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“…I think that there are two competing visions for the state right now. I think one of those visions is one that says, let’s throw up our hands, just kind of get everything we can on the way down. It’s sort of that old race to the bottom…. And then the other side is sort of let’s do the tough things and this will be a great state….”

Representative Jason Kander (D) is an announced candidate for Secretary of State. On Sunday evening Representative Kander spoke to Lafayette County Democrats at their meeting in Higginsville.  


Lafayette County Democrats: Emanuel Cleaver, Jason Kander and Holmes Osborne in Higginsville (January 9, 2012)

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D) in Higginsville (January 9, 2012)

Representative Jason Kander (D) speaking to Lafayette County Democrats in Higginsville on Sunday evening.

Representative Jason Kinder (D): ….And in Afghanistan I was, um, a political military intelligence officer, which is a fancy way of saying my job was to investigate corruption, uh, within the Afghan government, find the bad guys who were pretending to be good guys. Uh, and then, so, I came back and I ran for the legislature, got to Jefferson City and, and found out that, uh, there was plenty of corruption there as well. [laughter] So, so, that’s been the real focus of my work in, in the Missouri House of Representatives. I, I, as a minority member of the, of the, as a minority member of the House I’ve worked with, with Republicans to pass, uh, the first real ethics bill in about a generation. Um, and that’s just kind of been my focus….

….The Secretary of State’s office does a few things, but, in, in short, it is the office that protects Democracy, protects free enterprise, uh, and protects our seniors from fraud. So, on that Democracy part, and Holmes [Osborne], when you get to Jeff City, as I believe you will, you’ll see that after a while what happens is it kind of just becomes a place where you work. Like any other place does, right, even though we work in this chamber that’s built for reverence. It’s, it’s much like a church, it’s got stained glass and, and you feel when you first get there like this is clearly a place where you are a participant in Democracy. And you can feel the reverence of the place. And then after a while that just kind of becomes your office. And people forget what their responsibilities are.  I’ve never really forgotten that largely because of the time that I’ve spent overseas.

And I’ll tell you a, a brief story about what I’m talking about. Um, when I was overseas for a, for a short period it was my job and two other guys’ job to protect a woman who was a member of the Afghan Parliament.  And the reason she needed guys with guns to protect her was because she was a woman who served in the Afghan Parliament.  It wasn’t, it wasn’t that she had a specific stand on an issue or anything like that. It was just that, the way I drive home on Thursdays from Jefferson City, when she would drive back to Jalalabad from, from Kabul she had to have protection or she could be killed. And her predecessor had been killed because her predecessor was a woman, uh, who served in the Afghan Parliament. I think about her a lot and I think about the fact that she was just trying to preserve a Democracy. That’s what she believed in. And I guarantee you, that when she went to vote or when she went to take positions on issues she wasn’t thinking about what this interest or that interest wanted or what political pressure was being applied. She understood the idea of preserving Democracy.

The Secretary of State runs elections. The other party in this state has a vision for the state that says simply that they want to put their thumbs on, on the scales of Democracy and tip it over to their side. They want to have ballot language that is slanted in, in a way I think that, uh, loads the question, uh, unfairly. My vision for it is, is really simple. We should put the information in front of you and let you make the decision. That doesn’t mean that our side will win every time. But I think it’s the right thing to do.

We should make sure that we continue to stand up to Wall Street and folks who would prey on our seniors. Uh, and continue to do that regardless of whether it’s the good political thing to do. Because it’s the right thing.

So that’s what the Secretary of State’s office does. It’s what I intend to do. I think that there are two competing visions for the state right now. I think one of those visions is one that says, let’s throw up our hands, just kind of get everything we can on the way down. It’s sort of that old race to the bottom…. And then the other side is sort of let’s do the tough things and this will be a great state.

And I think that’s what you do when you say, well, we’re not gonna load the question in a way that makes it where our appellate judges have to be elected one day. You know, I don’t want to see the day where, uh, if you want to be on the appellate court or the Supreme Court in this state you gotta go and you gotta have fundraisers. And you’ve got to make sure you get the right interests on your side. I don’t think that’s the right way in this state to go. I don’t think that we should make it more difficult to organize the workplace or make it easier to discriminate against you based on your gender or, or your race. I don’t think that’s the right way to go.

Uh, one of the big issues they’ve tried to make, one of the big issues in this in this race is photo ID. My rule is real simple, photo ID, going to vote – if it, if a policy makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat, then I’ll be for it. If it doesn’t, then I won’t.

I’ve served on the Missouri Veterans Commission. I’ve been to a lot of veterans homes where you go in and you’ll talk to a veteran and you’ll find out that this is a person who was in Normandy. But, they haven’t driven in a long time, they don’t have a license. I think that if you were at, on the beach at Normandy you’ve earned the right to vote.  I don’t think we should put the [inaudible] that right….

Representative Jason Kander (D).


For those of you brought here by Representative Shane Schoeller’s (r) campaign web site you’ll want to follow up with this:

Rep. Shane Schoeller (r): reading comprehension isn’t a strong point (January 12, 2012)

Here’s a tip – cutting and pasting a quote out of context may help you with your right wingnut base, but it isn’t going to make you look very good to everyone else….