It began with Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder (R) participating in a media conference Tuesday afternoon supporting legislative efforts to give the state more control of the federal Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri.
Kinder and others argue the federal park has languished under federal control. Kinder, in a release, says, “Under the supposed benevolent care of the federal government, this area now is considered threatened. The solution should not be to give the federal government more authority and power over management of this valuable state resource. Doing so not only restricts Missourians and visitors from enjoying the rivers, but will hurt many small businesses in southern Missouri that depend on tourism and recreation dollars.
Kinder tweeted about the issue and his participation in the conference, to which Representative Chris Kelly (D-Columbia) replied, “yes!! Let’s put it back like it was … with Dodge trucks caught in the root wads. The oil in the water made neat rainbows.”In the somewhat lighthearted exchange that followed, Kelly asked Kinder to join him in a debate of the issues.
“You pick the date,” he tweeted to Kelly. “Shannon Co. Courthouse in Eminence. Weapons of your choice, Kelly. We ride at dawn.” He later added that the loser would have to buy at a Columbia restaurant and pool hall.
Kelly told the Lieutenant Governor he would begin looking for dates.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has decided he will not run for the 8th Congressional District in 2014. Kinder on October 1 formed an exploratory committee for a possible run.
In a statement released this afternoon Kinder says he doesn’t want to take on the workload of another campaign run that would be his seventh since 1992. He says, “These include three grueling statewide campaigns, in each of which I came from behind. Ask anyone who’s done it: A statewide race is exhausting physically, mentally, emotionally. An all-out run for Congress over the next year just isn’t in the cards.”
A campaign by Kinder would have set up a Republican primary for the seat. Congressman Jason Smith won the seat in June in a special election made necessary by the resignation of Joe Ann Emerson. Smith was selected for that election by a nomination committee over Kinder and former state senator Jason Crowell and went on to defeat the Democratic Party nominee, State Representative Steve Hodges.
Missouri Republican Party Chairman Ed Martin praised Kinder’s decision, saying it supports party unity. He adds, “We will continue to see that dedication through his term as Lieutenant Governor.”
His full statement is included below:
“After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to end the month-long, exploratory phase on an 8th District congressional candidacy by forgoing a race in 2014.
“This was a difficult decision. For 200 years dating back to the days of the Missouri Territory, both sides of my family have called Southeast Missouri home. My roots and my heart are in the 8th District of Southern Missouri. The opportunity for public service in Congress during this time of national crisis for the survival of liberty is one I felt the need to explore.
“And this impulse I felt all the more, given one salient fact. This astounding fact pertains to voters in the big majority of counties now comprising the 8th District: Voters have had only one chance to choose their Member of Congress, in open primaries on both sides following an incumbent’s retirement — with plenty of notice to all — in the 68 years since the end of World War II. That singular chance occurred 46 years ago next year — in 1968. No other congressional district of which I’m aware has a history this lacking in chances for the voters actually to decide. The circumstances, late last year, of the incumbent’s announcing her retirement four weeks after being re-elected guaranteed that this lamentable history would be extended yet again.
“For me, though, there have been six campaigns — one every four years — since my first Senate run in 1992. These include three grueling statewide campaigns, in each of which I came from behind. Ask anyone who’s done it: A statewide race is exhausting physically, mentally, emotionally. An all-out run for Congress over the next year just isn’t in the cards.
“Politics isn’t everything. In the midst of its sometimes frenzied demands, one feels the tug of Holy Scripture: “Be still and know that I am God.” Sometimes this injunction is flatly incompatible with the pitiless imperatives of the political calendar.
“I am deeply humbled by the many citizens who have urged me to run, who’ve pledged their financial support, and I thank them for their confidence. I regret that this decision will disappoint them.
“When I arrived in Jefferson City in 1993, the Democrats boasted what seemed permanent, decades-long majorities in the General Assembly. After a few years of very hard work, those majorities vanished, replaced by what once seemed impossible: Today’s huge Republican majorities. Working with so many others, I am proud of the role I played in bringing conservative governance to Missouri. We changed the course of events. In the words of my hero, Ronald Reagan, ‘We weren’t just marking time.’
“That work continues. I have been humbled by the confidence Missouri voters have placed in me, with my being the only Republican statewide official elected in both 2008 and 2012. I made a commitment, and I will keep that commitment to serve these four years, and beyond.”
The Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman says he’s learned that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms also wanted a list of Missouri concealed carry permit holders’ names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth.
Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) says according to an internal e-mail from the Highway Patrol, when the Social Security Administration requested a list of Missouri concealed carry permit holders, it said it was to conduct a joint investigation with the ATF.
A list was sent to the Social Security Administration but Schaefer doesn’t know if one went to the Bureau
“All I know at this point is it appears from the internal documents that the Department of Revenue, before they produced the information, knew that it was a joint request from both.”
Schaefer says, that the Revenue Department and Highway Patrol knew the ATF wanted the list is what concerns him the most.
“We’ve had a couple weeks’ worth of hearings and we have heard nothing about ATF, anyone knowing that this was going to ATF, until we actually came across it in the documents.”
The letter Schaefer is referring to on Monday was read to the House Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability by Highway Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Ron Replogle. Replogle did not state whether information was sent to the ATF.
Asked whether it is appropriate for the Bureau or the Social Security Administration, both law enforcement agencies, to have access to that information, Schaefer says it might be on an individual basis. He says to use the entire list of more than 160,000 Missourians who have CCWs is profiling.
A request has been made to have a Social Security Administration investigator testify to the Senate Appropriations Committee, and the Senator says he plans to make a similar request to the ATF to find out if it received the CCW list.
Schaefer says the documents also reveal that the second disc sent to the Social Security Administration was not encrypted, as lawmakers have been told.
“Apparently it was just on an XL protected, password protected file, and the actual password was on a piece of paper in the package with the discs.”
That password was “MOccw.”
The development has caught the attention of Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer. In a statement, his office says Luetkemeyer has sent a letter to the ATF asking about how involved it was in what he calls a “scandal.”
Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor is asking the legislature for money to help him look for waste in the state government.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has asked a House Budget subcommittee to return his budget in the new fiscal year to the level it was in 2009. He says he wants that money to help pay for a website to get tips about wasteful state government spending.
Kinder says he wants the additional money to maintain the website once it launches.
“If my office is unable to find waste, abuse and inefficiencies in government that more than make up for the increased budget allocation, I will discontinue the program and return the additional money to the state.”
The increase he is asking for would be about $38,000. Kinder says the website was ready to launch last year but he sat on it to avoid the appearance of political motivation.
A hearing takes place today in the lawsuit against the Secretary of State, over the ballot language written for an issue that would bar state officials from creating a state health insurance exchange without legislative or voter approval. Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green will hear the arguments.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder filed that suit, saying that ballot language is biased. “Tomorrow we’re going for a temporary restraining order asking the court to restrain the Secretary of State from moving forward with the ballot language. That’s a preliminary measure to stop further progress on that issue so that we can get to the merits of the issue (in the next hearing.)”
The hearing is also over consideration of a temporary injunction. Kinder says, “We’re holding our pants up with belt and suspenders both.”
Kinder says he hopes a decision will be made soon in the case. “We need it quickly because of the need to print military ballots … absentees and get them out.”
The Republican-led legislature voted this year to put that issue to voters.
A summary judgement hearing in the case is scheduled for August 28.
One of the leaders of the effort to pass limitations on malpractice cases in 2005 says the Supreme Court overturning those limits is a disappointment.
Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder says the Court’s decision will cause doctors to leave the state. “[The justices] have made it more expensive for physicians and surgeons to locate in Missouri with liability insurance protection, medical malpractice protection. They have made it more difficult for Missouri practitioners to recruit other excellent physicians and surgeons to come to our state. They have driven up costs for every healthcare practitioner who has to buy medical malpractice insurance.”
Kinder says the decision will make it harder for pregnant women to find an obstetricians/gynecologist in the state. “I know that there were cases where small towns … a small town such as Moberly or Macon or Lebanon … would be left entirely without a OBGYN practitioner because they can’t afford the malpractice rates. We’re headed back to that regrettable situation all over again.”
He adds, “It applies to surgical specialities and subspecialties such as neurosurgery. We got down to a point before this was passed where there were only four neurosurgeons in all of Kansas City, Missouri.”
Kinder says the limits must be put back in place. “These caps have worked in other states. They have worked well in Missouri for the seven years they have been in our law, and we’re going to have to go to work and get this back in our law now that the Supreme Court has caved in to the trial lawyers and undone them.”
Kinder also says the issue must be a part of the Governor’s race. “Governor Nixon has to declare where he is. Is he with Missouri’s healthcare practitioners and a great majority of our populace, or is he with the trial lawyers who bankroll his campaigns?”
Behind closed and locked doors, radio commentator Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians today in a private ceremony in the Missouri House of representatives.
In an event announced about 25 minutes before it began and not opened to the general public, Limbaugh’s bust was unveiled before a group made up mostly of Republican lawmakers, along with their staff, Limbaugh’s family and at least two political candidates – U.S. Senate hopeful Sarah Steelman and incumbant Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, who also spoke at the event. Highway Patrolmen guarded the entrances to the House Chamber.
Inductees to the Hall are chosen by the Speaker of the Missouri House. Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) says Limbaugh deserves the honor as an entertainer, and says nothing Limbaugh has said that has garnered controversy should overshadow the whole of his work and accomplishments.
The decision to honor Limbaugh generated contention in recent weeks, especially after a recent scandal during which Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress regarding access to contraceptives.
See the videos of Limbaugh speaking (top) and the other speakers and his introduction (bottom)
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, the only republican to hold a top office in Missouri, says he intends to join officials from 13 other states in taking legal action against the federal health-care bill.
“This health-care directive will pose a huge financial burden for our state,” Kinder said. “Tennessee’s Governor, a Democrat, even called this bill ‘the mother of all unfunded mandates.’ The true cost to Missouri taxpayers remains to be seen.”
Kinder says he’s written letters opposing the measure to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Gov. Nixon, also a democrat, to join him in opposition to the health-care bill. Kinder followed those requests by asking Attorney General Chris Koster, a democrat, to conduct a thorough legal review of the legislation to determine what provisions might violate the Constitution of the United States or the State of Missouri. [Read more…]
The Tour of Missouri professional bicycle race has concluded and supporter Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder says the event both boosts the state’s tourism industry and showcases what Missouri has to offer.
He’s been a driving force behind the tour, which kicked off last weekend in St. Louis and ended Sunday in Kansas City. Kinder says the bicyclists and spectators see Missouri’s natural beauty off the beaten path.
He says there was a big race in Spain going on at the same time, and many well-known and accomplished racers chose to do the Missouri tour instead. All of the top riders were right here in Missouri, he says.
Kinder says the race also spreads a good message to our youth about fitness in a time when obesity and diabetes are on the incline.
It looked like months ago that the race might be in trouble when Governor Nixon pulled funding for it. Kinder is urging Nixon to recognize the economic boost the race brings to the state and asking him to sign another three-year contract to host the event. He’s asking Missourians to e-mail Nixon and do the same. This year’s race was the third annual Tour of Missouri, ending the current contract.