Blunt Wants to Consider Special Prosecutor to Check White House Terror Leaks
June 8, 2012

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is joining other Republican senators who want a special counsel to investigate possible White house leaks.
The issue rolled into the headlines after a New York Times report earlier this week.
The report talked about the decision making process in the Obama White House on handling terror.
At times, the reporter seems to describe episodes as if the reporter was in the room at the moment or talked with someone who was.
Blunt, who is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the possible leaks represent a problem that needs to be fixed.
“It’s a crime to leak classified information on the part of a government employee, and it’s outrageous that the White House would allow these ongoing alleged disclosures to jeopardize the safety of our intelligence professionals and the well-being of the American people. I fully support moving forward with a special prosecutor to conduct an independent investigation immediately so that we can hold the appropriate people accountable.”

NYT Editorial Centers on McCaskill & Crossroads GPS TV Commercial Battle
April 29, 2012

A week of battle over political spending has landed Missouri Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill and one of her chief opponents, the outside spending group ‘Crossroads GPS’, in the Sunday editoriasl section of the New York Times.
Here’s a portion of the piece:
“It is dangerous to challenge the funnel cloud of corporate and right-wing political advertising this year, but Senator Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, has decided to fight back. She is running commercials that talk directly about the ads trying to prevent her re-election.
“They’re not from around here, spending millions to attack and attack,” said one of her recent commercials, showing clips from the opposing ads that have become ubiquitous in her state. “But what they’re doing to Claire McCaskill is nothing compared to what their special-interest agenda will do to you.”
It will be an uphill fight. Republican interest groups are outspending Ms. McCaskill and other Missouri Democrats by a 7-to-1 ratio; Ms. McCaskill herself is being outspent by 3 to 1. Though she has raised nearly $10 million, the amount could be dwarfed by the unlimited money at the disposal of Republican-oriented groups.
Once again, as in 2010, Congressional races will be the elections most affected by unregulated slush-fund money. Though “super PACs” and secretive independent groups will be spending hundreds of millions on the presidential race, it is at the Congressional level where big money can have the most impact. Many candidates, particularly in smaller states, cannot compete with independent groups, allowing individual wealthy donors to have an oversized influence on the future of the House or the Senate.
Already, conservative interest groups have spent more than $17 million on televised attack ads in state and local races, and Jeremy Peters of The Times recently reported that they plan to spend more than $100 million by November. Total outside spending on Congressional races this year is likely to exceed the $300 million level of 2010.
The conservative groups, like the Crossroads organizations founded by Karl Rove, have already moved aggressively against Democratic candidates in Nebraska, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among other states. The ads all spread the same misleading lines about health care reform and President Obama’s record, to which Congressional Democrats are inevitably linked.
“Fourteen thousand dollars,” one Crossroads GPS ad intones, while a beleaguered father holds his head in his hands. “Under President Obama and Senator Claire McCaskill, that’s what every man, woman and child in America owes in new government debt.” The ad wrongly suggests that individuals will “owe” the government a check for that amount, and of course never mentions that Mr. Rove’s patron, President George W. Bush, was responsible for nearly five times more of the current debt than President Obama

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/opinion/sunday/a-senator-fights-back.html?_r=1

NYT: Are Caucus Results Accurate? Maybe Not.
February 3, 2012

As Missouri prepares for a Tuesday February 7 primary that won’t count, the New Yorks is raising questions about the process that will count, the caucus set for March 17.
Missouri Republicans will hold county-by-county caucuses on that day. Training seminars on hold to conduct a caucus started in Missouri late last month.
The Times:
“The errors started to emerge even before Mitt Romney was declared the winner of the Iowa caucus by eight votes. By the time the results were certified two weeks later, mistakes had been found in so many districts that the state Republican Party chairman declared that it would be impossible to determine a winner.
Critics responded almost immediately with a seemingly obvious assertion: real elections have winners.
But even after the party chairman reversed himself and called the race for Rick Santorum, many state leaders justified the confusion in a way that may appear at odds with the level of attention awarded the first-in-the-nation caucus:
This was not, in fact, a real election.
That argument, made by everyone from the state’s governor to the editorial page of its largest newspaper, distinguished between the exacting standards of a professional state-run primary and the assumed informality of a party-run, volunteer-staffed caucus, in which the votes do not even officially count.
Nevertheless it was a startling admission in a state that has fiercely defended the significance of an event that plays an outsize role in shaping nomination contests…
In Iowa, the results changed when the party found that the totals of the hand-written and hand-counted ballots had been misreported in 131 of 1,774 precincts.
Now, after a series of contentious primaries, the Republican nomination contest is once again heading into caucus country. Nevada, Maine, Colorado and Minnesota will hold caucuses in the next few days and the rest of the Republican caucus states will hold their own in the following weeks.
20 Punds: Missouri’s is March 17
Those in favor of the caucus format, in which party members typically attend meetings at a set time to vote, are worried that additional problems will further undermine a traditional system that has been in declining use, as more states move to the comparative convenience and reliability of a primary.
In Iowa, the results changed when the party found that the totals of the hand-written and hand-counted ballots had been misreported in 131 of 1,774 precincts. Many more turned in certification forms without the necessary signatures. And eight— a record few, in fact — never filed the paperwork needed for certification.
Craig Robinson helped run the Iowa caucus for the Republican Party four years ago, and afterward traveled to Nevada to lend his expertise, but was stunned by the disarray. “I can’t tell you how big of a mess it was,” he said.
“I’m nervous about the other caucus states coming up,” said Mr. Robinson, now editor of the Web site The Iowa Republican. “My fear is if there is another problem with a caucus you’re going to have more people say, ‘Why are we doing this?’ ”

NYT: Chances Are Romney, 42% Shot at Winning
January 3, 2012

The New York Times political blog,’Five Thirty Eight’, has posted the chaaces of various candidates winning tonight’s Iowa Caucus.
The betting line please:

Caucus Countdown: NYT- 5 Things to Watch for This Week in Final Caucus Sprint
December 27, 2011


The New York Times has five things to watch for in the finial week of the Iowa Caucus Campaign:

REACTION TO NEGATIVITY Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting the candidacy of Mitt Romney, promises to continue its negative barrage against Newt Gingrich. So will the campaign of Ron Paul, who is vying for a first-place finish. But will Iowa voters recoil at such negative ads, as they have in the past? And if they do, who will they blame? It is not a secret that Restore Our Future is run by former aides to Mr. Romney, but they are not required to advertise that fact. Mr. Gingrich is hoping to stoke a backlash by staying positive. Look for a “Pets With Newt” Web site from Mr. Gingrich, a zoo enthusiast.
THE DESPERATION PLAY For at least three candidates in Iowa, it’s desperation time: Representative Michele Bachmann, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Rick Santorum all need to do better than their current polling suggests they will. How do they break out in the final full week? Mr. Perry has shifted his message from “jobs” to “faith” and “values” in the hopes of drawing evangelicals. Will Mrs. Bachmann or Mr. Santorum change their approach in a last-minute bid for voter support? The quandary is that both say they are the consistent conservative, so any change in message might be counterproductive.
A LATE SURPRISE There is not much time left, but that does not mean the vetting is over. Reporters are continuing to dig into the backgrounds of the candidates, and the potential still exists for a game-changing moment. The new attention on racially charged language in Mr. Paul’s newsletters could curtail his recent surge in polls. And Mr. Gingrich and Mr. Romney remain a focus of investigative digging by rivals, bloggers and journalists.
CROSSING PATHS As the caucuses near, the political geography of Iowa gets simpler for the candidates: go where the votes are. Mrs. Bachmann is shunning that advice as she tries to hit every one of the state’s 99 counties. But other candidates will most likely focus on the state’s more populated areas. That means the HyVee groceries, coffee shops and diners in those towns will be visited repeatedly by different candidates, though usually not at the same time.
THE OTHER CANDIDATE Mr. Obama will not be in Iowa this week, but he might as well be. The candidates remain fixated on him even as they parry with each other. Mr. Romney, in particular, plans to keep hitting the president’s handling of the economy in a new stump speech. That speech prompted a reply of sorts by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in a letter published in The Des Moines Register. And many of the ads by outside groups and candidates themselves focus on what they call the “failure” of Mr. Obama’s administration.