Saturday, July 31, 2010

Icet picks up $7,650 in late contributions

It's not quite the startling numbers his opponent, Thomas Schweich has raised the past couple of days, but Rep. Allen Icet reported $7,650 in contributions today, according to a 48-hour report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The big ticket contributions were $5,000 from Menlo Smith, St. Louis, and $1,500 from J. Brunner, Brentwood, Tenn.

Wisdom aide criticizes negative turn of Congressional race

In a news release issued today, Caleb Harris, communications director for Seventh District candidate Jeff Wisdom, criticized the recent negative turn of the race:

"This race has mostly been civil up until this point, but it is sad to see that so close to the election, some of the candidates have chosen the route of political business as usual. The people of the Seventh District expect and want our campaigns to be about ideas and substance, not rhetoric and spin."

Branson bigwigs contribute $4,800 to Goodman

Silver Dollar City owners Jack and Sharon Herschend contributed $4,800 to Jack Goodman's Seventh District Congressional campaign Friday, according to a 48-hour report filed today with the Federal Election Commission.

Goodman also received $1,450 from his campaign treasurer and Barry County Presiding Commissioner Cherry Warren.

St. Louis businessman kicks in $30,000 for Schweich

The latest big money infusion into the Missouri state auditor race went from one former ambassador to another.

St. Louis businessman and former ambassador to Belgium Sam Fox contributed $30,000 to former ambassador to Afghanistan Thomas Schweich.

This is the second oversized contribution to Schweich in as many days, following a $100,000 donation from Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder Friday. Kinder has contributed $220,000 to the Schweich campaign thus far.

Schweich is opposed by Rep. Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, in the Republican primary.

Siketon's Blake DeWitt traded from Dodgers to Cubs; Sikeston radio station stuck with Dodgers games

The idea of becoming a part of the Los Angeles Dodgers radio network to hear hometown boy Blake DeWitt play must have seemed a good one to those running 1520 KRHW-AM in Sikeston.

Folks in Sikeston can still listen to the legendary Vin Scully detailing the Dodgers' exploits, but he won't be talking about Blake DeWitt unless the Dodgers are playing the Cubs. Online reports indicate DeWitt was sent to the Cubs as part of a trade in which Los Angeles acquired pitcher Ted Lilly and infielder Ryan Theriot.

Purgason ad criticizes Blunt, the big spender

In this campaign commercial, U. S. Senate candidate Sen. Chuck Purgason criticizes his opponent, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt, for misleading remarks about his votes for spending bills:

Purgason supporters rally against Bachmann support of Roy Blunt

Michele Bachmann, citing illness, has backed out of her appearance in St. Louis to support Roy Blunt, but that did not stop supporters of Blunt's primary opponent, Sen. Chuck Purgason, from holding a rally to protest Ms. Bachmann's backing of the Seventh District Congressman:

Humphreys family puts $25,000 in Ed Emery campaign

Just three days after apparently spending $25,000 to help influence the 129th District state representative race, David and Debra Humphreys of TAMKO have put another $25K into the 28th District.

A 48-hour filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission shows the couple contributing to the campaign of Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar. Emery, Rep. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar, and former Rep. Larry Wilson are fighting for the Republican nomination to succeed term-limited Delbert Scott.

Moon: My first day will be my vote to fire Nancy Pelosi and hire Republican Speaker of the House

Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Michael Moon says he will represent his constituents from the moment he receives the GOP nomination. From a press release issued today:

“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so.” “Republicans believe every day is Fourth of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15th.” Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America.

“Southwest Missourians deserve representation from day one. Some 'experienced' politicians think the job begins January of 2011 in Washington, D.C. Bluntly speaking, my friends, Day One for MIKE MOON begins August 4th, should you elect MIKE MOON as your next Congressman. I won't be a paid public servant for five months and must still win the General Election. But I can assure you I will be “Day One” on-the-job Wednesday, August 4th, shadowing the 7th District Congressional Offices as the Republican nominee and strengthen the Missouri Republican Congressional delegation,” said Mike Moon.

Mike Moon is the Ronald Reagan Republican seeking to serve as the Representative in Congress for the 7th District. His common-sense values are clear and compelling. Like most citizens of Southwest Missouri, I am a hard-working family man, married for nearly 30 years to my college sweetheart, Denise, with whom we raised five home-schooled children. I take personal responsibility for my family by actually working two jobs – a successful cattle farm and 25 years with the same employer in the health care provider industry."

President Reagan, had a unique style of turning political insiders out and collapsing puppet pundits. You recall Reagan's famous 'age issue' retort during the Presidential debate with Democrat Walter Mondale. That November Reagan was re-elected in a landslide, winning forty-nine of fifty states. Reagan won a record 525 electoral votes.” The first day of business for the House in January, will be my vote to fire Nancy Pelosi and elect a Republican Speaker of the House! I will proudly cast that vote for all Southwest Missourians who have suffered under the nanny-state of Nancy, Reed and Obama. I am trusting that the junior Senator from Missouri, replacing Senator Bond, will have the distinct pleasure on his first day of business in the Senate to halt Harry by electing the Republican Majority Leader.

Over the past six-months, early each Monday morning, I have openly, live-on-air, conducted a Compare & Contrast with other congressional districts to know the representative and their congressional district's legislative concerns. No other candidate in Southwest Missouri has worked so openly. I plan to continue that process following the Primary results.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bruce Speck co-editor of new book on fundraising

He has never shown he knows how to do it, but Missouri Southern State University President Bruce Speck is the co-editor of a newly-published book on fundraising.

In addition to his editing responsibilities, Speck wrote the first chapter of Perspectives on Fundraising entitled "The Growing Role of Private Giving in Financing the Modern University."

In his chapter, Speck notes that without tenure faculty would have to take a more realistic view which would bring about "a greater focus on teamwork and the corporate good."

The tenure part comes up in relation to the extra money Speck says it costs to have tenure. Faculty at Missouri Southern will not be surprised to know that Speck has written those words.

Having Speck classified as some kind of an expert in fundraising might surprise the people at the university, however. Speck was brought in, as you may recall, as the only candidate actually interviewed for the post, and supposedly one major reason he was hired was because of his expertise in fundraising.

That expertise apparently left him after he arrived. From that point on, everyone who was hired for any post at the university was brought in because of some kind of skill at fundraising.

In a letter written by Speck last year, he described his vision. Though he was brought in as a fundraising wizard, his idea of raising funds apparently was to bring in other people who could raise funds:

Second I have articulated components of a vision. In particular, I have talked about MSSU being an entrepreneurial campus regarding fundraising. In my efforts to make that vision a reality, I have found a learned helplessness that has caused me to revise the vision to include significant training in how departments can reach out to the community. When the VP for development arrives in November, I will continue my discussions with him about organizing training sessions so that departments understand what it means to be entrepreneurial in fundraising.
As I wrote before, Speck has not shown he could raise money with a forklift and two automatic weapons.

Ruestman stresses experience in presiding commissioner ad

Rep. Marilyn Ruestman, Joplin, stresses her experience in the accompanying video from her campaign for Newton County presiding commissioner:

Buzz Ball releases ad for Newton County presiding commissioner

The following ad has been posted to YouTube by the Buzz Ball for Newton County presiding commissioner campaign committee:

Another $12,897 for Billy Long campaign

Billy Long followed his $10,600 in late contributions from Thursday with another $12,897 today, according to 48-hour reports filed with the FEC.

Long received the following contributions:

-$2,400 from Gregory Hargis, student, Springfield
-$2,400 from Paula Downing, housewife, Wichita, Kan.
-$2,400 from Barry Downing, North Rock, Inc., Wichita, Kan.
-$2,400 from John Fletcher, Marshall
-$1,000 from Patrick Murney, real estate, Springfield
-$1,149 from Jennifer Duran, food services, Springfield
-$1,148 from Pat Duran, food services, Springfield

Goodman delivers pro-life message during rally at Mount Vernon

The accompanying video shows Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, a candidate for Seventh District Congress, delivering a pro-life message at a rally in Mount Vernon Thursday:

Cleaver explains Make it in America agenda

In his latest EC from DC report, Fifth District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo, explains his plan to boost manufacturing in America:

For generations, manufacturing has been the job-creating engine of our economy. And for generations, Americans have looked to our manufacturing sector as a source of pride. 
It’s true that manufacturing has taken a severe hit in the recession. In fact, it’s been struggling for quite some time: over the past decade, America lost one-third of its manufacturing jobs. If we want to turn that trend around, and if we want to create the jobs we need to emerge from these hard times, we need to encourage a strong manufacturing industry.
That’s why my colleagues and I have launched the Make it in America agenda: a plan to boost manufacturing by investing in industry and innovation, improving manufacturing infrastructure, strengthening the American workforce, and creating a level playing field for American companies to compete worldwide. The goal is secure, good-paying, middle-class jobs—and we have some momentum to build on. Since the beginning of this year, our private sector has created 136,000 new manufacturing jobs. But with millions of Americans still out of work, we must and will do more.
This agenda builds on what we have being doing here in Missouri’s Fifth District to make smart investments so that every person who wants a job can find meaningful work. Whether at Claycomo, Fairfax, Smith Electric Vehicles, QM Power in the Green Impact Zone or Dow Kokam in Lee’s Summit, we have spent the last year knitting together Recovery Act resources to position our community in front as the new economy evolves.
 To that end, this week we sent the first item on the Make it in America agenda to the President’s desk: the U.S. Manufacturing Enhancement Act.  This legislation makes it cheaper for American companies to obtain the materials they need to manufacture goods. And the House has passed five more job-creating bills on the agenda, which are waiting for Senate action.
  • The SECTORS Act forms partnerships between businesses, unions, and educators to train workers for some of the most needed 21st-century jobs.
  • The National Manufacturing Strategy Act directs the president to work with industry and state leaders to build a manufacturing-boosting strategy every four years—the same kind of strategy that countries like China, India, the U.K., Germany, Brazil, and Canada already have in place.
  • The Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing and Export Assistance Act ensures that clean energy technology firms have the information and assistance they need to compete at home and abroad.
  • The Emergency Trade Deficit Commission bill is intended to develop policies that will combat the trade imbalance and promote the export of American goods.
  • The House also passed a bill providing additional resources for the Patent and Trademark Office to unclog its backlog of 1.2 million patent applications so innovative ideas can move to market more quickly.
These bills are only the beginning. For instance, Congress will soon hold hearings on China’s exchange rate policy, which has a significant impact on the competitiveness of American manufacturing. All of these steps will bolster President Obama’s plan to support 2 million more jobs by doubling U.S. exports over the next five years—a plan that has already seen some success, with exports of U.S. goods up $22.4 billion from last year.
I’m glad that these ideas have won support from both sides of the aisle. I hope the cooperation continues, because the Make it in America agenda is a chance for my colleagues in the minority party to change their year-and-a-half policy of standing almost unanimously against every effort—from job creation and help for small businesses to support for the unemployed—that can strengthen a middle class hit with the greatest economic crisis of our lifetimes.

This agenda is an essential part of our economic recovery. It is a commitment to restart a dynamic source of job creation and to ensure that America competes fairly and profitably in the global marketplace.

American innovation and work ethic have long been the backbone of our economy. They’re the reason why the “Made in America” label has been sought and admired throughout the world. The Make it in America agenda means making sure that success isn’t simply a proud part of our history—but the foundation of our future.

Money trail on Chamber attack ad against Dreyer leads back to Richard, TAMKO

If you follow the money for the attack ad which began airing against 129th District state representative candidate Shelly Dreyer, that path leads to the man she hopes to replace, Speaker of the House Ron Richard.

As I noted in an earlier post, the Missouri Chamber PAC paid for advertising which describes Ms. Dreyer as a tool of St. Louis trial attorneys and depicts her as someone who just blew into the district two years ago after being a St. Louis trial attorney.

The advertisement began airing the same day Richard endorsed Ms. Dreyer's opponent, Bill White, an endorsement which is prominently mentioned in the ad, but the ad was in the hopper well before the endorsement was announced.

Missouri Ethics Commission documents indicate the Missouri Chamber PAC paid $29,450 to Ozark AdWorks, Joplin, Wednesday, for advertising, the same day the PAC received $25,500 from the Southwest Missouri Leadership PAC, a PAC that is associated with Richard and has the same treasurer as Richard's own campaign committee, Joplin CPA Nick Myers.

The ad was purchased the same day David and Debra Humphreys of TAMKO contributed $25,000 to the Southwest Missouri Leadership PAC. Southwest Missouri Leadership had contributed $1,800 to the Chamber PAC earlier.

Other late activity reported by the Chamber PAC indicates that two lobbyists associated with numerous hospital interests, Randy J. Scherr and Michael Winter, who represent Cass Medical Center, Lutheran Medical Center, Lee's Summit Hospital, Lafayette Regional Hospital, and Hospital Corporation of America, each contributed $250 on the same day.

Missouri Chamber PAC foots bill for attack ad against Shelly Dreyer

Missouri Chamber PAC, the committee of the pro-business Missouri Chamber of Commerce, has paid for an attack ad against 129th District state representative candidate Shelly Dreyer.

The ad, which aired for the first time today, labels Ms. Dreyer as a tool of St. Louis trial attorneys and a carpetbagger who just came her two years ago from St. Louis. It also plays up today's endorsement of her opponent, Bill White, by Speaker of the House Ron Richard, the current 129th District representative.

Long: I may not look the part, but I'll do the right thing

In a new ad released by Billy Long's Congressional campaign, the candidate pledges to do the right thing and emphasizes that he will not be like the career politicians who are currently in Washington:

Nodler: Billy Long is a liar

Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, just issued a response to the accusations that have been leveled against him by his fellow GOP candidate for Seventh District Congress, Billy Long:
During the last few days candidate Billy Long has abandoned both honesty and decency.  He is running a totally false attack ad accusing me of two things that are untrue.  First he has charged that Americans for Job Security, an organization that is running an ad critical of Long’s vote in favor of a wasteful federal earmark, are my “buddies”.  Mr. Long is lying.  I have never met anyone from the organization, I have never communicated with anyone from this organization. Long’s claim is a lie, pure and simple.
The second problem with the ad is that it attacks me for voting for $100 million for a single developer.  The problem is that the Missourilegislature has never appropriated $100 million for a single developer in the form of an appropriation or in the form of a tax credit; there is no $100 million dollar program that I know of.
The only program that I am aware of involving development is a tax credit for development of property in St. Louis Missouri That credit does not reach $100 million over its entire multi-year lifetime.  It could not possibly be what Mr. Long is referring to, because the lobbyist for that effort is James Harris of the Billy Long campaign.
Billy Long should stop spending the last few days of this campaign lying about his opponents and try to find one good reason for a voter in this district to support him!

Kinder pours $120,000 into Schweich campaign

In a last minute bid to tip the state auditor's race, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder contributed $120,000 to Tom Schweich, according to a 48-hour report filed today with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The contribution was made Thursday, according to the report.

Sheriffs endorse Jack Goodman for Congress

Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn and Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland are among those endorsing the Seventh District Congressional candidacy of Jack Goodman. The news release follows:

Today, Jack Goodman announced the endorsement of all Republican Sheriffs in the 7th Congressional District, adding even more momentum to his campaign as the August 3 Primary Election nears.

“As a former prosecutor and someone who has dedicated my public service to strengthening our laws for our families, I am humbled to have the endorsement of so many sheriffs who enforce those laws and keep our communities safe,” said Goodman.

The endorsement includes the Sheriffs from: Barry, Christian, Greene, Jasper, Lawrence, Newton, Polk, Stone, and Taney counties.

Goodman has already been endorsed by a majority of the state representatives and over 50 county elected officials in the MO-7th, Missourians United For Life (with distinction), Springfield Firefighters Association, the Southern Missouri Professional Firefighters Association, and the Missouri State Council of Firefighters, The Springfield News-Leader, and The Ozarks Sentinel.

Ron Richard endorses Bill White in 129th

Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, has endorsed Bill White to be his successor. From the news release:

William “Bill” White of Joplin, a Republican candidate for Missouri State Representative (129th District), is being endorsed by Speaker of the House Ron Richard. Richard currently represents the 129th Legislative District and is running unopposed for State Senate (MO-32). The endorsement from Richard follows on the heels of endorsements from two key Missouri business organizations — the Missouri Chamber PAC and the Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) PAC. These endorsements continue to indicate the strong level of support White is receiving from community leaders and concerned voters.

"As a former member of the city council and former mayor of Joplin", White comments, “Ron Richard understands our community and the need for strong economic leadership. I am grateful to have his support.”

Clay opposes attempts to privatize Social Security

In his latest newsletter, First District Congressman Lacy Clay, D-Mo, vows to fight any efforts to privatize Social Security:

In just a few weeks, on August 14th, Social Security will celebrate its 75th anniversary.

No single Act of Congress has helped more Americans than the passage of Social Security in 1935.

President Roosevelt’s bold idea was to create a sacred contract between the generations, and over the last 75 years, Social Security has lifted millions of senior citizens and disabled Americans out of poverty into security and dignity.

I will continue to fight to safeguard benefits, extend the solvency of the trust fund, and make absolutely certain that Social Security will be there for future generations.

Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans disagree, proposing yet again, a path that puts Social Security – and the livelihoods of those who depend on it – at risk.

Just five years ago, President Bush and his Republican allies pushed a risky plan to privatize and cut Social Security. If they had succeeded, seniors would have lost trillions more in the financial crisis.

Democrats and the American people said ‘no.’ And no one lost a penny in Social Security – even as America’s households lost more than $17 trillion in wealth under the reckless economic policies of the previous Administration.

This year, Republicans are charting a course right back to the failed ideas of the past. Again, Democrats and the American people are saying no.

Social Security has remained strong through 13 recessions, and will stand strong through this one; and the party responsible for Social Security—the Democrats—remains committed to ensuring the stable retirement that our seniors have earned.

What President Roosevelt said of the Republicans back in 1935 rings just as true today, that they are “Frozen in the ice of their own indifference towards the American people.”

Rest assured that as long as I have the honor to represent you in Congress, Social Security will remain a sacred promise, that will never be broken.

Michael Moon: The federal budget can be cut

Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Michael Moon offers his views on the economy in this position paper:

Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.” Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America.

“Southwest Missourians get it – the pursuit of financial freedom is largely an effort of personal, family and community responsibility. Those who view our governments as caretaker endanger the liberties of our Republic form of government,” said Mike Moon. Mike Moon is the Ronald Reagan Republican seeking to serve as the Representative in Congress for the 7th District. His common-sense values are clear and compelling. Mike Moon, like most citizens of Southwest Missouri, is a hard-working family man, married for nearly 30 years to his college sweetheart, Denise, with whom they raised five home-schooled children. Mike takes personal responsibility for his family by actually working two jobs – a successful cattle farm and 25 years with the same employer in the health care provider industry.

President Reagan, January 21, 1985, in his second inaugural address, said to our Nation, “Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.”

Clearly, Congress has taken the role of caretaker rather than the limited authority of the Constitution's enumerated powers in Article 1, Section 8. The federal government derives its power from the people through the sovereignty of these United States. The recent passage of Obama-care is a clear example of Congress as a controlling caretaker who has turned a deaf ear to a strong majority of the American people. Congress may be deaf and near dumb, but the strong hearts and arms of Missourians are shouting loudly, “Repeal,” as evidenced by the absence of opposition and the strong support for health-care freedom with a “YES!” vote on Proposition C.

Social Security was not initiated as the self-sufficient warm blanket comforting each American in the evenings of their life. However, it is a promise of payout to our retiring population whose vesting cannot and should not be broken. I strongly support privatizing Social Security and Medicare and returning to personal care and responsibility for those in our workforce who are 48 and under.

The federal budget can be cut. Eliminate all the “czars” and their staff. Reduce the number of cabinet level positions, including Education, HUD, SBA, Interior, Energy, EPA as a beginning strong signal of limited government within the size, scope and spending of conservative Constitutional values.

Earmarks, depending on one’s definition, are less than 2% of our federal governments taking our hard-earned tax dollars. Earmarks are perceived as wasteful and fraudulent. I was strongly against earmarks long before I became a candidate for the United States Congress to represent Southwest Missouri's 7th District. The secrecy of the appropriations process removes the transparency of the visibility of a specific bill with an open recorded vote. The earmark process allows caucus leadership to not-so-gently bribe less senior congressmen to trade their vote for status, district spending and continue a system that breeds corruption. When the Fair Tax is implemented, Congress will no longer have the power to pick winners and losers through tax and take policies to be spent on special interests of senior Members of congress.

Finally, on Tuesday August 3rd, the value of a vote will be worth far more than a thousand dollars in campaign cash. It is clear during this election cycle the American people are strongly supporting common-sense, compassionate Constitutional conservatives who may be vastly outspent but not outvoted! Money is important, but as demonstrated right here in other congressional campaigns of Southwest Missouri votes have the real gold value.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

McCaskill grills Arlington National Cemetery superintendent

In one of the highlights of today's Senate subcommittee hearings on mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. grills cemetery supeintendent John Metzler:

$10,600 in late contributions for Billy Long

A 48-hour report filed today with the FEC shows $10,600 in contributions for Seventh District Republican Congressional candidate Billy Long.

-$2,400 from Larry Sanner, Freightliner, Inc., Springfield
-$2,400 from Barry Nuttall, Freightliner, Inc.,- Springfield
-$2,400 from Sherry O'Dell, CPA, Springfield
-$2,400 from Farley Kutzner, lawn service, Springfreld
-$2,400 from Mason Kinne, loan auditor, Franklin American, Springfield

McCaskill: 6,000 graves may be mismarked at Arlington National Cemetery

In her opening statement at today's Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight hearing on mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo blasted the neglect at the facility. "There has been no review of Arlington National Cemetery for a decade," she said.

As many as 6,000 servicemen's bodies may have been misplaced, she added:

Missouri Democratic Party fo file complaint againt Joe the Plumber

In a news released issued this afternoon, the Missouri Democratic Party announced it will file a complaint against Joe the Plumber tomorrow (Friday), concerning his advertisements on behalf of Sen. Chuck Purgason, a candidate for U. S. Senate:

The Missouri Democratic Party will file a complaint tomorrow with the Federal Elections Commission against Samuel Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. "Joe the Plumber", and US Senate Candidate Chuck Purgason for an illegal advertising campaign.

Joe the Plumber is supporting Republican Tea Party Candidate Chuck Purgason's bid for US Senate, and his advertising campaign has committed numerous violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act including but not limited to (see full complaint attached):

-Using a non-registered committee

-Failure to report expenditures

-Potential illegal in-kind contributions

-Failure to comply with disclaimer requirements

"If Joe The Plumber wants to meddle in Missouri politics, the least he can do is follow the law," said Missouri Democratic Party Communications Director Ryan Hobart. "For someone who claims that he represents the opposite of 'politics as usual', why does Chuck Purgason seem so content with a group from outside Missouri running illegal ads on behalf of his campaign?"

The Missouri Democratic Party is calling on the FEC to investigate the above violations and enjoin Chuck Purgason and "Joe the Plumber" from further violations.

Tea Party favorite State Senator Chuck Purgason is running for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination against 8 opponents, including Washington Insider Roy Blunt.

Steelman calls out anonymous people behind BIlly Long attack ad

Former state treasurer Sarah Steelman levied harsh criticism at the anonymous contributors behind Americans for Job Security's Billy Long attack ad.

On her radio show this morning (which has been posted as a YouTube video by Fired Up Missouri), Mrs. Steelman said, "People who don't have the guts to come out and say who they are and what they support, you have to question their motives."

Of course, you also have to question the attack ad Long launched in response which rips backers of Jack Goodman and Gary Nodler without a shred of evidence as far as I can tell, of who was actually behind the ad.

Rupp records $4,500 in late contributions, still nothing for Cynthia Davis

The money keeps coming in for incumbent Second District State Senator Scott Rupp.

Twenty-four hour filings with the Missouri Ethics Commission show Rupp, who already had a sizable fundraising advantage, reporting $4,500 in contributions day. Mrs. Davis has not recorded a contribution in July.

Nodler: Make your voice heard on Proposition C

In his weekly newsletter, Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, a candidate for Seventh District Congress, encourages constituents to make their voices heard on Proposition C:

On August 3, voters throughout Missouri will be the first in the nation to have the opportunity to weigh in on the federal health care legislation passed by Congress. Thanks to legislation passed by the General Assembly during the 2010 legislative session, Missourians will be able to make their voices heard on whether they want the federal government to mandate their health care decisions.

Proposition C is on the August 3 primary ballot. Also called the Health Care Freedom Act, the ballot measure originates from a bill passed earlier this year. I co-sponsored the original measure to protect the rights of citizens in this state. If voters approve Proposition C, it will result in a constitutional amendment providing that no federal law can compel a patient, employer, or health care provider in our state to participate in any government or privately run health care system, protecting the right of patients and employers to pay directly for legal health care services.

Since the federal government passed the health care legislation, I have spoken out about my opposition to the so-called “reform.” It is a costly venture that violates the individual rights of citizens. Heightening costs will also create a serious funding dilemma for states as they try to pay for an outrageous expansion in Medicaid costs. The law hurts businesses as they are forced to cover costs for their employees. When Congress passed this legislation, I heard from a number of Missourians who were concerned that their rights were being violated. With the Health Care Freedom Act, citizens have the opportunity to make their voices heard.

The passage of Proposition C would provide citizens with health care freedom — whether they chose to buy a private plan, use the federal plan, or purchase no plan at all. On August 3, you will be able to cast your vote and tell the federal government whether you think they should have the authority to penalize you for exercising your health care freedom

Americans for Job Security posts Billy Long attack ad

Americans for Job Security, the front group that paid for the Billy Long "earmarks" ad has posted the ad on its YouTube channel:

Text provided for Obama speech on education

(Following is the text of the speech on education President Barack Obama made this morning to the Urban League.)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat. Take a load off. (Applause.) Thank you.

Good morning, Urban Leaguers.

AUDIENCE: Good morning.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. It is wonderful to be here with all of you. It is wonderful to be here. And let me begin by congratulating Marc Morial for his outstanding leadership, his great friendship. (Applause.) I want to thank the entire National Urban League on your centennial. From your founding, amid the great migration, to the struggles of the civil rights movement, to the battles of today, the Urban League has been on the ground, in our communities, working quietly -– day in, day out -– without fanfare; opening up opportunity, rolling back inequality, making our union just a little more perfect. America is a better place because of the Urban League. And I'm grateful to all of you for the outstanding contributions that you’ve made. (Applause.)

The last time I spoke with you was during your Orlando conference in August -- (applause) -- got Orlando in the house. (laughter) -- Orlando conference back in August of 2008. I didn’t have any gray hair back then. (Laughter.) Say that's all right? (Laughter and applause.) But I want to remind you what things were like in August of 2008. Our economy was in freefall. We had just seen seven straight months of job loss. Foreclosures were sweeping the nation. And we were on the verge of a financial crisis that threatened to plunge our economy into a second Great Depression.

So, from the moment I took office, we had to act immediately to prevent an even greater catastrophe. And I knew that not everything we did would be popular. Sometimes when we do things, the scribes, the pundits here in Washington, they act surprised. They say, why would you do such a thing, it doesn’t poll well. And I have to explain to them I’ve got my own pollsters. (Laughter and applause.) But I wasn’t elected just to do what’s popular; I was elected do what was right. That's what you supported me for. (Applause.)

And because of what we did, America, as a whole, is in a different place today. Our economy is growing, instead of shrinking. Our private sector has been adding jobs for six straight months, instead of losing them. (Applause.)

Yesterday a report was put out by two prominent economists -- one of them John McCain’s oleconomist -- that said if we hadn’t taken the actions that we took, we would have had an additional 8 million people lose their jobs.

Now, that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. Every sector of our economy was shaking by the crisis; every demographic group felt its impact. And as has been true in the wake of other recent recessions, this one had an especially brutal impact on minority communities -- communities that were already struggling long before the financial crisis hit.

The African American unemployment rate was already much higher, the incomes and wealth of African American families already lower. There was less of a cushion. Many minority communities -- whether in big cities or rural towns -- had seen businesses and opportunities vanish for years, stores boarded up, young people hanging out on the street corners without prospects for the future.

So when we came in to office, we focused not just on rescuing our economy in the short run, but rebuilding our economy for the long run -- creating an economy that lifts up all Americans. (Applause.) Not just some, but all.

That’s why we passed health insurance reform that will give every American -- (applause) -- more choices, more control over their health care; will narrow the cruel disparities between Americans of different backgrounds. That’s why we passed Wall Street reform -- not only to make sure that taxpayers aren’t paying for somebody else’s foolishness, but also to protect consumers from predatory credit cards and lending practices, regulating everything from mortgages to payday loans; making sure that we’re protecting our economy from the recklessness and irresponsibility of a few. (Applause.)

Across agencies, we’re taking on the structural inequalities that have held so many of our fellow citizens back, whether it’s making more housing available and more affordable, making sure civil rights and anti-discrimination laws are enforced, making sure our crime policy is not only tough, but also smart. So yesterday, we took an important step forward when Congress passed a fair sentencing bill that I look forward to signing into law -- (applause) -- a bipartisan bill to help right a longstanding wrong by narrowing sentencing disparities between those convicted of crack cocaine and powder cocaine. It’s the right thing to do. (Applause.) We’ve gotten that done.

So we’ve made progress. And yet, for all of our progress -– progress that’s come through the efforts of groups like the Urban League; progress that makes it possible for me to stand here as President -- we were reminded this past week that we still got work to do when it comes to promoting the values of fairness and equality and mutual understanding that must bind us together as a nation.

Now, last week, I had the chance to talk to Shirley Sherrod -– an exemplary woman whose experiences mark both the challenges we have faced and the progress that we’ve made. She deserves better than what happened last week -- (applause) -- when a bogus controversy based on selective and deceiving excerpts of a speech led her -- led to her forced resignation.

Now, many are to blame for the reaction and overreaction that followed these comments -– including my own administration. And what I said to Shirley was that the full story she was trying to tell –- a story about overcoming our own biases and recognizing ourselves in folks who, on the surface, seem different -– is exactly the kind of story we need to hear in America. (Applause.)

It’s exactly what we need to hear because we’ve all got our biases. And rather than jump to conclusions and point fingers, and play some of the games that are played on cable TV, we should all look inward and try to examine what’s in our own hearts. (Applause.) We should all make more of an effort to discuss with one another, in a truthful and mature and responsible way, the divides that still exist -- the discrimination that's still out there, the prejudices that still hold us back -- a discussion that needs to take place not on cable TV, not just through a bunch of academic symposia or fancy commissions or panels, not through political posturing, but around kitchen tables, and water coolers, and church basements, and in our schools, and with our kids all across the country. (Applause.)

If we can have that conversation in our own lives, if we can take an opportunity to learn from our imperfections and our mistakes, to grow as individuals and as a country, and if we engage in the hard work of translating words into deeds -- because words are easy and deeds are hard -- then I’m confident that we can move forward together and make this country a little more perfect than it was before. (Applause.)

Now, since we’re on the topic of speaking honestly with one another, I want to devote the balance of my time, the balance of my remarks, to an issue that I believe will largely determine not only African American success, but the success of our nation in the 21st century -- and that is whether we are offering our children the very best education possible. (Applause.)

I know some argue that as we emerge from a recession, my administration should focus solely on economic issues. They said that during health care as if health care had nothing to do with economics; said it during financial reform as if financial reform had nothing to do with economics; and now they're saying it as we work on education issues. But education is an economic issue -- if not “the” economic issue of our time. (Applause.)

It’s an economic issue when the unemployment rate for folks who’ve never gone to college is almost double what it is for those who have gone to college. (Applause.) It’s an economic issue when eight in 10 new jobs will require workforce training or a higher education by the end of this decade. It’s an economic issue when countries that out-educate us today are going to out-compete us tomorrow.

Now, for years, we’ve recognized that education is a prerequisite for prosperity. And yet, we’ve tolerated a status quo where America lags behind other nations. Just last week, we learned that in a single generation, America went from number one to 12th in college completion rates for young adults. Used to be number one, now we’re number 12.

At the same time, our 8th graders trail about eight -- 10 other nations -- 10 other nations in science and math. Meanwhile, when it comes to black students, African American students trail not only almost every other developed nation abroad, but they badly trail their white classmates here at home -- an achievement gap that is widening the income gap between black and white, between rich and poor.

We’ve talked about it, we know about it, but we haven’t done enough about it. And this status quo is morally inexcusable, it s economically indefensible, and all of us are going to have to roll up our sleeves to change it. (Applause.)

And that's why -- that is why, from day one of this administration, we’ve made excellence in American education -- excellence for all our students -- a top priority. And no one has shown more leadership on this issue than my Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, who is here today. (Applause.)

I chose Arne not only because he’s a great ballplayer -- (laughter) -- Arne and I play a little bit on the weekends -- I choose Arne because I knew that for him, closing the achievement gap, unlocking the potential of every child, isn’t just a job, it’s been the cause of his life.

Now, because a higher education has never been more important –- or more expensive -– it’s absolutely essential that we put a college degree within reach for anyone who wants it. And that’s why we’re making higher education more affordable, so we can meet the goals I’ve set of producing a higher share of college graduates than any other nation by 2020. I want us to be back at number one instead of number 12. (Applause.)

And in pursuit of that goal, we eliminated taxpayer subsidies to big banks. We saved tens of billions of dollars, and we used those savings to open the door to additional financial aid -- to open the door for college to millions more students. This is something that a lot of you may not be aware of, but we have added tens of billions of dollars that were going to bank middlemen, so that that money is now going to students -- millions more students who are getting scholarships to go to college. (Applause.) That’s already been done.

We’re making loan repayment more manageable, so young people don’t graduate -- like Michelle and me -- with such big loan payments every month.


THE PRESIDENT: You’re welcome. Right there. (Laughter.) You can relate. (Laughter.)

And we’re reinvesting in our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. (Applause.) Our HBCUs, we are reinvesting in them, while at the same time reforming and strengthening our community college, which are great, undervalued assets -- (applause) -- great assets that are a lifeline to so many working families in every community across America.

But here’s the thing. Even if we do all this good stuff for higher education, too many of our children see college as nothing but a distant dream -– because their education went off the rails long before they turned 18. These are young people who’ve been relegated to failing schools in struggling communities, where there are too many obstacles, too few role models -– communities that I represented as a state senator; communities that I fought to lift up as a community organizer.

I remember going to a school back in my organizing days and seeing children -- young children, maybe five or six -- eyes were brimming with hope, had such big dreams for the future. You’d ask them, what do you want to be when you grow up? They’d want to be a doctor; they’d want to be a lawyer. And then I remember the principal telling me that soon, all that would change. The hope would start fading from their eyes as they started to realize that maybe their dreams wouldn’t come to pass -- not because they weren’t smart enough, not because they weren’t talented enough, but because through a turn of fate they happened to be born in the wrong neighborhood. They became victim of low expectations, a community that was not supporting educational excellence.

And it was heartbreaking. It is heartbreaking. And it reinforced in me a fundamental belief that we’ve got an obligation to lift up every child in every school in this country, especially those who are starting out furthest behind. (Applause.)

That’s why I want to challenge our states to offer better early learning options to make sure our children aren’t wasting their most formative years -- (applause) -- so that they can enter into kindergarten already ready to learn -- knowing their colors, knowing their numbers, knowing their shapes, knowing how to sit still. (Laughter.) Right? That’s no joke. You got to learn that, especially when you’re a boy. (Laughter.) That’s why we placed such heavy emphasis on the education our children are getting from kindergarten through 12th grade.

Now, over the past 18 months, the single most important thing we’ve done -- and we’ve done a lot. I mean, the Recovery Act put a lot of money into schools, saved a lot of teacher jobs, made sure that schools didn’t have to cut back even more drastically in every community across this country. But I think the single most important thing we’ve done is to launch an initiative called Race to the Top. (Applause.) We said to states, if you are committed to outstanding teaching, to successful schools, to higher standards, to better assessments -– if you’re committed to excellence for all children -– you will be eligible for a grant to help you attain that goal.

And so far, the results have been promising and they have been powerful. In an effort to compete for this extra money, 32 states reformed their education laws before we even spent a dime. The competition leveraged change at the state level. And because the standards we set were high, only a couple of states actually won the grant in the first round, which meant that the states that didn’t get the money, they’ve now strengthened their applications, made additional reforms. Now 36 have applied in the second round, and 18 states plus the District of Columbia are in the running to get a second grant. (Applause.)

So understand what’s happened. In each successive round, we’ve leveraged change across the country. And even students in those districts that haven’t gotten a grant, they’ve still benefited from the reforms that were initiated. And this process has sown the seeds of achievement. It’s forced teachers and principals and officials and parents to forge agreements on tough, and often uncomfortable issues -- to raise their sights and embrace education.

For the most part, states, educators, reformers, they’ve responded with great enthusiasm around this promise of excellence. But I know there’s also been some controversy about Race to the Top. Part of it, I believe, reflects a general resistance to change. We get comfortable with the status quo even when the status quo isn’t good. We make excuses for why things have to be the way they are. And when you try to shake things up, some people aren’t happy.

There have been criticisms from some folks in the civil rights community about particular elements of Race to the Top. So I want to address some of those today. I told you we’re going to have an honest conversation.

First, I know there’s a concern that Race to the Top doesn’t do enough for minority kids, because the argument is, well, if there’s a competition, then somehow some states or some school districts will get more help than others. Let me tell you, what’s not working for black kids and Hispanic kids and Native American kids across this country is the status quo. That's what’s not working. (Applause.) What’s not working is what we’ve been doing for decades now.

So the charge that Race to the Top isn’t targeted at those young people most in need is absolutely false because lifting up quality for all our children -- black, white, Hispanic -- that is the central premise of Race to the Top. And you can’t win one of these grants unless you’ve got a plan to deal with those schools that are failing and those young people who aren’t doing well. Every state and every school district is directly incentivized to deal with schools that have been forgotten, been given up on.

I also want to directly speak to the issue of teachers. We may have some teachers here in the house. (Applause.) I know Urban League has got some teachers. Nothing is more important than teachers. (Applause.) My sister is a teacher. I’m here because of great teachers. The whole premise of Race to the Top is that teachers are the single most important factor in a child’s education from the moment they step into the classroom. And I know firsthand that the vast majority of teachers are working tirelessly, are passionate about their students, are often digging into their own pockets for basic supplies, are going above and beyond the call of duty.

So I want teachers to have higher salaries. I want them to have more support. I want them to be trained like the professionals they are –- with rigorous residencies like the ones that doctors go through. (Applause.) I want to give them a career ladder so they’ve opportunities to advance, and earn real financial security. I don't want talented young people to say I’d love to teach but I can’t afford it. (Applause.)

I want them to have a fulfilling and supportive workplace environment. I want them to have the resources -- from basic supplies to reasonable class sizes -- that help them succeed. And instead of a culture where we’re always idolizing sports stars or celebrities, I want us to build a culture where we idolize the people who are shaping our children’s future. (Applause.) I want some teachers on the covers of some of those magazines. (Applause.) Some teachers on MTV, featured. (Applause.)

I was on the “The View” yesterday, and somebody asked me who Snooki was. I said, I don't know who Snooki is. (Laughter.) But I know some really good teachers that you guys should be talking about. (Laughter and applause.) I didn't say the teacher part, but I just -- (laughter.) The question is, who are we lifting up? Who are we promoting? Who are we saying is important?

So I am 110 percent behind our teachers. (Applause.) But all I’m asking in return -- as a President, as a parent, and as a citizen -- is some measure of accountability. (Applause.) So even as we applaud teachers for their hard work, we’ve got to make sure we’re seeing results in the classroom. If we’re not seeing results in the classroom, then let’s work with teachers to help them become more effective. If that doesn’t work, let’s find the right teacher for that classroom. (Applause.)

Arne makes the point very simply: Our children get only one chance at an education, so we need to get it right.

I want to commend some of the teachers unions across this country who are working with us to improve teaching -- like the Delaware Education Association, which is working with state leaders as part of their Race to the Top efforts, not only to set aside 90 minutes of collaboration time a week to improve instruction, but to strengthen teacher development and evaluation. That's the right way to go.

So, for anyone who wants to use Race to the Top to blame or punish teachers -- you’re missing the point. Our goal isn’t to fire or admonish teachers; our goal is accountability. It’s to provide teachers with the support they need to be as effective as they can be, and to create a better environment for teachers and students alike.

Now, there’s also the question of how hard our teachers should push students in the classroom. Nations in Asia and Europe have answered this question, in part by creating standards to make sure their teachers and students are performing at the same high levels throughout their nation. That’s one of the reasons that their children are doing better than ours. But here at home, there’s often a controversy about national standards, common standards -- that violates the principle of local control. Now, there’s a history to local control that we need to think about, but that -- that’s the argument.

So here’s what Race to the Top says: Instead of Washington imposing standards from the top down, let’s challenge states to adopt common standards voluntarily, from the bottom up. That doesn’t mean more standards; it means higher standards, better standards, standards that clarify what our teachers are expected to teach and what our children are expected to learn -– so high school graduates are actually prepared for college and a career. I do not want to see young people get a diploma but they can’t read that diploma. (Applause.)

Now, so far, about 30 states have come together to embrace and develop common standards, high standards. More states are expected to do so in the coming weeks. And by the way, this is different from No Child Left Behind, because what that did was it gave the states the wrong incentives. A bunch of states watered down their standards so that school districts wouldn’t be penalized when their students fell short. And what’s happened now is, at least two states -– Illinois and Oklahoma –- that lowered standards in response to No Child Behind -- No Child Left Behind -- are now raising those standards back up, partly in response to Race to the Top.

And part of making sure our young people meet these high standards is designing tests that accurately measure whether they are learning. Now, here, too, there’s been some controversy. When we talk about testing, parents worry that it means more teaching to the test. Some worry that tests are culturally biased. Teachers worry that they’ll be evaluated solely on the basis of a single standardized test. Everybody thinks that’s unfair. It is unfair.

But that’s not what Race to the Top is about. What Race to the Top says is, there’s nothing wrong with testing -– we just need better tests applied in a way that helps teachers and students, instead of stifling what teachers and students do in the classroom. Tests that don’t dictate what’s taught, but tell us what has been learned. Tests that measure how well our children are mastering essential skills and answering complex questions. And tests that track how well our students are growing academically, so we can catch when they’re falling behind and help them before they just get passed along. (Applause.)

Because of Race to the Top, states are also finding innovative ways to move beyond having just a snapshot of where students are, and towards a real-time picture that shows how far they’ve come and how far they have to go. And armed with this information, teachers can get what amounts to a game tape that they can study to enhance their teaching and their focus on areas where students need help the most.

Now, sometimes a school’s problems run so deep that you can do the better assessments and the higher standards and a more challenging curriculum, and that’s not enough. If a school isn’t producing graduates with even the most basic skills –- year after year after year after year -– something needs to be done differently. You know, the definition, somebody once said, of madness is you do the same thing over and over again and keep expecting a different result. If we want success for our country, we can’t accept failure in our schools decade after decade.

And that’s why we’re challenging states to turn around our 5,000 lowest performing schools. And I don’t think it’s any secret that most of those are serving African American or Hispanic kids. We’re investing over $4 billion to help them do that, to transform those schools -– $4 billion, which even in Washington is real money. (Applause.) This isn’t about -- unlike No Child Left Behind, this isn’t about labeling a troubled school a failure and then just throwing up your hands and saying, well, we’re giving up on you. It’s about investing in that school’s future, and recruiting the whole community to help turn it around, and identifying viable options for how to move forward.

Now, in some cases, that’s going to mean restarting the school under different management as a charter school -– as an independent public school formed by parents, teachers, and civic leaders who’ve got broad leeway to innovate. And some people don’t like charter schools. They say, well, that’s going to take away money from other public schools that also need support. Charter schools aren’t a magic bullet, but I want to give states and school districts the chance to try new things. If a charter school works, then let’s apply those lessons elsewhere. And if a charter school doesn’t work, we’ll hold it accountable; we’ll shut it down.

So, no, I don’t support all charter schools, but I do support good charter schools. I’ll give you an example. There’s a charter school called Mastery in Philadelphia. And in just two years, three of the schools that Mastery has taken over have seen reading and math levels nearly double –- in some cases, triple. Chaka Fattah is here, so he knows what I’m talking about. One school called Pickett went from just 14 percent of students being proficient in math to almost 70 percent. (Applause.) Now -- and here’s the kicker -- at the same time academic performance improved, violence dropped by 80 percent -– 80 percent. And that’s no coincidence. (Applause.)

Now, if a school like Mastery can do it, if Pickett can do it, every troubled school can do it. But that means we’re going to have to shake some things up. Setting high standards, common standards, empowering students to meet them; partnering with our teachers to achieve excellence in the classroom; educating our children -- all of them -- to graduate ready for college, ready for a career, ready to make most of their lives -- none of this should be controversial. There should be a fuss if we weren’t doing these things. There should be a fuss if Arne Duncan wasn’t trying to shake things up. (Applause.)

So Race to the Top, isn’t simply the name of an initiative. It sums up what’s happening in our schools. It’s the single most ambitious, meaningful education reform effort we’ve attempted in this country in generations.

And I know there are a number of other steps we need to take to lift up our education system -- like saving teachers’ jobs across this country from layoffs -- and I’ll continue fighting to take those steps and save those jobs. But I’ll also continue to fight for Race to the Top with everything I’ve got, including using a veto to prevent some folks from watering it down. (Applause.)

Now, let me wrap up by saying this. I know there are some who say that Race to the Top won’t work. There are cynics and naysayers who argue that the problems in our education system are too entrenched, that think that we’ll just fall back into the same old arguments and divides that have held us back for so long. And it is true, as I’ve said since I ran for President, and that everybody here knows firsthand, change is hard. I don't know if you’ve noticed. That's why I’ve got all this gray hair. (Laughter.)

Fixing what was broken in our health care system is not easy. Fixing what was broken on Wall Street is not easy. Fixing what’s broken in our education system is not easy. We won’t see results overnight. It may take a decade for these changes to pay off. But that’s not a reason not to make them. It’s a reason to start making them right now, to feel a sense of urgency -- the fierce urgency of now. (Applause.)

We also know that as significant as these reforms are, there’s going to be one more ingredient to really make a difference: parents are going to have to get more involved in their children’s education. (Applause.) Now, in the past, even that statement has sparked controversy. Folks say, well, why are you talking about parents? Parents need help, too. I know that. Parents need jobs. They need housing. They need -- in some cases -- social services. They may have substance abuse problems. We’re working on all those fronts.

Then some people say, well, why are you always talking about parental responsibility in front of black folks? (Laughter and applause.) And I say, I talk about parent responsibility wherever I talk about education.

Michelle and I happen to be black parents, so -- (laughter and applause) -- I may -- I may add a little umph to it when I’m talking to black parents. (Laughter.)

But to paraphrase Dr. King, education isn’t an either/or proposition. It’s a both/and proposition. It will take both more focus from our parents, and better schooling. It will take both more money, and more reform. It will take both a collective commitment, and a personal commitment.

So, yes, our federal government has responsibilities that it has to meet, and I will keep on making sure the federal government meets those responsibilities. Our governors, our superintendants, our states, our school districts have responsibilities to meet. And parents have responsibilities that they have to meet. And our children have responsibilities that they have to meet. (Applause.)

It’s not just parents. It’s the children, too. Our kids need to understand nobody is going to hand them a future. (Applause.) An education is not something you just tip your head and they pour it in your ear. (Laughter.) You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to reach out and claim that future for yourself. And you can’t make excuses. (Applause.)

I know life is tough for a lot of young people in this country. The places where Urban League is working to make a difference, you see it every day. I’m coming from the Southside of Chicago. (Applause.) So I know -- I see what young people are going through there. And at certain points in our lives, young black men and women may feel the sting of discrimination. Too many of them may feel trapped in a community where drugs and violence and unemployment are pervasive, and they are forced to wrestle with things that no child should have to face.

There are all kinds of reasons for our children to say, “No, I can’t.” But our job is to say to them, “Yes, you can.” (Applause.) Yes, you can overcome. Yes, you can persevere. Yes, you can make what you will out of your lives. (Applause.)

I know they can, because I know the character of America’s young people. I saw them volunteer on my campaign. They asked me questions in town hall meetings. They write me letters about their trials and aspirations.

I got a letter recently postmarked Covington, Kentucky. It was from Na’Dreya Lattimore, 10 years old -- about the same age as Sasha. And she told me about how her school had closed, so she had enrolled in another. Then she had bumped up against other barriers to what she felt was her potential. So Na’Dreya was explaining to me how we need to improve our education system. She closed by saying this:

“One more thing,” she said. (Laughter.) It was a long letter. (Laughter.) “You need to look at us differently. We are not black, we’re not white, biracial, Hispanic, Asian, or any other nationality.” No, she wrote -– “We are the future.” (Applause.)

Na’Dreya, you are right. And that’s why I will keep fighting to lead us out of this storm. But I’m also going to keep fighting alongside the Urban League to make America more perfect, so that young people like Na’Dreya -- people of every race, in every region -- are going to be able to reach for that American Dream. They’re going to know that there are brighter days ahead; that their future is full of boundless possibilities. I believe that, and I know the Urban League does, too.

Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

Goodman receives $1,000 from Springfield woman

The latest 48-hour report filed with the FEC shows Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, received a $1,000 contribution to his Seventh District Congressional campaign from Mary Kathryn Meek, a broker for Trymeek Corp. in Springfield.l

Tea Party groups: We did not endorse Roy Blunt

The following news release was issued this morning by a congregation of Missouri Tea Party groups. The list does not include Jasper County Republican Chairman John Putnam and the Southwest Missouri Conservative tea party group out of Joplin:

The following list of Tea Party organizations, from across the state of Missouri, have NOT endorsed Roy Blunt in his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat. When we received a noti fication that Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, a strong supporter of Tea Parties nationally, and the originator of a “Tea Party Caucus” in Washington last week, will be coming to Missouri on July 31st to make phone calls with Roy Blunt from the St. Louis GOP headquarters, and to be a featured speaker at a Blunt fundraiser that night, we were shocked. We believe she has beengrossly misled if she understands him to be a Missouri Tea Party candidate.

Tea Party participants believe the spending in Washington has to STOP. Roy Blunt voted for
TARP and Cash for Clunkers. For Michele Bachmann to come to Missouri and give the
impression that all the Missouri Tea Parties support Roy Blunt is an abomination of everything we have been standing up for. “Most Tea Party supporters I know will be baffled by Michele Bachmann helping someone with a record like Roy Blunt before the primary vote,” said Jedidiah Smith, a Tea party leader in Franklin County, Missouri.

"Missouri Tea Party groups are proud of our steadfast position not to endorse candidates and to remain independent of political parties. We encourage all voters to examine the voting records, positions, and values of all candidates, to determine whether they promote the core values of the Tea Party Movement: fiscal responsibility, constitutionally-limited government, and free markets." said Eric Farris, a Tea Party leader in Branson, Missouri. There are sixteen candidates running for the Missouri U.S. Senate seat and the consistent message, among Tea Party participants, has been to check each of them out before voting in the August 3rd Primary.

Signed by the following Tea Parties (# of members), Contact Person:

Branson Tea Party Coalition (246), Eric Farris,

Buffalo Tea Party (102), Paul Beaird (417) 345-6430

Callaway Tea Party (52), Jeff Kauffman (573) 823-8725

Cape County Tea Party (150), Tom Young (573) 450-7330

Cass County (10), Dan Duckworth (816) 914-4343

Cassville Tea Party (100), Judith Mouser,

Cooper County Tea Party (75), Daryl Bowles (660) 537-4199

Eureka Tea Party (497), Jeannine Huskey (636) 938-9348

Franklin County Patriots (860), Jedidiah Smith (636) 262-5133

In God We Trust PAC, Kansas City (500+), Kristi Nichols,

In God We Trust Tea Party, SW MO (40), Greg Bartlett (417) 689-1468

Moon: The strength of America is our faith in God

In a news release issued today, Seventh District Republican candidate Michael Moon talks about faith:

“You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.” Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States of America.

“The strength of America is our enduring faith in GOD, family and an unequaled military force. “Peace through strength,” as Reagan quipped first in 1964 nominating Barry Goldwater and later in a 1980 campaign commercial contrasting the weak foreign policies of Jimmy Carter. “Peace through Strength” is the fitting motto for the USS Ronald Reagan, the most advanced instrument of war in the U.S. Navy, a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class aircraft carrier,” said Mike Moon.

Mike Moon is the Ronald Reagan Republican seeking to serve as the Representative in Congress for the 7th District. His common-sense values are clear and compelling. Like most citizens of Southwest Missouri, I am a hard-working family man. I’ve been married for nearly 30 years to my college sweetheart, Denise. Together we have raised five home-schooled children. I take personal responsibility for my family by actually working two jobs – a successful cattle farm and 25 years with the same employer in the health care provider industry.

President Reagan often openly talked of his faith and family. They were strengths intertwined into his personal and public policies as governor of California and the 40th President of the United States of America. It really is not surprising that America's strength is deeply rooted in our faith and family because they were divinely designed in our Founding Father's hearts, heads and hands - carefully crafted in our Constitution.

My personal faith in Jesus Christ is my strength as a husband, father and leader and at the core of my candidacy for United States Congress in Missouri's 7th District. Some have initially jeered my faith in Jesus as LORD and Savior only to later apologize as they came to realize how central to right living is GOD's Word. I am willing to experience the mild ridicule as I express undiluted my personal faith in Jesus upholding with honor His Holy Scriptures for my life's vision and values.

My family, like your family, is at the heart of a valued source of strength. I am willing to sacrifice my comfort and even life, if necessary, to preserve, protect and prosper my family and the families of Southwest Missouri. I cannot pass on to someone else this sacred duty. Folks, the culture clash that seeks to undermine our children's innocence cannot be ignored. Forces exist, however smiling their faces, however stealth-like they use our own laws and customs against us – that mean to redefine sexual values, the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, and the value of hard work and savings for life, liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness.

The strength of Southwest Missouri is not a simple measurement in the muscles of money alone. Some, among the political chattering class, would have you believe that tens of thousands in campaign cash will buy votes. I have been strengthened in meeting the hard-working men and women and their young people throughout the ten counties of the 7th District that their votes and values are not for sale.

Cynthia Davis: I was right on health care freedom

In her weekly report. Rep. Cynthia Davis, R-O'Fallon, a candidate for the Second District Senate seat, offers her assessment of Proposition C:

“Proposition C” is on the August ballot. If you vote next Tuesday, you will see a question of whether we should change the Missouri state statues to allow people the freedom to purchase or to not purchase the national medical insurance offerings. The current federal law will force everybody to buy some sort of insurance or face a penalty.

I was the first one to introduce this measure in the legislature. After my proposal passed out of the House, the Senate refused to take it up. This frustrated a lot of citizens because it became obvious that the senators were listening more to the lobbyists than to their constituents. Feeling the heat from the voters, the Senators threw together a “watered-down” fragment of the original resolution and shoved it back to the House with a “take it or leave it” attitude.

The version the House sent to the Senate would have changed the Missouri Constitution. The senate changed it to a referendum asking the voters if they want to change a state statute. The Constitution is supreme over the statutes and can only be changed by a vote of the people, whereas the statutes are changed ever year by the legislators.

I am supporting this measure, primarily because I believe in healthcare freedom. This will be a referendum on how Missouri voters feel. However, the state senators ought to be embarrassed for failing to offer their constituents a true constitutional amendment. The secretary of state’s office told me this will be costing the taxpayers about $300,000 to put it on the ballot and the price tag is the same whether it is an amendment to the constitution or merely a referendum on whether we ought to have a statute change.

Our nation was built on the principle that people ought to be free from the oppression of governmental intrusion into our lives. How we administrate our own medical expense payments ought to always be a personal choice. If our founding fathers could have seen the debates we are having today, they would be astounded!

Every time the legislature passes more insurance mandates, they are buying into the philosophy of the Obamacare proponents in Washington DC.

Insurance mandates are the opposite of Healthcare freedom. Here is a link to “The Show Me Institute” article written to demonstrate the damage done in the same session by trying to foist insurance mandates on us while at the same time attempting to get Healthcare Freedom into our constitution: Show-Me Institute - Negative Consequences

“Although well-intentioned, this mandate will necessarily raise the cost of premiums for Missourians, making it more difficult for individuals and small businesses to keep their health insurance plans…A mandate of any amount increases health insurance costs, and this bill’s substantial commitment would assuredly have a noticeable effect.” (Caitlin Hartsell researcher and public health graduate –Washington University)

As you can see, many legislators are philosophically conflicted. Therefore, it was nearly impossible to be both in favor of healthcare freedom and against it in the same session. Amazingly, most voted for both.

Hartzler rips into Stouffer in new video

In a video just posted on YouTube by Fired Up Missouri, former Rep. Vicky Hartzler fires back at Sen. Bill Stouffer, who criticized her in a recent commercial. The two are among those vying to battle Democrat Ike Skelton in November:

Talking Points Memo addresses Tea Party complaint about Bachmann support of Roy Blunt

The controversy surrounding Rep. Michelle Bachmann's endorsement of Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt continues.

The endorsement, as noted yesterday, does not sit well with tea party activitsts in Missouri and is receiving nationwide attention, including an article in today's Talking Points Memo.

Nodler receives $1,000 from Snyder Bridge Company president

With only five days left before the primary, Seventh District Congressional candidates are continuing to scramble for money to put their message before the voters.

A 48-hour report filed today with the FEC shows Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, received a $1,000 contribution from James Zerkel, Webb City, president of Snyder Bridge Company.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sheriff: No foul play suspected in death of Matthew Laurin

 Jasper County Sheriff Archie Dunn told the Joplin Globe foul play is not suspected in the hanging death of Matthew Laurin, 20, Springfield, who pleaded guilty earlier this week to the murders of Bob and Ellen Sheldon, owners of the Old Cabin Shop in Carthage:

Dunn said there is video surveillance of the pod of cells where Laurin was being held and no foul play is suspected. He said Laurin had given no indication of being suicidal and was not under a suicide watch by jail staff.

“I do know that shortly before 9 o’clock today, he was talking to our counselor and was asked the question: ‘Are you contemplating suicide?,’ and he said, ‘No,’” Dunn said.   

Killer of Carthage couple commits suicide in Jasper County Jail

Matthew Laurin, 20, Springfield, who pleaded guilty Monday to the October 2009 murder of Bob and Ellen Sheldon, owners of the Old Cabin Shop in Carthage, hung himself today in the Jasper County Jail, according to a story just posted  on The Carthage Press website.

With Laurin's suicide, all three witnesses against the other accused killer, Darren Winans, 23, Jasper, are dead.

As noted this morning, in The Turner Report, Teresa Adkins, 43, Springfield, who testified against Winans at his preliminary hearing last year, died June 1:

From the Joplin Globe coverage of the preliminary hearing:

Teresa Adkins told the court at Winans’ preliminary hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin that her 16-year-old daughter, Amanda Adkins, who dated Winans for a few months about the time of the slayings last year, was the first to let her know.
Amanda later brought Winans to her mother to tell her in person, Teresa Adkins testified.
“I think she made him tell me, I’m pretty sure,” Adkins said of her daughter who died earlier this year of a drug overdose.
She said the conversation with Winans took place close to Christmas at her home in Springfield. She said that Winans told her that he and Laurin had “killed two people and their dog. For drugs.”

Teresa Adkins' daughter, Amanda, the other witness against Winans, was murdered in April 2009, according to authorities. The Crime Scene Blog reported :

A Christian County man already doing time in prison has been charged with second degree murder in connection with the overdose death of his girlfriend.
When 20-year-old Bret Turner of Nixa was arrested, he was originally charged with distribution of a controlled substance in 16-year-old Amanda Adkins' death. But prosecutors allege  that he stole his mom's prescription 
morphine and gave it to Adkins. Final toxicology results show that Adkins died of an overdose of morphine, but had other drugs in her system, as well.

A press conference has been scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Jasper County Jail.

Goodman releases "Two Sons" ad

Sen. Jack Goodman has just released the "Two Sons" commercial, in which he talks about what has been taken away from the future of his two sons and other children across America:

Goodman ad: I'm ready to fix what's broken in Washington

In a just-released campaign advertisement, Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon, a Seventh District Congressional candidate, criticizes the change brought about President Obama and says he is ready to fix what is broken in Washington:

Unions keep Susan Montee above half-million mark

More than half of the money contributed to State Auditor Susan Montee in July came from union sources, according to her eight-day report filed earlier this week with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Ms .Montee, who will face the winner of the Allen Icet-Thomas Schweich Republican primary in November, collected $49,625 during the first three weeks of July, including at least $26,950 from union sources.

She received $10,000, in the form of $5,000 contributions three days apart, from the Teamsters Local; and $5,000 apiece from Volunteers Political Fund Local and AFSCME People Public Employees, to top the contributions, according to the disclosure report.

When the report was filed, Ms. Montee had $543,633.63 in the bank.

Long attack ad pulled off YouTube

An attack ad launched earlier today by Billy Long, targeting Seventh District Congressional opponents Gary Nodler and Jack Goodman, has been taken offline with the message "This video has been removed by the user."

The ad blamed supporters of Nodler and Goodman for the Americans for Job Security attack ad issued Monday against Long and criticized the senators' records.

Wisdom radio ad stresses economics background, service to country

In a new 30-second radio spot, Seventh District Congressional candidate Jeff Wisdom emphasizes his background as an economist and his service to this country:

McCaskill previews Arlington National Cemetery hearings

In the accompanying video, Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo, offers a preview of the hearings that will begin Thursday on problems at Arlington National Cemetery:

Long launches attack ad against Nodler, Goodman "to set the record straight"

Springfield auctioneer Billy Long has launched his much-awaited response to the attack ad launched Monday by Americans for Job Security. The new ad targets his top competitors in the Seventh District Congressional race, Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, and Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon: