Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is shutting down his potential run for Congress.
“After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to end the month-long, exploratory phase on an 8th District congressional candidacy by forgoing a race in 2014,” Kinder wrote in a statement released late Friday afternoon.
He had considered a primary campaign against Rep Jason Smith. Smith won a special elelction earlier this year. He replaced veteran Congresswoman Joann Emerson after she left Congress to take a position as a lobbyist.
Kinder said he took a hard look at the challenge but concluded “it just wasn’t in the cards”.
But the GOP Lt. Governor did not say he was ending his political career.
He was just re-elected to a rare third term as the state’s Lt. Govenor.
“I will keep that commitment to serve these four years, and beyond,” he wrote.
Just a few years ago, Kinder was considered the front runner to take on Democratic incumbent Jay Nixon in 2012.
But reports of using state funds for political travel and a set of stories about his connection to a woman in St. Louis eroded his political support.
Kinder repaid the state and he ended up running for re-election.
The GOP instead turned to political rookie Dave Spence who lost to Nixon. The race was not close.
Kinder, however, took note of an interesting set of facts about politics in southeast Missouri.
In his statement, he noted that southeast Missouri voters have had very few chances for a truely contested Congressional race.
“8th District: Voters have had only one chance to choose their Member of Congress, in open primaries on both sides following an incumbent’s retirement — with plenty of notice to all — in the 68 years since the end of World War II. That singular chance occurred 46 years ago next year — in 1968. No other congressional district of which I’m aware has a history this lacking in chances for the voters actually to decide.”
Kinder Passes on Mo-8 Race Against Smith
November 1, 2013
Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is shutting down his potential run for Congress.
(AP) — An audit questions the legal authority and confidentiality of the Missouri lieutenant governor’s waste reporting website.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s budget was increased about $38,000 to develop the website. It is not yet online.
The auditor’s office says the lieutenant governor lacks statutory authority to create it and investigate claims of misspent money. Further, nothing shields complaints and the people lodging them from disclosure through the open records law.
Kinder’s office responded in the audit that past lieutenant governors have pursued initiatives absent specific authority. Plus, as the official senior advocate, Kinder is allowed to investigate allegations of waste harming seniors. It also noted Kinder serves on state boards and therefore has an interest in ensuring funds are spent prudently.
The audit released Thursday rated Kinder’s office’s overall performance “good.”
Kinder Says Missourians Should Skip Health Exchanges
September 24, 2013
(AP) — Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has a message for the thousands of Missourians looking for health insurance: Don’t get it through an online marketplace that launches next week.
Kinder, a Republican who is Missouri’s second-ranking executive, sought Monday to discourage participation in the health insurance exchanges that form the centerpiece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama.
Across the country, millions of dollars are being spent to spread the word about the Oct. 1 start of the enrollment period for the state-specific websites by which people can shop for health insurance policies. In Missouri, the website will be run by the federal government, but specific details about the price and terms of the policy options still haven’t been released.
“I would hope there would be active resistance to this law – that people would not sign up,” Kinder said Monday.
That’s the opposite of the message being spread by organizations such as the Missouri Foundation for Health, which is part of the Cover Missouri Coalition. At the very minimum, the health insurance website is worth a click on a computer, said Ryan Barker, vice president of health policy at the foundation.
“I would encourage Missourians to take a look at the marketplace,” Barker said. “The marketplace is another option for people to compare prices and look and see if it might be something that works for themselves and their family and small business.”
Missouri has roughly 800,000 people without health insurance. About half of those could be eligible for subsidized coverage through the health insurance exchange, Barker said.
Missouri voters last year approved a measure placed on the ballot by the Republican-led Legislature that bars the governor and his administration from taking steps to establish a state-run health insurance exchange. The measure also prohibits state agencies or employees from providing “assistance or resources of any kind” to the federal government to implement its own insurance exchange in Missouri, unless such actions were authorized by a state law or required by federal law.
Kinder has consistently fought the federal health care law, at one point even filing a lawsuit challenging its implementation. He said people should refuse to sign up for the coverage offered by the health insurance exchange as a way of registering their disapproval of it. He also rejected suggestions that Missouri lawmakers should reconsider whether to state should operate its own insurance marketplace.
“I don’t see any reason to enable the implementation of this law,” Kinder said. He added: “I think the whole thing is in the process of collapsing.”
Obama Rodeo Clown Has Missouri State Fair Under Fire
August 11, 2013
A rodeo clown posing as President Obama during a controversial performance at the Missouri State Fair Saturday night ( courtesy: ShowMeProgress.com)
The Missouri State Fair is calling an incidentat Saturday night‘s rodeo performance, where the crowd jeered a rodeo clown portraying President Obama, " inappropriate and disrespectful".
A brief statement by the Fair’s organizers Sunday afternoon aded, "We strive to be a family friendly event and regret that Saturday’s rodeo badly missed that mark.".
The left- leaning websiteShowMeProgress.com, carried an account of the incident Sunday.
"Just prior to the start of the bull riding event, one of the clowns came out dressed in this. The announcer wanted to know if anyone would like to see Obama run down by a bull. The crowd went wild. He asked it again and again, louder each time, whipping the audience into a lather. One of the clowns ran up and started bobbling the lips on the mask and the people went crazy."
Website PoliticMO says the rodeo announcer Saturday night is Boonville School District Superintendent Mark Ficken, president of the Missouri Cowboy Rodeo Association.
Late Sunday, Independence State Representative John Mayfield called for the Boonville School District to
Look into the matter.
“A school superintendent expects his or her staff to show them the respect that their office deserves. It is a shame that Mr. Ficken apparently cannot do the same for the office of the President of the United States” said Mayfield in a statement.
He also says he’ll bring the matter up at the next meeting of an Interim
Committee on Government Responsiveness and Accountability . The panel
Meets in late August.
The incident has put the Missouri State Fair under fire.
Missouri’s Republican Lt. Governor, Peter Kinder criticized the performance in a Sunday tweet.
"The @MoStateFair celebrates Missouri and our people. I condemn the actions disrespectful to POTUS the other night. We are better than this," Kinder wrote.
Kinder is often sharp critic of President Obama, especially his health care reforms.
Kansas City State Representative Gail McCann Beatty, the assistant Minority Leader in the House called it "blatant racism".
"This is an embarrassment to the People of Missouri. I will not support future funding for an event that will condone (this)".
House Minority Leader Jake Hummel and Beatty are asking Republican House Speaker Tim Jones to investigate the Saturday nightrodeo performance.
Politico reported Scott Holste, spokesman for Missouri’s Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, said Sunday in an email that Nixon “agrees that the performance was disrespectful and offensive, and does not reflect the values of Missourians or the State Fair.”
Missouri’s Democratic US senator Claire McCaskill, in a statement, dais if the incident "is true", is has harmed the reputation of the State Fair.
McCaskill describes the fair as "a place where we can all bring our families and celebrate the state that we love. But the young Missourians who witnessed this stunt learned exactly the wrong lesson about political discourse—that somehow it’s ever acceptable to, in a public event, disrespect, taunt, and joke about harming the President of our great nation".
Kinder Predicts Missouri Right to Work Vote
August 9, 2013
CHICAGO (AP) — Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder is predicting that voters will get a chance to decide next year whether to halt a labor policy that requires union dues as a condition of employment in some Missouri workplaces.
Kinder said while attending a Chicago conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council that he believes fellow Republicans, who hold supermajorities in both the Missouri House and Senate, will pass what supporters commonly refer to as a “right-to-work” measure.
Similar legislation has been stymied in the past in Missouri, partly because of opposition from some union-friendly Republicans and partly because of an expected veto by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
“I believe we will pass right-to-work next year and bypass (Nixon) entirely by putting it on the referendum ballot for voters,” Kinder publicly declared during the conference. His comments came during a how-to session highlighting the recent passage of a right-to-work law in the historically unionized state of Michigan.
Michigan became the 24th state to enact a right-to-work law last December, when GOP Gov. Rick Snyder signed a measure passed by that state’s Republican-led Legislature. That came several months after Indiana also enacted right-to-work law.
As lieutenant governor, Kinder is the highest ranking Republican state official and is the presiding officer of the Missouri Senate, though he can vote only to break ties and does not schedule bills for debate.
A right-to-work proposal last went before Missouri voters in 1978 and was overwhelmingly defeated. Since then, union membership has declined both nationally and in Missouri