Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in April, 2012

PLEASE – ONCE AGAIN – let your representative hear your values about education and freedom of action.

Missouri NEA Special Legislative Action Alert, April 27, 2012
By Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director

ACTION ALERT: HOUSE TO DEBATE EVALUATION/REDUCTION IN FORCE BILL
The House Rules Committee approved HCS/HB 1526 (Scott Dieckhaus) on April 26, and the bill may be debated in the House early next week.

HCS/HB 1526 takes away local control by imposing detailed mandates on teacher evaluation, such as requiring at least fifty percent of evaluations to be based on student test scores. The bill even prohibits districts and employees from designing evaluation systems within collective bargaining negotiations.

The bill also undermines the reduction in force (RIF) requirements and repeals the state minimum salary law for experienced teachers with a Master’s degree.

The Association strongly opposes the bill.

ACTION NEEDED: YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! PLEASE CALL, WRITE OR E-MAIL TO URGE YOUR STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO OPPOSE HCS/HB 1526.

The following link will connect you to the MNEA Legislative Action Center Action Alert on HCS/HB 1526.

Type in your zip code and the alert will automatically be directed to your state representative. The Action Alert contains a brief summary and a brief, editable message box to help you send an email to your state representative on the issue.

YOUR MESSAGE WILL HAVE A GREATER IMPACT IF YOU PERSONALIZE THE MESSAGE AND ADD YOUR OWN CONCERNS REGARDING THE BILL.

http://www.capwiz.com/nea/mo/issues/alert/?alertid=60930121&type=ST

At the 2012 Truman Day Dinner, 2nd District Commissioner, Ann Schroeder, confessed her inspiration to run for the 109th state representative district. She’d been on the fence but when she discovered Paul Curtman’s plan to move into our area for the sole purpose of keeping his day job in Jeff City she decided to step up.

You see, because of redistricting Curtman found himself in the same district as fellow birther and conspiracy theorist, Majority Leader Tim Jones (R-Eureka). Had he tried to primary Jones, the newbie Curtman would have most certainly lost. So instead of doing the honorable thing and stepping aside he chose to change his address to keep those government paychecks rolling in. Seeing this blatant example of political opportunism being perpetrated on the county she treasures is what convinced Schroeder to fight back. Good for her.

But contemplate this: At the same time Curtman is busy taking up residency in our district for his own self-serving interests, he believes President Barack Obama is a Muslim interloper who has slipped into America from the outside for his own opportunistic and exploitative reasons. In fact, fear of the other is so horrifying to Curtman he’s wasted most of his freshman term pushing idiotic anti-Sharia Law legislation modeled by radical lawyer and white supremacist, David Yerushalmi. There’s so much hypocrisy here it makes my head hurt.

Ann’s too reserved to say so publicly but she shouldn’t be. Curtman is a carpetbagger and a hypocrite.

Congratulations to Darin Gilley for winning the 2012 Democrat of the Year award at last night’s Annual Truman Day Dinner. We had two excellent finalists this year but Darin edged Patricia Schuba of LEO to bring home the gold.

Readers of this site will recognize Darin’s name from the “Your Paycheck” labor blog. He’s worked on political campaigns and served as Rep. Mike Frame’s Treasurer. Darin has also worked with Jobs For Justice, the AFL-CIO, The Alliance for American Manufacturing, the Coalition for Labor Union Women and the UAW to fight the proposed Right-To-Work (for less) law in Missouri.

On a personal note, I hope some day to see Darin run for office. He’s got everything a viable candidate needs to win in this area. He’s passionate and well-spoken, he’s got mad people and public speaking skills, and has a large network of support. He is also unafraid to publicly stake out a position on topics he cares deeply about and unapologetically fight for those values. There’s nothing Republican-Lite about Darin.

But maybe most importantly, he’s sane. That wouldn’t be a factor in ordinary times but because the current crop of GOP lawmakers in Jeff City embrace every paranoid conspiracy theory that lands in their inbox it’s a characteristic that is sadly in short supply these days.

Way to go, Darin! You’ve earned it and have a bright political future ahead of you.

As we approach this weekend’s Truman Day Dinner Democrats have a lot to celebrate.  We have changed this country from wealth for the few in the Gilded Age to creating the largest middle class in history.  While the challenges are many, enjoy this fact-checked story of a day in the life of Joe Republican to see how far we’ve come.  Does this remind you of any friends or family?

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF JOE REPUBLICAN

 Joe gets up at 6 A.M. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee.  The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water quality standards.  With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication.  His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it, too.

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Missouri NEA Legislative Update, Week 16, No. 2, April 24, 2012
By Otto Fajen, MNEA Legislative Director

SENATE PASSES K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION BUDGETS
The Senate spent most of the day on April 24 “at ease” while informal budget negotiations went on. Actual debate began when the Senate reconvened in the evening. The Senate first approved a Senate Substitute version of HCS/HB 2014 (Ryan Silvey), the supplemental budget bill for the current fiscal year.

Sen. Schaefer offered Senate Substitute versions of the K-12 (HB 2002) and higher education (HB 2003) budget bills. Responding to the requests of Senators who had threatened to block passage of the entire budget, the SS versions of HB 2002 and HB 2005 move $8.3 million for early childhood education from DESE (HB 2002) to the Office of Administration (HB 2005), eliminate grants to new programs, reduce the grants to the current recipients by 25%, require DESE to promulgate rules concerning implementation of the programs, prohibit distribution of the funds by the Center for Family Policy Research and provide that the funding shall not be used to support a Quality Rating System for early childhood programs.

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From Otto Fajen’s report:

GOOD JOBS FIRST ACT
The House Economic Development Committee will hear HB 1571 (Jeanette Mott Oxford D-59) on April 24. The bill establishes the Good Jobs First Act which substantially increases the accountability and reporting requirements for all state development subsidies to corporations. The bill limits development subsidies to those creating jobs with good salaries within the state at a cost to the state of no more than $35,000 per job. The Association supports the bill.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Time: 5:00 PM
Location: House Hearing Room 3
You can find information about HB1571 at:
http://www.house.mo.gov/billsummary.aspx?bill=HB1571&year=2012&code=R

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The AFL-CIO has just released CEO Pay and the 99%, a website devoted to documenting the pay packages of CEO’s and their relationship with average workers.  I would feel really bad if these folks had to pay the same tax rate that the rest of us pay!

CEO Pay and the 99% shows that a CEO of a company in the S&P 500 Index, on average, received $12.9 million in total compensation in 2011. That’s nearly a 14 percent raise over the previous year. And that’s on top of a 23 percent increase in 2010.

In stark contrast, the average wage for workers hovered at $34,000 in 2011. Median household income fell $3,700 over the past decade. And those who are employed received an average 2.8 percent raise—barely keeping up with inflation.

I came into possession of a political pamphlet written in 1950 by Gerald L. K. Smith titled Too Much and Too Many Roosevelts. After his death in 1945, FDR’s sons aspired to enter public life with the encouragement of their mother, Eleanor, who evidently struck fear into the hearts of conservatives.

Smith beautifully demonstrates how the kooky and paranoid right-wing conspiracies we hear today are just variations on longstanding themes. At that time, it was Mrs. Roosevelt who was cast as the power-hungry antagonist with evil intent, which makes sense since strong women with ideas of their own must have been as much a threat to the white, male psyche then as Barack Obama is today.

As you read the following passage replace “female” with “black” and “Russians” with “Muslims” and it’s something that could have been written yesterday on any number of conservative blogs …

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Volkswagen Motors of Germany, the parent company of VW and Audi has just selected a location for it’s new North American plant – Mexico!  Automotive News is reporting that the primary reason is to avoid a 10% tariff levied by Europe on all vehicles made in America and imported into Europe.  Of course, the U.S. does no such thing to European automobiles sold here.

Another reason is VW may have had a hard time finding another state like Tennessee which coughed up $577 million dollars in taxpayer money for the only VW plant in America to do the same.  Compare this with the relatively small  but effective tax incentive of $15 million per year for ten years that Governor Nixon promoted and signed to convince Ford to invest over a billion dollars in Kansas City.  The same incentive was used to persuade General Motors to expand production to three shifts in Wentzville – both of these actions are helping maintain and create thousands of Missouri jobs.

Of course the real reason for all this is that Governor Nixon sees the whole picture of Missourians as producers and consumers and both are necessary for a healthy economy.  VW sees America as a market of consumers that are evidently not worthy of producing this product. 

The link to the Automotive News video story will also enjoy a brief story on the many ways Ford is using renewables in their vehicles.  From coconut, soy, and recycled denim come a variety of non-petroleum plastics and resins used in Ford vehicles.

What we need is less government regulation and more deep-sea drilling …

While the true extent of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was not known for about 4 years, as Al Jazeera notes in the video above, the repercussions of BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico may become apparent more quickly.

Discovering eyeless shrimp, lesioned fish and other mutated and underdeveloped seafood, fisherman in the Gulf are pointing fingers at the BP spill. Biologist Dr. Darryl Felder told the news agency that Gulf seafood populations are dropping at alarming rates and that species richness is “diminished.”

The Gulf Restoration Network‘s Scott Eust explained the bizarre shrimp deformities. “We have some evidence of deformed shrimp, which is another developmental impact. So, that shrimp’s grandmother was exposed to oil while the mother was developing, but it’s the grandchild of the shrimp that was exposed grows up with no eyes.”

Another fine example of “intelligent beings that know how to manage things.”

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