Politics

Romney in Kirkwood in 2012
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

In the short term, Newt Gingrich's strong victory Saturday in South Carolina's Republican presidential primary might not have much of an impact in Missouri -- where he's not even on the ballot for the state's non-binding presidential primary Feb. 7.

Amid a toxic atmosphere of attack ads, biting websites and accusations of corruption and incompetence, perhaps it's hardly surprising that the campaigns for many area candidates on the Nov. 2 ballot are still debating over whether to debate.

Likely because of the sniping, this fall's negotiations over debates are particularly tense, said Linda McDaniel, co-president of the St. Louis League of Women Voters, which has been tapped to organize or moderate many of them.

When Missouri's legislators gather Wednesday in Jefferson City, expect to hear a lot of talk about a film festival last weekend in Warrensburg, Mo., that was funded with $100,000 in federal stimulus funds.

State House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, cites the festival as a poor use of federal money -- and an example of why the state Legislature should have a stronger say in how federal stimulus money is spent.

Former Missouri Gov. Warren E. Hearnes, a Democrat who died in August 2009, will be inducted Wednesday into the state Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians, where his bronze bust will be displayed.

A ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the chamber of the state House of Representatives.

Nearly a month ago, a clear message was sent to Washington, D.C., when 71 percent of Missouri voters supported Proposition C and rejected "Obamacare."

As a progressive Democrat, I have a very different view of health-care reform than that of conservative Republicans. The dividing point is this: Do we, as a people, care enough about providing effective, affordable health care for everyone to put citizens' needs ahead of the financial interests of the health care industry?

Roy Blunt, left, with Dick Morris 9.12.2010
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2010

Missouri's Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, Roy Blunt, didn't have to say a word Sunday when he unexpectedly took center stage at the downtown Tea Party rally on the grounds of the Gateway Arch.

Touching off deafening cheers, the congressman from southwest Missouri joined conservative commentator Dick Morris, who did all the talking and the attacking. Morris explained that political comments by Blunt would violate the event's edict barring speeches by candidates.

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Robin Carnahan is breaking with the White House on another issue, by opposing President Barack Obama's proposal to spend $50 billion on infrastructure projects.

She also launched Friday another negative ad against her Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, who spent the day traveling around rural parts of the state with Missouri Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse.

The Spending Revolt Bus
Provided

The Spending Revolt National Bus Tour, which is financed by a number of conservative groups, will stop by the Gateway Arch at noon on Sunday -- just as area Tea Party activists arrive for their 9/12 rally aimed at energizing the movement for the coming Nov. 2 election.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, is to headline a Clayton town hall that the Spending Revolt tour will be holding at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza hotel, 7730 Bonhomme.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Republican rival Bill Corrigan sharpened their attacks today during their second public forum, held over lunch before members of the Northwest Chamber of Commerce.

Dooley, a Democrat in office since 2003, accused Corrigan of "having something to hide'' because the latter has declined to release his personal income tax returns, as the county executive did last week.

Corrigan, in turn, accused Dooley of improperly spending county money on "$150,000-a-year consultants'' and opinion polls.

only 300 wide. robin carnahan campaigning for senate
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2010

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Robin Carnahan called today for members of Congress to take a 10 percent pay cut until they balance the federal budget.

Robin Carnahan talked about economic pain and the need for Congress to understand what the public is feeling.

Carnahan, currently Missouri's secretary of state, told supporters at a Clayton pharmacy that a pay cut would force Congress to feel some of the economic pain that many Americans now suffer, and shift legislators' attention.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., appeared to exude more optimism today about St. Louis' chances of landing a transit hub with China than she was about her party's chances in this fall's election.

Addressing members of the St. Louis Chamber and Growth Association, McCaskill said that the latest talks with China indicate Lambert Field should be seeing two Chinese cargo flights a week by next summer.

(From left) Rick Firebaugh, John Boehner and Ed Martin
with permission from the Ed Martin campaign

U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, may not have been seen during last weekend's visit to Missouri, but both parties hope he'll be heard.

Boehner headlined private fundraising events:

U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, Missouri's Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, marked Labor Day by launching a new ad that focuses on jobs and features the owner of a St. Louis dry-cleaning store.

But arguably more significantly, the ad includes what the GOP believes may be a magic word this election season: Obama.

"Robin Carnahan supports the Obama agenda. I don't,'' says Blunt in the ad, referring to his Democratic rival.

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is leading a host of prominent Missouri Republicans, past and present, who are headlining a Sept. 27 statewide blitz of fundraising events on behalf of GOP state auditor nominee Tom Schweich.

Schweich said today he hopes to raise $500,000 over the day, which includes a breakfast in Kansas City, a lunch in Springfield, Mo., and dinner in St. Louis.

In Missouri's increasingly bitter contest for the U.S. Senate, Republican Roy Blunt is bringing in some big guns while Democrat Robin Carnahan is countering with a big shot.

Blunt, a congressman from southwest Missouri, is traveling around outstate Missouri on Friday with top officials with the National Rifle Association as part of an apparent move to elevate the social-issue planks like gun rights that help energize conservative Republicans -- especially in rural Missouri.

The day after President Barack Obama gave a major speech on Iraq, all of the major political events on Wednesday were focused on -- jobs.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley headlined a packed business luncheon in Clayton hosted by the county's Economic Council, and featuring a bipartisan array of politicians in the audience or on screen. (A special video narrated by Dooley, a Democrat, honored retiring U.S. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo.)

If current political advertising is a sign of the finger-pointing to come, it appears that some candidates -- most notably the non-incumbents -- are taking a page from Bill Clinton's now infamous campaign dogma about the importance of the ailing economy, but with a twist.

With all due respect, it's the bailout, stupid.

Does the figure $700 billion come to mind?

Former state Sen. Betty Sims, R-Ladue, has been named by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, to the state's Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

Sims held the 24th District state Senate post from 1995-2003, when she had to step down because of term limits. She was succeeded by Democrat Joan Bray, who also is leaving after this year because of term limits. (The 24th District has the region's only competitive state Senate this fall, between Democrat Barbara Fraser and Republican John Lamping.)

Republican state auditor nominee Tom Schweich has reported his first hefty donation since winning his party's nod a month ago. David Humphreys, co-owner of Tamko Building Products in Joplin, wrote a check to Schweich this week for $50,000.

Humphreys had given Schweich $10,000 during his primary battle against state Rep. Allen Icet of Wildwood.

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