Thursday, October 11, 2007

Taking Back the Missouri House, one Steve Hodges at a Time

Democrats have the very real chance to take back the Missouri House in 2008. If for no other reason, Democrats come out in droves in presidential election years.

We can take it back, and put Rep. Paul LeVota in the Speaker's chair, if we have more Steve Hodges. Hodges is the State Representative in SE Missouri, East Prairie, 161st District. The Southeast Missourian and the East Prairie Eagle recently ran a story that outlined the race in 2006.

When term limits kept Lanie Black from running again for his 161st District Missouri House of Representatives seat last year, a political bout ensued that became a priority for both state party organizations.
In one corner: Gary Branum, a respected New Madrid County farmer running on Black's legacy of agriculture-based Republicanism, with Black as his trainer.

In the other: Steve Hodges, a well-known businessman, substitute teacher, high school football referee and former sports coach from East Prairie, running on a populist message of helping the disadvantaged in one of the poorest legislative districts in the state. Hodges' trainer was former governor Warren Hearnes and his wife, Betty, a statehouse veteran who held a seat for 10 years in what was then the 160th District

Well, the Republicans are ticked. Republican Party Spokesman Paul Sloca has this to say:

"It's a very important race," Sloca said. "We feel confident about taking that back, because a Republican candidate is going to be running on a strong record of Republican accomplishments" in the areas of education, health care and illegal immigration.

Sloca calls Hodges' seat a "very, very vulnerable" Democratic seat that can be retaken in a "predominantly Republican" area, despite the Bootheel's long history of Democratic dominance.

What have the Republicans done for education, health care and illegal immigration? Higher education costs more in Missouri than it ever has, local school districts (like East Prairie) are getting less from the state funding formula, 100,000 poor folks were kicked off health insurance and the only thing that the Republicans have done on immigration is put Rep. Nathan Cooper (R) in jail for getting his rich Republican clients illegal immigrants to work for them.

Every seat counts. The difference between Republicans cutting Medicare to the poor and Andy Blunt pushing through ticket scalping for his brother to sign into law is putting a Democrat in the speaker's chair. We can't do it by electing Democrats in Brookside. We have to keep Hodges in his seat in the Bootheel. We have to pick up some seats in Clay County and Eastern Jackson County. We do that - while electing Jay Nixon to be our next Governor - and the nonsense stops.


Anonymous said...

First of all, I'm not so sure that even democrats should be proclaiming that Steve Hodges is on their side. Wait, I forgot, it's democrats we're talking about here, they have no standards. I wish that someone would post a blog about how this race was won. It was a very shallow and unruly race ran by Steve Hodges. Spitting at the Republican candidates Secretary. What a classy move made by the democrat. How about the fact that his wife claimed to have been stalked by Mr. Branum's campaign advisor. When all the while he was staying next door to Mr. Branum's home in his office. There were many more ridiculous moves made by this man that democrats are proud to call one of their own. It is my belief, partially because of Mr. Hodges own words, that this race was promised to him. I'm sure democrats are not above cheating, lying, and manipulating into getting their way either. This race was fixed. I'm ashamed to be a resident of this district and more importantly one of Hodges' constituents. He is not a respectable man and I believe that it is only a matter of time before the people that voted this man into office receive a load of karma for their actions.

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