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                                    C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 1 of 43

Budget, ethics top Mo. lawmakers' 2010
Thursday, January 7, 2010
By DAVID A. LIEB ~ The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri lawmakers convened their 2010 session Wednesday besieged by budget
woes and perceptions of corruption. They pledged to clean up their image and keep government running without
raising taxes.
The challenges facing lawmakers contributed to a subdued mood as the House and Senate each gaveled into
session around noon. They are scheduled to work until May 14.
The session began under some somber financial figures: Reports released this week show Missouri's tax
revenue is down 10.6 percent through the first half of its fiscal year and is projected to rebound only slightly in
the coming months. An additional $200 million in cuts could be needed within weeks.
Further depressing the mood was some coincidental court action. While lawmakers gathered in Jefferson City,
former representative Talibden El-Amin was sentenced Wednesday in St. Louis to 18 months in federal prison
for bribery and former House Speaker Rod Jetton -- who has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman -- had a
state court hearing in Southeast Missouri.
Former senator Jeff Smith spent his first full day Wednesday in a Manchester, Ky., prison for obstructing a
federal investigation into campaign finance violations. And a replacement for Rep. Steve Brown -- who resigned
after pleading guilty to conspiring with Smith -- was sworn into office Wednesday as the first order of House
House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence, said of the surge criminal cases: "I'm simply embarrassed
by the members of my caucus who betrayed the trust of the public."
As one of his first actions of the 2010 session, House Speaker Ron Richard created a 12-person special
committee to work on ethics legislation.
"We, as members, expect nothing less than the highest integrity in this chamber, and the people of the state
deserve nothing less," said Richard, R-Joplin.
Senate leaders pledged that ethics legislation would be among the first bills debated.
President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, declared in his opening speech to colleagues: "We must
restore confidence in our elected officials with ethics reforms." His call to clean up the Capitol's image received
mild applause.
Lawmakers already have proposed a buffet of potential ethics changes, including an end to lobbyist-supplied
meals and gifts, a ban on lawmakers doubling as political consultants, new investigatory powers for the Missouri
Ethics Commission and a restoration of campaign contribution limits.
Even before the session began, lobbyists began pleading with legislative budget writers to spare their clients'
programs from spending cuts. Members of one House appropriations committee arrived at the Capitol on
Monday to hear several days of public testimony from advocates for the mentally ill, developmentally disabled,
domestic abuse victims and others.
"We're just going to have to pick and choose and we're going to have to make some tough decisions on what
programs are vitally necessary," said Rep. David Sater, R-Cassville, the committee chairman.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 2 of 43

Senate Republicans and Democrats both pledged to make education a priority in the budget. So far, public K-12
schools have avoided cuts to their core budgets, though they have taken hits in transportation aid. Gov. Jay
Nixon and legislative leaders already have agreed on one thing: There will be no tax increases to help balance
the budget.
Lawmakers in 2010 also are to consider new incentives for businesses that expand or locate in Missouri -- a
particular challenge given the need to make budget cuts. Nixon wants to offer Missouri businesses extra
incentives to expand at home instead of elsewhere and create a new pool of money to lure biotechnology firms.
"For the second budget year in a row, we are working with less revenue than the year before," Shields said. "We
need to get Missourians back to work in lasting and growing industries that pay well and offer benefits."
Other measures likely to be debated would require insurers to cover autism treatment for children, toughen the
state's drunken driving laws and strengthen water quality standards in response to tests showing high bacteria
levels at the popular tourist destination of the Lake of the Ozarks.
Republicans hold a 23-11 majority over Democrats in the Senate and an 87-71 majority in the House, where
there are five vacancies.

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                                    C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 3 of 43

Missouri lawmakers clash over ethics reform
Democrats advocate new campaign donation limits.
Chad Livengood   News-Leader

Jefferson City -- For several weeks leading up to the start of the 2010 session, state lawmakers have been
clamoring about ethics reform.
But the partisan divisions about what constitutes a meaningful reform of the way they do business were already
showing Wednesday -- the first day.
Democrats said lawmakers need to reinstate limits on campaign contribution because the large donations to
members of both parties gives the appearance that legislation is for sale in the capital city.
"A system that allows one individual or one interest group to give unlimited amounts of money ... is a pay-to-play
system," said Sen. Joan Bray, a St. Louis County Democrat.
Gov. Jay Nixon has said any ethics reform "must" include new caps on campaign contributions. In 2008, the
Republican-controlled legislature repealed the previous campaign contribution limits of $1,375 for statewide
candidates, $675 for Senate and $325 for House candidates.
Republican leaders oppose contribution limits, saying they encourage donors to try to get around them by setting
up multiple campaign committees and laundering big bucks to politicians through multiple small-dollar donations.
"It gets down to First Amendment rights -- people's right to participate in the process," said Senate President Pro
Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph.
The sudden push for reforming the way state officials do business comes on the heels of three St. Louis-area
Democratic lawmakers pleading guilty to federal crimes last year. One former representative, Talibden El-Amin,
was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in federal prison for accepting a bribe in exchange for using his state
office to carry out an official act.
"I find it a very somber mood around this building," said Bray, who is entering her 18th year in the General
The state budget is another reason for pause, even for veteran lawmakers who made deep spending cuts in the
early part of the last decade.
Missouri's tax revenues are down 10.6 percent on the fiscal year. Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to cut an additional
$200 million from the current fiscal year after already reducing spending by $634 million since June.
Lawmakers will likely have to reduce spending for next year by the same amount Nixon has cut or withheld.
The state has about $1 billion left over from the federal economic stimulus act. But that money will expire after
the 2011 fiscal year, which ends in June 2012.
So lawmakers hope to devise long-term budget plans this year so they can anticipate the drop in federal aid.
"We're going to have to be more realistic" about spending, said Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler, R-
In addition to ethics reform, lawmakers have pledged to not cut education funding and that they'll pass legislation
this year requiring health insurance companies to cover certain types of therapy for autism.

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                                    C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 4 of 43

Shields has proposed banning registered lobbyists from making campaign contributions to lawmakers while
they're in session from January to mid-May.
Previous attempts to ban donations during the session have been ruled unconstitutional, but Shields thinks
lawmakers could craft language that just limits lobbyists from making contributions during that time period.
During his opening address, Shields said the legislature should "once and for all put an end to even the
appearance of pay-to-play politics" by barring lobbyist contributions when lawmakers are in town.
But Shields has acknowledged there's nothing to stop the flow of money from special interests with issues before
the legislature after the session concludes.
House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said he's forming a special committee on government accountability and
ethics reform to craft legislation for the chamber to consider. Richard appointed state Rep. Kevin Wilson, R-
Neosho, to chair the special committee.
Richard said there's a public perception that the state legislature is corrupt and he wants to "remove even the
appearance of impropriety."
He was noncommittal to any of the proposals that have been pushed in recent weeks.
"I will support whatever comes out of our bipartisan committee," Richard told reporters.
Wilson said perception of what practices in the Capitol appear unethical are "sometimes in the eyes of the
"You can't legislate morality," Wilson said. "But you can make certain things against the rules."

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                                     C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 5 of 43

Budget the ‘toughest challenge’
Area lawmakers also cite job creation, education as priorities
by BY ANDREW DENNEY/Special to the News-Press
Thursday, January 7, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — State legislators from Northwest Missouri were in the capital Wednesday for the first day
of a new legislative session — one in which a dark budget forecast will pose a significant challenge for
In his opening address, Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, said the state budget will be
the ―toughest challenge‖ for lawmakers this year. He said taxes would not be raised, but hard choices would
have to be made to keep the state‘s budget balanced.
For the second straight year, there was a decline in the amount of tax revenue collected by the state. On
Monday, budget officials announced that they expect to collect $480 million less this year in tax revenue than for
the previous fiscal year, with an expected $262 million deficit.
Mr. Shields said the budget picture would improve if more Missourians were put back to work in ―good-paying
jobs with benefits.‖
―We must focus on creating jobs to improve the economy and help Missouri families thrive,‖ he said in his
Mr. Shields said education will be a top budget priority for the Republican-controlled Legislature. In a news
conference before his address, he said he would help protect funding for education to help give the state a
―better work force.‖
In November 2009, Gov. Jay Nixon reached an agreement with presidents of colleges and universities across
the state to maintain 95 percent of their funding from the last fiscal year if they agree to freeze their tuition. This
proposal must still be approved by the Legislature.
State Rep. Mike Thomson, R-Maryville, who serves on three House committees that deal with education policy,
said, because of the current budget problems, maintaining the current level of funding for education will be a
challenge. Last year, funding for education made up more than half of the state‘s budget allocations.
―It‘s going to be a fight to keep the funding,‖ he said.
Mr. Thomson is the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee for Education, the vice chairman of the
House Higher Education Committee and a member of the House Elementary and Secondary Education
While unemployment numbers in Missouri are lower than the national average, unemployment has become an
increasing problem in the state and the region over the past year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
from November 2008 to November 2009, unemployment in Missouri grew from 6.8 percent to 9.5 percent.
The spike in the numbers of the unemployed was also felt locally. Over the past year, unemployment in St.
Joseph rose from 5.5 percent to 8.5 percent.
According to ProPublica, a nonprofit, investigative news publication, the poverty rate in Buchanan County was
14.1 percent as of Dec. 7, 2009. The national poverty rate was 13.3 percent.
To attract jobs, leaders also discussed possible incentive programs or changes to the state‘s tax structure to
attract businesses to Missouri. Republican leaders have supported replacing the state‘s income tax with a
progressive sales tax — or ―fair tax‖ — as an incentive to attract businesses to the state.

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                                     C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 6 of 43

Last year, the House passed a measure that would enact a fair tax in the state, but the bill did not pass the
State Rep. Martin Rucker, D-St. Joseph, said one of his focuses during this legislative session will be to attract
jobs to St. Joseph. He said the life sciences industry could be a vehicle for economic growth in the area, citing
the recent expansion of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, which announced in November that it would add 124
new jobs.
―We can take a job infrastructure we already have and build on it,‖ Mr. Rucker said.
He said a fair tax in the state could disproportionately affect the poor.
State Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, said businesses would be attracted to the state if the government upholds
a ―fair regulatory environment‖ and enacts a tax structure that ―maximizes opportunities‖ for businesses to
―We‘re going to grow our way out of this by empowering our business owners and entrepreneurs and the families
of this state to spend their money and invest it in the way they best see for themselves,‖ Mr. Lager said. ―That, I
believe, would fuel economic activity.‖
State Rep. Dr. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said the fair tax ―is one of the very best ways‖ to attract businesses to
the state.
Mr. Schaaf has sponsored a bill this session that would allocate state funds to aid in agricultural marketing in
Buchanan and Andrew counties, which he said could help the state‘s life sciences industry.

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                                   C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 7 of 43

Missouri's General Assembly convenes with
focus on ethics reform
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN By Jeremy Essig, Ben Wieder
January 6, 2010 | 5:28 p.m. CST

                                                                        President Pro Tem Charlie Shields (center) answers a
                                                                        reporter's question during a press conference with Sen.
                                                                        Kevin Engler, majority floor leader, before the start of the
                                                                        General Assembly session on Wednesday. Key issues
                                                                        discussed revolved around ethics and campaign
                                                                        contributions, changes in taxes, and the senate's
                                                                        relationship with the governor. "We've got challenging
                                                                        times — we have to work together," Engler said. ¦ Erin
                                                                        JEFFERSON CITY — On a day two former
                                                                        legislators were due to appear in court and one
                                                                        day after another began his prison term, the
                                                                        2010 Missouri General Assembly began with a
                                                                        call for ethics reform.
                                                                        House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin,
                                                                        announced the creation of a committee in the
                                                                        House to address ethics and governmental
                                                                        accountability. Richard said he was creating a
                                                                        new committee, chaired by Rep. Sally Faith, R-
                                                                        St. Charles, instead of using current committees
                                                                        to draw attention to the issue.
                                                                        "I want to make sure you all and the state of
                                                                        Missouri can watch its progress," Richard said.
                                                                        Addressing the Senate, President Pro Tem
                                                                        Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, said, "We must
                                                                        strive for higher ethics standards because ethics
                                                                        violations are unacceptable."
                                                                        Shields welcomed the body's newest senator,
                                                                        Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, but reminded the
                                                                        Senate of the reasons Keaveny's predecessor
                                                                 Former Sen. Jeff Smith, D-St. Louis, who held
                                                                 the seat during the last legislative session, began
a prison term Tuesday in Kentucky for obstructing justice. Also in trouble with the law are two former members of
the House: former House Speaker Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, who requested a new judge Wednesday in his
assault trial, and former Rep. T.D. El-Amin, D-St. Louis County, who was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in
prison for bribery.

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                                    C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 8 of 43

While both Richard and Shields promised that reforming ethics laws would be one of the first items brought to
the floor, exactly what would be contained within the legislation was still in doubt Wednesday.
Shields has filed a bill that would ban lobbyist contributions during the legislative session, appoint an
independent investigator to an ethics commission and require staff to file financial disclosure forms.
Shields' legislation is similar to a bill filed by House Majority Leader Steven Tilley, R-Perryville, which would ban
all contributions from lobbyists. Tilley said he voluntarily stopped accepting gifts from lobbyists in July.
But Shields and Senate Majority Leader Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, were not ready to ban all contributions
Asked if allowing lobbyists to contribute at the conclusion of a session is just putting off a donation, Shields said
that was "one perception" but that "we need to get past that perception."
Shields and Engler also said they were not in favor of Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to limit contributions to
These limits should be included in any ethics legislation, said House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-
"It can't be called comprehensive ethics reform unless you have some sort of campaign finance limits," LeVota
Engler said when Missouri had contribution limits, donors participated in a "shell game" that allowed
the laundering of money through various campaign committees.
Nixon's proposal would eliminate the movement of money between committees, a move supported by Senate
Minority Leader Victor Callahan, D-Independence.
"Limits are a very good idea," Callahan said. "The problem is we need limits on everything."
The state's budget woes were another issue Shields said would be a main focus of the next legislative session.
"We are facing an ongoing budget crisis, and to succeed we must have a governor who will do his job and
present a balanced budget that is not short-sighted," Shields said.
Shields, Engler and Callahan all said that ensuring continued funding for educational programs would be critical
in the creation of the budget.
"This year, we must continue (a) commitment (to) make education a top budget priority," Shields said.
Shields said his third priority was to make long-term planning a part of this year's legislative process.
In a press conference following his address, Shields, who is term-limited after this year, said he wants to leave
something with a lasting impact. Some Democrats, however, said they were reluctant to tie the hands of future

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                                     C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 9 of 43

Missouri legislature opens 2010 session
by tony messenger

JEFFERSON CITY — Joe Keaveny was challenged as much as he was welcomed to the Missouri Senate
during the 2010 legislative session's first day Wednesday.
"We support you as you work to rebuild the faith the people of the Fourth District may have lost in our democratic
process and elected leaders," Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, told Keaveny, the new
Democratic senator from St. Louis, in opening remarks.
Those remarks were peppered with references to the ethical lapses of former colleagues who were replaced by
Keaveny and state Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights. The new lawmakers took over for Jeff Smith
and Steve Brown, two St. Louis-area Democrats who pleaded guilty last year to federal corruption charges.
Just before Newman and Keaveny began their new jobs, a third St. Louis Democrat caught in a federal sting,
former state Rep. T.D. El-Amin, was sentenced to jail on bribery charges. His replacement will be elected in
Shields and his counterpart in the House, Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, both made it clear they plan to make
changes to the ethics laws that govern elected officials.
"We, as members, expect nothing less than the highest integrity in this chamber, and the people of the state
deserve nothing less," Richard said.
Shields said that legislators "won't craft the perfect solution, but I think we have to get started on it."
Newman plans to jump right into the ethics debate by pushing for campaign finance limits, an idea supported by
most Democrats in the building but opposed by Shields and other key Republicans. That might be the most hotly
contested element of the ethics debate, which will include proposals to outlaw lobbyists' gifts, bar legislators from
immediately becoming lobbyists after leaving office and add investigative teeth to the Missouri Ethics
Shields opposes bringing back campaign finance limits. But Democrats point out that Missouri is one of only a
couple of states in the nation without them.
"A system that allows an individual or an interest group to give unlimited amounts of money … is a pay-to-play
system," said Sen. Joan Bray, D-University City.
In the House, Richard appointed a new 12-member ethics committee to try to forge a bipartisan compromise.
The chairman, Rep. Kevin Wilson, R-Neosho, said he was open-minded.
Although he voted to repeal the limits in 2008, Wilson said he "can see both sides of the argument. At this point
in time, I'm not ruling anything out."
Wilson also will carry the ball on another difficult topic: requiring insurers to cover treatment for autism. The
House killed that bill last year after insurers contended it would raise premiums for everyone.
Richard has promised to make autism insurance the first bill debated this year. The speaker told reporters that
today, he would assign it to Wilson's Health Insurance Committee, which could hold a hearing as early as next
Wilson said he wanted to make sure an insurance mandate didn't "run small business out of the state."

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 10 of 43

Like 53 other members of the House and 10 members of the Senate, Wilson is in his last year in the Legislature
because of term limits. In his speech, Shields suggested that one of the results of term limits was that lawmakers
would need to do a better job of planning ahead.
He pointed to this year's tight budget as an example. While state revenues are down nearly 11 percent in the
fiscal year so far, the task of balancing next year's budget will be made easier because Gov. Jay Nixon held
back about $1 billion in budget stabilization funds from the federal government that could have been spent last
Because of the double whammy of the bad economy and the ethical lapses of lawmakers, some elected officials
noted a more subdued tone in the Capitol compared with past years.
"People are a little more somber," said Senate majority floor leader Kevin Engler, R-Farmington.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 11 of 43

State Rep. Kevin Wilson to chair committee on ethics
By Rick Rogers
Neosho Daily News
Posted Jan 06, 2010 @ 03:33 PM
Jefferson City, Mo. — As the gavel sounded to begin the 2010 session of the Missouri Legislature today in
Jefferson City, House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) said in his opening speech that a priority would be the
passing of an ethics bill.
A statement on ethics reform was also made by State President Pro Tem Charlie Shield (R-St. Joseph) during
his opening speech.
And to get that priority started, Richard announced the formation of a committee on government accountability
and ethics reform, which will be chaired by State Rep. Kevin Wilson (R-Neosho).
Wilson, who is serving his final term in the House of Representatives, is also the chairman of the special
committee on health insurance reform.
The formation of the committee on government accountability and ethics reform is in light of three Democratic
politicians in St. Louis pleading guilty to federal corruption charges, and as the FBI continues to conduct
investigations on possible law violations at the state Capitol.
Wilson, who learned of his designation as chairman of the government accountability and ethics reform early
Wednesday, said any bill that is filed relating to ethics will be sent to his committee.
"First, before we do anything, we have to define what ethics truly is," said Wilson during a telephone conference
with the Daily News Wednesday afternoon. "There is a difference between morality, which we can't govern, and
ethics, and I want our committee to define what that difference is."
Wilson said he was unsure how many members his committee would consist of, and who would be serving on it.
Lawmakers canceled Thursday's planned session at the state Capitol because of forecasted dangerous winter
weather conditions approaching the state.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 12 of 43

Winter storm disrupts Mo. lawmakers
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio (2010-01-06)
Blowing snow falls on a statue of Thomas Jefferson outside the Mo. State Capitol Building in Jefferson City, on
the opening day of the 2010 legislative session. Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. (St. Louis Public Radio) - Missouri lawmakers have cut short their opening week
sessions due to the winter storm bearing down on much of the state.
House Majority Floor Leader Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says there'll be a technical session Thursday morning
for House members who want to get bills filed. But he's also encouraging them to go home.
"Those members who have already planned on being here in session can certainly go to the clerk and note your
presence...for those of you that need to get home for weather, you can certainly do that, and if you choose to go
home it will save the taxpayers $103 per person," Tilley said from the House floor.
The Missouri Senate also cancelled its Thursday session, and a seminar on replacing the state income tax with
an expanded sales tax has been postponed.
But Governor Jay Nixon's Prayer Breakfast is still on for Thursday. The featured speaker is St. Louis Cardinals
pitcher Adam Wainwright.

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                                   C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 13 of 43

COLUMN: Ethics reform in Missouri legislature
must include contribution limits
January 7, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST
We‘ve all heard the old line about how nobody‘s secure in life or property while the legislature is in session. So I
won‘t repeat it. Instead, I‘ll try as always to look at the legislative glass as though it‘s half full rather than 90
percent empty and leaking fast.
With no money to spend, our legislators and governor seem intent on making 2010 the year of cleaning up and
cracking down.
Gov. Nixon wants to clean up the state‘s water, especially the Lake of the Ozarks. He and some legislators,
Republican as well as Democratic, want to crack down on distracted driving, both the kind that results from
texting and the kind that results from drinking. I can‘t imagine why there‘d be any opposition to cleaner water and
safer roads.
The biggest and most important clean-up, though, would be the clean-up of the political process itself. These are
early days, I know, but it‘s encouraging that the governor and the Republican leaders of both House and Senate
are talking in similar terms about governmental, especially legislative, ethics.
It would be a nice irony if Rod Jetton‘s legacy turned out to be reforms to the system he abused so lucratively.
Remember that while he was speaker of the House, he also ran a political consulting firm that had fellow
legislators as high-paying clients. After he left the legislature, he was the middle man in the massive
contributions to Republicans after the House passed a resolution to gut the nonpartisan judicial selection plan.
Ideally, we‘d cut the connection between money and elections by having campaign costs paid by the citizenry as
a whole. That would be the best way to end the legalized bribery that is how we finance campaigns now. Of
course, that‘s not going to happen. Too many powerful interests prefer the current system and too many citizens
are apathetic.
Still, without anybody willing to admit there‘s an ethics crisis in Jefferson City, there does appear to be an
eagerness to address it.
Gov. Nixon wants to reinstate the campaign contribution limits we voters once approved, restrict donations from
political action committees, prohibit Jetton-like consulting by officeholders and forbid legislators from becoming
lobbyists as soon as they leave office.
House Majority Leader Steve Tilley, who hired Jetton as a consultant, also wants to ban legislator-consultants
and delay legislator-lobbyists. He proposes as well a ban on lobbyist gifts to individual legislators, expanded
financial disclosure by elected officials, family members and staff, and a prohibition against job offers to
legislators by a governor.
Senate President Pro Tem Charlie Shields has proposed adding a staff investigator for the Missouri Ethics
Commission, the dull-toothed monitor of electoral evil-doing. He also wants to ban campaign donations during
the legislative session and to require more disclosure by legislative staff.
What‘s missing from those Republican laundry lists is the most important item: limits on campaign contributions.
There‘ll be no deep cleaning of politics without such limits. Sen. Shields, who has said he‘ll oppose limits, says
disclosure of who‘s giving is enough. It‘s not, especially when so many committees with deliberately misleading
names obscure real identities.

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                                   C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 14 of 43

Gov. Nixon, in making his proposals, described the present system of faux transparency as a ―sham.‖ The
Missourian reported last week that at least one Republican back-bencher, Gary Dusenberg of Blue Springs,
agrees. He has prefiled a bill to impose limits and says he senses support on his side of the aisle.
Ridding the roads of texters and drunks would be a fine thing. So would keeping sewage out of our streams and
lakes. Cleansing the capital of campaign corruption would be even better.
If you agree, let our legislators know.

George Kennedy is a former managing editor at the Missourian and professor emeritus at the Missouri School of

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 15 of 43

Group seeking moratorium, study of death
penalty adds local organizations
January 7, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST
COLUMBIA — Several local death penalty opponents and a California activist announced Wednesday that a
coalition of local organizations and businesses have joined the Moratorium Now! campaign. The campaign calls
for a stop to the death penalty in Missouri while it's given a thorough study.
The panel of five people spoke on behalf of Moratorium Now! at a news conference at the First Baptist Church.
A total of 105 Columbia entities — including organizations, businesses and houses of worship — have banded
together to push for a death penalty study for Missouri and a discussion about the legal and moral merits of
"Sixty-seven people have been executed since the death penalty was reinstituted in Missouri," said Jeff Stack,
who was representing the local chapter of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. "It's the fifth most
executed by any U.S. state. Since then three men have been exonerated after their sentences have been carried
In August, House Bill 484 sought to establish a commission on the death penalty placing a moratorium on all
executions until Jan. 1, 2012. The bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Bill Deeken, R-Jefferson City, and co-
sponsored by Reps. Chris Kelly and Stephen Webber, both D-Columbia, did not pass.
Panelists cited both moral and financial anxieties about the use of the death penalty.
"We know that the fear of executing innocents is real," said Mona Cadena with Equal Justice USA.
Donnie Morehouse, executive director of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, said: "What is being
spent on the death penalty in Missouri is one of the questions our legislators should ask. No one in this room
knows what that number is."
Deeken has agreed to sponsor another death penalty study and moratorium bill this legislative session.
Geographic disparity, poverty and race are all factors that complicate the application of the death penalty, which
has been done "unfairly and arbitrarily," according to Moratorium Now! The Death Penalty Information Center
has created a fact sheet that shows statistics on the death penalty in the U.S. and how it's related to other
factors such as race, innocence and economic class.
Robert Linsey, 58, of Moberly has been a member of Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty for two
years. After the news conference, he talked about hearing about the experience of a woman who was a survivor
of a murder victim. Though the person found guilty of the crime was sentenced to death, she said "vengeance
isn't healing," Linsey recalled.
"We're not saying let people out of jail in droves," he said. "We're just saying take a step back and allow these
studies to be done for a more engaging conversation on what can be done about the death penalty."
Missouri is one of 35 states that has the death penalty as an option for sentencing.
A "lobby day" for the organization to gain more support for the bill is planned for March 17 in Jefferson City.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 16 of 43

Republicans pan Roorda’s campaign gig
Lawmaker paid for political work.
COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE Wednesday, January 6, 2010
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A business run by a Missouri Democratic lawmaker was paid thousands of dollars to
manage a Democratic colleague‘s 2008 lieutenant governor campaign.
Campaign finance records show that Sam Page‘s lieutenant governor campaign paid more than $30,000 from
July 2008 until November 2008 to Rep. Jeff Roorda and his company for managing the race and for expenses.
Roorda, who now is in leadership for minority House Democrats, and Page served together in the state House.
Roorda said Monday that Page was his only political client and that campaign work was done after the legislative
session ended. Roorda said he doesn‘t plan to take any clients for the 2010 elections and that the consulting
business also does marketing work for a health care billing company.
Roorda noted lawmakers are in session only from January until May and earn an annual salary of about
$35,000. ―We don‘t make enough money to not work the other seven months of the year, and campaigns is what
we have experience working on,‖ he said.
Roorda‘s business arrangement is the type of situation that could be banned under proposals from some elected
officials, including Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, to bar legislators from working as political consultants. The
General Assembly‘s annual session starts today.
Missouri Republicans criticized Roorda‘s work and said it raises particular concern because Roorda is in House
―That leads to the possibility of the public seeing an appearance of impropriety,‖ said Lloyd Smith, the executive
director for the Missouri Republican Party.
Other lawmakers also have faced criticism for operating political consulting businesses.
Nixon said last week that lawmakers need to include a ban on elected officials working as political consultants in
their efforts to overhaul Missouri‘s political ethics rules during the annual session. In a letter sent to all
lawmakers last week, Nixon said the consulting ban should continue for a time after legislators leave office.
―Simple common sense demands that the practice of one elected official paying another elected official for
‗political advice‘ be outlawed completely and forever,‖ Nixon wrote.
Former House Speaker Rod Jetton received more than $400,000 from fellow Republican lawmakers during the
past three years, including $124,000 since he left the legislature last year. Jetton‘s business opened in 2004 and
was closed last month after the former speaker was charged with a felony for assault during a sexual
Democrats and some Republicans criticized Jetton, and the Missouri Ethics Commission in 2006 said no law
prohibited the business but expressed ―serious concerns‖ about the ability of a lawmaker-consultant to avoid
legal violations and ―about the appearance of impropriety‖ associated with it.
Roorda said his situation is different than Jetton‘s because he doesn‘t control the fate of legislation, worked only
for Page‘s campaign and didn‘t do work during the legislative session.
He said the biggest ethical problems in the Capitol are unlimited campaign contributions and the manner in
which lawmakers interact with lobbyists.
Page, who represented a St. Louis-area House district and is running for the state Senate in 2010, said he hired
Roorda because he respected his knowledge of public policy. Page called it a ―peer-to-peer‖ relationship with a
close friend and said Roorda worked full time for him and did not have other clients. ―I certainly didn‘t hire him
because I was afraid of him or because of his ability to direct legislation in the House,‖ Page said.

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                                   C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 17 of 43

Missouri Lawmakers Back In Session
KOLR-TV Reported by:
Wednesday, Jan 6, 2010 @09:34pm

Your lawmakers are back at work in Jefferson City.
Today the Missouri Legislature convened for the 2010 session, which runs through May 14th.
This year the Governor is pushing a bill called "Missouri First."
He says it would create new jobs and give businesses incentives to hire and expand.
But lawmakers agree their biggest challenge this year is declining state revenue.
"To date our state's revenue is down by 10.6%. While it's estimated that by the end of the fiscal year we'll only be
down by 6.4%, that's still one billion dollars," says Republican President Pro Tem Senator Charlie Shields.
Shields adds the state put away one-billion dollars last year in federal stimulus money, but he says that'll be
gone soon.
The Legislature also plans to tackle ethics reform this year.
That measure may include hiring an investigator to look into ethics violations by lawmakers.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 18 of 43

Senate: bipartisanship talk with hints of
MISSOURINET by Bob Priddy on January 6, 2010

Lawmakers and the governor agree on the problems the state faces—lack of money, the need for ethics reform,
stronger economic development programs, and funding for education among others. And although the parties
are talking of working together, there is evidence of flashpoints.
Republicans control both houses of the legislature. The Governor is a Democrat. Senate Republican leaders
say they had a good relationship with the Governor last year. But Senate Floor Leader Kevin Engler of
Farmington admits he‘s a little irritated that the governor is announcing programs without telling lawmakers first.
―It‘s going to be more difficult (to get along this year),‖ he says. Senate President pro Tem Charlie Shields of St.
Joseph, however, does not see the problem Engler sees and forecasts relations between Governor Nixon and
Majority Republicans will continue to be good.
Democrats say they‘ll work with the Governor and with the majortiy Republicans–when possible. Victor Callahan
of Independence, who leads Senate Democrats, says, ―We will work together where w can but we will fight for
those who need our help.‖
Small shots across various bows are not unusual early in legislative sessions, particularly in election years.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 19 of 43

El-Amin sentenced to 18 months in
Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio (2010-01-06)
ST. LOUIS, MO (St. Louis Public Radio) - A former state Representative from north St. Louis will spend 18
months in federal prison for accepting bribes from a business owner in his district.
"I don't know why you did what you did," U.S. District Judge Henry Autry told former state Representative T.D.
El-Amin before handing down the sentence. "It's absurd. You stomped on the Constitution that gave you your
job, and spit in the face of the people who elected you for a few dollars."
El-Amin pleaded guilty in September to taking $2,100 from a gas station owner who needed help dealing with
city officials, including a department head later identified as Public Safety director Charles Bryson. The owner,
who was not identified, was cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and it's not clear if El-Amin
ever intended to help the owner.
Outside the courthouse, El-Amin would not explain why he asked for the money, calling it irrelevant.
"The bigger message is to not break the law. When you break the law and you break the rules, you pay
consequences," he said.
El-Amin is the third Democratic politician to face federal corruption charges in the last year. Former State
Senator Jeff Smith reported to prison on Monday for lying to federal agents investigating campaign finance
charges. Former state Representative Steve Brown received probation in that case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith, the prosecutor in all three cases, said the prosecutions and convictions
are bringing change.
"I think you can look at what's happening in Jefferson City," he said. "They started the session today, and on the
books are many more ethics rules, ethics laws that they hope to pass.
Goldsmith would not comment on other ongoing investigations, but says public corruption remains a top priority
of his office and the FBI

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UPDATE: Judge throws the book at T.D.
Kevin Killeen Reporting
ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Despite the mention of how he donated a kidney to help extend his father's life, despite
the mention of how he is supporting his five kids (just as a small child in the court room started crying loudly),
despite his attorney calling T.D. El-Amin's taking a bribe "aberrant behavior," the judge showed no mercy.
Judge Henry Autrey delivered a scolding lecture to the former State Represenative about how his crime had
"eroded public trust in the system," and then Autrey sentenced El-Amin to the maximum 18 months allowed
under sentencing guidelines..
The 39-year old north St. Louis Democrat stood tall in the courtroom, facing the judge with his chin up. In
remarks before sentencing , El-Amin made no excuses for his crime of soliciting and taking $2,100 from a
northside gas station owner who needed help ending a series of nuisance inspections.
"The fact is I broke the law," El-Amin said, "There's been times that constituents came up to me and said it's the
man or a conspiracy , but I tell them I broke the law."
El-Amin was caught in an FBI sting operation, unaware that the gas station owner who came to him looking for
help was working with the feds and they were video taping meetings.
In the lead up to sentencing, Prosecutor Hal Goldsmith showed the judge a photograph of El-Amin taking
money, and video stills that captured notes El-Amin had written to the gas station owner. ("How much can you
come up with $ in good faith for good efforts?" one note read.)
Hoping to portray his client as a hard-working, family man who made a mistake, defense Attorney Paul
D'Agrosa mentioned that El-Amin had served his country in the Navy.
But Prosecutor Goldsmith noted that El-Amin was "dishonorably discharged" and that El-Amin had been court-
martialed and served four months behind bars for some crime that went unmentioned in court. (When asked
what the crime was afterwards, neither Goldsmith nor El-Amin would elaborate.)
D'Agrosa asked that the judge give El-Amin a lesser sentence of a year-and-a-day in prison.
When it was his turn to talk, Judge Autrey delivered a soft-spoken, but drilling rebuke, accusing El-Amin of
eroding public trust in the system.
"You stomped on it. You stomped on those people for a few dollars and you spit in their face," Autrey said.
"As a citizen, I am shocked and appalled. As a member of the bench, I am greatly discouraged and saddened,
because you're supposed to get what these three branches are all about, because you served in one of them,
and apparently you didn't."
El-Amin's attorney requested he serve his time either at a prison in Memphis, Tennessee or in Marion, Illinois.
Details and the exact time he begins serving his time have yet to be worked out, as El-Amin remains free on
On the courthouse steps in the cold sunlight afterwards, the former State Represenative commented on his

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 21 of 43

"I broke the law. And these are the things that we teach our children. When you break the rules, you pay the
consequences . And I'm paying the consequences along with my family. I just ask that you keep my family in
your prayers."
When asked his reaction to the judge's remarks, El-Amin shrugged, "He's the judge, so the key thing, the
message to young people is to not get in a position when you leave your fate in the hands of a judge."
Earlier this week, another former Missouri lawmaker -- former State Senator Jeff Smith -- reported to a prison in
Kentucky to begin serving his year-and-a-day sentence for obstruction of justice. (Smith's co-defendant, former
State Representative Steve Brown received probation for cooperating with authorities to get Smith.)
The U-S Attorney and FBI refused to discuss whether more St. Louis area politicians may be under investigation
for corruption charges.

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                                   C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 22 of 43

Industrial chemical found in Hannibal,
Louisiana, Mo., water
By Kim McGuire and Tony Messenger

Drinking water in Hannibal and Louisiana, Mo., tested positive last month for hexavalent chromium, an industrial
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources confirmed its investigation today but not soon enough to satisfy a
state senator who says the department is once again failing to quickly notify the public about water-quality
Today‘s announcement by the state came a day after a Senate panel quizzed the department over the delayed
release of high e-coli levels at Lake of the Ozarks last year.
The Department of Natural Resources says it began looking at local water supplies downstream of the BASF
plant in Hannibal after the company reported the accidental release of hexavalent chromium into the Mississippi
River in late May.
Judd Slivka, the department‘s spokesman, said the department took water samples on Dec. 17 and found trace
amounts of hexavalent chromium in the water supplies for Hannibal and Louisiana. On Dec. 22, the department
received results that showed the chemical at 0.4 part per billion in Hannibal‘s treated drinking water and 0.1 part
per billion in Louisiana‘s treated water.
At the end of the hearing Tuesday on the Lake of the Ozarks case, Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, asked DNR
Director Mark Templeton what he knew about the release of chromium in a Missouri waterway. Templeton did
not mention the Hannibal tests at the hearing.
Lager said he had received information that the department was aware of the spill of chromium into the
Mississippi River north of St. Louis and that they were sitting on the information.
He said the delays show that DNR has not improved procedures since questions first arose about water quality
at Lake of the Ozarks.
"I don‘t think they‘ve changed processes," Lager said. "It has the potential to be a serious situation."
Slivka said that city officials in Hannibal were immediately notified and that a second round of samples were
ordered. On Dec. 31, the department received notification from the lab in Washington state where the samples
were sent that they had inadvertently been contaminated and the results were invalid.
Hexavalent chromium gained notoriety in the movie "Erin Brockovich," which is about the chemical finding its
way into the water supply of a California town.
Hexavalent chromium is not regulated in drinking water by either state or federal environmental regulators.
California, however, recently proposed setting a drinking water health guideline of 0.06 part per billion for the
chemical, which in 2007 was proved to cause cancer in laboratory animals.
The chemcial, also known as chromium 6, is a heavy metal that is commonly found at low levels in drinking
water. It can occur naturally but also has entered drinking water supplies via leaks from industrial plants and
hazardous waste sites.

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                                    C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 23 of 43

Lone freshman Stacey Newman ready
for first day in House
By Virginia Young
Post-Dispatch Jefferson City Bureau
JEFFERSON CITY — They call her the ―freshman class of one.‖
Rep. Stacey Newman, D-Richmond Heights, took the oath of office shortly after noon today in the House
chamber. She replaces Steve Brown, who was convicted of a federal charge in connection with a campaign
Being the newest among 163 legislators means Newman is last in seniority and gets last pick in office and
committee assignments. Newman doesn‘t mind.
―I worked 14 years for TWA, so I understand seniority,‖ the former flight attendant said yesterday as she moved
into her Capitol office.
Freshly painted blue walls already sported political photos in the windowless first-floor quarters, formerly the
office of T.D. El-Amin, D-St. Louis, another legislator who left after pleading guilty to a crime.
Given that backdrop, it‘s not surprising that ethics legislation is among Newman‘s top priorities.
―I firmly believe in campaign finance limits,‖ she said.
Meanwhile, Newman‘s first bill — aimed at eliminating pay inequities among men and women — puts her
squarely in the tradition of her St. Louis County district. The area was long represented by Sue Shear, the
original ERA sponsor and outspoken women‘s rights advocate.
While Newman is new to the House, she has plenty of experience in the political trenches.
She got her start lobbying against concealed weapons legislation. Most recently, she was executive director of
Harriett‘s List, a new political action committee that helps elect Democratic women candidates. It is named after
Harriett Woods, the former state senator and lieutenant governor from University City. Newman was a student
in Woods‘ Women and Politics class at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Given her background, the House Democratic Campaign Committee has already tapped Newman to serve as
finance chair.
―I have a lot of things on my plate,‖ she said. ―I‘m anxious to get rolling.‖
For the time being, Newman will have to vote by walking up to the front of the chamber and registering her vote
manually. Her name isn‘t yet on the electronic voting board.

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 24 of 43

Lampe proposes naming West Bypass after Nazi hunter
New title sought for West Bypass after objection over Heschel.
Chad Livengood News-Leader

A section of West Bypass renamed last year after a Jewish civil rights leader could get another new name to
appease the rabbi's daughter, who objected to the honor.
Last year, state lawmakers passed a transportation bill that contained a provision renaming West Bypass -- from
Farm Road 142 to West Sunshine --the "Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway." The legislation
was sponsored by state Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield.
The same section of U.S. 160 in Springfield was adopted for litter cleanup by the Springfield Unit of the National
Socialist Movement under a state-sanctioned program.
But after the bill was already headed to Gov. Jay Nixon's desk for a signature, Heschel's daughter -- a noted
Jewish scholar -- protested the renaming, saying she didn't want "Nazis stomping on a highway named for my
"My father wasn't the kind of person that thought you should sit down and talk to Nazis and somehow make a
reconciliation; it's not that simple," Susannah Heschel, a Jewish studies professor at Dartmouth College in New
Hampshire, told the News-Leader in June.
Rabbi Heschel, who died in 1972, narrowly escaped Nazi Germany before Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1938.
Lampe is now proposing to rename the stretch after Simon Wiesenthal, who hunted down Nazis and pursued
war crimes against them after surviving the Holocaust. And this time, Lampe and Jewish leaders checked with
Wiesenthal's daughter, Paulinka Kriesberg, who lives in Germany.
"I very much appreciate the idea of naming the highway after my father," Kriesberg said in a written statement.
"This is not only a great honor but also a worthwhile endeavor to combat hate and intolerance."
Wiesenthal, who died in 2005, is best known for being involved in the 1961 capture of Adolf Eichmann, an
architect of the Holocaust. The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, named in his honor, is an
international Jewish human rights organization that fights anti-semitism and hatred.
Like Wiesenthal, Heschel had no ties to southwest Missouri or Springfield. The Kansas City branch of the Jewish
Community Relations Bureau submitted Heschel's name to Lampe to put into a bill.
The group also recommended Wiesenthal to replace Heschel.
Lampe said she and the Jewish leaders tried to work with Heschel to agree to let a sign be erected honoring her
father, but she continued to object, drawing national media attention to the issue. Nixon made the renaming law
in July.
Susannah Heschel said she was never consulted about the renaming. She found out about it from a News-
Leader article published online and distributed across the Internet.
"I guess what I learned from it is we don't want to make assumptions about family support," Lampe said. "We
were kind of caught off-guard that it would not be an honor."

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                                  C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 25 of 43

Lampe said she originally sought to counter the neo-Nazi message of the NSM group by renaming the highway
after Heschel, a noted 20th Century Jewish theologian who marched with Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr.
Lampe said she received letters of praises from Jews from across the country and Israel. For her efforts, Lampe
will be honored with the Evelyn Wasserstorm Award at an MLK memorial event Sunday in Kansas City,
according to the Kansas City chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
"It's still the right thing to do, no matter whose name we put on it," Lampe said Wednesday.
Along the stretch of West Bypass, there is a sign erected saying the highway is being cleaned by members of a
local chapter of NSM, which claims to be the largest neo-Nazi organization in the country.
Lampe said she will file her legislation early next week. The new bill would rename West Bypass after
Wiesenthal from Mount Vernon Street to one mile south of Sunshine Street, she said.
If approved by the legislature, a sign could be erected next summer. The Jewish Community Relations Bureau
and American Jewish Committee have pledged to pay for the sign.

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                                   C o l l e c t e d / A r c h i v e d f o r T h u r s d a y , J a n u a r y 7 , 2 0 1 0 -- Page 26 of 43

Shepherd’s critical of state notice to public entities
Wednesday, January 6, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — The director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations overstepped his
boundaries when he sent letters to two public entities telling them Shepherd‘s Co. was the target of ―criminal and
civil investigations,‖ an attorney for the company said yesterday at a hearing in Cole County lawsuit.
Attorney Mark Comley said those letters should nullify the Labor Department‘s subpoena for Shepherd‘s Co.
records. ―It appears, by the letters, the director has already determined a violation had occurred so to us the
subpoena would be superfluous,‖ Comley said today.
The department‘s Division of Labor Standards requested Shepherd‘s Co. records in the summer after getting a
complaint that the company was not paying prevailing wages. The department has a right to review pay stubs,
company checks and banking records of companies working for public entities, spokeswoman Amy Susan said.
Jabbock Schlacks of Shepherd‘s Co. has said the company complies with prevailing wage laws but fought the
records request because of time and labor costs.
In November, Cole County Circuit Judge Richard Callahan ordered the company to comply with the subpoena by
Jan. 4, but the company did not and instead filed a motion questioning the legitimacy of the request in light of the
director‘s letters.
Labor Department Director Lawrence Rebman on Dec. 8 sent a letter to Columbia Public Schools saying
Shepherd‘s Co. ―may have been able to under bid competitors due to the illegal actions under investigation.
While these investigations are proceeding, I request that the Columbia Public School District carefully consider
the award of that contract.‖
The letter prompted the school district to terminate a pending bid award. The Missouri Department of
Transportation also terminated a pending contract with Shepherd‘s after receiving a similar letter.
―The investigation process should not be converted into a process to put Shepherd‘s out of business,‖ Comley
Callahan granted Shepherd‘s nine more days to comply with the subpoena, but he said he did not have authority
to stop the director from sending letters.
But Callahan questioned the letters.
―Now, I was a prosecutor for 16 years, and I never remember sending a letter to a third party announcing we
were conducting a criminal investigation of someone trying to get a job or anything else,‖ he said. ―I still have
faith in government and believe the governmental process will work fairly, but it is rather unusual that a letter
goes out.‖
There‘s nothing in state law to prohibit a department director from notifying public entities of an investigation,
argued Cyrus Dashtaki, an assistant attorney general and legal representative for the Labor Department.
Dashtaki — who‘s running as a Democrat for state representative in Jefferson City — declined to talk to the
Tribune about the case.
If the investigation finds Shepherd‘s is complying with prevailing wage laws, ―we‘ll go ahead and retract those
letters to some degree,‖ Susan said.

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Before taking her state post in February, Division of Labor Standards Director Carla Buschjost worked for Sheet
Metal Workers‘ Local 36, and some have questioned whether her union ties pose a conflict.
In a recent deposition, Shepherd‘s former attorney, Christopher Graham, testified that he expressed concerns
about Buschjost‘s role in the investigation to Curtis Chick, her former boss at the union. Graham said he told
Chick she had a conflict of interest. Graham went on to testify that Chick said he filed the original complaint after
Shepherd‘s was awarded a contract over one of his members.
Chick said Graham‘s statement was ―absolute BS.‖ Graham called him, Chick said, ―but it didn‘t go anywhere.‖
He refused other questions, saying it was in his ―best interest to quit talking about it.‖

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Four heard elevator hostage warning
Published January 6, 2010 at 4:49 p.m.
Updated January 7, 2010 at 7:15 a.m.

More than two dozen unauthorized calls were placed into the elevators of an office building near the Missouri
Capitol, including three that falsely warned of a hostage situation and triggered a police lockdown, an
investigation concluded Wednesday.
Police swarmed the downtown Jefferson City office building Nov. 10 after an employee reported that a voice
from an elevator speaker warned of a hostage situation on the fifth floor. The building‘s alarm company was
notified and contacted police, who moved through each floor.
The Missouri Public Service Commission, the building‘s largest tenant, concluded that four people shortly before
10 a.m. Nov. 10 heard a hostage warning. It reportedly came from a male voice and was heard in different
elevators at about the same time. In all, 25 unauthorized calls were placed into the building elevators from Nov.
10 until their phone number was changed Dec. 1.
Workers were asked not to respond to comments made through the elevator speakers. Those who heard calls
sometimes reported that they could not understand what was being said. Others said they heard profanity, menu
advertisements, heavy breathing, ―evil‖ laughing, and someone repeatedly saying ―hello‖ or ―yes.‖ Some were
able to record the messages.
A spokeswoman for the alarm company, Sonitrol, did not immediately return a call seeking comment
According to the report, when Sonitrol was asked by the building‘s owner for information about the security
services it provides, a supervisor said in a Nov. 17 e-mail: ―We will fully cooperate with any police investigation of
this incident. However, given the conflicting accounts in the media surrounding this event, we feel that a review
of the information should be conducted by the authorities and not independently by the parties.‖
A partially redacted copy of the commission‘s findings was released Wednesday. Public Service Commission
Chairman Robert Clayton, who forwarded a copy to Gov. Jay Nixon, said the investigation suggests that the
agency‘s employees acted ―appropriately and professionally.‖
―While we eventually learned that the event was a hoax perpetuated by others outside the building, it is
reassuring to know that mid-Missouri has a professional and prepared law enforcement team ready to act in an
emergency,‖ he wrote.
Portions of the report were blacked out to preserve the privacy of the commission‘s staff and to avoid detailing
security procedures.
The false hostage reports prompted police to block vehicle and pedestrian traffic for several blocks in downtown
Jefferson City while a state Highway Patrol helicopter circled overhead. More than 150 people were evacuated
from the office building.
The commission‘s report also included recommendations from the agency‘s staff about possible changes to
handling emergencies. Those suggestions included providing more information and direction to staff during an
incident, periodic updates, keeping the building‘s floor plan available for emergency responders, and not
disclosing the location of the agency‘s five commissioners to the media during an emergency.

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Jetton waives appearance, attorney
asks for new judge in Scott County
assault case
Thursday, January 7, 2010
By Rudi Keller ~ Southeast Missourian

BENTON, Mo. -- Former Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton sent attorney Stephen Wilson to court on his
behalf today to enter a not guilty plea on felony assault charges.
Wilson waived a formal appearance by Jetton and asked for a new judge. Associate Circuit Judge Scott Horman
granted the request, which will temporarily delay the setting of a date for a preliminary hearing on the charges.
Jetton, 42, faces a single count of assault for allegedly striking a woman in the face and choking her during
sexual intercourse at her Sikeston, Mo., home on the night of Nov. 15.
According to the complaint filed with the court, Jetton "recklessly caused serious physical injury" to the victim "by
hitting her on the head, and choking her resulting in unconsciousness and the loss of the function of a part of her
After the brief appearance before Horman, Wilson said the request for a change of judge "is not a delaying tactic.
It has nothing to do with delay."
He declined, when asked by reporters, to give another reason for seeking a change. Criminal defendants are
allowed one request to change judges without having to state a reason.
Wilson said he expects a new judge to be assigned this week and a preliminary hearing to occur in 30 to 45
According to a sworn statement filed in support of the charge, Jetton and the woman spoke early in the day, and
he arrived with wine that evening. She drank it as they watched a football game, then faded in and out of
The two agreed to have sex, and to use a safe word, "green balloons," if either wanted to stop, according to the
affidavit signed by Det. Betty McDermott of the Sikeston Department of Public Safety.
An earlier incident report, however, states that the woman told officers Jetton restrained her hands with a belt
and performed unwanted sex. She told police she recalled Jetton striking her hard in the face and at one point
waking up on the floor as he was choking her.
in the incident report, the woman told police that Jetton stayed the night and told her the next day that she
"should have said 'green balloons.'" Jetton is not facing any sex charges.
Jetton, a Republican from Marble Hill, Mo., represented the 156th District Missouri House seat from 2001 to
2009. He was elected speaker in 2005, serving in the post considered the second most powerful job in state
government until he was forced out of office by term limits.
While a lawmaker, Jetton began a political consulting business, first called Commonsense Conservative
Consulting and later, after he left the legislature, Rod Jetton & Associates. With a client base of fellow lawmakers
and an industry-funded group opposing higher electric rates, Jetton's consulting firm was paid $469,743.74
during 2008 and 2009 by committees that report to the Missouri Ethics Commission.

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After he was charged with the assault, Jetton announced he would close his consulting firm.
Asked whether Jetton is employed, Wilson declined to answer. "I am more worried about defending him than
what he is doing," Wilson said.
Since Jetton has been charged, momentum has gathered in Jefferson City, Mo., to bar lawmakers from working
as political consultants for their colleagues. Those pushing for the change include Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat,
and House Majority Leader Steve Tilley, R-Perryville.
If convicted, Jetton faces up to seven years in state prison or a year in jail.

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$3.2 million and few specifics for St. Louis
car workers
By Steve Giegerich

In an announcement long on promise but short on specifics, federal officials Wednesday unveiled a $3.2
government grant aimed at retraining autoworkers cast aside by the Chrysler Corp.'s 2009 decision to close its
Fenton assembly plant.
The money will help 430 furloughed workers reposition themselves for jobs as technicians for hybrid, electric and
battery-operated vehicles.
Roderick Nunn, vice chancellor for workforce and community development at St. Louis Community College,
called the funding a key to marketing the region in a recovering economy.
"If we can have people ready to work with electric and hybrid cars, it will demonstrate to companies that this area
can be productive from Day One," said Nunn.
U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis presented the grant as part of a nationwide $100 million green jobs training
package funded through the federal stimulus act.
Part of the package calls on East St. Louis and five other metropolitan areas to share $5 million to prepare sheet
metal workers for energy-efficient ventilation and construction projects.
Nunn said a partnership of regional private, public and labor organizations will soon convene to establish a
timetable to put the retraining mechanism for the autoworkers in place. St. Louis Community College and St.
Charles Community College will host the programs.
Long rumored, the Labor Department's announcement nonetheless took area officials by surprise.
Don Ackerman, president of United Auto Workers Local 136, learned of the grants from a third party Wednesday
morning. His unit represents 3,500 workers left jobless after Chrysler systematically ceased operations at two
Fenton assembly plants.
By midafternoon, a frustrated Ackerman still didn't have any information to share with his members.
"None of this was ever, ever discussed with me," he said.
Ackerman questioned why the government is directing the retraining effort for a sector of the market — battery-
and electric-powered vehicles — that is still in its infancy.
The first mass-produced electric car, a Chevrolet Volt expected to be priced at $40,000, will be in showrooms
later this year.
"You can teach me to build a spaceship, but if people can't afford to buy a spaceship, then guess what?" he said.
In a morning teleconference with reporters, Solis said the retraining might one day also land displaced
autoworkers jobs in the service bays of dealerships selling alternative powered vehicles.
Missouri Department of Economic Development spokesman John Fougere expanded the list to include
independent repair shops, technicians working for rental car fleets, electric utilities and other businesses.

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Dave Roland, a policy analyst with the Show-Me Institute, a free market advocacy organization with offices in
Clayton and Columbia, took issue with the government funneling public money into private manufacturing
"A lot of people are without jobs," Roland pointed out. "The government isn't throwing this kind of safety line to all
of them, nor should it. Not holding one set of people to the same rules as everyone else raises issues of
Roland contends that supply and demand — and not federal policy — should determine whether the American
public embraces transportation in electric- and battery-powered vehicles.
Nationwide, 25 different communities and states learned on Wednesday that Energy Training Partnership Grants
were coming their way.
The projects are designed to assist workers make the transition to employment in clean energy fields that range
from electronics to weatherization.
In a prepared statement, Solis said the undertakings "will connect workers to career pathways in green industries
and occupations through critical, diverse partnerships."
Roland said that green opportunities remain a question mark despite pledges by officials at the local, state and
federal levels to create more employment linked to energy efficiency.
"It makes people feel warm and fuzzy because they like the idea of green jobs, but there isn't much definition
there," he said.
Nunn, however, maintains that areas that ignore the emerging sector of environmentally sensitive jobs are flirting
with the possibility of long-term economic damage.
"People sometimes look for simple solutions to complex problems. Such as what comes first — green jobs or
green job training programs?
"In this economy we can't wait around for the jobs to show up before we train people. Sometimes, you have to
train the people first."

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Ethics Commission releases web videos to aid candidates and
by Steve Walsh on January 6, 2010
The Missouri Ethics Commission takes another step forward in its effort to make information easily accessible by
computer. On the heels of the Commission‘s release of four web videos designed to help lobbyists comply with
state rules and regulations the agency has now unveiled two more web tutorials – these ones aimed at helping
candidates and campaigns comply with election laws.
―We continually work to improve the information that we provide to our filers and to the public,‖ said Ethics
Commission Executive Director Julie Allen in an interview with the Missourinet. ―We‘ve released two campaign
finance tutorials on our web site. One is Candidate Reporting Requirements and the other one is about Forming
a Campaign Finance Committee.‖
The web tutorials, each lasting about 10 minutes, are of benefit to candidates and to those working on
campaigns. Allen says they serve a great purpose and are cost effective.
―It‘s available 24/7 for anyone that wants to go to our website,‖ said Allen. ―It doesn‘t require them to come to
Jefferson City to get the information and it‘s just one more tool for them to have in order to see what they need to
do to comply with some of the campaign finance laws.
The tutorials are available on the Ethics Commission‘s training page. Additional training topics, web training, and
online tutorials will be available in the near future.

House opens session as talk of ethics clashes with ethical problems
by Brent Martin on January 6, 2010
On a day clouded by ethical problems, the Missouri House opens a new session with a call to enact ethics
House Speaker Ron Richard (R-Joplin) concentrates on ethics during his opening day address.
―We must never forget we sit in the people‘s chamber and our sacred duty as their elected officials is the
maintenance of the integrity and sanctity of the Missouri House of Representatives,‖ Richard tells fellow House
members in his opening day remarks.
Richard, in consultation with House Minority Leader Paul LeVota (D-Independence), has appointed a Special
Standing Committee on Government Accountability and Ethics Reform. Rep. Kevin Wilson (R-Neosho) will chair
the committee which has been instructed to review the various ethics legislation proposed this session and boil
them down into one version that can attract both Republican and Democratic support.
―Regardless of party affiliation we can all agree that the sanctity of this body is important,‖ Richard says. ―From
this point forward, we commit ourselves to gain and hold the faith that the people of Missouri have in their
elected representatives.‖

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That faith might have been shaken somewhat by events this past year. In fact, even as Richard made his
remarks, former Rep. Talibdin ―T.D.‖ El-Amin, a St. Louis Democrat, was sentenced to a year-and-a-half in
prison for bribery. El-Amin has also been ordered to pay $2,100 in restitution. In addition, former Speaker Rod
Jetton pleaded not guilty to felony assault charges. Jetton, a Republican from Marble Hill, has been accused of
assaulting a woman during an evening of rough sex at her Sikeston home November 15th. Former Sen. Jeff
Smith, a Democrat from St. Louis, began the New Year by reporting to a federal prison in Kentucky. Smith lied to
federal election authorities about his involvement in a political attack against St. Louis area Congressman Russ
Carnahan during their 2004 Democratic congressional primary race. Former state Rep. Steve Brown, a fellow St.
Louis Democrat, was placed on two years‘ probation for helping Smith in the smear campaign against Carnahan.

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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor

We are all counting on you to be
Take 10 minutes to provide census information despite the intrusion.

Maybe you don't really trust the government. Maybe you aren't too thrilled with any sort of official intrusion into
your private life, let alone a census asking personal questions. Well, think of it this way: You agree with the U.S.
Constitution, don't you?
And surely you don't want your hometown cheated out of its fair slice of the federal funding pie?
Officials from a wide range of agencies, groups and institutions converged on Springfield's municipal building
Wednesday to urge participation in the 2010 census count.
In a candid assessment, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt identified a special problem for determining the head count in the
"Southwest Missourians in general don't like the government to know any more about them than the government
needs to know," Blunt said.
But he also quickly shared his belief that Ozarkers recognize and respect that the counting every 10 years stems
from a principle made clear in the U.S. Constitution -- a document that still gets great respect in this part of the
You can help him be right.
The form, which you should receive in mid-March, asks only 10 questions. Those promoting the census effort
say it only takes 10 minutes.
If you fill it out and mail it back, that's all you have to do. If you choose to ignore it, you might get a visit within a
few weeks from a census employee with the job of checking homes from which forms were not received.
Blunt, and others attending Wednesday's census kickoff event, urged quick cooperation. The congressman
asked, "Who wants a government person searching for them?"
It's clear it's in everyone's interest to fill out these forms. An accurate count aids in the fair portioning of federal
money and helps determine Missouri's seats in the House of Representatives, as well as how voting boundaries
are drawn within the state.
Officials have been stressing that 1,000 local people should be hired in Southwest Missouri to help with the
census. Government will not be swooping into the area. Instead, Blunt said, "Springfieldians will count
Forget about Big Brother. Fill out the form. Don't think of it as a chore or an invasion of privacy. Consider it a duty
Our Voice

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This editorial is the view of the News-Leader Editorial Board.
Additional Facts
Census blitz begins
- The federal government will spend an unprecedented $340 million in a promotional blitz of the 2010 census
including the Census Portrait of America Road Tour.
- $140 million on TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising, including $2.5 million for two ads in the Feb. 7 Super
Bowl pregame show and a 30-second spot directed by Christopher Guest (This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show) and
starring Ed Begley Jr.
- Roughly $80 million spent on ads will target racial and ethnic groups and non-English speakers in 28
languages. The bulk of it will pinpoint Hispanics, blacks, Asians and American Indians but some ads will be in
Arabic, Yiddish and other languages.
- Partners from Univision and Telemundo to Google and Best Buy will promote the Census.
- Census Director Robert Groves will help count the first American in the Inupiat village of Noorvik, Alaska, Jan.
Source: The Associated Press

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We count – so let’s be counted
Thursday, January 7, 2010 1:16 AM CST
It‘s safe to say that you didn‘t wake up on New Year‘s Day with the resolution to participate in the 2010 Census
and make sure your neighbors participate – but U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay did. On Monday Clay, who chairs the
congressional subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, helped to launch the second national
Census campaign here in St. Louis. On the first of December, Clay came to St. Louis with Census Director
Robert Groves to launch 2010 Census in the Schools. Four days into the new year, he came back with Regional
Census Director Dennis Johnson and other officials to launch the 2010 Census Portrait of America Road Tour,
which will now travel the country.
Little Richard once sang, ―It‘s a poor dog who can‘t wag his own tail,‖ and no one can blame Clay if he is using
his influence to see that these important national campaigns are launched in his hometown. His own career in
public service could be at stake, given that results from the 2010 Census will determine whether Missouri gets to
keep all of its nine congressional seats. Certainly, we should thank Clay and U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan – and,
indeed, Mayor Francis G. Slay – for their efforts in promoting awareness of the Census. For every person who
goes uncounted, the region will lose about $1,200 per year in federal funding that goes into a wide variety of
essential programs.
There is a bitter irony, in that many of these federal dollars would go to support the same individuals who are the
most difficult to count. For every person who goes uncounted – mostly marginal people, and a disproportionate
number of minorities – we lose federal funds for Medicaid Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,
the State Children‘s Health Insurance Program, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and the
National School Lunch Program. Needless to say, just because someone fails to return the Census form mailed
to them in March (or fails to answer the door when a Census worker comes knocking) doesn‘t mean they won‘t
need the benefits of one or more of these federally funded programs.
John Haigler, president of 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis, said on Monday that his organization plans
to organize ―block captains‖ to make sure everyone on their block is counted in the Census. That is a good idea,
and it should be replicated around the region. Mobilizing a strong response to the Census in minority
communities is just as crucial, in its own way, as getting out the vote and should be approached with the same
seriousness and dedication that we saw in this community when Barack Obama was on the ballot.
The great African-American novelist Ralph Ellison chose the Invisible Man as his symbol for being a black
person in America. With Obama as president, we have never been more visible to this nation and the world. But
we need more than metaphorical visibility in the 2010 Census – we need numerical visibility. We must do all that
we can to encourage our family, friends and neighbors to respond to the 2010 Census. To really count, we must
act on our own behalf – so let‘s be counted.

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Time to take count approaching fast

The time to take the decadal census is fast approaching.
Questionnaires will go out in the mail locally and across the nation starting in February. Census takers from April
through July will visit households that failed to return questionnaires. Visits are intended to produce the most
accurate population counts possible.
When the work of gathering numbers is complete, the information will be compiled and presented to President
Obama for apportionment, which will set off the effort in 2011 to redraw election districts. For example,
lawmakers at the federal and state levels will decide whether certain cities are divided to contain two or more
U.S. or Missouri House legislative districts.
The value of the census involves more than whether cities are divided - something that can affect the political
fortunes of present and would-be officeholders. The value is found in the influence the census can have on
ordinary people, including those who live in Johnson County.
If Missouri's congressional delegation would shrink due to population changes - which at one point posed a
concern, but no more - then the smaller delegation would have less influence when seeking funding for state
projects, including road and bridge construction and repair. For those who hope someday to see the safety and
economic benefits that would result from a four-lane Highway 13, federal funding is important.
Johnson Countians should understand that this state is in competition with others for limited federal dollars and
residents act in their own best interest when they fill out census forms.

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Mayor must provide real leadership for KC on
earnings-tax issue
Rex Sinquefield wants to kill Kansas City‘s earnings tax, and that‘s his right as a private citizen. He‘s a
multimillionaire ideologue who doesn‘t have to care about how his goal would affect the city‘s future.
But Mayor Mark Funkhouser is in an entirely different situation. He‘s a public leader who knows how crucial the
tax is in providing services to residents.
And some of Funkhouser‘s recent comments on this issue have been irresponsible.
Take this statement in The Star: ―The central problem is our inability to keep middle-class and upper-class folks
in Kansas City. Over the long run, if this (repeal) would do that for us, then I‘m for it.‖
Yet Funkhouser then didn‘t offer a shred of evidence that killing a $200 million funding source would meet his
objectives of retaining residents. No doubt, the earnings tax isn‘t loved. But neither is the property tax, and the
mayor isn‘t campaigning to get rid of it.
Further, in a follow-up interview, Funkhouser acknowledged he didn‘t know how the city would replace earnings
tax revenue. Or how he would cut the city budget to make up for the loss of money.
Funkhouser even conceded, ―It‘s a very difficult thing to remove $200 million from our general fund.‖ No kidding.
The mayor then repeated his mantra on this subject: ―Basically, I‘ve got an open mind.‖
Actually, it appears Funkhouser so far has an empty mind on this subject.
For someone who says he has been thinking for years about how to ―change the tax structure‖ of the city,
Funkhouser has been inept at saying how he would like to tackle that huge challenge.
•Boost the city‘s property tax?
•Hike the sales tax, already nearing 8 percent?
•Boost existing fees or add new ones to dozens of different city services?
Here‘s one obvious fee that could hit Kansas Citians if the earnings tax goes down the drain: Residents likely
would be charged a new fee for collecting trash and recyclables; the earnings tax now pays for those services as
endorsed by voters nearly 40 years ago.
Let‘s be clear: An in-depth, careful analysis of the future of the earnings tax would be a responsible response to
the crusade by Sinquefield, who‘s behind petition drives that could kill the tax in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Many city officials are understandably worried that a victory by Sinquefield could reap disaster in Kansas City.
But Mark Funkhouser doesn‘t appear concerned at all.
And that ought to be a huge worry for residents dedicated to keeping this a livable city.

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Cap and tax bill will hurt jobs, wallets
The energy to repower the U.S. economy and create family-supporting jobs should and must come primarily
from undeveloped energy supplies right here in America. I support expanded production of all American energy,
including continuing development of small and high-cost sources such as wind and solar power. I absolutely do
not support the anti-jobs policies of the cap and tax bill.
Before addressing the attacks on me that were obviously designed to help the liberal candidate in the U.S.
Senate race, permit me to make a general point about the economic and energy policies of the one-party
Congress directed by Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Almost anywhere you look, you find liberal
policies that are assured of destroying even more jobs and holding back an economic recovery.
The bill to "deform" health care imposes large new taxes on working families, seniors and employers, which will
harm employment and recovery. This includes the wasteful and failed "stimulus" spending that drains urgently
needed funds away from private, job-creating investment, into ever larger government.
The same is true for the cap and tax bill, the explosion in federal deficits and national debt which is bankrupting
future generations and mortgaging America's future, and legislation to damage Missouri's economic environment
and personal freedom by taking away the secret ballot for representation by labor organizations.
As for cap and tax, when liberals are losing an argument, one of their tactics is to engage in character attacks by
asserting ill motive.
Liberals and liberal special interest groups have for months tried to fool Missourians that the cap and tax debate
is about campaign contributions. It is about a liberal plan endorsed by my opponent to raise your electric bill,
destroy even more family-supporting jobs and raise the price of essentially everything.
A Heritage Foundation study found that cap and tax would cost Missouri 32,225 jobs in 2012 alone, including
3,902 jobs in Southwest Missouri.
Nationally, cap and tax would lower employment by over 1.1 million jobs and in some years it would reduce
employment by 2.5 million jobs.
An Obama administration analysis showed a cap and trade system could increase energy prices by $1,761 per
family. Another study conducted for the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission showed it could
increase Missourians' energy bills by as much as 40 percent over five years and 80 percent over 10 years. Even
President Obama, who supports the tax, said it would cause electricity rates to "skyrocket."
This year, environmental extremists have spent about $750,000 in false and negative TV and radio ads against
me because I am standing up for families, farmers, employers and every Missourian who pays an electric bill, all
of whom would be injured greatly by this destructive legislation. These very liberal groups want Robin Carnahan
in the Senate because Carnahan supports cap-and-tax. I am glad for Missourians to examine this issue and see
who is fighting for them.
Roy Blunt represents Missouri's 7th Congressional District and is a Republican candidate for the United States Senate

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COLUMN: Examining a few bills about to
be taken up by General Assembly
COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN Thursday, January 7, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST
BY David Rosman
This week, around the country, state and federal legislators returned to their seats to initiate, argue, reject and
pass laws that will affect all. Missouri is no different.
Missouri permits proposed legislation to be filed starting Dec. 1. I chose a few based on one criterion – these are
subjects deemed important enough for students to give speeches.
SB 616 – ―Enacts provisions relating to faith-based community health centers.‖ For the most part, the bill is a
good idea, allowing qualified non-profit health providers who offer fee-for-service care for individuals and low-
income families to operate without being considered insurance companies. The bill will exempt 501(c)(3)
organizations and medical professionals working for non-profits from ―civil damages for acts or omissions unless
the damages were occasioned by gross negligence or by willful or wanton acts or omissions by such health care
provider under this section in rendering such treatment.‖
The problem? Proposed section 358.315 appears to exempt volunteer medical professionals only if services are
provided at a ―nonprofit faith-based community health center.‖ It's a clear violation of the First Amendment of the
United States Constitution.
SB 658 – ―Creates a state and local sales tax exemption for sales of farm products made at farmers' markets.‖
This is a good thing. Only one thing appears to be missing from the list. The bill includes livestock products,
which I assume are beef, lamb and pork, but says nothing about poultry other than shell eggs. Specify poultry
and this bill works.
HB 1473 – ―Revises the grade point average requirements for renewal of Access Missouri Scholarships.‖ I am a
proponent of the Missouri Access Scholarship program. I am not an advocate that standards for eligibility be
lowered. This bill will lower the grade-point average from a 2.75 to a 2.0 for part-time students. If anything, the
bar needs to be set higher. Raise the standard to a 3.0 out of 4 points, a B average, for full- and part-time
students to be eligible.
House Joint Resolutions (HJR) 52 and 53 – Proposed Eminent Domain Constitutional Amendments. HJR 52
adds a substantial portion to Section 28, Article I of the state Constitution, as well as adding defining language
for Sections 26 and 27. Overall, these amendments protect the landowner and prevent transfer of land by the
government to a private venture, as happened in New London, Conn. These are good changes.
HJR 53 is not. The change of Section A, Section 21, Article VI of the Missouri Constitution appears to take the
power of eminent domain away from cities and counties. It would allow cities and counties to enact ordinances to
impose liens on the property if the owner does not resolve any ―public nuisance‖ violation and the city or county
pays to remedy the situation. Though these liens would be enforced as a tax lien, this appears to take away an
important and timely remedy from the city‘s or county‘s arsenal.
As of this writing, there are eight House and Senate proposed bills that deal with ethics rule changes. Though
there are two proposals to limit political ―robocalls‖ that will receive a lot of attention, SB 648, ―to enact … four
new sections relating to campaign contribution limits,‖ will prove to be controversial.
The question being brought to the House and Senate floors will not be the actual dollar limitations proposed but
the idea of limitations. Should individuals and corporations who have seemingly unlimited resources be allowed
to contribute any amount they want? Or should all, regardless of wealth, be restricted to donating to a maximum

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amount and how much should that amount be? Is this a restriction of First Amendment rights, or does it create
fairness in candidate and issue campaigns to be on an equal and uncompromised financial footing?
I am not sure which is the right answer, but I can assure you that this will be a strictly partisan issue.
Is there a topic I have not touched here in which you are interested? Look it up on the state‘s Web site and tell
me your opinion: supportive, opposed or just plain confused. I am curious.
David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications,
ethics, business and politics. You can read more of his commentaries at He
welcomes your comments at

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MONDAY, JANUARY 4 --Jefferson City — Lawmakers stung by the bad behavior of some colleagues are
seeking changes to the state's political ethics rules, proposing several bills. Criminal charges for drunken driving,
obstructing justice, bribery, conspiracy and assault led the Legislature to address ethics.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 5 -- Forsyth — Winter's Bone, a movie shot here, will be one of 16 feature-length
dramas screened at the Sundance Film Festival this month in Utah. It was selected out of 1,058 submissions.
Winter's Bone is based on a novel by West Plains writer Daniel Woodrell. About a dozen local actors were cast,
and musicians from the state are featured on the soundtrack.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6 -- Independence — One member of a small church is accused of being a felon in
possession of a firearm after the church and a nearby house were raided Monday night. Sheriff's Department
spokesman Ben Kenney said the raid was part of a year-long investigation involving the church, which he
described as a "stand-alone congregation."

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