Congres Cuts a Deal on StL ”Stan Span’, It Gets 2 Names
June 26, 2013

ST. LOUIS • Perhaps it was inevitable that two states that have been at odds over the new Interstate 70 bridge spanning the Mississippi River would spar over what to name it.

Missouri lawmakers wasted little time voting to name the Missouri half of the new four-lane bridge for the beloved late Cardinals great, Stan “the Man” Musial. Illinois lawmakers have gotten behind naming it for military veterans. Trouble is that both states have to agree on one name.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a compromise moniker aimed at satisfying both states: the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.

“The St. Louis Cardinals are one of the most storied and successful first-rate franchises in sports history, and the best player to ever don the St. Louis Cardinal uniform was Stan ‘the Man’ Musial,” said Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., who came up with the compromise.

Off the field, Davis said, Musial led by example. In 1945, Musial took a year during the prime of his career to serve in the. Navy during World War II.

“Today, lets honor our veterans and Stan ‘the Man’ Musial,” he said.

Several members of the Illinois and Missouri congressional delegation backed the proposed name.

Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, was a chief sponsor along with Davis of the legislation.

“I’m proud to name it after Stan Musial not just because of what he did on the field, but off the field, too,” Clay said before Tuesday’s floor session. “He stood up to the racists and the ignorance of the 1940s and put his arms around people like Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Ernie Banks and demonstrated that they were human beings, too.”

Lacy Clay in 6-Way Tie for NJ’s Most Liberal Member of Congress
February 24, 2012

Veteran St. Louis Congressman Lacy Clay is in a six-way tie for the most liberal member of Congress, according to a ranking by the National Journal.
In its summary report, the National Journal says the rankings reflect the polarization of Congress.
“Only six Republicans—Chris Smith of New Jersey, Tim Johnson of Illinois, Justin Amash of Michigan, Ron Paul of Texas, Steven LaTourette of Ohio, and Walter Jones of North Carolina—compiled a slightly more “liberal” voting record than the most conservative Democrat, Rep. Dan Boren of Oklahoma,” according to the journal’s report.
Clay’s overall ranking is 93.3. The other members with that same ranking include California Representatives Judy Chu (Cal.-) and Bob Filner (Cal-). Others with the same ranking are Hansen Clark (Mich-) Keith Ellison (Minn-); Donna Edwards (Md-) All are Democrats.
All received the same NJ score on broad policy categoires. Each received a 92 for economic issues, an 80 for social issues and 88 for foreign policy issues.
Kansas City Congressman Emaneul Cleaver is in a 4-way tie for the 30th most liberal member of the House.
Cleaver got a overall score from the NJ of 90.5. He scored an 87 on econnomic issues; an 80 on social issues and an 88 on foreign policy.
Cleaver is also the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The most of the Missouri delegation are Republicans. In a sense their ‘liberal’ score can be converted in to conservative by reversing the order.
Russ Carnahan (D-Mo-3): 139
Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo8): 228
Sam Graves (R-Mo-6): 294
Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo-4) 344
Billy Long (R-Mo-7) 378
Luetkemeyer (R-Mo-9) 384


The ‘Rich’ List of Missouri Members of Congress
December 29, 2011

From the St. Louis Riverfront Times via

The Center for Responsive Politics recently released its report on the nation’s wealthiest U.S. representatives and senators.

No one from Missouri makes its Top 10 list, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have some worthy contenders. Turns out we actually have some of the richest — and poorest — politicians in Washington, based on the financial disclosures the elected officials file each year.

Here, then, is the average net worth* of Missouri’s congressional delegation based on those disclosures:

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D): $26.5 million
Sen. Roy Blunt (R): $3.7 million

William Lacy Clay (D – Dist. 1): $32,000
Todd Akin (R – Dist. 2): $160,000
Russ Carnahan (D – Dist. 3): $328,000
Vicky Hartzler (R – Dist. 4): $8.9 million
Emanuel Cleaver (D – Dist. 5): $891,500
Sam Graves (R – Dist. 6): $1.1 million
Billy Long (R – Dist. 7): $2.4 million
Jo Ann Emerson (R – Dist. 8): $490,500
Blaine Luetkemeyer (R – Dist. 9): $3.4 million

Total them up and they add up to $47.9 million, of which McCaskill’s fortunes (courtesy of her developer husband, Joseph Shepard) account for over half. Hartzler, the second-weatlhiest Missouri politician in D.C., owns a farm equipment business with her husband, Lowell.

Lacy Clay is the poorest of the group. In fact, he’s one of the least-wealthy people in all of Congress, ranking as the 395th richest member of the 435-person House of Representatives.

Hartzler to Meet Monday With Lake Owners in FERC Dispute, Locals Bow Their Necks
November 7, 2011

Western Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler meets with some Lake of the Ozarks residents Monday. It is the latest move in the growing resistance to a controversial federal ruling.

Here is an Associated Press report on where the matter stands now.

(AP) — Nearly every year, Patsy Riley has gotten unsolicited offers for her house on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks with its spectacular views of tree-lined bluffs and its ample shoreline, but she never wanted to leave. Now, she and hundreds of her neighbors wonder what will become of their homes after a federal agency declared that many structures built close to the lake may have to go.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, citing restrictions on private developments around dams, says thousands of residences, decks, patios and boathouses appear to encroach on land belonging to the hydroelectric project in violation of federal regulations.

The announcement has triggered panic in the area’s lakefront communities and led to a growing battle among regulators, a utility company, land attorneys and the state’s congressional delegation. Officials say they are searching for a way to settle the issue without mass evictions.

“We are mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore,” said Riley, who has lived at the lake for more than 30 years and estimates about half of her neighborhood is threatened.

The dispute pits the government’s rules for hydroelectric projects against the potential vagaries of land records and private transactions that go back more than 80 years. Riley and other property owners say they have legal deeds to their land that permitted construction. The agency says it has regulations protecting the lake’s recreation, scenery and environment against development.

The winding, 93-mile-long Lake of the Ozarks was created in 1931 by the Bagnell Dam and Osage hydroelectric project, and has become a playground for water sports enthusiasts and vacationers. The thickly wooded shores and hills are dotted with houses, resorts and weekend cottages.

The problem with the lakefront property arose when Ameren Missouri, the power company that owns the project, applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new 40-year license to operate the dam. A required shoreline plan noted that some structures had been built over time on some of the utility’s property for the dam, in many cases when Union Electric Co., an earlier form of Ameren, was the owner. How the property was sold was not clear. But the utility had no problem with many of the structures.

FERC objected, however. “In the majority of cases, the existing non-conforming structure/encroachment should be removed in a timely manner and the site restored to its pre-existing conditions,” the agency’s ruling last summer said. For hardship cases, regulators said Ameren could propose allowing some homes to remain temporarily or could seek an adjustment in the property’s boundaries.

Homeowners say the ruling leaves their property worthless.

Riley, a retired special education teacher, said the ranch-style house she bought 32 years ago was valued at about $350,000 but now would be impossible to sell. No matter what happens, Riley said, she is not leaving.

Other residents were so alarmed that, rather than watch a critical sixth game of the World Series featuring their beloved St. Louis Cardinals, hundreds turned out for a community meeting that lasted for hours.

The utility has proposed shifting the project’s property boundaries to get many of the residences out of danger.

“It is difficult to understand how this collective drain on socioeconomics resources in this region — financial and otherwise — is justifiable, especially given current economic and housing market conditions,” Ameren officials said in a brief filed recently with the federal agency.

A FERC spokeswoman declined to comment to The Associated Press. Previously, the agency told The Kansas City Star in a written statement that “FERC’s role is to ensure that the licensee is following the terms of the license, and approve shoreline management plans. It is the responsibility of the licensee to carry out the terms and conditions of the license, including shoreline management plan.”

Missouri’s members of Congress have insisted that the agency reverse itself.

“It’s outrageous, it’s infuriating and it has got to be stopped,” said Rep. Vicky Hartzler, whose district includes part of the lake.