Thursday, June 27, 2013

Supreme Court Scraps DOMA

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court declared The Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.  But in overturning the federal law, they delegated the definition of marriage to the states.  This led observers to see the next phase of the cultural war as a state-by-state multitude of battlefields. 

“Now the two sides of the marriage wars are gearing up to resume the costly state-by-state battles that could, in the hopes of each, spread marriage equality to several more states in the next few years, or reveal a brick wall of traditional values that cannot be breached.”  Read NYTimes here.

So Does it Matter Here?

The Post-Dispatch says no great shakes here in Missouri… “Gay couples living in states such as Missouri and Illinois will see little effect from the Supreme Court ruling striking down a portion of the 17-year-old Defense of Marriage Act. In essence, the decision only applies to the 13 states (including California) where same-sex marriages are recognized.”  Read it here.

Not Yet, But We All Know How This Movie Ends

Missouri Family Protection Council’s Joe Ortwerth cheered the decision.  He wrote, “But the primary news of the day is that the Supreme Court did not issue a ruling that invalidated the constitutional amendments of 30 states and the laws of 7 other states that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman….   We are most grateful to God that states like Missouri will be able to continue to defend and uphold the sacred institution of marriage as God designed it.”  See it here.

Psst, Joe, it’s just a matter of time.  Missouri may not be first in line to realign its laws with the emerging understanding of marriage equality, but it will get there eventually.

David Brooks: “I hope recent history is teaching a lesson to all those politicians who knew DOMA was wrong and that gay marriage was right but who went the other way for political reasons over the last two decades. The lesson is don’t try to be too clever. Go with your conscience or history might just run you over.”

Gail Collins: “I’ve known so many pols who spent their careers yearning for just one chance to take a principled stand on a big issue. The kind who secretly wished we still allowed child labor just so they could abolish it. But this one had been standing there the whole time, and for ages almost everybody missed it.”

From the last day of session… “Sen. Jolie Justus was able to get a ban on discrimination against sexual orientation passed in the Senate. 

“Voting in favor were all the Democrats, plus Republican Sens. Tom Dempsey, Mike Kehoe, Mike Parson, David Pearce, Gary Romine, David Sater, Rob Schaaf, Ryan Silvey and Wayne Wallingford.

“Opposed: Sens. Dan Brown, Mike Cunningham Ed Emery, Will Kraus, Brad Lager, John Lamping, Doug Libla, Brian Munzlinger, Brian Nieves, Ron Richard and Jay Wasson.  And Sens. Bob Dixon, Scott Rupp, Kurt Schaefer and Eric Schmitt were absent.”

MOGOP Statement

Even Ed Martin gets timid in the face of the inevitable “arc of history.”   Here’s his statement as MO GOP Chair: “While many may debate the outcome of the decision Wednesday by the U. S. Supreme Court, the Court did echo supporting the will of the people in their decision state by state. Missourians have already clearly spoken. Citizens of the Show Me State decided to make clear their stance on marriage and its definition in our State Constitution. We will continue to remain vigilant of this administration's activism with regard to forcing policy upon states and organizations that have already made their positions clear.”

Salva Pleads Guilty

From the peerless John Combest, comes this update on former state representative Ray Salva

 AP’s Bill Draper:  “Salva was approved for disability insurance benefits in February 2000 after he claimed he was unable to work because of a neck injury he suffered in a farm accident. Five months after he began his term as a state representative, prosecutors said, he assured the Social Security Administration he had not done any work since being disabled.  After being questioned by the agency in December 2004 about earnings that had been posted to his record, Salva responded that an SSA representative had told him public service would not affect his disability benefits. In his plea, he admitted that he lied and had not consulted with an agency representative…”  Read it here.

Bits

Teach the skills where the jobs are… Washington University to offer a master’s degree in “cyber security.”  Read it here.

The younger LB Eckelkamp, aka “Buzz” takes over Bank of Washington.  His father, LB Eckelkamp, is a serious Republican donor.   “Buzz Eckelkamp is a 1988 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor of business administration degree in finance, and a 1991 graduate of its law school. He received a master’s degree in taxation law in 1995 from the University of Miami and graduated from the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University in 2005.”   Read it here.

The federal immigration bill includes a mandate of E-Verify… “The provision, a linchpin of the legislation, would require all employers in the country within five years to use a federal electronic system to verify the legal eligibility to work of every new hire, including American citizens.”  Read it here.

Seven jobs open at the secretary of state’s office… See them here.

$5K+Contributions

MO Insurance Coalition PAC - $10,000 from FEAPAC of Missouri.

Citizens for Wiemann - $8,000 from Mary Ann Session-Krause.

Schmitt for Missouri - $25,000 from Albrecht Group.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,000 from Kevin Beckmann.

Happy Birthdays

Happy birthdays to MO Lottery’s May Scheve Reardon, Jason Smith’s Ross Branson.

Friday: Pelopidas’ Nancy Rice.

Saturday: Former state senator Tim Green (the big 5-0).

Sunday: Former state senator Pat Dougherty (65).

Congrats

Sen. Claire McCaskill’s deputy chief of staff Tod Martin got engaged yesterday to his partner David Gray.  Next up… choosing a state to get married in…