Friday, July 20, 2007

Amy Coffman for the 44th

Before anyone makes a decision about whom to support in next year's election for Jenee Lowe's House Seat in the 44th District, I urge you to meet Amy Coffman. Amy will formally announce her candidacy soon, but I wanted to get the word out about her sooner than that. Amy graduated from Blue Springs High School, and obtained her bachelor's degree from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Amy has gained invaluable legislative experience that will serve the 44th District well, both through her service to a representative in the Alaska legislature and as lead minority caucus staff, and through her work with the Missouri legislature on behalf of Missouri seniors as the Advocacy Program Coordinator for AARP Missouri.

I was so impressed with Amy's public service background and her enthusiasm for the possibility of working for Missourians in the Missouri General Assembly that I agreed to serve as her treasurer. Please take some time over the next few months to learn more about Amy, her impressive background, and her vision for Missouri -- you'll be glad you did.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

So Amy's first contribution comes from Rep. Beth Low and now she secures a heavy hitter for her treasurer? It is game on in the 44th. If she works as hard on this race as she did for the AARP, she's a shoe in.

Anonymous said...

Wow. If Amy takes public speaking and plausible deniability campaign advice from the other Beth (Gottstein) she's a shoe in!

mainstream said...

Amy's got the right stuff.

Thnaks for the post and thank God someone over here at the CCP has some sense...

Dan Ryan said...

While I'm disappointed to see we'll be spending money on a Democratic primary battle, I'm sure she's a good person if she has your support and Beth Low's. Let's insist both our candidates run good and clean races.

I would joke about her poor judgment for spending time in a place like Alaska, but I can't deny that it may be one of the few places as to gain experience with something as cold as a Jefferson City Republican's heart.

sophia said...

Dan,

I wish you would reconsider your disappointment at having to spend money on a primary battle. Lowe ran unopposed in 04 and 06. She slaughtered the republican 73/27 in 00, which is consistent with the 7X/2X general preference for democrats in KC. The democratic primary is where people have choices. Regretting having to engage in a primary battle is basically regretting voters getting to choose their rep.

Assuming both Coffman and Kander are strong progressives, a competitive primary is also good for the electorate in that even the loser will (hopefully) have gained campaign experience and community contacts- making the loser a better candidate in the future.

On a less noble note, this primary race will be entertaining to the extent that it reveals the inner workings and backroom fights of our liberal overlords.

Does anybody know if Coffman is waiting until the MO Supremes decide if their recent reinstatement of campaign finance limits means candidates have to return (excess) donations to decide whether or not to formally declare her candidacy?

Stephen Bough said...

Simply stated, primaries are a bad thing. Remember the Republican blood bath with Webster/Blunt/other white guys? How about Holden/Claire? Alas, we have done away with smoke filled rooms and have this messy Democracy that is the envy of the World.

Spending money to get a D elected to a D seat doesn't often achieve the progressive values we seek. I know, however, that many viewed the Justus/Klumb Missouri senate race as a positive way to elect the best Democrat. I fully understand that many "knew" Holden would lose to Blunt and that McCaskill had a better shot at keeping the governor's mansion in the hands of the Democrats.

Rep. Beth Low is an example of getting a terrific leader out of a primary. Rep. Low often supports candidates in primaries. From the first post, we see that Beth is involved already. Beth knocked on more doors and had more grass root support in district, thus she won.

If you presume a zero sum pool of money, then you can understand the problem with primaries. What I know is that Rep. Jenee Low (current 44th representative) doesn't raise lots of money because she has no opposition. Kander and Coffman will raise and spend money.

What I know is that both are as liberal as the district and are good people. They should run clean campaigns and should respect the other for wanting the same goal and office. Let's hold them both accountable.

Handringer said...

As far as good clean races go, can we make an assumption of that? I would hope the CCP would look into the political track records of the campaigns, if these two are it or not and in other races.

Have the candidates or their top advisers ran campaigns before? Have those campaigns been clean, dirty, corrupt? I suppose we can look at Beth Low's campaign record and ethics reports, if she really is behind Coffman. Are there other campaigns that will inform us about Coffman's campaign style? What about the Kander Camp?

Thanks for allowing questions like mine. I hope I am not breaking any rules by posting. I am not a member of your club but I am a liberal Democrat who votes and I appreciate this access to "politicos." You are talking about my future state rep, which ever one wins. Thanks again.

The voice in Amy's head said...

It appears that Senator Jolie has made her pick in this race. Jason Kander has her picture prominently displayed on his Myspace "group." That means he has the Justus campaign grassroots machine. If Jason has money AND grassroots know-how, what does that leave for "good person" Amy?

mainstream said...

Hmmmm, has Justus endorsed Kander? I hadn't heard that before.

Dale Youngs said...

I think the best way to find out whether someone is supporting a particular candidate is to ask that person -- not the candidate.

Anonymous said...

To "The Voice in Amy's Head" -- Senator Russ Feingold is also listed on Jason's MySpace page as a "friend." Come to think of it, so are Howard Dean, the DNC and the entire city of Kansas City -- not to mention several pets! Maybe someone should tell Amy that the race is over.

Or, maybe not. . . .

Anonymous said...

Does Jason really have all those people listed? I cannot find anything campaign related for him on MySpace, but I am too old for MySpace anyway. It could certainly be operator error on my part.

Is it a campaign site or something he has had for a while and might have been joking around?

sophia said...

Steve,

"If you presume a zero sum pool of money, then you can understand the problem with primaries."

No, if you presume that the point is to elect democrats as cheaply as possible, then you can understand the problem. I'm not saying that democracy is a fraud unless every primary is contested. I am saying that if we can't "afford" primaries for a state rep race, then maybe it's time to reconsider our priorities.

Half of what you wrote supports what I'm getting at. Jenee Lowe didn't raise money because she didn't get challenged. Beth Low, who had a primary challenger, won by knocking on doors and building grassroots support. Would Low have knocked on fewer doors if she had no challenger? I'm going to guess - yes. Competition can build a sense of urgency to connect with and listen to voters. The ability to reach your desired voters cheaply is there in a small race like for state rep.

You also mention an end to smoke-filled rooms. Maybe they're not smoke-filled anymore, but if we agree that primaries are bad- who is choosing the one person allowed to run for an open seat? It's certainly not first-to-file, or the blogs could be bitching about Mayor Klein right now, instead of Mayor Funkhouser.

Whoever wins the 44th next round will probably go without a challenger until they term limit out or aim for higher office. Isn't that good enough? Can't we "afford" one good primary for an open seat? Is the Democratic presidential nominee really going to lose in 08 because that extra 40K (spent on this primary) wasn't available to do bs like hire a bunch of essentially unemployable people living on the margins to hand out literature?

Sorry for the length. I do appreciate this opportunity to discuss these issues.

sophia said...

anonymous at 6:31,

Yes they are listed under the "friends" section, but not on the front page. If you click on "view all friends" there are 5 pages of pictures, including those already named. Justus is on page 3, which is hardly "prominently displayed."

Myspace is a social networking site, not an oath of allegiance. Being listed as a "friend," particularly by a politician, doesn't carry much weight. I doubt Feingold or the DNC pay staffers to check out friend requests.

mainstream said...

Stephen,

You can't be serious in your claims that primaries are a bad thing.

If the best democrat or republican isn't chosen by a primary election, then it is because either no one else wants to run, or the candidate is chosen via the resident political machine. Remember there wasn't a need for Primaries in the Pendergast era.

Plus, it's competition, not complacency, that keeps people sharp, on their toes and responsive.

Maybe I've mistakingly interpreted your point, Stephen, but you can't seriously argue against primaries, can you?

Dan Ryan said...

First off, yes, Handringer, you are welcome and encouraged to comment here. This is intended to be a forum for interested people engaging in political discourse. Thanks for visiting, and I look forward to seeing more of your comments.

As for the rest of the discussion concerning primaries, I really appreciate the perspectives. Personally, I'd rather not see a primary because I think Jason would be a tremendous and effective voice in Jefferson City. His intellect and leadership skills will scare the pants off the all-talk Republican weaklings. So, with a candidate I like already running, I tend to view a primary as an unnecessary and undesirable expense. I'd rather see the CCP's and my money going toward a tough and close race against a hardcore republican. As I said above, I'm sure that Amy's a good person - it sucks to blow money on a race between two good people when there are so many races between one good person and one not-so-good person.

All that said, I understand and appreciate the desire for a real choice in the district. Democracy is messy and expensive, but the only better choice I see is if you all appoint me to be an enlightened despot.

Tom's Boy Harry said...

Mainstream, pull up a rock and listen to a friendly lecture on political history.

Actually there were many hard fought primaries in the Pendergast Era between Tom's Goats and Joe Shannon's Rabbits -- both factions of the Jackson County Democratic Party. Then there was a huge fight between the Kansas City Machine and the St. Louis Machine for statewide offices. The main argument against primaries is that parties (and particularly Democrats) tend not to groom candidates or govern cooperatively unless consensus nominations are agreed to at a REAL convention.

At a real convention, there are certainly factions but the top of the ticket has a hand in selecting who appear with them on the ballot, and visa versa. People have more incentive to become involved and work for the party as a whole.

On the national level, I am reminded of the McGovern Committee that changed the rules to favor primaries for the selection of delegates. "George McGovern opened the doors to the party and everybody left."

But if we chucked the primaries how many consultants, printers and local television advertising reps would starve? :-)

mainstream said...

Note to Dan Ryan,

You say that you're "disappointed we'll be spending money on a democratic primary battle".

That's interesting.

You announced your unabashed adoration of Jason Kander quite some time ago, likening him to a current incarnation of Abe Lincoln with a little of the Terminator thrown in for good measure.

Hey, I'm ok with that. Nothin wrong with a little political man-crush.

Except for one thing. You're trying to objectively paint, with your statement above, Kander's win as a fait accompli. You're very intentionally casting Amy Coffman as a superfluous-candidate-money-waster.

What can be your reasoning, one may ask?

Your answer: Jason's already raised $60,000 (at least half of which comes from a yodeling uncle in NY).

I would just caution you, Dan. You're a very bright and capable guy, and you (as well as many other CCP’ers) probably recall people saying the same thing about another Jason.

Jason Klumb.

I remember a 4/26/06 press release going out saying "Wow! Klumb's got momentum!" referencing the fact he had $100,000 cash on hand.

If you want to join me taking a walk down memory lane the article is here on Fired Up http://www.firedupmissouri.com/taxonomy/term/14?page=4

Dan Ryan said...

No, no, no, Mainstream - I'm not claiming that Jason Kander has everything wrapped up. If I thought that, I wouldn't think that the primary would be a big deal, and it certainly wouldn't be expensive.

As for Jason Klumb, I was backing Justus all the way . . .

mainstream said...

Ok Tom's Boy, you know history much better than I. Point very well taken but I think you get my point.

You see, when people argue against primaries it is only because they stand to to gain from their absence.

PorchPundit said...

Sophia I think "Voice" is referring to Jason's MySpace GROUP page and not his MySpace Page. "Senator Jolie" is listed on the top row of the first page of the group. I understand how the two MySpace entries could be confused in conversation.

It looks like the group page was formed on June 4, 2007 to serve his campaign purposes (no disclaimer), if that answers your question "anonymous."

Tom's Boy Harry, it sounds like you read a lot of Tom's Town but I thought this was about Amy Coffman in the 44th? Do we get points off for straying from the topic?

Hey this is fun.

If I get addicted to this I will blame the CCP and seek legal representation. Anyone know any good plaintiffs' attorneys?

Anonymous said...

Thank you PorchPundit. This is the "anonymous" who asked whether all those names were really listed. I will think up a creative name for myself someday.

If this reference to a pantheon of political leaders,and family pets, is on a new campaign site, then I think it looks a bit less harmless than something personal and out of date. Delusions of Grandeur? Willfully misleading?

I cannot find a Web site for Amy Coffman. Anyone have one? If Coffman posts a MySpace link to Eleanor Roosevelt or Jackie Kennedy I am giving up and voting Republican.

Did anyone ever find anything on previous political activism for these candidates? I agree with Handringer. It would be very good to have a track record of campaign activity to judge how they might run their campaigns and serve in office.

Has Justus endorsed or committed the support of her organization? Or is that just blue smoke and mirrors from some one playing mind games? There is nothing on her Web site. Justus's Blog has been silent since July 10. I do not see anything before that with regard to Jason Kander. I emailed the senator through her Web site but I have not heard anything back. If I get a response I will tell everyone.

I am sorry for the litany of questions but I cannot live on this thing. Maybe my name should be 20Questions? It is all very helpful and interesting, so thank you everyone.

The Voice in Amy's Head said...

That is the exact location I was referring to Porchpundit. Also, if we do not have the official here to ask about an endorsement we might "just follow the money." One of Jason Kander's earliest contributors (March 31, 2007)was Lana Knedlik, of the Stinson Firm, and life partner to Senator Justus. Justus and Knedlik, two lawyers would understand the message that early contribution would send to other givers and supporters. I would say there is mounting evidence that Kander will have the talent, the money and the boots on the ground to walk in this contest. I really do not see it as much of a primary at all.

PorchPundit said...

Thanks Voice, I think.

I also think that if I want to understand this thread I had better go to Mickey's Surplus and buy a copy of the Army PSYOPS Manual.

Stephen Bough said...

Hey, its working. Not too many insults, intellectual debate. This blog thing just might catch on!

mainstream said...

Note to Stephen:

I wouldn't go so far as intellectual debate just yet. I think Shakespeare summed up the status of our discourse here quite accurately:

"A man may break a word with you, sir; and words are but wind; Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind."

(from Comedy of Errors)

PorchPundit said...

Here is one that addresses posts by Handringer, one of the Anonymous posters, and Mainstream.

I saw on another part of this blog (the lead story this morning on the Supreme Court Rules) that Diana Kander, who I understand to be Jason's wife and campaign treasurer, had been active on the Gamble campaign for city council this year so I went to the Ethics reports. Diana was there as paid consultant to Gamble. At $1600 consulting fee on 2/27/07, it appears that Ms. Kander was a key staffer on that campaign.

What is interesting to me is that I found that on the 8 day before the general election report. I do not see a final report for Gamble or a July report. The committee is still listed as being "active." Would there be any reason why this committee would not be required to file final reports?

It appears that Gamble's opponent, Councilwoman Gottstein has filed several reports since Gambles committee stopped filing. Is this common practice? Am I not reading the record right?

sophia said...

Porchpundit,

I don't think there's any reason the reporting requirement would be waived. I can see how filling out the forms would be depressing after you lose, but it's still required. I don't know for sure if it's common practice (for the losing party not to file), but I wouldn't be surprised if it is.

mainstream said...

My experience is that it is definitely something candidates do, and something MOST IF NOT ALL candidates do.

If candidates file post election, its generally because of one of three possible reasons: (1) they're very upset about the loss and just want to walk away and not bother with being reminded of the bad experience; (2) they're waiting on supporting documentation, receipts and things of that sort -"administrative" delay; or (3) they have something to hide.

In thye case of ANY delay, a candidate should file for an extension, which should be on record, which is an acceptable practice, regardless of the reason you will be late filing.

Under no circumstances, however, should anybody consider it ok not to file...

mainstream said...

Sorry, the first sentence in my second paragraph above should read "If candidates DO NOT file post election..."

Handringer said...

Thank you everyone who added to this discussion, I appreciate blogs that answer questions rather than pummel people who ask questions.

LanaK said...

In case anyone is wondering, Jolie and I are indeed separate people. We do not always agree at the ballot box.

Last time I checked, Jolie has not endorsed anyone in the 44th.

I gave Jason a mere $100 back in March because I know Jason and he asked. Since then, I have met Amy, and when she asks, I will do the same. I gave nominal amounts to 3 qualified candidates in the mayoral race, if anyone cares.

In my opinion, this race will never be about money. My vote will go to the candidate who works the hardest and is more right on the issues (or "left" actually).

Also, I think the race will be a whole new ball game if the MO Sup court reinstates the $325 limits retroactively. Best of luck....

The Voice in Amy's Head said...

Ok, so if that really was Lana Knedlik the Kander campaign learned one thing: Lana Knedlik's political word is not worth much.

Personally I think the real Lana would be smart enough to know that when her partner was elected to public office she lost a certain amount of independence. Call City Hall and ask for Gloria if you have any doubts about how a spouse's/partner's actions can reflect on a official's political standing.

IF the post was not Lana Knedlik then I think we have just learned a bit about the Coffman campaign's ethics. We shall see.

Either way I think Jason comes out of this stronger having learned the lay of the land. And I still believe Justus will commit her people to Jason, if she has not already done so. That eventuality must worry Amy, who even quit a good job for this.

Dan Ryan said...

Voice -

I'm 100% on board for Jason, but I have to disagree with you on a couple issues. First, why would you choose such a screen name? It, totally without basis, implies that Amy has mental health issues. Why go that way? Why do that? What are you hoping to accomplish, other than to reduce the level of discourse on this site, and, perhaps, provoke others into similar lapses? I've only met her once, but she seems like a perfectly nice and competent person, and Dale's support of her makes me think you're simply being nasty.

Secondly, what is your basis for impugning Lana? Where has she violated her word? Because she gave a gift to Jason (before Amy was in the race) she's not allowed to say that she is open-minded about the race? That's ridiculous, and you don't have to call anyone's office to find that out.

Voice, I think we're on the same side of this race, but your approach is going to do more harm than good. Jason is a great candidate - he's smart, driven, and informed. He'll be an outstanding and effective State Rep. What do you say that we try to get Jason elected on that ground, rather than on snarky attacks on Amy Coffman and those who support her?

Anonymous said...

I made a contribution to Kander not long ago, despite my hesitancy at the time due to a long-time friend that was considering a run (the friend has since decided against it). When I raised this with Jason at the time, he assured me that he would understand and not hold a grudge if I were to support that person, as well. His comment was that this is a profession, not a social club, so taking it personally is a waste of time.

I suspect he and Lana would have had a similar conversation, so any concusions you're making about her "word" are probably far off base. So I would agree with Dan on this. It's just the nature of politics in a primary and it appears to me that Jason gets that.

Since Jason seems uninterested in making this personal, I would hope his supporters would follow his lead. I'm supporting Jason and know him decently well (co-workers). I've never heard him utter a disparaging word about other Democrats (including even the select few who seem strangely preoccupied with slandering his reputation).

Also, at this point, there's what, like three people reading this comment section? What a bunch of nerds we are.

I hope none of the candidates are wasting their time with this junk.

mainstream said...

Of course that was the real Lana talking. And her position is perfectly reasonable - she and Jolie are not picking sides in this race just yet, and they may never choose to.

What's so complicated about that? I appreciate her candor.

mainstream said...

No pun intended.

The Voice in Amy's Head said...

Where is Amy when the party needs defended from Koster's ambition? Jason Kander is a Leader like his friend Jeff Harris!

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