Friday, January 4, 2008

Blunt Bankrolls Attacks on Missouri Plan

In a fine piece of investigative journalism, the Springfield Newsleader points out how Matt Blunt is financing attacks on the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan. Fired Up Missouri takes it one step further and connects the dots on how not only does Blunt reward his faithful soilders with cash, but also with appointments.

Here's the deal - The Adam Smith Foundation is run by James Harris - Blunt's former appointment secretary. According to Missouri ethics reports, the J. Harris Company gets paid lots by Blunt. Jeremy Ketterer gets paid money by Blunt, too. Jeremy Ketterer co-writes an article with Prof. Bill Eckhardt concluding the Missouri Plan stinks. Jeremy Ketterer sends op-eds to the Newsleader from both the J. Harris Company and the Adam Smith Foundation, proving that the hacks are not acting independently or in good faith. Blunt appoints Ketterer to the Board of Truman State.

If there is any doubt, "the Adam Smith Foundation is a shill for the governor's campaign, and not an independent group," according to Blunt's hometown newspaper, the Springfield Newsleader. Let's hope that the New Year's resoultions for Republicans are to figure out how to use email and stop trying to purchase the judiciary.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Blunt doesn't know when to leave politics alone and just provide good government. He learned from his Dad - not the part about cheating on your wife with a tobacco lobbyist - to make everything political.

SSideDem said...

It is Bough who makes everything political, including hand picked judges by liberal elites and he wants to be one some day.

Dan said...

Good post, Steve. I had missed the article.

whistleblower said...

The Missouri Bar was created in 1880 as benevolent society. By 1905, only 357 of the 5,500 attorneys practicing in Missouri were members. How many members did the Bar have in 1940?

Prior to the adoption of the Missouri Plan, the Missouri Bar had the following committees:

1. Judicial Candidates Committee
2. Judicial Selection & Tenure Committee

The Missouri Federation for the Merit System did exist, but details of this organization are not readily available.

From 1940 (adoption of the non-partisan plan) thru 1976, the Missouri Court’s acquired much power that did not exist when the non-partisan plan was adopted.

Prior to 1945 matters of Missouri court procedure were codified only in state statutes. The 1945 constitution gave the Missouri Supreme Court the authority to establish procedural rules.

What did they do with this power?

1. In 1945, The Missouri Supreme Court adopted the Missouri Bar Association as a Committee of the Missouri Supreme Court, thereby giving the court both force and will, a power that Alexander Hamilton expressly stated the court would not have in Federalist #78.

Why is this significant? The 1940 amendment that established the Non-Partisan Plan did not provide for a Committee of the Missouri Supreme Court to have anything to do with the selection of judges. Guess what? – They do now! They slid that one past the voters.

2. After adopting the Missouri Bar Association, they managed to get a 1976 Constitutional Amendment that completely removed voter control over the selection of judges. The 1976 amendment forced the governor to appoint whomever the selection committee submitted to him. The voters of Missouri no longer had any control over what judges are appointed under the Missouri Plan. The Governor’s participation is only for show. (The one elected official involved in the process can only accept what he is given.)

Ask yourself this; If The Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan was created in response to public outcry in the 1930's over the partisan control of the courts which led to its abuse by powerful politicians, namely "Boss" Tom Pendergast of Kansas City, why were none of these “corrupt” or “partisan” judges removed from office? Why are none of these “corrupt” or “partisan” judges ever named?

I think “Boss” Pendergast was a tool. He was used to instill fear among the citizens of Missouri, and eventually other states. This fear caused the voters to relinquish some of their liberties, namely the right to elect their government.

History has demonstrated that “fear” is the best way to encourage people to give up their liberties. It worked for Hitler, Stalin, and George W. Bush.

Do any of you think that George W. Bush would have been able to do some of the things he has done under color of protecting this country had it not been out of fear?

Every practicing lawyer in Missouri is a member of the Missouri Bar Association. The Missouri Bar Association is a committee of the Missouri Supreme Court. If you practice law in Missouri, you are required be a member.

I don’t think the guy that works for Anheuser-Busch is going to be the best one to ask about the best beer in Missouri. I also don’t think the guy that works for the Missouri Supreme Court is the best one to ask about selecting judges.

Now, if the Anheuser-Busch employee tells me that Miller is the best, I think it may be something worth listening to.

Recently the Missouri Bar Association decided to spend $500,000.00 to "educate" the voters on the merits of the Missouri Plan. If half-a-million dollars is not a diplay of force and will, I don't know what is.

One of the items that may be on the November ballot if a petition by Bill Placke, former President of the Saint Louis Chapter of the Federalists Society. The Missouri Bar is fighting this petition.

What does the Missouri Law, and the Missouri Constitution say about this? Article V, Section 25(f) of the Missouri Constitution states "No judge of any court in this state, appointed to or retained in office in the manner prescribed in sections 25(a)-(g), shall directly or indirectly make any contribution to or hold any office in a political party or organization, or take part in any political campaign." All Missouri Judges are members of the Missouri Bar Association

Further, RSMo 115.646 -Public funds expenditure by political subdivision officer or employee, prohibited--personal appearances permitted.

"No contribution or expenditure of public funds shall be made directly by any officer, employee or agent of any political subdivision to advocate, support, or oppose any ballot measure or candidate for public office. This section shall not be construed to prohibit any public official of a political subdivision from making public appearances or from issuing press releases concerning any such ballot measure."

The spirit of the law is clear. Funds collected as "dues" to operate Missouri Bar are public funds.


If any of this information is inaccurate, please let me know.

WhistleBlowMe said...

"If any of this information is incorrect, please let me know."

Let's see - I count 4 mistakes in the first few paragraphs. But if I correct you, you will, as you have done before, launch vituperative personal attacks.

No thanks.

How about if you just respond to the subject of the post, rather than writing your own essay? What do you think of these bogus "societies" being secretly funded by Blunt?

Stephen Bough said...

ssidedem,

You may have a point, maybe I do make everything political. A thoughtful insight into how I make everything politcal would persuade readers of this blog. However, I can assure you I don't want to be a judge hand picked by the liberal elite in Missouri.

Missouri judges make about what first year assoicates earn, they get frequently attacked by the Federalist Society for no good reason and they don't get cost of living increases. I will stay happily where I am. Please don't tell the current members appointed by Ashcroft that they were appointed by the liberal elite, they think they are conservatives.

whistleblower said...

Stephen...

"I can assure you I don't want to be a judge hand picked by the liberal elite in Missouri."

If we replace "liberal elite in Missouri" with "Missouri Bar", would that be acceptable?

"Missouri judges...get frequently attacked by the Federalist Society". As far as I know, Bill Placke and Prof. Eckhardt are members of the Federalist Society, but what other members are attacking the judges? Do you have anything that would indicate that the Federalist Society as a whole is involved in this effort?

Do you really believe that when someone puts an "R" or a "D" behind their name that really makes them a Democrat or Republican?

In previous posts, you have stated that it was the Republicans that are attacking judges. Is Chip now a Democrat? Was he ever a Republican? Read this Chip Robertson Working With Gun Rights Opponents, Radical Critics of General Petraus, and World’s Wealthiest Radical Activists

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