Thursday, September 25, 2014

MO Makes Appearance in Obama U.N. Speech

President Barack Obama mentioned Ferguson in his address to the United Nations.  Read the speech here.  Pull Quote: I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

But we welcome the scrutiny of the world – because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems and make our union more perfect. America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even a decade ago. Because we fight for our ideals, and are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short. Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary.  Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy – with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and countries for the better.


In case you were wondering, former vice-president Dick Cheney wouldn’t have said it like that.  Read his response here.


Kansas Silliness

I guess the headline says it all? “State OKs sale of sex toys online to recoup tax losses” Read it here.

Pull Quote: Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said there was irony in disclosure of the sex toy sale, while political allies of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback denounced Democratic gubernatorial nominee Paul Davis for a recent report that Davis had been in a Kansas strip club 16 years ago at the same time law enforcement officers raided the nightspot. “Brownback is so desperate to fill the massive hole in the state budget caused by his reckless income tax cuts that the state of Kansas is now in the porn business,” Hensley said.


Stream Uses Stenger Message

One observer thinks there’s some irony that the corruption issue which Steve Stenger created with which to pound primary opponent Charlie Dooley is now being used by Rick Stream against Stenger himself.  Stream is arguing in his TV and in his literature that Stenger is part of “the culture of corruption.”

Stream Fundy Letter

Here’s an excerpt from Stream’s recent fundraising letter: “Major corruption cases are ongoing in St. Louis County that Stenger could have helped stopped.  It was Stenger who voted to appoint the Chairman of the Police Board currently under federal investigation… it was the County Police Chief who asked for an FBI investigation on irregularities in the St. Louis Children’s Fund while Stenger did nothing.  In fact, Steve Stenger is part of the culture of corruption in St. Louis County.  In a clear conflict of interest, Steve Stenger has taken thousands of dollars from developers who stood to gain from his votes…”


It looks like their initial media buys are in the same ballpark.  Stenger’s up with an estimated $70K media buy and Stream is in for $80K right now…  One politico says that the rumored Stenger polling has him up over 20 points which means Stream’s going to need something more to catch up… Stenger’s first ad – which I haven’t seen yet – is said to address “the Ferguson issue.”


Same Sex Marriage Heads to MO Court

From the Kansas City Star (Read it here): A Kansas City judge is scheduled to hear oral arguments Thursday in a case challenging Missouri’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. The lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court, filed by 10 same-sex couples who were legally married elsewhere, mirrors dozens of others across the U.S. that argue state bans on gay marriage violate the due process and equal protection rights of same-sex couples. The lawsuits are based on the same arguments that led the U.S. Supreme Court last year to overturn part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied a range of tax, health and veterans benefits to legally married gay couples.


The Show Me Marriage coalition unveils clergy and faith leaders supporting “the freedom to marry,” a subtle shift in messaging from “marriage equality.”  Here’s the press release: A total of 75 faith and clergy leaders in Missouri have come together to say, “I support the marriage of ALL Missourians.” The 75 clergy and faith leaders represent a wide range of denominations from across the state of Missouri. The petition started by the Show Me Marriage coalition (ACLU of Missouri, PROMO, Progress Missouri, and Freedom to Marry) stated, “Gay, lesbian, and bisexual couples in Missouri deserve the freedom to marry so they can make a lifetime commitment to the person they love and protect their families in the same way every other married couple does.”


For You? $5,700

The press release: The Office of Administration is excited to announce that WGU Missouri, an online, nonprofit university designed to help working adults complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees, will offer Missouri state employees a five percent discount off its already low tuition of $6,000 per year for most programs… The state's only fully online, competency-based university, WGU Missouri provides full-time faculty members who work one-on-one with students, offering guidance, support and individualized instruction. All WGU Missouri programs are accredited, and the university is non-profit and self-sustaining on flat-rate tuition of about $6,000 per year for most programs.  Read more here.


Help Wanted

Office of Attorney General seeks Assistant Attorney General.  “The attorney will primarily practice workers’ compensation defense for claims filed by state employees and will also defend the State of Missouri's Second Injury Fund… Applicants who graduated in the top 30% of their law school class and who have two or more years’ experience in the practice of law are preferred.” See the ad here.


Midwest Innocence Project seeks Staff Attorney. “The mission of the Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) is to advocate for and obtain the exoneration and release of wrongfully convicted people. MIP accepts cases from a five-state region (MO, KS, AR, IO, NE) and provides pro bono investigative and legal assistance to prisoners with persuasive actual innocence claims, provable through scientific evidence or otherwise… Candidates should have substantial experience in criminal law, superior appellate and trial litigation skills, and the ability to work independently, as well as in close coordination with other staff. The ideal candidate will have expertise in DNA/forensics, Shaken Baby Syndrome, or arson science. Applicant must have a strong commitment to representing indigent clients and excellent legal research, writing, and presentation skills… COMPENSATION: $43,000+ depends on experience. Annual bar fees for one state of admission.” See the ad here.


Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Dean Dohrman Reception – Simple Blessings Farm, 280 Hwy. FF, Knob Noster – 5:30-7 p.m.

Rep. Bryan Spencer Dinner – Bandanas, 1 Ruggeri Dr., Wentzville – 6-8:30 p.m.

Rep. Tim Remole Pig Roast – Macon City. Fairgrounds. – 7-8:30 p.m.


$5K+ Contributions

Midwest Region Laborers’ Political League Education Fund - $6,036 from Laborers Supplemental Dues Fund.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from John Ross Jr.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 110 PAC Fund.

The People for John Griesheimer - $7,000 from John Griesheimer.

Friends of Todd Richardson - $10,000 from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of KC.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $15,000 from Eastern Missouri Laborers’ Educational and Benevolent Fund.

Ashcroft for Missouri - $15,250 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Rep. Bryan Spencer (47), Enterprises’ Gordon Reel (45), Lager’s Katie Reichard, Silvey’s Mark Schwartz (39), and strong-man Jeff Roe.