Saturday, June 28, 2008

Matt Blunt: Protects Firing Ranges, Denies 54,000 Missouri families Heath Coverage

Governor Blunt is still trying to become the worst governor in Missouri's history. Instead of making it a priority to enact phase 1 of Insure Missouri, Republicans decided to let that die and had Blunt sign a bill that protects firing ranges from litigation. Never mind that 54,000 low income working families were denied heath coverage.
This is Blunt's legacy. To all those working families who voted for Blunt because of his social agenda, can you see why voting against your own self interest was not such a good idea. This was not effective governance, but another campaign stunt for the Republicans to get the base all worked up about.

Good Missouri legislative wrap up in pdf form by the Missouri Budget Project

Friday, June 27, 2008

Grover Norquist : Obama is "Kerry with a tan"

Well it looks like the strategy of the right is going to be firmly rooted in fear mongering and race baiting. A LA times article has Norquist equating Obama to Kerry, Dukakis and Carter. Fair enough. That statement alone probably has no basis in fact, but it is based on ideology and can be debated. However bringing up the "tan" is injecting a racial component to their assertion . This is a not so veiled code to the conservative base that he is a black man. Fox News has been spewing this garbage as well. I really hope this will backfire. It's despicable.

Hillary speaks in and for Unity

In New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton addressed a rather large crowd on behalf of Barack Obama. She spoke of unity and the ultimate goal: Getting Barack Obama elected. She appeared relaxed and in her element. This brings up the question of where was this Hillary during the campaign.? I must say that her campaign staff did not do her justice. Terry McAuliffe seemed to be running a 2000 campaign in 2008. Any candidate, if they are not careful, can be handled to a detriment.

The media, in my opinion, was only interested in keeping this campaign a horse race. It made for good TV.

Glad to have Hillary aboard

A New (to Her) Ride: A Fundraiser for Kathleen Weinschenk: Columbia Activist and Historic Missouri Litigant

At the Unity Center tonight, according to the Columbia Missourian, over 35 people showed up for a fundraiser to help purchase a customized 2000 Ford Windstar. Kathleen needs the use of a motorized wheelchair and a customized van in order to get around. It is no secret she does get around. She serves as 3rd Ward Democratic committeewoman for the Boone County Central committee. She also serves on numerous boards, commissions, and steering committees.

However she might be best known as the lead plaintiff against the 2006 Voter ID law. The Missouri Supreme court that year ruled in favor of Kathleen's position. Her efforts prevented the Republicans from disenfranchising thousands.

She needs about $20,000 dollars to purchase this van and still has quite a ways to go. Please help this progressive Missouri activist keep her crusade rolling (pun intended): Below is the address to send donations:

The Kathleen Weinschenk Fund at P.O. Box 893, Columbia, MO, 65205.

It will be money well spent

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nader: Street Warrior?

I just come across this article. Nader is accusing Obama of "talking" white and should focus more on the poor in the inner cities. I believe that Nader is missing the point and perpetuating a stereotype. Obama is trying to appeal to all Americans, not just African Americans. Poverty strikes not only in the inner city here in Missouri, but also in poor rural areas. Poverty does not discriminate. I know I just gave Nader more attention than he deserves. His 1/2 of one percent vote intake in 2004 is evidence of his irrelevance.

Maybe if Obama started to talk "street" Nader would then, only in his mind, lend crediablity to Obama's candidancy? Probably not.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fred Parry accuses Karl Skala of "Lobbying": Another attempt from conservatives to change the language?

On June 15th, i received an email from Karl Skala via the ColumbiaCitizens listserv about the upcoming June 16th public hearing of the Lemone/Maguire Extension and Bridges project. A 9+ million dollar project that would extend Maquire Rd north to Stadium Ave. This would require the building of 2 bridges over the environmentally sensitive Grindstone creek. Below is the email that was sent:


Two bills regarding the Lemone/Maguire Extension and Bridges project are coming before the City Council tomorrow night, 6/16/08 @ ~7:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers (B162-08 regarding a call for bids & B163-08 regarding the final easement acquisition prior to commencing construction)

This will be your last opportunity to express your opinion before the Council renders its decision as to whether to proceed. I would cordially invite you to offer your comments to the Council regarding this proposed expenditure of >$9M of your taxpayer dollars.

And thank you for your continued civic interest.

Best Regards,

Karl Skala

Fred Parry, on his Morning Meeting radio show, accused Skala of "lobbying" against the project. It was no secret that Skala was against this extension. He had argued that other projects should had priority over this one. Especially the improvement of Clark and Ballenger lane in his ward.

As you can see, the email states no position and just informs its citizens of the hearing and the economic impact of the project. Conservatives are really out of touch with the citizens of Columbia. A call to civic action is not "lobbying" Mr. Parry, I thought you were a little more educated than that. Petitioning your government of your grievances is the cornerstone of the First Amendment, the same amendment that protects your right to tout your ignorance to the masses. It is refreshing to have an elected officeholder reminding his constituents of that right.

Notice to all those people that believe real estate development is equal to economic development: We are overbuilt and overdeveloped. The infrastructure subsidy that you have received has not been a good investment to Columbia Missouri. Your empty stores do not generate tax revenue and ends up costing the citizens of Columbia even more. We need to incubate small and medium businesses that are homegrown. This will stabilize our local economy and the wealth created stays in Columbia.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sean Spence awarded National DFA endorsement

Sean Spence, a candidates running for the 25th District House seat in Missouri who in May received the endorsement of Democracy for Missouri was endorsed by the National DFA in headquartered in Burlington Vermont.

In the Columbia Tribune 'Politics Blog' Jason Rosenbaum quoted Jim Dean from a statement:

“Sean Spence is a true progressive fighter and Democracy for America is proud to endorse his campaign,” said Jim Dean, Chair of DFA, in a statement. “Missouri needs Sean Spence in Jefferson City to tackle problems like our broken health care system and a lack of quality jobs.”

Congratulations to Sean on this endorsement.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Judy Baker applies for DFA endorsement

Over the last ten years, the Missouri 9th Congressional district has been represented by one of the strongest supporters of the Bush administration policies of economics and war. This election year, Kenny Hulshof will not be running for Congress and instead decided to enter Missouri 's gubernatorial race. This leaves the 9th open for anyone who has at least attended a social studies class in junior high. Now over the years, the Democrats put up candidates against Hulshof, but it usually ended up that our candidate getting close to the Democrat base vote in each of those elections. This was due, for the most part, to the lack of fund raising and support these candidates received.

However this election cycle was different. With Hulshof still in the race, Judy Baker decided to challenge him. In a matter of a few weeks, she raised over $100,000 before the New Year. She was a serious challenger and was going to take the fight to him. We all knew what happened next. Kenny decided to run for governor and 3 primary challengers joined Baker in vying the Democratic party's nomination.

So why should DFA endorse Judy for Congress, there are 7 main reasons

  1. Judy has amassed at least 250,000 dollars in this race.
  2. She is a unabashed progressive and served in the state legislature
  3. She is running for an open seat.
  4. She has received the endorsement of Emily's list, a rather large and influential PAC.
  5. Being married to a pastor, she will have appeal to those independent rural swing voters.
  6. She is one of ActBlue's top ten fundraisers
  7. This one is the most important, she entered the race when the fight was on. Her challengers entered the race when it was easier.
To me, the 50 state strategy of leaving no republican unchallenged is the credo of Howard Dean and DFA as well. There is no other candidate that illustrates this more clearly than Judy Baker

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Thank you for your support with DFA Netroots Nation

I like to thank those supporters who nominated me for a Netroots scholarship in Austin this year. Not only did I get support from friends, but people who liked what I had to say and wished me luck and support. However DFA apparently felt that either my Technorati rating wasn't high enough or not enough grassroots support. Unfortunately I really don;t have had the time to blog events as they have happened. I usually was part of those events. I had canvassed, phone banked, and supported candidates from city council to Congress. This is what I thought DFA was all about, getting progressive candidates elected to further those values. However DFA thought that instead of choosing bloggers that though DIRECT action furthered this mission, DFA rewarded the most vocal bloggers, the preachers to the choir, some of these scholarships. This is a shame and makes me feel that Vermont might not know what's going on here in the midwest. Here in DFA Columbia, we have elected members to county central committees, sent a member to the National Convention as an Obama Delegate, and we even had one of our steering committee members go to Iran as a citizen delegate. In addition, we held 2 primary debates for the 23rd and 25th state legislative districts and held endorsement votes. DFA Columbia is not a social club. We know that changing America will not be accomplished by having weenie roasts and walking around with our Buck Fush shirts on.
However DFA, with all its flaws is the leading progressive organization in this country. My post here is a friendly reminder to DFA is not to discount Missouri and really make an effort to see what's really going on in the grassroots that DFA holds dear.

Monday, June 16, 2008

That Liberal So and So

Here in the MO-9, there are many local pundits and political scientists making prediction based on past performances, a fair way to access a race at first blush. However what seems to be happening is that some democrats are running away from the liberal title, believing that rural voters will cringe at the sound of the word and run to the Republican party. But what are they running from and more importantly, what are they running towards? By virtue of the Republican echo chamber, the word liberal has been defined as gay-loving, baby killing, gun stealing, tax and spenders. We need to take back the word liberal and embrace it. Health care, jobs, and sustainable energy are values that all Missourians care about and Democrats need to embrace. Enough of the crony state. Encourage all democratic candidates in Missouri to take back the issues.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Inadequate Black Man: A Missouri blogger's memory of his New York roots.

Over the weekend, the DNC Rules committee met to discuss the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates. Emotions ran high and the press was there to report it. This video:

has been shown on a lot of blogs and people have commented on it. This is in no way accusing Hillary supporters are racist. I personally know many Clinton supporters that have fought for progressive causes for decades and really believe that Hillary is the best person for the job.

This post is really not about Clinton supporters, though I don't know how Manhattan got disenfranchised. It is about how a blue state like NY can be one of the most racist states in the nation.

I was born in Queens. I lived there until I was nine. Even at a young age, I noticed that certain people had their own neighborhoods and it wasn't a good idea to wander into them. The Jewish people had their neighborhood in Kew Gardens, the Puerto Ricans lived in a section of Richmond hill and the Irish and Italian families pretty much lined the homes and apartments of 118th st. Seeing a black person was a rarity. In my neighborhood, I could count on one hand the times I saw an African American. When one was seen, they were met with suspicion and contempt. My own mother told me to stay away from "them" because one of "them" murdered a white kid on a bike by the Mc Donald's on Jamaica Ave.

When I moved to Valley Stream in Nassau county, things were not very much different. I spend 8 years in Valley stream and during my time in the public school, I saw only one (1) black student and he was an exchange student from South Africa. What really got me thinking is when he started to talk about apartheid, most of us were pretty appalled. however it opened my eyes to what was sort of an apartheid in how we lived. Black and Latinos families were red lined away from white neighborhoods and shown only homes in "their" neighborhoods. Racism in New York takes on a territorial nature when this practice was encouraged. It is also a covert form of racism, since clashes tend to be rare and the facade of peace is put forth.

In 1983, I moved to Columbia, Mo. It was a culture shock indeed. Stores closed to early and couldn't find a decent pizza (still can't). however I noticed that among those in the same socioeconomic class, black and whites lived in close proximity and mingled together with relative ease. This was unheard of where I had lived before. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of racist crud about. But it was an overt form of racism. You knew who hated who and there was no facade. In NY, it was hard to see how people would react with an intra-racial situation when they never would have the opportunity to be in one.

The video brought back memories and history to me. Too bad, history is repeating itself