A state program that gives tax breaks for parents saving for the child’s education could well undergo change. Governor Matt Blunt said during the State of the State address that he favors a change in the MOST program. State Treasurer Sarah Steelman says she’s interested in improving the program by bringing more Missouri investment firms in, while keeping costs low. Steelman notes MOST attracts even those who don’t normally invest money. She says any change needs to make options easily available and must protect those investors. Steelman says she shares some of the concerns expressed by former Treasurer Nancy Farmer that a few of the proposed changes would have given a break on Missouri taxes for investing in another state’s plan.
State Treasurer Nancy Farmer says she has no regrets about passing up an opportunity to run for re-election in a failed attempt to unseat Senator Bond. In an interview with the Missourinet, Treasurer Nancy Farmer insists there are no regrets clouding her memory of the failed US Senate campaign. She calls the experience of running for Senate remarkable. Farmer says she enjoyed the travel, meeting Missourians and talking to them about their concerns, “Having had the opportunity to run for the United States Senate I think is pretty special.” Farmer gives three main reasons for her defeat: she raised only $4 million and needed $6-to-8 million to have a chance against Senator Bond; the Democratic Presidential ticket of Kerry/Edwards pulled out of Missouri in early October; and a number of Senate seats unexpectedly came open as incumbents decided not to run for re-election, siphoning off cash that could have come to her campaign. Farmer says if John Kerry hadn’t abandoned the state she might have benefited from the free media a visit or two would have generated.
The latest statewide poll indicates Republican Christopher Bond will become the fifth person in Missouri history to be elected to the U.S. Senate four or more times. A survey done for the Kansas City Star and Kansas City TV station KMBC gives him 53 percent support among those likely to vote next Tuesday. Democrat Nancy Farmer is at 36 percent. A poll taken by two St. Louis media organizations reported earlier this week Bond led 56-40.
New statewide polls of the Governor’s race gives Republican Matt Blunt a hair-thin edge. The poll done for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and television station KMOV shows Blunt up 48 to 46 percent. A poll done for the Kansas City Star and TV station KMBC shows Blunt up 46-and-a-half to 44 percent. The decision appears to lie in the hands of the six to ten percent of the likely voters percent who will decide between now and next Tuesday which way to jump. The latest statewide survey of the Senatorial race gives a clear edge to Senator Kit Bond. He leads Nancy Farmer 56 to 40 percent in the poll of likely voters done for the St. Louis Post Distpach and television station KMOV.
Foreign issues – particularly the war on terror and the war in Iraq – are having an impact on this year’s U.S. Senate race in Missouri. Incumbent Republican Senator Christopher Bond concedes bad intelligence is to blame for a lot of the problems that led to the World Trade Center attack, but at least America now knows what it’s up against. He points out the intelligence has improved and continues to improve. Democrat Nancy Farmer concedes intelligence from our allies and elsewhere might not have been the best, but we must now work closely with our allies to deal with the terrorist problem that exists in Iraq. Farmer wants to see the U.S. put more troops on the ground in Iraq. Bond says he goes along with what the generals in Iraq say on the subject – that there are enough American military men and women already there. He says it’s time to get on with the job of training Iraqis to take over.
The race for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat features a three-term Senator going up against a one-term State Treasurer. There are many differences – foreign and domestic – between Republican Senator Bond and Democrat Nancy Farmer. One of the major domestic issues is the high cost for small businesses to provide health care to employees. Farmer likes a proposal from Democratic Senators in Washington. Bond says that plan makes no sense. He favors Association Health Plans – AHP’s, which would allow similar businesses to pool their employees to get better insurance rates. The two also have differences on tax policy, with Bond supporting the Bush tax cuts, and Farmer calling for higher taxes for high income Americans. Both support re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada, with Bond saying they must first be considered safe.
Another prominent Democrat has commented on the campaign advertisement put out by the Missouri chapter of America Coming Together – a group that is not linked with the Missouri Democratic Party but works to elect Democrats and to defeat Republicans. The ad features a Civil Rights Era image of a Black man being hosed, along with a number of claims that Republicans are trying to keep African Americans from voting. Speaking to Missourinet’s Steve Walsh, Farmer talked about voter suppression being a huge problem – claiming Senator Bond was part of the voter suppression effort in 2000 – and suggested ACT Missouri is raising a valid issue. She refused to condemn the ACT Missouri’s ad. State Auditor Claire McCaskill, the Democratic candidate for Governor, addressed the ad this week, saying it was “over the top.”
The candidates for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat have had at it, in Columbia, in their only debate of this campaign. The four contenders for the job – incumbent Republican Senator Christopher Bond, Democrat Nancy Farmer, Libertarian Kevin Tull, and Constitution Party candidate Don Griffin – answered questions on everything from the war in Iraq to policies regarding health care. On the war in Iraq … Bond and Farmer agree the U.S. must do what it takes to win … but they differ on how to achieve that goal. Tull and Griffin think the U.S. shouldn’t be there. On the reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, Bond is in favor of it … with conditions. He wants to make sure the drugs are safe for American consumers. Farmer says let’s open the border, pointing out the drugs are from the U.S. originally and are simply being brought back. Tull and Griffin agree … with each other. They don’t think the government should be involved in prescription drugs … or health care … or much else, for that matter.
Senator Christopher Bond says a recent public opinion poll is encouraging but he adds he’s not relying on polls in his race for re-election. A poll conducted for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KMOV-TV has Bond with a 53-to-38 percent edge over Democrat challenger Nancy Farmer. Bond notes it’s early yet and says nothing can be taken for granted. He dismisses the poll results that indicate he has a 41-percent unfavorable rating. He says that’s not the impression her gets when he campaigns in the state. The polls indicates Bond has a 55-percent favorable rating. Democrat Nancy Farmer dismisses the poll, which shows her trailing badly. Farmer says she hasn’t begun her television advertising yet and that that should turn those numbers around.
Public opinion polls are emerging to give us a glimpse of how politics is shaping up in Missouri. A poll conducted for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and KMOV-TV shows a virtual tie for Governor between Republican Matt Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill. The survey shows Blunt with 46-percent support and McCaskill with 45-percent. The race for U.S. Senate isn’t close. The same polling firm reports Senator Christopher Bond has a commanding lead over challenger Nancy Farmer. Bond, a Republican, enjoys 53-percent support. Farmer, a Democrat, has the support of only 38-percent of those surveyed. With a margin of error of 3-and-half percent, the numbers could either shrink to about an eight percent lead for Bond or swell to more than a 20-percent spread. Nine percent of those surveyed remain undecided.