Sunday, October 31, 2010

Durbin campaigns for Robin Carnahan

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, who could become the next Senate Majority Leader if Harry Reid is defeated in Nevada and the Democrats hold on to the chamber, crossed the border to provide some late help for Robin Carnahan's U. S. Senate campaign today:

Three years have passed since Rowan Ford's murder

(The following is my column for the Newton County News and KY3)

She loved Hannah Montana, anything purple, and riding her bicycle.

More than anything she loved being with her classmates and teachers at Triway Elementary School in Stella.

Wednesday, November 3, marks the third anniversary of the death of that fourth grader, Rowan Ford, and the time of reckoning for her murderers is still not even on our radar.

Earlier this month, one of the two men accused of raping and strangling the nine-year-old, Chris Collings of Wheaton, turned his head in a Phelps County courtroom, as his videotaped confession was played in an effort to have it declared inadmissible. Two tapes were played, with Collings admitting to the rape and murder on the first tape and saying he acted alone in the second.

His lawyers are doing their best to have the confession tossed out, saying Collings’ constitutional rights were violated. Another complicating factor is a confession given by the other man charged with the crimes, Rowan Ford’s stepfather, David Wesley Spears.

As the wheels of justice slowly turn, Rowan, a fourth grader at the time of her death, would be nearly halfway through her seventh grade year. By the time the trials of either of the two men are actually held, her former classmates could well be walking the halls of East Newton High School.

And school, as I noted before was Rowan Ford's oasis. Life was never easy for the child. She never seemed to want to be at her home. She showed up at school long before classes began, and she stayed long after the final bell rang. Joplin Globe reporter Derek Spellman offered this assessment in an article written shortly after the murder:

Her bike was her steadfast companion and she knew the roads well.

Friends and others in the community of Stella would see her — a slender, brown-haired 9-year-old girl gliding along on her blue-tinted Blossom Quest bicycle.

Rowan Ford was careful to steer clear of heavy traffic, preferring quieter side streets that took her around the town’s tree-clad slopes and to the home of her best friend, Tyler, who happened to live across the street from Ford’s second home: the Stella Baptist Church.

A friend recalled at her funeral last week that Ford “just kept going and going and going.”

There’s speculation in hindsight now, speculation after Ford went missing nearly two weeks ago, speculation that intensified after Ford’s body was found, that the Stella girl spent so much time riding around town because she was keeping away from something.

And now the death penalty is on the table for the two men who are charged with the vilest acts imaginable to man. I have never been a proponent of the death penalty, but what other penalty could be just for anyone who would commit such crimes.?

In one of my columns last year, I offered these thoughts on the Rowan Ford murder:
Rowan Ford was robbed over and over during her young life. She was deprived of her normal childhood, her innocence, and eventually, her life.

Meanwhile, the hourglass of justice continues to turn at a glacial pace, as the years pass since Rowan Ford, forever nine, was taken from us.

Eckersley contributor accused of bilking Utah farmers out of $1 million in 1990s

Las Vegas attorney Craig Orrock, who contributed $1,000 to the campaign of Democratic Seventh District Congressional District candidate Scott Eckersley Saturday faced criminal charges in the 1990s for allegedly bilking two Utah farmers out of $350,000.

The charges were filed only after the farmers had to chase Orrock from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas after he relocated his office and received the rest of the money after threatening him with a lawsuit, according to an article in the March 21, 1996, Deseret News.

The article was written after Utah officials filed felony theft charges against Warrock, who is a former Internal Revenue Service agent:

"Orrock convinced John and Richard Childs to place more than $1 million in his care to be placed in irrevocable trusts. In 1992, the Childs discovered that Orrock had allegedly withdrawn money from the bank accounts without notifying them."

After discovering the money was gone, the Childs tried to contact Orrock and discovered he had relocated to Las Vegas. The men hired another lawyer, who threatened to sue Orrock and the Childs received $400,000, according to the Deseret News article.

After that, the Childs had the accounts audited. The audit "revealed Orrock had allegedly used $350,000 of their money for personal reasons."  The money had never been placed in irrevocable trusts.

Eventually, the charges against Orrock were dropped on the condition that he repay $100,000 and agree to pay under threat of a civil action an additional $175,000, according to an article in the Jan. 19, 1998, Deseret News.

A forty-eight hour report filed with the Federal Election Commission Saturday shows Eckersley received $1,000 from Orrock, who is described on the document as a "self-employed investor."

The same document and another 48-hour report filed today show Eckersley receiving two $2,500 contributions from the Midwest Regional Laborers" Political League, based in Springfield, Illinois.

Ashcroft endorses Vicky Hartzler

Former Attorney General, U. S. Senator and Governor John Ashcroft has endorsed Vicky Hartzler for Fourth District Congress. His endorsement is below:

To the Residents of the 4th District:

It is with a great deal of pride that I endorse the candidacy of Vicky Hartzler to be your next Member of the United States Congress.

During her six years in the Missouri General Assembly Vicky served honorably, championing legislation designed to lower taxes, fight crime, and facilitate access to adoption. She has been a strong and steadfast supporter of our men and women in uniform and there can be no doubt our veterans and those serving in the military today will have no greater friend in Congress.

Vicky has demonstrated the ability to bring Missourians of various political stripes together. Not only did she help build bridges between Republicans and Democrats on key legislative issues but she made evident that ability again during the 2004 campaign to recognize traditional marriage between a man and a woman as the law of our state – a proposal embraced by 71 percent of Missourians.

You could have no finer representative on Capitol Hill. I urge you to vote for Vicky Hartzler on November 2.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Video links provided for Dylan Reid Funeral, Patriot Guard

Blunt finishes tour with stops in Joplin, Springfield, Neosho

Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long joined Roy Blunt today for the last leg of Blunt's tour across Missouri, which included stops in Bolivar, Springfield, Joplin, and Neosho.

Highlight of Dylan Reid's life was seeing his daughter born

Pfc. Dylan Reid, who was laid to rest today after his funeral in Lamar, achieved his dream just last month when he saw his daughter Avery born, according to an article in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

“He’s always wanted a family,” Erika Reid (his sister) said. “He didn’t even care if he got married, but he definitely wanted kids.”

This past year, he got both.

Before deploying, he tied the knot with Alecia Reid, who planned to go apartment hunting in Colorado Springs later this year.

And on Sept. 14, he looked on as his daughter, Avery Lynn Reid, was born.

The “smart ass,” it seemed, was growing up — something his friends noticed.

Less than a week ago, Dylan Reid logged on to the Internet and talked with a few people, including Dosey. Their conversation skipped along like it always did. Then Dylan Reid started talking about Avery.

“He couldn’t believe how much he could love something,” Dosey said. “You never really know until you watch a child be born how much you can really love somebody.

“He was really looking forward to being a dad."

A tribute to Dylan Reid

The accompanying video offers a salute to PFC Dylan Reid, who was killed earlier this month in Iraq. His funeral was held today in Lamar:

Housewives give $5,000 to BIlly Long

The money keeps pouring in for Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long.

A 48-hour report filed today with the FEC, shows Long received another $15,200 today, including $5,000 from two women whose occupation was reported as "housewife."

Long's contributors are listed below:

Genen PAC, $1,500
Edward Jones PAC $1,000
Camilla Brauer, Bridgeton, housewife, $1,200
Stephen Brauer, Bridgeton, $1,200
Mark Haseltine, Springfield, attorney, $1,000
ARDA ROC PAC, $2,500
Amerian Medical Association PAC, $2,000
David Barklage, Cape Girardeau, political consultant $1,000
Shelley Riddle, Lee's Summit, housewife, $3,800

Emery: Bring on the new independence, good riddance to Social Security and Medicare

His time in the state legislature is almost over, but in his latest report, Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, eagerly awaits the coming days when those morally crippling ideas like Social Security and Medicare are a thing of the past:

In the months leading up to June of 1776 there must have been small groups of men meeting across the colonies. They would have met quietly if not secretly to revile the “intolerable acts,” discuss British oppressions and share their visions of liberty. These colonists were weary of utter dependency on Britain for everything from military defense to tea. Their vision for liberty was ultimately codified into the Declaration of Independence.

In our day, however, if any such meetings are taking place they are not quiet or secret, neither are they about freedom and independence. Instead, they are more likely to be loud public protests demanding more government and more assistance. Today’s “Declaration” would likely be a Declaration-of-Dependence demanding that government provide more social security, more health care, more job security, more nursing home care, more food stamps, and on and on.

The colonists had discovered that being totally dependent on Britain robbed them of life, liberty, and property; and they threw off dependence with a Declaration of Independence. Coast-to-coast, today’s American is waking up to the American dream described by Ronald Reagan as “the ultimate in individual freedom, consistent with an orderly society.” They are also recognizing that our choice on November 2nd is “…one of up or down” – more dependence on government or greater independence of it.

I believe on Nov. 2nd we will win a major victory for independence because the people are demanding it. The more important question is whether we can keep it. The American colonists knew the price of independence; Britain would no longer assure their security, their staples, or even their tea. With the casting aside of British rule, nothing in their lives would be certain or assured. They, not government, would be masters of their own fate.

No one can have both liberty and dependency – they are mutually exclusive conditions. The prevailing question is will we do what liberty demands – learn to care for ourselves? If so, America may soon be back on the path envisioned by the founders and purchased with their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor. If not, liberty will once again fade. Please cast your vote for independence on Nov. 2nd and resist today’s intolerable acts of government no matter the security they promise.

Democrat Tim Davis endorses Billy Long

Tim Davis, who was defeated in the Democratic primary for Seventh District Congress by Scott Eckersley, has endorsed Eckersley's opponent, Billy Long. From the news release:

Former Democratic candidate for Congress Tim Davis has announced his endorsement of Billy Long for United States Congress. “Like me, Billy Long is pro-life and shares our Ozark values. He will stand up to reduce runaway spending. He understands that federal spending threatens our children’s future and will support a balanced budget amendment. On Tuesday, I will be casting my vote for Billy Long.”

“I am pleased to have Tim’s support in this race. Traveling across the Seventh District, I meet more people every day who want to join our team because they too are fed up with Washington D.C.” stated Billy Long.

Tim Davis is a native of the Ozarks. He graduated from Branson High School. Additionally, he has done extensive research in economics worldwide. He and his family attend James River Assembly in Springfield, Missouri.

Patriot Guard ready to protect dead soldier's family from Westboro protesters

A Patriot Guard team is prepared to protect the family of soldier Dylan Reid who was killed earlier this month in Iraq.

Reid's services have been targeted by Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers at the Westboro Baptist Church, who have made a practice of protesting at soldiers' funerals claiming they were killed because God is paying back the United States for its tolerance of homosexuality.

A Facebook site designed to garner support for the Patriot Guard had 479 followers as of this morning.

The Guard will meet at 11 a.m. at Daniel Funeral Home. A briefing will be held at 11:30 a.m., followed by the flag line at 12:15. The funeral is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Rove group attacking Russ Carnahan, other Democratic house candidates with cookie cutter ads

It doesn't take long to see the resemblance between ads paid for by Bush advisor (and current Fox News analyst) Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS, attacking Congressman Russ Carnahan, D-Mo, and other Democratic Congressional candidates across the country.

Rove's group is spending millions, without having to reveal the source of the money.

The ads are the same with only the details of the state and candidate changed and attempt to link the candidates with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. A few of those ads are featured in the accompanying videos:

Hartzler: I look forward to working with Roy Blunt, taking back our country

In this Roy Blunt campaign video, former Rep. Vicky Hartzler, the Republican candidate for Fourth District Congress, talks about touring her district with Blunt and how she looks forward to helping him "take back our country."

Carnahan says she'll work for you; Blunt works for special interests

In her latest campaign video, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan says she will work for Missourians if elected to the U. S. Senate, adding that her opponent, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt has shown time and again he will work for special interests:

Blunt video features testimony from jobless, touts his job plan

In this video from Roy Blunt's campaign, jobless Missourians express their frustrations, while Blunt touts his job plan and blames the current situation on President Obama:

Blunt tours eastern part of state

In the accompanying video, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt, on a tour of the eastern part of the state, sends a message to potential voters:

Schweich picks up $60,000 in late contributions

Republican state auditor candidate Thomas Schweich received $50,000 from contractor Stanley Herzog and $10,000 from Speaker of the House Ron Richard, R-Joplin, acocrding for reports filed Friday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Billy Long plays PAC man in days before election

Forty-eight hour forms filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission indicate Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long is becoming quite adept at playing PAC man.

Long received $21,400 in contributions, with most of it coming from political action committees, topped by $5,000 apiece from PATHPAC (which represents pathologists) and Enterprise Holdings PAC. Among his other contributions:

Greg Hoberock, Washington, Mo., $2,400
National Association of Insurance $1,000
Boeing PAC $2,000
Federal Express PAC $2,000
Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of America PAC $1,000
ROJKAM PAC, $1,000
Raytheon PAC, $2,000

Natural Disaster to perform at Sane Mule Motorcycle Shop

Our band, Natural Disaster, will perform at 11 a.m. today at the Sane Mule Motorcycle Shop near Boulder City.
Hope to see some of you there.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Billy Long: We must repeal and replace Obamacare

In an op-ed in today's Springfield News-Leader, Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long says Obamacare must go:

We must repeal and replace Obamacare. Health care costs are rising much faster than inflation while other sectors of the economy are reducing costs and increasing quality. A massive new bureaucracy will be completely inept at holding down costs, unless the bureaucrats ration care, and government systems are woefully inadequate at providing the innovation we need to save lives. Instead of making the problem worse with Obamacare, let's put reforms in place that empower the individual. Allow people to shop for insurance across state lines. Change the tax code to make it attractive for people to purchase insurance directly rather than through their employer and allow portability. Cap noneconomic awards to freeze frivolous lawsuits.

Message to Springfield News-Leader: Allegations against Long may be murky because of poor reporting

The Springfield News-Leader has every right to endorse any candidate it wishes for Seventh District Congress or any other race. Freedom of the press is one of the foundations upon which this country is biult.

That being said, I was both saddened and amused to read the News-Leader's endorsement of Billy Long in this morning's edition. Not because of the political aspects. If the newspaper's editorial board believes Long has the right stuff to represent this corner of the state in Washington, then by all means it should offer its endorsement.

What was particularly depressing for someone who has spent most of his adult life digging beneath the surface on stories of all kinds, is the News-Leader's assertion that the allegations made against Billy Long's character are "murky."

Perhaps the reason those allegations are still murky is because of the shallow, superficial reporting job done by the newspaper regarding the accusation that Billy Long cavorted with strippers, gambled, and used racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs.

The editorial reads, "We strongly emphasize here that despite recent suggestions Long has acted improperly and boorishly, attacks on his character remain unsubstantiated.
"We also must stress that the attacks were orchestrated or at least encouraged by Long's opponent Scott Eckersley and they were based on flimsy evidence. Therefore, we put those murky allegations aside."
Judging from the page-one article in Sunday's News-Leader, those "murky allegations" were put aside before the reporting began.
Though it is hard to prove a negative, a thorough investigation would likely have made it quite clear whether the allegations against Long had merit. A complete search of documents and a more extensive list of interview subjects might have provided readers with a truer picture of what did or did not happen in the back room of the Metropolitan Grill.
Instead, it appears the reporters had to be told who to interview and relied almost entirely on the Long and Eckersley camps for sources. Old fashioned shoe leather reporting never played a role in this long ((no pun intended), but essentially meaningless story.

News-Leader: Billy Long is the best prepared to stand up for Ozarkers

The Springfield News-Leader Editorial Board endorsed Billy Long for Seventh District Congress today:

Based on everything we have heard and been able to research in this race thus far, the choice is clear: we support Billy Long.

Although his campaign launched some negative, questionable attacks in the primary, we believe Long resorted to them because of advice that is becoming far too common in today's no-holds-barred campaign climate.
We strongly emphasize here that despite recent suggestions Long has acted improperly and boorishly, attacks on his character remain unsubstantiated.
We also must stress that the attacks were orchestrated or at least encouraged by Long's opponent Scott Eckersley and they were based on flimsy evidence. Therefore, we put those murky allegations aside.
What remains clear is that Long really wants to a chance to prove he can make a difference in the nation's capital.
He deserves the opportunity.

Eckersley: News-Leader should apologize to former Metropolitan Grill workers

In an op-ed in this morning's Springfield News-Leader, Democratic Seventh District Congressional candidate Scott Eckersley said the newspaper should apologize to the former Metropolitan Grill workers who leveled charges that Eckersley's opponent, Billy Long, cavorted with strippers, gambled, and made racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks:

I believe Jennifer Case and Robert Bush deserve a great deal of credit for stepping into the "arena" as described above. On top of that, they both deserve an apology and retraction for enduring the unethical tactics and faulty reporting done by this newspaper. The same apology should go to Christopher Case as well. He is Jennifer's husband and a decorated soldier serving our country in Afghanistan. It is he who ultimately gave Jennifer his blessing to "do the right thing" which meant stepping forward into the public eye to let voters know her concerns. It was his character that inspired Jennifer to step into the arena. And now others have joined her.

Former Chiefs fullback to participate in Bright Futures Golf Tournament

Former Kansas City Chiefs fullback Kimble Anders will be in Joplin Friday to participate in the a celebrity golf tournament sponsored by the Joplin Bright Futures Initiative. From the news release:
The Joplin Schools Bright Futures Initiative is pleased to welcome former Kansas City Chiefs fullback Kimble Anders to Joplin. Anders will arrive on Thursday, October 28, with plans to take part in the first Bright Futures Celebrity Golf Tournament on Friday, October 29, at the Eagle Creek Golf Club, 2742 Ben Pell Drive. On Saturday, October 30, Anders will visit with kids taking part in the Joplin Youth Football Superbowl at Junge Field, 800 Junge Blvd., before leaving the area. 
The Bright Futures Golf Tournament is a fundraiser that will feature Anders, who had a distinguished 10-year NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs that included three Pro Bowl appearances. Determined to give back, Anders founded the Running Back, Giving Back Foundation in 2000, to benefit Kansas City's urban youth by providing programs and opportunities that support all aspects of positive personal growth and well being. True to his actions on the gridiron and a disciplined approach to life, Anders relied upon like strategies when he established the Foundation. Taking part in the Bright Futures Golf Tournament is a way that Anders can support the Bright Futures initiative and the work they do in the Joplin area.
The Golf Tournament is sponsored in part by Southwest Missouri Bank, Sportsman’s Park, and Roper Kia, and Dr. CJ Huff, Superintendent of Joplin Schools, has been excited by the support the event has been receiving. “I am excited to be a part of bringing this event, and Kimble Anders to the Joplin community. This is one of many steps towards a brighter future for the youth in our area,” he said. 

Westboro Baptist Church to protest at Lamar soldier's funeral

The First Amendment perversions of the Westboro Baptist Church will continue this Saturday when its members are scheduled to protest at the funeral of PFC Dylan Reid, who was killed Oct. 16 in Iraq.

The following message is featured on the church's website:

"WBC will picket the funeral of Pfc. Dylan T. Reid to remind this nation that God Himself is killing these soldiers in His wrath. The death of the young men of a nation in their prime is not a blessing but rather a curse of God for this doomed land!

"Except the Lord build the house, They labor in vain that build it; Except the Lord keep the city, The watchman waketh but in vain." Psa. 127:1.

"The Lord no longer builds the American house; nor does the Lord watch over and protect America. These soldiers are dying for the homosexual and other sins of America. God is now America's enemy, and God Himself is fighting against America."
Church members will be met by resistance when they arrive in Lamar.The Patriot Guard, after reading of the church's plans to protest, will set up a bumper zone to protect the family from the insanity of Rev. Fred Phelps and his followers. The Guard has provided this service at numerous military funerals since the church began its protests.

Dylan Reid's services are scheduled for 1 p.m. at Daniel Funeral Home.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Democratic Party posts final "Worst in Washington" ad about Roy Blunt

The Missouri Democratic Party posted its final "Worst in Washington" ad about Republican U. S. Senate candidate Roy Blunt today:

Appeals Court rejects bid to reinstate libel suit against Billy Long advisor

The Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals has rejected St. Charles County Commissioner Joe Brazil's attempt to reinstate a libel suit against political operative Jeff Roe, whose Axiom Strategies has been a key advisor to Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long.

Online court documents indicate the court issued its ruling Tuesday.

Brazil's appeal came after Judge Nancy L. Schneider granted a summary judgment in favor of Roe in January.

According to St. Charles County online court documents, Judge Schneider ruled that Brazil, as a public figure "has submitted no substantial evidence or no genuine issue of material fact concerning actual malice."

On the second count of Brazil's lawsuit, which alleged he had been injured by what Roe wrote in August 2006 on his blog, The Source, the judge ruled that Brazil had not provided evidence showing he had lost anything other than attorney fees.

Brazil filed the initial libel suit against Roe in March 2007, as detailed in the March 30, 2007 Turner Report. Brazil took the action after Roe attacked him in two posts on "The Source" blog just before the August 2006 State Senate primary, which was won by Brazil's opponent, Scott Rupp, another client of Roe's.

The first attack, printed Aug. 1, 2006, accused Brazil of being drunk and partying loudly. On Aug. 4, Roe printed the post Brazil found the most egregious, which Roe removed from his blog months after the lawsuit was filed:

According to, in 1982, Brazil was attempting to pull off a senior class prank at McCluer North High School in Florissant, Missouri. Brazil's plan was to deposit thousands of pounds of sand into the school’s faculty parking lot. Brazil even owned a dump truck that could be used to aid in the prank.

After quite a few beers, Brazil and his buddies loaded up the dump truck with sand and drove to the school. One of Brazil’s friends, Norval Pierce sat on top of the bed of the truck while Brazil dumped the sand. Brazil drove slowly while dumping, attempting to adequately spread the sand in the parking lot. As Brazil was driving, the truck jumped forward, throwing Pierce through the frame of the truck. Not realizing what had happened, Brazil continued to drive while drunk and dumping sand. Brazil proceeded to crush Pierce under the truck.

So now we have another instance of Brazil’s irresponsibility and not owning up to his mistakes. What else do we need to know Joe?

Roe's version of the story was disputed, not only by Brazil, but by others, including the Florissant police officer who made the stop and said no alcohol was involved, that it was just an accident, according to the O'Fallon Watchdog website.

Roe filed a countersuit at one point, but later dismissed the action.

Billy Long on KOLR: No strippers for me, I'm a meat and potatoes guy

Billy Long told KOLR Tuesday that his opponent, Scott Eckersley, owes him an apology, for promoting accusations by former Metropolitan Grill waitress Jennifer Case that he cavorted with strippers, and made racist, sexist, and homophobic comments.

Reporter Joy Robertson interviewed both Ms. Case and Long for the story, which featured mention that the Metro Mafia page on the Metropolitan Grill Facebook page has been taken down and that Long was at the Grill after 10 p.m. for the election watch on primary night.

Ms. Case says was not paid for appearing in Eckersley campaign videos. She said she thought Billy Long's candidacy was a joke when she first heard about it. "I didn't take it seriously."

Long said, "Everything in her allegations is 100 percent false."

He added, "It's character assassination; it's hurtful."

Long said he is not a member of the Metro Mafia. "Not everyone in Springfield likes me. I've got news for you. I'm  sure if there was such a party, there'd be some people there who wouldn't like me and they'd say, 'Sure he was here.' "

Long said, "Scott, you owe me an apology."

Eckersley, who was not on camera for story, says Long owes Jennifer Case an apology.

Carnahan ad touts newspaper endorsements

In her latest ad, Senate candidate Robin Carnahan touts the endorsements of the Kansas City Star and St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Blunt posts "Get Out the Vote" ad

Saying his race against Robin Carnahan could decide the future of this country, in the accompanying ad, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt encourages his followers to get out the vote:

Hartzler ad: Ike Skelton left us

In an ad posted Monday, former Rep. Vicky Hartzler says her opponent, Rep. Ike Skelton, has "left us," continuing the association of Skelton with Nancy Pelosi:

Billy Long changes his mind; pork is OK

I will freely admit the headline for this post is misleading.

As far as I know, Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long, who signed the so-called No Pork Pledge, referring to pork barrel projects, has not changed his mind, but a 48-hour report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission indicates that he is receptive to certain types of pork.

The report shows Long accepted a $1,000 contribution from the Pork PAC, based in Des Moines, Iowa, as well as $1,000 from Mount Vernon businessman Dwight Wilmoth.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tilley buys half million dollar house in Las Vegas; former owner was supermodel

Majority Leader and future Speaker of the House Steve Tilley spent half a million dollars on a five-bedroom, four-bathroom house in Las Vegas Sept. 1, according to Block Shopper Las Vegas.

The home, located at 9609 Del Sole Court, was being sold for the second time in less than three months. The website says Tilley and his wife, Kellie, bought the home from Charles Griffin who paid $720,000 July 12 to buy the property from supermodel Jamie Frontz, who bought it for $950,000 on Feb. 2007.

Though not much information is available about Griffin, it is quite the contrary for Miss Frontz.

On her blog, Miss Frontz, 32, says she is a conservative Republican:

I know, it’s politically incorrect to talk politics or religion or any of the other taboo topics but being how this is MY blog, I figure I can blab about what ever the hell I want and if y’all don’t like it you can go to someone else’s site right? So here’s the deal, it’s no secret that I’m a Republican. I am fairly conservative when it comes to most politics. To say I’m disappointed in our country and the way things are going is a vast understatement. It’s just flat out scary. I miss the days when it felt like being an American and being Patriotic stood for something. Can I just say, what the hell happened to our Constitution? Does no one remember that that is the foundation for which our nation was built?

On her website, Miss Frontz lists the things she loves:

I love love love my 4 dogs, my horses, sitting down to read a good book, writing, working out 6 to 7 days a week, Pilates, a dry sense of humor, shopping, being in front of the camera, when my dogs go potty outside, the feel of grass between my toes, chap stick when I really need it, fat back statements, therapy (whats better than getting to vent and not be judged.. even if I do have to pay for it), acupuncture, going to the movies, church and brunch on Sundays, having a relaxing ride through the mountains with my horses, laying out by my pool, sweet tea, talking politics, ice cream, cocktails with the girlies, shoe sales, sexy high heels, really big diamonds, my ultra comfy bed, sexy lingerie, great conversation, great kissers, watching the snow fall from a hot tub outside, hot coco with the little marsh mellows, German Rieslings, cooking for my friends (or man when I have one).

Associated Press reporter Tilley was on vacation in Las Vegas June 29, missing a special House session.

Stripper allegations against Billy Long were not circulating before primary

Sources within the campaigns of the major competitors to Springfield auctioneer Billy Long in the August Republican Seventh District Congressional primary, have told The Turner Report, that they had heard any allegations involving Long cavorting with strippers, or making racist remarks at the Metropolitan Grill.

"It might have made a difference if we heard something in July," one said, in an e-mail I received Saturday. "It's not going to make any difference now, except we're sending a damaged Congressman to Washington. This may help Scott Eckersley, but he is not going to win."

A source within another campaign e-mailed to say, "This was the first we've heard of it."

KOLR to air stripper accusations, Billy Long response tonight

KOLR reporter Joy Robertson's interviews with former Metropolitan Grill employee Jennifer Case and Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long are scheduled to air tonight, according to the station's website. Ms. Case has accused Long of cavorting with strippers in after-hours parties at the Metropolitan Grill, as well as making racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks.

More on the Springfield News-Leader and its coverage of Billy Long and strippers

I have watched with particular interest the last two days as the Springfield News-Leader struggles with its coverage of the Billy Long/Metropolitan Grill/stripper scandal.

The approach taken by the News-Leader in its political coverage has been unique to say the least. Sunday's "investigation" of the accusations made by former Metropolitan Grill workers against Long appeared to be more of a "We're doing this story because we're being forced into it," approach, with every effort made to show that there was no story at all.

At this point, it is hard to tell what the truth is and the News-Leader's reporting only served to muddy the water because of all of the bases that were apparently left untouched.

In my critique of the newspaper's coverage Sunday, I pointed out numerous approaches that the News-Leader could have taken, including various document searches. Reporter Cory De Vera, in a response to my critique, said, "We do have several document requests pending. Many people wanted to tell me many things about the Metro Grill, and while that's all very interesting, the issue for this story was: Did someone see Billy Long there when this allegedly happened? Did Billy Long play a role in some way? Or does he just eat at a place where some times some things have gotten out of hand?"

I would be very curious to see what document requests are pending, and it would have been nice if the News-Leader had specifically stated the steps it took for its Sunday article. From Ms. DeVera's statement, it also appears the News-Leader approached the story in a fashion that I always warned young reporters against- The newspaper went into the story knowing exactly what it wanted to find and failed to follow the leads where they took them. Who are the Metro Mafia? Are these Springfield leaders who have been involved in after-hours gambling and have dallied with strippers? Have there been complaints against the establishment? Had they tracked down those leads thoroughly they would have likely discovered one way or another whether Billy Long actually did what he has been accused of doing.

As interesting as the stripper story has been, I was more concerned with another statement Ms. De Vera made in her response to my critique. I had noted that at no point had the News-Leader addressed the apparent differences between the "Fed Up" Billy Long of primary lore and the Billy Long who accepts sizable campaign contributions from Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, and other traditional. business-as-usual sources:

"I was working on a campaign finance story and on some issue stories when the Eckersley commercial was released. That made a story about these allegations a higher priority."

Whatever happened to a daily newspaper providing timely news coverage? Billy Long's campaign filed
its quarterly report Oct. 15. How long does it take to go through an easily accessible public document, write who contributed to Long, and call him and ask about it.

The Seventh District Congressional race is an important one. I would have hoped that it would be treated as such by the biggest newspaper in the district.

News-Leader: Our reporters did a professional job on stripper story

The conduct of the Springfield News-Leader in its coverage of accusations concerning Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long and strippers at the Metropolitan Grill has become a central issue late in the race.

It was brought up again Monday at a Bar Association forum in Springfield with Democratic candidate Scott Eckersley charging the News-Leader with "an attack job" on witnesses who claim Long cavorted with strippers at the Grill, and also made racist, sexist, and homophobic comments.

The forum heated up when a participant asked Eckersley what court-admissible evidence he had to support the claims of Jennifer Case, a waitress who has accused Billy Long of making inappropriate remarks and gambling while at the Metropolitan Grill. Case spoke about her accusations in an Eckersley campaign commercial.

Eckersley called the previous day's News-Leader article "an attack job."

In a press release Monday, he said the News-Leader behaved unethically. The release said reporter Wes Johnson asked Case's 18-year-old son, "Do you know how much trouble your mother is in?" and a photographer took pictures of Case after she asked him to stop. The release quotes her as saying she told reporters that she saw strippers with Long. On Friday, Case had answered no when a reporter asked whether she had ever seen Long with strippers in the room.

Long didn't respond to the criticism at the forum until Eckersley mentioned that a Joplin news outlet had published Case's story. Long pointed out that the news outlet was The Fuse Joplin, a blog.

News-Leader Executive Editor David Stoeffler said he reviewed a tape of the interview with Case, and "it was a professional interview" conducted at a local restaurant.

Late money continues to pour in for Ike Skelton

Large contributions continued to pour in for Rep. Ike Skelton, D-MO as he faces an unusually tough challenge for re-election from Republican Vicky Hartzler.

Reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission, showed Skelton receiving $38,000, including conributions from the following:

Harris Corporation PAC $5,000
National Association for Uniformed Services PAC $4,000
NEA $4,000
American Maritime Officers $1,500
Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers $2,500
United Mine Workers $2,500

Ms. Hartzler has not filed any 48-hour reports since the end of last week.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Long reports $12,400 in contributions

Forty-eight hour reports filed today with the FEC show Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long received $12,400 in contributions. Those contributing:

Altria PAC $1,000
NSSGA RockPAC, $1,000
Hal Roper, Joplin, $1,000
Jerry Wells, Joplin, $2,400
Empire District Electric Company PAC, $1,000
Kraft Foods Global PAC $2,000
Inn PAC, $1,000
National Mining Association COALPAC, $2,000
Kline for Congress, $1,000

President Obama's cousin speaks at Branson Tea Party rally

Dr. Milton Wolf, a cousin of President Barack Obama spoke Saturday at the Branson Tea Party rally. These vidoes were posted on YouTube earlier today:

Carnahan ad emphasizes differences between herself, Blunt

In her "Travel" ad, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan emphasizes the differences between herself and her U. S. Senate opponent, Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt:

Democratic Party ad attacks Blunt's connection to illegal immigrant

No offense to the Missouri Democratic Party, but this story about Roy Blunt and the illegal immigrant is not going to help Robin Carnahan, especially considering we are talking about something that occurred two decades ago. This is the latest ad issued by the party:

Kinder: Vote yes on Amendment 3

In a news release issued today, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder encourages Missourians to vote for Amendment 3:

“As the economy continues to take a toll on families across Missouri, our state, county and city governments must live within their means,” Lt. Governor Kinder said. Balancing a budget by placing unfair taxes on Missourians is NOT how government should be doing business. That is why I am urging all Missourians to vote YES on Constitutional Amendment 3.”

Passage of Amendment 3 on the November ballot will prevent the state, counties and cities from imposing any new tax on the sale or transfer of homes or real estate.

“In January, I promised in my party’s response to the State of the State address that we would hold the line on taxes. However, talk is not enough,” Lt. Governor Kinder said. “That is why I am taking an active role in encouraging Missourians to vote YES on Amendment 3 to prevent tax increases in many areas of our state.”
In Missouri, families and businesses already pay property taxes on all real estate. Amendment 3 will prevent any further double taxation in our hometowns.

Lt. Governor Kinder, the state’s Official Senior Advocate also urged seniors to vote YES on Amendment 3.

“Often, wording on election ballots can be trcky or confusing. It’s important to remember that a YES vote will ensure that you won’t have to pay additional taxes on any of your property, no matter where you live in Missouri,” Lt. Governor Kinder said.

In 2008, Lt. Governor Kinder led the fight to pass legislation protecting Missouri’s senior and disabled citizens from the threat of rising property taxes. Mandatory rollbacks have helped ensure Missouri seniors can stay in their homes without greater financial burdens.

Eckersley forum scheduled at Missouri Southern

Democratic Seventh District Congressioncal candidate Scott Eckersley will be the featured guest at a forum Thursday night at Missouri Southern State University. From the news release:

The MSSU College Democrats is hosting a forum Thursday, October 28th at 6:30 pm with 7th Congressional Candidate Scott Eckersley. The event will take place in Plaster Hall at the Cornell Auditorium.

Mr Eckersley will be discussing the topics of Education, and Senior Issues. There will be time at the end of the event for people to submit questions surrounding these issues.

Members of the community are encouraged to come to the event to find out where Mr Eckersley stands on these important issues.

Feb 3 trial set for former Speaker of the House

The Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian reports a Feb. 3 trial date has been set for former Speaker of the House Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, on an assault charge:

Jetton is accused of assaulting Mary Elizabeth Lowe of Sikeston, Mo. at her home last November. Jetton is accused of hitting Lowe on the head, choking her, and beating her during rough sexual intercourse.

Photographs entered into evidence at Jetton's preliminary hearing in February showed Lowe had injuries to her face, neck and leg.

News-Leader reporter on Billy Long story: We checked with the strippers

In case anyone missed it Sunday, Springfield News-Leader reporter Cory de Vera responded to my criticism of her newspaper's investigation into allegations that Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long consorted with strippers at the Metropolitan Grill and made racist, sexist, and homophobic remarks.

Following are her remarks in their entirety:

1. Yes, we did check with a local strip club that allegedly supplied strippers at one event. I didn't have actual names of strippers to seek out, however.

2. We do have several document requests pending. Many people wanted to tell me many things about the Metro Grill, and while that's all very interesting, the issue for this story was: Did someone see Billy Long there when this allegedly happened? Did Billy Long play a role in some way? Or does he just eat at a place where some times some things have gotten out of hand?

3. Yes, I spoke with several regular customers of the Metropolitan Grill, including some who identified themselves as members of the Metro Mafia. I was going to write a side on what the Metro Mafia was, but time and space did not allow for that in Sunday's story.

4. I was working on a campaign finance story and on some issue stories when the Eckersley commercial was released. That made a story about these allegations a higher priority.

5. For the record, I miss Chad (Livengood) and Tony (Messenger), too. They were both great reporters.

Cory de Vera

White raises $8,755

Republican 129th District State Representative candidate received $8,755 and spent $7,958.87 during the early part of October, according to his eight days before election report filed Friday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Most of White's money, $6,505 came during the Show Me Shootout, a fundraiser at the Claythorne Lodge in Columbus, Kan., according to the report. His biggest contribution, $1,500 came from Crossland Construction, Columbus, Kan.

White's Democratic opponent is Jim West, who had not filed his eight-day report when this was posted.

Richard picks up $32,000, pays NRA dues out of campaign funds

Soon to be former Speaker of the House Ron Richard received $32,000 in contributions during the first three weeks of October, according to his eight days before election report filed Friday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Richard spent $69,369.58 during that time, including a $50,000 contribution to the Majority Fund. Despite his salary as an elected official and the money he receives from running his bowling company, Richard paid his $60 National Rifle Association dues with campaign money, according to the report.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

News-Leader spends time, money debunking BIlly Long stripper accusations

Pardon me if I am not ready to hand the Springfield News-Leader an investigative reporting award for its handling of today's examination of accusations that Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long consorted with strippers and has indulged in racist, sexist, and homophobic behavior.

As I read the article, I began to wonder just how well News-Leader reporters and editors know their community or their jobs. Instead of actually searching for people who could have provided information without having been prepared by the Eckersley or Long campaigns, the News-Leader did little digging on its own and instead relied on witnesses spoon fed to them by the candidates.

Did any News-Leader reporter check with Springfield strippers (dancers, whatever) and see if they had ever danced at the Metropolitan Grill?

There is no indication from the article that the News-Leader checked with the state Division of Alcohol and Tobacco (formerly Liquor Control) to determine if any complaints had ever been filed against the Metropolitan Grill. The types of actions described by Ms. Case could easily have led to a revocation or suspension of the business' liquor license. That type of documentation, if it exists, would have added an extra dimension to this story. If there is no documentation, that should be noted in fairness to the business.

There is also no indication that News-Leader reporters ever talked to any member of the so-called Metro Mafia. If there was anything to these accusations, the best approach is always to gather the evidence and then, if it proves to be substantive, confront the politician with documentation and affidavits. Otherwise, it turns into just another case of politicians making accusations against each other.

Sadly, there was never any real chance that a news organization could get to the bottom of this story. That is not the way journalism is done today. Instead of doing any real reporting, most journalists receive the news release, call to get the other side, post the story and call it a day.

Some of it is due to budget cutbacks; some can be traced to a 24-hour news cycle with constant demands for updates.

And sadly, this lack of digging is not limited to Billy Long and the stripper saga. For instance, a Google News search shows that only blogs have reported on Long's acceptance of campaign contributions from such firms as Halliburton and Exxon Mobil. While there is certainly nothing illegal about the contributions, they certainly stand at odds with Long's "Fed Up" persona that led to his primary victory. Not only has he not been questioned about this, but apparently the traditional media do not consider it to be important enough to address.

For the News-Leader, to have this type of spaghetti-thin journalism coming so soon after the departure of one of the best young political reporters working, Chad Livengood, is particularly disappointing. Today's long (no pun intended) story offers much titillation and stokes the fires of controversy, but leaves the reader with doubts about everyone involved in the story, something a much more thorough and professional investigation would have avoided.

Turner Report added to KY3 website

I am. a bit late in noting this, but earlier this month, The Turner Report began running on KY3's website. My first column for the website was an update on my earlier revelation that Missouri GOP lawmakers attended the ALEC conference at the taxpayers' expense, and then enjoyed such activities as golf and wine tasting with lobbyists footing the bill.

Please check it out.

Is Billy Long still fed up?

(The following is my column for this week's Newton County News and for the KY3 website.)

Two words characterized the primary battle for the Seventh District Congressional seat currently held by Roy Blunt.

The minute Springfield auctioneer and former radio personality Billy Long said he was “fed up” with government as usual, “fed up” with the big spending ways of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi, and “fed up” with career politicians who had never signed the front of a check, he had latched onto his ticket to the general election.

In a year when Tea Party enthusiasts are ripping anything that smacks of incumbency or experience, veteran state senators Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, and Jack Goodman, R-Mt. Vernon, didn’t stand a chance.

Once the primary passed, and Nodler, Goodman, and the rest of the cast of characters from the Republican primary were in Billy Long’s rear view mirror, the Fed Up Express became a thing of history.

Perhaps it’s the difference in opponents. Instead of two veteran state senators, Long’s chief opponent, Scott Eckersley, is someone who is just as inexperienced in elective politics as Long is.

Or perhaps now that Gary Nodler and Jack Goodman are no longer siphoning money from traditional sources, Billy Long can start raking in the cash from the special interests just like all of the “career politicians” he has spent months criticizing.

No better evidence can be found than in Long’s quarterly disclosure report, filed October 15 with the Federal Election Commission.

Long's contributor list for the past quarter reads like a who's who of big business, including a couple that are reminiscent of recent excesses.

FEC documents show Halliburton and Exxon Mobil each dropped $1,000 into Long's campaign chest.

Halliburton, long associated with former vice president Dick Cheney, was the recipient of billions of dollars, much of that in the form of no-bid contracts, from the federal government. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to drain the U. S. economy, Halliburton has been swimming in greenbacks for the past decade.

It would seem that kind of special interest excess would be something that would have the earlier incarnation of Billy Long, the one that apparently vanished after the primary, fed up.

And why wouldn’t Exxon Mobil fit into that same category? After all, it is a company that recorded record profits during a time when average American citizens were paying more than double and sometimes triple what they used to pay for gas.

Surely the old Billy Long would be fed up with that kind of excess.

That’s just the beginning of the traditional interests that began lining up behind “Fed Up” Billy after he no longer needed to be fed up.

The American Bankers' Association gave the maximum $5,000, credit industry law firm Hunter & Williams chipped in with $1,000, and the R. J. Reynolds PAC gave $2,500.

Long also received big bucks from many of the so-called leadership PACs, including $5,000 from the Rely on Your Beliefs PAC of Roy Blunt, the man Long hopes to succeed, plus thousands from the leadership PACS of such Republican luminaries as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Congressman John Boehner, Eric Kantor, and Paul Ryan.

All of these men would seem to fit into that “career politician’ mode that Billy Long considered to be poison before he safely had the Republican nomination in his hands.

It appears likely that in two weeks, Billy Long will be Congressman-elect for the Seventh District. If that is the case, one question remains- Which Billy Long will be on his way to Washington? Will it be the one who is fed up or will it be just another politician feeding from the public trough.

News-Leader endorses Roy Blunt

In an editorial in today's edition, the Springfield News-Leader endorsed Roy Blunt for U. S. Senate:

In a Capitol filled with big egos, Blunt's best trait will serve him well in the Senate. He listens to people; he tries to respond.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Carnahan kicks off "Bull Stops Here" tour

The U. S. Senate campaign is winding down and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan plans to end it with a statewide tour. From the news release:

Today, Robin Carnahan kicked off her "The Bull Stops Here" GOTV tour in Wentzville, MO before heading to the Mizzou Homecoming Parade. Robin will continue across the state for the final 10 days of the campaign talking about her plan to stop the bull and fix what's broken in Washington - and that includes holding Congressman Blunt accountable for his troubling 14-year Washington record.

You can follow Robin all across Missouri here:

Robin will travel all over the state talking to voters and reminding them of the very clear choice on Tuesday, November 2nd between Robin, who has been in Missouri fighting for middle class families and small businesses; and Congressman Blunt who is part of the problem in Washington, siding for the last 14 years with corporate special interests and lobbyists while leaving Missouri families to pay the tab.

Out-of-state corporate special interests funded by anonymous donors have funneled more than $6.8 million in false TV and radio attacks against Robin (and on behalf of Congressman Blunt) into Missouri in an attempt to buy a Senate seat.

But although Congressman Blunt has shown his willingness to sell out to the highest bidder in Washington, Missouri voters can't be bought.

Over the last 14 years, Missourians have had enough of Congressman Blunt's Washington insider politics. They've had enough of his distortions and DC-doublespeak, and they've certainly had more than enough of his bull.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Former Carthage Press Publisher lands new position

Former Carthage Press Publisher Ralph Bush is the new general manager of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Maryland:

Bush's duties will include overseeing the day-to-day management of American Consolidated Media's six Upper Shore publications and becoming actively involved in the community.

"We want him to look for ways for each of our publications to better serve the residents of each county we serve," (Publisher David) Fike said.

Eckersley continues attack on Billy Long's character

Former Metropolitan Grill waitress Jennifer Case is again the star in the second of Democratic Seventh District Congressional candidate Scott Eckersley's ads questioning opponent Billy Long's character. The ad concludes with the letter written by Ms. Case in which she outlines the actions allegedly committed by Long involving strippers, racial epithets, and sexist behavior.

Carnahan: Blunt on the run from Missouri voters

In this campaign video, the Robin Carnahan for Senate team shows Congressman Roy Blunt "on the run" from a questioner wanting ot know more about his dealings with an illegal immigrant:

Republicans come out for Carnahan

The latest of Robin Carnahan's many support groups, Republicans for Robin, was announced today with an accompanying web page. Five videos have been posted by Republicans supporting Ms. Carnahan including the one featured on this post:

Sinquefield attempt to buy election continues

Retired billionaire Rex Sinquefield's attempt to singlehandedly buy an election continued today as he poured another half million dollars into the ironically named Let Voters Decide, the front organization he formed to push for a repeal of earnings taxes in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Sinquefield has bought all of the advertising for Proposition A, contributing approximately $11 million to this point.

Eckersley ad features accusations about Billy Long and strippers

A new campaign ad paints Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long as a man who consorts with strippers and makes racist remarks.

The ad, which was launched by his opponent, Democrat Scott Eckersley relies on the accusations of former Metropolitan Grill worker Jennifer Case, who rips Long's character during the video.

The accusations were first brought to light through Eli Yokley of PoliticMo and The Fuse Joplin, who has featured a letter written by Ms. Case, as well as an audio interview with her and two others who also made accusations but elected to remain anonymous.

Long denies the accusations and says they are slanderous.

Eckersley loans $70,000 to his campaign

A report filed by Democratic Seventh District Congressional candidate Scott Eckersley with the Federal Election Commission Thursday shows he received $101,644.84 during the first two weeks of October.

Unfortunately for Eckersley, $70,000 of that came from his personal bank account, according to the documents.

Among the other donors, those contributing the biggest amounts were the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers with $5,000 and the DRIVE PAC, Washington, D. C. with $2,500.

Add another $11,900 for Billy Long

Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long continues to rake in big bucks. A 48-hour report filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission shows Long picked up another $11,900, including the following contributions:

Monsanto Citizenship Fund $2,000
Lawrence County Republican Central Committee, $1,000
BSNF Rail PAC $2,500
Arkansas for Leadership PAC $2,400
General Dynamics $1,000
Win Back America PAC, Anderson, Ind. $2,000
Price for Congress, Roswell, Ga. $1,000

Carnahan: Blunt backs companies that outsource American jobs

In this YouTube post, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan makes the accusation that Roy Blunt favors companies that outsource jobs to foreign countries:

Rosenbaum comments on Carnahan-Martin race

In his latest radio commentary, Jason Rosenbaum examines the race between incumbent Third District Rep. Russ Carnahan, a Democrat, and Republican challenger Ed Martin:

Democratic spokesman fields questions on Blunt, illegal alien

In this video posted by Jason Rosenbaum, a Democratic Party spokesman fields questions from reporters about Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt's connection with an illegal alien:

Blunt ad brags on polls

A new campaign ad by Roy Blunt's team brags on his ratings in the polls:

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Contributions continue to pour in for Skelton

Forty-eight hour reports filed with the FEC Wednesday show $16,000 in contributions for Fourth District Congressman Ike Skelton and $2,000 for his Republican challenger, former Rep. Vicky Hartzler.

Billy Long reports $75,000 in contributions in past two weeks

Republican Seventh District Congressional candidate Billy Long received $75,252 in contributions during the first two weeks of October, according to a report filed today with the Federal Election Commission.

Long spent $34,552.45 during that period, leaving him with $174,123 in the bank.

Top contributors included Terry Paul, lobbyist, Cassidy & Associates, $1,000; Union Pacific PAC, 1,000; National Beer Wholesalers $5,000; Majority Committee PAC, $3,000; National Association of Realtors, $5,000; HyVee PAC, $500, Automotive Free International Trade PAC $3,000; Associated General Contractors of America, $3,000; Action Committee for Rural Electrification, $2,000

Long's expenditures included another $9,425.24 to Axiom Strategies and $8,100 in commission and
476.25 in fundraising expenses to the Gula Graham Group, which held a ritzy Washington, D. C. fundraiser for Long.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lager chips in $100,000 to build Republican Senate majority

Missouri Ethics Commission documents indicate Sen. Brad Lager, R-Maryville, who is unopposed for re-election is using his campaign money in an effort to build an even bigger GOP majority in the Senate.

Forty-eight hour reports show Lager contributed $50,000 apiece to John Lamping, R-St. Louis, who is attempting to win the spot currently held by term-limited Democrat Joan Bray, and Dr. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Frank Barnitz.

Schweich receives $225,000 from GOP, businessmen

Two $100,000 contributions and one for $25,000 should help Republican Thomas Schweich mount a last-minute ad blitz in his effort to unseat Democratic incumbent Susan Montee.

Forty-eight hour reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission today show the Republican State Committee and St. Louis businessman Sam Fox each kicked in $100K to the Schweich campaign, while Joplin businessman David Humphreys of TAMKO contributed $25,000.

Rasmussen Poll: Blunt leads by nine

The latest Rasmussmen Poll shows Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt leading the U. S. Senate race by nine percentage points over Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

It should be noted that the Rasmussen Poll traditionally leans more toward GOP candidates.

Rove organization cancels Blunt ads, says he doesn't need them

Former KY3 reporter Dave Catanese, writing for Politico, says the Karl Rove organization, American Crossroads, is canceling a planned $800,000 ad blitz for Roy Blunt, claiming it is no longer needed:

“The polls are good, the DSCC is out. As far as we’re concerned, this race is over,” said American Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio.

Bond: Military not treating those with combat stress

Sent. Kit Bond, R-Mo. says the military is discharging soldiers with combat stress instead of treating them:

That would mean that many who could be afflicted with mental health conditions, including post-
traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury, have left the service without official medical diagnoses and no chance for medical benefits.

"If somebody comes back with battle-related stress and invisible injuries, we owe them a tremendous amount," said Bond, a Republican. "We need to determine what their problem is, not kick them out and let them fend for themselves."

Emerson campaign: Hollywood liberals backing Sowers

The campaign team of Eighth District incumbent Rep. Jo Ann Emerson seems to think that former West Wing star Bradley Whitford doing commercials for Tommy Sowers is a sign that Hollywood liberals are backing the Sowers Campaign. From the news release:

Hollywood liberals whose support for Tommy Sowers has been well documented by the thousands of dollars they have contributed to his campaign are stepping up their game today as actor Bradley Whitford of West Wing fame has filmed three web videos produced, distributed and paid for by the Sowers Campaign.

In the videos, Whitford makes a desperate plea to Capitol Hill staffers, Duke University graduates, and volunteers who worked to elect Barack Obama in 2008, to now support Tommy Sowers’ effort to help Obama, Pelosi and the liberal majority in Congress continue their big government assault on rural America/

“I recognize that Mr. Whitford is very excited about Tommy’s support for Obama and Pelosi’s big government, jobs killing assault on rural America, but frankly it’s an insult that someone who probably couldn’t pick out the Eighth District on a map would feel so free to tell the people of our district how to vote,” said Emerson Campaign spokesperson Jordan Clothier. “Mr. Sowers and Mr. Whitford may not like it, but the people of southern Missouri, not Hollywood, will decide this election.”

According to the Washington based website The Daily Caller, Sowers, “who has virtually no chance of winning…is hoping a little celebrity can get volunteers pouring into the district to help him overcome the long, long odds.”

Seventh District Congressional debate at Willard posted

Kraske: Skelton in for a battle from Hartzler

Following on the heels of Time Magazine and New York Times articles on the Fourth District Congressional debate, Kansas City Star political reporter Steve Kraske offers his revelation that there is a race between Ike Skelton and Vicky Hartzler:

Republican Vicky Hartzler of Harrisonville is Skelton’s challenger. Riding a national wave of pro-GOP sentiment, Hartzler accuses Skelton of turning into a Washington insider during his 34-year tenure.
“We have so many people in Washington removed from rural America,” Hartzler said recently in Richmond. “Ike’s lost touch.”
Skelton, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, rejects that accusation. He is a pro-gun, anti-abortion Democrat who voted against the health care reform bill that President Obama championed.
“I live and breathe what I do,” he said. “I enjoy every minute of it, every minute of it. ... I know I’ve made a difference.”

KY3 offers profile of Scott Eckersley

Continuing its series of profiles on Seventh District Congressional candidates, KY3 posted this interview with Democratic contender Scott Eckersley:

Long, Eckersley, Craig square off for final time

Seventh District Congressional candidates Billy Long, Scott Eckersley, and Kevin Craig held their final debate last night at Willard:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Skelton picks up $13,400

Incumbent Rep. Ike Skelton, D-MO, reported $13,400 in contributions in a 48-hour report filed today with the Federal Election Commission.

The biggest chunk, a maximum $5,000 contribution came from the United Steel Workers PAC, while Skelton received $1,000 contributions from Calumet PAC, Merrillville, Ind., Charles Connor, CEO, American Lung Association; Ronald Davis, consultant, Engineered Support Systems; Leadership for American Opportunity, the TEX-USA Fund, and ULLICO PAC, and a maximum individual $2,400 contribution from Randall West, president, Robison International.

President Obama's conservative cousin to highlight Branson Tea Party rally

Another headliner, in addition to singer Ray Stevens, has been lined up for this Saturday's Branson Tea Party rally. From the news release: 

Dr. Milton Wolf, President Obama’s conservative cousin, is the keynote speaker of the Branson Tea Party’s “Pre-Election Pink Slip Rally and Concert” set for Saturday, October 23rd.  As a conservative, Dr. Wolf has been vocal in his opposition to ObamaCare and Big Government tax and spend policies. He is in high demand as a speaker at Tea Party events across the country including a recent appearance at the Tax Day 2010 Tea Party in Washington, D.C.

Eric Farris, Director of the Branson Tea Party Coalition says: “We are excited to host informative speakers such as Eddy Justice, a Tea Party organizer from Poplar Bluff, Missouri; Dr. Gina Loudon of the St. Louis Tea Party and host of the Dr. Gina Radio Show and Dr. Milton Wolf, the outspoken and conservative cousin of President Obama.  With the performance by Grammy winning funnyman and tea party supporter Ray Stevens of his patriotic hits “We the People” and “Throw the Bums Out” and other live performances by Branson entertainers including Pierce Arrow, this Rally will be best Tea Party ever held in the Ozarks.”

The Rally will be held at the Tri-Lakes Center (formerly known as the Mel Tillis Theatre) at 2527 State Highway 248 in Branson, Missouri.  A roadside demonstration will begin at 10:30 a.m. and the main event will run from 12:00 noon until 2:00 p.m. 

Carnahan camp: We have the momentum

Momentum is swinging toward Secretary of State Robin Carnahan in the U.S .Senate race.Of course, that information is coming from the Carnahan camp. From the news release:

St. Louis, MO - On the heels of Congressman Roy Blunt's debate meltdown and increased scrutiny of his 14-year record of waste, corruption and sticking it to the middle class, two new polls of likely voters show the Missouri Senate race tightening. A Fox News poll released today shows that Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has cut the margin by two, confirming a Public Policy Polling poll released yesterday where Carnahan had pulled within the margin of error. Carnahan has gained ground on Blunt, despite already being outspent by $2.65 million in false TV and radio attack ads from Blunt and his anonymous, out-of-state special interest group allies.  

"As last week's two debates demonstrated, Congressman Blunt has no defense for his shameful record of waste, corruption, and sticking it to the middle class," said Robin Carnahan spokesman Linden Zakula. "These two polls show that the momentum is on our side and Missourians aren't going to let Congressman Blunt off the hook for bailing out the corporate fat cats on Wall Street while leaving everyone else behind."

With exactly two weeks until Election Day, it's clear that Robin Carnahan's plan for standing up for the middle class and bringing common sense to Washington is resonating with voters who are tired of Washington insiders, like Congressman Blunt, putting their needs ahead of Missourians.

Poll Results: 
Fox News Poll of 1000 likely voters
Blunt 49%
Carnahan 43%
Some other candidate 3%
Not sure 5%
Public Policy Polling poll of 646 likely voters
Blunt 46%
Carnahan 41%
Beck 3%
Dine 3%
Undecided 7%