For those looking for a Christmas present for someone with an interest in Missouri politics, I not-so-modestly suggest The Turner Report, my first non-fiction book. A signing for the book will be held this Saturday, Dec. 8, 1 to 5 p.m. at Hastings Books, Music and Video in Joplin.
The book can also be purchased at Always Buying Books and Changing Hands Book Shop in Joplin, Books N Java in Neosho, and Pat's Books in Carthage, as well as from numerous internet outlets, including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
Following is an excerpt from the book's chapters examining the influence lobbyists and special interests play with the politics of Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt and his son, Governor Matt Blunt:
Though the Democratic Party has control over both Houses, little has changed about the way Roy Blunt’s Rely on Your Beliefs leadership PAC operates. During the first five months of 2007, the PAC had received $346,450 in contributions. Of that amount, only $23,950 came from individuals and nearly all of those were from registered lobbyists. The remaining money came from PACS, with many having the nerve to refer to themselves as “Good Government Funds.” It seems probable that in their dictionaries, “good government is defined as the government that helps to pad their pocketbooks.
The book also includes chapters on current Missouri politics, an in-depth examination of the pivotal 1992 Missouri gubernatorial election, which set the tone for the next 15 years by placing the Blunt and Carnahan families in control of the state's politics, as well as behind-the scenes coverage of many of the stories, both political and non-political I covered during my years at The Carthage Press and the Lamar Democrat.