Missouri Republicans are jumping on the controversy involving an aide to presidential candidate Richard Gephardt allegedly threatening two public employee unions that an effort might be launched to rescind Governor Bob Holden’s executive order allowing state workers to bargain collectively. The unions claim the threat was made in retaliation for their support for former Vermont Governor Howard Dean in his bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination, and they claim Governor Holden attended the meeting in which the threat was issued. State Senate Leader Peter of Cape Girardeau says the Governor has several questions to answer. The Governor’s Office has notconfirmed, nor has it denied, Holden’s attendance at that meeting. Despite concerns over this report of a threat, Kinder and House Speaker Catherine Hanaway say they remain opposed to forcing state workers to pay union dues and hope to see legislation to that end passed during the upcoming legislative session.