments have been debated by nearly every Congress since these court decisions, but they
have never met all of the ratification requirements. In order to be added to the Constitution, an amendment must
be approved by a two-thirds majority in the House, by a two-thirds majority in the Senate, and by three-fourths of
state legislatures.
I am hopeful that the U.S. House of Representatives will soon consider this amendment. It is an intolerable
contradiction that we would have our brave men and women commit the ultimate sacrifice defending our nation
abroad, only to allow its sacred symbol to be desecrated on their home soil. It‘s time to amend the Constitution to
defend the flag. Old Glory deserves no less.




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Our opinion: Leaders give Missouri
hope, a plan
Sunday, June 14, 2009

With 250,000 Missourians out of work, it‘s clear what we needed from the recently concluded legislative session:
A measure of hope and a plan for digging out of this hole.
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and Republican leaders of both the House and Senate deserve credit for closing
ranks and together confronting the challenges posed by the worst state economy of this era. It‘s too soon to say
whether their actions will be enough, but the bipartisan effort was welcome and needed.
Gov. Nixon, in town Friday for a ceremonial bill signing, was joined by House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin,
and Senate President Pro-Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, in making economic development and job growth
the top legislative priority. The bill ultimately approved bears their imprint.
Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, unexpectedly played a central role in the debate. He and others had stalled the
jobs legislation while seeking firm caps on the tax credits program focused on historic preservation. Then, in the
closing hours of the session, Sen. Lager offered a compromise on the credits that cleared the way for the jobs
bill. That moment of statesmanship will be remembered by many, as it was by Gov. Nixon.
The economic development legislation includes key provisions:
* The cap on the Quality Jobs program was increased from $60 million to $80 million. Quality Jobs provides
incentives to certain businesses that add jobs paying at least average wages and providing health benefits.
* The caps on the BUILD program and the New Markets program both were increased from $15 million to $25
million. The BUILD program awards tax credits to companies to pay off bonds used to build their plants. The
New Markets program provides tax credits for investments in low-income areas.
* Changes to the franchise tax will free 15,000 smaller businesses from having to pay the tax. That means the
businesses will keep about $14.5 million previously paid in taxes and be free to invest it in activities that could
create more jobs.
* Pre-employment training was added to an existing Department of Economic Development program that helps
pay for job training in new or expanding industries.
Gov. Nixon asked for and received a wide array of tools he can use to recruit jobs and businesses to the state,
and to grow existing businesses. It‘s a bipartisan agenda in a year when that‘s the only kind of agenda that
makes sense. No matter how they voted in the last election, Missourians should hope this works.
ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS




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Court sends strong message about
appearance of judicial impropriety
SEMISSOURIAN Monday, June 15, 2009
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in Caperton v. Massey Coal Co. that we cannot risk even the
appearance of impropriety in our courts. Because of Missouri's Nonpartisan Court Plan, the Caperton case could
not have happened in Missouri. That's good. But the Caperton decision by itself can't protect our courts from the
excesses of money and politics. That requires an informed public that will stand up against any attempts to
politicize our state courts.
The Caperton decision settled a conflict in West Virginia, where a state supreme court judge refused to recuse
himself from hearing an appeal involving Massey Coal, which had given him a $3 million campaign contribution.
At issue wasn't whether the judge had ruled for the coal company because of the donation. The issue was
whether due process of the law requires a judge who has accepted a major donation from a company to recuse
himself from cases that come before him concerning that company. The Supreme Court said it did. In other
words, there was a risk that a judge might be biased in favor of such a major donor, and that risk translated into
the appearance of impropriety.
The election of judges isn't a bad thing. Trial-level judges in outstate Missouri are elected. Partisan politics isn't
improper either.
But the Caperton decision is a strong message from the U.S. Supreme Court that we must protect our courts
from the possibility of money or politics intruding into the courtroom. Missouri's Nonpartisan Court Plan does just
that.

THOMAS M. BURKE, President, The Missouri Bar, St. Louis




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Missourinet
20 years of cleaner streams
Sunday, June 14, 2009, 10:01 PM
By Bob Priddy

One of Missouri's largest volunteer programs celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.
The Department of Conservation estimates 80-thousand people have been or are members of the four-thousand
stream teams formed since the Roubidoux Fly Fishers of Waynesville became Stream Team Number One.
The department figures those teams have provided more than one-and-a-half million hours of volunteer work.
Stream Team Biologist Sherry Fischer figures the teams saved the department 2.6-million dollars last year,
alone.
And she says the streams are a lot cleaner. The department says the teams have removed more than 6,000
tons of trash from Missouri's streams. .
The department says stream teams are involved in almost three-dozen activities including junk removal. They
also check water quality, work on stream access, watershed mapping and zebra mussel monitoring, and other
things.


St. Louis recives grant, Slay says mayors working together to be
green, increase employment
Sunday, June 14, 2009, 9:32 PM
By Jessica Machetta

Some of Missouri's mayors are collaborating with those from throughout the country at the United States
Conference of Mayors in Rhode Island.
Mayors from St. Louis, Kansas City and Columbia are learning about how green issues and economic
challenges are affecting other cities.
Mayor Francis Slay of St. Louis says mayors at the conference come from a diversity of backgrounds and
political views, but this is a bipartisan gathering where two heads are better than one. Political differences are
put aside for the greater good.
St. Louis was awarded a $550,000 to further a program between the city's workforce development agency, St.
Patrick's center for the homeless and Southern Illinois at Edwardsville. The program seeks to re-employ
homeless and jobless in bio-fuel technology jobs.
Wal-Mart awarded similar grants to Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Providence.
For more, click the links below:
http://usmayors.org/pressreleases/uploads/release-20090612-greenjobs.pdf
http://usmayors.org/77thAnnualMeeting/




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Revamped website helping Missouri campgrounds to lure visitors
Sunday, June 14, 2009, 2:59 PM
By Steve Walsh

For many Missourians vacation time means time spent camping. And the Missouri Association of RV Parks &
Campgrounds, which represents about 75 campgrounds throughout the state, has revamped its website in time
for the summer camping season.
Association President Larry Helms, the owner of the Boiling Spring Campground in Dixon, says that while the
economy is not in the best shape, members are hoping for a good season as people camp, fish, and do other
things associated with getting away.
"Our prediction is that we'll at least be at the level we were last year," said helms in an interview with the
Missourinet. "Many of our parks are expecting a 10 to 15 to 20 percent increase simply because people are
staying closer to home, people are really taking a look at Missouri and things that we have to offer in the state."
The upgraded website allow the user to more easily find a park the amenities desired in a given region.
"We have full service parks that would have everything from cable TV to Wi-Fi," said Helms. "Some of them have
major restaurants and steakhouses and game rooms and cabins, you know, the whole gamut at that park."
But there are still campgrounds for city slickers who want to "rough it."
"We have some parks that are just smaller parks," said Helms. "Just for tent camping, hiking, and boating and
stuff like that as well."
The website also includes a calendar section with detailed information on upcoming food, music, arts and craft
festivals, and other events.

United Nations Secretary General visits St. Louis
Saturday, June 13, 2009, 7:11 AM
By Steve Walsh

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has visited St. Louis, delivering a speech on global food security
and hunger.
The visit was part of the U.N. chief's plan to visit various parts of the United States to promote the organization.
In his comments at St. Louis University, Ban spoke of the importance of Missouri in the production of America's
food supply.
Among those on hand for Ban's comments was Governor Nixon, who told the crowd of the importance of
agriculture to Missouri and reminded those in attendance of the state's $2 Billion in agricultural exports.

Governor signs bill extending jobless benefits
Friday, June 12, 2009, 4:50 PM
By Steve Walsh

Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation extending unemployment benefits for Missourians. The additional
unemployment money is part of the federal economic stimulus package. House Bill 1075 will provide $65 million
for out-of-work Missourians who have gone through their benefits but who have still not found employment.
Under normal circumstances, unemployment benefits would last a total of 59 weeks, provided the claimant has
not found a job. But this legislation will extend benefits during times of high unemployment. Missourians will be
eligible for up to 13 additional weeks of benefits when the jobless rate exceeds 6.5 percent during the most
recent three-month period. In addition, the legislation provides up to seven additional weeks of benefits when the
average total unemployment rate exceeds 8 percent during the most recent three-month period.




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

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USA TODAY MISSOURI NEWS
MONDAY, JUNE 15 -- St. Louis — The last two F-15s took off from Lambert Airport on Saturday, marking the
end of the Air Guard's 86-year history in St. Louis. The federal base closure panel voted to close the 131st
Fighter Wing in 2005. Some administrative duties will remain in St. Louis, but pilots, maintenance and operations
personnel are being transferred to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, 210 miles west of St. Louis.




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

				
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