McCaskill Townhall
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McCaskill Townhall

Date: September 9, 2010
By: Audrey Moon
State Capitol Bureau

FULTON - A relatively moderate message was delivered by Sen. Claire McCaskill at a town hall meeting in Fulton on Thursday

On more than one occasion the senator said, "I'm going to tell you what you don't want to hear" at the last of a series of eight forums across the state the last several weeks.

When asked about continuing a program for the lower income bracket, McCaskill  talked about the need to balance the federal budget.

And when asked about energy, the Democratic senator expounded upon the importance of coal-generated power for Missouri.

Robin Acree attended the town hall meeting with Grass Roots Organizing, a nonpartisan group focused on rebuilding the working class in Missouri.  About 15 members of GRO attended, all wearing white T-shirts that read "I Need A Job" in bold blue letters across the front.

"The main reason we wanted to come was to push the economy," Acree said.  "People in mid-Missouri need jobs and that is why we are here."

Acree asked whether McCaskill would support extending a program that provides subsidies to states that create jobs for low-income individuals. The program expires in September.

"I can not support an extension" McCaskill said, because of her platform on a pay-as-you-go policy.  "I think we have to be careful about supporting emergency funding unless we can pay for it."

The senator's position on a pay-as-you-go policy would create a law that requires government to pay up front for spending. 

Missouri's coal production and energy efficiency were also discussed.  McCaskill acknowledged global warming and climate change, but also stressed the importance of Missouri as a coal dependent state.

"We are a coal dependent state," McCaskill said.  "We have no choice but to generate by coal."  

McCaskill said that she wants to be careful about emission regulation and going green without hurting Missouri.  For now, she said, she is not willing to put a price on carbon. 

"I still want us to make something in America," McCaskill said in reference to Missouri's coal dependency and production benefits from it. 

On Afghanistan, McCaskill said "I am completely comfortable that we are in Afghanistan for the right reasons."

The town hall meeting was held at William Woods University and was the last of a series of eight  held for constituents. 

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