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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of October 6, 2008

. Missouri's Secretary of State reacts to ACORN scandal (10/10/2008)

Reports of fraudulent voting in Jackson County Missouri have caused many to question the services of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now or ACORN.

The Secretary of State's Office reports no effect on the election and a prompt evaluation from the U.S. Attorney or Prosecutor's Office.  

. Senator Joe Biden spoke in Jefferson City on Thursday night (10/09/2008)

Democratic Vice Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, focused on cutting health care costs, improving the economy and effectively ending the war during a rally in Jefferson City Thursday night.

Biden said the fundamental difference between the Obama and McCain Campaign is how their campaign measures progress in terms of dignity and respect for hard working middle class people.

. Missouri's candidates for AG disagree about a shield law for journalists. (10/09/2008)

The only major disagreement that emerged between Missouri's attorney general candidates in their second debate  involved a proposal to protect journalists from having to disclose anonymous sources and unused information in court.

While GOP candidate Mike Gibbons supported a "Shield Law," Democratic attorney general candidate Chris Koster reinforced his opposition during their debate in Poplar Bluff Thursday.

. State Treasurer cites lack of leadership, responsibility, and confidence for financial crisis (10/09/2008)

Missouri State Treasurer Sarah Steelman voiced concern after the DOW dropped 600 points on Thursday.  Steelman says the economic crisis can be blamed on both parties since both did nothing to prevent the crisis and neither has accepted responsibility.

Steelman also suggests  the US Justice Department should be called in to investigate filing criminal charges against companies who received bailout funds from Congress.

Steelman says she encourages Missourians to call their congressman and voice their concerns on what she calls unneeded pork barrel spending.

. The Jackson County Board of Elections Commission is accusing ACORN of suspected fraudulent voter registration. (10/08/2008)

Community organization ACORN denies that they were involved in suspected voter registration fraud that took place in Independence, Missouri. 

 The Jackson County Board of Elections is turning over the suspected fraudulent voter registration cards to the FBI.

. Nonpartisan Court Plan has faced long history of scrutiny (10/07/2008)

Although Missouri's nonpartisan judicial selection process is not up for public scrutiny on the November ballot, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof's proposed changes have made it again an issue of debate.

Other fairly recent developments include proposed amendmnets by a St. Louis activist attorney and a Republican state representative.

. With the voter registration deadline here, officials now focus on getting people to the polls (10/07/2008)

Voting officials say now that registration is over, they must focus on encouraging those who have registered to go to the polls and vote.

Missouri voters registered by Wednesday, October 8 will be able to vote in the November 4 election.

. Missouri farmers have avoided credit crisis so far, but need to prepare for the future. (10/07/2008)

The credit crisis has hit many Americans, but Missouri farmers have not yet seen the affects.

Missouri Farm Bureau spokesperson Kelly Smith said they should look ahead, because the economy will catch up to them if they don't.

. Both Democrats and Republicans want students to be safe, but when it comes to sex ed they disagree on the methods. (10/07/2008)

Sex Education is a highly debated subject among educators and politicians.

Views range from wanting abstinence only programs to being in favor of comprehensive sexual education curriculum.  

. Hulshof campaign says new Nixon education plan would bankrupt public schools (10/06/2008)

Democrat candidate for governor Attorney General Jay Nixon laid out his plans for lower education and the economy during a speech before teachers and administrators Monday night, a plan his opponent's campaign said the state cannot afford.

"Jay Nixon would bankrupt Missouri schools," said Scott Baker, spokesman for Republican candidate U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof. "If all the spending he has proposed went into effect then teachers would have to be laid off by the hundreds."

. Missouri Association for Social Welfare says food pantries are struggling since last week (10/06/2008)

Robert Quinn, Executive Director of MASW, says more people from wealthier economic backgrounds have been utilizing food pantries much more frequently .

 The Missouri Department of Social Services says there has not been a noticeable increase in the number of Missourians requesting food stamps or welfare assistance.

. Republican attorney general candidate raises questions about Republican gubernatorial candidate's inspector governor proposal  (10/06/2008)

Republican gubernatorial candidate and Congressman Kenny Hulshof's plans to create an inspector general position were not met with a full embrace by the Republican candidate for attorney general.

While attorney general candidate and Senator Mike Gibbons, R-St. Louis County, supports the creation of an inspector general position, Gibbons disagreed with some points of the proposal.

. State budget shortfalls in the late 1990s led to deep cuts in higher education funding which have yet to be recovered. (10/06/2008)

Although both major party gubernatorial candidates have announced plans to make higher education more affordable, how much of an impact a new governor has on the situation could be limited by several factors including budget constraints and the appropriations process.

But extra funding is dependent upon the state's budget. And at least one state budget expert suggests that would be a problem.

. Immigration laws to change in the hands of a new governor (10/06/2008)

Governor Matt Blunt has led a crusade to cut down on illegal immigrants in Missouri throughout his term.

As the race for governor comes to a close, many await to see where immigration laws with go with Congressman Kenny Hulshof or Attorney General Jay Nixon in office.  

. Some unsure of effects of home health care proposition (10/03/2008)

A ballot proposition concerning home health care aims to create the Missouri Quality Homecare Council amidst concerns about vague language and a covert unionization attempt.

Proposition B, as the initiative is to be called on the ballot, is sponsored by Missourians for Quality Home Care.

. A Kirksville murder case, involving the "Castle doctrine", awaits the Attorney General's review. (10/02/2008)

Jackie Gleason killed her estranged boyfriend Rogelio Johnson last may when he broke into her home, but a coroner's jury ruled the case a homicide.

Mark Williams is the Adair County Prosecutor and he says the case should fall under the "Castle doctrine," so he has asked the Attorney General to review the case.

. Break-in at McCain Independence Campaign Office. (10/02/2008)

Sometime between 10 p.m. Sept. 30, and 6 a.m. Oct. 1, there was a break-in at the McCain's campaign office in Independence.

Only one computer was stolen but it had strategic campaign information stored on it.

. Missouri Association of School Administrators make gubernatorial endorsement (10/02/2008)

After interviewing Congressman Kenny Hulshof and Attorney General Jay Nixon, the MASA has endorsed Jay Nixon for Missouri Governor.

Executive Director of MASA, Roger Kurtz said Nixon's views on educational issues were in line with those of the organization, especially his opposition to vouchers and support for public education funding

. All Missourians will be effected by yesterday's stock plunge (09/30/2008)

 Professor and director of Financial Research Institute and J.H. Rogers Chair of Money, Credit and Banking Steven Ferris says that all Missourians will be adversely effected by the largest stock market plunge in history yesterday.

Effects range from retirement packages to mutual fund holdings. 

He does not for see another depression like that of the 1930s.

. Missouri's GOP candidate for attorney general proposes a program against cybercrime. (09/29/2008)

 The Republican candidate for attorney general, Mike Gibbons, announced Monday in Columbia a proposal for a new Cyber Crimes Unit in the Attorney General's office. 

Gibbons said the new office would work to protect children from Internet predators, as well as decrease the number of online-based crimes in the state.

Gibbons' proposal would create a team of one lawyer, two investigators and a computer forensics expert to work together when Internet crimes arise.  This team would then work with the pre-existing regional task forces and law enforcement agencies.

. Lt. Governor Kinder's temporary pay increases are called unethical (09/29/2008)

Lt. Governor Peter Kinder rewards staff members with pay increases ranging from 50-92 percent.

 A spokesperson for Sam Page, Kinder's opponent in his re-election calls the increases ironic and unethical.  

. Hulshof votes no on bailout; calls the bill excessive (09/29/2008)

Republican candidate for governor Congressman Kenny Hulshof voted no on Monday's House vote on the $700 billion plan to bailout the U.S. financial system, which ultimately failed with a vote of 228-205.

A spokesman for Hulshof's congressional office said Hulshof felt the bill was excessive and gave too much power to Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Henry Paulson.