Franklin County Democrats

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Browsing Posts tagged Tim Jones

The Springfield News-Leader editorial regarding Right-to-Work is summed up with their headline, Right-to-Work bad for state.

While the state is finally coming out of the last recession, middle-class and working-class Missourians are looking to the legislature to take steps to help their bottom lines — not the bottom lines of any political parties or donors.

Right to Work is not the way to get that done.

Unions are not holding this state, its businesses or its employees hostage. With only about 9 percent of Missouri employees affiliated with a union, and with laws that already side with businesses in union contracts, unions are not responsible for impeding the state’s economic growth.

But unions can provide a positive impact on the quality of work done in our state and the wages paid to those who provide that labor.

One area where this is easily seen is the building trades. In fact, the Builders’ Association, which represents more than 900 commercial building companies in Missouri, both union and non-union, testified before the House Workforce Development & Workplace Safety Committee in opposition to Right-to-Work efforts.

One of the association’s arguments — echoed by local union and contracting representatives — is about training programs offered to workers through labor unions. Trained and safety-certified workers make sure that the construction done in Missouri is high quality.

Randy Ganz, president of DeWitt & Associates in Springfield, said it has been a challenge to find qualified workers since the recession. “If we don’t pay a good, solid wage … how are we going to keep a good workforce base in Missouri?”

All In with Chris Hayes this week featured an investigative report on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Many members of the Missouri House and Senate are members of ALEC including area legislator and Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Tim Jones.  Tim Jones is currently a state co-chair of ALEC. This video features an interview with a Nebraska State Senator that was a member of ALEC but has since renounced his membership, along with a majority of the Nebraska legislature tells why he could no longer work with the group.

This week was full of news related to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  The torrent started with The Guardian releasing a report that emphasized the financial difficulties the group was experiencing due to losing corporate members in the last year.  OF course when the real purpose of the group becomes known to the public, it’s no wonder a responsible corporation would want to run away.

What is that purpose?

  “ALEC,” said Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., a former member of the group, “is nothing more than a corporate-funded and -dominated group that operates much like a dating service, only between legislators and special interests.”

One way they woo legislators is outlined by Dana Milbank in his piece Is ALEC losing its grip?

American Legislative Exchange Council, a powerful, secretive organization funded by the Koch brothers and other corporate interests that is famous for drafting conservative legislation that Republican state legislatures adopt down to the last semicolon.

Even more disturbing for residents of Franklin County is how often area legislators push these corporate written bills.  But, the scariest thing for any fan of representative democracy is not just the fact that Pacific area State Representative and Speaker of the House of Representatives Tim Jones is the Co-Chair of ALEC’s Missouri Chapter but what that really means.

Among the ALEC documents obtained by the Guardian: a draft loyalty oath for legislators who serve as the group’s state chairs, declaring that “I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.”

Obviously, will Tim Jones represent his constituents or his corporate benefactors becomes the question.  The answer will be provided by his actions.  His record points toward a loyalty to his contributors.  If that’s the case, be prepared for more legislation like that outlined in No Medicaid Expansion, Thank ALEC.

They’re also proud of  their Resolution against Medicaid Expansion, bragging that “just 23 states have plans to move forward with expansion at this time.”

Thanks for that, too, ALEC! Every uninsured working poor person has you to thank when they get sick and have no access to health care. I’ll bet it makes you all warm and fuzzy to know that corporations like UPS, Altria, Peabody Energy and PhRMA are busily working alongside corrupt lawmakers to see to it that you die, and die quickly.

What are they planning to do to us next?

According to their published agenda, they are considering several new and/or recycled pieces of model legislation. Here’s the list:

  • Health Professional Modernization Act
  • Medicaid Block Grant Act
  • Medical Consultation Act
  • Navigator Background Check Act
  • Oral Health Standards Act
  • Patient Access Expansion Act

Those sound nice and friendly, don’t they? They’re not. They’re the same tired conservative ideas wrapped in pretty names.

Who will Tim Jones represent? His constituents or his ALEC sponsors? We’re watching.

After yesterday’s post on the antics of conservative radio king Rush Limbaugh it might be a nice contrast to consider this DailyKos article 15 Things We Would Know If There Was A Liberal Media.

It is more than obvious that the corporate media promotes a corporate agenda, not a liberal one.  Check out the link for all 15 but here’s the first 3.

1. Where the jobs went.

Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness.

Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg as multinational corporations account for only about 20% of the labor force.

When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

 photo outsourcing_zps2cf6f1b0.jpg

Source: Wall Street Journal via Think Progress.

2.  Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality.

In 2010, 20% of the people held approximately 88% of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1% alone held 35% of all net worth.

The bottom 80% of people held only 12% of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80% held 18% of net worth.

These statistics are not Democrat or Republican. They are widely available to reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the “liberal” media?

 photo ownership_occupy_poster_zps7879609f.jpg

Source: Occupy Posters

3. ALEC.

If there was a corporate organization that drafted laws and then passed them on to legislators to implement, wouldn’t you think the “liberal” media would report on them?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is such an organization. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:

  • Stand Your Ground laws
  • Voter ID laws
  • Right to Work laws
  • Privatizing schools
  • Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies
  • Tobacco industry legislation

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by this group of corporations. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor.

This is the primary reason for so much similar bad legislation in different states.

Hello … “liberal media” … over here!!!

They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the “liberal media” will send some reporters.

Just a reminder that Franklin County State Representative and Speaker of the House Tim Jones is co-chair of the ALEC Missouri caucus.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch summarized this week’s legislative session of made-up solutions to made-up problems in Missouri House Wins Triple Crown of Right-Wing Porn.

What makes the entire Wednesday night agenda more absurd is that the House actually had something serious to talk about: education reform. But Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, didn’t bother to start the education discussion until after taking meaningless votes on fantasy bills that will never have any effect on a single job or constitutional right for any Missourian, ever.

The education bill, SB 125, was supposed to be Mr. Jones’ priority, yet he couldn’t pass even the most watered-down version. Keep in mind, much of the bill mimics what the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is already doing in terms of implementing teacher evaluations. Other parts of the bill were very bad. We’re glad it died.

But the discussion was important. Mr. Jones didn’t even let the opponents speak.

Perhaps some of them were wearing blue and he thought they were undercover spies for the U.N.

If you’re wondering how this happens in an actual legislative body, it’s helpful to study Mr. Nieves’ history.

When he ran for the Senate in 2010, the Republican leadership supported his primary opponents, correctly identifying him as an ideological extremist. After winning, Mr. Nieves was accused in a police report by a Republican political operative of holding him in his office against his will, throwing him up against the wall and threatening him with a gun.

Talk about hard core.

Now Mr. Nieves is in Republican leadership, and his paranoid delusions are being passed off as laws.

This is Missouri in 2013: Brian Nieves is taken seriously.

Supreme Court Justice Stewart Potter once famously wrote of pornography that it was hard to define, but “I know it when I see it.”

In many ways, that’s what the Missouri legislative session was on Wednesday night. It was pornography for gun-toting, anti-federal-government, Obama-hating conspiracy theorists.

Hard core.

My good friend State Representative Mike Frame lent a little humor to this delusional situation with his choice of headwear as noted in this national news story from NPR.

Democratic state Rep. Michael Frame was reprimanded by GOP Speaker Tim Jones for wearing a tinfoil hat, as a sartorial comment on the nature of the legislation before the House.


House Speaker Tim Jones commenced a series of retaliatory purges on April 25 (read about it here), removing a total of four State Representatives from key committee duties based on voting their conscience in opposition to the Students First / Rex Sinquefield education agenda.  The Association asks that you take a moment to thank those legislators who stood with local educators and now face the consequences for doing so.

First, the Speaker removed Reps. Denny Hoskins  and Jeff Messenger from the House Fiscal Review Committee after they opposed SB 125  on April 25.  The bill had bi-partisan opposition and failed to advance on a 4-4 tie vote.  The Speaker immediately removed Messenger and Hoskins (members of his own party) from the committee, apparently in retaliation for their vote against the bill.

Later that same day, the Speaker expanded his purge by removing Reps. Elaine Gannon and Mike Thomson from the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee.  Both Gannon and Thomson had consistently joined with minority caucus members on the committee in opposing the harmful changes in HB 631 and later in SB 125.

The Association appreciates the brave stance taken by all those who voted against HB 631 and SB 125, despite the Speaker’s intense pressure tactics and retaliation.

Being singled out for these retaliatory tactics is a difficult thing to endure.  Please take a moment to reach out and call, write or send an email thanking these legislators who stood with local educators and now face bullying tactics and retaliation from the Speaker:

Rep. Elaine Gannon – (573) 751-7735,

Rep. Denny Hoskins - (573) 751-4302,

Rep. Jeff Messenger – (573) 751-2381,

Rep. Mike Thomson – (573) 751-9465,

The Sunday Post-Dispatch has an above the fold story, Freebies in capital are hard to track, that features Franklin County’s newest legislator – Tim Jones of Pacific.  It seems Mr. Jones is in the practice of accepting gifts from lobbyists than using campaign funds to pay them back so constituents can’t find out about them.

But some legislators use campaign funds to pay back the lobbyists. That practice has raised questions in the capital, because state law says campaign contributions “shall not be converted to any personal use.”

Take a disappearing expenditure involving House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka. He and his wife, Suzanne, received free tickets to watch the NCAA men’s basketball regionals on March 25 from AT&T’s suite at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

AT&T lobbyist John Sondag initially reported the tickets as unspecified “entertainment” costing $100 for Jones and $100 for the legislator’s wife. But on July 3, Jones’ campaign committee, Citizens for Timothy W. Jones, paid $200 to AT&T, calling it a campaign “fundraising expense.”

Don’t worry Franklin County, Mr. Jones has stated he is not influenced by lobbyist spending. After all, would a guy that goes to these lengths to keep his lobbyist gifts secret lead you wrong?

When the fail is so strong one Facepalm is not enough

Last month, after birther extraordinaire Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett’s investigation into President Obama’s birthplace produced disappointing results, leading him to say, “I consider the matter closed,” it was tempting to take him at his word. Unsurprisingly, Bennett now has a new crazy conspiracy theory about Obama that’s sure to keep his fellow birthers in a fever …

Secretary of State Ken Bennett says he’s convinced Obama was born in Hawaii, but he now believes the president fraudulently claimed to be born in Kenya so he could get into college. He also believes the president has spent millions of dollars since then to cover it up.

The co-chairman of Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona, Bennett made the comments recently at an event where he pleaded for local Republicans to unite behind their party’s presumptive nominee for president. He told them a world under Obama is “just very, very scary.”

No, what’s “very, very scary” is these kooks are no longer relegated to radical right-wing message boards on the Internet along with their fellow UFO abductees but have risen to levels of power in the government such as Sect. of State of Arizona and leader of the Missouri House GOP in Jefferson City. They’re not fringe elements out in the ether anymore. They’re in charge!

You have to say one thing for Republicans, they are nothing if not relentless. Not a week after Cole County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Joyce ruled unconstitutional a joint resolution passed by the Missouri Legislature that would require voters to present a photo ID card at polling places, Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones and Rep. Jason Smith, co-chairs of the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Missouri, are cosponsoring a new ballot measure in response to Judge Joyce’s ruling. They are that concerned about vote fraud in Missouri.

So how bad is the problem of voter fraud in our state? It’s almost nonexistent. The Brennan Center for Justice conducted case studies by state and could only confirm eight cases of ineligible votes cast in Missouri between 2000 and 2006 in municipal and statewide elections. To put that into perspective eight cases represent less than 0.0003% of all votes cast. And none of these cases would have been prevented by these voter ID laws, according to the study.

“This is just the latest in a national effort by regressive politicians to help their candidates in close elections,” said Sean Soendker Nicholson, Director of Progress Missouri. “Politicians like Shane Schoeller and Bill Stouffer who push these laws never acknowledge their real purpose, which is to turn away from the polls people who are more likely to support progressive candidates — particularly the young, the poor, the elderly and minorities.”

Here is a recap of the deadly Twitter spree Rep. Tim Jones from Eureka went on last week. As you read these keep in mind that A). Jones aspires to become the next Speaker of the Missouri State House, and B). He’s a grown man:

  • Revenge best served cold. As it will be to left wing trolls who have so gleefully & fraudulently attacked me #bliss [tweet now deleted — screencap here]
  • Gleeful, fraudulent, Cheetos stained, basement dwelling, hateful, lonely left wing trolls: revenge is best served cold. #cheers [tweet now deleted — screencap here]
  • Nasty, lying, Cheetos stained, basement dwelling, lonely, spiteful, hateful, deceptive left wing trolls: It shall be served cold. #cheers! [tweet now deleted — screencap here]
  • It’s simply too easy to flush out the hysterical Left. Way too easy.
  • Well, that was WAY too easy. It’s good to purge the ‘ol twitter account every once in awhile of the stalkers & harassers.
  • So easy to flush them out. Just say something silly that offends THEIR thin skinned sensitivities & it’s like vultures on a bone.
  • And that should bring a few more out. Then back to business.

You see what he did there? After realizing he’d made a complete fool of himself he deletes the evidence then claims he was just trying to get a reaction from the “hysterical left” who he ironically accuses of “lying.” You see, he outsmarted everyone. He really got us. Uh, huh. But even if that’s the case how is it any better? It still exhibits the emotional maturity level of a petulant 5th grader. What kind of an adult behaves this way?

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