Sunday, September 30, 2012

#MOGov: Dave Spence is About Results

I interviewed businessman Dave Spence last Friday. Spence is the Republican candidate for Governor in Missouri. He's running against 26 year career politician and current Governor, Jay Nixon. Under Nixon's leadership, jobs have fled the state, the economy has stalled, and foreclosures outpace the national average. Spence turned his small business into a a multi-million dollar operation. He knows how to do the same for Missouri.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Revisiting Racism in Missouri's DHSS


In late October 2010, I reported on Stephanie Patton's legal victory in DSS, MO Healthnet Division, and DHSS vs Peace of Mind Adult Day Care. Judge Rod Chapel ruled in part that [emphasis added]:
...DHSS's actions were the result of a racially discriminatory animus and that DHSS's actions deprived Patton of due process and equal protection of the laws, in violation of U.S. Const. amend. 5, 14 and 15, and Mo. Const. art. I, §§ 2 and 10.
The state appealed the decision. In September of 2011, the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri, upheld Judge Chapel's decision in a terse one page judgment.

Harvey Tettlebaum The state appealed again and on August 8th, 2012, Judges Karen King Mitchell, Victor C. Howard, and Cynthia L. Martin of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, heard the case. Harvey Tettlebaum of the law firm Husch Blackwell represented Patton at the appeals court hearing.

I attended the August 8th hearing and drew the sketches displayed here.

The Western District Court of Appeals handed down their ruling this past Tuesday (embedded below). In part they ruled:
We seriously question whether Patton raised her constitutional claim at the "first available opportunity." The complaints Patton filed with the DHSS did not include allegations -- either explicit or implied -- of DHSS acting with a discriminatory animus toward Patton. In fact, there is no evidence in the record as a whole that Patton ever registered a complaint or concern with DHSS that Blum had called her a racial epithet and illiterate. In contrast, the record as a whole leads to the inescapable conclusion that the first time this complaint was registered was during Patton's testimony. This does not appear to comport with the obligation to raise a constitutional claim at the first available opportunity. 
However, we are not persuaded that the Departments preserved an objection to Patton's late assertion of a constitutional claim. The Departments did not object to Patton's testimony as untimely. Instead, the Departments took the position at hearing that the AHC did not have "jurisdiction" to decide the constitutional issue being raised by Patton.17 See transcript at 169 ("[D]iscrimination is not something that, or constitutional issues are not something that this Commission has the jurisdiction over, and case law sets forth that the first notice to raise constitutional issues would be at the circuit court level,not at this level. And so by not testifying here they're not waiving their first availability to introduce evidence. The factual record would be made on the circuit court level where the court has jurisdiction over it."). This objection suggested that Patton was required to wait to assert her constitutional claim -- a position in inherent conflict with the position taken by the Departments on appeal[emphasis added]
In other words, the state argued "Heads--I win. Tails--you lose." Judges Mitchell, Howard, and Martin should be commended for calling the the state out on this. However, that Chris Koster's attorney would stoop so low to make contradictory arguments underscores the importance of replacing Koster with Ed Martin in November to restore a sense of justice to the Attorney General's office.

The ruling continues:
We need not determine whether Patton's testimony was sufficient to raise and preserve a constitutional claim or whether the AHC acted sua sponte in addressing the constitutional claim because we find in any event that the AHC's conclusion that DHSS acted with discriminatory racial animus toward Patton was legally erroneous. 
The AHC concluded that DHSS, as an agency, acted with a racially discriminatory animus toward Patton. The only evidence in the record to support this legal conclusion was the testimony by Patton that a single DHSS employee, Blum, directed a deplorable racial epithet toward Patton and called her illiterate. There was no evidence presented at trial that Blum's statements could be legally attributed to DHSS as a whole or that DHSS was even aware that the comments were made. Evidence that a single agency employee made a racial remark to Patton is insufficient as a matter of law to support a conclusion that the entire agency thereafter acted in its handling of Patton with racial animus. See James v. City of Jennings , 735 S.W.2d 188, 191 (Mo. App. E.D.1987). Even if the single (and wholly unacceptable) comment by Blum could be legally attributed to DHSS, standing alone that comment does not rise to the level of a constitutional violation in the absence of other evidence connecting the comment to subsequent agency action. DeWalt v. Carter , 224 F.3d 607, 612 (7th Cir. 2000) ("The use of racially derogatory language, while unprofessional and deplorable, does not violate the [U.S.] Constitution."); Blades v. Schuetzle , 302 F.3d 801, 805 (8th Cir. 2002) ("[W]e believe that the use of racially derogatory language, unless it is pervasive or severe enough to amount to racial harassment, will not by itself violate the fourteenth amendment."). The AHC erred in finding otherwise. 
The Departments do not argue that the AHC's error in finding that the DHSS acted with racially discriminatory animus requires reversal of all other conclusions reached by the AHC affecting DHSS. And in any event, as we have already discussed, the AHC's conclusion claimed to be erroneous in the Departments' fifth points relied on is defensible, independent of the AHC's finding on Patton's constitutional claim. Thus, although we agree with that the AHC committed legal error in finding that DHSS acted with racial animus toward Patton thus violating her constitutional rights, that conclusion was harmless. [emphasis added]
Stephanie PattonI had to laugh at that last bit. Surely Judges Mitchell, Howard, and Martin know full well that had they sustained Judge Chapel's finding that DHSS acted with racially discriminatory animus the budgetary damage from the resulting civil rights lawsuit would cause plenty of harm. Maybe they were being ironic.

I can understand why the judges do not feel that the evidence proves the culpability of DHSS; however, I think their conclusion rests on the assumption that this is an isolated incident. If a civil rights suit is brought against the state--as I believe it should be--we will see whether that assumption is correct.

The actions of Missouri's regulatory agencies had a devastating effect on Patton. Her business was shutdown. Her car was repossessed. Her home was foreclosed on. And so much more.

Yeah. There's still racism in America. It's in our government.

Patton is a modern day civil rights hero.

But there's also a problem with out of control regulations and bureaucracies. Because regulations weigh more heavily on small businesses like Patton's; because regulations can and do destroy small businesses, it is no wonder that we live in a world dominated by large corporations. It's only the large crony capitalist companies that can weather a hostile regulatory environment.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

#MOSen: Todd Akin's Visit to Columbia, MO


IMAG1601 Earlier this week, Todd Akin announced that his campaign would be traveling the Show Me State by bus. Billed as the Missouri Common Sense Bus Tour, Akin is appearing at locations around the state with other conservative leaders.

The tour began Tuesday in St. Louis and will finish Friday in Kansas City. Stops along the way include Cape Girardeau, Joplin, Springfield, Jefferson City, and others. The pictures here were taken at the Thursday stop in Columbia, MO.

Akin got a boost earlier this week when former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, came to town to stump for him. On Tuesday evening, Senator Roy Blunt issued a statement endorsing Akin's Senate bid. The statement read in part:
Congressman Akin and I don’t agree on everything, but he and I agree the Senate majority must change. From Gov. Romney to the county courthouse, I'll be working for the Republican ticket in Missouri, and that includes Todd Akin

#MOSen: Rick Tyler on Todd Akin's US Senate Campaign

On Monday I had the opportunity to speak with former press secretary to Newt Gingrich and current campaign advisor to the Todd Akin campaign, Rick Tyler. We spoke about the bumps in the road that the Akin campaign has faced so far, what's changed on the campaign, and Akin's message of fiscal conservatism.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

#MOSen: Todd Akin and Newt Gingrich Press Conference

Former Republican Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, came to Missouri on Monday (9/24/2012) to help conservative Republican, Todd Akin, with a show of support and a fundraising luncheon. There first stop was at the Kirkwood train station where both men spoke and took questions from the gathered reporters.

In addition to the video above, I took pictures at both Monday's press conference and the luncheon that followed:

Monday, September 24, 2012

Video: Dan Hunt on Grassroots Activism

Dan Hunt worked with Tea Party activists in Wisconsin to fight the recall of Governor Scott Walker. He spoke at Pillar in the Valley earlier this month about some of the lessons learned from that experience.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Video: End the Fed Rally

Lloyd Sloan was one of the speakers at Saturday's End the Fed Rally in downtown St. Louis. From the YouTube description:
St. Louis, Missouri - Jeffersonian Whig Lloyd Sloan gives a speech on ending the Fed at the Federal Reserve downtown.

The Federal Reserve is at the heart of U.S. economic problems. They are responsible for the debasement of our currency, a large part of the economic collapse of 2008, manipulating markets, and extreme corruption making secret decisions to reward the few at the expense of you and me.

80% of the American people support auditing the Fed. Mitt Romney is CLUELESS - and Barack Obama's worst nightmare would be having to VETO an audit the fed bill!

The constitutional issue here in the United States goes all the way back to George Washington where Thomas Jefferson opposed the formation of a national bank on the grounds it was unconstitutional. That issue remained strong all the way up through Andrew Jackson. This issue of a central bank, of paper money, and inflation is as old as the country itself. And the progressives have won... until recently.

The Audit The Fed bill passed in the House of Representatives 3 to 1 and now it's in the Senate and they're trying to block a vote on it as we speak.

We can wait on Congress to get their act together, but there is a better way. A way that allows the people of the United States to have a direct influence over what laws are good and what ones should be struck down when our representatives don't want to act. It's called Madison's Lost Amendment and Lloyd talks about it in this video starting at around 11:11

Thursday, September 13, 2012

#MOSen: Akin and McCaskill Negotiate Debate Schedule

KMBC in Kansas City reports that Republican candidate for the US Senate, Todd Akin, and his rival, incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, are discussing the schedule for possibly four debates before the November general election. While a schedule has not yet been finalized, it's possible that their first debate will be this month.

#TeaParty: Greg Fettig Explains How Indiana Replaced Dick Lugar with Conservative Richard Mourdock

Greg Fettig co-founded Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate with Monica Boyer. Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate mobilized grassroots activists across Indiana with the goal of unseating incumbent establishment Republican Dick Lugar in the primary for US Senate and electing a conservative to replace him. Richard Mourdock defeated Lugar in Indiana's May 8th primary.

In this video, Fettig talks about how he and Boyer mobilized Indiana for the effort. He explains the hurdles they encountered along the way and how they overcame them. He lays out the strategy that grassroots activists followed in Indiana. He and Monica Boyer recognized the difficulty of organizing disparate grassroots groups across a large state.

To do so effectively, they set a single goal (defeat Lugar) and agreed to a caucus process by which the groups around the state would endorse one candidate.

Fettig has written a book, Tea Party on Safari, about what he, Boyer, and Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate accomplished in Indiana.

President Obama Echoes Jimmy Carter's Failed 1980 Campaign

Washington Examiner: Obama echoes Carter with ‘shoot first’ criticism of Romney:
“Gov. Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later,” President Obama said in a CBS interview last night, criticizing Romney’s reaction to the embassy attack in Cairo. Romney criticized the Obama administration’s ‘apology’ in response to the attacks on the embassy and subsequent failure to condemn the attacks right away. 
Obama’s remarks, however, echo frequent criticisms made by President Jimmy Carter of Ronald Reagan, then his opponent for the presidency."
Obama's comments, meant to criticize Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, are yet another indication of the similarities between President Obama's administration and the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. Ironically, the last time an American Ambassador was killed on duty was in 1979, during Carter's presidency. Our ambassador to Afghanistan, Spike Dubs, was kidnapped. He was killed in a firefight during botched negotiations between his captors and Soviet-backed Afghan security forces.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book: Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom

Reason TV interviews Rebecca MacKinnon, author of Consent of the Networked, about internet freedom and authoritarianism:
"Authoritarian systems evolve," says Rebecca MacKinnon, author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle For Internet Freedom. "Authoritarianism in the Internet Age is not your old Cold War authoritarianism."

Reason TV's Nick Gillespie sat down with MacKinnon to discuss internet freedom in the U.S. and abroad, touching on topics such as whether or not China can successfully manage the flow of information and control the internet, what the anti-SOPA movement means for the future of the internet in the U.S., and whether or not the internet is indeed a net gain for liberty or just another tool to be utilized by authoritarian governments. "

#MOSen: Akin Responds to Rasmussen Poll Showing him Down 43-49 to McCaskill

Rasmussen Reports: Election 2012: Missouri Senate:
The fallout appears to linger in the Missouri Senate race, with incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill still holding a six-point lead over Republican challenger Todd Akin. But the race is tightening. 
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds McCaskill will 49% support to Akin’s 43%. Four percent (4%) prefer some other candidate in the contest, and another four percent (4%) are undecided.
I asked the Akin campaign about the poll. Their Press Secretary, Ryan Hite, told me:
This poll shows that we're closing the gap and that we can win this race. As Missourians continue to learn about Claire McCaskill's record of debt, taxes, and failed economic policies, they realize that she is radically out of step with most Missourians and has not represented our Missouri values in Washington.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

#MOSen: Missouri Farm Bureau Reiterates Endorsement of Todd Akin for US Senate

Todd Akin

The Washington Post: Mo. Farm Bureau maintains endorsement of Akin for Senate:
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Farm Bureau reaffirmed its endorsement of Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin on Tuesday.... 
The Farm Bureau’s decision comes just over a month after members of its political action committees voted by an overwhelming 99 percent to support Akin over Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. The Farm Bureau did not disclose the exact percentage of support Akin won in the new vote, but it said the results were similar.
It's still a mystery to me why the Farm Bureau was reconsidering their endorsement, but this is good news for Todd Akin's campaign.

#Education: Rent-Seeking Your Way to Political Victory

Reason: The Machine: The Truth Behind Teachers Unions:
America's public education system is failing. We're spending more money on education but not getting better results for our children.

That's because the machine that runs the K-12 education system isn't designed to produce better schools. It's designed to produce more money for unions and more donations for politicians.

For decades, teachers' unions have been among our nation's largest political donors. As Reason Foundation's Lisa Snell has noted, the National Education Association (NEA) alone spent $40 million on the 2010 election cycle. As the country's largest teachers union, the NEA is only one cog in the infernal machine that robs parents of their tax dollars and students of their futures.

Students, teachers, parents, and hardworking Americans are all victims of this political machine--a system that takes money out of taxpayers' wallets and gives it to union bosses, who put it in the pockets of politicians.

Our kids deserve better.
This is a classic example of rent-seeking: using political leverage to secure government mandated payments to favored constituencies.

#MOSen: Revisiting the 2006 Ethics Complaint against Claire McCaskill

In Claire McCaskill's 2006 bid for the US Senate, she came under scrutiny because of her husband, Joseph Shepard's, business empire. Shepard develops low-income and assisted living rental properties. Virginia Young of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Shepard's businesses in late August of 2006:
For 30 years, Shepard has used that flair for finance to amass a housing empire that, at one point, included nearly 10,000 apartments in 23 states. 
Now, those far-flung holdings have given the Missouri Republican Party ammunition against McCaskill in the Nov. 7 election. Party officials have accused her of hiding family assets, taking advantage of government subsidies and conducting audits where she has conflicts of interest.
The full text of Young's report is below. The report references an ethics complaint against McCaskill that the Missouri Republican Party filed with Senate Select Committee on Ethics in July of 2006.

A quick comparison of McCaskill's 2005 personal financial disclosures (originalamended, and amended again) and her most recent disclosure filed earlier this year for 2011 shows that Shepard's complicated business structure has not gotten any simpler.

McCaskill is running against Republican Todd Akin in this year's US Senate race in Missouri.

Monday, September 10, 2012

#Math: Continuing Education for Chicago Students While Their Teachers are on Strike

Chicago Sun-Times: Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years:
Chicago teachers began walking the picket line for the first time in 25 years Monday morning at the nation’s third largest school system, leaving parents to scramble for alternatives for their children.
In the interest of furthering the education of Chicago-area students while their teachers petition for more tax-payer funded money and benefits, I thought I'd pose the simple math question above:
Examine the graph of Federal spending vs. academic achievement. With your red crayon, color in the area under the blue “Federal Spending” line that represents wasted government expenditures.
The graph is from Cato@Liberty and perfectly captures the reason why the Department of Education must be closed down. Simply put, academic outcome is unaffected by Federal education spending.

#MOSen: Claire McCaskill Invites President Obama to Campaign for her in the Show Me State

20 Pounds of Headlines: McCaskill Invites Obama to Campaign for Her in Missouri:
“I’ve asked him to [campaign for her in Missouri],” McCaskill said, according to local radio station KMOX. “They have made a decision so far in the campaign to focus on those states they won last time. But certainly I would welcome him here to campaign.” 
The Missouri senator’s comments came a day after the last day of the Democratic National Convention, which McCaskill did not attend. McCaskill stressed that her absence from the nominating convention was not about distancing herself from the president while she’s in a close race.
As the video above from 24thState makes clear, distancing herself from President Obama really isn't possible. Inviting him to campaign here after turning down the invitation to his big party... now that takes chutzpah.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Obama's Electoral Problem in One Simple Chart

Jay Cost posted the chart above on Saturday. My initial reaction was: "Wow. 5.5 million jobs is a lot of voters."

Cost writes a must-read column at The Weekly Standard, so be sure to check that out.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

#MOSen: Claire McCaskill's Funding is Largely from Outside Missouri

Missouri Watchdog: McCaskill leads congressional candidates in out-of-state campaign donations:
An examination of election donations shows that McCaskill, a Democrat, is the only Missouri congressional candidate who gets more individual campaign support from outside the Show Me State than from within its borders. 
Fifty-seven percent of the $6.3 million that McCaskill has raised for the 2012 campaign from individual donations comes from other states. The next highest is District 5 incumbent Democrat Emanuel Cleaver, who has raised 41 percents of his $269,000 from people in other states.
McCaskill has raised an impressive $2.6 million from residents of Kansas City and St. Louis, MO, combined; but, as notes, her totals from large, liberal metropolitan areas on the coasts are also impressive. She's hauled in $542k from New York City, $412k from the Washington, DC area, and $259k from Los Angeles, CA.

The map below from is color coded by the dollar amounts McCaskill has received from residents of each state.

Friday, September 7, 2012

#MOSen: Akin Campaign Denies That Their Ads Were Pulled

Todd Akin

The Hill is reporting that a Columbia, Missouri station has pulled Akin's ads:
A Columbia, Mo.-area television station says it has pulled Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) ads off the air because it has only received half the payment for them, CBS reports, stoking speculation that he could be running out of campaign funds.
The story was first reported by KOMU late yesterday. I contacted the Todd Akin's campaign to find out if this is true. Akin spokesman Ryan Hite told me:
This story originating from KOMU is simply misleading and factually incorrect. No ads have been pulled. The current flight of ads is still running and is paid in full.
Update: Renee Hulshof, a radio host in Columbia, Missouri, and wife of 2008 Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof, added this:
Update 2: The Akin campaign just released the following statement:
St. Louis, MO: The Akin campaign today blasted a factually wrong and misleading story suggesting that television ads were being pulled due to a lack of payment and implications that the Akin campaign was running out of funds. Perry Akin, Campaign Manager, released the following statement: 
"This story is simply false. Our television buyers have paid for every ad that has aired and even bought more ad time today. A political campaign, like an advertiser, makes constant decisions about where and when we want our ads to air. This is standard practice in campaigns across the country. Unfortunately, a particular television station decided to twist the facts and created a story that is simply untrue. We are still on the air across Missouri. However, we will not be doing any more business with KOMU-TV because they have lied. 
"KOMU should be ashamed for publishing a false story when they know what the truth is. No ad was pulled because no ad ever airs without being paid for. Ads are only ever "pulled" from the air for legal or ethical reasons, and this ad is 100% accurate regarding Claire McCaskill's record. 
"We are exceeding our fundraising goals and have raised over $400,000 online alone in the last 20 days."
I applaud the Akin campaign for cutting off KOMU. I'm inclined to believe that the truth is closer to the campaign's story, but it's hard to know for certain. KOMU is owned by the Curators of the University of Missouri according to Wikipedia.

Akin's fund raising needs to be better than $400,00 in 20 days, so if you are able please contribute $5, $10, or more.

Unemployment: 8.1%, +96,000 Jobs, -368,000 Leave Labor Force

Probably the greatest labor saving device in the history of the nation
Is the present Administration.
— Ogden Nash

The August Unemployment Situation Report came out this morning from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonfarm payroll employment (NFP) rose by 96,000 jobs. The unemployment rate fell a couple of notches from July's 8.3% to 8.1% last month largely because of the exodus of workers from the labor force. From July to August, 368,000 workers left the civilian labor force. That brought the civilian labor force participation rate down to it's lowest level in more than 30 years: 63.5%.

The latest report also revised the job gains of June and July downward. Instead of 64,000 new jobs in June, only 45,000 were created. July's 163,000 new jobs were cut to 141,000. When you look at the 96,000 jobs created in August, don't forget those 41,000 jobs in June and July that only ever existed in some bureaucrats dreams.

In the Fight: Episode 66

The Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System produced Episode 66 of In The Fight. Here's their description of this half-hour show:
On this episode, a lieutenant leads his men through Southern Afghanistan one last time, military forces from nine different countries come together for RIMPAC 2012, the International Maritime Bureau looks at ways to make the seas safer for seafarers, we learn a little known fact about an iconic spy plane, and we find out what it takes to become one of the best junior officers in the U.S. Army.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ominous: DNC Votes Down God Three Times

The video above is from Allen West's (R-FL) campaign. Here's the YouTube description:
Allen West is leading the fight against the radical left's attack on God and Israel. Join the fight by contributing $1,000, $500, $250, $100, $50 or $25 here:

#MOSen: Video of Todd Akin with Neil Cavuto Yesterday

Yesterday, Todd Akin (R-MO) appeared on Fox News with Neil Cavuto. Akin's message focuses on rolling back the intrusive Federal government and creating jobs to get the economy going again.

Healthcare: Ballot Language Victory for Prop E

St. Louis Post DispatchJudge's ballot language ruling won't be appealed:
The Missouri attorney general’s office will not appeal a Cole County judge’s ruling this week that removed one of Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s ballot summaries from the November ballot. 
Judge Dan Green on Tuesday sided with Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and other Republican officials, who said Carnahan’s summary for a measure that deals with the creation of a state-based health insurance exchange was not “fair and sufficient,” as required by law.
The original ballot language for Proposition E was a travesty of partisanship concocted by Missouri's leftist Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and approved and defended by liberal Democrat Attorney General Chris Koster. Here's the ballot summary language that the court threw out at the end of August:
"Shall Missouri law be amended to deny individuals, families, and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum or through an exchange operated by the federal government as required by the federal health care act?”
Here's the court approved ballot summary that will replace it:
"Shall Missouri law be amended to prohibit the governor or any state agency from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the Legislature?"
Interestingly, Koster seems to abandon Carnahan after Judge Green's decision as reported by the P-D:
On his decision not to appeal, Koster, also a Democrat, said Greene’s summary more accurately reflects the Legislature's intent. 
"My job is to call balls and strikes in an impartial manner," he said. "The argument is over.”
However the Janus-faced Koster defended the Carnahan language in court and inexplicably approved it before that. CBS St. Louis reports conservative Republican Ed Martin, who is running to unseat Koster, was critical of Koster for failing to address the ballot language when Carnahan had originally submitted it:
Koster’s office is responsible for representing the state in lawsuits and defended Carnahan and the ballot summary in court. The attorney general declined to appeal the judge’s ruling, although the secretary of state’s office wanted to do so. 
Martin said Tuesday that Koster should have said Carnahan’s ballot summary was misleading. The attorney general’s office is responsible for approving the legal content and form of ballot summaries prepared by the secretary of state’s office. 
Martin criticized the handling of the ballot summary and court challenge, charging that Koster “signed off on ballot language that was inappropriate, not clear and should never have been allowed to be presented.”
Had Koster returned Carnahan's blatantly biased language to the Secretary of State's office for revision instead of approving it, Missouri would have avoided the court costs of defending Carnahan's partisanship.

The legislative changes underlying this ballot initiative are available in Missouri Senate Bill 464.

Video: I Want to Be a Crony

The Crony Chronicles describe cronyism like this:
Cronyism diverts resources away from the wants and needs of consumers and toward political purposes. Cronyism occurs when an individual or organization colludes with government officials to create unfair legislation and/or regulations which give them forced benefits they could not have otherwise obtained voluntarily. Those benefits come at the expense of consumers, taxpayers, and everyone working hard to compete in the marketplace.
I'd put it more succinctly: cronyism burdens the general welfare in order to benefit the particular welfare of favored interest groups and donors.

#MOSen: Did Phyllis Schlafly ask Todd Akin to step aside?

Todd Akin

BuzzFeed is reporting that Phyllis Schlafly Privately Urged Akin To Drop:
...A week before the Republican National Convention, at the private Council for National Policy conference in Florida, Schlafly approached Akin in front of a group of people and asked that he reconsider staying in the race, two sources confirmed. (Schlafly didn't respond immediately to a request for comment.) 
Schlafly’s appeal is part of a continued tack by Republicans, both nationally and at the state level, to gently nudge Akin out of the Senate race, even after initial appeals by party leaders failed.
However, Schlafly denies that she ever told Akin to drop out. The Washington Post interviewed Schlafly about the misunderstanding:
“I criticized his campaign, but in no way was that meant to urge him to get out,” she told The Post. “I was very critical of the staff and it was a strong statement to urge him to hire good people.” She added that she believed Akin was following her advice; he recently hired Rick Tyler, a long-time aide to Newt Gingrich. 
The meeting in question happened in Tampa, shortly before the Republican National Convention, during a conference held by the conservative Center for National Policy. Schlafly said that anyone who claimed she wanted Akin to drop out must have misunderstood. She noted that at the same event, she held a fundraiser for Akin’s campaign.
Schlafly's certainly been supportive of Akin since this meeting at the Council for National Policy, so it would seem that something he said or did shortly afterward re-assured her.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

McCaskill, Donnelly Abandon Democrat Convention (#MOSen #INSen)

It was back in June that the Washington Post reported that liberal Democrat Claire McCaskill would not go to the Democrat convention now underway in Charlotte, NC:
The news that Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill has decided to skip her party’s national convention in Charlotte this fall drew national headlines and sparked a series of stories about who else isn’t going to the party’s quadrennial gathering.
Among the who's who of Democrat Senate candidates not attending the convention is none other than Indiana's Joe Donnelly according to Jim Shella of WishTV: Donnelly dodges Dems' convention:
The 2012 Democratic National Convention is Barack Obama's convention and the president is a big issue in the Senate race between Democrat Joe Donnelly and Republican Richard Mourdock. If you're Donnelly, there may be no better way to create distance between Obama and yourself than to stay home.
Both candidates are encumbered by Obama who remains unpopular in both states. As a result they're taking steps to distance themselves from him.

There are other Democrats staying away from their convention, too. NBC News listed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several other US Senate candidates: Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND). NBC also noted that McCaskill got a presidential permission slip: "McCaskill told reporters that Obama approved of her plan to stay in Missouri."

#INSen: Richard Mourdock's New Ad: "Better Off?"

Republican Richard Mourdock, candidate for the US Senate in Indiana, has a new ad out (above). His email announcement reads in part:
Our new TV ad, “Better Off?” hits the airwaves today, and it focuses on our message of bringing Hoosier common sense to Washington. I will prioritize balancing the budget, paying down our debts and creating new jobs. Joe Donnelly has a record of supporting failed big government experiments that haven’t improved our economy.
Here's the YouTube description for the video:
Are you better off? 
Washington politicians like President Obama and Congressman Donnelly had their chance, but they've only made things worse. 
Learn more at

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Comedic Timing: Debt Surpasses $16 Trillion as DNC Begins

During his first run for president, Barack Obama described the four trillion dollars that then President George W. Bush had amassed during his eight years in office, as "unpatriotic."

This past March, CBS News reported that the national debt had increased more under President Obama than it had during the entire Bush 43 administration.

But comedy is all about timing. That's what makes this report from Politico so funny: Debt to hit $16 trillion as DNC kicks off:
Bad timing for Democrats: The gross national debt is set to hit $16 trillion Tuesday as the party’s convention gets under way, and Republicans are pouncing.

America's Entitlement Programs are Unsustainable

The Wall Street Journal: Are Entitlements Corrupting Us? Yes:
What is monumentally new about the American state today is the vast empire of entitlement payments that it protects, manages and finances. Within living memory, the federal government has become an entitlements machine. As a day-to-day operation, it devotes more attention and resources to the public transfer of money, goods and services to individual citizens than to any other objective, spending more than for all other ends combined.
Obviously, this can't continue forever.

You'll find additional graphs and commentary in the original article at the WSJ, so read the whole thing.

#MOSen: The Grassroots Confront Cowardice in Washington

Todd Akin
A few days ago, Politico reported that a longtime aide to Newt Gingrich, one Rick Tyler, was joining Todd Akin's campaign. Tyler wrote a piece for the Daily Caller this past weekend--Cowardice in Washington--responding to an establishment call for Akin to leave the race. Tyler begins by calling out a Republican operative:
Last week Curt Anderson called in these pages for Todd Akin to get out of the Missouri Senate race for comments Akin made in a television interview last month. If you go to the website of Anderson’s company, OnMessage, you can see that his clients include the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), whose chairmen have called on Akin to get out of the race and are increasingly angry he has decided to press on. 
So Anderson is hardly a disinterested observer. Nor is he saying anything new. He’s simply expressing a new version of the same old Beltway cowardice.
In this proxy war between Republican operatives, Tyler notably distinguishes himself in his by-line as "Senior Adviser to Rep. Todd Akin". I think that adds to Tyler's credibility here while underscoring the gutlessness of Republican leaders inside the beltway.

Tyler continues: was the NRSC that begged and pleaded with Marco Rubio to get out of the Florida Senate race in 2010 and let Charlie Crist be the Republican nominee. They almost succeeded. 
The NRSC and the establishment crew just knew — apparently like they know now — that if Marco Rubio were the Republican nominee, he would lose. 
We all know how that turned out. Pro-life Marco Rubio is now a U.S. senator from Florida and just last week delivered a stirring and powerful address to the Republican National Convention. 
And what happened to Charlie Crist, the man the Washington party bosses were so convinced was the perfect nominee? Well, Crist is addressing the Democratic National Convention this week in Charlotte to support President Obama’s re-election.
Is it just me, or does it sometimes seem like "the intellect of the Democrat Party," Joe Biden, is running establishment Republican outfits like the NRSC? Conservatives clearly need to take over the NRSC.

Tyler concludes:
...Anderson doesn’t factor in the much larger damage that the Republican Party would inflict on itself by abandoning a good and honorable man because of a mistake for which he immediately apologized. Voters can smell establishment cowardice, especially socially conservative voters. Such cowardice is toxic. It’s discouraging. And it has the potential to depress Republican turnout all across the country this November unless it is soon corrected.
If the NRSC wants to leave their leftward heading and tack back to the right, they need to invest in conservative candidates like Todd Akin. The same goes for Karl Rove's Crossroads. Both organizations have squandered their credibility and now need to make amends.