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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of October 13, 2008

. Missouri in top six of states for election day preparedness. (10/17/2008)

An independent group rated all fifty states on such things as voting security, counting accuracy, and machine maintenance.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan feels that Missouri can keep this high standard and still make it easier for voters to cast their vote.

Republican opponent Mitch  Hubbard feels that attempts to make the voting process quicker will compromise the authenticity of Missouri's tallies.

. Missourians may see a 15% increase in renewable energy within the next 20 years if they vote yes on Proposition C. (10/16/2008)

The renewable energy ballot initiative includes a one percent cap for costs to consumers.

Some utility companies and the Missouri Public Service Commission have both voiced concern about this cap, but those in favor of Proposition C say a 15% increase in renewable energy can be done with little cost to consumers.  

. Large-scale economic situation impacting rural Missouri (10/16/2008)

Businesses and citizens of rural Missouri towns are struggling in light of the country's current economic downfalls.

Mayors of both Hartsburg and Buffalo, Missouri spoke about their town's struggles.

Mayor of Buffalo, Jerry Hardesty, said the town has seen only one large-scale closing thus far, but expects more businesses to fall in the future.

. Plaintiffs in Proposition A lawsuit say it is illegal and deceitful (10/15/2008)

During lawsuit hearing at Cole County Courthouse Plaintiffs argued that Proposition A is illegal and deceitful to voters.

Plaintiff Representative Ray Salva said the Proposition contains too many conflicting components that will force people to vote for something they might otherwise not. He also said Proposition A is really serving casinos and not education.

Chuk Hatfield who is the Attorney for the Vote Yes for Prop A Campaign said Proposition A is completely legal and all the components serve one general issue which is to use gambling revenue to fund schools.

. Hulshof's spokesman attacked Nixon for allowing corruption. (10/15/2008)

Attorney General Jay Nixon helped created The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City which gave $85,000 to ACORN, an organization under scrutiny for fraudulent voter registration.

 A spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party says the foundation is independent and Nixon had no say in the matter.

. Nixon out raises Hulshof in September (10/15/2008)

Democrat candidate for governor Attorney General Jay Nixon out raised Republican candidate for governor Rep. Kenny Hulshof by $1.52 million during the month of September.

For the period between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30 Nixon raised $3.8 million. During the same time period, Hulshof raised $2.27 million.

. Unemployment is finally down after months of increasing. (10/15/2008)

Spokesperson for the Democratic part is still unhappy says Missouri needs a change in leadership.

 Spokesperson for the Governor's office said nothing, she said she agreed with the Governor's press release.

. Heavy flooding forces waterfowl out of Missouri wetlands. (10/14/2008)

Flooding in Missouri broke levees and killed crops and plants in Missouri wetlands.

Those crops were planted to feed waterfowl, and now waterfowl must look elsewhere for resources.

. Missouri's Secretary of State reacts to ACORN scandal (10/10/2008)

Reports of fraudulent voting in Jackson County Missouri have caused many to question the services of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN.

The Secretary of State's Office reports no effect on the election and a prompt evaluation from the U.S. Attorney or Prosecutor's Office.  

. Senator Joe Biden spoke in Jefferson City on Thursday night (10/09/2008)

Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, focused on cutting health care costs, improving the economy and effectively ending the war during a rally in Jefferson City Thursday night.

Biden said the fundamental difference between the Obama and McCain Campaign is how their campaign measures progress in terms of dignity and respect for hard working middle class people.

. Missouri's candidates for AG disagree about a shield law for journalists. (10/09/2008)

The only major disagreement that emerged between Missouri's attorney general candidates in their second debate  involved a proposal to protect journalists from having to disclose anonymous sources and unused information in court.

While GOP candidate Mike Gibbons supported a "Shield Law," Democratic attorney general candidate Chris Koster reinforced his opposition during their debate in Poplar Bluff Thursday.

. State Treasurer cites lack of leadership, responsibility, and confidence for financial crisis (10/09/2008)

Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman voiced concern after the DOW dropped 600 points on Thursday.  Steelman says the economic crisis can be blamed on both parties since both did nothing to prevent the crisis and neither has accepted responsibility.

Steelman also suggests  the US Justice Department should be called in to investigate filing criminal charges against companies who received bailout funds from Congress.

Steelman says she encourages Missourians to call their congressman and voice their concerns on what she calls unneeded pork barrel spending.

. The Jackson County Board of Elections Commission is accusing ACORN of suspected fraudulent voter registration. (10/08/2008)

Community organization ACORN denies that they were involved in suspected voter registration fraud that took place in Independence, Missouri. 

 The Jackson County Board of Elections is turning over the suspected fraudulent voter registration cards to the FBI.

. Nonpartisan Court Plan has faced long history of scrutiny (10/07/2008)

Although Missouri's nonpartisan judicial selection process is not up for public scrutiny on the November ballot, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof's proposed changes have made it again an issue of debate.

Other fairly recent developments include proposed amendments by a St. Louis activist attorney and a Republican state representative.

. With the voter registration deadline here, officials now focus on getting people to the polls (10/07/2008)

Voting officials say now that registration is over, they must focus on encouraging those who have registered to go to the polls and vote.

Missouri voters registered by Wednesday, October 8 will be able to vote in the November 4 election.

. Missouri farmers have avoided credit crisis so far, but need to prepare for the future. (10/07/2008)

The credit crisis has hit many Americans, but Missouri farmers have not yet seen the affects.

Missouri Farm Bureau spokesperson Kelly Smith said they should look ahead, because the economy will catch up to them if they don't.

. Both Democrats and Republicans want students to be safe, but when it comes to sex ed they disagree on the methods. (10/07/2008)

Sex Education is a highly debated subject among educators and politicians.

Views range from wanting abstinence only programs to being in favor of comprehensive sexual education curriculum.  

. Hulshof campaign says new Nixon education plan would bankrupt public schools (10/06/2008)

Democrat candidate for governor Attorney General Jay Nixon laid out his plans for lower education and the economy during a speech before teachers and administrators Monday night, a plan his opponent's campaign said the state cannot afford.

"Jay Nixon would bankrupt Missouri schools," said Scott Baker, spokesman for Republican candidate U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof. "If all the spending he has proposed went into effect then teachers would have to be laid off by the hundreds."

. Missouri Association for Social Welfare says food pantries are struggling since last week (10/06/2008)

Robert Quinn, Executive Director of MASW, says more people from wealthier economic backgrounds have been utilizing food pantries much more frequently .

 The Missouri Department of Social Services says there has not been a noticeable increase in the number of Missourians requesting food stamps or welfare assistance.

. Republican attorney general candidate raises questions about Republican gubernatorial candidate's inspector governor proposal  (10/06/2008)

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Kenny Hulshof's plans to create an inspector general position were not met with a full embrace by the Republican candidate for attorney general.

While attorney general candidate and Senator Mike Gibbons, R-St. Louis County, supports the creation of an inspector general position, Gibbons disagreed with some points of the proposal.

. State budget shortfalls in the late 1990s led to deep cuts in higher education funding which have yet to be recovered. (10/06/2008)

Although both major party gubernatorial candidates have announced plans to make higher education more affordable, how much of an impact a new governor has on the situation could be limited by several factors including budget constraints and the appropriations process.

But extra funding is dependent upon the state's budget. And at least one state budget expert suggests that would be a problem.

. Immigration laws to change in the hands of a new governor (10/06/2008)

Governor Matt Blunt has led a crusade to cut down on illegal immigrants in Missouri throughout his term.

As the race for governor comes to a close, many await to see where immigration laws with go with Congressman Kenny Hulshof or Attorney General Jay Nixon in office.