Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Court Plan Battle Looms

A battle for the survival of the Missourian Nonpartisan Court Plan is looming, according to a recent article in the Columbia Missourian.

The most direct challenge to Missouri’s nonpartisan court plan comes from the Federalist Society, a conservative activist group that is seeking signatures to put repeal of the system on the 2008 statewide ballot. Two lawmakers also say they plan to pursue changes during the next legislative session. Meanwhile, six former Supreme Court justices have created a group that seeks to protect the existing process.

If you are interested in learning more about the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, the CCP has organized a forum on November 29th at 6:30 at the UMKC Law School Courtroom (500 E. 52nd Street). The forum is free and open to the public.

Dr. Sam Page Joins Forces with AARP

I received the following email from Representative Sam Page's campaign for Lt. Governor. Dr. Page exemplifies middle class, swing voter values in Missouri - values that have always resided in the Democratic Party. Sam's campaign will help Nixon, and every Democratic candidate in Missouri.

While our televisions fill with ads defining us as red, blue, progressive and conservative, our lives remain burdened by the high cost of health care for our families.

No matter your political stripe, Dr. Sam Page and the AARP agree: All Missourians should have access to affordable, quality health care.
Dr. Sam Page, a physician and State Representative, together with the AARP, signed the Divided We Fail pledge.

"I am committed," says Dr. Page, "to working with my colleagues across the aisle to develop and implement policies that provide all Missourians with access to quality, affordable health care. I understand that Missourians want answers, action and accountability from their elected officials -- not legislative stalemate. The time has come to address these critical national priorities. I pledge to work across party lines to sponsor or support legislation that seeks to provide every American with access to quality, affordable health care." Dr. Page is the first candidate for statewide office to sign the bipartisan pledge. To learn more about Dr. Sam Page and his bid for Missouri Lt. Governor visit

To join the effort designed to engage the American people, businesses, non-profit organizations and elected officials in finding bi-partisan solutions to ensure affordable, quality health care and long-term financial security -- for everyone, go to

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Great attack. You will roll with laughter -- unless you are a payday loan lobbyist or a legislator with a payday loan contribution.

Blunt Wants It "Illegaler"

The Boy Governor, desperate to stop the hemorrhaging of his support even amoung the Repub base, is playing the Imaginary Immigration Card.

Blunt wants to make it illegal to give drivers licenses to illegal aliens.

DUH! Make that "illegaler"
It is already necessary to prove legal residence to get a drivers license.

Of course -- as any lawyer knows -- we would be better off if illegals could get licensed and INSURED, even if those licenses could not be used for air travel. (Anyone who thinks illegals don't drive -- and have accidents -- is, to put it Bluntly -- a fool. I guess Blunt thinks we should bear the cost of the non-insured with higher rates for ourselves. That assumes thought.)

What is really embarrassing (if they were capable of embarrassment) is the way his staff used our NONPARTISAN police department to announce this very partisan issue. The Chief obviously was surprised, and wanted to hide under a desk when this was sprung on him, but carried on with admirable professionalism.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ed Martin Resigns!

Here at Blog CCP, we pride ourselves on our quality of analysis, our wit, and our progressive values. Today, we get to be among the first in the Blogosphere to announce that Ed Martin has resigned his position with the Governor's office.

More analysis later . . .

(Somebody tell KC Blue Blog . . .)

Turkey Pardons Turkey

Today the Boy Governor became the first Mo Governor to pardon a turkey.


And the turkey didn't even have to contribute to the GOP.

Friday, November 16, 2007

W's new pet

Laura Bush bought "Dubyah" a parrot for his birthday.

She told Dick Cheney, "The bird is so smart! George has already taught him to mispronounce over 200 words!"

"Wow, that's pretty impressive," Cheney said."But you realize that hejust 'says' the words. He doesn't understand what they mean.

"That's okay," Laura replied. "Neither does the parrot."

(Thanks to Bob Hemenway)

Senate in Session Over Thanksgiving

One of Bush's favorite moves is to make recess appointments. Senate goes home for Spring break - someone who would never get confirmed gets a fly free pass around the Constitution. Remember Bolton? Senate wouldn't confirm, recess appointment to be the UN Ambassador, Bolton resigns under a cloud of questions.

Well, according to Roll Call, Sen. Harry Reid is keeping them in session over Thanksgiving to stop the Thanksgiving give-a-ways. Thank goodness for a Democratic majority to stop the right wing!! Happy Thanksgiving, Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Boy Governor Ruins What He Touches

Just like he wants to turn our judges into right-wing political hacks, the Boy Governor seeems to want to turn our Highway Patrol officers into his own personal thugs. What's next? Truncheons for inconvenient cameramen?

Who needs good PR when you have all those excess campaign dollars ready to go on TV?

Of course, you gotta love his chutzpah filing a complaint about violating his attorney client privilege -- like the boy who axe-murdered both his parents, and then sought mercy from the court because he was an orphan!

Like the anti-torture memos that got the assistant AG fired, good legal advice can be really, really inconvenient to those who really, really want to ignore the law.

MO Non-Partisan Court Plan - better than Michigan

Wanna know why we love the Missouri Plan - because it is better than Michigan. Michigan has partisan elections of judges (which is what Jeff Roe, the Adam Smith Foundation and Gov. Matt Blunt want).

In Michigan they are anticipating a $20 million dollar race for a single Supreme Court position (see article below). The people donating are not seeking neutral, fair justice. They donate because they want to purchase their brand of justice. Is that what we want in Missouri?

Let's think about Enterprise Rent a Car (the folks from St. Louis who opposed the Sprint Arena (and by flawed logic, Garth Brooks)). Enterprise Rent a Car is actively engaged in the Missouri legislative process. Enterprise got sued for telling an accountant to not follow IRS regulations on how to depreciate cars. Enterprise lost and did not like the ruling (Dunn v. Enterprise). So, they tried to get it overturned in the legislature (SB 168). When that didn't work, Matt Blunt appoints Don Ross, Enterprise VP, to the appellate judicial nominating commission. For those frothing at the mouth for more partisanship in the selecting of judges - be happy. Matt Blunt is doing his best to pack the judicial commission with ultra conservative agendas. If the people of Missouri vote him back into office, like they voted Ashcroft to back-to-back terms, then he can do it.

By Stuart Frohm


Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford W. Taylor was the mystery speaker at today's Midland County Republican Party fundraising breakfast.

Diane Bristol, the county party's chairperson, said last week that a statewide candidate she couldn't announce was among the scheduled speakers.

Other speakers were the Rev. Keith Butler of Southfield, possible future member of the Republican National Committee; state Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis; Midlanders U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, state Sen. Tony Stamas and state Rep. John Moolenaar; and state Rep. Bill Caul of Mount Pleasant.

Caul announced that he will be a candidate for re-election. This term he had a mild stroke and was treated for prostate cancer. He represents the 99th District, which includes parts of Midland County and all of Isabella County. He is seeking his third consecutive two-year term -- the last House term the state's term limit would allow him.

Taylor said his own re-election is important to keep conservatives in the majority on the court, with the court's 4-3 split. He said he does not yet know who Democrats will nominate to run against him next year.

In Michigan, candidates for judicial seats appear on the ballot without party labels.

On Oct. 22, a statement from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network said Taylor and Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer both raised the possibility of a $20 million campaign next year when Taylor seeks a second full term on the court.

Taylor, a Flint native, was appointed to the court in August 1997 by then-governor John Engler to succeed Justice Dorothy Comstock Riley, who retired.

Taylor was elected in 1998 to fill the balance of Riley's term. Taylor was re-elected to a full eight-year term in 2000 and was elected chief justice by colleagues in January 2005.

Engler appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in 1992.

More on the Republican breakfast is planned for publication in a future edition of the Daily News.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blunt Pushes Journalists Around Over Secret Emails

The Blunt fiasco over super-double secret emails and the hatchet job on Andy Blunt's friend and lawyer, Scott Eckersely, continues to spiral out of control.

Some folks in the traditional media had the nerve to ask Governor Blunt if he would like to re-visit his denial that a memo existed from Scott Eckersley to Blunt staff that emails are public records that must be saved. Blunt got nervous, didn't answer the question, told his driver to leave and Blunt's security (Missouri Highway Patrol) pushed the reporter's out of the way. This ain't bloger spin, watch the video.

KC Blue Blog continues to track this story, calling for an apology by Blunt for his staff manhandling reporters. This entire ordeal is sad. Eckersley has been trashed by Ed "bunch of Mexicans" Martin and his fellow S.W. Missouri Republicans - the very guys he went to high school with. Blunt can only say Eckersley "was fired for cause." With Eckersley being forced to hire some of the top tier lawyers in the state, the Blunt administration is in for a fight that the media and Missourians will not soon forget.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Blunt Wrong About Secret Emails

You all remember the flap over the destruction of emails. Blunt says he destroys them. Blunt's former attorney, Scott Eckersley, says he warned Blunt not to do it and was fired for that advice. Blunt says - not true; Eckersley was fired because he did outside legal work and that he has looking at porn at work.

Well, the AP is reporting that the memo exists from Eckersley to Blunt saying emails are public records. KC Blue Blog has done an outstanding job of keeping track of this story.

What is shocking about this administration is how fast they turn on their friends and how the truth seems to be irrelevant. Scott Eckersley was high school buddies with Andy Blunt, lobbyist extraordinaire. When Blunt didn't like Scott's legal advice, Blunt (and his chief of staff Ed "bunch of Mexicans" Martin) trashed him completely, leaked emails to media outlets and made sure the Source (Jeff Roe's blog) got the first shot at the story. Blunt says no memo exists. The AP has a copy of the memo. Someone is wrong.

Eckersley hired Republican attorney Chip Robertson (former Missouri Supreme Court judge appointed by Ashcroft) to represent him. The truth will ultimately come out and the depositions of Martin, Blunt and Eckersley will make for enjoyable reading by someone.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Some want political hacks for judges - latest proposal to gut non-partisan plan

The latest proposal to gut the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan is circulating thanks to the Federalist Society and Rep. Lembke. Here's the problem - we don't want partisans on the bench. Just because someone is close to an important politician doesn't make them qualified to be a judge. Political types shouldn't be excluded from the process, but they should have substance as a lawyer.

Judges should be neutral, they should be fair. Judges should be able to apply the law and follow precedent. Judges shouldn't owe people favors, should raise money for political campaigns. Yes, it is an ivory tower view of the world. If you are Matt Blunt, do you really want Bob Holden's best friend deciding your case? If you are Jeff Roe, do you really want a highly partisan Democrat deciding the libel suit brought against you by a Republican? No - we want a neutral place that we can all trust to decide cases of importance.

Let's pretend that the state legislature decides it is ok for the Cardinals to pay for the training of umpires, hire the umpires, and send the umpires over for the Royals game. Would they call every play wrong - no. Would we all question the impartiality and fairness over a system - yes. Would there be a Don Denkinger moment in every game - you betcha. That is what we are talking about here - every citizen and corporation should feel like the scales of justice are balanced when they walk in the door.

The St. Louis Post blog on the subject is below

Critics of Missouri Plan lay out new judicial-selection proposal

By Jo Mannies

11/08/2007 1:48 pm

Bill Placke, president of the St. Louis chapter of the Federalist Society, has kindly forwarded to us the latest version of the proposed ballot measure to revamp the state’s current judicial-selection process for the state Supreme Court, appeals court, and circuits in the St. Louis and Kansas City area.

The aim is get the Legislature to approve the measure and place it on the November 2008 ballot.

Placke emphasizes that the Federalist Society is split over the measure. Those supporting include local lawyers Tom Walsh and Sam Hais (the latter a former circuit judge, and state Rep. Jim Lembke, R-South County.

Among other things, the proposal:

–Sets time limits on judicial vacancies

–Calls for the selection panel to pick five nominees, from which the governor would choose.

– Revamps and expands the selection panel (now three lawyers elected by the lawyers of The Missouri Bar, three citizens selected by the governor, and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court, who serves as chair).

The panel would be expanded to 10 members, some of whom would be picked legislative leaders:

– Two members of the Missouri Bar, appointed by the governor (one from each major party).

–Two gubernatorial appointees who “are not members of the Missouri Bar” (one from each major party).

– One person named by the state House speaker

– One person named by the House minority leader

– One person named by the state Senate president pro tem

– One named by the state Senate minority leader

– Two from the Missouri Bar, named by the attorney general (one from each major party).

As a point of clarification, every lawyer in Missouri is a member of the Missouri Bar.

Missouri House Democrats on Healthcare

By Paul LeVota

As a gubernatorial candidate Matt Blunt repeatedly promised not to cut Medicaid eligibility. One of his first acts as governor was to champion eligibility changes that resulted in 180,000 fewer Missourians, including 70,000 children, receiving health care coverage than when he took office. Ever since, Gov. Blunt has been trying to undo the damage to his re-election prospects through impressive sounding but superficial proposals that fail to undo the damage to those kicked off the health care system.

The governor’s first attempt was this year’s so-called MO HealthNet bill. Although trumpeted by the governor as a sweeping reform, its most significant changes simply renamed Missouri’s Medicaid program and the state agency that runs it. Rather than restoring health care to Missourians who need it, the bill actually imposed new bureaucratic barriers to coverage.

Heading into a gubernatorial election year, the governor now has announced his Insure Missouri proposal, which he claims would extend private health insurance coverage to 200,000 Missourians by 2010. Given the administration’s record on health care to date, the plan should be viewed with substantial skepticism.

The plan would pay for private insurance subsidies by using money currently paid to hospitals for providing emergency room care to the uninsured. Ironically, the governor added to the flood of uninsured Missourians seeking emergency room care by cutting Medicaid. Even if Insure Missouri’s optimistic coverage estimate is achieved, more than 500,000 Missourians would remain uninsured, with many continuing to rely on emergency rooms for their only access to care. Therefore it is questionable if Missouri hospitals can absorb the reduction in indigent care reimbursement over the long haul.

The shift in taxpayer-funded health care from Medicaid to private insurers also would result in a dramatic and wasteful increase in overhead. Whereas a mere 4 percent of the money spent on Medicaid goes for administrative costs, such costs account for a whopping 25 to 30 percent of premiums in the private market. Missouri could more efficiently use taxpayer money by restoring Medicaid eligibility to at least 100 percent of the federal poverty level.

The major deficiency is the proposal wouldn’t cover the sickest and most vulnerable Missourians -- children, the elderly and the disabled. And since the governor’s plan relies on providing coverage through health management organizations, it also ignores rural Missouri, where there is little HMO penetration.

House Democrats know that the best, most affordable to taxpayers and most efficient way to improve health care access in Missouri is to undo the governor’s damaging 2005 health care cuts. Shaky schemes built on uncontrollable factors and overly optimistic claims that fail to benefit the most vulnerable Missourians simply won’t hold up.

Last week House Democrats announced part of health care agenda for the 2008 legislative session. Key proposals include reversing the state’s Medicaid cuts and establishing a new Missouri Health Policy Authority. We made these announcements at a series of press conferences through out Missouri at medical facilities in Kirksville, St. Joseph, Springfield, and Scott City.

Although the state a $320 million general revenue surplus in the current budget, the governor says Missouri can’t afford to undo his damage. Yet restoring Medicaid eligibility would cost $155.8 million in general revenue – less than half of the surplus – and allow Missouri to leverage an additional $265.3 million in federal Medicaid funds that instead is going to pay for health care expansion in other states.

Ironically, the very reason we have a surplus is because the governor cut health care. You don’t leave money sitting in the bank when you have bills to pay, and right now Missouri isn’t paying its health care bills.

Streamlining a disconnected bureaucracy is another element of the health proposals in House Democrats’ Moving Missouri Forward legislative agenda for 2008. Based on similar efforts successfully implemented in Kansas, we propose establishing a Missouri Health Policy Authority to oversee and coordinate the state’s role in health care. By establishing this authority Missouri for the first time would have a team of health care professionals directing policy and ensuring efficient use of taxpayer resources.

While streamlining government’s role in health care is important, even the most efficient system is of little use if it isn’t accessible to the people who need it. Today, 180,000 fewer Missourians have access to health care than did nearly three years ago when Gov. Matt Blunt took office and enacted his devastating Medicaid cuts. The restoration of those cuts remains Priority No. 1 for House Democrats.

By reversing the governor’s health care cuts and streamlining government health care bureaucracy, House Democrats have a plan to put the state on the pathway to health coverage for all.

Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat, is the Missouri House Democratic.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Claire Opposes Iran Backdoor War

Our US Senator, Claire McCaskill is keeping the fine traditions of Senator Harry Truman alive and well by making sure the Bush administration knows they do not have authorization to go to war in Iran. Sen Jim Webb, the Virginia Senator who served in the arm forces and whose son is in Iraq, is fighting against an Iran war, too. Below is a release detailing her efforts to prevent a back door war in Iran.

My father, a World War II veteran, instilled in me an appreciation of our armed forces, and the young men and women who have done so much to protect the freedoms we cherish. He taught me to appreciate the gravity of warfare, and that war should be pursued only when there are simply no alternatives available.

The Iraq conflict represents the unfortunate result when these principles are ignored, and I will continue to do everything in my power to force the President to change course. But Congress must be equally vigilant to ensure that new flashpoints in the Middle East do not follow the same failed course as our Iraq policy.

In particular, I have been concerned with the Bush Administration's provocative rhetoric on Iran, and I am using my seat in the United States Senate to remind the President that military action requires the express consent of Congress. I have resisted efforts to provide what I would call "backdoor" approval for military action in that country. Last month, the Senate considered an amendment that would categorize Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a "foreign terrorist organization". To me, adoption of this amendment could essentially provide approval of military action against Iran, especially by this Administration. I am also concerned that this amendment was debated without the benefit of a single hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which I am a member.

I voted against the amendment, and this month joined Senator Jim Webb and other Senate Democrats in a letter to President Bush stating, "We wish to emphasize that no congressional authority exists for unilateral military action
against Iran."

If Iraq has taught us anything, it is that we must be aggressive and vigilant in stopping President Bush and Vice President Cheney from dragging us into new military quagmires. I will continue to do everything in my power to prevent this from happening

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Presidential Poll - It Ain't Decided Yet

The mainstream media would have you believe that the Democratic primary has been decided. The DFA (Democracy for America) poll, however, shows it is much different.

Now, I will give you that an on-line poll lacks lots of the scientific qualities of a poll. However, a primary caucus in Iowa is about the die-hards coming out to stand in the corner of their favorite candidate. In that way, its kinda like an on-line poll - only those who are really pumped up about a candidate show up. The DFA poll shows the top 3 vote getters are Kucinich, Gore and Edwards. Clearly, there are some die hard Democrats out there that wants to vote for a liberal, even if they ain't running. The DFA poll allows you to drop off candidates.

Since the Iowa caucus is a two-round deal, candidates do get dropped off after the first round if they don't have 15% of the vote. Since Gore ain't running and Kucinich doesn't have a chance unless a UFO lands, that leaves lots of liberals looking at Edwards. Like the Iowa caucus, the DFA poll allowed you to put your candidates in order (1 - 3). Edwards won the DFA poll in Iowa. John Edwards picks up the Gore and Kucinich votes if they drop out and won the poll, again. If you drop out everyone but Edwards/Hillary/Obama, then Edwards is still the winner.

Like I said, it ain't real scientific, but I bet we are all a little amazed at what happens in Iowa on January 3rd.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Don't Forget to Vote Today!

IN an election with low turnout, your vote matters even more!

Forum on the Missouri Plan - Nov. 29

More than any other blog in Missouri, the Committee for County Progress Blog has defended the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan. The CCP is a member organization of Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts.

The CCP is also hosting a forum on the Missouri Plan. The forum will be at the UMKC Law School (500 E. 52nd) on November 29th at 6:00 Dale Youngs, president of the Missouri Institute for Justice, will give a history of the plan. Former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Judge Chip Robertson (appointed by Ashcroft) will speak in favor of the plan. Professor Bill Eckhardt will speak against the plan.

With Matt Blunt bad mouthing the Missouri Plan, with Jeff Roe attacking good judges like Judge Tom Brown in Cole County and with the Adam Smith Foundation being created for the purpose of changing our Constitution to eliminate non-partisan judges, a little education on this issue can never hurt.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Barnes is the Top Democratic Challenger in the Country

Kay Barnes represents one of the best chances in the nation for a Democrat to knock off a Republican, according to Congressional Quarterly. Below is some relevant portions of the article.

Best-funded House challengers for 2008

1) Jim Ryun, R, Kansas’ 2nd, $880,000 (Nancy Boyda, D)
2) Sandy Treadwell, R, New York’s 20th, $822,000 (Kirsten Gillibrand, D)
3) Francisco “Quico” Canseco, R, Texas’ 23rd, $819,000 (Ciro D. Rodriguez, D)
4) Andrew Saul, R, New York’s 19th, $782,000 (John Hall, D)
5) Deborah Honeycutt, R, Georgia’s 13th, $708,000 (David Scott, D)
6) Kay Barnes, D, Missouri’s 6th, $656,000 (Sam Graves, R)
7) Jim Hines, D, Connecticut’s 4th, $618,000 (Christopher Shays, R)
8) Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, R, Texas’ 22nd, $607,000 (Nick Lampson, D)
9) Christine Jennings, D, Florida’s 13th, $592,000 (Vern Buchanan, R)
10) Dan Seals, D, Illinois’ 10th, $567,000 (Mark Steven Kirk, R)

The races:
. . .
6) Missouri’s 6th District (St. Joseph, part of Kansas City)

Challenger: Kay Barnes, Democrat ($656,000 raised, $578,000 cash on hand)

Incumbent: Sam Graves , Republican ($948,000 raised, $756,000 cash on hand)

Barnes this year finished an eight-year run as mayor of Kansas City, part of which is included in a district that also takes in suburbs of that city — and substantial rural territory in northwest Missouri that is Graves’ political base. Barnes surely will be the toughest Democratic challenger faced to date by Graves, who won narrowly in 2000 to succeed retiring Democratic Rep. Pat Danner but has easily beaten subpar Democratic opposition in subsequent elections.

What does this mean? Unlike former candidates up against Graves and his hatchet man, Jeff Roe, Mayor Barnes will have the tools she needs to win. Holding Graves accountable for his votes on SCHIPS, making sure people know of Roe's in your face attacks - everything can be put before the voters.

MORE2 Forum on Education

No doubt, the eduction system in KC is not what we would want. We have a vote tomorrow for Independence to take some of the KC MO school district. No Child Left Behind has been a failure (i.e. if Lee's Summit and Blue Springs School Districts get bad report cards, something ain't right). Mayor Funk has yet to have his big meeting on education.

At least one group is willing to tackle this issue head on. MORE2 (Metro Organization of Racial and Economic Equity) is hosting a forum "Healing our Hurting Public Education System." It is at 7:00 on November 8th at Zion Grove Missionary Baptist Church (2801 Swope Parkway). MORE2 is compromised of several different faith based groups - Jewish, protestant, Catholic, White, Black.

If you care about public education in KC MO, this would be a great place to learn more.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Harris Gets Labor Endorsment

The race for AG seems to be the only source of excitement in Missouri politics. Rouge websites (, competing endorsements and press releases. Ain't life grand?

Common thought was that Chris Koster was going to pick up all of the unions. Chris worked hard for union interests as a prosecutor, got the Cass County Justice Center built with union labor and resisted attacks on prevailing wage while in the senate. Harris and Donnelly have likewise resisted attacks on prevailing wage while in the House. Unions like Chris Koster. Usually, unions stick together like glue. A union friend is a friend till the end. AFSCME, a very heavy hitter in the union world, endorsed Jeff Harris. Here's the press release.

AFSCME Endorses Harris for Attorney General
Harris Announces Plan to Review the Costs of Privatization of State Jobs

Columbia – Today the Missouri council of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) announced its endorsement of Representative Jeff Harris for Attorney General. In response to his earning the support of Missouri public workers, Harris issued the following statement:

"Throughout my career, I have been honored to stand with organized labor on behalf of the working men and women of Missouri. As the Democratic Leader in the Missouri House, I am proud to have fought against the Republican agenda pushed by Matt Blunt that has rolled back protections for Missouri's working families.

"When Republican special interests sued the state to get Governor Holden's collective bargaining executive order rescinded, Jay Nixon turned to me as assistant attorney general to handle that case. I successfully defended that executive order in court and would do so again as attorney general."

Harris also announced his plan to review the costs of privatizing state jobs and the status of worker protections under these contracts. Harris also said he would initiate legislation to set strict provisions for state contractors who violate labor laws.

"Worker protection will be a top priority in my administration," Harris said. "Since taking office, Matt Blunt has privatized countless state services at the expense of hard working state workers, enabling him to reward his friends with new state contracts."

Harris has previously been endorsed by the Sheet Metal Workers, Operating Engineers Local 513 and Operating Engineers Local 148.

Anyone want to speculate on the effect of Harris picking off this major union? What does it mean, is there a splinter? How many union members pick a D ballot or an R ballot in the primary? Will union members listen to their representatives and vote for Koster or Harris? How come Donnelly can't get a union endorsement despite being from a big union town like St. Louis?