Missouri’s Political Crowd Gathers at State Fair in Wake of Obama Clown Incident
August 15, 2013

(AP) — Controversy over a rodeo clown who mocked President Barack Obama isn’t keeping Gov. Jay Nixon away from the annual governor’s ham breakfast at the Missouri State Fair.

Plenty of other executive officials and lawmakers also are expected to attend the event at the fairgrounds in Sedalia.

The ham breakfast is only part of the allure. The event also offers the opportunity for politicians to shake hands with hundreds of rural Missourians in an informal atmosphere.

Earlier this week, many Missouri officials denounced a rodeo skit in which a clown wore an Obama mask while another riled the crowd with statements suggesting the president could be run down by a bull.

Some Democratic legislators have suggested that Missouri stop spending tax dollars on the fair.

Some Mo. Dems May Join GOP Override Effort on Nixon’s Gun Bill Veto
July 27, 2013

(AP) – With the help of a few Democrats, Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature appears to be positioned to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a high-profile bill that seeks to nullify federal gun-control laws in the state and make criminals out of federal agents who attempt to enforce them.

Several of Nixon’s fellow Democrats confirmed to The Associated Press that they would vote to override his veto when lawmakers convene in September, even while agreeing with the governor that the bill couldn’t survive a court challenge. Many of them noted that in some parts of Missouri, a “no” vote on gun legislation could be career ending.

“We love our guns and we love hunting. It’s not worth the fight for me to vote against it,” said Rep. T.J. McKenna, D-Festus. But, he added, “the bill is completely unconstitutional, so the courts are going to have to throw it out.”

The legislation would make it a misdemeanor for federal agents to attempt to enforce any federal gun regulations that “infringe on the people’s right to keep and bear arms.” The same criminal charges would apply to journalists who publish any identifying information about gun owners. The charge would be punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Nixon said the bill infringes on the U.S. Constitution by giving precedence to state law over federal laws and by limiting the First Amendment rights of media.

The legislation is one of the boldest measures yet in a recent national trend in which states are attempting to nullify federal laws. A recent Associated Press analysis found that about four-fifths of the states have enacted local laws that directly reject or ignore federal laws on gun control, marijuana use, health insurance requirements and identification standards for driver’s licenses. Relatively few of those go so far as to threaten criminal charges against federal authorities.

McKenna was among 11 House Democrats who joined Republicans to pass the Missouri gun legislation in May, by a 116-38 vote. The bill cleared the Senate 26-6, with two Democrats supporting it. A veto override needs a two-thirds majority in both chambers, or 109 votes in the House and 23 in the Senate.

Republicans hold 24 Senate seats. Although Republicans currently hold 109 House seats, they’re down at least one of their own. Rep. Jay Barnes was the only Republican to vote against the original bill and said he opposes a veto override.

“Our Constitution is not a Chinese buffet, which we like and do not like,” the Jefferson City attorney told the AP. “The First Amendment is part of the Constitution that we must uphold. … (And) the supremacy clause means that states cannot criminalize the activities of agents of the federal government.”

If the rest of the Republicans stick together, and none are absent, that means they will need at least one Democratic vote to override the veto.

But so far, at least three House Democrats – McKenna, Keith English of Florissant and Ben Harris of Hillsboro – said they would support a veto override, and Democratic Rep. Jeff Roorda of Barnhart said he was leaning toward it.

“Being a rural-area Democrat, if you don’t vote for any gun bill, it will kill you,” Harris said. “That’s what the Republicans want you to do is vote against it, because if you vote against it, they’ll send one mailer every week just blasting you about guns, and you’ll lose” re-election.

Koster Knocks Kansas Dems-Let’s Not Be Like Them
September 5, 2012

Missouri Attorney General, Democrat Chris Koster threw a jab at his sunflower state colleagues this morning.
Koster was speaking before the Missouri Democratic delegate breakfast. His re-election campaign picked up part of the tab for the delegate breakfast. Rep. Russ Carnahan split the tab with him.
Koster was talking about the state of the Missouri Democratic Party.
“I don’t want to see our party ever look like the Democratic party of the State of Kansas”, he said.
The Kansas Democrats are a small minority party in a very Republican state.
For example, Democrats failed to file a candidate to run against Johnson County freshman Congressman Kevin Yoder.
Yoder cruised to victory in his first campaign in 2010. The Johnson County Democrats, however, launched a vigorous campaign against him with Stephane Moore.
Kansas democratic spokesman Dakoita Loomis responded to Koster’s remark.
” I am sure the Missouri Democratic Party shares those values”, Loomis said in a text.
Koster is worried about the outststae future for Missouri Democrats.
He says is unacceptable that state Senate district in places like Clay and Saline Counties no longer have Democratic senators.
“We need to make sure the middle of the state turns blue again”, said Koster.
Koster flipped parties before the 2008 election. he ran and won as a Democrat.
He said again today, he left the Missouri Republican party because it became to extreme.
He cited the opposiiton in some Republican circles to stem cell research at the Stowers Institute in Kansas City and Washington University in St. Louis.
Koster says that resistance makes it tough for Missouri to attract the top researchers.
“Come to boston for your Nobel price,” joked Koster, “come to Missouri for your leg irons.”

Look for GOP’s Akin to be Dem Convo Target
September 2, 2012

In Tampa, Republicans, especially Missouri Republicans, rarely talked about the situation surrounding Senate candidate Todd Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape”.
The St.Louis Post-Dispatch reports that won’t be the case in Charlotte for the Democratic convention. Mr. akin may be mentioned early and often.
“State party leaders hope their regrouping in Charlotte, N.C., can be a step toward stopping that rightward drift, as they sharpen a message to bring home that will focus on tax fairness, social issues, slow but steady economic progress — and, of course, Todd Akin.

Akin, the controversial Republican Missouri congressman who is trying to unseat Sen. Claire McCaskill, was scrupulously absent from the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last week. But you can expect his name to be everywhere at the Democratic convention.

“Nobody on the Republican side can walk away from what Todd Akin said,” warned Mike Sanders, Missouri’s Democratic Party chairman.

Democrats are poised to make sure of it this week, using Akin’s bombshell comments about “legitimate” rape and pregnancy to press the case that the Republicans have drifted so far right that they’re no longer a mainstream party.

“I’d like to have a dollar for every time Todd Akin’s name is mentioned at a microphone” during the convention, predicted Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, a Washington newsletter. “You’ll hear a lot of stuff on cultural issues and women’s issues. I expect there to be many references to Todd Akin.”

Missouri’s battered Democrats might be excused for taking a little too much glee in the Akin controversy. It’s the first bit of good political news they’ve had in a while, with polls showing Obama trailing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney here, and issues such as health care reform and stimulus spending hurting Democrats down the ballot.

“I hear all the time, ‘It’s going to be a rough year for Democrats'” in Missouri, Sanders said. “That is the conventional wisdom.”

He’s hoping the convention will help change that.

“Republicans (in Missouri) tolerate Mitt Romney, but they aren’t excited about Mitt Romney,” Sanders said. “There’s no better time to bring Democrats together.”