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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of October 20, 2008

. In final days of election state treasurer campaign goes negative (10/24/2008)

JEFFERSON CITY - The race for Missouri state treasurer has gone negative with statewide television ads.

Rep. Clint Zweifel, the St. Louis County Democrat in the race, has targeted Republican candidate Sen. Brad Lager in his first state-wide television ad. 

Although Zweifel has made several campaign videos mocking Gov. Matt Blunt, this is the first time Zweifel has pulled a cardboard cutout of his opponent  into the mix.

The ad calls Blunt and Lager "best friends" and features a cutout of Blunt alongside what appears to be a cropped photo of Lager photoshopped onto someone else's body.

. Blunt issues press release chastising the integrity of Missouri's voting process and offers help. (10/24/2008)

Gov. Blunt's office issued a press release citing the instances of voter fraud in this year's election. 

Hours after sending off the release, his office refused to comment until Monday. 

The Secretary of State's office appreciates Blunt's offer, but cites that a recent report by the Brennen Center puts Missouri's election preparedness in the top six states in the nation.

. The campaign for Attorney General began friendly but has now turned to attacks. (10/23/2008)

Senator Gibbons is accusing Senator Koster or writing bad checks and recieving money from people with mafia ties.

Senator Koster responded with accusations that Gibbons does not have enough experience and has taken lenient stances on persecuting medicaid fraud.

. Until 2010, federal regulations do not require contractors be certified to work with dangerous lead-based paint. (10/22/2008)

This week is the Environmental Protection Agency's "Let's Wipe Out Lead Poisoning Week".

A federal regulation going into full effect by 2010 will require contractors working in buildings built before 1978 be certified by the EPA.

Children in these older homes and schools are more likely to be exposed to dangerous lead.

. Department of Natural Resources comes under fire in third attorney general candidate debate (10/21/2008)

The Missouri Natural Resources Department faced criticism from both attorney general candidates in their third general election debate held in St. Louis.

Democratic candidate Chris Koster said the Natural Resources Department has not done its job in adequate environmental regulation, while Republican candidate Mike Gibbons said the relationship between the department and the attorney general's office needs to be repaired.

. In face of an English only state government, responses are mixed on whether government agencies are providing adequate English-as-a-second-language instruction. (10/21/2008)

Senate Bill 583, which the proposed amendment would replace, was passed in 1998 and requires state agencies to provide adult English education services.

State Director of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Ron Jewel says that his department offers tons of programs.

Executive Director of Missouri Immigration and Refugee Advocates Jennifer Rofanan agrees that a lot of great programs are offered, but that services to help assist in everyday life while people are learning are needed.

. State GOP Spokesperson maintains stance that Barack Obama is a Socialist but a ranking Missouri House Democrat disagrees. (10/20/2008)

The Missouri Republican Party accuses Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama of being a socialist and being out of touch with Missouri workers. 

Spokesperson Tina Hervey said Obama's statements of spreading the wealth in American confirm his Socialist philosophies.

Missouri House Democratic Leader Paul LeVota disagrees that Obama is a Socialist and said his policies are designed to help the middle class. 

. 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.