Mu review targets 'low-producing
By The Associated Press – Jefferson City News Tribune
Published: Thursday, October 7, 2010 11:53 PM CDT
COLUMBIA (AP) -- The University of Missouri's flagship campus is reviewing 75 degree programs for
possible elimination or consolidation as the state seeks costs savings.
The state Department of Higher Education defines such "low-producing" programs as those awarding
fewer than 10 bachelor's degrees a year on average. The cutoff is five graduates for master's programs
and three graduates for doctoral programs.
The state mandate -- reinforced by Gov. Jay Nixon at an August higher education summit in Jefferson
City -- applies to each of the four campuses in the Missouri university system as well as the state's 31
other two- and four-year colleges and universities. But the effect on the Columbia campus, given its size,
could prove the most significant.
Computer science, food science and nutrition, and three foreign languages are among the undergraduate
subjects on the Columbia campus meeting the state's criteria. Most of the academic disciplines targeted
for review are master's and doctoral programs, including higher level degrees in anthropology, classical
studies, forestry, geology sciences, neuroscience, rural sociology and theater.
The state has asked Missouri and the other public colleges to respond with an action plan for their "low
performing and duplicate" programs by Oct. 21.
Interim higher education commissioner David Russell said he plans to share a report with the
Coordinating Board for Higher Education by early December, with a final report to the governor in
Chancellor Brady Deaton briefly discussed the state review at a Wednesday afternoon faculty meeting in
Columbia. He deemed the exercise a "first step" to determine if the school is "using our resources most
Final approval of any program elimination rests with the university system's Board of Curators.
Other states struggling to recover from the prolonged recession have taken similar steps.
In June, Pennsylvania's higher education system eliminated or suspended nearly 80 degree programs
with low enrollments at the state's 14 public universities. One year earlier, Florida State University axed
10 undergraduate majors and three graduate-level programs, along with about five dozen professors.
Any worries about job security or diminished academic reputations remained private at the Columbia
faculty meeting. Deaton's request for questions from the group of roughly 100 professors was met with
silence, and the meeting ended 30 minutes early.
Earlier, budget director Tim Rooney suggested that the university could absorb budget cuts as high as 15
percent -- three times the amount of the most recent state-ordered trims -- in fiscal year 2012, which
begins in July.
The state's budget director told participants at the August higher education summit that Missouri expects
a $400 million to $500 million shortfall in the coming fiscal year.
Rooney also said Missouri expects to ask the state for a waiver to raise tuition by more than the annual
inflation rate, elaborating on earlier comments by Gary Forsee, president of the University of Missouri
Forsee and other campus leaders had brokered a deal with Nixon the past two years that spared public
universities from tuition increases in exchange for flat funding in 2009 and $50 million in cuts this year.
Biden helps US Senate candidate raise
$100K in Mo.
By DAVID A. LIEB (AP) – 11 hours ago
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Vice President Joe Biden praised Missouri Democrat Robin Carnahan on
Thursday as a gritty U.S. Senate candidate unlikely to buckle to others, and helped her raise an
estimated $100,000 in the hometown of her Republican rival.
The fundraiser marked the second time in three months that President Barack Obama's administration
has come to the financial aid of Carnahan's campaign. But unlike the prior event with Obama in Kansas
City, the White House barred cameras from Biden's fundraiser at an exclusive diner club in Springfield
and scheduled no other public events while he was in Missouri.
Carnahan's Republican opponent, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, held a public rally a few miles away that drew
about 100 people.
Polls show Carnahan, Missouri's secretary of state, trailing Blunt in the race to replace retiring Republican
Sen. Kit Bond ahead of the Nov. 2 elections. Democrats have been mounting a vigorous effort in
Missouri, which they consider one of their best shots to pick up a Republican-held seat and offset the
expected loss of Democratic Senate seats elsewhere.
"The reports of the death of the Democratic Party are greatly exaggerated," Biden said, playing off a
famous quote from Missourian Mark Twain.
Carnahan has "more grit and backbone in her little finger than most people have in their whole body,"
Biden told the roughly 170 people at the fundraiser. "I can't imagine her bending to anything."
Biden's message was similar to Obama's remarks in July, when the president praised Carnahan as a
"no-nonsense, independent" leader. Obama said he could have passed an overhaul of federal financial
regulations sooner had Carnahan been in Washington.
Blunt has used video of Obama's remarks in campaign ads against Carnahan, linking her to Obama's
policies and trying to capitalize on the president's unpopularity in Missouri. At a rally Thursday at the local
Republican Party headquarters, Blunt played up the fact that cameras were welcome at his event and
reminded people of Obama's earlier remarks.
"He knows I'm not going to be the vote for that agenda," Blunt said.
Obama, who lost Missouri with 49 percent of the vote in 2008, got just 41 percent in Springfield's home of
A poll released Wednesday by CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corp. showed Blunt leading Carnahan 53
percent to 40 percent among likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
The poll also showed that 61 percent of likely Missouri voters disapproved of the way Obama was
handling his job as president.
That might explain why Biden did not appear publicly with Carnahan, said George Connor, head of the
political science department at Missouri State University in Springfield.
"Any public appearance with Biden and Robin here in Springfield is just pouring kerosene on an
inflammable situation with respect to the Republican base here," Connor said.
But he noted that "there are enough wealthy Democratic donors in southwest Missouri that they can come
together for a private event."
Among those attending the Biden fundraiser were Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and Carnahan's mother,
former U.S. Sen. Jean Carnahan.
She said the event was important not only because of the money, but also because of the vice president's
ability to excite Democrats a few weeks before the election.
But some at the event expressed concerns about whether Biden's ties to Carnahan ultimately would help
or hurt her chances in southwest Missouri, which typically favors Republicans.
"I don't want this to be the case, but based on what I hear at the doors (while campaigning), they want a
separation from Washington," said state Rep. Sara Lampe, D-Springfield.
Carnahan told The Associated Press that Biden's aid is an indication that the White House knows what's
at stake in Missouri's Senate race.
"Congressman Blunt wants to do everything he can to pretend this election is about someone other than
me," Carnahan said. "He'd like it to be about President Obama or (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi or
anyone. But he gets to run against me."
US Chamber spends more than $10
million on ads
By JIM KUHNHENN
Associated Press Writer – Southeast Missourian
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce this week is airing more than $10 million in
advertising in some of the most competitive House and Senate races, a massive infusion by the business
lobby against Democratic candidates in about 30 contests.
The amount is the single largest one-week expenditure by a group outside of the national political parties.
It represents an escalation in ads by the chamber, which has expressed a goal of spending $75 million in
this year's midterm elections.
The boost in spending comes as liberal groups raise questions about the chamber's financial sources.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund and MoveOn.org suggest the trade group could be using
foreign money to air the ads, which would be illegal. The chamber denies the claim. It says money raised
from foreign corporations is segregated from its political spending.
The chamber is not required to reveal the sources of its money.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama chided the chamber, without mentioning its name, as one of
several groups that are aiding Republicans without revealing the identity of their contributors.
"Just this week, we learned that one of the largest groups paying for these ads regularly takes in money
from foreign corporations," Obama said at a rally for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. "So groups that
receive foreign money are spending huge sums to influence American elections, and they won't tell you
where the money for their ads come from."
As the chamber increased its efforts in this year's midterm elections, chamber CEO and President
Thomas Donohue on Thursday issued a tough denunciation of government regulations, threatening to
use the courts to block new rules that affect business and setting the chamber up as a major adversary of
the Obama administration.
"Litigation is one of our most powerful tools for making sure that federal agencies follow the law and are
held accountable," he said in prepared remarks to the Des Moines Rotary Club. "Today, we are issuing a
clarion call for Americans and lawmakers to stop the encroachment of a government by the regulators
before it's too late."
The new political ads include $1 million spent against Rep. Paul Hodes, the Democratic Senate candidate
in New Hampshire, and $1 million against Gov. Charlie Crist in Florida, the
Republican-turned-independent who is running for the Senate. The ads also take aim at Democrats in
Senate races in Colorado, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Missouri.
In addition, the chamber is airing ads in nearly two dozen House races, including multiple contests in
Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The chamber is spending $500,000 for an ad targeting Democratic Senate hopeful Richard Blumenthal in
Connecticut as a "sue-first-and-ask-questions-later" attorney general. The ad says Blumenthal's tenure as
attorney general has forced some of those companies to go out of business while under investigation.
Blumenthal is in a tight contest with Republican Linda McMahon, a former professional wrestling
executive who has spent heavily from her personal fortune on the campaign.
Another ad takes aim at Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold, fighting a tough re-election battle in Wisconsin.
In the 30-second spot, an announcer laments that "Russ always said he'd change Washington. Looks like
Washington changed him." It cites his votes for Obama's health care overhaul, increasing U.S. debt limits
and allowing politicians to spend freely. Feingold, seeking a fourth term, has run into trouble in his
campaign against newcomer Republican Ron Johnson.
Questions about the chamber's foreign money were first raised this week by ThinkProgress, a blog of the
liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund pointed to overseas business councils, known as
"AmChams," that pay dues that go into the general fund of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. MoveOn.org
sent a letter to the Department of Justice calling for an investigation.
Chambers spokeswoman Tita Freeman called the claims "unfounded, deceitful and completely
erroneous." She said the AmChams collectively pay $100,000 in dues and that the money is used to pay
for international programs.
"No foreign money is used to fund political activities," she said.
Freeman dismissed the claim as the work of a "George Soros-funded, anti-business blog," a reference to
the billionaire investor known for his support of liberal causes.
Ad Watch | Carnahan vs. Blunt
By DAVID GOLDSTEIN, The Kansas City Star‘s Washington correspondent
A series examining politcal advertising on television.
Sponsor: Robin Carnahan for Senate
Text: ―I‘m Robin Carnahan and I approve this message. A California company gets a million-dollar
congressional earmark. Eight days later, Roy Blunt gets $13,000 from company executives, even though
they‘ve never given to him before. Blunt then flies repeatedly on their corporate jet. The chief executive is
convicted of bribing another congressman, but Blunt uses congressional immunity to avoid testifying. Do
you think Roy Blunt has Missouri values?‖
Analysis: This ad refers to $13,000 that Blunt received Oct. 18, 2002, from business executives and a
political action committee associated with Brent Wilkes, a California defense contractor. One of his firms
received a $1 million earmark in a Defense bill eight days earlier. Blunt was chief deputy whip at the time,
responsible for rounding up GOP votes in the House. But it was not his earmark.
News accounts and other records show that Blunt used Wilkes‘ corporate jet.
Wilkes was later charged with bribing former Republican congressman Randy ―Duke‖ Cunningham. Blunt
was subpoenaed to testify as a defense witness. But so were a dozen other lawmakers, including the
then speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, and Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri. Like Blunt, all
of them refused to testify.
On a five-star scale:
Lack of 'superstar' candidates and
lackluster outreach may keep black
voters at home election day
By Robert Joiner, Beacon staff
Posted 8:20 am, Thu., 10.7.10
The 2008 presidential election was significant not only because Barack Obama, an African American,
won. It was also a watershed event because Obama energized black voters to the point that they turned
out in greater proportions than whites nationally. In Missouri alone, an unprecedented 73 percent of
blacks went to the polls.
Will black voters, an important part of the Democratic Party's base, turn out in force again this November?
A local political scientist and several black Democratic office-holders don't think so. Some say the turnout
will be lower for reasons beyond the party's control. Others fault the party's message.
Whatever the reasons, Democrats running for national offices aren't winning over nearly as many black
voters this time. The pro-Democratic Public Policy Polling firm points to problems for the party in this
election. The firm says blacks' approval of Obama isn't matched by their support for Democrats in many
key races. For example, the polling firm found that blacks' approval of Obama stood at 78 percent in
Missouri. In contrast, their approval of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, the Democratic candidate for
U.S. Senate, is 67 percent, an 11 percent drop-off -- and may be bad news for Carnahan who is in a tight
race against U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Springfield.
Similar trends were found for Democratic gubernatorial and Senate candidates in Illinois, Ohio,
Pennsylvania and other states.
No Candidate or issue to energize Black voters
Charlene Lofton Jones, a political science professor at Harris Stowe University and a former assistant
superintendent in St. Louis schools, managed nearly two dozen of the district's tax campaigns, all of
which were successful. But she says this year's election is a different animal.
Charlene Lofton Jones
"You don't have the president and the governor running, so there's no superstar on the ticket," she said.
"Plus there is no momentum this time because of the dreadful economy. We're talking about a 9 percent
unemployment rate overall and a rate of 15 percent in the African-American community. That makes it
very difficult to energize people and build momentum for a high turnout."
Obama remains very popular in the black community, Jones said. Blacks regard him as having inherited a
lot of economic problems. "Also he has been unfairly criticized for his health-reform law," she adds.
State Rep. Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis, says national and state party leaders are making some effort to
fire up blacks and encourage the thousands of first-time Missouri voters from the 2008 election to show
up again this time. Still, she says the party needs to do more.
"People just aren't excited," she says, adding that she and others have told officials at the Democratic
National Committee that "we're willing to help. We just need some sort of plan to work with."
On the other hand, she says, Robin Carnahan's brother, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, "has
been working diligently to increase the African-American turnout, not so much for himself but overall."
Jones adds that she will use the remaining weekends to visit churches to send the message that
"elections 90 miles away are just as important as those 900 miles away," meaning that what Missourians
do in mid-term elections do make a difference.
"Even if people are not excited about the Democratic candidate in the race, they still need to show up to
vote because the alternative would be a lot worse," Jones says.
Both Robin Carnahan and Blunt have visited black churches in an attempt to appeal to black voters. The
fact that both have been speaking from pulpits in St. Louis and Kansas City says a lot about the
importance of black vote. In addition, Blunt announced his candidacy at Harris Stowe, which has a largely
African-American student body.
Lackluster outreach to minority voters
It remains unclear whether these efforts will make much difference. It certainly hasn't impressed some
"The Democratic Party hasn't sent a clear message about how important the Carnahan-Blunt race is in
terms of the party holding control of the Senate," said state Rep. Jamilah Nasheed, another St. Louis
Democrat. "I just don't think that Robin Carnahan's camp is articulating how important it is for the party to
be able to protect the president and the middle class."
The problem, Nasheed said, "has been in the messaging. Robin Carnahan has been totally on an attack
message. It hasn't been: How are you going to create jobs, preserve health reforms or do something
about the economy? Those are the things that people want to know. They don't want to know what Blunt
did five years ago, or what his wife did six years ago. They want to know about the consequences if he
State Democratic Party officials take issue with Nasheed, said party spokesman Ryan Hobart.
"Members of the Missouri Democratic Party are out there every day talking to voters about the issues that
matter to them, whether it is jobs, the economy or affordable health care," he said. Efforts have included
"talking to voters on the phone and on their door steps about the clear choice in this election."
In addition, he says the party "has been reaching out to leaders in the African-American community to set
up events and make sure they are engaged and have input in the various campaigns."
Although giving no specifics, he says these efforts will intensify and grow stronger "from now until Election
One ingredient missing from the campaign, Nasheed argues, is getting local and national black leaders
on the radio stations in Missouri that target black listeners.
"The party's campaign should include blacks who have credibility and respect among black voters," she
said. Asked for examples locally, she mentioned License Collector Mike McMillan and Alderman Kacie
Starr Triplett, D-6th Ward.
In spite of her criticism, Nasheed says the party leaders still have time to "change the way they are doing
things" to get out the black vote.
"I'm going to do all I can to help turn out the base because we have a lot at stake in this election," she
says. "I'm not giving up hope."
Candidates clash over campaigns, issues
in 7th District debate
Cory de Vera - Springfield News-Leader
October 8, 2010
The night after their first debate, the candidates for the U.S. 7th District House seat met again, and
continued to clash over issues such as negative campaigns, Democrat Scott Eckersley's political
affiliation and what Republican Billy Long thinks about Social Security.
Joining the two major party candidates was Libertarian Kevin Craig.
"I'm a very conservative Christian. I think in some ways I'm more conservative than the Republican in this
race," said Craig in his opening statement. "I'm also a Libertarian. That makes me in many ways more
liberal than the Democrat in this race."
But the hottest sparks flew when Eckersley sidestepped a question about what needs to be done to
prevent another major terrorist attack and alleged for the second night in a row that Long wants to
dismantle Social Security.
At a Tuesday debate in Joplin, Eckerlsey said Long had filled out some questionnaire saying he wanted
to dismantle the program, and Long said he didn't know what Eckersley was referring to.
Eckersley has since posted on his website links to a site called ConservativeCongress.com, which says
on its site that it "supports candidates who seek to dismantle the Department of Education and Social
Security, by and through constructive reforms, and who firmly oppose the expansion of federal control
over our nation's healthcare industry."
When Eckersley again said Long wants to dismantle Social Security, Long responded: "Hot diggity dog.
Anytime you lie, Scott, I'm going to holler out 'Hot diggity dog.' And you lied last night. You lied
consistently about me that I signed some kind of a questionnaire."
Long said he called the organization, and the organization told him it does not have a questionnaire.
"I've got to say the record is clear that frankly there was a questionnaire that was filled out," said
On the research page of ConservativeCongress.com, a chart of Missouri candidates shows the group has
determined Long is an "approved candidate" and that on a question (or questions) about Social Security
he was marked as "passed" rather than "failed" or "no response."
The organization also lists Libertarian candidate Kevin Craig as approved, with all the same marks as
Long. Eckersley is not listed.
The organization website has a reference saying that some candidates did not respond to their questions,
but it does not explicitly say if it conducted research on candidate positions by sending candidates a
questionnaire, through a telephone survey or by finding news stories about the candidate. It does not list
any specific questions asked or quote any specific answers candidates provided.
The News-Leader has requested this information from the group via e-mail and asked the Long campaign
to provide a phone number to the group, but had not received the information by Thursday night.
At the Thursday debate, Long said Eckersley has done a good job picking up Democratic talking points to
scare seniors by saying Republicans wanted to "dismantle" Social Security.
"The organization he's talking about never even uses the word, so he's lying again."
Eckersley, said Long, was the one who said that "everything is on the table" when it comes to reforming
Social Security, which to Long meant Eckersley was willing to consider raising taxes or raising the age
one qualifies for benefits.
Eckersley tried to answer, but time was called.
Eckersley and Long also traded barbs over a question about whether they would pledge to run only
advertising that was issue-based.
On a question about whether or not the government should crack down on employers who hire illegal
aliens, both Long and Eckersley said the government should focus on border security, but also supported
focusing on employers.
Craig held a significantly different position. He said nothing in the Constitution gives the government the
right to say he can't hire an immigrant and give that person a way to feed his family.
Candidates were also asked if they had health insurance, how much it cost and what they would do if
they lost it.
Eckersley said he had insurance through his employer, and he thought his premiums were a little over
$250 per month.
Long said his wife paid the health care bill, so he wasn't sure what he was paying. "I've always had a high
deductible, I know that. ... We haven't had any claims that I know of."
Craig said he did not have health insurance. When he lived in California, he ran a homeless shelter "with
other Christian anarchists," he said, living on donations rather than salary. A doctor who came to serve
the poor also treated him.
"I did have health insurance for a couple of years and at that time I discovered I did have colon cancer,
which was taken care of. But I haven't had health insurance after that."
Thursday's debate was broadcast live and sponsored by television station KOLR and radio station
KWTO-AM. Joy Robertson of KOLR and Brian Calfano of KWTO posed the night's questions.
Voters may view the whole debate on the KOLR website, Ozarksfirst.com.
Mo. senator to propose native
By RACHEL D'ORO - Associated Press Writer
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill plans to introduce legislation that would strip
Alaska Native corporations of the unprecedented edge they now enjoy in obtaining federal contracts
worth billions of dollars.
The Missouri Democrat plans to introduce legislation in November that would, among other changes,
eliminate the ability of the corporations to receive contracts with no monetary caps. The Washington Post
first reported McCaskill's plans Thursday.
The corporations would still be able to participate in the Small Business Administration 8(a) program,
which aims to help small disadvantaged firms. But they would no longer enjoy special benefits
implemented two decades ago by then- Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Mark Begich says the Alaska Democrat opposes the plan and believes
McCaskill is "misguided and shortsighted and doesn't understand the program."
Senator McCaskill is a grandmother again
Brian Kelly – KMOX
Local News, Politics
(KMOX) — Congratulations go out today to Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who is a grandma for the
McCaskill‘s stepdaughter Marilyn gave birth to a baby boy today.
According to McCaskill‘s ‗tweet‘, Evan weighs 8 pounds, 8 ounces and is 20 1/2 inches long. And she
adds, ―He‘s perfect‖.
Evan is Marilyn and Rich Dredge‘s second child.
Memorial for Karen McCarthy is Nov. 7 at
Unity Temple on the Plaza
Kansas City Star – Steve Kraske
A memorial service for five-term Missouri congresswoman Karen McCarthy will be at 2 p.m. Nov. 7 at
Unity Temple on the Plaza.
McCarthy, 63, died Tuesday of complications from Alzheimer‘s disease.
Her family announced Thursday that donations in her memory can be made to the Karen McCarthy Fund
(through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, www.gkccf.org), Wayside Waifs, the National
Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, the American Jazz Museum and the Landon Center on
Aging at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Prop B elicits strong emotions as vote
Thursday, October 7, 2010 | 5:35 p.m. CDT; updated 9:46 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 7, 2010
BY Kyle Deas – Columbia Missourian
JEFFERSON CITY – Jon Kimes breeds dogs, and he's worried about Proposition B.
"I'm not as polarized as everyone else," Kimes said. "I appreciate the efforts put forth by the animal
welfare people. But I think that this bill was put together by people who aren't very knowledgeable about
keeping and breeding dogs and who aren't very knowledgeable about what the outcome of this legislation
Kimes owns the Pluperfect Kennel in Kansas City. He breeds mostly Welsh corgis and calls himself an
"avocational" breeder: he breeds dogs primarily for show, rather than for sale. The number of dogs Kimes
keeps fluctuates from a half-dozen to double that number, or more.
"Because this law does a really terrible job of defining a puppy mill, it has the potential to impact every
breeder," Kimes said. "And what frightens me a little bit is you can take an issue like this, where you have
to have some in-depth knowledge, and you can paint it at an emotional level to appeal to every Tom, Dick
and Harry who knows nothing about breeding dogs and word it in a way that people won't vote against it."
Supporters of the proposal on the Nov. 2 ballot say Missouri has a serious problem with abusive dog
breeders that can only be addressed through legislation. They point to the dozens of raids conducted by
the Missouri Department of Agriculture every year such as one on Sept. 21 in which more than 100 dogs
were removed from an unlicensed breeding facility in Camden County after the owner ran out of money
Another raid in February 2009 found nearly 200 dogs starving, sitting in their own feces and surrounded
by the skeletons and decomposing bodies of other dogs, most of which were stuffed into dog food bags.
The owner of the Newton County facility had previously been raided and charged with animal cruelty but
had not been convicted.
According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture, similar raids have removed more than 3,700 dogs
from substandard conditions since early 2009.
"It's an agricultural model applied to dog production," Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of
the United States, said. "These are factory farms for dogs."
Proposition B would prohibit breeders from keeping more than 50 adult dogs for breeding. It would also
impose stricter shelter and care requirements for those dogs. Among other things, it would require that all
dogs be given constant access to the outdoors, be raised on solid — as opposed to wire — floors, have
climate-controlled indoor kennels and be bred only twice every 18 months.
As of September, there were 1,449 licensed breeders in Missouri. The average breeder keeps 44 female
dogs for breeding.
Barbara Schmitz, campaign manager of Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, helped craft the initiative
and gather signatures to put it on the ballot. She said the initiative was written to be as specific as
"The laws are so vague right now, and there are many loopholes," Schmitz said. "What we're trying to do
is to ensure not just that the standards are clear but that they are enforceable. If we have the provisions
set up in a different way, say with regard to exercise, it's very easy for (breeders) to say, 'Oh, I was going
to walk them in an hour, or I walked them two hours ago.'"
The proposition was sponsored by Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, a coalition of various animal
rights groups that includes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane
Society of Missouri and the Humane Society of the United States.
The group began circulating signature petitions in early 2010 and submitted those signatures to the state
on May 2. On Aug. 3, the initiative was approved by the secretary of state, and 10 days later it overcame
a court challenge to stay on the ballot. The case hinged on the usage of "puppy mill" in the initiative's
language, but Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem upheld use of the phrase.
The most active opposition has come from breeders. The Alliance for Truth, an organization formed to
fight the initiative, has been endorsed by 18 elected officials in Missouri along with more than 100
breeders and veterinarians.
Hubert Lavy, 68, runs Tenderheart Kennels with his wife, Sharon, on their farm in Silex. The Vietnam War
veteran says the law would cost him about $50,000 in renovation costs.
Todd Mason, who owns Eagle Valley Kennel in Wentworth, echoed Lavy's concerns.
"Two of our buildings will be obsolete, we won't even be able to raise in them anymore," Mason said.
Both Mason and Lavy said that their kennels house more than 100 dogs.
Other criticisms of the initiative have come from some agricultural organizations that claim the initiative is
the first step in a larger attempt by animal rights advocates to impose more legislation on farming and
In a statement, a representative for the Missouri Farm Family Agriculture Alliance wrote that the Humane
Society of the United States is "anti-animal agriculture and anti-farmer. This proposal ... is dangerous for
Missouri's agribusiness industry."
Similar statements have been issued by the Missouri Farm Bureau and the Missouri Cattlemen's
Proposition B itself applies only to dogs, and the Humane Society of the United States denies that it has
plans to advance additional legislation.
A comparison of current and proposed
dog breeding laws
Thursday, October 7, 2010 | 5:45 p.m. CDT; updated 8:44 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 7, 2010
BY Jessica Stephens – Columbia Missourian
What laws currently regulate breeding facilities?
The Animal Care Facilities Act is a Missouri statute that regulates conditions of care for dogs and cats.
This act defines its standards of adequate housing by regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
These standards are defined in the federal Animal Welfare Act, enforced by the USDA, that details how
animals used for commercial or research purposes must be treated. Breeders licensed with the state are
inspected by the Missouri Department of Agriculture according to the standards of the Animal Care
Facilities Act; breeders licensed with the federal government are inspected by the USDA according to the
standards of the Animal Welfare Act. Dog breeders in Missouri must be licensed by either the state or
Do federal regulations differ from those at the state level?
The main difference between the Animal Care Facilities Act and the Animal Welfare Act as they apply to
dog breeders is the amount of time allowed between access to food and water and the authority to
determine veterinary standards. For example, the state requires that dogs have access to water at least
every eight hours and food every 12 hours, and the director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture
determines the appropriate amount of health and veterinary care for dogs kept in facilities licensed
through the state. The federal act requires that dogs have food once a day and water at least twice a day
for one hour at a time, and the facility‘s attending veterinarian determines health standards for dogs in
USDA-licensed breeding facilities. Under Proposition B, breeders would have to feed dogs at least once a
day and provide continuous access to water.
Who do the existing and proposed law apply to?
The state act applies to all owners of dogs and cats, including breeders licensed through the state. The
Animal Welfare Act applies to USDA-licensed breeding facilities and determines standards for many
animals, including dogs. Proposition B would apply to any person or facility with more than 10 sexually
intact female dogs that are used for breeding, regardless of whether the facility is licensed with the
Missouri Department of Agriculture or the USDA.
How will Proposition B affect current laws?
Proposition B would add restrictions to existing laws. For example, both state and federal rules in place
require that pets be given food and water in ―a safe receptacle, dish, or container.‖ Proposition B would
keep this requirement in place, but commercial dog breeders would be required to follow additional
standards in care such as solid floors, unfettered access to the outdoors and larger space requirements.
Which breeders would the standards in Proposition B apply to?
Proposition B regulations apply specifically to anyone who owns more than 10 female dogs older than 6
months with sexual organs intact and who breeds these dogs to sell the offspring as pets, defined in the
initiative as ―any domesticated animal normally maintained in or near the household of the owner thereof.‖
The proposition states that no person can have more than 50 dogs that are each older than six months
and have intact sexual organs if that person intends to sell these dogs‘ offspring as pets.
Who would be exempt from Proposition B?
The proposed law lists specific facilities and circumstances when the requirements would not apply:
Dogs that are not used for breeding with the intention of selling offspring as pets.
Dogs that are being examined and tested for lawful scientific research.
Dogs that are being transported.
Dogs whose enclosure is being cleaned.
Dogs that are engaged in supervised outdoor exercise.
Dogs whose lives are in imminent danger.
Retail pet stores.
Animal shelters, as defined by the Animal Care Facilities Act.
Dogs that are bred, raised and sold for hunting purposes.
The following chart details specific regulations included in Proposition B and compares them to
current USDA standards:
Current law according to the Animal Welfare Standards proposed under Proposition B
Dogs must have access to uncontaminated, Dogs must have access to nutritious food at
nutritious food at least once a day, unless more least once a day. Dogs must be fed enough
is necessary for the particular dog. Dogs must food to maintain good health.
be fed enough food to maintain a normal
condition and weight.
Dogs must have water no less than twice a day Dogs must have continuous access to drinkable
for at least one hour at a time. water that is not frozen and is free from debris
Breeders must have an attending veterinarian Dogs must be examined by a licensed
and formal arrangements for regular visits. No veterinarian at least once a year and must be
set time period between required visits is treated promptly if they become ill or injured.
One of the attending veterinarian‘s duties is to If needed, dogs must be euthanized humanely,
provide guidance to the facility‘s personnel as defined by the American Veterinary Medical
regarding euthanasia, which the act defines as Association. The euthanasia must be conducted
humane destruction ―that produces rapid by a licensed veterinarian.
unconsciousness and subsequent death without
evidence of pain or distress.‖
Dogs must be provided with a sanitary facility Dogs must have ―constant and unfettered
that protects them from extreme weather. access‖ to an indoor enclosure that has a solid
Temperatures cannot fall below 45 degrees or floor. This enclosure may not be stacked above
rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit for more than or below the enclosure of another animal, must
four hours, and the enclosure must be ventilated be between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and
to provide for dogs‘ health and well-being. must be cleaned of waste once a day while the
Enclosures do not have to have a solid floor, but dog is outside the enclosure.
if the surface is composed of mesh or is slatted,
it must be constructed so that the dogs‘ feet do
not pass through any openings.
Dogs must have enough space ―to turn about Dogs must have enough space to turn in a
freely, to stand, sit, and lie in a comfortable, complete circle and stretch their limbs without
normal position and to walk in a normal touching another enclosure or animal. There
manner.‖ must also be at least one foot of headroom
above the tallest dog in the enclosure. Indoor
enclosures must provide at least 12 square feet
for each dog up to 25 inches long, 20 square
feet for dogs between 25 and 35 inches long
and 30 square feet for dogs 35 inches long and
longer, the dog‘s length being measured from
the tip of the nose to the base of the tail.
Dogs in outdoor areas must be protected from Dogs must have ―constant and unfettered
the elements and must have access to a shelter access‖ to an outdoor area that provides at
large enough to meet space requirements for least twice the square footage required of
indoor enclosures. indoor floor space. This area must have a solid
surface, be adequately drained and provide
some protection against the elements.
The Animal Welfare Act does not specify a limit Dogs may not be bred to produce more than
on litters within a time period. two litters within an 18-month period.
Breeder says Prop-B would cost
Bill Reker - KMOX
Local News, Politics
JEFFERSON CITY (KMOX) – One Missouri dog breeder speaks out against Proposition B.
Jon Kimes considers himself a small time breeder in Kansas City and breeds dogs for show.
―I‘m having this external source telling me how to take care of my dogs which I resent‖ said Kimes.
He says one way Prop-B would adversely affect him would be by requiring a runway from the basement
of his kennel where the dogs sleep to the outside, at a cost of $40,000.
President of Missouri‘s Humane Society Barbara Schmitz says Mr. Kimes‘ problem doesn‘t negate
Missouri‘s overall reputation when it comes to dog breeding.
―We are by far the largest producer of puppies in the country and we have some of the most miserable
conditions‖ said Schmitz.
Humane Society lists worst puppy mills
By Kim Norvell
Friday, October 8, 2010 at midnight
The Humane Society of the United States released a report this week citing the 12 most ―deplorable
puppy mills‖ in the state — two of which are in the area.
Data was compiled from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to
find the most persistent and severe problems in dog-breeding facilities.
The ―Dirty Dozen‖ report cited B&B Kennel, in Galt, Mo., and Windsong Kennel, in Pattonsburg, Mo., as
two of the top three worst facilities in Missouri. No contact information was found for either facility, but the
sheriff‘s offices in Grundy and Daviess counties said they have not heard any accusations against either
The most common problems the report cited were overcrowding in cages, dogs in need of veterinary care
and dogs in distress from extreme heat or cold. All this is what Proposition B would seek to change, said
Barb Schmitz, campaign manager for Missourians for the Protection of Dogs/YES! on Prop B. The
measure will be on state ballots next month.
The report was released in the hope of generating more supporters of Prop B, which would create laws
establishing higher, more enforceable standards for breeding facilities, Ms. Schmitz said.
Opponents of Prop B say, however, the proposed law would not create more enforceable standards than
what is already written into law. For example, Prop B would not allow licensed inspectors on the dog
breeder‘s property without notice or a warrant, as they are allowed now — and it would only give
offenders a Class C misdemeanor, as opposed to the current Class A misdemeanor, said Dr. Mike
Muhlbauer, veterinarian and chairman of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association Animal Welfare
Dr. Muhlbauer said the biggest problem with Prop B is that it duplicates many of the current laws and
regulations that have been in place for 18 years. He said there are already laws in place that require
facilities to provide adequate care, food, water, shelter and socialization.
However, Prop B supporters say it is clear the current laws aren‘t working, and cite the ―Dirty Dozen‖
report as proof, Ms. Schmitz said.
―The reality is that we have weak and inadequate laws in Missouri governing large-scale dog-breeding
facilities,‖ she said.
The greatest fear for those who oppose Prop B is not that so-called puppy mills will continue operating,
but those licensed at well-run facilities will be put out of business.
―Some of these places are absolutely wonderful, and the real problem areas are the people who aren‘t
licensed,‖ Dr. Muhlbauer said.
136th district candidates focus on jobs,
education in campaigns
Jess Rollins – Springfield News-Leader
October 8, 2010
Missouri Rep. Eric Burlison, Republican candidate for the 136th district, started his political career when
he was a freshman in high school.
His opponent, 27-year-old Democrat Devon Cheek, is a history major at Missouri State University and a
Burlison, 34, said he was runner-up in a voter-slogan competition at Parkview High School and was
awarded a $50 savings bond from then Secretary of State Roy Blunt.
"It was really exciting and I kinda got interested in politics that same year."
Today, he works for CoxHealth as a business analyst in the IT department, unless the House is in
Cheek is a night auditor at Residence Inn in Springfield.
He graduated from Lebanon High School in 2001 and said he has always been interested in public
Burlison said he believes the biggest issue for Springfield and Missouri is jobs, citing a need to bring
around 10,000 more jobs to Springfield.
Earlier this year, Burlison voted against new tax breaks aimed at enticing Ford Motor Co. to continue
making vehicles at the Claycomo plant.
Burlison said the bill was too narrowly focused to receive his support.
Although Burlison is employed by CoxHealth, he said it doesn't affect his political positions on health care.
"MHA's public policy, in my opinion, is to increase the Medicaid population. That is not my goal, at all."
"I'm not there to represent the hospital; I'm there to represent my constituents."
While in the House, Burlison co-sponsored a bill that would prohibit any entity that accepts tax dollars
from using that money to lobby state legislatures.
His self-dubbed "Show-Me Harvest Initiative" would have encouraged the Department of Transportation
to contract with farmers to mow and bale grass along the state's highways.
Burlison said he is proud of the work he has done over the past two years.
"I hope my constituents can see how hard I've worked and would be willing to vote me up or down based
Cheek said education will be a priority if he assumes office.
Cheek referenced a house decision in April that cut $43 million from certain school districts.
―That's a significant hit," he said.
Burlison voted for the cut.
"I can't see how we can be competitive if we keep robbing our kids of the things they need," Cheek said.
Cheek said he had no suggestions on where else the cuts should have been made.
"I'm proud to be in a state where we did balance the budget," he said, "but what was the cost?"
Government could do more to cut waste and improve efficiency, Cheek said.
"I definitely think we could get in there with some red ink and start cutting wasteful spending."
Cheek said he would like to make child health care a priority, specifically autism.
He would also like to push for a passenger railroad service to carry to different parts of the state, adding
that it could create jobs while improving the environment.
Cheek also said he would support maintenance for state parks.
"I definitely think our state parks deserve our attention," he said. "We can't just be focused on urban
Cheek said he has been campaigning by knocking on doors and will be placing yard signs around his
Cheek said people should vote for him because he would be able to find ways to cut waste and make
government more efficient.
"I'd like to find the places where our government has failed and hopefully pick up the pieces and make
The road to construction
MoDOT to focus on improving minor
By Marshall White – St. Joseph News-Press
Friday, October 8, 2010 at midnight
TRENTON, Mo. — State Sen. Brad Lager has been on a virtual soapbox, talking about the importance of
Missouri‘s lettered highways.
―Transportation is a major issue for Northwest Missouri,‖ he said.
Tuesday night in Trenton, the Missouri Department of Transportation said it understood the senator‘s
Over the next five years, the department will work to improve the minor roads, said Kevin Keith, the
department‘s interim director.
―I sure hope it happens,‖ Mr. Lager said.
The department spent $1.2 billion a year during the last five years on making sure Missouri‘s major roads
were in good condition, Mr. Keith said. The department has seen some of that progress in Northwest
Missouri, said Mr. Keith, who is a former district engineer at the St. Joseph office.
The director highlighted completion of a four-lane U.S. Highway 36, improvements to U.S. Highway 65 all
the way to the Iowa line and driving improvements to Missouri Highway 6 as three examples, as well as
the restoration or improvements to numerous bridges.
However, in the next five years, the department will only have about $500 million a year for road work, Mr.
―We knew it was coming and we‘re going to complete all the promised projects,‖ he said.
District 1, which includes most of Northwest Missouri, plans to spend $3.6 million on lettered routes during
this 2011 fiscal year. The good news is that the Missouri Highway and Transportation Commission found
an additional $64 million Wednesday to use in 2011, and $5 million will come to Northwest Missouri for
lettered routes, said Don Wichern, Northwest Missouri district engineer. And there may be a few more
dollars from other savings that could boost the total for lettered routes to $10 million later this year.
The goal will be to focus on practical designs for the lettered routes so that the department can build with
the money it has, Mr. Keith said.
―At some point, the department will have to be talking about growth, but that‘s not in the conversation
now,‖ he said.
For the commission, funding issues may be a little more urgent.
―The next thing is trying to find the money,‖ said David Gach, the commission‘s vice chairman, who
resides in St. Joseph.
MoDOT 5-Year Plan on Target
Missouri's Department of Transportation
needs to save about $200,000,000 over
the next five years, and that means they
need to cut jobs.
KMIZ - Posted by Brad Johnson on Thu Oct 7, 2010
Last updated 15 hrs ago
MoDOT said its five year plan is on pace to cut 400 jobs by 2013. MoDOT officials tell me they're in a
hiring freeze right now for about 75% of its positions. They say they've been able to decrease staff size by
201 employees since February. This also means there are reductions to temporary and thousand hour
Officials believe this will save a total of about 80-million dollars, and will go about this without laying
"So as people leave our department for retirement purposes or seeking other employment or what have
you we're not filling those positions," MoDOT spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler tells ABC 17 News.
Officials tell us they don't believe they'll be forcing employees out the door if they don't reach the goal
number in time because numbers are ahead of schedule, but it's possible.
MoDOT officials also tell us they'll reduce things like snow removal, striping, signing, and mowing to save
even more money. They say the money they save in these areas will go toward fixing up smaller rural
Right now, about 86% of the state's interstates and highways are in good shape, but minor roads are in
dire need of being fixed up, and are getting worse.
MoDOT says they've been exceeding maintenance expectations for years, and now it will be going from a
great to good service. They hope people won't even notice the changes.
"We're hoping that they are changes that the public won't necessarily notice but will still help us be able to
redirect some resources to where it's needed the most," Oxenhandler says.
MoDOT eliminates 201 positions, plans
Southeast Missourian – Associated Press
Oct. 8, 5:01 AM EDT
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The Missouri Department of Transportation has eliminated 201 positions
since the end of February.
Earlier this year, state transportation officials said they planned to save more than $200 million over the
next five years. It planned to eliminate 400 positions by June 2013. The agency says it is on pace to hit
Interim Director Kevin Keith says the transportation agency also has found $64 million to repair pavement
on lettered and rural highways. The agency also is looking for ways to be more efficient with its
maintenance, snow removal, mowing and road striping.
MoDOT Cuts Positions, Maintenance to
KOMU – 10-07-10
Reported by ; Theo Keith
JEFFERSON CITY - The state Transportation Department has cut more than 200 positions and reduced
maintenance along highways in an effort to slash its costs.
The department aims to cut $200 million over the next five years, MoDOT said Thursday in a news
The agency is also cutting maintenance, such as snow removal, signage replacements and mowing along
The money will go toward improving Missouri's highways, especially rural roads, where pavement
conditions are getting worse, Interim Director Kevin Keith said in the statement.
Operating Food Search gets $150,000 in
stqte tax credits
St. Louis Business Journal – Oct. 7, 2010
St. Louis nonprofit Operation Food Search has been approved for $150,000 in state tax credits.
Operation Food Search said it would use the Neighborhood Assistance Program tax credits to expand
services to acquire and distribute $25 million of food products to more than 250 area emergency food
centers throughout eastern Missouri and surrounding areas. This project is expected to serve 340,000
Missourians in need a year.
The Missouri Department of Economic Development administers the Neighborhood Assistance Program
to help not-for-profit organizations raise private-sector funds by providing partial state tax credits to
businesses that make contributions to approved community improvement projects.
Businesses can donate cash, materials, supplies or equipment; technical assistance and professional
services; labor; real estate; or stocks and bonds. Credits can equal up to 50 percent of the total amount
contributed or up to 70 percent for projects located in most rural areas.
UM may have raises on tap for workers
Projections for 2012 add bump.
By Janese Silvey – Columbia Daily Tribune
Thursday, October 7, 2010
University of Missouri employees just might see their paychecks go up next year.
It sounds optimistic amid reports that the state and university are facing significant budget cuts in fiscal
year 2012, but university administrators continue to say they‘re committed to finding ways to increase
Tim Rooney, MU‘s budget director, said Chancellor Brady Deaton and President Gary Forsee are ―very
committed to doing this. … It‘s No. 1 on the list.‖
UM System spokeswoman Jennifer Hollingshead this morning confirmed that commitment, saying:
―Salary increases are a strategic priority for the university.‖
Rooney is preparing 2012 budget scenarios that increase the salary pool by 2 percent, he said during a
semiannual general faculty meeting yesterday afternoon. That 2 percent is tacked on to the entire salary
budget then doled out to employees based on merit — in other words, employees shouldn‘t expect an
automatic 2 percent raise.
With associated benefits that come with salary increases, that boost would cost MU about $6.5 million,
Rooney told the Tribune afterward.
Next year‘s budget is in an infant stage: It will be months before the university knows how much to expect
in state funding. Rooney is predicting anywhere from a 5 percent slice in state funding to a deeper cut of
15 percent. That means MU could lose between $10 million and $31 million in state funding.
Tuition increases might offset some of that loss, but it‘s also too early to plug those numbers in a budget.
The UM System can increase in-state tuition by the consumer price index — expected to be no more than
1.5 percent by the end of the year — without special permission.
But if administrators want to boost tuition higher, they‘ll need interim Missouri Higher Education
Commissioner David Russell to give permission or else face a fine equal to 5 percent of the UM System‘s
Tuition increases likely won‘t cover all of the state cuts and salary increases, so Rooney said giving pay
raises would require budget reductions elsewhere on campus.
―On one hand we need to do something‖ with pay, he said. ―It‘s just been too long, and we‘re getting
further and further behind. On the other hand, there are costs associated with it, which means bigger
budget reductions somewhere else.‖
Leona Rubin, chairwoman of the MU Faculty Council, said she‘s worried about those potential cuts.
―Unfortunately,‖ salary increases are ―going to mean cuts from other places in order to do that,‖ she said.
―And no one will be happy if it involves releasing people to do it.‖
University salaries have been frozen since 2008. The system‘s Board of Curators has set aside funding
both years for pay increases in certain circumstances, however. Professors advancing from assistant to
associate or associate to full, for instance, received raises that come with those promotions. In a handful
of cases, pay raises have gone to help retain professors who were offered positions elsewhere.
343 Mo. pharmacies linked to cold
Southeast Missourian – Associated Press
Oct. 8, 5:01 AM EDT
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Several hundred Missouri pharmacies are connected to drug-industry
funded database designed to combat methamphetamine production.
State regulations require pharmacists selling medicines with pseudoephedrine to enter details about the
buyers into a real-time electronic database. The database is designed to prevent people from buying
more than the maximum daily or monthly amount. Pharmacists have been required to use paper logs
Pseudoephedrine is in some cold medicines and is a key ingredient in meth.
The Department of Public Safety says 343 pharmacies are now connected to the database. Officials plan
regional training sessions about the database across the state for pharmacies.
More than 10 states that require electronic tracking. Two states require prescriptions for the medicines.
Database to Track Drug Dealers
KOMU - Reported by ; Vanessa Mancao
JEFFERSON CITY - A statewide online database will allow pharmacists and law enforcement to see if
people are going store to store to buy large amounts of pseudoephedrine.
The Missouri Department of Public Safety announced 343 Missouri pharmacies are connected to the
database. The system would allow people who legitimately need the cold medicind to purchase it and
block sales to people stocking up to make methamphetamine.
Next month, law enforcement officers and pharmacy personnel will teach how the system would work at
regional training classes. Officials will hold the classes in eight cities around the state, including Jefferson
City, Springfield, and St. Charles. Law enforcement have not released which pharmacise will be
Candidates for elected city school board
want full power back
By Dale Singer, Beacon staff
Posted 8:19 am, Thu., 10.7.10
The five candidates running for two seats on the elected St. Louis School Board don't agree on
everything, but they're unanimous on one issue: They want the elected board to get back the power to run
Since 2007, the city schools have been run by an appointed Special Administrative Board (SAB). Voters
have continued to elect a separate board as well, but its powers are limited.
A committee led by William Danforth and Frankie Freeman, whose recommendations led to the takeover
by the SAB, is studying the issue of what should happen next; its final report is due on Friday.
Meanwhile, five people are running in the Nov. 2 election for the two seats that are up for grabs on the
elected board: Incumbent Donna Jones, former member Bill Haas, Derek Craft, Bill Monroe and Doug
Petty. Board member Peter Downs is not seeking re-election.
The candidates appeared Wednesday night at a candidate forum at Legacy Books and Cafe on Delmar,
where a couple dozen people heard their opening statements, then their responses to questions.
Here is what they had to say.
As a parent in the system for 20 years and a board member since 2006, she came out strongly against
the SAB and against charter schools that she said are "sucking the lifeblood out of the St. Louis Public
"People keep saying that charter schools are here to stay," Jones added. "We need a moratorium on
charter schools. Charter schools as well as St. Louis public schools are suffering."
She said the city school system is broke because funds have been mismanaged; that is why, she said,
she and other elected board members opposed the $155 million bond issue for city schools that was
passed overwhelmingly by voters in August.
Jones also said that state education officials have worked to make sure that the city schools do not regain
accreditation so that the system can eventually be disbanded.
"Think of the psychological damage that it does to our children who go to unaccredited schools," she said,
"and when they say that adults don't think enough of them to think they will be able to get accreditation
She criticized the outsourcing of custodial positions, saying that removing adults from school buildings
who were familiar to students helped destabilize lives that already suffer from a lack of adult supervision.
Jones also said that black teachers are being targeted by the district for discipline and dismissal.
Haas served on the board from 1997-2005. Since then, he has run unsuccessfully twice for Congress but
decided to run again for the school board this year. "It's nice to get back to my roots," he said.
He has served as a substitute teacher in the city schools for the past four years and said the experience
has given him a perspective that would make him a valuable member of the elected board. He also said
he wants to make sure that the state cannot take over school districts again without residents of the
district having a say in the matter.
"I'd like to be the catalyst to develop a statewide referendum prohibiting state takeovers of public schools
without a vote by residents," Haas said. "That's the only way we're going to stop the power grab by
When it comes to charters, he said: "My goal would be to make St. Louis Public Schools so good, no one
wants to send their children anywhere else."
He wants a state audit of the district to "tell us what we are doing wrong, what we are doing right and
what we can do better."
Haas said the city schools should have zero tolerance for allowing any child who reaches the third grade
to be reading below grade level. "If you don't get them by third grade," he said, "you never get them."
Asked whether there should be a moratorium on charter schools, Haas said he was not sure, but on the
issue of the state takeover, his opinion was much firmer.
"DESE's just the devil," he said of the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. "I really
expected more out of them. How dare they take democracy away from the people?"
Of all five candidates, Monroe was the most accepting of charter schools -- in fact, he was a founder of
the now-defunct Thurgood Marshall charter. He blamed its failure on the actions of the management
company that ran the school, but he said that charters themselves are not the enemy,
Instead, he prefers the choice that charters give to parents, adding:
"I will educate my child at the best level possible."
He would like to see the governance of the district revert to an elected board by June 2011, with the SAB
and the elected board sitting down together to make sure that the transition is as smooth and as open as
A former policeman, he recalled the days when he had to kick down doors to go after drug dealers, and
said that serving on the school board would give him the opportunity to "kick down the doors of
"The elected board will be the recipient once again of the stewardship of the St. Louis Public Schools,"
Monroe said. "I think it's headed in that direction."
Craft said he became involved with the schools when his son attended Sumner High School from
2002-06, a time of turmoil in the district. He also has volunteered at the Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls
He would like to see a renewed emphasis on civics and citizenship in the city schools' curriculum, so that
students get a better idea of who their elected representatives are and what they do, and so that elected
officials become more involved in the schools.
Today, he said, the subjects taught in the city schools still reflect an industrialized society instead of one
that has moved into the computer age.
On charters, Craft said that students and their parents deserve to have options.
"I am for choice," he said, "whether its magnets or charters. As a board member, I'd like to see that all
schools are held to the same standards."
He said he was encouraged to run and help the schools achieve an "image makeover."
As far as charters, Petty said he accepts the fact that they are "the reality of where we are today. They
are part of where we live," and he would like the city schools to establish a closer working relationship
"The most important thing about them is that students have to be served," he said.
On the outsourcing of custodial and food service jobs, he said he did not like to see anyone lose a job,
but the district had to consider efficiencies wherever possible.
Asked about whether black teachers have been targeted for dismissal, Petty said:
"That sounds a bit conspiratorial. The most important thing is teachers' effectiveness in the classroom,
even if they are polka-dot."
Missouri gets injunction against Sirius
St. Louis Business Journal
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said Thursday he obtained a preliminary injunction against Sirius
XM Radio Inc. for repeatedly calling consumers on the Missouri no-call list.
Last month, Koster sued the company after receiving numerous complaints.
Koster said harassing telephone solicitation calls were made to consumers soliciting satellite radio
Sirius XM officers contested the preliminary injunction at an evidentiary hearing in St. Louis, but a judge
found that Missouri citizens on the no-call list would suffer a hardship if the preliminary injunction was not
granted. The judge ruled that the preliminary injunction will be in place throughout the litigation until the
full trial on the permanent injunction
In its ruling, the court specifically ordered Sirius XM to stop making repetitive calls to consumers on the
no-call list who notified the defendant they rejected the Sirius XM subscription or after their free trial
period expired, unless the consumer expressly authorized Sirius XM to call.
Koster‘s lawsuit alleges violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and the Telemarketing
No-Call List Act. Koster is seeking a civil penalty of $5,000 for each violation of Missouri law, costs of the
investigation and prosecution, and all court costs.
Military funeral protest case before court
differs from Missouri case (AUDIO)
by Brent Martin on October 7, 2010
in Crime & Courts,Legislature,Military,Politics & Government
A case before the United States Supreme Court could provide clues as to how state lawmakers could
re-fashion a law that sought to regulate protests at military funerals.
US Supreme Court Justices have heard the arguments in the case of Snyder versus Phelps. The justices
must decide whether to let stand a $10 million judgment awarded to Albert Snyder. Snyder filed suit
against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas after the congregation
protested his son‘s funeral. Matthew Snyder, a Marine, was killed in Iraq at the age of 20. Snyder claimed
the protests invaded his privacy, caused emotional distress and violated his rights to free exercise of
religion and peaceful assembly.
A Baltimore jury ruled in Snyder‘s favor, awarding him the $10 million judgment. The judge cut the award
in half. A federal court of appeals overturned the decision, stating that though the rhetoric used by the
protestors was offensive, it was protected as speech.
Missouri Senate leader Charlie Shields (R-St. Joseph) says that case differs from the case in Missouri
that sparked efforts to regulate military funeral protests.
―To the extent people are following, including myself, what‘s happening at the Supreme Court level, at the
United States Supreme Court, is can we learn something from that and will future legislatures be able to
craft a bill that provides the relief that we actually intended in our bill that was overturned?‖ says Shields.
State lawmakers acted in 2006 after the Westboro congregation staged a protest in St. Joseph at a
military funeral. It isn‘t just the protest, but the message that stirs such passion in this debate. The
Westboro group is unapologetic in its message that America‘s tolerance of homosexuality has led to
military deaths on the battlefield. Signs held by members boldly declare messages such as, ―God Hates
the USA/Thank God for 9/11‖ and ―Thank God for Dead Soldiers.‖
The Missouri law banned protests from an hour before until an hour after a funeral service. It also stated
that protestors must stay back at least 300 feet from the funeral procession and the funeral itself.
Westboro sued and a federal judge overturned the state law, finding that the legislature failed to prove a
compelling state interest to restrict the protests.
Shields says the Supreme Court might provide guidance for lawmakers to walk the fine line between free
speech and privacy rights.
―If you look at the fact that those that are arguing that it‘s just a First Amendment issue and that‘s it,
clearly it‘s not a slam dunk or otherwise, the Supreme Court wouldn‘t have taken up the case,‖ Shields
In Springfield, Nixon praises Carnahan
and Biden channels Twain
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter
Posted 11:23 pm, Thu., 10.7.10
Vice President Joe Biden borrowed from Missouri favorite son Mark Twain as he told allies gathered
Thursday night in Springfield, Mo. that "the reports of the death of the Democratic Party are greatly
Biden joined Gov. Jay Nixon in headlining a fundraiser for Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Robin
Carnahan, who is seeking the soon-to-be-vacant seate now held by retiring Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond,
According to the press pool report sent out late Thursday(written by former Beacon intern Roseann
Moring, now a reporter for the Springfield News-Leader), Biden "blamed many of the country's problems
on the George Bush administration and said the stimulus and other programs are working."
Biden's remarks appeared to be in line with what he said at the Democratic National Committee meeting
held in St. Louis in August.
The big difference: this time, the vice president mentioned Carnahan by name.
He praised her as displaying "more grit and backbone in her little finger than most people have in their
whole body. I can't imagine her bending to anything."
Carnahan told the crowd of her differences with her GOP rival, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, and how she's being
pummeled by independent ads produced and paid for by opposition groups who are not disclosing their
donors (such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce).
Meanwhile, Nixon -- who publicly has avoided knocking Republicans -- made an apparent exception
Nixon, who carried a number of generally GOP-leaning outstate counties in 2008, praised Carnahan's
record as Missouri secretary of state and, according to Moring's report, said Blunt contributed to the
economic troubles facing the nation and the state.
"We've got a lot of problems in this country. Now's not the time for this state and this country to mess
around," Nixon was quoted as saying.
More from the pool report:
"Carnahan's campaign said the event sold out at 170 people, and it expected to bring in $100,000.
Tickets started at $500 per couple for event, which was at the Tower Club in downtown Springfield.
"Diners ate chicken and beef, a house salad and cheesecake or chocolate cake. Biden spoke for about
Carnahan's mother, former U.S. Sen. Jean Carnahan -- who was in the Senate with Biden -- was among
Seventh district race gets personal
October 8, 2010 Eli Yokley - PoliticMo
Eckersley and Long go back and forth. (Pool Photo/ Brett Piper - KOLR)
(SPRINGFIELD, Mo.) Seventh district candidates Billy Long and Scott Eckersley participated in their
second exchange at KOLR studios in Springfield Thursday night. The conversation, directed by a panel of
moderators, seemed to get off topic and personal on many occasions.
―I think it was convenient for you to run as a democrat. We had a republican primary if you don‘t
remember,‖ Long said, referring to Eckersley‘s moderate political tendencies. ―I question why you‘re
running as a democrat.‖
Eckersley said, ―I‘ve stated my independence, saying what is wrong on both sides of the aisle.‖
When Long linked Eckersley to the ―Obama-Pelosi-Reid‖ agenda, Eckersley shot back, ―I think it‘s
convenient on one hand you call me a republican, on the other you call me a democrat. If people dislike
me in my party because of some of the positions I‘ve taken – I wear that as a badge of honor.‖
Eckersley blasted Long, ―you don‘t look to me like a republican. you look to me like a career politician,
feeding at the trough of special interests.‖
Neither of the candidates would pledge to not run negative ads.
―I never ran a negative ad,‖ Long said. ―I don‘t have any intention of going negative.‖
Eckersley brought up the ad Long ran against Senators Gary Nodler and Jack Goodman, but Long said,
―I was attacked before I attacked anyone.‖
―I think I ran a pretty clean campaign,‖ he said. To Eckersley, he said, ―You‘re the one that needs to check
the record and see if you want to go negative or not.‖
Again, tonight, the issue of the Conservative Congress social security answer came up.
Eckersley said Long had filled out a questionnaire for the group. While Long did not fill out an actual
questionnaire, Nick Brown with the ogranization said he had been in contact with the campaign to find
specific answers for their recommendation. One of the group‘s goals is to nominate candidates that would
be supportive to ―dismantle Social Security.‖
―They don‘t have a questionnaire,‖ Long said. ―They said on the website they were looking to long term
solutions to social security.‖
He said, ―Hot diggidy dog. Every time you lie about me I‘m going to say hot diggidy dog.‖
Eckersley said, ―Dismantling social security is a very serious thing.‖
Long said, ―Mr. Eckersley hadn‘t been a democrat for long, but he‘s picking up on their talking points
―I will honor our commitment to our seniors,‖ he said, adding ―all things were on the table.‖
Royce Redding, spokesman for Billy Long, said in a statement Long was not interested in ―dismantling‖
social security. ―He won‘t change benefits or increase retirement age for those who are already retired or
close to retirement. What he will do is work for reforms that will ensure Social Security will still be around
for future generations.‖
Eckersley said, ―character counts in this election. The squabbling and back and forth needs to end.‖
To Long he said, ―Between Vegas and D.C., maybe you‘ll find some time to spend in the district.‖
Tonight‘s moderators largely stayed out of the back and forth, watching idly. At one point, the television
broadcast showed a shot of Eckersley and Long, instead of the individual head shots they had been
Libertarian candidate Kevin Craig was largely shut out of the back and forth, and yielded his time
following one of the more heated exchanges.
Bond: Sought after for awards, TV shows
-- and as bridge namesake
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter
Posted 12:53 am, Fri., 10.8.10
Aside from getting a bridge named after him, outgoing U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo., also is
busy these days collecting awards and focusing on favorite issues before he leaves office at the end of
This morning, he'll be up before dawn (7:03 a.m.) to appear at 6:40 a.m. on cable channel CNBC‘s
Squawk Box to talk about the economy with St. Louis Federal Reserve President and CEO Jim Bullard.
On Thursday, Bond -- who is retiring after 24 years in the Senate, and eight earlier years as governor --
was honored with the Globalist Award from the Boeing Institute of International Business, situated at St.
According to his staff, "The Globalist Award is in recognition of more than forty years of Bond‘s
outstanding leadership in promoting international trade and economic development."
Said Bond at Thursday's ceremony:
"I have enjoyed a long partnership with Missouri businesses, farmers and producers promoting
international business and free trade; trade that grows businesses and jobs for Missourians and our
nation. And that is exactly what all of you have been teaching, learning and promoting here at the Boeing
Institute of International Business. Trade forges not just economic ties, but political, diplomatic and
educational ties that are vital to our nation‘s strategic interests."
Institute Director Seung H. Kim praised the senator as "a champion for international business throughout
his career as governor and senator. He has been a leader in promoting trade and investment, national
security, biotechnology and education. We thank him for all he has done for the city of St. Louis and the
state of Missouri and are grateful to have this opportunity to recognize his accomplishments."
At the awards ceremony, Bond praised the institute and noted that he was governor when he first traveled
to Asia "to increase Missouri exports and two-way trade."
As senator, Bond continued traveling to Asia to promote trade, particularly Missouri agricultural and
As his office's release notes:
Bond, one of the strongest advocates for free trade in Congress, stressed that increasing exports and
trade is critical to the American economy. Currently, one-third of the American economy is now trade
dependent, making it clear that trade is no longer a luxury, but vital to creating jobs here at home and
expanding business opportunities overseas.
The Senator pointed to President Obama‘s focus on expanding trade in his State of the Union address
earlier this year, agreeing on the need to seek new markets aggressively and no longer sit on the
sidelines. Bond also renewed his warning that elected officials must resist the politically-popular
temptation to leverage tariffs and enact protectionist policies. Instead, to expand our economy now and to
create the jobs of the future, Congress and the President must pursue Free Trade agreements...."
Bond particularly called for "increasing engagement in Southeast Asia, where there is a vast Muslim
population. Bond, who wrote a book on the region called The Next Front, noted that we cannot
overestimate the economic, diplomatic and strategic importance of this region not only today, but in the
New CNN/Time poll: Blunt has wide lead
BY JAKE WAGMAN – St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Political Fix)
Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 10:00 am
ST. LOUIS -- A new poll shows Republican Senate hopeful Roy Blunt with a wide lead in his race against
Democrat Robin Carnahan.
Polls have showed Blunt leading in the polls for weeks, but many of those have been from outlets with a
partisan bent. The new CNN/Time poll has no such handicap. It shows Blunt with a 13-point lead among
likely voters surveyed between Oct. 1-5.
The poll shows Carnahan leading among voters in the St. Louis area, but Blunt controls many other major
subgroups, including college-educated voters, independents, and, perhaps most troubling for Carnahan,
"Among women it's 49 percent for Blunt and just 44 percent for Carnahan," CNN Polling Director Keating
Holland told the news network's website. "That's bad news for any Democrat, but for a Democratic
woman, it's a major problem."
Carnahan is tied with Blunt among voters between the ages of 50-64, and has a wide lead -- 15 points --
among voters who make less than $50,000 a year.
On paper, the Carnahan campaign strategy -- paint Blunt as a entrenched Washington insider -- would
seem to be a solid approach in an election year where voters are directing their ire at Washington.
But, perhaps because of the sagging economy, voters, at least those surveyed, have not expressed
enthusiasm about sending another Democrat to Washington.
Asked about her inability to break through in the polls, Carnahan, speaking earlier this week to the
Post-Dispatch editorial board, expressed optimism that the tide would turn.
"We don't want to peak too early," she said.
Nixon, Zweifel double-team to help
Fraser's state Senate bid
By Jo Mannies, Beacon Political Reporter
Posted 12:12 am, Fri., 10.8.10
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon apparently has opted for a ninth-inning presence in several Democratic
campaigns, including Barbara Fraser's bid for the state Senate in the region's 24th District.
The governor and state Treasurer Clint Zweifel are headlining an Oct. 14 fund-raising event for Fraser at
the Clayton home of Betty Van Uum and Stanley Schechter.
Fraser, currently on the St. Louis County Council, is competing against Republican John Lamping.
The governor also is continuing to help raise money for state Auditor Susan Montee, most recently with a
fund-raising event this week in Kansas City, sources say.
(And click here if you've overlooked his participation at Thursday night's fundraising event with Vice
President Joe Biden for Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, the Democratic nominee for the
Gaming Commission to Decide Remaining
Reported by: Dick Aldrich - Missouri News Horizons
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - It's now up the Missouri Gaming Commission to decide what company will get
the state's 13th and last gaming license, if anybody.
The commission spent last week on the road holding a series of pubic hearings in locations where
companies have applied to build gaming operations. At most locations, they met with a mix of support and
protest. Four different developers have plans for projects n four different locations: Cape Girardeau, St.
Louis near the Chain of Rocks Bridge, north St. Louis County near the confluence of the Missouri and
Mississippi Rivers, and the Sugar Creek area in suburban Kansas City.
Overflow crowds in Cape Girardeau and north St. Louis County voiced both extreme support and extreme
protest over casinos planned in those areas. And while rhetoric and passions were high at several of the
meetings, commission chairman Jim Mathewson repeatedly told hearing attendees that the commission
had much more work to do before awarding a license.
"There isn't anything in the rules that says we have to award that final license," Mathewson said at
several of the hearings.
With testimony from the hearings in hand, the commission will now look over 15 criteria that it will use to
evaluate the four proposals. Those criteria include the financial resources and experience of the
applicants, economic impact to the state, the quality and scope of each proposed development and
effects on competition.
The commission has also asked for existing and potential casinos to perform economic impact studies on
how the new casinos will effect the casino business statewide. The Missouri Department of Economic
Development has also been commissioned to perform a study that is due out later this month.
A study made public by casino operator Ameristar, which operates casinos in St. Charles and Kansas
City, shows that the Cape Girardeau operation, run by Isle off Capri, would be the best site for Missouri. It
would create gross revenue of $88.7 million and would take virtually no business away from other
The Ameristar study shows that casinos in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas would take business
away from other operations. The study shows the Kansas City area to be the most saturated area for
casinos, and that a new casino in the Sugar Creek area would derive more than 80 percent of its
business from existing casinos.
Meanwhile, a study done by the Casino Celebration group, which wants to build a casino in St. Louis near
the Chain of Rocks Bridge, shows that its location would earn the most money for Missouri. It estimates
bringing in $83.4 million while Cape Girardeau would earn $61.6 million.
The Cape Girardeau application continues to stir the most reaction among residents of any community
looking to bring in a casino. Residents of the river town will vote November 2 on the issue of whether or
not to proceed with its casino plans. Proponents rallied last Friday at the proposed site of the project on
the city's north side.
The League of Women Voters of Southeast Missouri will feature a "Casino in Cape" panel discussion at
its forum in Cape Girardeau Tuesday night.
The commission hopes to have a decision on what to do with the license by Thanksgiving.
Most comments on Missouri elk
reintroduction in favor of plan
Friday, October 8, 2010
By DICK ALDRICH ~ Missouri News Horizon (Southeast Missourian)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- They disappeared from the Missouri landscape nearly 150 years ago. Now, it
appears elk will once again return to Missouri, though they may not be universally welcomed home.
The Missouri Conservation Commission appears ready to OK the reintroduction of a tightly managed herd
of these large herbivores at its upcoming meeting Oct. 15 in Kirksville, Mo. The reintroduction in
Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties could occur as early as next spring.
In July, the commission directed Missouri Department of Conservation staff to prepare a study on the
reintroduction of the elk into the state, this after conservation officials said they had fielded several
inquiries from hunting and conservation groups about bringing the animals back into the state.
Throughout the summer, the department held hearings focused on areas of the state where elk habitat
had been identified 10 years ago during a previous Department of Conservation consideration of elk
More than 300 people attended the public forums. The department reports 137 filled out comment cards
with 83 percent favoring restoration. In addition, the department received more than 2,300 comments
between July 16 and Sept. 30 through the mail, e-mail, Internet and other contacts. The department said
80 percent favored elk restoration.
Department of Conservation staff produced a 39-page draft plan that responds to concerns about
property damage, veterinary diseases and traffic safety.
"We understand that farmers, livestock producers and others have concerns about elk restoration," said
Department of Conservation resource scientist Lonnie Hansen. "We think this plan does an excellent job
of addressing those concerns."
But some aren't so convinced.
"It's not a question of if these animals will move out [of the management area], it's a question of how far
and how fast," Leslie Holloway, director of state, local and governmental affairs for the Missouri Farm
The three-county area in question produced $13.5 million in cattle sales in 2007. Local farmers fear
disease transmission, loss of cattle forage and damage to fences and other structures caused by the
massive animals, Holloway said.
he Department of Conservation study shows that the zone has only 33 miles of black-topped road, but the
Missouri Department of Transportation has filed an objection to the elk reintroduction due to concern for
traffic safety on U.S. 60, several miles outside the elk containment area.
Reynolds County commissioners are also voiced concern about public safety on county roads in the area
and the possibility of disease transmission.
MDC staff said it will do everything it can to keep the elk out of areas where they are not welcomed.
The elk will be brought to Missouri mostly from Arkansas and Kentucky. Their new habitat will be a
346-square-mile area of Shannon, Carter and Reynolds counties, much of which is owned by the
Department of Conservation, the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Foundations and
landowners with an interest in hosting the elk on their property hold many remaining tracts.
The ideal density of elk is one to two per square mile.
Before the elk are brought to the state, they will be fed and monitored for nine different diseases for 93
days. Once in Missouri, the elk will be placed in large holding enclosures for four to six weeks to
acclimate them to their new surroundings. During this time, they will undergo another group of tests for
Before their release, each elk will receive a microchip and a radio telemetry collar. Conservation staff and
student interns will track the elks' movements to ensure they remain within the confines.
The tracking collars will transmit a "mortality" signal if the animal stops moving for an extended time.
Department of Conservation staff will recover all elk that die and examine them to determine a cause of
According to the management document, the first-year cost of maintaining and tracking a herd of 150 elk
would be $411,185.
About a decade ago, concerns about suitable habitat and chronic wasting disease squelched a previous
state elk reintroduction attempt. Elk are native to Missouri, but due to overhunting and the habitat
disruption, they disappeared from the state by the end of the Civil War.
Stand up and deny, politicos
By MIKE HENDRICKS - The Kansas City Star (Commentary)
I have no idea who Christine O‘Donnell‘s political consultant is, other than it‘s not Karl Rove.
But if she were my client, I would have played things differently on the whole witch deal.
The flat-out denial in this week‘s much-talked about TV commercial — ―I‘m not a witch‖ — was fine with
Except O‘Donnell, the tea party candidate for Senate in Delaware, might have done herself a favor by
adding one of those ―Seinfeld‖-esque disclaimers.
Like ―I‘m not a witch — not that there‘s anything wrong with that.‖
As a Republican with an uphill battle ahead of her in a Democratic state, the last thing she needed was to
tick off a voting bloc.
―So what you‘re saying, Christine, is that you don‘t want our support?‖ the Wiccans had to be thinking.
Still, I do like the overall approach. Denial. Politicians always tell us what wonderful people they are and
how their opponents are thieving reprobates.
But not often do they respond directly to the attacks. Makes them look defensive, they believe.
As a voter/consumer, though, I‘d like it if more pols had the guts to stand before the TV cameras and tell
us what they‘re not.
Take the Senate race in Missouri. What if Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Robin Carnahan took a
break from all that negativity and followed O‘Donnell‘s example?
What if just once they spoke directly into the camera and attempted to correct what each of them claims
are the misperceptions that many of us have about them?
―Contrary to what the facts might indicate,‖ Blunt might say, ―I am not and never have been in the hip
pocket of the tobacco lobby and other corporate interests that my lobbyist wife has represented over the
Meanwhile, Carnahan, taking a tip from O‘Donnell by wearing pearls and a black dress, might deny that
her family‘s close ties to the Obama administration had anything at all to do with her brother Tom‘s
company recently receiving $107 million in stimulus cash.
Similar thing over in the 3rd District congressional race in Kansas.
Democrat Stephene Moore could deny directly the charge that she‘s an empty suit and her only
qualification for the job is that she‘s the wife of the retiring congressman.
Alternately, Republican Kevin Yoder could dispute the perception that he‘s an opportunistic chameleon
who has changed his political stances over the years, from registered Democrat to conservative
Republican, not out of principle but in an attempt to win ever-higher office.
It wouldn‘t be the first time these four have addressed those accusations.
But watching them do so directly in 30-second TV spots might provide valuable insight as to who among
them is the better liar.
Prop A - Allows Voters to Decide on
Commentary by: Scott Charton (KWMU)
Aired October 06, 2010
Back in 1959, Harry Caray was still broadcasting the Cardinals games. And in 1959, the Gateway Arch,
the old Busch Memorial Stadium and even the University of Missouri-St. Louis were all unrealized visions
for the future.
Things do change.
But one big thing changed in St. Louis since 1959. That‘s the last time city residents had an opportunity
for a stand-alone vote on the one percent local earnings tax. That‘s the tax imposed on people who live
and work in the City of St. Louis.
That means anyone who lives or works in St. Louis is forced to pay a third level of income taxes at the
local level on top of state and federal taxes. And they haven‘t had any direct say about the local earnings
tax since 1959. More than half a century later, Proposition A will at long last give St. Louis voters an
opportunity to simply authorize a local election on the local earnings tax.
Proposition A - the Let Voters Decide Initiative - is a ballot measure submitted for voter approval in the
November 2 General Election.
A ―Yes‖ vote on Prop A does two things:
It requires the politicians to let the local residents in St. Louis and Kansas City have local votes next
spring on their local earnings taxes. If the local earnings taxes are renewed by local voters, they would
then be able to vote on those taxes every five years. Such sunset votes on local taxes are quite common
in Missouri. This means people in St. Louis and Kansas City can decide for themselves whether to
continue the local earnings tax in their city or gradually phase it out over a period of ten years.
And, Prop A prohibits the politicians from creating any new local earnings taxes in Missouri. That's
important in these tough economic times. For many Missouri families, the earnings tax collected each
year for living, or working, in St. Louis and Kansas City, adds up to a mortgage payment, maybe a couple
of car payments or books and clothes for school.
More than 210,000 Missourians signed the petition to put Prop A on the ballot. This is because they want
a chance to finally vote on local earnings taxes. In St. Louis, such a local vote is long overdue. But
self-interested politicians and bureaucrats seem to fear having to justify keeping the tax to the very people
who pay it, and who have not had a say about the tax in more than half a century.
No one will argue that the earnings tax attracts new residents and businesses to Missouri‘s largest cities
– because, in fact, only 25 of the 150 largest cities in the United States impose local earnings taxes. And,
in fact, both St. Louis and Kansas City have given certain companies breaks from paying the earnings
One more thing: contrary to what some opponents have said, Prop A does not repeal the earnings taxes
in St. Louis and Kansas City. It only allows local voters in the two largest cities to have the final say about
their local earnings tax. Our campaign believes that once voters get the facts, they‘ll vote YES on A, to let
Column: Prop A is right for Missouri
By Megan Roberts – The Maneater
Published Oct. 8, 2010
With numerous high-profile issues and competitive offices up for a vote Nov. 2, I find it curious
Proposition A has not received much media attention.
Proposition A, a statewide ballot measure, would increase the accountability of the Kansas City and St.
Louis city governments. If passed, the initiative would require the cities to hold a citywide vote every five
years to approve each of their respective earnings taxes.
If the earnings tax then fails to pass, it must be phased out of the city budget within 10 years. Proposition
A would also restrict the authority of other cities to levy earnings taxes.
As a Kansas City native, Proposition A hits, literally and figuratively, very close to home for me. This
initiative has been a long time coming. To date, Kansas City and St. Louis can levy earnings taxes
without any consent from city residents.
Taxation without representation, anyone?
It seems to me the primary opponents of Proposition A are city officials, who make a living off said
Of course city officials would oppose allowing voters to decide whether to continue or eliminate an
earnings tax! After all, it is in their own financial interest to allow the city to continue levying earnings
taxes without any voter approval. Conflict of interest, anyone?
If Proposition A were to pass and Kansas City and St. Louis voters rejected the extension of the earnings
tax, it would hold innumerable economic benefits for both the cities and the state of Missouri.
In 2008, a study by the Show-Me Institute, a nonpartisan policy think tank based in St. Louis, found
eliminating the earnings tax would create roughly 4,700 new jobs in the Kansas City area alone.
Businesses from around the state, and possibly even from outside Missouri, would move into the city and
provide job growth. St. Louis could see up to $1.5 billion in income gains, and Kansas City could see up
to $3.2 billion if the earnings tax were eliminated.
Of course, the hardcore fiscal conservative in me would love to see cities across Missouri repealing their
earnings taxes, but that is beyond the point. The bottom line is Proposition A does not remove the ability
of Kansas City and St. Louis to levy an earnings tax.
Proposition A merely gives the power back to the citizens of each city, allowing them to hold their local
Our nation was founded on the principle of consent by the governed, and to continue allowing a city to
levy taxes on its citizens without any check on its power is in violation of this basic principle.
Today, while the federal government continues to spend money like it‘s going out of style and massive tax
increases loom in the coming year, I would like to know that as a Missourian, I still have some control
over how much money my local government might or might not take from me.
On Nov. 2, I hope that Missourians agree with me and vote to approve Proposition A.
Joe the Plumber plunges into Missouri
By BARBARA SHELLY - The Kansas City Star (Commentary)
A grand conspiracy is afoot, and it starts right here in Missouri.
So says none other than Joe ―The Plumber‖ Wurzelbacher, John McCain‘s improbable sidekick in the
2008 presidential campaign. Liking the limelight and desperately searching for a new gig, Joe has lighted
upon the Missouri ballot proposition cracking down on puppy breeding abuses.
Joe wants you to know that Proposition B is not really about making sure that dogs have access to
healthy food, clean water, reasonable veterinary care, protection from extreme cold and heat, and room
to move around.
No. Prop B is a plot by the dreaded Humane Society of the United States, ―simply to get rid of ALL dog
breeding in Missouri — the unlicensed AND licensed breeders.‖
But it doesn‘t stop there. Here‘s Joe, on the website Alliance for Truth, dedicated to ―exposing hidden
―This bill is just a stepping stone. HSUS eventually wants to extend this law to ALL animals. Their idea of
utopia is a United States with NO animal ownership; NO meat to eat; NO pets; NO hunting; NO fishing;
NO service animals.‖
Is that the end of it? Oh, indeed not. More from Joe:
―Even the extinction of our food industry isn‘t the scariest part of this whacko liberal agenda. A law is only
as good as it‘s enforced. And HSUS is happy to fill the void. HSUS has now become the self-appointed
law enforcement of the animal world. We have to draw the line and hold these radical animal rights
Wurzelbacher‘s rantings could be dismissed as comedy but for one thing: His arguments have been
voiced many times in the halls and chambers of the Missouri Capitol.
That‘s why the Humane Society mobilized to get Proposition B on the ballot. Animal protection measures
are radioactive in the state legislature.
Elected officials in Missouri have argued that tougher rules for puppy breeders are the first step to limits
on livestock production. They portray the Humane Society (HSUS to opponents) as a fringe organization
determined to turn us into a nation of vegans.
Meanwhile, Missouri holds the dubious status of the ―puppy mill capital‖ of the U.S., with about 1,500
licensed breeders supplying four of every 10 puppies sold at pet stores around the nation — many with
breeding and health problems. Officials believe hundreds of unlicensed breeders also operate in the
Law enforcement raids continually turn up starved, sick and mangy animals, some stacked atop one
another in wire cages.
Contrary to what Wurzelbacher and others claim, existing laws don‘t adequately protect dogs. Missouri‘s
animal care facilities act is 18 years old and lax compared with animal welfare laws in other states.
―The provisions ensure that the dogs survive. It does not ensure that they‘re treated humanely,‖ said
Barbara Schmitz, director of the Humane Society of Missouri.
As Schmitz observed, opponents of Proposition B don‘t want to talk about the way dogs are treated. So
they hide behind smoke screens and outright falsehoods.
Experience from other states debunks the claim that the new regulations would ―put almost every breeder
in Missouri out of business,‖ as Wurzelbacher warns breathlessly. In any case, the demise of a business
that forces animals to exist in misery is no great loss.
And although some states empower employees of animal protection groups to inspect breeding
operations and enforce laws, in Missouri those responsibilities would fall to Department of Agriculture
employees and local police and sheriff‘s departments.
Wurzelbacher‘s ominous vision of ―HSUS employees running around with guns and police-like badges
breaking down doors,‖ would not play out here.
Joe the Plumber would love to throw a wrench into the animal welfare campaign. But his conspiracy
theory leaks like a bad faucet.
EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
Cheek: 'Us' must mean all people to our
October 8, 2010 - Springfield News-Leader
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Devon Cheek; I'm the Democratic candidate for state
representative for the 136th District.
Recently, I observed my opponent's banners out advertising his re-election bid and one thing I noticed is
that it said "From Here, For Us." Now I get the "From Here" part of that statement. What I want to know is:
Who is "us?" Is he talking about other Republicans, other individuals who think like him and agree with
everything he does in lockstep with the Republican leadership in the Missouri House? Is "us" just talking
about the higher-income families in the district? The middle-income families?
I want to let everyone know what I do for a living. I'm an overnight auditor for a hotel property in the city of
Springfield. My opponent is a business analyst for the health care industry at one of the local hospitals.
So is his "us" other health care professionals? Doctors? When health care or education issues come up
for a vote on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives, who is Mr. Burlison going to vote with
and for? Will he vote for the people of his district, his constituents? Will he vote with other Republicans
that are in the House? He's done that before. Will he vote to protect his employers; his job?
I'm here to stand up and say I want to know who his "us" is. I can stand firm and say that my "us" are the
people who vote me into office. My "us" are the people who both agree and disagree with my ideas. My
"us" are the people who are fighting to hang on to their jobs. Because I've been there. I know exactly what
it's like to not have a job and to not know if you'll have enough to cover next month's rent, not to mention
gas and groceries, and I'm just one guy. It astounds me how whole families are surviving.
I know exactly what it's like to have a job, but not have health insurance and to be scared worrying that
something will happen and sickness may set in to the point that you have to visit the hospital or the
doctor's office and wonder how you're going to pay the medical bills.
My "us" are the lower-income families and individuals in my district. My "us" are the middle-income
families and individuals in my district. My "us" are the higher-income families and individuals in my district.
My "us" is the boss and the employee, the teacher and the student, the doctor and the patient, the parent
and the child. My "us" is black, white, male, female, young, old, rich, poor, gay, straight, because that's
how we're divided as Missourians ... as Americans. And that's who my "us" is.
You are not "us" to me ...
You are the people -- and you vote. and I will be a representative who will listen to, and stand up and fight
for you the people. Thank you.
Devon Cheek is the Democratic candidate for state representative for the Missouri 136th District.
Letters | Friday, Oct. 8
The Kansas City Star
Carnahan for Senate
Thank you, Steve Kraske (10/3, B2, ―The ‗real‘ side of candidates is often hidden‖) and Barbara Wagner Skelton
(10/3, Letters) for verifying my perception of Robin Carnahan. I couldn‘t believe E. Thomas McClanahan‘s Sept. 26
column, ―Carnahan is running an outdated campaign,‖ saying Robin has an ―urbane persona.‖
I‘ve always thought Robin seemed to be a down-to-earth farm woman with no veneer of urbane sophistication. Steve
and Barbara both said the farm woman persona is real.
I like Robin‘s ―what you see is what you get‖ honesty. And, contrary to Roy Blunt‘s ―Rubber Stamp‖ ad, I think Robin‘s
experience being raised with and competed against three brothers would enable her to hold her own against the ―big
boys‖ in Washington. She‘ll vote with them when she thinks it‘s best for Missouri and America and against when she
thinks they‘re wrong.
I‘ve never liked Blunt and would vote for my cat rather than him. But I‘m not voting against Roy Blunt — I‘m voting for
Robin Carnahan. She‘s not only the better candidate, but a great candidate on her own.
Kudos to Col. Gary Johnston and his Marines for the memorial dedication to the Marines and sailors who lost their
lives (10/3, B2, ―Fallen sailors, Marines honored‖). More than 20 families of the fallen Marines were in attendance as
were many current active duty, reservists and Marines who served in the past.
Also in attendance were various dignitaries, including Mayor Mark Funkhouser and congressional candidate Jacob
Turk, himself a Marine. The names of each of the men were called out, a bell ringing with each name and their
respective dog tags were placed on the standard rifle, boots and helmet display by fellow Marines, each of whom
performed a perfect salute.
Near the conclusion of the ceremonies, a flawlessly timed static flyover by three Marine F-18s, with one empty space
in the precise formation, soared overhead. It was a fitting tribute to these hero warriors, and made one pause to
reflect on the day-to-day freedoms we enjoy because of men such as these.
Next time you see a Marine, soldier, sailor, airman or Coast Guardsmen, please thank them for their service.
Remember them when you climb into your bed each night, sleeping safely as they keep watch.
Vote for third party
Roy Blunt‘s and Robin Carnahan‘s negative campaigns have destroyed any integrity or honor that either may have
had, and the ads have shown each to be as disgusting as the other.
Fortunately, we have two other candidates for U.S. Senate in Missouri: Jonathan Dine of the Libertarian Party and
Jerry Beck of the Constitution Party. Jerry Beck has gone an extra step, to be the only one of the four to respond to
the Project Vote Smart survey, or as far as I know, to tell us in any other way his/her positions on a variety of issues.
You can see Beck‘s positions at www.votesmart.org/npat.php?can_id=123282.
If you like Beck‘s positions, he‘s the one to vote for. Some say we get the government we deserve. Let‘s deserve a
good one this time.
Shawnee Mission gem
Come on, Shawnee Mission patrons — let‘s look a little deeper. Ten years ago when I had a choice between applying
to Shawnee Mission North High School versus staying in another prominent Johnson County school district, I jumped
at the chance and was thrilled to get the job at North.
I went to North for its outstanding reputation in the arts. What the school‘s students were doing and still do stands out
among fellow Johnson County schools.
North was among the first to have an art gallery and an advanced-placement art program, which still earns some of
the highest scores for their portfolios in the district.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I could go on and on about nationally recognized teachers, publications, grant
recipients and more. It was just announced that the theater department was named the best in the Midwest by Stage
Direction Magazine. Get the picture?
You should see the creativity that emanates as you walk through the halls.
Government ensures its own security
I have an observation about the 320 new city employees who once worked for the Metropolitan Ambulances Services
Trust being added to the city‘s pension plan.
Governments — federal and local alike — excel at one thing: Feathering their own and unions‘ nests by exempting
themselves from the knocks born by private sector employees through pension loss, pension modification and benefit
Government feeding at the trough of taxpayers shouldn‘t come as a surprise. If it isn‘t a ―scheme‖ as described by
The Star, then let‘s identify it as a localized racket too long stuffed down the throats of taxpayers picking up the tab.
Joe F. Dragosh
National sport of corruption
Have we become a society where corruption has become our national sport?
Some examples include credit default swaps, floundering subprime mortgages, insider trading, justification of the
Bush-Obama bank bailouts and the inept regulatory agencies.
Why don‘t our elected officials step up and do their job? Is it because they‘re part of the problem?
Nuclear medical isotopes
There are several additional dynamics The Star‘s readers might like to know when considering the issue of how best
to deliver nuclear medical isotopes to cancer patients (9/12, A1, ―Bond digs in heels against ban of uranium exports‖).
The main opponent to my efforts to protect cancer patients from a medicine cutoff, as quoted in your story, is a
political scientist and nonproliferation advocate. While nuclear nonproliferation is an important goal, which I share, I
fear that advocacy based solely on that issue will not prioritize cancer patients and their potential loss of medicine, as
Additionally, the difficult legal, contractual and financial issues hobbling MU‘s efforts to build a domestic source of
medical isotopes shows the peril of setting an arbitrary medicine cutoff date, as the bill proposes.
The U.S. Department of Energy believes it already has the authority and funding necessary to run a program to spur
domestic production, which is under way. Cancer patients don‘t get anything new from this bill to help them get the
medicine they need.
Instead, they get a hard cutoff of the current supply chain written into the law, whether they still need medicine to
survive or not.
U.S. Sen. Kit Bond
Improve food in U.S.
Mark Crouser of the Center for Food Integrity wrote in a Sept. 23 letter that he doesn‘t want restrictions on our food
system. His reasoning is right, given our current laws — but they need changing.
We can stop subsidizing sugar and other unhealthy foods and begin giving the same breaks to farmers who raise
clean vegetables and hormone-free animals. Cheap food is cheap because our government uses our tax dollars to
enrich the very people who are poisoning our children.
Attention tea partiers and all you lovely loyal Republicans. Thank you from all the corporations in our country.
We love that you‘re so easily blinded by flags waving in your faces and rhetoric such as, ―Take our country back,‖ that
you are happy to surrender your best interests so that corporations may prosper. Big business is going to enjoy that
big tax break you‘re willing to give wealthy people.
Corporations are glad they convinced you that you don‘t want health care reform. Big businesses also are pretty
tickled that they‘ve done such a good job convincing you that unions are bad. Those guys and their safety concerns
and silly ideas of treating people fairly in the workplace were really getting on corporate nerves.
Big businesses kind of snicker amongst themselves when they lay more and more people off and watch those who
are left scurry around to carry the work load.
Corporations have sure got you scared don‘t they? Oh, if they had eyes, corporations would be wiping away tears
from laughing. They‘re pretty close to owning this country. Don‘t let it stop now. Keep voting Republican.
Letters to the editor, October 8
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010 12:00 am
Senate candidates are playing hide and seek with Missouri voters
For 90 years, since women finally were allowed to vote, the League of Women Voters has acted on the
belief that informed voters will make the best decisions. We study issues, produce non-partisan
informational pieces and sponsor and conduct candidates forums and debates that have become the
standard for fairness and content.
What a pity that the vast majority Missouri voters will choose their next senator without ever having an
opportunity to see the candidates in action, to hear their ideas, to measure their attitudes and demeanor
as they discuss the difficult issues that our country faces.
Despite early calls for a series of debates to be held around the state, only two debates have been
scheduled: one will be broadcast on local public television; the other will be a session before the Missouri
Press Association. No statewide television coverage will be allowed.
Voters will go to the polls relying on indirect reports and second-hand information to augment the attack
ads that increasingly dominate political campaigns.
Missouri deserves better. The League of Women Voters of Missouri urges the U.S. senatorial candidates
to reconsider and go directly before the people they seek to represent. The League stands ready and
willing to help.
Lois Detrick • St. Louis County President, The League of Women Voters of Missouri
Disregarding the doctor
The description of some of the unethical behavior of Forest Laboratories in "Cases shed light on drug
firm's tactics" (Oct. 4) fails to address the main reason for the high volume of these newer antidepressant
drugs: they help patients. The emphasis on aggressive marketing techniques serving to increase sales
disregards the role of physicians and their relationships with patients.
Most doctors are not mendacious (accepting payment bribes to prescribe), naive (hypnotized by charming
reps who furnish a pizza and a pen, or by proselytizing "experts" whose strong promotion loses
credibility), nor stupid (continuing to recommend medicines that either don't work or incur significant side
effects). Most physicians sincerely want to help our patients. And most drug representatives want to bring
value to doctors who use their products. Like all medicines, antidepressants should be closely monitored.
But they literally can be life-saving, even in children.
I hope that the negative behavior of some in the pharmaceutical industry will not jeopardize the
doctor-patient relationship or distract from the need to continue to develop beneficial medications for the
benefit of us all.
Dr. Jerold J. Kreisman • Creve Coeur
No favoritism in energy grant
"Politics buffet wind farm run by a Carnahan" (Sept. 29) misses the point on one key Recovery Act policy.
Financial incentives under the Recovery Act's Treasury Grant Program are awarded in an open process
through which all eligible renewable energy project developers operating anywhere in the nation can file
and receive the grant. If a developer meets the program criteria and its project is producing energy, it
simply applies for and receives the grant. There is no selective process that could favor one developer
With this program, more than a thousand solar, wind and other renewable projects have moved forward
despite the economic downturn, creating tens of thousands of jobs and more than $17 billion in new
investments nationwide (more than $600 million in Missouri alone). The Lost Creek project represented
the largest private-sector investment in Missouri in 2009. For solar, more than 1,000 projects have been
built nationwide because of the grant program.
The program was created to remedy the lack of tax equity financing available to renewable energy
developers as a result of the Wall Street meltdown. It is a policy that is working and producing tangible
results despite a slower-than-expected recovery of financial markets. In fact, Congress should extend the
program, which is currently set to expire Dec. 31. At risk are thousands of jobs for Missourians and the
development of renewable energy projects nationwide. That is the real story.
Rhone Resch • Washington, D.C. President and CEO, Solar Energy Industries Association
Matson: On the money
The Oct. 5 Matson's View cartoon was right on the money. If there was any doubt congressional
Republicans weren't owned and operated by the same corporate hoodlums that sacked the American and
world economies, there shouldn't be by now. It's sad that President Barack Obama has tried every trick in
the books to bring some relief from past mistakes, but he has been met with disappointment because of
Worse yet, the spoiled society, including most conservatives and more than a few liberals, are blaming
the president for the sins of the same greedy fat-cats who ruined the country as the previous
administration cheered them on.
Charles J. Morice Jr. • O'Fallon, Mo.
Matson: Off the mark
For several years now, both houses of Congress and the presidency have been controlled by Democrats.
Any legislation submitted was passed and signed into law by the president without the ability of the
Republican Party to block its enactment. With this in mind, the Matson's View cartoon of Oct. 5 depicts
Republican obstructionism preventing the president from fulfilling part of his agenda. He is prevented from
walking on water as the "liberal base" hoped for.
Blaming the party that at this time is impotent to stop the left's legislation is an act of desperation by Mr.
Edward Wolfe • Kirkwood
Breaking down America
Regarding Paul Krugman's "Fear and favor" (Oct. 5): So, billionaires control the Republican Party? It must
be election time and the Democrats must be down. Mr. Krugman and the national media are at it again
about the party of the richies vs. the party for the poories.
No one in the media ever looks at the billionaires who control the Democratic Party. Certainly the
hundreds of millions given by the union leadership to the Democrats should be in the mix. The stimulus
package should show Americans that union members got paid back with our tax dollars.
But the biggest political multi-billionaire in America is George Soros. He is the biggest financial backer of
President Barack Obama, a big donor to the radical left website moveon.org, a frequent guest in Obama's
White House, a donor to one-third of the New York City Council and an investor in the
communist-influenced Open Society.
Actions that are intended to break down or build up America should be explored. Quite frankly, Mr. Soros
and Mr. Obama's parade is not for us Americans. They seem to hate capitalism and want to control
everything. Then who will have all of America's billions? You and me? Ha!
Alan D. Shaffer • Creve Coeur
McFrumpy on La Genius
As a subscriber to this once-proud newspaper, I have grown tired of Bill McFrumpy referring to the
Cardinals manager as "La Genius" and, more recently, "La Hamlet" ("Thoughts underlying a manager's
quandary," Oct. 6).
These attempts at humor are just Mr. McWrinkled's way of mocking Tony La Russa and the parts of his
personality that Mr. McMessy clearly doesn't understand. After all, how would Mr. McDirty like it if people
started referring to him in a way that made fun of a part of his personality that they just didn't understand?
Probably not very much.
Dan King • Chesterfield
Springfield News-Leader Readers’
Blunt not close to earning 'value' vote
October 8, 2010
I cannot wrap my head around the fact that Southwest Missouri's Republican Party regulars, tea party
small-government voters and especially "values" voters are eager to pull the lever for Roy Blunt.
Blunt is a Washington, D.C. six- term Congress critter who had close ties with imprisoned lobbyist Jack
Abramoff, and disgraced former majority leader Tom Delay. He was a water boy for the Phillip Morris
tobacco empire and divorced his wife of 30 years to marry one of its young lobbyists. He obtained
permission to not report his wedding gifts, and I do not believe he was worried about Aunt Maude's salad
spinner... In 2005 and 2006, Blunt was honored with the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in
Washington "Most Corrupt" award.
Surely my fellow Southwest Missourians, regardless of affiliation, would not wish to further this man's
grasping ambitions. Robin Carnahan has used her office to benefit Missourians, not herself. Her
leadership of our state's Securities Division has led to the recovery of billions of dollars of fraudulent
losses to investment firms for tens of thousands of investors nationwide. And she has enacted new
protections from scam artists to protect our seniors. Carnahan's mother and father both served the state
honorably ... without a hint of the smell of corruption that envelopes Blunt.
Roy Blunt seeks to make this election about the Obama administration. What it is really about is good
government. Southwest Missourians, do not give your vote to a corrupt career politician like Blunt. If you
cannot vote for a Democrat, then by all means send the GOP a message that you expect better
candidates from them by voting the Constitution or Libertarian parties. Roy Blunt does not deserve your
Health care reform sees wide criticism
October 8, 2010
Since the health care reform act is considered by President Obama to be his crowning achievement and
the cornerstone of his agenda for first two years in office, according to a Fox News editorial; and since
this issue has consumed the most time, energy and debate in Congress of any legislative issue of the
past two years; and since no law passed in the last two years has more far-reaching effects on our
economy than ObamaCare; then it is only fitting and proper that ObamaCare should be the focal issue of
this fall's elections. But how many Democrats running for office are trumpeting their support for
One thing we do know - at least 31 congressional Democrats are running on a platform of repealing
ObamaCare! This reminds us of the fact that the only thing bipartisan about the health care reform was
and is the opposition to it. Even in our home state, Senate candidate Robin Carnahan, according to our
News-Leader ("In Q&A, Senate candidates split on health care"), has been noticeably silent about her
support for ObamaCare. Granted, when directly asked, she says she supports it, though admitting "it is
far from perfect." But one doesn't see her trumpeting her support in her TV bites or other political
Given the fact then that their crowning achievement of the past two years doesn't sit well with the
American public, it is no surprise that the Democrats' political strategy has been greatly limited to
negativism. Carnahan's strategy is to tear down Roy Blunt, and we hear little positive about what she
really brings to the table. We Americans and we Missourians deserve better. The fact that the Democrats
are not touting their "crowning achievement" of the past two years, gives suspect to the idea that the
Democrats really consider ObamaCare a mistake.
Is Biden channeling Billy Long's feelings?
October 8, 2010
The Springfield News-Leader editorial (Oct. 6) takes Biden to task for not allowing photo coverage of his
Maybe he's just channeling Billy Long, who said to News-Leader reporter Cory deVera and radio
personality Nick Reed:
"I don't run to a microphone every time it's offered; I don't run to a TV camera every time it's offered."
Proposition costly, not needed in state
October 8, 2010
I am a concerned animal lover. The HSUS (Humane Society of the United States) has put a ballot
initiative called Proposition B on the November ballot. They plan to deceive voters into thinking they are
helping animals. Currently, HSUS spends less than 1 percent of donations on helping animals. If they
truly cared about helping animals, that percentage would be much higher, right? HSUS is not your local
animal shelter. HSUS is a radical animal-rights group that wants to stop all hunting and fishing and cripple
or destroy all animal agriculture. HSUS President Wayne Pacelle said, "We have no problems with the
extinction of domestic animals."
The truth is, all licensed breeders already have strict regulations with surprise inspections. Some of the
things in Prop B will actually be harmful to young puppies and will cause unnecessary deaths. This is one
reason why the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association is opposed to Prop B.
The American Kennel Club, Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri Farmer Association ... all oppose Prop B
as well. You can go to www.mofed.org, www._humane watch.org, www.thealliancefortruth.com to learn
In 2009, a program called Bark Alert was established. Since then, many unlicensed, substandard kennels
have been shut down! If you know of animal abuse, please call the proper authorities.
Prop B will cost taxpayers $500,000 annually. We do not need more laws that will take away our rights
and freedoms! vote "No" on Prop B!
Editor's note: HSUS President Pacelle maintains his quote has been distorted and taken from a larger
statement in 1992 or 1993 that "we did not need an endangered species act for rare livestock breeds."
(Source: hsus.typepad.com/wayne/ 2007/07/desperate-disto.html) For HSUS policies, go to
Shonda Madison Cassville
Your letters Oct.8, 2010
St. Joseph News-Press
Friday, October 8, 2010 at midnight
Do courts havethe right balance?
As discussed in Steve Booher‘s column Monday, former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day
O‘Connor has been busily spending her retirement defending so-called ―merit selection‖ plans for judges.
Missouri is among several ―merit‖ states considering reform, including Arizona (O‘Connor‘s home state),
Kansas and Tennessee.
The truth: The Missouri Plan has not kept our courts insulated from politics. Instead, it has made politics
an even bigger concern. By putting judicial selection behind closed doors and offering no real method of
accountability, the Missouri Plan has effectively put a very small group of influential attorneys in charge of
To discourage reform, the Missouri Supreme Court has engaged in a policy debate that belongs either to
the legislative branch or to the people through an initiative petition, adopting a few minor changes that will
allow the public to sit in on judicial interviews and see the committee‘s votes on judicial nominees.
However, this is too little, too late. Just allowing the public to see meetings will do little to discourage the
back-room political dealing that has become a hallmark of the system.
The main problem: There is still no meaningful method of imposing accountability. Mr. Booher‘s column
admitted as much, saying in reference to retention elections that ―this system is pretty well stacked in the
incumbent judge‘s favor.‖ Out-of-touch judges with questionable jurisprudential skills are continually
retained, no matter how badly they need to be replaced.
Trial attorneys are entrenched in the judicial selection process and the court itself cannot be trusted to
address the issues of transparency and accountability. For reform to work — for it to be genuine — it
needs to come from the people.
Our goal is to have a fair and impartial judiciary where attorneys have no more influence than the average
Missourian. To make this a reality, we need broad-based reform to bring transparency and real
accountability to Missouri‘s courts.
Better Courts for Missouri
Jefferson City, Mo.
USA TODAY MISSOURI NEWS
Monday, October 4, 2010 — Jefferson City — Officials here want to limit how many dogs and
cats people can own and make it illegal to feed feral animals on public land. Under the proposed
ordinance, residents would have to get a permit to keep more than six cats or dogs.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010 — Joplin — A center for autistic children is giving parents fresh
hope. The Ozark Center for Autism here expanded its preschool offerings to include people
from ages 3 to 21. Paula Baker, administrator of autism programming, said the new Special
Education Center will allow those with autism to undergo therapy through the high school level.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010 — St. Louis — The city is teaming with the county in a quest to
have their turfs declared a foreign trade zone, partly hoping to lure international air cargo
coveted by an Illinois airport nearby. The city and county asked the U.S. government for the
duty-free designation they said could lure business, notably if St. Louis' Lambert Airport
becomes an air cargo hub with China.
Thursday, October 7, 2010 — Columbia — The University of Missouri's main campus is
reviewing 75 degree programs for possible elimination under a cost-cutting edict. The
Department of Higher Education defines "low-producing" programs as those awarding fewer
than 10 bachelor's degrees a year. The cutoff is five graduates for master's programs and three
graduates for doctoral programs.
Friday, October 8, 2010 — St. Louis — About 100 foreign-born women who married U.S.
servicemen during or after World War II are gathering near here. The five-day meeting of the
"war brides" has been a yearly occurrence, staged in a different U.S. city, as a time for the
women to recall the cultures they left behind. It is estimated that more than 500,000 WWII war
brides came to the U.S.