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Reposted from tmservo433 by annetteboardman
Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, viewed by many as a smart, well liked Republican with friends on both sides of the aisle was found today dead of apparent suicide in Missouri with a self afflicting gunshot wound to the head, reports Fox News from St. Louis.

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich died Thursday in St. Louis — reportedly from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 54.

Authorities say Schweich was taken to a St. Louis area hospital Thursday for what a spokesman at the time called a “medical situation.” Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, canceled a St. Louis appearance following that announcement as concern for Schweich’s condition spread quickly through the state Capitol and across Missouri.

Schweich’s death was confirmed by the auditor’s office at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

“It is with great sadness that I confirm the passing of Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich today,” spokesman Spence Jackson said in an email. “Please keep in mind his wife Kathy and two children.”

Governor Jay Nixon had ordered the flags to half staff.
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Reposted from Scout Finch by annetteboardman
Missouri Lt. Gov Peter Kinder
Small government lover and fiscally conservative-minded Pete Kinder says his $86,000 just isn't enough.
Fiscally conservative (cough, cough) Missouri Lt. Governor Pete "Pantless Party Lovin'" Kinder has made a special plea for a new allowance:
He receives an annual salary of about $86,000. But Kinder says he's experienced "gradual impoverishment" during his decade in office.

His salary is less than other statewide executive officials, but well more than the $36,000 that legislators receive.

One of the lieutenant governor's duties is to preside over the Senate. Kinder wants to receive the same allowance that legislators get, which is $103 a day. He's seeking a per diem whenever he's in Jefferson City, not just when the Legislature meets.

Kinder has a long history of sticking taxpayers with the bill:
The state's No. 2 official, who has a home in Cape Girardeau and an office in Jefferson City, has grown accustomed to staying at luxury hotels in St. Louis - and letting taxpayers pick up the tab.

Since 2006, Kinder has billed the state for an average of more than two months per year at hotels in the St. Louis area.

Even with a discounted government rate, Kinder has charged taxpayers a total of $35,050 for at least 329 nights at hotels in St. Louis and St. Louis County during that time period. That includes 236 nights at the Chase and 42 nights at the downtown Four Seasons, his most frequented hotels.

The price tag doesn't include the cost of meals on those trips or the hotel and meal cost for dozens of trips elsewhere in the state that Kinder has taken at taxpayer expense.

Embarrassed by the attention those stories received in 2011, Kinder eventually repaid $35,000 of those travel expenses.

Pete Kinder is a Tea Party favorite, most recently making the news for his dog-whistle comments on the protests in Ferguson:

“That’s one of the great advances of Anglo-American civilization, is that that we do not have politicized trials. We let the justice system work it out.”
No word on how Missouri Tea Party leaders feel about Pete Kinder's latest scheme to bilk taxpayers.
Reposted from Scout Finch by annetteboardman
Tommy Dean Gaa mugshot
Mugshot of Tommy Dean Gaa
Another day in post-racial America:
The employee, according to James’ statement, asked Gaa if he wanted white or wheat toast, and Gaa allegedly responded by saying, “I’m prejudiced. I’ll take white.”

Moments later, Gaa is said to have approached the employee, allegedly grabbing her arm in a manner that caused bruising and asking her if she “liked to party.”

According to the probable cause statement, Gaa then allegedly said, “I have a place I would like to take you where I hung your grandpa.”

He will be charged with felony assault motivated by discrimination and is out on $4,900 bond.
Reposted from Kansas & Missouri Kossacks by annetteboardman
Ron Hicks (Right)
A few days ago, the Missouri Legislature did something that they have just become used to - hitting the road to a country club to conduct state business.   These official state meetings were designed to talk about state business in an environment 'more conducive' for discussion, many had maintained.

No one had quite anticipated the free wheeling discussion that would go on Tuesday night, however, as Progress Missouri managed to go to the country club - after all this was an official state meeting - and sit in, as well as live stream and record the event.

We followed along here as legislators talked about a variety of issues with the lobbyists who attended, seemingly forgetting the fact that there event would be livestreamed, or there would be consequences of their discussion.

Progress Missouri uploaded the full, high definition video recently, and amongst the discussion Republicans took on the pending abortion legislation facing the state house, and the conclusions they reached weren't what you'd expect - especially from supposedly hardened anti-choice advocates.

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Reposted from rturner229 by rturner229

Only a few hours have passed since Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury had found no probable cause to charge Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.

As dawn breaks in Ferguson, Missouri, some businesses have been burned to the ground, others left with smashed windows and stripped of merchandise. The evidence of the mishandling of the grand jury announcement is there for the world to see.

As is the evidence of the impotence of Gov. Jay Nixon.

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Reposted from Scout Finch by annetteboardman
Photo of Dee Wampler and letter he sent to Andi Mooneyham
Captain Andi Mooneyham is an 8-year veteran of the Ozark Protection Fire District in Missouri who's been fighting to get benefits for her wife after the two were legally married in California in 2013. Unfortunately, Missouri doesn't recognize same-sex marriages and despite support from the community and the Ozark Fire Department, the board denied partner benefits based on advice from the department's attorney who warned it was counter to Missouri law.

Although Captain Mooneyham is still looking at her legal options, she was shocked only days after the decision to receive a cruel letter from a well-known Springfield, Missouri attorney named Dee Wampler. The letter said:

Dear Captain Mooneyham:

I agree with the decision of the board to refuse to grant and extend benefits to lesbians and homosexuals.

Missouri has a constitutional provision and a state statute providing that marriage is between one man and one woman which has been the law since time and memorial in our world's history.

I'm tired of promo attempting to cram homosexuality and lesbians down our throats.

You have followed the law and I congratulate you.

Now-back to fighting fires.

PROMO is an advocacy group in Missouri for the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual equality. They posted the letter in full on their Facebook page with the caption "think discrimination doesn't exist?"

The Springfield News-Leader reached out to Dee Wampler for comment and he kept it short:

"Whatever I wrote, I believe," he said.
Good luck to Captain Mooneyham and her wife as they pursue further options. You can see the letter below the fold.
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Reposted from librarisingnsf by annetteboardman
It seems that some citizens of Ferguson want to increase the extremely low voter participation rate in Ferguson, and the Missouri GOP (or, at least the leadership) is not happy about that effort at all.

From The New Civil Rights Movement:

In an interview with Breitbart News, Missouri RNC executive director Matt Wills expressed outrage about the reports of voter registration booths popping up in Ferguson, Breitbart reports.

“If that’s not fanning the political flames, I don’t know what is,” Wills said, “I think it’s not only disgusting but completely inappropriate.”

Wills explained that the shooting death of Michael Brown was a tragedy for everyone.

“This is not just a tragedy for the African American community this is a tragedy for the Missouri community as well as the community of what we call America,” he said. “Injecting race into this conversation and into this tragedy, not only is not helpful, but it doesn’t help a continued conversation of justice and peace.”

While the event(s) in Ferguson was very tragic, I'm glad that it has at least awakened the community of the importance of the political process and elections.

The (far) right wing site, "Daily Caller," is also doing a bit of fear-mongering of its own. From the same article:

Liberal activists — including from the George Soros-funded Center for Constitutional Rights — have promoted voter registration booths at multiple locations in Ferguson, including at the roadside memorial marking the spot where Brown was shot.
African-Americans are extremely under-represented in the racial makeup of elected officials and policemen in Ferguson. Salon gives us some of those statistics:
Ferguson is majority black, but the mayor is white, and five of the six city council members are white. For members of the community who feel their interests aren’t being represented, the first step towards changing that is registering to vote. Also, reportedly, only three of the 53 Ferguson police officers are Black.
Reposted from RerumCognoscereCausas by annetteboardman

A bill introduced in the Missouri House Of Representatives would amend the state's "Sunshine Law" to prevent the release of names of police officers involved in shootings, unless the officer were charged with a crime.  

The bill, House Bill 1466, was filed on June 13 by State Representative Jeff Roorda of Missouri's 113th house district, a Democrat.

The bill seeks to amend the state's "Sunshine Law" which allows citizens and media to request records from state and municipal governments. One of the proposed amendments in Roorda's bill seeks to amend the Sunshine Law by adding the following exemption:

Any records and documents pertaining to police shootings as defined in section 610.010 if they contain the name of any officer who did the shooting, unless the officer who did the shooting has been charged with a crime as a result of the shooting, in which case such records or documents shall not be closed

Currently, Missouri Sunshine Act states that records of police incidents—including officer names— are public data that are to be delivered within three days of a lawful request. However, there are some exemptions that are permissible under the law.

In the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, authorities have cited risks to the officer and his/her family as their reason to not release the officer's name until a later date.

While some might claim that the bill is a knee-jerk reaction to some of the events in Ferguson, the bill was actually proposed several months before the incident that has made national news.

The bill's sponsor is a former police officer who was fired from the Arnold, Mo., police department for allegedly falsifying police reports. According to the Missouri Court of Appeals' narrative in their ruling upholding Roorda's termination, Roorda was caught allegedly falsifying a police report to cover the actions of another officer. Roorda was written up and was warned the department would fire him if he were found falsifying reports again.

According to the court record, Roorda later filed an internal affairs complaint against Arnold Police Chief Dale Fredeking, claiming Fredeking verbally abused and physically intimidated Roorda during a private meeting about a family medical leave issue. Roorda told internal affairs he had recorded the alleged incident. Roorda signed a complaint and provided the recordings to investigators.

After listening to the recordings and interviewing witnesses within earshot of the purported altercation, the investigators stated that neither the recordings nor witness testimony substantiated Roorda's allegations. In light of Roorda’s past disciplinary record and the seriousness of the allegations he had made to internal affairs, the Arnold Police Department carried out its threat and fired Roorda, according to the court documents.

Besides being a State Representantive, Roorda currently serves as business manager of the St. Louis Police Officer's Association. In this role, he has been an outspoken critic of placing cameras in police cars.

In one case in St. Louis, prosecutors dismissed charges against a person arrested on suspicion of illegal possession of prescription drugs after the trial judge ruled the physical evidence inadmissible. In his report, the officer claimed the suspect threw the baggie containing the drugs in an attempt to conceal evidence. However, a camera appeared to show the drugs hitting the ground after the officers reached into the suspect's pocket.  The defendant claimed the officers had planted the drugs.

While the judge did not specifically state he believed or disbelieved whether the police had planted the evidence, he did state that he found the officers’ credibility to be lacking, according to his ruling.      

Speaking about the incident, Roorda told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that incidents like these are why the Police Officer's Association opposes in-car cameras, saying also that video subverts justice.

Of course the irony of this situation is shockingly poignant in light of recent events in Ferguson: If the Ferguson police car had been equipped with in-car cameras then police, prosecutors, federal agents and eventually the public might know for certain what happened. Instead we are left with nothing but allegations and counter-allegations by a police department that has a serious public perception problem, and a public pushed to its breaking point.

The desires of people like Roorda to further reduce police departments to cloistered fortresses which gather information but never let any leave is not only a threat to the press and the rights of citizens to know how they are being policed, but it is also a threat to criminal justice.

In the wake of the tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, citizens and the media need to consider the implications of this proposed amendment to the Sunshine Law.


Reposted from kos by annetteboardman
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon talking to bakery workers on March 17, 2011.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, no longer on the veep shortlist.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has spent the last several years grooming himself for a vice presidential pick -- pitching himself as one of those "common-sense moderates" who can win tough states like Missouri. And with very little appetite among Democrats to nominate another white male for president, it looks like white dudes may be "balancing" out Democratic tickets for the foreseeable future.

Nixon's ambitions are well known inside Democratic Party political circles, but it has trickled out into mainstream coverage such as here, here, here, and here.

But of course, that was all salient before this week. The governor's lack of action in response to the atrocities in Ferguson is well established at this point. Things never should've gotten this far, this bad. And his actions now to remove Ferguson and St. Louis County police from the beat smack of too little, too late.

Our nation needs decisive leadership, not leaders who disappear when things get difficult. It's a simple test, and one that Jay Nixon just failed spectacularly.


MO State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal: Gov. Jay Nixon 'is not really at 'ground zero,' and for that I call him a coward.'-#AMR staff
Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo) says he's implementing a number of operational shifts that he said he hopes produces a different "tone" in #Ferguson.
Such boldness! Yup, veep chances definitely dead.
Reposted from annetteboardman by annetteboardman

My schedule is a bit annoyingly irregular in the summer, and I can pretty well guarantee that I will be out of town on the day of the August primary. We don't have early voting, but we do have absentee.  So I went to the county courthouse and voted today.

 I live in Missouri, in a rural county that is not as blisteringly conservative as some of the surrounding area, so they redistricted us to be split into two parts, both of which are subsumed in larger rural districts to our east and west.  A Democrat won in 2006 and 2008, and we had really good representation in the state House of Representatives.  But in 2010 she lost, and although she ran again, in the 2012 redistricted district, she could not beat a very very conservative farm guy.  This year there was no one to pick up her mantle, and we have no Democrat running.  

That does not mean there is no choice, even for me.  The representative we have had for the past two years, while conservative, anti-choice, anti-Obamacare, and against raising taxes.  But he is not conservative enough, and he is being hit hard by the well-funded don't raise my taxes groups, both in-state and from out of state as well.  I have never seen as many television ads on a local race as we are having these days leading into the August primary, at least one per half hour, and more than one per break on the local news.  What did he do so wrong as to have someone who calls himself "the true conservative" run against him?  Follow me below the fold.


I hadn't voted for a Republican since I moved to Missouri in 1991. How long has it been since you voted for a Republican?

35%170 votes
31%150 votes
4%20 votes
11%53 votes
10%48 votes
1%5 votes
2%13 votes
3%18 votes

| 477 votes | Vote | Results

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Reposted from Kansas & Missouri Kossacks by annetteboardman

First, Governor Nixon has issued a statement.

“Missouri families and businesses know that public education is the best economic development tool there is, and that is why I vetoed Senate Bill 509,” Gov. Nixon said. “While scaled back from last year’s billion-dollar House Bill 253, Senate Bill 509 fails to prioritize or adequately protect public education at a time when quality public schools are more important than ever to our ability to create jobs in the global economy.  And while its authors may have delayed its impact, Senate Bill 509 remains a very real threat to the principles of fiscal discipline that have helped us maintain our spotless AAA rating for decades.  As I have from Day One, I will continue to manage the budget with the resources available and keep our state moving forward.”

Missouri, who's economy has been growing faster than many nearby peers, and has become a target site for more construction than it's neighbors still thought that the Kansas plan might be best for them.

This plan, which includes significant cuts in overall income tax, will help middle class and poor families... oh, wait, it basically won't.  Meanwhile, with no offset it pushes more spending back onto counties and municipalities who will have to make up the slack.

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Reposted from Kansas & Missouri Kossacks by annetteboardman

Yep, you've got that right.

On a day where Missouri passed an irresponsible tax cut overriding a Jay Nixon Veto, elderly and others have taken to the capital to demand that Missouri take the Medicaid Expansion.

As a result, state capital police were called to help clear them out.

“We will not be silent. We will not be silent. The pain of Missouri speaks today. Today the misery of Missouri speaks. Today the pain the hurt the sickness the poverty of Missouri speaks,” the protestors chanted. “Today we will not be silent.”

As soon as the protesters erupted, Senate Majority Floor Leader Ron Richard, R-Joplin, called for the Senate to go into recess and ordered the gallery of the Senate cleared. During their removal, the group broke into song, singing that Missourians without Medicaid “shall overcome” the lack of health coverage, and representatives of different religions prayed for expansion.

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