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Democrats hope to make gains in the
Mo. House
By Virginia Young



JEFFERSON CITY — For 32 years, Webster Groves has been represented in the Missouri House of
Representatives by a moderate Republican woman.
But now, the latest District 91 representative to fit that description, Rep. Kathlyn Fares, is being forced out by
term limits. The seat is up for grabs.
Enter retired nurse Jeanne Kirkton, the Democratic nominee. Democrats are betting that she will appeal to
suburban swing voters who reject the socially conservative side of the Republican Party represented by the GOP
nominee, physician Randy Jotte.
The race illustrates why Democrats expect to gain seats — and maybe even a majority — in the Missouri House
this fall.
Republicans control the House 89-70, with four vacancies. While all House seats are on the ballot, the political
parties are really fighting over about two dozen, including Fares'. A Post-Dispatch analysis shows that 15 of the
21 hottest races involve seats held by Republicans, while only six feature Democrat-held seats.
The 91st District is among a handful that Democrats have targeted as the key to taking charge of the House after
six years of Republican rule. Other battlegrounds range from blue-collar suburbs in south St. Louis County and
Kansas City to rural enclaves such as Warrensburg, Moberly, Clinton and Fulton.
By most accounts, Republicans are likely to maintain a majority. But even if they do, their margin probably will be
Fear about the nation's economic crisis is one factor. Democratic coattails in the governor's race, where nominee
Jay Nixon has a widening lead, also could help the party pick up legislative seats.
"People are just so worried about the economy, about their pensions and retirement," said Rep. Rachel Storch,
D-St. Louis and head of the Democrats' campaign arm. "I just think people hold the Republicans responsible."
Republican leaders say they are proud of their record of improving the state's business climate, cutting taxes for
senior citizens and generating a budget surplus.
GOP legislators "have a good story to tell," said former U.S. Rep. Jim Talent, R-Mo., who serves as honorary
chairman of the Republican House campaign. "They've recruited well, they're working very hard and I'm
reasonably optimistic."
Republicans also have one clear advantage: money. Recent reports show the House Republican Campaign
Committee raised nearly three times as much money as the Democrats' campaign arm.
Dan Mehan, head of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce & Industry, pegs the likely Democratic gain at four to
six House seats or "if lightning strikes, eight." The party would have to gain 11 to take control of the House.
"Nobody's ever been through this economic situation and if anybody tells you how it's going to affect races,
they're crazy," he said. "I don't think it can be good for Republicans, but you never know."
Mehan said a politician's reputation in the community can trump national economic indicators. As a voter, "you
may have a dim view of Congress but not your legislator," he said.

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House Majority Leader Steve Tilley acknowledged that his party faced an uphill battle. "We're having to play
more defense than offense," said Tilley, R-Perryville and chairman of the House Republican Campaign
Nowhere is that more apparent than in Columbia, where Republican Rep. Ed Robb is battling a fierce challenge
from former Democratic Rep. Chris Kelly, a retired judge.
The 24th District set a spending record two years ago, when Robb won a second term against a former school
superintendent. Including independent expenditures, the contest cost more than a half-million dollars.
This year's duel is expected to surpass that. Both candidates already have aired television ads. Robb, a former
University of Missouri economist, touts his financial expertise and record of bringing home the bacon.
In a theme repeated in many Democratic campaigns, Kelly blasts the 2005 Medicaid changes that imposed
premiums for children and resulted in many's losing coverage.
While Robb is among a half-dozen Republican incumbents in hot races, at least two Democratic incumbents are
considered vulnerable as well. The GOP targets include Reps. Rebecca McClanahan of Kirksville and Tom
Shively of Shelbyville, who represent Republican-leaning areas.
But dumping incumbents is always more difficult than grabbing an open seat, one where no incumbent is
running. That explains why most of the attention is focused on places such as Webster Groves and Lemay.
Republicans gained a majority in 2002 when term limits kicked out scores of longtime Democratic incumbents.
Now, Democrats hope to turn the tables and capitalize on the forced departure of Republicans who have served
the eight years allowed or are seeking higher offices.
The Webster Groves seat being vacated by Fares is one example. Going back to the 1970s, the area has
elected moderate Republican women — Marion Cairns and Emmy McClelland — who favored abortion rights. In
addition to Webster Groves, the district includes Glendale, Oakland and Shrewsbury.
This time, Republicans have nominated Jotte, who opposes abortion and early stem cell research. Storch, the
Democratic campaign leader, says the district "has a history of electing moderates, and he's outside of that
Jotte said that was an oversimplification. As an emergency room doctor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, he said, he
has spent his career caring for people in need.
Kirkton, the Democratic standard-bearer, also is stressing health care and would work to reverse the Medicaid
cuts. She formerly worked as an intensive care nurse at Barnes, where she often saw gunshot victims. That
experience led her to campaign against the concealed weapons law.
In another closely watched race in St. Louis County, Democrats hope to pick up the seat being vacated by Rep.
Jim Lembke, R-Lemay, who is running for the Senate. Lembke squeaked by two years ago, winning by just 568
Tilley rated as 50-50 the GOP's chances of hanging onto the seat. The race, which features Democrat Vicki
Englund vs. Republican Cloria Brown, will probably be decided by fewer than 150 votes, Tilley said.
"I'm not counting on that one to get to 82," the magic number needed for a majority, Tilley said.
But he expects to offset any losses by picking up open Democratic seats in places such as the 3rd District in
northwestern Missouri and in St. Louis County's 82nd District.
In the 82nd, Democratic Rep. Sam Page of Creve Coeur is vacating the post to run for lieutenant governor.
Democrat Jill Schupp and Republican Frank Plescia are locked in a tight battle to succeed Page.
Whoever controls the House appoints the committees, sets the agenda and controls the debate. Thus, Minority
Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence, said in a fundraising letter last summer that if Nixon became governor,
he'd need at least one chamber on his side to accomplish his goals.
"I cannot bear the thought of a Jay Nixon having to deal with a Republican Legislature. Can you?" LeVota wrote.

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Long-ago tobacco suit fueling fire in
Missouri governor's race
By Jo Mannies



For almost a week, Missouri's TV airwaves have been smoking with a set of nasty back-and-forth ads launched
by the state's two major candidates for governor, Democrat Jay Nixon and Republican Kenny Hulshof.
The first shot, fired by Hulshof, accuses Nixon — the state's attorney general — of running a "gravy train" to
funnel $111 million to "liberal trial lawyers."
The counter volley, lobbed by Nixon, asserts that he "took on Big Tobacco and won," and then takes after
Both ads have flaws and at times mischaracterize their target. But the biggest problem is the TV viewer likely
has no idea what either ad is talking about.
Lots of fury, but not many facts. For those interested, here they are: Both ads refer to Missouri's participation in a
long-running multistate lawsuit against the tobacco companies. (Hulshof's ad doesn't even mention the word
As attorney general, Nixon oversaw the state's legal case, which began in 1997. By that time, more than two
dozen other states already had sued.
The suit alleged, in part, that the states were being stuck with huge medical costs being borne by taxpayers —
largely through the Medicaid system — to care for aging and ill smokers.
Nixon hired private lawyers — with ties to both major parties — from five major law firms to help handle the
state's case.
Those lawyers included Tom Strong from Springfield, Mo., who had donated more than $20,000 to various
Democrats; Republican Chip Robertson, who had been on the state Supreme Court and was a former top aide
to John Ashcroft while he was governor; and former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr.
Nixon said at the time that the five firms had lawyers who were experts in handling large personal injury cases.
At the time Strong was hired in 1998, Nixon had agreed to a fee arrangement that could garner the Missouri
legal team $350 million. Strong said that the team would pay its own expenses.
In 2000, then-state Auditor Claire McCaskill issued an audit that criticized Nixon's office for its lawyer-selection
process, saying that "there was no documentation to support how the lead attorney was selected to represent
Missouri in this case."
During 2000 and 2001, a settlement was reached with the numerous states. Missouri's share was about $6.7
Haggling then ensued over the legal fees, with some Republicans in the Legislature objecting to the lawyers'
fees, which were based on a percentage of the settlement.
In the end, an arbitration panel awarded $111 million to the lawyers, which was split among them and the five
firms. That amount was lower than the fees awarded to private lawyers representing many other states.

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The fees were paid by the tobacco companies.
In a statement Wednesday, Nixon campaign spokesman Oren Shur said: "Attorney General Nixon took on the
big tobacco companies and won billions for the state. As part of the settlement, Attorney General Nixon made
the tobacco companies pay the legal fees, so the taxpayers paid nothing."
Hulshof spokesman Scott Baker said the congressman stands by his ad's assertions, which were "simply
reminding people of those 'red flags'" raised by McCaskill and others.
So why not mention the word "tobacco?"
"It's not so much about tobacco," Baker said. "It's highlighting this pattern of abuse by Jay Nixon."
A new attack spot, focusing on a different instance, is now being launched, Baker said.
A new response by Nixon will no doubt follow.
Last Friday, Hulshof's campaign announced that $1.5 million was raised at a private St. Louis County fundraiser
featuring President George W. Bush.
But since then, the Nixon camp has asked, "Where's the money?"
Tickets for the Hulshof event ranged up to $25,000. But Hulshof's contributions reported to the state Ethics
Commission are well short of last week's claim.
Hulshof spokesman Baker replied, "Most of those contributions were given in the days and weeks leading up to
the event."
That included, Baker continued, most of the large amounts collected since donation limits were lifted Aug. 28.
State Democratic Party spokesman Zac Wright said the only way Hulshof comes close to the $1.5 million is by
"counting contributions that weren't necessarily intended as payment to attend the Bush event," notably
$400,000 from the Republican Governor's Association.
Otherwise, Wright asked, "Is Hulshof embarrassed that embracing an unpopular president did not yield the
campaign success he expected?"

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High stakes in the Missouri governor’s race
Party: Democrat
Personal: Age 52, of Jefferson City
Political experience: State senator, 1987 to 1992; Missouri attorney general, 1993 to present.
Education: Bachelor‘s in political science; law degree, both from University of Missouri.
Web site:
Top initiatives: Restore health care services, and obtain federal matching funds, for 400,000 low-income
Medicaid recipients who were dropped from the program; expand health care access to 127,000 children without
•Keep good-paying jobs in Missouri through targeted tax cuts and investing in new technologies to create the
jobs of the future.
•Help Missouri families pay for higher education. The state currently pays two years‘ community college tuition
for certain high school graduates. Nixon‘s plan would pay for an additional two years at a state four-year college.
Party: Republican
Personal: Age 50, of Columbia
Political experience: U.S. representative from Missouri‘s 9th District, 1997 to present.
Education: Bachelor‘s degree in agricultural economics, University of Missouri; law degree, University of
Web site:
Top initiatives: Aspire to a world-class economy. Maintain and expand restrictions on lawsuits, keep taxes and
workers‘ comp costs low and attract jobs through workforce training and targeted incentives.
•Government ethics reforms to ban gifts to lawmakers and state officials; end patronage in contracts to run motor
vehicle offices; appoint an inspector general to investigate waste, fraud and corruption.
•Improve schools and colleges through increased funding and attracting the best teachers. Reform urban
schools by giving parents more choices and teachers more flexibility.
Nixon has painted Hulshof as a Washington insider whose votes supporting Republican economic and trade
policies have created the current economic problems. Hulshof has criticized some of Nixon‘s fundraising as
unethical, and he has proposed a wide range of initiatives involving schools, colleges, ethics and job
development. But many of them differ only slight from proposals by current Gov. Matt Blunt, who remains
decidedly unpopular. That has allowed Nixon to describe Hulshof as a Blunt knockoff out of touch with the
problems facing Missouri families.

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Is Prop A a good bet for schools?
The Kansas City Star

Missouri‘s Proposition A to remove gambling loss limits would collect millions of dollars that couldn‘t be spent for
years, its opponents argued Wednesday during a campaign stop in Kansas City.
The NO on A campaign says the proposition, according to research by a Missouri Senate staff member, conflicts
with the state‘s complicated school finance formulas in such a way that as much as 81 percent of the increased
revenue it would generate in its first year could not be distributed right away.
If approved by voters Nov. 4, Proposition A will eliminate the loss limits that restrict gamblers‘ buy-in to $500
every two hours. The proposition also would raise casino taxes by 1 percent, to 21 percent of gross revenue.
State officials estimate that the combination of attracting more high-rolling gamblers and increasing the tax
percentage would increase state casino revenues by at least $100 million.
All of that new revenue is earmarked for public education. But there‘s a possibility that in its first three years —
Missouri‘s fiscal 2010, 2011 and 2012 — a lot of the money would have to be set aside.
Gerri Ogle, associate commissioner for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,
agreed that the staff analysis was a ―reasonable‖ assessment of the situation.
Unless fixed by the General Assembly, Ogle said, the problem could persist until fiscal 2013, when the current
phasing in of a new statewide school funding formula would be completed and the old formula retired. Until then,
she said, the state must allocate school aid under the two funding formulas, and much of the new casino tax
revenue does appear to be caught in the middle.
As a result, she said, some Missouri school districts, including Kansas City and St. Louis, would see no increase
in funding in fiscal year 2010, the first year that new casino tax dollars could start showing up in local school
district budgets.
Scott Charton, a spokesman for the Yes on ACoalition, said the potential problem was ―subject to debate.‖
He acknowledged that new casino tax dollars might be caught in a bottleneck for a few years, but he said all the
money eventually would go for education because Proposition A contained iron-clad language that any new tax
money ―can‘t go anywhere else.‖
In the meantime, he added, the formula phase-in process loosens up greater sums of money each succeeding
year, while also annually increasing the number of districts that qualify for the new funding.
Besides arguing that Proposition A doesn‘t mesh with the school finance formulas, NO on A group spokesman
Evelio Silvera said Proposition A was really just ―a cover for casino self-interests and a massive expansion of
Silvera, whose campaign group was organized by the St. Louis-based anti-gambling group Casino Watch, said
Missouri‘s casino market was doing fine with the loss limits — and he quoted recent remarks by American
Gaming Association head Frank Fahrenkopf to back him up.
Silvera said, ―Even with a loss limit, Missouri is one of the only gambling markets in the entire country
experiencing growth.‖
In response, Charton said: ―Voter approval will protect thousands of Missouri jobs and help boost our economy
by eliminating Missouri‘s outdated, uncompetitive loss-limit regulations, which don‘t exist in any other state.‖

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Proponents have also said the ballot measure will help counter the state-owned casinos that will open in Kansas
by 2011, including one at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.
Silvera also dusted off the argument that gambling revenue earmarked for education is really ―a shell game‖ with
―general fund money to be displaced by the gambling money resulting in no net gain for education.‖
On that argument, Ogle of the state education department disagreed with Silvera and provided updated numbers
to make her case. ―General fund funding continues to increase,‖ she said, with state appropriations for public
education from non-gambling state tax sources increasing in 13 of the past 15 years.
According to state data, nongambling general tax funds since 2001 have made up from 52 percent to 56 percent
of all state funding for public education. During the same period, casino and state lottery tax dollars have
fluctuated between 7 percent and 10 percent of the total education budget, which also has increased annually in
14 of the last 15 years.
The rest of state aid to Missouri schools, a combined $5.34 billion this year, comes from federal aid and other
state income sources.

Funding gaps
Based on $118 million in new revenue if Proposition A passes, here is an estimate of how much additional state
money some school districts would get in its first year, fiscal 2010. Because the plan does not mesh with school
finance formulas, some districts might not get any of the increased financing at first.

District      Estimated increase
Liberty       $0
North KC      $1,517,167
Blue Springs $1,149,177
Lee‘s Summit $1,373,595
Hickman Mills $0
Raytown       $796,039
Grandview     $0
Independence $0
Kansas City   $0
State total   $54,878,527

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Voter registration ends in Missouri
By Jo Mannies



St. Louis-area election officials reported receiving thousands of last-minute voter registrations Wednesday,
Missouri's deadline.
However, no major problems were reported. "It's going real smooth,'' said St. Louis Republican elections director
Scott Leiendecker.
St. Louis County officials also reported no problems.
But across the state in Jackson County, election officials complained of hundreds of questionable voter
registration forms.
Charlene Davis, Jackson County's GOP elections director, said the fraudulent registration forms came from the
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. The Republican National Committee has
accused ACORN of turning in fraudulent registrations in several other swing states. The FBI is looking into
allegations in Nevada, and a spokeswoman said Wednesday it also would check into Davis' complaints.
Said Davis in Jackson County: "We have identified about 100 duplicates, and probably 280 addresses that don't
exist, people who have drivers license numbers that won't verify or Social Security numbers that won't verify.
Some have no address at all."
ACORN regional director Jeff Ordower said his group hasn't done any registrations in Kansas City since late
August. He said he was told three weeks ago by election officials that there were only about 135 questionable
cards — 85 of them duplicates.
"They keep telling different people different things," he said.
In a conference call Wednesday raising questions about ACORN's work, former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth, R-
Mo., cited the group's support for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, and his work with the group
years ago.
Debbie Mesloh, Obama's state communications director, said: "We support local officials in their efforts to
investigate any fraudulent behavior and the full prosecution of any illegal activities."
The latest polls show Obama and Republican John McCain to be neck and neck in Missouri.
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press.

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Missouri officials suspect fake voter
Associated Press Writer
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Officials in Missouri, a hard-fought jewel in the presidential race, are sifting through
possibly hundreds of questionable or duplicate voter-registration forms submitted by an advocacy group that has
been accused of election fraud in other states.
Charlene Davis, co-director of the election board in Jackson County, said many of the forms came from the
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN. She said they were bogging down work
Wednesday, the final day Missourians could register to vote.
"I don't even know the entire scope of it because registrations are coming in so heavy," Davis said from her
office in the Kansas City suburb of Independence, the county seat. "We have identified about 100 duplicates,
and probably 280 addresses that don't exist, people who have driver's license numbers that won't verify or Social
Security numbers that won't verify. Some have no address at all."
The nonpartisan group works to recruit low-income voters, who tend to lean Democratic. In bellwether Missouri,
polls show Republican presidential candidate John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama appear to have pulled
Jess Ordower, Midwest director of ACORN, said his group hasn't done any registrations in Kansas City since
late August. He said he was told three weeks ago by election officials that there were only about 135
questionable cards - 85 of them duplicates.
"They keep telling different people different things," he said. "They gave us a list of 130, then told someone else
it was 1,000."
FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said the agency has been in contact with elections officials about potential
voter fraud and plans to investigate.
"It's a matter we take very seriously," Patton said. "It is against the law to register someone to vote who does not
fall within the parameters to vote, or to put someone on there falsely."
On Tuesday, authorities in Nevada seized records from ACORN after finding fraudulent registration forms that
included the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.
In April, eight ACORN workers in St. Louis city and county pleaded guilty to federal election fraud for submitting
false registration cards for the 2006 election. U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said they submitted cards with
false addresses and names, and forged signatures.
Ordower said Wednesday that ACORN registered about 53,500 people in Missouri this year. He believes his
group is being targeted because some politicians don't want that many low-income people having a voice.
"It's par for the course," he said. "When you're doing more registrations than anyone else in the country, some
don't want low-income people being empowered to vote. There are pretty targeted attacks on us, but we're proud
to be out there doing the patriotic thing getting people registered to vote."
Davis estimated there may be around 1,000 questionable registration cards in her office she can attribute to

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"They're stamped ACORN," she said. "They say ACORN right on them. We're not guessing."
Republicans are among ACORN's loudest critics. At a campaign stop in Bethlehem, Pa., supporters of John
McCain interrupted his remarks Wednesday by shouting, "No more ACORN."
Debbie Mesloh, spokeswoman for the Obama campaign in Missouri, said in an e-mailed statement that the
campaign supported "local officials in their efforts to investigate any fraudulent behavior and the full prosecution
of any illegal activities."
According to its national Web site, the group has registered 1.3 million people nationwide for the Nov. 4 election.
It also has encountered complaints of fraud stemming from registration efforts in Wisconsin, New Mexico,
Nevada and battleground states like Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina, where new voter registrations have
favored Democrats nearly 4 to 1 since the beginning of this year.
Missouri offers 11 electoral votes; the presidential candidates need at least 270 to win the election.

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Jay Nixon: Known for intensity, he now
looks for consensus
The Kansas City Star

MOBERLY, Mo. | Jay Nixon stands at the front of the room, lamenting government policies that have hastened
the demise of shirt makers in the Bootheel and machine-tool factories in rural Missouri.
As the crowd presses forward, Nixon describes the humiliation workers in Rolla felt to star in a training film that
would teach Chinese workers how to do their jobs. He drops his voice to a stage whisper as he warns of the
crushing debt load that awaits college students who must borrow to pay for school. He talks of the need to invest
in people.
―People wonder what‘s wrong with the economy,‖ Nixon said. ―It‘s because all the money is going to debt instead
of into building a life. These kids aren‘t looking for some special tax break. They‘re just looking for the tools to
make a living.‖
The crowd cheers and Nixon, the Democratic candidate for governor, reminds them what‘s at stake on Election
Day. Campaigns, he says, really do matter.
―In 2004, we lost by less than 3 points,‖ Nixon says, ―and that meant that 400,000 people lost health care.‖
The speech to a gathering of Randolph County Democrats has the crowd buzzing. This is a new Nixon — more
compassionate and attuned to the worries of average Missourians, less concerned with winning an argument.
Even he remarks about the change.
After nearly 16 years as attorney general, he concedes with a chuckle that he is known primarily as ―someone
who‘s going to handcuff you or sue you.‖
The new approach is a long way from the Nixon who for more than a decade seemed to relish political fights,
often with members of his own party. It‘s a more low-key style of campaigning for a guy who alienated civil rights
leaders by trying to end long-running school desegregation cases and accused the speaker of the House of
using his office to benefit a casino.
Once derided as a publicity hound, Nixon now leaves much of the crowing over routine accomplishments to his
As governor, he says, he will have to be more of a consensus builder. He talks about making connections
between education and economic development, job creation and energy independence and health care and
worker productivity. ―It‘s been a transition for me, moving from a position of confrontation to one of consensus,
from a position as law enforcer and regulator to one of a creator and economic developer,‖ Nixon said. ―It‘s a
different job.‖
But Nixon has lost little of the intensity that has marked his career since bursting onto Missouri‘s political scene
as a state senator in 1987.
Early start
Jeremiah ―Jay‖ Nixon, now 52, grew up in a prominent family in DeSoto, a town of 6,000 people nestled in the
hills 47 miles southwest of St. Louis. His dad served as mayor and a city judge; his mom was the school board
president and served on the parks board.

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At campaign stops, Nixon tells how he was introduced to politics as a 12-year-old sitting around the kitchen table
with his family. He ties the experience to his role, 33 years later, enforcing the no-call law restricting
telemarketing in Missouri.
―At home, the phone would ring and mom and dad would tell me to answer it,‖ Nixon says. ―That‘s how I got my
start in constituent services. If anybody asks why I‘m the no-call guy, that‘s it.‖
In high school, he played basketball and football, participated in debate and snagged the lead in the play
―Cheaper by the Dozen.‖
―It was a small school,‖ Nixon says with a shrug. ―You tried out, so you got the part.‖
He went to the University of Missouri, where he picked up a degree in political science followed by a law degree
in 1981. After five years in private practice in Hillsboro, he won a seat in the Missouri Senate.
He immediately shook up the tradition-bound Senate, where freshmen were expected to be seen and not heard.
―Jay came in with an aggressive attitude,‖ said Jim Mathewson, who served 24 years in the Senate, including
eight as the ‖ chamber‘s leader. ―It was, ‗Get out of my way, I‘ve got things to do.‘
Nixon is unapologetic. He represented the same number of people as veteran members of the Senate, he said.
―I felt my district deserved representation and I didn‘t think they needed to wait a couple of years to get that,‖
Nixon said recently. ―People in my district elected me not to go up and join a club, but to represent them. And I
He pushed through legislation improving the state‘s crime lab and changing the law so couples did not have to
divorce to qualify for certain government programs. He led an investigation of state officials‘ handling of surplus
property. It was a lot of fun, he said.
Nixon‘s early ambition peaked in 1988 when he challenged U.S. Sen. John Danforth, a titan of the Missouri
Republican Party. Danforth crushed the upstart by 747,000 votes. ―It was like I couldn‘t get in the ring,‖ Nixon
said later. ―Danforth was just like untouchable.‖
Attorney general
Nixon was reelected to the state Senate two years later. In 1992, he won a tough race for attorney general, an
office that had been rocked by scandal.
The previous attorney general, Bill Webster, had been accused by federal prosecutors of trading lucrative
workers‘ compensation settlements for contributions to Webster‘s campaign for governor. Webster pleaded guilty
to conspiracy and misappropriation of state funds.
Nixon said his proudest accomplishment was restoring integrity to the attorney general‘s office. He was the first
Democrat to hold the office in 24 years and the office was full of Republican lawyers.
Many expected Nixon to clean house. He didn‘t. One of the GOP lawyers he kept was special prosecutor Kenny
Hulshof, who is now battling Nixon in the governor‘s race.
Nixon said his approach was straightforward. ―We required each employee to apply for their job,‖ Nixon said. ―I
made what I thought were the best decisions for the people of the state of Missouri, not what was best for the
Democratic Party.‖
Nixon quickly put his imprint on the office. He set up a unit to fight Medicaid fraud and won notable consumer
protection cases. He enforced restrictions on telemarketing by suing firms that violated the state‘s no-call list. He
won landmark U.S. Supreme Court decisions upholding limits on campaign contributions and paving the way for
an end to the Kansas City and St. Louis desegregation cases.
At the same time, he irked local prosecutors by seeking more authority to prosecute corruption. He accused the
Kansas City school district of losing equipment worth millions — before the items were accounted for.

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He was blamed for grandstanding when he joined the investigation into House Speaker Bob Griffin and one of
his law partners.
Larry Weber, now executive director of the Missouri Catholic Conference, worked for Webster and Nixon as an
assistant attorney general. He said Nixon‘s inclination is to err on the side of doing something.
―Jay‘s take is that people expect action out of government,‖ he said. ―He has seen too many examples of people
fiddling while Rome burns and flying over New Orleans while the levees break and the river drains into the city.‖
Chuck Hatfield, who served as a top deputy to Nixon for 10 years, said that penchant for action is inherent in
Nixon‘s personality, whether in the office or on the basketball court. Hatfield said he couldn‘t remember a day
when Nixon didn‘t arrive with a list of things to accomplish.
Harold Caskey, a Butler Democrat who served 28 years in the Senate and often tangled with Nixon, said he tried
to get Nixon to slow down, especially in the way he talked. ―The slower you talk in Missouri, the more believable
you are,‖ Caskey said. ―If you talk too fast, people have to listen too closely to understand.‖
Nixon said he talks fast because there is so much to be done.
―I think fast and these moments in which we have power, in which we have relevance, are whispers in time,‖
Nixon said. ―Yes, I‘m in a hurry for this state to get more jobs. Yes, I‘m in a hurry for more people to afford
―Because when it comes to the end of the month, there are way too many people in the state of Missouri who are
getting down to zero in their checkbooks. If I talk a little fast, it‘s because I‘m impatient about where we can be.‖

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Kenny Hulshof: This conservative has an
independent streak
The Kansas City Star

CAMDENTON, Mo. | As a young prosecutor, Kenny Hulshof could often be found playing basketball in Cape
Girardeau‘s Indian Park, a popular gathering spot for the city‘s black community.
Morley Swingle, the elected county prosecutor who hired Hulshof, said he was impressed by Hulshof‘s ability to
be accepted there even though a player or two might have passed through his office.
―Here is a guy playing against somebody he was prosecuting or a member of their family,‖ Swingle recalled. ―But
they liked Kenny because he was a good guy and a good player.‖
It was an example of the easy manner, quick wit and Everyman quality that would make Hulshof one of the top
prosecutors in the state and propel him to six terms in Congress.
It is also an example of how the conservative Republican with the moderate image seems always to have one
foot in at least two worlds.
Now a candidate for governor, he also has been a highly recruited baseball player coming out of high school, a
lawyer who longed to be a radio disc jockey, a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee
and a member of a country-rock band.
He has been a death penalty prosecutor who dabbled in community theater and, in his words, ―the only member
of Congress who plays drums at Mass every Sunday.‖
Perhaps most surprising, by upbringing and early inclination, Hulshof once appeared destined to become a
conservative Democrat rather a leader of the Missouri GOP.
He grew up in Mississippi County at a time when southeast Missouri was a bastion of southern Democrats.
Hulshof‘s first political hero was Jerry Litton, the charismatic congressman from Chillicothe who died in a plane
crash in 1976 on the night he won the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
Hulshof spent the summer of 1980 serving an internship on a Senate subcommittee on the staff of Democratic
U.S. Sen. Thomas Eagleton. And when he decided to run for Congress in 1994, Hulshof said, his mother had
two reactions.
‖ Hulshof ―The first thing she said was, ‗You‘re too nice for politics,‘ said. ―After I had said ‗as a Republican,‘ she
started shaking her head and ‖ said, ‗Whose kid are you?‘
Many interests
Hulshof, now 50, developed his eclectic interests growing up on the family farm near Bertrand, not far from the
Kentucky state line. His parents raised hogs and grew cotton, wheat, soybeans and corn. Hulshof remembers
his dad as the hardest-working man he‘s ever known.
Growing up in the waning days of Jim Crow, Hulshof was accustomed to playing and working with African-
Americans. Black and white children often played together because they lived nearby, he said. Beginning around
the age of 8, Hulshof said, he was expected to hoe and chop cotton alongside groups of 20 to 40 black men who
came to work the farm.
In high school, Hulshof played basketball and was a star first baseman who was recruited by the Twins, the
Reds and the Phillies. But Hulshof also had won an academic scholarship.

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―My father and I had a father-son talk in which dad does the talking and the son does the listening,‖ he said. ―He
talked about how few ballplayers make it. But a full-ride scholarship at the University of Missouri — it was sound
advice and I took it.‖
Hulshof earned a bachelor‘s degree in agricultural economics, spent the summer after graduation in Washington,
then was off to law school at the University of Mississippi.
As a youngster, Hulshof learned to play piano and taught himself to play drums by listening to 8-track tapes of
the Doobie Brothers. In law school, he developed an interest in radio and had worked hard to lose the twang of
his native southeast Missouri.
―My mother was appalled because, here I had a law degree, and I was sending demo tapes to radio stations all
over the country,‖ Hulshof recalled with a laugh.
But during his first year in law school, Hulshof said he had fallen in love with the courtroom and decided to go
into criminal law. After graduation, he returned to southeast Missouri and spent three years in the public
defender‘s office in Cape Girardeau.
He also caught on as a disc jockey for a small station serving Gordonville-Cape Girardeau. He said he wasn‘t
very good, so he worked the overnight shift on weekends. He also dived into community theater, helping build
sets and snagging the lead and singing in ―Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.‖
In late 1986, Swingle had been elected prosecutor and hired Hulshof as his first chief assistant. While some
prosecutors offer lenient plea bargains because they fear their evidence might not hold up, Hulshof was fearless
about going to court, Swingle said. ―He had a great courtroom presence,‖ Swingle said. ―He was articulate and
handsome — just what you look for in a trial lawyer. He was very persuasive in getting the jury to see the case
the same way he did.‖
The attorney general‘s office also noticed Hulshof‘s work, especially his defense of Jerome Mallett, who had
killed a state trooper in 1985. Mallett was convicted and later executed, but the prosecutor was so impressed
with Hulshof‘s defense that he later recommended him for a job.
In 1989, Hulshof moved to the attorney general‘s office. He worked as a special prosecutor who would take over
cases too complex for local law enforcement to handle. He handled some of the most high-profile murder cases
in the state, often describing the crime in graphic detail.
―Try to put yourself in (the victim‘s) place,‖ Hulshof told one jury. ― have your head yanked back by its hair
and to feel the blade of that knife slicing through your flesh, severing your vocal cords, wanting to scream out in
terror but not being able to. Trying to breathe, but not being able to for the blood pouring down into your
The state Supreme Court later overturned the conviction and several others that Hulshof won, saying his
techniques crossed the line into testimony and sought to inflame the jury.
Hulshof said he thought he was being a tough, but fair advocate for the murder victim. But the Supreme Court
changed the standard to force prosecutors to tone down their rhetoric, he said.
Political career
In 1992, Hulshof applied to become Boone County prosecutor. But he had to win the support of the Boone
County Republican committee. He lost by one vote.
A new opportunity arose in 1994 when Rick Hardy, the Republican nominee for the 9th District congressional
seat, backed out for health reasons. Hulshof was interested in the post, but the campaign would be a long shot,
taking on Democratic Rep. Harold Volkmer, an 18-year veteran of Congress.

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Hulshof said he sat on the porch swing of his house in Columbia and told his soon-to-be-wife, Renee, about his
long-ago decision to forgo a baseball career. He said he didn‘t want to pass on a bid for Congress and later
regret the road not taken.
Hulshof made a spirited bid, but lost 50 percent to 45 percent. Hulshof made another run two years later, barely
winning the GOP primary by 165 votes. But he went on to upset Volkmer by ridiculing Volkmer‘s statement that
people were not overtaxed.
Hulshof arrived in Washington in 1997, was given a seat on the Ways and Means Committee and was elected
president of the Republican freshman class.
Over the next 11 years, Hulshof earned a reputation as a reliable Republican vote, on the conservative side of
lawmakers labeled centrists. He has been a solid conservative on social issues, a bit more moderate on foreign
He co-wrote the law creating education savings accounts for high school and college costs. He backed reduced
tax rates for dividend and interest income and has been a fierce defender of tax subsidies for ethanol production.
As he has campaigned for governor, Hulshof has called himself an unapologetic conservative. His more
moderate image stems from his support for programs such as Ticket to Work, which allowed disabled workers to
keep their jobs without losing government aid.
But it also springs from his ability to seem comfortable in almost any setting.
―I would say I‘m an independent conservative,‖ Hulshof said. ―In our political culture, there is too much saying, ‗If
we disagree, then you‘re wrong.‘ I value your opinion even though I disagree with it. I‘m an independent who
respects other points of view and I‘m not in your face about it.‖

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Blunt urges replacement: Keep Tour of
By Jake Wagman

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tour of Missouri
Gov. Matt Blunt may not be able to stand Attorney General Jay Nixon enough to stay in the same room with
him for an extended period of time, but he wants the Democratic nominee for governor to know that, if he is
successful, he should keep the cycle wheels rolling.
Blunt issued a statement Tuesday, urging the state‘s next governor — whether it‘s Nixon or his Republican rival,
Kenny Hulshof – to continue the Tour of Missouri bike race.
―The Tour of Missouri has been an outstanding success exceeding even our very high expectations,‖ Blunt said.
The tour, in its second year, attracted more than 360,000 spectators as cyclists wound their way around the
state last month.
Blunt‘s statement was in response to a Kansas City Star article that, while flirting with the possibility that cycling
legend Lance Armstrong could participate in the 2009 Tour of Missouri, the future of the race is uncertain after
next year.
It is ―‗critical that Missouri‘s next governor support this great event,‖ Blunt said. ―I would hope the candidates
Will they?

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Every seat counts: Battle over MO Legislature is
low profile but high stakes
By Robert Joiner, Beacon staff
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 08 October 2008 )
In some ways, this is a dream year for political junkies, with spirited, competitive presidential and gubernatorial
races plus an array of talented politicians vying for the other statewide offices. In fact, for some candidates, this
election cycle might be just too much of a good thing.
Legislature by the numbers
    163 Seats in the Missouri House, all up for reelection this year
         89 Number of House seats controlled by GOP now
         77 Number of House incumbents facing no opposition in general election
     34 Number of seats in the Missouri Senate
         20 Number of Senate seats controlled by GOP
         18 Number of seats in Missouri Senate up for re-election
In this politics-rich year, the highly localized races for the Missouri Legislature are flying for the most part very
much under the radar. Yet the political composition of the Missouri House and Senate will be very important for
whoever wins the governor's race. It's the Legislature that will be implementing -- or stonewalling -- the
governor's program. For now, the Republicans are working to maintain their majority while the Democrats hope
to make a major dent.
Both parties angling for victory
No one knows how the turmoil and public outrage surrounding the $700 billion bailout and the overall economic
bad times will help or hurt the candidates, from the gubernatorial level on down. Majority Floor Leader Steven
Tilley (right) says blaming the economic problems on GOP policies won't play well with Missouri's voters.
"Republicans probably will catch some blame, but Democrats will, too," he says. "They've been in control of
Congress for two years and things haven't gotten better; they've gotten worse."
Tilley acknowledges that Nixon is leading in the polls but says Hulshof "still has time to make up the difference."
Tilley adds that Republicans expect GOP presidential nominee Sen. John McCain to win in Missouri because
McCain "appeals more to the average voter" when compared to Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama.
His views are countered by plenty of upbeat Democrats, including state Rep. Rachel Storch (right), the chair of
the House Democratic Campaign Committee, which grooms and supports candidates in the party's ongoing
effort to reclaim a House majority. Storch says the energy generated by Obama's presidential campaign is
trickling down to Missouri, and she says that will help her party's candidates make strong showings at the polls in
It's anyone's guess, though, how long the presidential or gubernatorial coattails will be for the other candidates
on the ballot. In this election, voters no longer will be allowed to vote a straight ticket -- that is, for all Democrats
or for all Republicans. Instead voters will have to vote individually for each candidate. In the past, straight-ticket
voting has apparently helped Democrats more so they may have the most to lose.

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Battleground St. Charles?
A political party needs 82 votes to control the Missouri House. Republicans now control 89 seats, the Democrats
hold 70, and there are four vacancies.
Surprisingly, the Democrats had looked to St. Charles County, normally a Republican stronghold, as a place to
make gains. One seat that had looked promising to them was the 18th District, which was vacant because the
Republican there, former Rep. Tom Dempsey, was elected to the Missouri Senate in a special election a year
Unfortunately for them, their best hope, Tim Swope, a former county sheriff and former St. Charles police chief,
decided he no longer wanted to run. His name will be on the ballot, but the victor is likely to be Anne Zerr, the
GOP candidate who was director of public policy under former County Executive Joe Ortwerth.
Democrats see hope in another St. Charles County race: the one between incumbent GOP Rep. Vicki Schneider
and Democrat Kenny Biermann in the 17th District. In their last match, Schneider won by fewer than 300 votes,
and Democrats hope that Biermann will even the score this time around, partly because it's the district that
Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill won by 51 percent in her race against GOP candidate Jim Talent.
A Hot Race
Perhaps the hottest race in the House is in the 24th District, where Democrat Chris Kelly is running against
incumbent GOP Rep. Ed Robb, both from Columbia. A former House member and former chair of the Budget
Committee, Kelly has raised about $150,000 and hopes to get an extra lift from voters who have registered as a
result of Obama's presidential campaign.
Democrats also are hopeful of winning open seats in the House's 85th and 91st districts.
In the 85th, in Affton, Democrats are counting on Vicki Englund to win over GOP candidate Cloria Brown. But
Tilley, a Republican, says Brown, who has knocked on 7,000 doors in the district, has a good chance of winning.
In the 91st District, Democrats are staking their hopes on Jeanne Kirkton, who carried the district in her
unsuccessful state Senate race against Michael Gibbons in 2004. Working in Kirkton's favor, it seems, is the fact
that the GOP candidate, Randy Jott, may be a little too conservative on issues such as stem cell research in a
relatively moderate district. But Tilley insists that Jott "is a good candidate."
The "Bluing" of the Suburbs?
That Democrats like Biermann and Kirkton in St. Charles and St. Louis counties even have a shot at winning in
normally Republican-leaning districts says a lot about the changing suburban demographics. Republicans used
to have such a grip on St. Louis County, for example, that the party's statewide success often hinged on winning
big there. But Democrats have held the position of county executive since 1990 when Buzz Westfall was first
elected. Charles Dooley, the current county executive, is the first African American to hold the position, reflecting
in part a change in the county's racial makeup. Blacks, who made up about 14 percent of the county's population
in 1990, now represent 22 percent.
As Democrats have learned in the 91st District, where Jotte and Kirkton are sparring, suburban voters aren't as
glued as they once were to the traditional GOP positions on hot-button issues. That explains why Kirkton thinks
she can make headway by emphasizing her position on stem-cell research. She believes that her support for
such research better reflects suburban district's voters.
This shift among voters is what Governing magazine calls the "bluing of the suburbs." It mentions several
suburban counties where the GOP lost ground to Democrats between 1984 and 2004. In St. Louis County, for
example, Republicans captured 64 percent of the presidential vote in 1984, but only 45 percent four years ago.
Likewise, in Fairfax County, Va., the party's share of the presidential vote dipped to 46 percent four years ago,
compared to 63 percent in 1984.

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The magazine stresses that this shift is by no means universal, pointing to voter allegiance to GOP candidates in
suburban regions of the South and the Southwest. Moreover, it notes that President George W. Bush was
victorious four years ago in all but three of the nation's 100 fastest growing counties.
On the other side of the state, in the Kansas City area, Democrats see hope in the candidacy of Democrat Terry
Stone in a race against incumbent GOP Rep. Jerry Nolte in the 33rd district. Stone is reported to have knocked
on 13,000 doors in a strong effort to unseat Nolte. In addition, in the 36th District, Democrats are optimistic that
Barbara Lanning of Lawson, Mo., can beat incumbent GOP Rep. Bob Nance of Excelsior Springs in a district
where about 55 percent of voters are said to be Democrats and where McCaskill won with 58 percent of the
Tilley also expects GOP challenger Thom Van Vleck to wage a strong challenge to incumbent Democratic Rep.
Rebecca McClanahan in the 2nd District. Tilley says this is a Republican-leaning district and "we think we have
the right candidate to pull an upset there." He also predicts that McCain will win by as much as 30 percent of the
vote in that district.
No Change In Senate?
Analysts don't expect much change in the 34-member state Senate, where Republicans control the majority with
19 seats. But Tilley says perhaps a dozen House races could be determined by between 200 and 300 votes.
Still, both he and Storch are holding their cards close, refusing to say for sure how many seats they expect their
parties to win on Nov. 4.
Though Tilley says McCain will win in Missouri and he had predicted before the primary that Republicans would
pick up a few House seats, he hedged a bit this time on how many. His only sure position is that the House will
remain in GOP hands.
Storch, meanwhile, expects the party to do well but says there are too many variable to talk about the outcome.
"We're going to pick up some," she says. "It's just a question of how many. We're very excited about all the new
people, especially the young people who've registered to vote."

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Highway Patrol, federal officials set up
immigration task forces
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | 1:10 p.m. CDT
BY CHRIS BLANK/The Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY — The state Highway Patrol and federal immigration authorities plan to set up three joint
task forces in Missouri to focus on illegal immigration.
A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement said that Missouri has been unique in its efforts to
assist with federal immigration authorities. That's because the state has combined the three-pronged task force
with a series of briefings held earlier this year to teach Missouri police officers about immigration law and how
they can help enforce it.
"In these respects, Missouri has been unusual and unique in coordinating this training and getting this
information out around the state,'' spokesman Carl Rusnok said Monday.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol plans to use 18 troopers who have received special federal training to staff
task force offices in Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis. The units will be called the Missouri Gateway Task
Force and were formally created by an agreement signed by Gov. Matt Blunt last week.
Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. John Hotz said that the troopers will focus on crimes such as harboring illegal
immigrants, transporting illegal immigrants and human trafficking. Those troopers assigned to the task forces are
to spend one week every quarter working in the federal immigration offices.
In July, 10 state troopers completed special immigration training, which allows them to start enforcing federal
immigration laws in Missouri. The Highway Patrol started checking the immigration status of those they arrest
after an August 2007 directive from Blunt's office.
Hotz said the governor's order also prompted the patrol to pursue creating a special joint task force with federal
immigration authorities.
In a written statement, Blunt said the task force would also help crack down on employers who hire illegal
"People from all over the globe come to our great nation to share our freedoms, and Missourians embrace the
contributions that lawful immigration makes to our society,'' Blunt said. "Missourians do not condone
lawbreaking, and that is why my administration will continue to take important, proactive steps to protect our
state from unlawful immigration.''
The Missouri troopers received special federal immigration training under a provision in a 1996 immigration law
that allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to train and deputize state and local law enforcement.
After the training, the police officers work under the supervision of federal immigration authorities.
Officers who are U.S. citizens, have been in their current position for at least two years and have no pending
disciplinary actions are eligible to be trained.
But immigration advocates, and even some of the nation's police chiefs, have questioned the wisdom of using
police officers to enforce federal immigration laws. They fear it could stretch local resources and make illegal
immigrants less likely to report crimes and cooperate with police.
Illegal immigration has become an important political issue for Missouri politicians. Earlier this year, the state
legislature passed a broad bill designed to make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to get welfare benefits and
jobs. The measure also penalizes communities that adopt "sanctuary city'' policies and requires public employers
and many state contractors to use a federal database to determine if new hires are allowed to work.

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Blunt administration tried to block Neo-
Nazi march

Gov. Matt Blunt said this week his administration considered every option for the Office of
Administration to deny a permit for Neo-Nazis to march on state property in Jefferson City on Nov. 8, but
the law does not allow for it.
In a news release, Blunt said he did not feel it was appropriate for taxpayer money to go to this group for its
attorney's fees, as a loss in court was more likely if the lawful permit was challenged.
―The group crossed t's, dotted i's and otherwise met all requirements for a permit defined by law, so we were
forced to allow them to be on the Capitol grounds,‖ said OA Commissioner Larry Schepker.
The group plans to march from the Governor's Mansion to the Capitol grounds.
―While I prefer to ignore this hate group, the media have continued to draw attention to their march and
Missourians are asking why they are being allowed on Capitol grounds,‖ Blunt said, in the release. ―The answer
is they are benefiting from the very laws they seek to destroy.‖

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Child support ends earlier for college
By Nancy Cambria

Eight years ago, an unexpected divorce hit House Springs homemaker Jean Woolery hard.
She had a mortgage to pay and a 12-year-old daughter to support, and hadn't worked outside the home for
years. So her ex-husband's $660 monthly child support payments went a long way toward keeping her and her
daughter in their home.
But not as long as she hoped.
Woolery's daughter Jenna is one of thousands of children of divorce in Missouri affected by a 2007 change in
state law to cut off mandatory child support payments for college students at age 21 instead of 22. Her father,
Ernie Woolery, like many others paying child support, said he has decided not to make the extra year's worth of
"State law is state law," he said. "At 21 you're a legal adult and you're responsible for yourself and making your
way in your life."
When the law took effect in August 2007, there were 3,700 21-year-olds receiving support payments through the
state's court-ordered child support collection program.
Parents of those children who were paying the support were immediately emancipated from any additional
monthly payments, though they could opt to voluntarily continue support.
Critics say the change is eroding a law that sets Missouri apart from most other states by securing child support
throughout the college years. Now, many of those college students say they're scrambling to pay for the final
credits to graduate.
Jenna, who turns 21 in February, is finishing a two-year degree at Jefferson College in Hillsboro, where she
balances part-time school work with a nearly full-time job in customer service. But she wants to go on to a four-
year college to get a bachelor's degree.
Her mother, now a nanny, said she and her daughter found out accidentally this past summer that the child
support would likely stop in February. Woolery said they just don't have the resources to pay the tuition and their
joint household expenses without the $8,000 in child support they were counting on.
Now, Woolery is contemplating selling her home a year before she planned.
"It's just pulling the rug out from beneath both of us here," she said. "There are good kids like my daughter, who
is working full time, takes responsibility for her bills, works around the house, gets A's and B's — and she is
It's a scenario that doesn't get much sympathy from Richard Meyers of Raymore, whose testimony before the
House Family Services Committee fueled the age rollback.
"They can deal with it the same way the rest of us do," Meyers said. "They can take out student loans."
Meyers, the married father of three other children, was compelled by the court to pay child support throughout
college for an older daughter after a paternity test. He told the committee his daughter had been suspended from
college three times. And despite statutes that are supposed to release a parent from financial obligations in the

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event of poor school performance, a judge ruled that the daughter's repeated medical problems still made
Meyers responsible for more than $600 in monthly child support, he said.
For years, Missouri has been one of a few states that extended child support for children 18 to 22 who attended
college. A 2007 survey by the National Conference of State Legislatures found that 38 states end mandatory
child support at 18 — also the cutoff age for Missouri children who do not go on to college after high school.
When the age rollback took effect, 26,918 18- to 22-year-olds were receiving payments in the state child support
collection program, according to the Missouri Division of Social Services.
Missouri's law, in theory, gives children of divorce the same financial resources for a college education as those
of married couples, said former state Sen. Pat Dougherty, D-St. Louis, a longtime chair of a legislative committee
on child policy. Dougherty said the committee repeatedly fended off attempts to roll back the age to 21 or lower.
Dougherty said children from divorced households face particular challenges — ones that aren't resolved at age
Children whose parents divorce end up with significantly lower levels of education than do children from intact
marriages, or even children in households where a mother or father has died, said Bridget Brennan, executive
director the St. Louis Healthy Marriage Coalition.
The law also withstood a challenge in the Missouri Supreme Court in the late 1990s when a St. Louis County
man argued that divorced parents were being unfairly singled out because married couples have no legal
obligation to pay for their kids' college education.
But in 2007, Rep. Brian Baker, R-Belton, heard Meyers' story and proposed rolling back mandatory child support
to 18 regardless of whether a child went on to college. Baker could not be reached for comment.
Only one other citizen testified before the House Family Services Committee on the bill. Family law attorney
Carla Holste of Jefferson City warned that the rollback to 18 would flood the family court system with custodial
parents seeking modifications to their child support.
The bill passed through the committee on party lines but failed to gain further momentum. In a compromise
move, Baker was able to get enough support to drop the age to 21 and tack the proposal onto a larger bill
modifying everything from foster parent care to child abuse investigations in the Department of Social Services.
Local Democrats were incensed.
"Making state policy based on one person's political gripe seems to me to be very bad public policy making,"
said Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, D-St. Louis, who sat on the committee. "It's unfair to change financial
arrangements after the kids have been through three years of school."
Mott Oxford and Rep. Margaret Donnelly, D-Richmond Heights, said they will try again next year to extend the
age back to 22.
Parents affected by the law change have often found out about it during court proceedings.
Last year, Tracie Bennett asked the court to more than double child support for her son, now a senior at
Southeast Missouri State University, because her ex-husband had significantly increased his income. The De
Soto resident instead learned her son would get nothing because he was about to turn 21. Bennett said the
change also affected her son in another way: He was no longer eligible under her ex-husband's medical and
dental benefits. Bennett said that although the $3,780 they expected to receive this year is definitely a loss, her
son will manage.
"He will graduate in May, come hell or high water," she said.

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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
Lethal injection
Doing it right
By HENRY J. WATERS III, Publisher, Columbia Daily Tribune
Published Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Why is it so hard to do lethal injection, today‘s preferred method for implementing the death penalty?
Alan Doerhoff, a St. Louis surgeon, had helped with lethal injection executions in several states, including
Missouri until he was banned for further duty here after he told a judge he is dyslexic and sometimes made
mistakes mixing his drugs. None of these errors was significant, but the method came under public scrutiny.
The Missouri Department of Corrections looked for a qualified anesthesiologist who would administer the fatal
doses, a seemingly simple task, but the doctors‘ ethical keepers proclaimed that sort of duty out of bounds. Docs
are supposed to prolong life, not the other way around.
So, despite his legal and ethical baggage, Doerhoff emerged as the national expert. States called him to help
them install the system he developed in Missouri that seemed to work well. State officials think they need
medical help, but qualified help is hard to come by, leaving Doerhoff on stage.
He says it‘s not a matter of the drugs, which are well known and always work. It‘s the IV installation that
sometimes goes awry.
Now Missouri has developed a complicated new system requiring a dozen or so syringes, not three as Doerhoff
advises. He says Missouri‘s system is overly complex and might cause trouble.
What‘s the mystery? We all know the world‘s IV experts are nurses, not doctors. Why can‘t a nurse insert a
simple IV, then put in a knockout drug to put the offender to peaceful sleep, then proceed with a pre-mixed lethal
dosage? How hard can this be?

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Missouri’s judiciary selection system in
dire need of reform
Special to The Star

For the second time in a little over a year, the Missouri governor is confronted with a panel of three judicial
nominees for the Supreme Court presented by the ―non-partisan Missouri Plan Commission,‖ which appears to
be both partisan and deficient in merit.
Elections mean something. In a democracy, governors, like presidents, are entitled to represent the people who
elected them by appointing competent judges who are not at odds with the judicial philosophy the public ratified
when it elected a chief executive who promised a specific type of judge. This certainly has been the case in
Missouri until the actions of the last two commissions.
In the Democratic Mel Carnahan-Bob Holden era, Democratic nominees were plentiful. Yet in the Blunt
Republican era, two Democrats and one Republican (with lesser credentials than others available) were
presented on two occasions. It is no secret that the commission is dominated by members of the Missouri
Association of Trial Attorneys.
Citizens are entitled to ask why Judge Lisa Hardwick‘s name was not forwarded to the governor in the last panel
to replace Judge Ronnie White, instead of a much less qualified female minority candidate. Why is the sole
Republican named in the current panel a member of the trial attorneys group with far fewer qualifications than
two available Republicans: Stephen D. Easton, a former U.S. attorney and currently MU professor of law, or
Brenda Talent, a senior partner of a major national law firm with unusually sound legal qualifications?
At one time Missouri could be proud of its Missouri Plan. But this 1940s-era Republican-initiated plan is in great
need of reform. Those seeking reform want:
• A reformed Missouri Plan and not its elimination, with an open vetting process.
• No judge selecting a judge to sit on her own court.
• Members of the commission selected in a non-partisan and politically accountable fashion. Currently three
members of the commission are elected by the Missouri Bar. Citizens expect the bar to choose a cross-section
of its talented members. If the bar keeps neglecting its duty and only selecting members of the trial lawyers
association (all elected bar commission members are prominent MATA members), then another means of
diversifying the commission must be devised.
• The legislative branch appropriately involved in the selection and removal of judges. Our current Missouri Plan
is one of the least democratic in the country.

William G. Eckhardt, professor of law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, lives in Kansas City.

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Emotional story brings home Fire Prevention Week message
Thursday, October 9, 2008, 9:11 AM
By Brent Martin

An emotional message from a woman who suffered an unspeakable tragedy brings home the message of Fire
Prevention Week.
Terri Van Klavern of Lake Ozarks lost her daughter and granddaughter in a house fire nearly two years ago in an
Illinois town outside Chicago. The three had traveled to Wilmington, Illinois to visit her son who had been in a car
accident. Nine people settled in for the night in her son's aging home. A fuse blew during the night. Her son
changed it, but a fire began at an electrical outlet later. Van Klavern's daughter, Robin Ling Russell, woke to her
blanket on fire. She and others attempted to extinguish it, but it soon grew out of control.
The fire spread to engulf the house. Daughter Robin and granddaughter Jayden Ling got out. They reached
safety, then when Robin couldn't locate her mother, she re-entered the burning building. Her daughter followed
her. They didn't make it back out.
Adding to the tragedy, the two didn't realize neighbors were helping Van Klavern escaped out the back of the
home. Van Klavern, overcome by smoke and disoriented, didn't know until later that she had lost her daughter
and granddaughter.
Van Klavern recalls that horrid night with difficulty. She tells the tale to warn other families not to take fire
prevention lightly, but to take the steps to prevent fire and to talk to family members about what to do should fire
break out.

Not over the line, says Montee
Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 10:01 PM
By Bob Priddy

 Earlier this week, the Democratic Party used State Auditor Susan Montee in a news conference accusing
Northwest Missouri Congressman Sam Graves of failing to declare ownership of two airplanes and failing to pay
personal property taxes on them. But there are some questions about the use of the Auditor in this kind of event.
Here are some of them: Is a state office being used for a political purpose---or is it just the state office-holder
who is playing a political role? Has the party used a state office or officer to legitimize a political issue that might
have attracted less attention if someone less prominent made the same statements? Is there anything wrong
with any of this?
The party's announcement of the press conference did not refer to Montee as state auditor and she said at the
conference that she was there as a Sixth District citizen, not as Auditor. But the title goes with the person
regardless of the circumstance and Montee does not sidestep that. She says it's true that a statewide office-
holder would attract more attention than, say, a state representative. But she says it is also true that she is a
citizen of that district with a personal interest in the campaign of the person who represents, or will represent, the
district in Congress.
She says she did not allow her office to be manipulated to add credibility to the announcement. She says her
office works to keep politics out of the auditor's work. But in her private life she is free to take partisan positions.
Graves by the way says the airplanes are junkers that he's using for parts, and don't need to be on the personal
property tax rolls

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Value of Tuesday's presidential debate format questioned by MU
Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 6:24 PM
By Steve Walsh

Reaction to this week's presidential debate has been mixed - with supporters of Democrat Barack Obama saying
he won ... and backers of Republican John McCain claiming he was the winner. But, did the American public
University of Missouri Communication Professor Bill Benoit believes the debate lacked what he calls the clash of
ideas on the issues that is so important to the political process. He adds having questions from the public filtered
through a moderator - as was the case in Tuesday's debate - does not necessarily serve the public well.
Benoit says town hall debates used to give citizens the opportunity to ask questions - and they do - but the topics
and content of the questions are chosen by the moderator.

October is now officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Wednesday, October 8, 2008, 4:18 PM
By Aurora Meyer

One out of eight women will get breast cancer. Governor Blunt has officially recognized October as Breast
Cancer Awareness Month in Missouri to bring attention to the disease. Nearly 4,000 Missouri women are
diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Twenty percent of them die from the disease. First Lady Melanie Blunt
lost her mother to breast cancer.
"Whether you're a survivor, a family member or a volunteer thank you for your role to help find a cure for breast
cancer," she said. "Because of your efforts breast cancer is being detected earlier, treatment is starting sooner
and the rate of survival is increasing."
Governor and Mrs. Blunt presented $40,000 to the Show-Me Healthy Women Program on behalf of the Friends
of the Missouri Women's Council. The money came from the pink license plate campaign. The plates serve as a
reminder to women across the state to get a mamogram, said Chair Sandy Jones.
The $40,000 will provide free screenings for uninsured women in the state.
"The bottom line is we just want to save women's lives," Jones said. "We want them to know that there's always
hope. The big key is get an examination and be aware of your own physical condition and make sure your doctor
understands what your needs are."

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Thursday, October 9
St. Louis - Four sex offenders are suing over a new state law requiring them to avoid all Halloween-related
contact with children, remain inside their homes and post a sign saying they have no candy to give away. The
American Civil Liberties Union sued in federal court, claiming the provisions are vague and improperly add
punishment to sentences already served.

Wednesday, October 8
Kansas City - A former cabbie who befriended a wealthy customer and embezzled $640,000 from him was
sentenced to eight years in federal prison. Ringling Dan Cohn, 57, pleaded guilty to bank fraud. He was indicted
in 2007 on allegations he manipulated Griffith Coombs into giving him control of his financial affairs. The
indictment said Cohn tapped accounts of the elderly antiques dealer to make expensive purchases and gamble.

Tuesday, October 7
Jefferson City - Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof wants to create an inspector general's office
in Missouri. Under the proposal, Hulshof said the inspector general would be appointed by a special law
enforcement board and would look into alleged fraud, waste and corruption. Hulshof also wants lawmakers to
give the inspector general prosecutorial power. Hulshof is running against Democratic Attorney General Jay

Monday, October 6
Carthage - State officials will survey residents here in another effort to pinpoint the city's lingering odor problem.
The survey will be distributed over the next month in water and electric bills. Biofuels producer Renewable
Environmental Solutions was most often cited in odor complaints. The company says it has addressed problems.

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