The Missourinet Blog

Archives of The Missourinet Blog

Archive for February 2009

Tiger Bond prepares for the rematch

leave a comment »

We showed you how Senator "Kit" Bond's puppy – Tiger Bond – tore apart a stuffed Kansas Jayhawk as the Missouri Tigers were taking apart the Jayhawks at Mizzou Arena. But Sunday is another day … and another game between the Tigers and the Jayhawks … and Tiger Bond is ready for the rematch.

Tigers and Jayhawks … Sunday at 1:00 pm.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 28, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Politics: Seeing is believing … or is it?

leave a comment »

Have you ever attended a sporting event … then read an account of the game the next day in the newspaper … and wondered whether you and the writer watched the same event?

Something akin to that happened this week … Wednesday, to be precise, in the State Senate.

It involved a press release (Download Word document) from the Missouri Senate Minority Caucus following a little more than an hour of debate on SB 18 – Senator Joan Bray's move to create a commission to allow for the study of implementing a universal health care program for Missouri … a so-called single payer system run through public financing (government-run health care).

The legislation also calls for increasing the eligibility for MO HealthNet services for the elderly and disabled … as well as expansion of health care for uninsured children.

As one of the reporters who sat through most of the hour-long-plus debate … I can honestly say the Senator might have spent a couple of minutes – tops – on MO HealthNet expansion (restoration of 2005 Medicaid cuts) and the rest of the time debating the merits of publicly financed health care services.

Yet … the press release had the headline "Senate Democrats Support Restoration of Health Care for Elderly & Disabled … Measure Also Expands Coverage for Children." The universal health care issue – which took up all but about a minute or so of the debate – was given one line … the last line in the press release which read, "SB 18 also creates a commission to study the implementation of a universal health care program and other health care initiatives."

There is no doubt the concept of government involvement in the health care field is controversial. But Joan Bray feels so strongly about the need for health care for all that she brought up this controversial issue for debate. One must wonder whether the Minority Caucus watched the same Senate debate … or whether, perhaps, there might have been a desire to place the focus on issues not so controversial.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

IHOP’s got nothin’ on Capitol pancake pushers

leave a comment »

Media_httplearfieldtypepadcoma6a00d8345233fa69e20111689a5b8f970c320wi_hchmkrjjfejdbsp

There really aren't too many times in a politician's career when there are positives attached to flipping. We have seen our share of flipping … or flip flopping … on issues. Who among us will forget John Kerry telling one and all that he voted for a piece of legislation before he voted against it?

That kind of flipping might make sense on Capitol Hill in Washington … but flipping in the State Capitol in Missouri is a positive thing as legislators were encouraged to do some flipping on Thursday … a lot of flipping … at the annual Pancake Breakfast.

Senators and State Reps were out in force … flipping to beat the band … for an event put on by the Missouri Travel Council, the Missouri Hotel and Lodging Association, the Missouri Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus, Missouri Fairs and Festivals, and Agri-Missouri Tourism. Not that we're in the habit of giving plugs … but they did feed us pancakes and sausages.

Media_httplearfieldtypepadcoma6a00d8345233fa69e20111689a5bcf970c320wi_jnpxuqrcphyjahc

This is an event that has been going on for three centuries at the Capitol … alright … actually it's only been going on for about six or seven years. And, it usually feeds between 750 and 800 hungry people who step into the third floor rotunda.

We caught up with a couple of the State Reps who were slinging flapjacks and they confessed it would be the most productive part of their day. That's not true … But Rachel Bringer and Linda Fischer did seem to be having a good time.

For your planning … the annual Fish Fry and Senate Pie Day are still ahead in the coming months.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Claire embracing Twitter to tweet the folks back home

leave a comment »

If you watched coverage of Tuesday night's Not Quite the State of the Union Address by President Obama to Congress … you might have seen several members Twittering … or is it Tweeting … prior to and during the actual speech. Among them was Senator Claire McCaskill, who stopped once the speech got underway.

During her Wednesday morning radio conference call [AUDIO 2 min MP3] … I asked Our Claire about the fun she's having with Twitter … and she enjoys getting out a message directly to the folks back home in Missouri. And she's a little surprised at some of the feedback she's received at some of the things she's had to say.

Our Claire says she's also starting to carry around a small camera and she expects to start sending video back to the folks in Missouri.

She says her three kids ( 21, 19, and 17) are embarrassed because they think their mother trying a little too hard to be cool. Ouch! Kids can be so cold.

You can follow Senator McCaskill's Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/clairecmc.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Luetkemeyer responds to DCCC robo-call plans

leave a comment »

Yesterday, we told you about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and its decision to target northeast Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer and eleven other Republicans over their "no" vote on the federal stimulus bill.

Now … we have reaction from the Luetkemeyer office … courtesy of Press Secretary Paul Sloca:

Media_httplearfieldtypepadcoma6a00d8345233fa69e2011168953a3c970c320wi_vjhdfwzkdlniscj

"The only phone calls Blaine is concerned about are the 49 percent he has received from the people of the 9th District who have said no to the spending spree and the other 51 percent who have said ‘hell no.’ The last group our folks are going to trust is a bunch of political hacks from Washington D.C. who proved in 2008 and are proving again in 2009 that they know absolutely nothing about the hard-working people Blaine represents."

Just wondering … but might there be some people in the 9th who like the idea of the stimulus package … but will get really, really peeved if their evenings are interrupted by political robo-calls? Just asking.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 24, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Dems to target Luetkemeyer over vote on stimulus package

leave a comment »

he Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is taking aim at northeast Missouri Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (and 11 other U.S. House Republicans) as part of the Democrats' Putting Families First campaign.

Media_httplearfieldtypepadcoma6a00d8345233fa69e2011279069c4728a4320wi_lhhjozcfjffjfqx

Why? It's because of the dozen Representatives' opposition to the federal stimulus bill that passed the U.S. House with … wait for it … zero Republican votes!

The campaign will include automated phone calls, e-mails, and text messages … with the Dems saying Luetkemeyer and his colleagues voted against the interests of the middle class.

Wait a minute. They're going to try to win support through automated phone calls? Automated phone calls? Robo-calls?

Don't a lot of people get really … ticked off … when they receive robo-calls? Is it really wise to be contacting people in this way? We shall see.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Lincoln Days in KC: I pledge allegiance to the … Where’s the flag?

leave a comment »

The main portion of the 2009 Missouri Republican Party's Lincoln Days weekend wraps up with a dinner for the party faithful who traveled to Kansas City for the event. Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole was the keynote speaker Saturday – a nice guy … but a far cry from some of the big names to speak at recent Lincoln Days events.

In recent years, the Republicans have heard from such notables as then-Vice President Dick Cheney, then-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, then-Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and former RNC Chair and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. No such big name this year. But Cole did a good job of keeping the troops entertained.

Media_httplearfieldtypepadcoma6a00d8345233fa69e201127903094f28a4320wi_ineztmqpximujyb

Now the funny stuff so many of you have been waiting for … and the answer to the headline for this piece. The Republican State Committee met Saturday afternoon to take care of business, including making Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson's Chief of Staff Lloyd Smith the party's Executive Director. As the meeting got underway everything was in place … well … almost everything. It seems the U.S. and Missouri flags were not moved from another meeting room to this one. So, the pledge of allegiance to the flag had to be delayed … but only for a couple of minutes.

Sensing something was amiss … Jerry Dowell and Gary McElyea from Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder's office jumped into action. They ran into the adjoining room, grabbed the flags, and returned faster than a Tour of Missouri bicycle racer would have gone on a downhill straightaway. The flags were planted … the pledge was recited … and the world spun as it should.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 22, 2009 at 8:05 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Lincoln Days in KC: Matt jokes about Dad … and Michelle outdoes herself

leave a comment »

Republicans from throughout the state have descended on Kansas City this weekend for the GOP's annual Lincoln Days event. And … to be honest … this year's Lincoln Days isn't the big event that previous such weekends have been. The fact this is not an election year might have a lot to do with that.

Still … there are highlights that beg to be shared … and they will be shared. Let us begin with a humorous comment from former Governor Matt Blunt … who, along with former First Lady Melanie, seemed to be enjoying the weekend now that the days of being on the hot seat are history. I started chatting with Matt, whose father Roy is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by "Kit" Bond … and asked him, "If Sarah (Steelman) gets into the race for Senate … who will you support?" Without missing a beat he said, "I'm waiting to see who offers the best deal … maybe we'll know after Christmas."

Onto the hospitality suites … the most popular places once the speeches are done. Those are the havens offering attendees the chance to converse, eat, and down an adult beverage or two … or three … or four. While there were several good suites … including those hosted by Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and Congressman Sam Graves … the Walsh gold star goes to Speaker Ron Richard's suite … organized by the one and only Michelle Colbert. In addition to standard cheese and crackers … Michelle provided Ron's guests with smoked salmon and wines of Missouri.

Even former U.S. Senator Jim Talent couldn't help but heap praise on our Michelle. As he chowed down on a bagel and cream cheese he was heard to exclaim … "This is a marvelous suite. I don't know anyone better than Michelle who could put together a great spread the likes of this."

So many past and present legislators took part in this noshing it was difficult to keep track of which one ate the last piece of smoked salmon. An unofficial and very unscientific survey of several of the guests in attendance when the salmon disappeared suggests the culprit might have been Representative Bryan Pratt of nearby Blue Springs. And to think … this guy portrays himself as a decent family man who is beyond reproach!

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 21, 2009 at 10:37 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Roy Blunt all a-Twitter over Senate run

leave a comment »

Tweet! Tweet!

Congressman Roy Blunt, who is running for Senator "Kit" Bond's U.S. Senate seat, is using Twitter.

Media_httplearfieldtypepadcoma6a00d8345233fa69e2011278fe6dac28a4320wi_deoixaczhhhefig

His first communique came Thursday morning following the launch of the campaign in St. Louis. From there it was onto Jefferson City … to Cape Girardeau … and then to Carthage where the day wrapped up.

It would no doubt be a mistake to suggest Roy is simply taking a page out of the book of Missouri's junior U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill … aka … Our Claire … who began appearing on Twitter in the days leading up to the inauguration of President Barack Obama. But she has become quite adept at it and Roy … or anyone else running for public office … could certainly get some pointers from her.

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 20, 2009 at 3:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

WSJ’s John Fund addresses MO Chamber luncheon

leave a comment »

It's one of those days Missourians hold dear in their hearts … like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July. Okay … it's not quite that big a deal, but the Missouri Chamber of Commerce's annual Missouri Chamber Day at the Capitol is usually a fun time for business folks from across the state who descend on the thriving Metropolis of Jefferson to meet with statewide officials, legislative leaders, and enjoy listening to a great speaker during lunch.

Media_httplearfieldtypepadcoma6a00d8345233fa69e201116887204d970c320wi_wjgezbhwfoxjtwd

Speakers for previous Chamber Day luncheons have included such notables as then-U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, political reporter Charlie Cook, and humorist P.J. O'Rourke. This year's guest speaker was Wall Street Journal political columnist John Fund.

The topic of conversation: the huge federal stimulus package signed into law by President Obama. Fund slammed the haste with which the legislation was rammed through Congress, saying, "It wouldn't have passed if they'd read the bill." He added there would have been outrage throughout the country if Americans had had a chance to know what is in this package.

The most humorous shot at the package came when Fund pointed to that old saying about not wanting to see how sausage or legislation is made, adding, "This gives butchers a bad name."

Download 021809JohnFund (43:00 MP3)

– Steve Walsh

Written by learfield

February 19, 2009 at 3:43 am

Posted in Uncategorized