St. Louis Public Radio News
6:17 am
Mon February 16, 2009

Mo. Democrats form Blue Dog Caucus

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri now has its own version of Blue Dog Democrats, similar to those in Congress.

Blue Dog Democrats describe themselves as conservative on fiscal issues, though some of Missouri's blue dogs also embrace socially conservative positions.

State Representative Sam Komo (D, House Springs), co-chairs the Missouri caucus. He says lots of people assume that the word "Democrat" is synonymous with "liberal," and that Missouri's Blue Dog Caucus was formed to combat that assumption.

"You have a lot of Democrats that are pro Second Amendment rights, and fiscally conservative on a lot of issues," Komo said.

House Minority Floor Leader Paul LeVota (D, Independence), who is not a member, says the group's formation does not signal any kind of split or discord among Missouri Democrats.

"I think it just shows that there are different things that are important to different members of the Democratic Party, and that we value each one of our members to fight for what they think is important," LeVota said.

Twenty-seven Missouri House Democrats and two Democratic State Senators have joined the Blue Dog Caucus.