Thursday, August 28, 2008

Church and State

I heard something yesterday that really ticked me off. If I see the guy again, I will have a little conversation.

This Democratic party leader said "God is on our side." You know what; he's wrong. God didn't create Republicans or Democrats on the 7th day. God didn't even create the electoral college map with Red and Blue states. Heck, God didn't even create the border between the United States and Mexico. God cares about all the hungry, all the sick, all the poor, all those in prison. Red, Yellow, Black or White - ALL MEANS ALL.

When the religious lawyers were trying to trick Jesus with a question about the most important commandment, that great prophet told them to love their God and love their neighbor. When even those two got too complicated, my faith tradition tells me that this is not a new commandment, just love one another. 2 John 1:4.

Democrats have allowed Republicans to high jack God. More importantly, the church universal has allowed Republicans to high jack God. God's message is very clear, you have to give Caesar his due, but love your neighbor. All people of faith (or without faith) should act as the moral compass of our government, but should never allow any one party to claim "God is on our side."

Nixon Will Be Our Governor

Attorney General Jay Nixon and Rep. Clint Zweifel were two more of our speakers this morning at the Missouri delegation meeting.

Rep. Zweifel is one of those very rare politicians that you can put in the social studies books where they teach our children that some of our best and brightest go on to lead our government (government: the word we assign to the things we decide to do together). Clint is very intelligent and educates himself on the issues affecting the Treasurer's office. He is humble - not the fake kind - but genuinely humble. He also has this deep desire to improve the lives of the citizens of the state of Missouri. Clint Zweifel is who they should teach 4th graders about when they learn about our government.

Jay Nixon will be our governor. Cleaver told us this morning that Kenny Hulshof is a nice guy and that the nasty things that are about to be done in his name will turn Kenny's stomach (guess he should be a big boy and put a stop to it). We also heard from Jay Nixon about education, the economy and health care. All those issues are Missouri voters' issues. Public education and higher education have suffered under the Blunt administration. Jobs in our state are not increasing (especially jobs that provide a living wage, health care and retirement).

Blunt kicked over 100,000 people off health care, while giving big businesses tax breaks. Folks understand that the kind of low paying jobs from Blunt/Hulshof's corporate buddies are not the type of economic job growth we need. We need to teach science to public school students who can go to college and get a life sciences job in the state of Missouri. Blunt and Hulshof have rejected science and allowed a few right wing religious groups to dictate even the building of science labs at UMKC.

Jay Nixon will be our governor because Missouri voters have seen what you get when we give the Republicans control of the House, Senate and Executive branch in both Jefferson City and Washington DC. No swing voter can honestly answer yes to "are WE better off now than 4 years ago." Notice the big difference (politically, morally, theologically) to the question when you substitute the "we" for the "you."

Cleaver Has the Gift

Congressman Cleaver was one of the speakers at the Missouri delegation meeting this morning.

Frequent readers to this blog know I have deep respect for this man. His politics are my politics, his theology is my theology, his beliefs are my beliefs. I am proud to have the only ordained minister in Congress as my congressman.

Cleaver's sermon, oops speech, this morning included a story about how he was out in rural Kansas for the Methodist church for a revival. He was, of course, the only African-American in town. He sat at the counter of the local restaurant and waited 30 minutes to get a glass of tea. He then had the audacity to ask for more sugar and the waitress said "I already gave you some sugar, stir what you got." So, he stirred what he had.

Cleaver said that that waitress was full of wisdom, that as Democrats we should stir what we got. We've got the candidates, we've got the issues, we've got the solutions. We need to all stir a little harder this time, harder than we've ever stirred.

That will preach.

A Picture Tells It All

Senator Joe Biden gave a great speech, but you saw that.

Here's what I think will stick out in my mind - that kid holding his grandpa's hand. We all know that almost every second of the convention is staged. What cannot be staged is wrapping your arms around your grandpa's neck. 4 year old boys don't respond well to prompting, they don't hug people they don't love and they don't go walking around holding the hand of someone they haven't spent time with.

Clearly, that little kid knows and loves his grandfather. Joe obviously spends time with him. Several times in his speech (and in his son's, Beau Biden, speech), he got tears in his eyes talking about his family. Heck, I got tears in my eyes.

The picture in my mind that will stick out most from this convention is of grandfather and grandson. I'm sure glad that is the kind of man that will be our next vice-president. Oh ya, Obama showing up to support his VP was a great way to end the evening.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And she's a class act

I missed much of the roll call vote (bumped into MLK III), but got there after Missouri voted (Missouri, where our hard working, intelligent people demand that you Show Me . . .").

New Mexico gave the standard speech ("the great people of New Mexico who work hard and play by the rules . . ."), but then instead of voting 51% for Barack and 49% for Hillary, they gave their votes to Illinois. I thought that was a nice compromise for unity.

Illinois then gave the standard speech ("The intelligent and good looking people from the land of Lincoln . . ."), but then assigned the votes to New York. Just as that happened, something began to stir on the floor.

Hillary and a mass of about 30 other folks came marching onto the floor. After the standard speech ("New York, where our citizens care about liberty and truth . . .") Hillary Clinton ended the drama of the voting by moving to suspend the rules and electing Barack Obama by acclamation.

Hillary is a class act.

Hillary is Amazing

I went to the "release the delegate" speech by Hillary today.

There I was, an Edwards then Obama supporter; would someone tell on me? This wasn't nationally televised, this was a speech to her pledged delegates.

Hillary said that some people would vote like her, for Barack. Some people would vote what they thought the people of their state wanted and some people would vote their hearts. I totally believed her when she said this election is too important to focus on your primary candidate, it was time to elect Obama.

She mentioned the Supreme Court and how it is a 5-4 split. The next president will get to appoint as many 3 new justices. Women's issues will be defined by the Supreme Court as much as the next president.

In this room filled with Hillary delegate, only one single knucklehead yelled some thing about 2012. The entire rest of the room was focused on a win in 2008. Now that is unity.

The Carnahans Rock

This morning's Missouri delegation meeting featured not one, not two, but three Carnahans.

Congressman Russ Carnahan told of how he graduated from college a semester early and drove his dad to every county in the state when Mel first ran for governor. Russ also talked about when Mel lost that first bid, he worked just as hard for the Democratic nominee.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is inspiring. She spoke of the need for hard work, about the need to address health care and about how we can work for party unity.

Senator Jean Carnahan makes me feel lazy. She's no spring chicken, yet she spoke of her work across the country for Obama. She tolds stories of her faith, of the need for God's people to work hard for justice and how this is too important of an election to sit on the sidelines.

Missouri is fortunate to have the Carnahans as our first family.

Josh Reed Can Eat

Like that swimmer in the Olympics, Josh Reed can eat. With all the door knocking and hard work from Reed this election, he is back to his high school football playing shape (well, almost).

When he sat next to me at the Missouri delegation meeting this morning, I was still taken aback by the amount of eggs and pork this young man put away. I think the voters in his district will be impressed.

Compare a hard working farm boy to a current Republican state representative that just left his wife and kid. Which one represents Missouri's values?


Despite the media attempting to make a fight, everyone that I met at the convention is unified behind Barack Obama.

I'm glad Hillary got to speak - she lit up the place. People of all stripes (i.e. Obama people too) were trying to get the Hillary signs. I had invested lots of myself in Edwards, so it hurt when he lost (and even more when he admitted to cheating on Elizabeth). The Hillary folks had invested even more into thier candidate. She deserved to speak and her supporters deserved to raise the roof in her honor.

What a fantastic message Hillary delivered - the reason we are engaged in this campaign is not about Hillary or Obama, it's about health care for everyone, honoring our commitment to the troops, responsibly ending the war, having an energy policy.

It isn't a story line, people are unified. And, I bet that we have not seen the last of Hillary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Faith Caucus at DNC

In what I hear is a first time ever, there was a 2 hour faith caucus today at the Democratic National Convention.

The moderator for both sessions was Rev. Jim Wallis (God's Politics; Why the Right is Wrong and the Left Doesn't Get it). The first topic was "What are the pressing moral values issues of the day? How can progressives and conservatives find common ground." The panelists included Rev. Jennifer Kottler, Bishops DeJesus and Rabbi Jack Moline. I confess I missed most of the first hour.

The next panel addressed "How should the next presidential administration engage people of faith?" Panelists were Rabbi Saperstein, Prof. John DiIulio (first director of faith based community initiatives under W), Rev. Otis Moss and Joshua DuBois (national director of religious affairs for Obama). What a great hour! They grappled with

- "the blessing of separation of church & state,"
- quoted MLK that the church should not be the master of government, nor the servant of government, but the conscience of the government
- ways that government can support faith based initiatives without establishing a religion
- the need for the church to have a strong voice on moral issues
- instead of pursing grants from the government, being the voice of justice in every branch of government
- how to have faith based initiatives work with people of all faiths to avoid the establishment clause.

Wouldn't it be great to have folks from the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths forming a 501(c)(3) to care for the "least, lost and the left behind"? People of all faiths (or even no faith) and all colors - not pushing their God, but caring for their neighbor. Now that is justice.

Who Do You Want in Charge? I Like Ike!

Every morning, the Missouri folks meet, pick up credentials and get to hear some great speakers.

This morning was Congressman Ike Skelton. He talked about when he first ran for Congress in 1976 that some junior senator named Joe Biden came down with Tom Eagleton to campaign for him. I sometimes forget how lucky we are to have Congressman Skelton. He is one of the most trusted folks in America - right up there with Colin Powell - when it comes to our military. Service members know that he's got their back. Contractors know to leave the lobbyists and games at the door. America's citizens trust Ike to do what is right - not just what is good for the Democrats - every time he leads a committee.

As a country, we are fortunate that people like Ike are willing to go to DC and serve.

You Know You're Unimportant when . . .

The really cool folks are staying downtown. Big hotels, walking distance to the meetings, great food. The folks who are not cool, well I get to take some really nice pictures of prairie dogs.

The reality is that it is very nice to be here, to be able to watch the process work and to be a part of changing the culture of our country from fear to a challenge and hope to be the best America we can be.

Brush With Greatness

We even get some of the A-List celebs up in the nose bleed section. Barney Frank is a great liberal and a great Democrat.

I also spoke with Tim Kaine (go Hawklets!). He seemed really nice. Told him we were rooting for him for VP if only for his Rockhurst/KC connection.

The food at the Pepsi Center is GROSS. I am bringing in some fruit tonight.

Lots of anticipation about Hillary's speech tonight. Heard a vicious rumor that she was going to speak at our breakfast this morning. Also the big Missouri party is tonight.

Claire Makes Us Proud

I brag on Claire to everyone I meet at the Convention. She was a state representative from my Brookside neighborhood. She was my Jackson County Prosecutor, my Missouri state auditor, now my US Senator.

There she was, up on the big stage, talking about the values of middle America, about Missouri being neither Red nor Blue, about us being one people, one nation under God. Like her or love her, she's always going to be herself. It was a great speech.

I guess if you are the first woman senator to endorse the nominee, there are some benefits.

Our First Family

If we had a Buckingham palace, the Kennedy's would be in it.

Pepsi Center was too full, all the seats were taken. I was standing in a hallway watching speeches when every living Kennedy started walking by. I even got a smile from Ethel Kennedy. All these messy haired teenage boys, red haired girls, Boston accents, and that one girl that married a Republican.

Eventually, they ran off everyone from the hallways, but it was a lot of fun to see the Kennedy's (and Tony Bennett in the suite with Pelosi).

Lion of the Senate

With Claire, Michelle Obama and Ted Kennedy all in one night, everyone is going to have a different favorite.

Ted Kennedy is an icon. Senator McCaskill calls him the lion of the senate. There was a video of all three Kennedy boys - it was moving. To know he is fighting cancer makes me appreciate that the conscious of the senate will not always be with us. Camelot has an end.

Caroline Kennedy introduced her uncle and recalled, "if you got an increase in minimum wage, Teddy is your senator. If you are on medicare, Teddy is your senator." Senator Kennedy promised to be on the senate floor in Janaury when President Obama is sworn in - I hope he is right on both accounts.

Pepsi Arena

The DNC is being held at the Pepsi Center. The place is pretty amazing, very similar to the Spring Arena. Journalists line the walk ways, over-priced hot dogs are generally available and two many tickets were handed out. The fire Marshall politely moved people out of the hallways were folks were watching speeches. Tomorrow night I will get there earlier and eat a nice meal before. Lessons learned.

Late to the Party

As is par for the course, I'm late to the party. Aimee is obviously doing the hard work. However, my son had his 5th birthday party and the DNC would have to wait.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Michelle Takes It Home

She was gorgeous in green. She knocked it out of the Park and the whole Convention was electrified by her speech. You can see the speech here and the tex of the speech can be found here.

A great day!

Platform Passed and view from the Nose Bleed Section

I am in the Pepsi Center. No lines whatsoever and was whisked through security with no problems. I think it pays to get here early because I think the lines will be held up later.

My alternate pass gets me to the upper level of the Pepsi Center. I am just a little left of the stage but way up.

There is a huge screen right in front of me. Also to my right, we have tvONE, the A.P. (fire Ron Fournier), a Spanish lanuage station and some other media.

Events on tap for the evening are Michelle Obama, our own Claire McCaskill. You can find a list of all speakers on my favorite Convention blog, DemConWatch.

I think I may get floor credentials tomorrow. But they will be tough to come by after that. I'm just pleased to be inside the Hall. We are about 3.5 hours away from Claire's speech and then Michelle's speech.

HRC slams against the media meme of a divided house.

The media meme of a divided house is picked up by the McCain campaign with a new ad.

Upon hearing of the ad, Hillary hit back and said, ""I'm Hillary Clinton, and I do not approve that message." Hillary is a great Democrat and is hitting it out of the park for Obama. Will post video if I can get ahold of it.

p.s. Word on the street is that Ted Kennedy will speak tonight. I can't wait!

Monday Morning Breakfast. Go Claire!

Delegate breakfast this morning. The delegate breakfast is not limited to delegates but also alternates (like myself), honored guests (such as former Governor Bob Holden) and many family members and friends. It was a real delight to be part of a Fired Up group of Democrats.

Senator McCaskill and Rep. Lacy Clay were the speakers for this morning. As usual, Claire gave a rousing speech to unite us for our common purpose for the week. I made a conscious decision not to bring my phone or computer to this event, so I could soak up the room rather than have my eyeballs on the Internet.

Logistics were done by the always fabulous Ylonda Wheat who gave clear directions about the day's events. Much to my dismay, I have learned that an alternate does not have access to the floor unless someone does not show up. Every day at 11:15 we will have a drawing for the few (if any) floor credentials. Monday may be the best shot as some delegates have not arrived. But I do get alternate credentials which allows me some access.

Lacy Clay did talk some trash about St. Louis being the bluest part of the State - I hope Kansas City can prove him wrong on November 4th.

Brought to you by Budweiser

The Bud folks have graciously agreed to host a Happy Hour every night for the Missouri delegation. As I arrived last night, I shared a beer with some great Democrats. Everyone is excited to be here.

The media is attempting to drive the narrative of an Obama/Hillary divide which is not present in the Missouri delegation at all. I have talked to two reporters and both tried to focus on the roll call and Hillary. I didn't bite.

Cheers to Budweiser (while we still have them in Missouri).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Eye on the Swing States

Don't you love swing states - like Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina, Virginia.

Maybe the #1 Senate race in the country - where a Dem could knock off an R - is North Carolina. How's this for a report to make you smile.

InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position: McCain holds narrow lead, Dole-Hagan tied in North Carolina

By Tom Baxter
Southern Political Report

August 20, 2008 — In the latest InsiderAdvantage/Poll Position survey of North Carolina, John McCain holds a narrow lead over Barack Obama, while Republican incumbent US Sen. Elizabeth Dole is locked in a dead heat with Democratic state Sen. Kay Hagan.

In the president race, McCain leads Obama by two points, 45-43 percent. That's within the poll's margin of error of 3.8 percent. Libertarian candidate Bob Barr was pulling 5 percent of the vote in the Tarheel State, which Green Party candidate Ralph Nader polled about 1 percent.

While Obama hasn't overtaken McCain, this poll comes after what some have taken to be a shaky period for the Democratic nominee, climaxed by the two candidates' appearance over the weekend at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church, a session in which McCain was widely judged to have helped mend his differences with conservative religious voters.

The Dole-Hagan race could not be closer, according to the poll, with the two candidates essentially tied at 40 percent each.

The poll of 614 registered likely voters was conducted Aug. 19, and was weighted for age, race and political affiliation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Chairman, Whatever

Congratulations to CCP president, Steve Bough -- the new chair of the Jackson County Democratic Committee. He'll do a great job.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Name One

AG Race Ain't Over Yet

Here's a press release from a few minutes ago

Representative Margaret Donnelly, 2008 candidate for Attorney General in the state of Missouri, today announced her intention to file a formal request for a recount of the Democratic ballots cast in the state’s primary election August 5. Donnelly was second to Chris Koster by a 0.2% margin, with a 794-vote differential out of more than 346,000 votes cast. (Results are still unofficial until they are certified by the Secretary of State.) With the smallest margin in a statewide race in Missouri history, a one-vote swing in as few as 25% of the precincts in the state would result in a Donnelly victory.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Our US Senator continues to shine!!

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

McCaskill speaking on opening night at Dem convention

By: Jo Mannies

The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and the campaign of presumptive presidential nominee Barack Obama plan to announce shortly that Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will be among the prime time speakers on the convention’s opening night.

McCaskill will join U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng and Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama’s brother, will address the convention on Monday, Aug. 25, the first night of the four-day extravaganza in Denver, Col.

The choice of McCaskill, one of Obama’s national co-chairs and a favorite campaign surrogate, appears to signal one of the ways she’s being rewarded for her early and outspoken endorsement of his candidacy.

What’s unclear is whether her address will end up on prime time TV or on cable.

According to the release, the Monday night theme is One Nation. The headline speaker is Michelle Obama, the candidate’s wife.

McCaskill and Pelosi “will speak late in the program about the changing Democratic Party and the efforts of leading Democrats to reach out to Independents and Republicans to get the country moving in the right direction,” the release says.

Monday night will also feature a tribute to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who is battling cancer and is close to Obama.

More from the release:

Craig Robinson, Michelle Obama’s brother, will introduce his sister, who will be Monday’s headline speaker in prime-time. As the person who knows him best, Michelle will talk about the Barack Obama she knows and loves, the values that shape him and why she believes he’ll be an extraordinary president. In an effort to highlight the setting of the Convention and the importance of the Mountain West to the Democratic Party, Monday’s program will also feature a video segment introducing delegates and other Convention attendees to the natural beauty and strong voices of leadership in the region.

Blogging the Convention

I have been asked to begin contributing to the CCP Blog about my experience as an Obama delegate to Denver. I am more than thrilled to share what I believe will be a high-light of my life and political activism. Already the invitations are coming in fast and furious for the many events that fill up the week. Law firms and railroads along with advocacy-based groups such as Emily's List and ONE. I will post some of the invitations such as the Planned Parenthood one to the left.

When I was first elected at the State Convention in May, the Denver Convention seemed years away. A full summer with vacations and volunteer activity, I didn't think the last week of August would ever arrive. But it is coming like a rocket ship now, and I bursting with excitement.

The Missouri delegation is staying at the Embassy Suites-Tech Center. Although it is situated eighteen miles from the action of the Pepsi Center, the light rail and frequent shuttles should keep us in business for the week. All delegates are required to attend the Delegation Breakfast each morning where we will receive our credentials for the day.

The days are filled with meetings and caucuses while the evenings will be the actual Convention itself. Michelle Obama is slated to speak on Monday while HRC has the prime-time slot on Tuesday. Wednesday has President Clinton and the VP nominee and Senator Obama accepts the nomination on Thursday from Invesco Field.

If you are interested in Convention News, please see the great blog DemConWatch and check out their calendar for the Convention. The calendar lists every single event happening in Denver for those five days. Use the Agenda view for a listing of all events.

I am also participating in the Big Tent which is a meeting place/working space for bloggers, journalists and community activists. Plus - it has free beer!

More updates as Convention Week arrives.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Women Who Know Chris Koster Best

(Admin's note - this came in the email from someone named Greg Liebovitch. Normally, we only post things from CCP members, but this is a pretty good compilation of some of the issues faced by one of the candidates in the Democratic primary for AG.)

Usually a candidate’s family, friends, and staff are their most ardent supporters, volunteering time and resources to help win the election. But the opposite seems true for Chris Koster. In recent weeks, it’s become apparent that the women who know Chris Koster best, both personally and professionally, are not only not supporting his bid for Attorney General, but they are questioning his motivations, ethics, and ability to both follow and apply the law. In fact, they are so certain that Koster cannot be trusted to serve as Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer, that they are putting their own credibility – and finances – on the line to make sure voters know the truth.

1) Koster’s former campaign manager, Susan McNay, was so distraught over Koster’s money laundering and potentially illegal activities that she resigned from her position and detailed the activities to officials.

McNay said, "I trusted the candidate, even though I had questions about whether we were doing something that was not right," McNay said. "He assured me everything was fine, and now I have concerns that we broke the law." (Associated Press, July 7, 2008)

2) Sharing those concerns is Rebecca Bowman Nassikas, who was married to Koster from 1996 to 2003. Last week she donated nearly $200,000 to a political committee that created a Web site and television ads that raise concerns over Koster’s potentially illegal campaign fundraising methods – methods that have been the focus of ethics complaints filed by both Republicans and Democrats.

“I hope this gets people to look into (the allegations),” Nassikas said. “They might still decide to vote for Chris. But this will be a way to make it more fair.” (Kansas City Stat, July 31, 2008)

3) Shellie Rebman, who served as Assistant Cass County Prosecutor from 1995-1997 under Koster, is speaking out about his management of the office and inability to apply the law fairly.

Rebman said, “… Chris Koster was rarely in the office…and when he was in the office, he spent his time discussing his political career…the only criminal charges that Chris Koster became involved in were those that could have a political impact on his political ambitions. During discussions concerning charging decisions in high-profile criminal cases, I never heard the words ‘justice’ or ‘victim impact’ come from Chris Koster, rather he was concerned with potential backlash and how his decision would impact his political career. I truly believe that his only interest while serving as the Cass County Prosecutor was how the position could further his personal political career. In fact, this is why I finally left a job that I truly loved, the frustration of working for a Prosecutor who was not interested in justice or doing the right thing was just too frustrating for me.”

Submitted by Councilperson Beth Gottstein

Aug 1

Four days out. The Friday before election day is always a crucial time. It is the last full business day to collect checks, finalize GOTV details, and sadly, launch the negative. I have always approached this time with both relief and dread. Relief as I know that the campaign stress is almost behind me. Dread because I know that the ugly seems inevitable. Having worked with candidates, ballots and as a candidate, I know, firsthand, you become sleep deprived, stressed, impulsive and vulnerable. I have watched good candidates go down and bad candidates prevail because of negative attacks. Some of this week’s messages remind me of times when our Party should have won, but we defeated ourselves. Dissident personalities and factions put their agenda ahead of the Party’s interest, often cloaked in anonymity or shell clubs. Not only did we lose elections, but we lost ground on our war on poverty and inequality.

There is a great deal at stake for Democrats in this election year. We can take back the statehouse. We can take back the Governor’s mansion. We may even take back the White House. However, please don’t lose sight of why we are in the game. This election is not about winning, it is about justice.

As Democrats, our guiding principle is to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We must not lose sight of why it is so important to win. We must succeed to assist nearly 100,000 Missourians who lost their healthcare in the last administration and raise their quality of life; end a senseless war that has both killed and permanently destroyed the lives of our children and families; create meaningful workforce opportunities so that all can live comfortably and without fear; and save our environment so that our children’s children and their children’s children can breathe and drink clean. To both repair the damage of this past decade and build our future, Democrats must place the party ticket above petty agendas.

After the negative was launched against me, and let’s face it, my campaign for City Council was a tough one, I knew I had to put behind me any bitterness I had for my critics, opponents and their supporters. I could not effectively serve Kansas Citians without a fresh start. I haven’t been perfect but I have tried. (I am lucky as my opponents committed to working with me after our race.) Without vendettas on my agenda, it has been much easier to pick priorities and make decisions.

Knowing that we can be our own worst enemy and the difficulties to overcome post-election bitterness, I ask my fellow Democrats to take the high road in these waning campaign hours. Negative attacks can have many unintended consequences. They can:

• Alienate potential voters in the general cycle who we so desperately must recruit;
• Render it impossible for the failing camp to support a primary campaign’s victor;
• Arm the Republicans with ideas and info that they can turn on us in
the general; and
• Boomerang and impact the mudslinger.

Remember that people are listening closely to you, regardless of how small or large your role is in a primary race. Your voice is louder than you think, so it is all the more important to think about how your actions and words reach voters.

This is an exciting time. Even greater days lie ahead for us. And, as a Democrat, remember that Wednesday morning begins a whole new contest. It is essential that we keep our campaigns clean, no matter how close the race. Your best route to a Tuesday victory (and a clear conscience) as a campaigner or supporter is to forget the names or campaign efforts of your opponent and focus on your message. Remember the grander stakes we fact and use your powerful voice wisely.

What endorsement?

I went to Roe's link, and I see no endorsement of Kandar. Nothing even close.

I voted to endorse Amy, but I do not think this kind of "guilt by association" with Roe would help much, even if it were accurate.

This has become a race long on innuendo and more than occasionally short on facts. Neither of these young people is the Anti-Christ, folks. Neither advocates a policy of sacrificing small children on the altar of Baal. Both are talented and intelligent. We can choose to support one without impugning the character of the other.

Jeff Roe Endorses Jason Kander for the 44th

It's often said you're judged by the company you keep. If that's true, voters who are undecided about whom to support in the race for the 44th District should take a look at The Source, the blog operated by Republican political consultant Jeff Roe. Roe has now publicly thrown his support behind Jason Kander in this race.

Roe has made himself well-known to all of us for his sleazy tactics. Dan at Gone Mild -- a staunch supporter of Jason Kander -- said it best when he observed that "Roe has shown himself to be incompetent at anything other than self-promotion" and that he lacks any "discernible shred of morality." (May 25, 2007).

Amy Coffman has recently been the subject of negative Kander mailings in the 44th District which, in addition to making flatly false statements, accuse her of being nothing more than a greedy lobbyist, surrounded and supported by more greedy lobbyists -- surprising attacks from a candidate who has so often sought to have himself portrayed as running a campaign marked by a commitment to integrity and "leadership by example." These mailings and Roe's public support should weigh heavily on the minds of folks who support Kander, or are considering doing so.

I decided to support Amy Coffman in this race because I believe she brings the experience and commitment to public service to represent us with passion and effectiveness in Jefferson City. CCP members agreed, overwhelmingly giving her the organization's endorsement. I certainly don't need another reason to back her for the 44th -- but thanks to Jeff Roe for giving me one.