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Government, Politics & Issues

New United for Missouri group to get behind passage of Prop C

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 12, 2010 - United for Missouri, the new group being led by former state Rep. Carl Bearden, is taking on as its first project the passage of Proposition C, the Aug. 3 ballot measure that seeks to block -- at least symbolically -- some aspects of the new federal health-care law.

United for Missouri could play a key campaign role during the final weeks before the August vote since the group expects to have money to put where its mouth is. Its initial financial backer is wealthy financier and philanthropist Rex Sinquefield, who has been extremely generous with causes he supports.

In its first release, United for Missouri notes that the state's voters "will be the first in the nation to cast a vote on the federal health-care reforms passed by President (Barack) Obama and the Congress earlier this year."

United for Missouri's involvement also bolsters the pro-Prop C movement -- and raises questions as to whether Prop C opponents are going to do much to oppose it. Other than a lawsuit that seeks to knock Prop C off the ballot, the measure's critics -- who presumably support the national health-care changes just now going into effect -- have been neither seen nor heard.

United for Missouri plans on being headquartered in Springfield, Mo., which is somewhat unexpected since Bearden is from St. Charles County and Sinquefield's political operation also is based in St. Louis. The group's website won't be active until Tuesday.

Tuesday also will see the group's first news conference, to be held in Springfield. A Wednesday event is slated to be held in the St. Louis area.

United for Missouri also expects to focus on "tax policy and the impact of federal programs on state spending."

"At the local level, United for Missouri will push for transparency, including advocating for all local governments to put each expenditure online for a full public review," the release says.

"Our job will be to keep people informed, engaged," Bearden said, "and make sure they are heard in Jefferson City, city halls and in county courthouses all across the state. We will stay abreast and keep you informed of key local issues that could have an impact on your livelihoods, liberties and values."

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