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Monday, August 20, 2012

Claire McCaskill's reaction to Todd Akin controversy:

From the McCaskill campaign website:

St. Louis, Mo. — McCaskill for Missouri 2012 released the following statement from Sen. Claire McCaskill after Todd Akin said women who are victims of "legitimate rape" don't get pregnant because their bodies have a way to "shut that whole thing down." As a former prosecutor, Claire McCaskill has worked closely with hundreds of rape victims and intimately understands their trauma and pain. It is that experience that makes Akin's statements so outrageous.
"It is beyond comprehension that someone can be so ignorant about the emotional and physical trauma brought on by rape," said McCaskill. "The ideas that Todd Akin has expressed about the serious crime of rape and the impact on its victims are offensive."

Akin to supporters: "I'm in this to the end."

In an e-mail to supporters titled, "I'm in this to the end," Congressman Todd Akin's campaign wrote the following Monday evening:

Dear Friends,

This weekend I made a mistake. I used the wrong words in the wrong way. What I said was ill-conceived and it was wrong and for that I apologize.
The people from Missouri who elected me know I’m not perfect. They don’t make perfect people. We all make mistakes. When you make a mistake you to tell people you’re sorry, you don’t try and hide it. I made a mistake and I’m sorry. 
I have just begun to fight and I’m in this race to the end! We must work together to replace Claire McCaskill in the Senate. 
I need your help. 

From there, the e-mail went on to ask for contributions to the campaign, including links.
Monday, Crossroads GPS and the GOP senate campaign both removed financial backing from Akin's campaign.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

McCaskill's return shot

One week after the primary, the TV ads are rolling like marbles on Formica.  Incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill got the matchup she wanted, but there's still a lot of work to do if she's going to retain her title.   Her first effort out of the post-primary gate to vilify her opponent is now out of the box:

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

There's got to be a morning after. Or does there?

The British have been known to say, "The King is dead.  Long live the King!"

The implication being that the ball keeps rolling.  Drink water and drive on.

And so it is the morning after the 2012 Missouri Primary.

The "Akin, Brunner, Steelman Race" is now the "Akin, McCaskill, (Dine), Race."

And yes, it is already rolling.

Anti-McCaskill ad #1 (post primary) is on the air Wednesday morning, courtesy Karl Rove.  It is worth pointing out that Congressman Akin was pleased to stay above the fray in the primary and, yes, he came out on top.  He ran a clean campaign in the primary in that he did not approve any ads that cast any opponent in a negative light.  It's naive to think that that is why he won, nor to believe that a campaign this large would stay antiseptic, even for one day.  Let the Hunger Games begin.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mo. Governor pen whips 22 bills

Jay Nixon passes 12 laws, vetoes 10
including SB 749 concerning health care and religion

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Jay Nixon today signed 12 bills into law, including House Bill 1563, which will expand the number of trained professionals providing autism therapy in Missouri.

House Bill 1563 establishes a procedure for provisional licensure of professionals – known as behavior analysts or assistant behavior analysts – who perform Applied Behavioral Analysis, which has been shown to be one of the most effective therapies for children with autism.  Under the new law, provisionally licensed behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts will have completed their professional training but not yet received their scores on their licensure exams.  These provisionally licensed professionals will work only under the supervision of licensed behavior analysts.

Gov. Nixon called for the passage of this legislation in his 2012 State of the State Address.

“This bill will increase the number of trained professionals practicing Applied Behavioral Analysis in Missouri and expand the number of children we can reach with this life-changing therapy,” Gov. Nixon said.  “I thank the legislators on both sides of the aisle who worked to get this important bill to my desk.”

Gov. Nixon also signed the following bills into law today:

SB 470, concerning transportation;
SB 568, concerning transportation;
SB 636, concerning the judiciary;
SB 719, concerning public safety;
HB 1036, concerning ballot emblems;
HB 1103, concerning real estate;
HB 1105, concerning the state militia;
HB 1308, concerning pledged securities;
HB 1460, concerning the Court Automation Fund;
HB 1495, concerning the reporting of insurance fraud; and
HB 1909, concerning aviation

Gov. Nixon also vetoed 10 bills today, including Senate Bill 749 and House Bill 1329.  The Governor will comment on these actions during a media availability at 11 a.m. in his Capitol office.  (The official veto message for each bill is available by clicking on the link.)

SB 566, concerning vaccination of pets;
SB 569, concerning elections;
SB 607, concerning outdoor advertising;
SB 635, concerning banking;
SB 715, concerning the state militia;
SB 749, concerning health care;
SB 837, concerning franchise alcohol suppliers;
HB 1250, concerning elections;
HB 1329, concerning motor vehicles; and
HB 1758, concerning parental relationships

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Mo. Senators want disaster decleration for Missouri due to drought

(Press release)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) sent a letter today to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack urging him to move forward with Governor Jay Nixon’s request for a primary disaster declaration for 114 counties in Missouri as a result of losses incurred by farmers and ranchers due to extreme drought conditions.

“Agriculture is a primary driver of Missouri’s economy, and it is important that we provide the support our producers need as they suffer significant losses to crops, pasture, and livestock as a result of the record breaking heat and low precipitation,” the Senators wrote. “A disaster designation would give eligible producers in Missouri the additional support they need by allowing them to qualify for FSA emergency loans, emergency grazing and haying, and other financial assistance.”

In the letter, the senators encourage Secretary Vilsack to quickly move forward with Governor Nixon’s request to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities recover from this severe drought.

The complete text of the letter is pasted below:

July 11, 2012

The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Whitten Building, Room 200A
Washington, DC 20250

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

On July 10, 2012, Governor Jay Nixon requested a primary disaster declaration for 114 counties in Missouri as a result of losses incurred by farmers and ranchers due to extreme drought conditions.  An assessment by the state Farm Service Agency (FSA) has found that all counties in Missouri meet the disaster threshold of having losses of at least 30 percent of the estimated yield of a single crop or where individual farmers sustain losses of more than 30 percent.

Agriculture is a primary driver of Missouri’s economy, and it is important that we provide the support our producers need as they suffer significant losses to crops, pasture, and livestock as a result of the record breaking heat and low precipitation. A disaster designation would give eligible producers in Missouri the additional support they need by allowing them to qualify for FSA emergency loans, emergency grazing and haying, and other financial assistance.

It is our hope that you will promptly grant Governor Nixon’s request to help farmers, ranchers, and rural communities recover from this severe drought.  If you have any further questions regarding this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Once again, thank you for your consideration.


U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.)                                                                      
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Mo.)

Friday, July 06, 2012

Press release: House Speaker Tilley Says "No" to Special Session


“With all due respect to Senator Lager, I cannot support a special session for several reasons,” said Tilley. Tilley said a Special Session held during an election year would invite grandstanding and filibustering. He also pointed to the fact an extraordinary session would cost taxpayers a minimum of $25,000 per day with a total bill to Missourians approaching hundreds of thousands.
The House Speaker also noted he is unaware of any action being taken by the Administration between now and January that requires the legislature to act. “There is nothing the legislature could do with a special session that cannot wait until the legislature returns for regular session," stated Tilley.
"I support Speaker Tilley's decision,” agreed Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones, R-Eureka. “The cost is too high and I believe there is nothing that can be accomplished in a costly special session that cannot be addressed by the November elections or the legislature in January."
“Finally, some people may remember last fall, Sen. Lager negotiated a tax credit package with House and Senate leaders, which included hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax credits for the St. Louis China Hub sporting events, numerous other credits and significant tax credit reforms that would have saved the taxpayers over a billion dollars,” said Tilley. “As a result, a special session was called by the governor to address pro-jobs legislation and tax credit reform. Sen. Lager ultimately opposed the package and the session collapsed costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
"Without assurances that all sides would agree on the legislative proposals, Sen. Lager's proposed special session would put hundreds of thousands of tax dollars at risk and could ultimately result in another costly special session with no results for the taxpayers," Tilley added. 
“I would suggest a better, more immediate course of action is for him to join a lawsuit to fix the biased language Secretary of State Robin Carnahan proposed. We need fair and unbiased language so Missouri voters will have the opportunity to determine if they want to require voter or legislative approval to implement certain provisions of Obamacare rather than leaving the decision to unelected bureaucrats," Tilley said. 
Tilley pointed out much of how Obamacare will be implemented in Missouri depends on which individuals fill the roles of governor, legislative leaders, and other statewide officers. Tilley suggested that, after hearing the voters speak, the newly elected legislature and state office holders would have a clear mandate as to the direction the voters have chosen.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Mo. Gov. Candidate Randles Outlines his opposition to SCOTUS ruling

While most politicians put out a quick, brief statement in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling on the Affordable Care Act, Republican candidate for Missouri Governor Bill Randles released a manifesto.  Unfortunately for Randles, the e-mail detailing his reaction wound up in the KY3 Spam box and was only discovered more than a day later and thus not included in the list of reactions published here on Thursday.  The whims of fate.  Better late than never, here 'tis. ---Jerry
"Most Americans assumed that the most important issue in today’s Obamacare decision would be whether or not the Supreme Court would find the Act unconstitutional.  But to anyone concerned about limiting federal power, the ruling on the Act itself is secondary to the grounds the Court used to justify this expansion of federal power.  Put simply, if you were to ask most lawyers over the past 70 years what provision of the Constitution has been interpreted as giving the federal government the widest sweep of power, the overwhelming majority would have agreed it was the Commerce Clause.  But today, the Court has turned constitutional jurisprudence on its head, finding that the constitutional power to tax allows the federal government the power to regulate areas that even the Commerce Clause would not permit.  Today, the Court finds that the power to tax (and thereby control behavior) is even broader than the Court’s virtually boundless prior interpretations of the Commerce Clause.  However sweeping federal power was yesterday, it is much broader today.
The Court rejects the idea that the Commerce Clause grants Congress the power to regulate doing nothing, i.e., failing to buy health insurance.  The Court then has some very encouraging statements about how the Commerce Clause is limited and does not afford the federal government the power to regulate us “cradle to grave.”  It offers the hypothetical that the federal government cannot regulate our diets simply because an unhealthy diet might result in more healthcare expenses. 
The Court then turns this excellent reasoning on its head by stating that the federal government has the power to tax activity it could not otherwise regulate under the Commerce Clause.  The Court goes to some disingenuous length to explain why taxing behavior is neither regulation nor punishment.  It never even bothers to answer the fundamental legal question of why imposing a punitive tax for failing to buy health insurance isn’t a “fine” under the Constitution.  I suspect it did not want to deal with the notion of a fine because then the citizen would be entitled to all of the procedural protections of criminal law.  But the Court never answers the fundamental question of how the government can lack the power to compel behavior but still have the power to punish that same behavior through the tax code.  Indeed, the Court now opens the door for the government to tax a seemingly limitless range of action and inaction, not just in the field of commerce, but in all areas of our private, social, educational, and even religious conduct.  This opinion provides the most sweeping expansion of federal power since the Commerce cases of the 1930s that allowed the New Deal. 
On a separate, but extremely important ground, the Court addressed Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.  The Court rightly decided this issue.  It found that Obamacare was attempting to transform Medicaid from a program designed to provide medical services to discreet, vulnerable populations into a general entitlement for everyone whose income is 133% of the poverty line.  The Court found that this would violate the essential contract nature between the states and the federal government, and the government could not withhold all Medicaid funds simply because a state would not go along with the new expansion.  The Court emphasized that whether or not a state goes along with this expansion is now a state by state determination. 
Practically speaking, this means that in Missouri, who we elect as governor in 2012 assumes even greater importance.  That governor will largely determine whether Medicaid in this state will remain a limited but enormous program or become a vast, unlimited entitlement.  Under the Obamacare decision, states that accept this new Medicaid program will essentially be accepting total government run healthcare because the Court never suggests that this program will be limited to 133% of the poverty level.  Just like traditional Medicaid, the Court places no restrictions on the federal government’s power to change the rules.  Nothing prevents the federal government from moving up eligibility to 500% of the poverty line or higher.  Indeed, if a state signs up for this expanded program, we can rest assured that if Obama is reelected, the enrollment will be expanded vastly upward and Medicaid will essentially become universal healthcare in the states that go along with this program.      
The future of healthcare in Missouri as in other states will be determined in this gubernatorial election.  This election will decide whether the states will approve a complete government takeover of healthcare or if a private insurance market will remain.  The incredibly high stakes of Missouri’s gubernatorial election just got even higher."
--Bill Randles
For more information on Randles' candidacy, visit

Thursday, June 28, 2012

3:22PM Central Time:

Reaction on SCOTUS decision from John LaBombard, Spokesperson for U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill:
"There's only ever been one goal for Claire—affordable, accessible health care for Missouri."