Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Board Is Not There Because of Votes

Our school board is not elected because of the great job that they are doing.  They are elected because they line up early on the first day that candidates can declare and get their names on the top of the ballot.  Candidates that are at the door and sit in the cold don't get their names on the ballot first.  It is the candidates that arrived early and sat in their warm cars and waited for the doors to be unlocked.

The voters of this city don't research before they vote.  They just vote for the first names on the ballot.  They don't understand how important it is to have an objective board that is working for the students.  It seems people do little to no research when they vote.  The article below will tell the story.

Oh, if you happen to get votes a district employee will just strike it up to you being a woman.  Whatever that means.

Martin, the district's autism education specialist, says the close election results aren't cause to believe that other parents are as upset as Tucker.
"I can't say why anyone voted the way they did," Martin says. "Some may have voted for her because of her issue, but some might've done it because she was the last name on the ballot, and some may have done it because she's a female."
Special Needs Challenger Earns Support from Lee's Summit Tribune, re-typed by Debbie Shaumeyer
LS Tribune Saturday, April 12, 2008
A Race to Remember
Matt Bird-Meyer
Tribune Editor

Voters had an option Tuesday of four board candidates for three seats.  Maybe the outcome was indicative of lazy voting habits, where the candidates at the top of the ballot get the most votes.  Check, check, check and move on.  But maybe the outcome was indicative of growing displeasure with the entrenched members of the board.  Whatever happened, newcomer Sherri Tucker came close.  She was just 2 percent shy of overcoming incumbent Jon Plaas, who won 5,065 to 4,679.

Plaas had a slim 386-vote separation from Tucker. However the top vote getter, Jeff Tindle, had 2,246 more votes than Tucker, and Jack Wiley had 1,878 more votes than the newcomer.  Tindle was listed first on the ballot, followed by Wiley, Plaas and then Tucker.  The top two candidates were so far ahead of the bottom two that it appears voters were gravitating toward Tucker. I like to think the people who make time to visit the polls are going in there knowing how they will vote, or at least with some knowledge of the candidates.  Personally, I would never vote for someone I know nothing about.  Sherri Tucker never hid the fact that her only platform was special education. She is the mother of a special-needs son and is part of a group of 40 people who feel the R-7 district is not providing adequate services for their special-needs children. 

Tucker didn't go about this alone. Members of the Lee's Summit Autism Support Group picked Tucker to run against the three incumbents.  This was her first time running for office, and she's pledged it's not her last.  Plaas and the others circled the wagons during the campaign, supporting one another and alienating Tucker as a single-issue candidate. Plaas said single-issue candidates belong on the other side of the podium from school board members.

And to an extent, he's right, Candidates should be savvy enough to know that and campaign accordingly. That doesn't mean the candidate should never hold a single issue close to their heart.  To me, that's how the system works. If you think government isn't working, then run for office or at least get involved.  And when voters respond like they did here, we should all take them seriously. I can't say whether there's a problem with special education services in the R-7 district, but there's a growing movement of families out there who are saying that.  "I don't feel like we lost," Tucker told me during a telephone interview.  "We got our message out there and to me that's a win."

I agree, and to run up right against sitting school board members in Lee's Summit is admirable. The incumbents here are typically strong candidates with almost instant support from community leaders. The topic of special education is an emotional and complex one.  These students have different needs and different individualized education programs.  Some students have to find some services outside of the district and some are able to stay in regular classrooms. The bottom line is they are students, and they deserve as much attention as anyone else.

Missouri Clamps Down on Cities Raising Minimum Wages - WSJ

Missouri Clamps Down on Cities Raising Minimum Wages - WSJ

Remember this when you vote.  It is time that our Missouri legislators vote for their constituents and not for corporate interests.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What Missouri Right to Life’s endorsement says about your candidate | Progress Missouri

What Missouri Right to Life’s endorsement says about your candidate | Progress Missouri

Each election, Missouri Right to Life (MRL) releases a list of
endorsements, and that endorsement says a lot about a candidate. MRL’s
endorsement doesn’t come easy. Candidates have to meet a very specific
set of guidelines, and must actively choose to fill out a thorough survey that details their stance on all of MRL’s issues.
And Missouri Right to Life’s issues aren’t limited to abortion, ranging
from stem-cell research to contraceptives to euthanasia.

Missouri Right to Life shares their extreme position on abortion with
Todd Akin. MRL supports a ban on abortion, and their policy is totolerate
exemptions for survivors of rape and incest only when politically
. MRL opposes emergency contraception, saying that it “like Russian Roulette… can kill at any time. MRL also tacitly supported the controversial federal personhood amendment which would ban common forms of birth control like the IUD and birth control pill.

Missouri Right to Life even opposes participation in the Girl Scouts
because they link to the “pro-abortion World Health Organization” on
their website and believes that “even the sale of Girl Scout Cookies is a

Only candidates who strictly vote with Missouri Right to Life’s
stance on issues maintain their endorsement; the implication being that these candidates
are inflexible in their “pro-life” stance for any legislation that the
PAC deems important. Year after year they file multiple restriction
bills, slowly chipping away at the women’s access to reproductive
healthcare in Missouri. Missouri is a battleground for reproductive
rights thanks to these inflexible politicians.

Politicians are supposed to represent constituencies, not PACs, and
Missouri Right to Life’s endorsement seriously undermines the integrity
of candidates claiming to do so. So, what does Missouri Right to Life’s
endorsement say about your candidate?

Missouri Right to Life Political Action Committee Endorsements

Primary Election, August 5, 2014

  • Missouri State Senate

    • Bob Onder (R)
    • Bonnie Lynn Green (D)
    • Jeanie Riddle (R)
    • Ed Schieffer (D)
    • Dan Hegeman (R)
    • Paul Wieland (R)
    • John R. Ashcroft (R)
  • Missouri State House of Representatives
    • Roger Parshall (R)
    • Allen Andrews (R)
    • Mike Waltemath (D)
    • Nate Walker (R)
    • Lindell Shumake (R)
    • Tim Remole (R)
    • Mike Lair (R)
    • James W. (Jim) Neely (R)
    • Delus Johnson (R)
    • Kenneth Wilson (R)
    • Nick Marshall (R)
    • Josh Catton (R)
    • Kevin Corlew (R)
    • S. Nick King (R)
    • Robert (Bob) Rowland (R)
    • Bill E. Kidd (R)
    • Brent Lasater (R)
    • John A. Mayfield (D)
    • Noel Torpey (R)
    • Mike Cierpiot (R)
    • Jeanie Lauer (R)
    • Donna Pfautsch (R)
    • Rebecca Roeber (R)
    • Gary Cross (R)
    • Nola Wood (R)
    • T.J. Berry (R)
    • Joe Don McGaugh (R)
    • Jim Hansen (R)
    • Randy Pietzman (R)
    • Dan Dildine (D) District 42
    • Bart Korman (R)
    • Jay Houghton (R)
    • Caleb Rowden (R)
    • Charles (Chuck) Basye (R)
    • Dave Muntzel (R)
    • Travis Fitzwater (R)
    • Caleb Jones (R)
    • Dean A. Dohrman (R)
    • Nathan Beard (R)
    • Glen Kolkmeyer (R)
    • Denny Hoskins (R)
    • Rick Brattin (R)
    • Jack Bondon (R)
    • Wanda Brown (R)
    • David Wood (R)
    • Mike Bernskoetter (R)
    • Justin Alferman (R)
    • Tom Hurst (R)
    • Bryan Spencer (R)
    • Robert Cornejo (R)
    • Anne Zerr (R)
    • Keith English (D)
    • Joe Corica (R)
    • Jim Cain (R)
    • Don Houston (D)
    • Raymond Chandler (R)
    • Gina Jaksetic (R)
    • Al Faulstich (R)
    • Garrett Mees (R)
    • Cloria Brown (R)
    • Marsha Haefner (R)
    • Mike Leara (R)
    • John McCaherty (R)
    • Carol Veillette (R)
    • Shamed Dogan (R)
    • Rea Scharnhorst (R)
    • Andrew Koenig (R)
    • Don Gosen (R)
    • Kurt Bahr (R)
    • Kyle Schlereth (R)
    • Alexander McArthy (R)
    • John D. Wiemann (R)
    • Kathie Conway (R)
    • Mark Parkinson (R)
    • Chrissy Sommer (R)
    • John J. Haman, Jr. (R)
    • Nina Dean (R)
    • Justin S. Hill (R)
    • Paul Curtman (R)
    • Kirk Mathews (R)
    • Shane Roden (R)
    • Rob Vescovo (R)
    • Charles Groeteke (R)
    • Avery Fortenberry (R)
    • Jason Fulbright (R)
    • Dan Shaul (R)
    • Elaine F. Gannon (R)
    • Kevin Engler (R)
    • Ben Harris (D)
    • Dave Hinson (R)
    • Shawn Sisco (R)
    • Zech Hockersmith (D)
    • Keith Frederick (R)
    • Steve Lynch (R)
    • Diane Franklin (R)
    • Warren D. Love (R)
    • Mike Kelley (R)
    • Sue Entlicher (R)
    • Sandy Crawford (R)
    • Jeff Messenger (R)
    • Sonya Murray Anderson (R)
    • Fred Ellison (R)
    • Shar Lawless (R)
    • Eric W. Burlison (R)
    • Elijah Haahr (R)
    • Kevin Austin (R)
    • Lyndall Fraker (R)
    • Clayton Jones (R)
    • Michael Hope (R)
    • Jered Taylor (R)
    • Lynn Morris (R)
    • Tony Dugger (R)
    • Robert Ross (R)
    • Jeff Pogue (R)
    • Paul Fitzwater (R)
    • Shelley (White) Keeney (R)
    • Kathy Swan (R)
    • Holly Rehder (R)
    • Don Rone (R)
    • Neal E. Boyd (R)
    • Andrew McDaniel (R)
    • Tila Rowland Hubrecht (R)
    • Steve Cookson
    • Lyle Rowland (R)
    • Jeff Justus (R)
    • Mike Moon (R)
    • William (Bill) White (R)
    • Charlie Davis (R)

Republicans Push Right To Work In Missouri, New Hampshire And Wisconsin Admitting It Will Lower Wages | NH Labor News

Republicans Push Right To Work In Missouri, New Hampshire And Wisconsin Admitting It Will Lower Wages | NH Labor News

 Yup, he said it! Missouri Republican State Representative Bill Lant
actually admitted what labor advocates have been saying for decades,
Right To Work laws reduce wages.

We Party Patriots » ALEC’s All-Star Right-Wing Disgrace Resigns as MO Speaker Following Sexting Scandal

We Party Patriots » ALEC’s All-Star Right-Wing Disgrace Resigns as MO Speaker Following Sexting Scandal

Press Release: Progress Missouri Files Complaint With Ethics Commission Regarding Lobbyists’ Abuse of 'Group Expenditure' Loophole - The Missouri Times

Press Release: Progress Missouri Files Complaint With Ethics Commission Regarding Lobbyists’ Abuse of 'Group Expenditure' Loophole - The Missouri Times

For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Sean Soendker Nicholson, (573) 427-7326, sean@progressmissouri.org

Progress Missouri Files Complaint With Ethics Commission Regarding Lobbyists’ Abuse of ‘Group Expenditure’ Loophole

JEFFERSON CITY – Progress Missouri filed a complaint with the
Missouri Ethics Commission on Tuesday regarding the improper reporting
of gifts to just five Republican legislators on an American Legislative
Exchange Council (ALEC) junket as gifts to the “Entire General

Missouri law requires registered lobbyists to report the free food,
drink, trips, tickets and other gifts they provide to elected officials
as part of their efforts to influence public policy on behalf of their
paying clients. But lobbyists are continually and increasingly reporting
gifts to handfuls of legislators as ‘group expenditures,’ even though
the lobbyists know exactly which public officials received the gifts.
St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel reported in June that “directing gifts to groups has been on the rise” in Missouri, and “nearly 80 percent of all the spending on gifts went toward group” for 2014 at the time of his analysis.

The complaint filed this week focuses on one $3,000 meal
in Dallas, Texas enjoyed by Speaker Tim Jones, Speaker-Elect John
Diehl, ALEC State Co-Chair Sue Allen, ALEC State Co-Chair Ed Emery and
Sen. Wayne Wallingford.
 Representatives Jeremy LaFaver and Caleb
Rowden have both stated publicly that they were not invited to the
gathering, making the event ineligible for reporting as a gift to the
“Entire General Assembly.”

Lobbyist Charles G Simino reported the names of the individual
legislators who attended this dinner because the “Entire General
Assembly” did not enjoy the $3,000 dinner in a Dallas steakhouse one
Saturday night in August.  “I know who is having dinner with us. The total General Assembly was not there, so I cannot report it as such,” he told The Kansas City Star.

Progress Missouri’s full complaint, along with details on the years
of ALEC junket expenditures reported as group expenditures, may be found
at ProgressMissouri.org/MEC-Complaint.

AFSCME | Missouri Republicans Cut and Paste ALEC’s Dangerous Ideas

AFSCME | Missouri Republicans Cut and Paste ALEC’s Dangerous Ideas

The founders of our democracy envisioned lawmaking as a serious and
deliberative process.  Chosen for their qualifications to craft complex
statutes, representatives would work late into the night, making tough
compromises to solve problems while trying to uphold the values of their

Or if you’re a Republican member of the Missouri State Legislature, you just copy, paste, and call it a day.

Earlier this month, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed Senate Bill 508,
which would make it harder for people to buy health insurance through
the Affordable Care Act.  But Nixon didn’t veto it for that reason.  The
bill was based on sample legislation provided by the American
Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing think tank, and the
legislature failed to remove some generic filler text before introducing
the bill.  As a result, the final bill referred to the wrong chapters
of state code.

“It appears that in copy and pasting from this ALEC model act, the
General Assembly failed to correct this incorrect reference,” Nixon
wrote in his veto letter.

The lawmakers’ inability to proofread a 15-page bill is enough to
make headlines, but the real scandal is the way that Washington think
tanks and conservative donors have come to call the shots in Missouri as the state’s Republicans push an agenda lifted straight from the ALEC playbook.

If Missouri lawmakers want to see where their copy-and-paste strategy
leads, they need look no further than neighboring Kansas, where the
legislature has already implemented ALEC’s agenda with the blessing of
Gov. Sam Brownback.  In 2012 Kansas enacted a massive tax cut for
corporations and the wealthy.  As a result, the state’s credit rating has been downgraded, public schools are struggling to stay afloat, and job growth has stagnated.



What we've been up to | Progress Missouri

What we've been up to | Progress Missouri

The Progress Missouri team worked hard this session to hold politicians accountable, call out extremism, and amplify Missouri heroes’ commitment to improving our state. We know that we are able to do this work because of support from frustrated Missourians like you. Thank you.

Here’s a sampling of extremism we’ve exposed and work we’ve accomplished so far this year:

Country Club hearings were banned in the House. When session began, Representatives slid right into business as usual, scheduling off-site hearings as a ruse for being wined and dined by lobbyists. We called on then Speaker John Diehl to end the bizarre practice of holding sham hearings in steakhouses, restaurants, and exclusive country club facilities outside the Capitol. Missourians saw just how out-of-touch Jefferson City has become on our livestream, on KRCG, on PoliticMO, in the Post-Dispatch, in the Star, in the Pitch, on Missourinet, among others. And the state took a tiny baby step forward in ethics reform when the Speaker announced a ban on off-site committee hearings.

Catherine Hanaway pandered to ultra-conservatives with “sexual permissiveness” gaffe. When Catherine Hanaway, Rex Sinquefield’s candidate for governor, spoke at a conservative event alongside Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, and Phyllis Schlafly, she expressed some pretty shocking opinions. Among those was the idea that working mothers are bad for both women and their children, and that liberals’ “sexual permissiveness” is to blame for child porn. We made sure the media was aware of Hanaway’s outrageous opinions, and outlets like Salon, Raw Story, TPM, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch made sure the public was aware of them too.

Rick Brattin thought it’d be a good idea for women to get notarized permission slips to access health care. Before the 2015 session even began, Rep. Rick Brattin quietly pre-filed an atrocious bill that would require women seeking an abortion to receive written, notarized consent from the father. If passed, Brattin’s bill would have handed men veto power over women's health care decisions. In an attempt to defend his bill’s lack of a rape exception, Brattin said the words “legitimate rape,” reviving the flawed logic of Todd Akin. Our work led to coverage of this outrageous attempt to restrict access to reproductive health by Mother Jones, MSNBC, and Cosmopolitan. Even the National Journal covered the story.

Voices saying, “discrimination is not a Missouri value” were heard. Rep. Elijah Haahr, and Senators Ed Emery and Kurt Schaefer, proposed legislation that would allow Missourians to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation on college campuses, while still retaining all the privileges of being a school sanctioned student group. Sen. Ed Emery also proposed legislation to penalize state employees for recognizing same-sex marriage, Rep. Jeffrey Pogue decided to defend the "social norms" of nineteenth-century bathrooms with a bill would have banned unisex bathrooms, and Missouri GOP Chairman John Hancock expressed support for the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act after Indiana faced an damaging boycott for passing it. Discrimination is not a Missouri value, and we helped make sure that fact was shared in both the local and national press.

Kurt Schaefer’s poorly written gun bill exposed communities to danger. Last year, prosecutors warned that Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s (R-Columbia) poorly-drafted and misguided Amendment 5 put some of Missouri's most common-sense gun laws at risk. As we feared, those prosecutors have been proven right. As the law currently stands, violent felons including convicted drug dealers and gang members can legally carry firearms in Missouri. And to add insult to injury, Senator Schaefer didn’t even support efforts to fix the mess his bill created. We made sure Missourians knew how dangerous Schaefer's gun bill was and how little he seemed to care.

Kansas budget crisis shows just how wrong Rex Sinquefield's tax ideas are. Despite Kansas’s ongoing and alarming budget crisis, Missouri billionaire Rex Sinquefield continues to be a loud supporter of risky tax cuts. Apparently the destruction of the Sunflower State’s economy isn’t enough for Sinquefield, Missouri needs to experience the same hardships for him to admit that these tax cuts don’t work. We continue to shine a spotlight on the devastating impact tax cuts have had on Kansas, and make sure folks know that Rex Sinquefield would like to see Missouri in the exact same position as Kansas.

John Diehl intentionally misrepresented the Missouri Legislature to the EPA. John Diehl falsified comments on behalf of the Legislature in a federal report to undermine EPA air pollution regulations. His policy and accountability ethics are unquestionably compromised, and we made sure Missourians knew about it. 

GOP hypocrites banned local control. In a session where not that much was accomplished, GOP legislators decided to prioritize hypocritical local control issues. Dan Shaul and Caleb Rowden were both behind bills that prevent local governments from regulating local businesses. We called out the self-serving legislators and brought attention to these bills.

Jefferson City was and is still a cesspool. We continue to compile and push out data on the wild west atmosphere in Jefferson City resulting from the worst ethics laws in the country. As part of this work, we filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Redmon after he admitted during an interview to putting other legislators' expenses under his name to help legislators who are sensitive to having anything on their lobbying report. The Pitch appreciates our hard work on ethics reform:

    “Coverage of the Missouri Legislature these days isn't as comprehensive as it used to be, due to the limited resources of declining news media operations. So God bless Progress Missouri for calling bullshit on all the bullshit that goes on in Jeff City on a daily basis while the Legislature is in session.”

Oh, and we sued the Senate. ALEC Senator Mike Parson broke Missouri’s Sunshine Law while rushing so-called ’right to work’ legislation through his committee this session. At that hearing, our staffer Grace Haun had her cell phone confiscated for trying to tweet pictures of Parson’s committee ramming through the bill even the ALEC politicians admit would lower wages. This is outrageous and unacceptable. Some state senators may think that the Sunshine Law doesn't apply to them, but they’re wrong. We’re suing the Senate because our democracy works best when there is transparency and accountability, and the Sunshine Law is a necessary tool to maintain both.

Next session, conservative extremists will still hold power in the General Assembly. But we’ll be back, on day one, to continue holding politicians accountable.

ALEC's Power in Missouri: Exposed | Progress Missouri

ALEC's Power in Missouri: Exposed | Progress Missouri

Through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC),
corporations hand Missouri legislators wish lists in the form of "model"
legislation that often directly benefit their bottom line at the
expense of Missouri families. Behind closed doors, numerous ALEC model
bills are crafted by corporations, for corporations. Elected officials
who are members of ALEC then bring their model legislation back to
Missouri, where they claim them as their own ideas and important public
policy innovations without disclosing that corporations crafted and
pre-voted on the bills at closed-door meetings with legislators who are
part of ALEC.




American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a corporate bill mill
exerting extraordinary and secretive influence in the Missouri
legislature and in other states.
Through ALEC, corporations
hand Missouri legislators wish lists in the form of "model" legislation
that often directly benefit their bottom line at the expense of Missouri
families. Behind closed doors, numerous ALEC model bills are crafted by
corporations, for corporations. Elected officials who are members of
ALEC bring ALEC legislation back to Missouri, where they claim them as
their own ideas and important public policy innovations without
disclosing that corporations crafted and pre-voted on the bills at
closed-door meetings with legislators who are part of ALEC.

ALEC provides legislators with a means to appear highly
active in the legislative process by secretly abdicating their job
drafting legislation to corporate special interests.
"It is
funded and dominated by free-market and corporate interests," writes the
Kansas City Star, "who work with like-minded legislators to shield
corporations from legal action, limit the rights of workers,
disenfranchise voters, radically privatize the public education system,
hinder the ability of government to regulate and curb polluters, and
further skew our democracy in the favor of corporations and their
political allies."

More than 60 legislators in Missouri have been identified as having ties to ALEC, and the number may be much higher.
Identifying the list of Missouri legislators who are part of ALEC is a
difficult task, because ALEC operates largely in secret. Even though
they claim to be a legislative membership organization, there is no full
list of members made public by the organization. Missouri legislators
with ALEC ties include Speaker Tim Jones, Majority Leader John Diehl, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, and State Senator John Lamping.

Progress Missouri has identified more than 40 Missouri bills that directly echo ALEC models.
ALEC bills in Missouri include so-called right to work laws, bans on
implementation of the Common Core State Standards, resolutions
supporting the Keystone XL pipeline, an act relating to wireless
communication towers, voter registration hurdles, a "parent trigger
act," a "parents’ rights" resolution, purely political resolutions
"reaffirming 10th amendment rights," a "private attorney retention act,"
an Anti-Affordable Care Act ballot measure, a resolution opposing food
and beverage taxes, an "asbestos fairness act," a resolution supporting
the electoral college, a "castle doctrine" law, a resolution encouraging
congress to undermine Social Security, and a "private property
protection act."


ALEC 101: The Corporate Bill Mill Remaking Missouri Law

As noted by the Center for Media and Democracy's ALEC Exposed
project, the American Legislative Exchange Council is not simply a
lobbying group or a front group. It is much more powerful than that.

Corporations behind ALEC's closed doors hand state legislators the
changes to the law that they desire that directly benefit their bottom
line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC.
Corporations sit on all nine ALEC task forces and vote with legislators
to approve "model" bills, and also fund almost all of ALEC's operations.

Participating legislators, who are overwhelmingly conservative
Republicans, bring ALEC proposals back to Missouri and other statehouses
as their own ideas and important public policy innovations, without
disclosing that corporations crafted and pre-voted on the bills
alongside legislators in closed-door meetings at fancy resorts
ALEC boasts that it has over 1,000 of these bills introduced by
legislative members every year, with at least one in every five of them
enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a "unique," "unparalleled"
and "unmatched" organization.

"ALEC is a group funded by corporations and
conservative activists. It beguiles conservative state lawmakers with
wining and dining at annual conferences and the chance to mingle with
deep-pocketed donors. In return, lawmakers promote the group's 'model
legislation,' bills aimed at things like stripping workers of
protections and requiring photo identification to vote."

- Kansas City Star, 04/6/2012

Why would a legislator be interested in advancing
cookie-cutter bills that are giveaways for multinational corporations
located outside of Missouri?
ALEC's appeal rests largely on the
fact that legislators receive trips, food and lodging that provide many
part-time legislators and their families with vacations, along with the
opportunity to rub shoulders with prospective donors to their political
campaigns. For a few hours of work on a task force and a couple of
workshops by ALEC experts, part-time legislators can bring the whole
family to ALEC's annual convention, vote in private meetings with
corporate lobbyists , stay in swank hotels and attend parties, all
heavily subsidized by the corporate till. As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
reported after the 2011 ALEC conference in New Orleans, "corporate benefactors made sure Missouri lawmakers attending the conference were well fed and hydrated."

As CMD and Common Cause have reported, ALEC also operates several ‘scholarship’ fund for legislators willing to carry their bills in capitols around the country.
These funds are used to allow corporations to give thousands of dollars
in gifts to legislators while avoiding the disclosure that might expose
the conflicts of interests inherent in such a scheme.
Scholarships are rarely disclosed to the public, and have been banned for ethics issues in at least three states.

Corporations have recently come under scrutiny because of their relationship with ALEC and more than 40 have cut ties all together.
Corporations that have dropped ALEC membership include: Coca-Cola
Company, Pepsi, Kraft, Intuit, McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Mars, Arizona Public
Service, Reed Elseiver, American Traffic Solutions, Blue Cross Blue
Shield, YUM! Brands, Procter & Gamble, Kaplan, Scantron Corporation,
Amazon.com, Medtronic, Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Dell Computers,
John Deere & Company, CVS Caremark, MillerCoors, Hewlett-Packard,
Best Buy, Express Scripts/Medco, Energy Solutions, Connections Academy,
General Motors, Walgreens, Louis Dreyfus, Amgen, General Electric,
Western Union, Sprint Nextel, Symantec, Reckitt Benckiser Group,
Entergy, Wells Fargo, Merc, Sanofi, Bank of America, and WellPoint.

However, as Barb Shelly of the Kansas City Star notes, ALEC remains a driving force for regressive proposals in the Missouri General Assembly.

“There’s been no outcry from businesses
begging the legislatures to clip the wings of unions. No, the pressure
comes from outside groups. Republican legislators are willing to poison
relationships and demean their states’ teachers, public safety workers
and others in order to please their out-of-state bosses. These include
the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and National Tax
Limitation Committee, both of which sent operatives to Jefferson City
this session to fire up Republican lawmakers. Some of the language in
the anti-union bills in Missouri and Kansas is strikingly similar to
model bills drafted by ALEC.”

- Kansas City Star, 03/20/2013


Why is ALEC's Influence in Jefferson City Important?

ALEC provides legislators with a means to appear highly
active in the legislative process while outsourcing by transferring
their role in drafting legislation to corporate special interests
"It is funded and dominated by free-market and corporate interests,"
writes the Kansas City Star, "who work with like-minded legislators to
push various agendas." And what are these various corporate agendas?
Here is a taste:


ALEC works fervently to promote laws that would shield
corporations from legal accountability to Missouri citizens and limit
the rights of workers in the state.
The group's model
legislation would roll back laws regarding corporate liability for
harming state residents, workers' compensation and on-the-job
protections, collective bargaining and organizing rights, prevailing
wage and minimum wage laws. ALEC is a main proponent of bills that
undermine organized labor by stripping public employees of collective
bargaining rights and that weaken the power of workers in the private
sector through so-called "right to work" laws. They also push "regulatory flexibility" laws that lead to massive deregulation of rules designed to protect the health of Missouri families.


ALEC is directly tied to the trend among state legislatures to limit the ability of American citizens to vote through restrictive "voter ID" laws. Using demonstrably false allegations
of "voter fraud," right-wing politicians are pursuing policies that
disenfranchise students and other at-risk voters--including the elderly
and the poor--who are unlikely to have drivers' licenses with their
current residence and who previously could vote showing proof of
residence and other identification. By suppressing the vote of such
groups of likely Democratic voters, ALEC's model "Voter ID Act" grants
an electoral advantage to Republicans while undermining the fundamental
right to vote in America. In addition, ALEC wants to make it easier for
corporations to participate in the political process. The Public Safety
and Elections Task Force included Sean Parnell of the Center for
Competitive Politics, one of the most vociferous pro-corporate involvement in elections groups in the nation, and promoted legislation that would devastate campaign reform and increase corporate influence in elections.


Despite constitutional problems, negative impacts on public schools,
bias against disadvantaged students, and comprehensive studies that
demonstrate that private school voucher programs failed to make any
substantial improvements to education, ALEC pushes
vouchers as a way to privatize public education and transfer Missouri
tax dollars from public institutions to private profits
. Under the guise of "school choice,"
ALEC pushes bills with titles like "Parental Choice Scholarship Act"
and the "Education Enterprise Act" that establish or expand private
school voucher programs.


At the bidding of its major donors like Peabody Energy, Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries, ALEC is a powerful force behind state-level legislation that would hinder the ability of the people to curb polluters through governmental power. ALEC has previously said that carbon dioxide "is beneficial to plant and human life alike," and it promotes climate change denialism.
The group's model legislation assails EPA emissions guidelines and
greenhouse gas regulations, destabilizes regional climate initiatives,
permits free-reign for energy corporations, and pushes for massive
deregulation of some of the biggest polluters on the planet.


As states face challenging budget deficits, ALEC wants to
make it more difficult to generate revenue in order to close shortfalls.

Such bills include the "Super Majority Act," which makes it so
complicated for legislatures to change tax policy that California voters
overturned the law; the "Taxpayer Bill of Rights," which brought fiscal disaster
to Colorado; and measures to eliminate capital gains and progressive
income taxes. The main beneficiaries of ALEC's irresponsible fiscal
policies are corporations and the wealthiest taxpayers.


Additional Resources on ALEC's Extreme Agenda

For more information on the one-stop shop for corporations looking to
identify friendly state legislators and work with them to get
special-interest legislation, please see:

MUST WATCH: Atlanta Journalists Bust ALEC! - Common Cause

MUST WATCH: Atlanta Journalists Bust ALEC! - Common Cause

the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council, global
corporations and state politicians vote behind closed doors to try to
rewrite state laws that govern your rights. These so-called "model
bills" reach into almost every area of American life and often directly
benefit huge corporations.

In ALEC's own words, corporations have
"a VOICE and a VOTE" on specific changes to the law that are then
proposed in your state. DO YOU? Numerous resources to help us expose
ALEC are provided below. We have also created links to detailed
discussions of key issues, which are available on the left.

What is ALEC?

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful
than that. Through the secretive meetings of the American Legislative
Exchange Council, corporate lobbyists and state legislators vote as
equals on ‘model bills’ to change our rights that often benefit the
corporations’ bottom line at public expense. ALEC is a pay-to-play
operation where corporations buy a seat and a vote on ‘task forces’ to
advance their legislative wish lists and can get a tax break for
donations, effectively passing these lobbying costs on to taxpayers.

Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC.
Corporations sit on ALEC task forces and vote with legislators to
approve “model” bills. They have their own corporate governing board
which meets jointly with the legislative board. (ALEC says that
corporations do not vote on the board.) Corporations fund almost all of
ALEC's operations.

Participating legislators, overwhelmingly
conservative Republicans, then bring those proposals home and introduce
them in statehouses across the land as their own brilliant ideas and
important public policy innovations—without disclosing that corporations
crafted and voted on the bills.

ALEC boasts that it has over
1,000 of these bills introduced by legislative members every year, with
one in every five of them enacted into law. ALEC describes itself as a
“unique,” “unparalleled” and “unmatched” organization. We agree. It is
as if a state legislature had been reconstituted, yet corporations had
pushed the people out the door.

Who funds ALEC?

More than 98%
of ALEC's revenues come from sources other than legislative dues, such
as corporations, corporate trade groups, and corporate foundations. Each
corporate member pays an annual fee of between $7,000 and $25,000 a
year, and if a corporation participates in any of the nine task forces,
additional fees apply, from $2,500 to $10,000 each year. ALEC also
receives direct grants from corporations, such as $1.4 million from
ExxonMobil from 1998-2009. It has also received grants from some of the
biggest foundations funded by corporate CEOs in the country, such as:
the Koch family Charles G. Koch Foundation, the Koch-managed Claude R.
Lambe Foundation, the Scaife family Allegheny Foundation, the Coors
family Castle Rock Foundation, to name a few. Less than 2% of ALEC’s
funding comes from “Membership Dues” of $50 per year paid by state
legislators, a steeply discounted price that may run afoul of state gift
bans. For more, see CMD's special report on ALEC funding and spending

Is it nonpartisan as claimed?

ALEC describes itself as a
non-partisan, non-profit organization. The facts show that it currently
has one Democrat out of 104 legislators in leadership positions. ALEC
members, speakers, alumni, and award winners are a “who’s who” of the
extreme right. ALEC has given awards to: Ronald Reagan, Margaret
Thatcher, George H.W. Bush, Charles and David Koch, Richard de Vos,
Tommy Thompson, Gov. John Kasich, Gov. Rick Perry, Congressman Mark
Foley (intern sex scandal), and Congressman Billy Tauzin. ALEC alumni
include: Speaker of the House John Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric
Cantor, Congressman Joe Wilson, (who called President Obama a “liar”
during the State of the Union address), former House Speaker Dennis
Hastert, former House Speaker Tom DeLay, Andrew Card, Donald Rumsfeld
(1985 Chair of ALEC’s Business Policy Board), Governor Scott Walker,
Governor Jan Brewer, and more. Featured speakers have included: Milton
Friedman, Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, Dan Quayle, George Allen, Jessie
Helms, Pete Coors, Governor Mitch Daniels and more.

What goes on behind closed doors?

The organization boasts 2,000 legislative members and 300 or more
corporate members. The unelected corporate representatives (often
registered lobbyists) sit as equals with elected representatives on nine
task forces where they have a “voice and a vote” on model legislation.
Corporations on ALEC task forces VOTE on the "model" bills and
resolutions, and sit as equals with legislators voting on the ALEC task
forces and various working groups. Corporate and legislative governing
boards also meet jointly each year. (ALEC says only the legislators have
a final say on all model bills. ALEC has previously said that "The
policies are debated and voted on by all members. Public and private
members vote separately on policy. It is important to note that laws are
not passed, debated or adopted during this process and therefor no
lobbying takes place. That process is done at the state legislature.")
The long-term representation of Koch Industries on the governing board
means that Koch has had influence over an untold number of ALEC bills.
Due to the questionable nature of this partnership with corporations,
legislators rarely discuss the origins of the model legislation they
bring home. Though thousands of ALEC-approved model bills have been
publicly introduced across the country, ALEC’s role facilitating the
language in the bills and the corporate vote for them is not well known.

(ALEC legislators sometimes compare the organization to the National
Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), yet the two organizations could
not be more different. NCSL has zero corporate members. It is funded
largely by state government appropriations and conference fees; it has a
truly bipartisan governance structure, and there is a large role for
nonpartisan professional staff; it does not vote on or promote model
legislation; meetings are public and so are any agreed upon documents.
Corporations do sponsor receptions at NCSL events through a separate
foundation. For more information, see the document ALEC & NCSL.)

How do corporations benefit?

Although ALEC claims to take an ideological stance (of supposedly
"Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government,
federalism, and individual liberty"), many of the model bills benefit
the corporations whose agents write them, shape them, and/or vote to
approve them. These are just a few such measures:

Altria/Philip Morris USA benefits from ALEC’s newest tobacco legislation
-- an extremely narrow tax break for moist tobacco that would make
fruit flavored tobacco products cheaper and more attractive to

Health insurance companies such as Humana and Golden
Rule Insurance (United Healthcare), benefit directly from ALEC model
bills, such as the Health Savings Account bill that just passed in
Tobacco firms such as Reynolds and pharmaceutical
firms such as Bayer benefit directly from ALEC tort reform measures that
make it harder for Americans to sue when injured by dangerous products.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) benefits directly from the
anti-immigrant legislation introduced in Arizona and other states that
requires expanded incarceration and housing of immigrants, along with
other bills from ALEC’s crime task force. (While CCA has stated that it
left ALEC in late 2010 after years of membership on the Criminal Justice
Task Force and even co-chairing it, its prison privatization bills
remain ALEC "models.")

Connections Academy, a large online
education corporation and co-chair of the Education Task Force, benefits
from ALEC measures to privatize public education and promote private
on-line schools.

How do legislators benefit?

Why would a
legislator be interested in advancing cookie-cutter bills that are
corporate give-aways for global firms located outside of their district?
ALEC’s appeal rests largely on the fact that legislators receive an
all-expenses-paid trip that provides many part-time legislators with
vacations that they could not afford on their own, along with the
opportunity to rub shoulders with wealthy captains of industry (major
prospective out-of-state donors to their political campaigns). For a few
hours of work on a task force and a couple of indoctrination sessions
by ALEC experts, part-time legislators can bring the whole family to
ALEC’s annual convention, work for a few hours, then stay in swank
hotels, attend cool parties -- even strip clubs-- and raise funds for
the campaign coffer, all heavily subsidized by the corporate till. In
2009, ALEC spent $251,873 on childcare so mom and dad could have fun.
Is it lobbying?

In most ordinary people's view, handing bills to legislators so they
can introduce them is the very definition of lobbying. ALEC says "no
lobbying takes place." The current chairman of ALEC’s corporate board is
W. Preston Baldwin III, until recently a lobbyist and the Vice
President of State Government Affairs at UST Inc., a tobacco firm now
owned by Altria/Phillip Morris USA. Altria is advancing a very short,
specific bill to change the way moist tobacco products (such as fruit
flavored “snus”) are taxed-- to make it cheaper and more attractive to
young tobacco users according to health experts. In fact, 20 of the 24
corporate representatives on ALEC’s “Private Enterprise Board” are
lobbyists representing major firms such as Koch Industries, Bayer,
GlaxoSmithKline, Wal-Mart and Johnson and Johnson.

ALEC makes
old-fashioned lobbying obsolete. Once legislators return to their state
with corporate-sponsored ALEC legislation in hand, the legislators
themselves become “super-lobbyists” for ALEC’s corporate agenda, cutting
out the middleman. Yet ALEC enjoys a 501(c)(3) classification, which
allows it to keep its tax-exempt status while accepting grants from
foundations, corporations, and other donors. In our view, the activities
that corporate members engage in should be considered lobbying by the
IRS, and the entity that facilitates that effort to influence state law,
ALEC, should also be considered to be engaged predominantly in
lobby-related activities, not simply “educational” activities.
Re-classifying ALEC as primarily engaged in lobbying facilitation would
mean that donations to it would not count as tax-deductible for
businesses and foundations. Common Cause filed a complaint with the IRS
on July 14, 2011, setting forth evidence supporting its complaint that
ALEC is engaged in lobbying despite its claims to do no lobbying.

Is it legal?

ng model raises many ethical and legal concerns. Each
state has a different set of ethics laws or rules. The presence of
lobbyists alone may cause ethics problems for some state legislators.
Wisconsin, for instance, generally requires legislators who go to events
with registered lobbyists to pay on their own dime, yet in many states,
legislators use public funds to attend ALEC meetings. According to one
study, $3 million in public funds was spent to attend ALEC meetings in
one year. Some legislators use their personal funds and are reimbursed
by ALEC. Such “scholarships” may be disclosed if gifts are required to
be reported. But should the legislators be allowed to accept this money
when lobbyists are present at the meeting? Still other legislators use
their campaign funds to go and are again reimbursed by ALEC; in some
states, campaign funds are only allowed to be used to attend campaign

In short, many state ethics codes might consider the free
vacation, steeply discounted membership fees, free day care or travel
scholarships to be “gifts” that should be disallowed or disclosed.

is a partial list of Missouri politicians that are known to be involved
in, or previously involved in, the American Legislative Exchange
Council (ALEC). It is a partial list. (If you have additional names,
please add them with a citation. The names in this original list were
verified as of posting.)

Legislators who have cut ties with ALEC publicly are also listed here.
Missouri Legislators with ALEC Ties
House of Representatives

Rep. Sue Allen (R-92), State Chairman, ALEC Health and Human
Services Task Force[1] and International Relations Task Force member,[2]
attended ALEC's 2013 annual meeting[3]
Rep. Kurt Bahr (R-102)[4]
Rep. Eric Burlison (R-136); Health and Human Services Task Force[5]
Rep. Mike Cierpiot (R-30)[4]

Rep. Mike Colona (D-St. Louis), has spent campaign money to attend
ALEC events or on ALEC membership dues[6] - former ALEC member, said in a
statement to Progress Missouri that ALEC is "too extreme for me and the
people of Missouri"[7] See Legislators Who Have Cut Ties to ALEC for
Rep. Stanley Cox (R-118)[8]; Civil Justice Task Force[9]
Rep. Sandy Crawford (R-119); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force[10]
Rep. Gary Cross (R-35)[4]
Rep. Paul R. Curtman (R-105); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force[11]
Rep. John J. Diehl, Jr. (R-87); Communications and Technology Task Force[12]
Rep. Tony Dugger (R-144); Public Safety and Elections Task Force[13]
Rep. Kevin Elmer (R-139)[4]
Rep. Sue Entlicher (R-133); Public Safety and Elections Task Force[13]
Rep. Keith Frederick (R-149); Health and Human Services Task Force[5]
Rep. Doug Funderburk (R-103)[4]
Rep. Dave Hinson (R-98); Public Safety and Elections Task Force[13]
Rep. Caleb Jones (R-50)[4]

Speaker of the House Timothy Jones (R-89),[8] Former State
Chairman[14], Education Task Force member[15] and recipient of about
$4,000 from ALEC in 2010 to attend meetings in San Diego and
Rep. Shelley Keeney (R-156); International Relations Task Force[16]
Rep. Mike Kelley (R-126); Education Task Force[15]
Rep. Andrew Koenig (R-88); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force[17]
Rep. Bart Korman (R-42)[4]
Rep. Michele Kratky, has spent campaign money to attend ALEC events or on ALEC membership dues[6]
Rep. Bill Lant (R-131); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force[10]
Rep. Donna Lichtenegger (R-157); Health and Human Services Task Force[5]
Rep. Lyle Rowland (R-155)[4]
Rep. Bryan Spencer (R-63)[4]
Rep. Chrissy Sommer (R-106)[4]
Rep. Noel Torpey (R-55); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force[11]
Rep. Bill White (R-129); Health and Human Services Task Force[5]


Sen. Dan Brown (R-16)[4]
Sen. Bob Dixon (R-30)[4]
Sen. Ed Emery (R-126)[1], State Chairman,[8][18] attended 2013 ALEC Annual Meeting[3]
Sen. John Lamping (R-24)[4]
Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-18)[4]
Sen. Brian D. Nieves (R-98)[1]; Civil Justice Task Force[9]
Sen. Mike L. Parson (R-28); Public Safety and Elections Task Force[13]
Sen. David Pearce (R-21)[4]
Sen. Ron Richard (R-129); Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force[10]
Sen. David Sater (R-29)[4]
Sen. Wayne Wallingford (R-27) [19]
Sen. Jay Wasson (R-20)[4]

Former Representatives

Former Rep. Carl Bearden (R-16),[4] now the executive director of
the conservative non-profit organizations United for Missouri (a
501(c)(4)) and United for Missouri's Future (a 501(c)(3)) and former
state director of the Missouri chapter of Americans for Prosperity[20]
Former Rep. Walt Bivins (R-97)[1][8]; Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force[21]
Former Rep. Ellen Brandon (R-160); Health and Human Services Task Force[5]
Former Rep. Gary Burton [22]
Former Rep. Bonnie Sue Cooper [23]
Former Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-19)[1]
Former Rep. Charlie Denison (R-135)[4]

Former Rep. Scott D. Dieckhaus (R-109); Education Task Force[15]
(did not seek reelection in 2012, but agreed to serve as interim
executive director of the House Republican Campaign Committee)
Former Rep. Doug Ervin (R-35)[1]
Former Rep. Barney Fisher (R-125); Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force[21]
Former Rep. and current U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-124)[4]
Former Rep. Ted Hoskins (D-Berkeley), ALEC "State Legislator of the Year" in 2009[6]
Former Rep. Rodney Hubbard (D-St. Louis), ALEC "State Legislator of the Year" in 2007[6]
Former Rep. Steve Hunter (R-127),[4] later registered as a lobbyist[24]
Former Rep. Allen Icet (R-84),[4] now an employee of BP and former chairman of Missouri Club for Growth[25]

Former Speaker of the House Rod Jetton (R-156), charged with
second-degree assault in 2009,[26] investigated by a federal grand jury
about bribery claims in 2010, now president of The Missouri Times[27]
Former Rep. Kenny Jones (R-117)[4]
Former Rep. and current U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R)[4]
Former Rep. Cole McNary (R-86)[1]; Communications and Technology Task Force[12]
Former Rep. Jerry Nolte (R-33); International Relations Task Force[16]
Former Rep. Darrell L. Pollock (R-146); Communications and Technology Task Force[12]
Former Rep. Rex Rector (R-124),[4] owner of construction company
Former Rep. Mark L. Richardson (R)[23]
Former Rep. Therese Sander (R-22)[1]
Former Rep. Rodney Schad (R-115)[8]; Communications and Technology Task Force[12]
Former Rep. Vicki Schneider (R-17); Civil Justice Task Force[9]
Former Rep. Shane Schoeller (R-139); Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force [17]
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (R-150), Former State Chairman[14] and Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force member[17]
Former Rep. Joe Smith (R-14)[4]

Former Sen. and later U.S. Rep. and U.S. Sen. Jim Talent (R),[4]
later co-chair of the PR firm Fleishman-Hillard's lobbying practice,
senior advisor to Mitt Romney's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns,
fellow at the Heritage Foundation, and co-chairman at Washington, DC
lobbying firm Mercury
Former Rep. Steven Tilley (R-106); Public Safety and Elections Task Force [13] (resigned August 13, 2012)
Former Rep. Charles Q. Troupe (D), currently St. Louis Alderman, Ward I [23]
Former Rep. Zachary Wyatt (R-2); Communications and Technology Task Force[12]
Former Rep. Brian Yates (R-56), now director of public affairs at QC Holdings[28]

Former Senators

Former Sen. Jason Crowell (R-27)[4]
Former Sen. Jane D. Cunningham (R-7); Education Task Force[15]
Former State Sen. and later U.S. Rep. Pat Danner (R)[4]
Former Senate Majority Leader Ronnie DePasco [22]
Former Sen. Steven E. Ehlman (R), currently County Executive, St. Charles County. [23]

Former Sen. Jack Goodman (R-29) (Assistant Majority Floor Leader),
spoke on "Saving Dollars and Protecting Communities: State Successes in
Corrections Policy" at the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting[29] (ineligible to
run for reelection in 2012; ran for presiding judge of the 39th judicial
circuit and won)
Former Sen., now U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-6)[4]
Former Sen. John Griesheimer (R-26); Energy, Environment and Agriculture Task Force[21]
Former Sen. Chuck Gross (R-23),[4] now vice president at UMB Bank

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R), attended 2013 ALEC annual
meeting,[3] former chair of ALEC Education Task Force (named in
Former Sen. David Klindt (R),[4] now vice president of
and lobbyist for the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives[31]
Former Sen. Jim Lembke (R-1); International Relations Task Force[16]

Former Sen. John Loudon (R-Chesterfield),[4] briefly attempted
lobbying, then worked briefly for homebuilding contractors group in
California and, with his wife Gina Loudon, was on "Wife Swap" in March
Former Sen. Robert Mayer (R-25); Civil Justice Task
Force[9] (ineligible to run for reelection in 2012; ran for presiding
judge of the 35th judicial circuit and won)
Former Sen. Gary Nodler (R-32)[4]
Former Sen. Luann Ridgeway (R-17),[4] now Clay County Eastern Commissioner

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Jeb Bush stands by comments that single mothers should be publicly shamed - Toronto Political Buzz | Examiner.com

Jeb Bush stands by comments that single mothers should be publicly shamed - Toronto Political Buzz | Examiner.com

In the United States of America, Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush believes the “Scarlet Letter” era should be reinstated. A book about the Presidential hopeful was discovered by the Huffington Post this week. The National Post reported June 11 that in a chapter titled “The Restoration of Shame,” Jeb Bush believes in,

In this chapter Jeb Bush also says that the reason his state, Florida, is so morally bankrupt is because Florida doesn’t do this enough. And yet, from the other side of his mouth in other arguments, Jeb Bush will call countries that stone women accused of adultery a terrorist country. And, since, the United States Census reports that there are more women than men in America, that may pose a problem at Bush’s attempts to get into the Oval Office.

It already is, and it possibly even already has. When Jeb Bush ran for Governor of Florida the first time in 1994, he made some comments that may have resulted in his loss. It was not long after those 1994 comments that Jeb authored “Profiles of Character.” It is this book that includes a chapter titled “The Restoration of Shame” where Bush argues that the solution to curbing pregnancies outside a marriage would be to publicly shame the people found “guilty” of such morally bankrupt acts.

In Bush’s 1995 opinion, he felt that a lack of this practice is the reason Florida suffers from moral bankruptcy. This of course allows Bush to walk right into one of his favorite conversations, the cutting of entitlement programs. The Bush mindset here is, if instead of offering assistance to these mothers in need we publicly shamed them, America would be a better place. In his book Bush writes, “There was a time when neighbors and communities would frown on out of wedlock births and when public condemnation was enough of a stimulus for one to be careful.”

Bush is only considering one half of the equation here. He is blaming mothers for this situation in society. But it takes two to make a baby. Perhaps Florida wouldn’t be so morally bankrupt if deadbeat fathers were publicly shamed after being told to find a job.

The “perfect world” and the “time” that Bush is pointing to in his argument is the time of “The Scarlet Letter,” a book penned when women weren’t permitted to wear pants, much like the GOP platform. Bush even points to this novel as his inspiration of the perfect world, by completely and likely intentionally misinterpreting the literary significance of “The Scarlet Letter.” Hawthorne wrote “The Scarlet Letter” to make the point that women in fact should not be publicly shamed.

It’s possible Mr. Bush missed that day in literature class at private school. In 1995 he took a different message from the book, and it’s not likely his opinion has changed much. He wrote,

    “Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter [is a] reminder that public condemnation of irresponsible sexual behavior has strong historical roots.”

That wouldn’t be the first time Bush endorsed public shaming of women or wildly misinterpreted a social message. In 2003 he supported legislation that required mothers out of wedlock to publicly inform their sexual history before they could be permitted to adopt out their children. And he didn’t just want these unwed mothers to quietly do so in the privacy of a public health room with practitioners present. He wanted them to have to put their information on their sexual histories in the local newspaper.

Never mind that adoption is most successful under confidentiality. Never mind that it takes two people to create the life of an unwed mother. At least never mind all of these things to Jeb Bush, it seems.

Bush slamming single women, and notably single mothers, everywhere is a pervasive pattern. Books could actually be written chronicling his comments and books against women. Another prize winning moment for him was when he told Florida women to “find a husband.”

According to CNN June 11, when Jeb Bush was running for Governor the first time in 1994, he told single women everywhere that entitlements like welfare should be replaced with things like, husbands. Apparently Florida didn’t like hearing that “find a husband” was the order from the government to women needing assistance. He lost that race, wonder why.

    “If people are mentally and physically able to work, they should be able to do so within a two-year period. They should be able to get their life together and find a husband, find a job, find other alternatives in terms of private charity or a combination of all three.”

We know where Bush stands with the gay community. So the “people” in America that he wants to find “husbands” are clearly women. He wants them to find husbands and be the workhouses. What about the fathers of America who tote around canes that they don’t need so they can keep collecting their disability checks?

Is there a standardized test Bush is offering to all “people” who create children that determines if they are “mentally and physically” able to work within two years? Or does he have one just for women? And is it a standardized decision for all of these women, or is it just the opinion of someone in a suit?

Mothers of children created out of wedlock are not the only ones that need to find a job. But Bush never stops blaming the single mother. Maybe someone in his office needs to show him how many single mothers there are in America. But it looks like he doesn’t really want the vote of more than half of America at all.

It doesn’t even look like he understands America at all. Bush also believes if children suffer in these out of wedlock situations, it’s mom’s fault. Never mind the men sitting on couches at home beside canes that they don’t really need. If the children have limited options, it’s because mom didn’t do enough.

This is the message Jeb Bush sent in a conference this past Thursday. CNN reports that when criticized for these comments in the European press on Thursday, Bush responded trying to make the point that his opinions are “for the children.” He said,

    “From the perspective of children it’s a huge challenge for single moms and it hurts the prospects, it limits the ability of children to live lives with purpose and meaning.”

Blaming single mothers for the entitlement problem is one of Bush’s favorite things to do. Another time he did so was during a 1994 September press conference during election season where he offered his favorite solutions to entitlement programs.

    “How you get on welfare is by not having a husband in the house. Let’s be honest here.”

Let’s be honest here, Mr. Bush. Those facts don’t hold up. According to a CNS News report last year, United States Census Bureau data from 2012 shows over 109 million Americans were on welfare of some sort. That is just over one-third of the country, and yes that is a lot.

But, if Bush wants honesty, they weren’t all women. And, in fact, women weren’t even most of the welfare recipients. According to the same census, only 22 million were women. So, even if all of those women “found husbands” there would still be significant entitlement costs. This week, when discussion of his book “Profiles in Character” came out, that didn’t make Bush look all that great, he stood by his comments.

In other words, it takes real character to publicly shame a woman for her morally bankrupt choices, according to Jeb Bush. He also believes that not having a father is wreaking havoc on the children of America. He also said,

    “For young girls, there is a correlate effect of fatherlessness that can be measured by sexual activity and the rate of out of wedlock childbearing. Studies have shown that girls who grow up without fathers run a greater risk not only of adolescent childbearing but out of divorce as well.”

If public shaming is the answer, shouldn’t all parents who fail their children, as Bush puts it, be publicly shamed? Would it not be fair to also publicly shame the fathers of the world who are leaving their sons and daughters fatherless by evading gainful employment to stay on welfare?

This is a real opening for the Democrats to continue strengthening the women’s vote. The women’s vote is not the only critical one however. The single vote is an ever growing population in America, making it a very large demographic. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2013 there were 105 million Americans that were over the age of 18, voting age, that were single.

53% of them were women. That’s over 50 million votes Mr. Bush may have just lost. That also means that 47% of them were men. That’s less than 50 million people that Mr. Bush is also not even considering in his argument.

What about those 49 million men? Did it ever occur to Mr. Bush that the reason so many women in America are working so hard and need assistance is because 47% of the population might be a deadbeat? When Mr. Bush is telling women to “find a husband”, what is he saying to the men? Since there are more men on welfare than women, shouldn’t he then be arguing to them, “Find a job!”

Why does Jeb Bush think it’s just the women’s faults? Some single mothers in America are lucky enough to have working fathers that are plugged in, pitching in and doing their part. But, if all of these mothers out of wedlock were that lucky, maybe America wouldn’t need such large entitlement budgets at all.

The numbers suggest this line of thinking could be problematic for Jeb’s eye for the Oval Office. There are more women than men that will be voting. And, there are more single women than single men that will be voting. Bush is very slowly losing those millions of votes.

Not only that, but knowing that there are more men on entitlement programs than women isn’t going to fare well for Bush either. Those men aren’t going to want their entitlement programs cut any more than the mothers of their babies want to be publicly shamed.

It’s a point that former Texas Senator, Democrat, and single mother Wendy Davis makes in the video seen here in response to Bush’s controversial comments. She concurs with the public response to Bush’s outrageous claims, Bush doesn’t get it.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lee's Summit R-7 School District: They Don't Want To Be Held Accountable

Lee's Summit R-7 School District: They Don't Want To Be Held Accountable

Our school district is once again spreading false information to its
citizens in hopes that you will contact your legislators and have them
vote no on a bill that is essential to kids with special needs.  Anyone
that has a child with special needs knows that they need to pass this
bill.  Lee's Summit has consistently left our children behind and we
need legislation to ensure that does not continue. 

are also listing who voted on the bill so that you will think that they
are not voting in the right way.  You need to congratulate these
legislators for voting for our children and standing up to the bullying
of the school district.

Shame on the House for not passing this bill.

Here is part of the mass email.

Dear Friend of Lee's Summit R-7
On behalf of Lee's Summit R-7 schools and
students, thank you for subscribing to "R-7 Advocacy," for staying
informed and for contacting your legislators. Today's issue includes voting
records on three bills that were voted on by the General Assembly this spring.
Two were passed by the General Assembly and one -- Senate Bill 365 -- was not
The three bills and our General Assembly members’ voting records are featured in the article below as well as on our web page

Bill 365
, a bill that would
have made significant and harmful changes to special education law in Missouri.
The bill was approved by the Senate but did not come up for a vote in the
House. Senate Bill 365 was inconsistent and even contradictory to federal law
on special education, shifted the burden of proving compliance with special
education procedures to school districts and allowed parents of students with special
needs to assert an individualized education program (IEP) is defective with
little or no evidence, requiring districts to disprove allegations. If the bill
had been approved, it would have resulted in significant costs for school

Voting records:
All four
senators representing R-7 voted in favor of Senate Bill 365 although the
district opposed it. They are Sen. Will Kraus, Sen. Jason Holsman, Sen. Shalonn
“Kiki” Curls and Sen. Paul LeVota. No vote was taken in the House.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Under New Law, Self-Advocates To Train Police - Disability Scoop

Under New Law, Self-Advocates To Train Police - Disability Scoop

Self-advocates will take a role in training police on interacting
with people who have developmental disabilities under a
first-of-its-kind law.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed the law Tuesday establishing the Ethan Saylor Alliance for Self-Advocates as Educators.

The new effort, which will operate out of the state’s Department of
Disabilities, will bring together people with intellectual and
developmental disabilities to teach law enforcement officers about the
unique needs of this population.

The legislation is named for Robert Ethan Saylor, a 26-year-old with Down syndrome who died
at the hands of law enforcement in 2013 after being restrained by three
off-duty sheriff’s deputies when he refused to leave a Frederick, Md.
movie theater. Saylor’s death garnered national headlines and sparked calls for better police training.

The new law takes effect July 1. Advocates say they hope other states will enact similar legislation.

“Self-advocates have a voice and we need to listen to them. It’s their life,” Saylor’s mother, Patti Saylor, told WUSA.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Jeff Grisamore's Lobbying

LOBID:L003693 Received Date:1/27/2015
Lobbyist's Name Jeff Grisamore Registered Through: 12/31/2015
Lobbyist's Address PO Box 800 Termination Date:
Lobbyist's Address2  
Lobbyist's C/S/Z Lees Summit, MO 64063
Telephone: (816) 225-5695
Telephone (2): None   

Principal Name/Address/PhoneStatusDate AddedDate Deleted
(970) 640-9372
A 1/28/2015
(970) 640-9372
A 2/6/2015
Registration Type
-  I lobby only in the Executive Branch, including any department, division, agency, board or commission of state government.
-  I lobby only in the General Assembly.
-  I lobby only in the Judicial Branch of state government.
X  I lobby in the Executive Branch, the General assembly, and the Judicial Branch of state government.
X  I lobby elected local government officials.
-  I am a state employee or board member engaged in lobbying activities.