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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for the Week of October 27, 2008


. Republican candidates not able to campaign as one body in last days before election because of scheduling conflicts. (10/31/2008)

Senator Bond and Kenny Hulshof have been traveling the state representing a unified voice for the Missouri Republican ticket.

The five major Republican candidates have been unable to campaign as one group because of conflicts between schedules set before the election season.


. Gubernatorial candidates are staying busy in the final days of their campaigns. (10/30/2008)

Gubernatorial candidates Nixon and Hulshof will both be on the road until Tuesday.

They are traveling throughout the state and stressing their views on the economy, healthcare, and education.


. The future of and effect of charter schools in Missouri (10/30/2008)

Barack Obama and John McCain agree charter schools benefit students and families. Both presidential candidates have campaigned to expanded charter schools throughout the country.

Charter schools are currently available in St. Louis and Kansas City. Missouri's school systems and leaders look at the effects charter schools have on district schools, and what will happen with the next presidency.


. Missouri Representative Election Committee Member criticizes Secretary Carnahan's Early Voting proposal. (10/30/2008)

As of now, early voting does not occur in Missouri, but Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has proposed a bill to change the allotted voting period.

The Missouri House of Representatives Election Committee does not approve of Secretary Carnahan's proposal.

Jefferson City Republican Representative Bill Deeken says there are better ways to extend the voting period.


. Missouri Election Committee Legislators say Missouri is smart for not having early voting. (10/29/2008)

Missouri's Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is working on proposals that will allow Missourians to vote early in elections.

Spokesman for Carnahan said early voting will reduce long lines and voter fraud.

Missouri Elections Committee said early voting will increase voter fraud by creating extended time and locations.


. Missouri's rain have made autumn leaves to wet to burn (10/29/2008)

A lead expert says Missouri's unprecedented rainfall has made it difficult to burn leaves.

Other experts aren't complaining because they say burning leaves is bad for the environment.


. Governor considering special session (10/29/2008)

Gov. Matt Blunt is considering a special session recommended to him by Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, who is running for reelection.

Rep. Paul LeVota called the session a political stunt.


. Missouri political party organizers split on registration follow-up (10/28/2008)

Although both Republicans and Democrats helped register voters this election, party organizers are split on what constitutes adequate follow-up.

Democratic organizations such as the Obama campaign remind the voters to go out to the polls, but the Missouri Republican Party spokeswoman said follow-up phone calls are a violation of privacy. 


. Wild hogs are creating problems for farmers and the environment. (10/28/2008)

The increasing wild hog population is becoming a concern.

Wild hogs contaminate water and cause difficulties for other wild animals to find food.

They also wreak havoc with farmers fields, pastures, and fences.


. The effects of charter schools in Missouri are discussed as both presidential candidates hope to expand the schools throughout the country. (10/28/2008)

Charter schools are available in Kansas City and St. Louis. The schools receive state funding, require no tuition, and can be attended by anyone. The schools are public, but are freed from some of the rules and regulations of district schools.

Charter schools offer alternatives to district schools. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's director of charter schools Jocelyn Strand says charter schools give parents and students the option to find a school to best fit their needs.


. Alberta Slavin, one of the state's top consumer advocates, has died. (10/28/2008)

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Tuesday the death of the state's best-known consumer advocate.

Alberta Slavin was credited with founding Missouri's consumer protection movement.  Four decades ago, she founded an organization to fight high grocery prices.  A short time later, she gained statewide recognition as the founding leader of the Utility Consumers Council of Missouri that advocated for consumers in utility-regulation cases.

In 1976, she was defeated in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor. 

Her consumer advocacy led to her nomination as chairman of the state's utility-regulating Public Service Commission in 1977 -- a nomination that led to narrow Senate approval after conservative attacks that she was anti-utility.


. Voter turnout estimated at 76 percent (10/27/2008)

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan estimated voter turnout on Nov. 4 could be over 76 of registered voters, an 11 percent increase from the total voters in 2004.

One voter's rights group is worried the high turnout could cause problems at the polls.


. In final days of election state treasurer campaign goes negative (10/24/2008)

The race for Missouri state treasurer has gone negative with statewide television ads.

Rep. Clint Zweifel, the St. Louis County Democrat in the race, has targeted Republican candidate Sen. Brad Lager in his first state-wide television ad. 

Although Zweifel has made several campaign videos mocking Gov. Matt Blunt, this is the first time Zweifel has pulled a cardboard cutout of his opponent  into the mix.

The ad calls Blunt and Lager "best friends" and features a cutout of Blunt alongside what appears to be a cropped photo of Lager photoshopped onto someone else's body.