Stephen Webber, Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party – GOTV – Warrensburg, Missouri – October 15, 2018


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Last night Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber stopped by a GOTV training session at the Coordinated Campaign field office in Warrensburg to speake to volunteers about the process leading up to the election in three weeks. The Warrensburg office is one of forty across the state. Offices are staffed by a field organizer and volunteers – a lot of volunteers who call from phone banks and go door to door contacting voters.

Stephen Webber, Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party – Warrensburg, Missouri – October 15, 2018.

The three most important things in a campaign are field, field, and field.

Have a plan. Have your ID ready. Study the very long ballot. Vote on November 6th.


Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) – Odessa, Missouri – October 15, 2018


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This afternoon in Odessa, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill (D) stopped at T & T’s Good Farm Cooking for a campaign town hall event. About fifty supporters packed in to listen to Senator McCaskill speak in a side dining area. Senator McCaskill then took questions, and when done remained to greet and listen to any individuals who had additional questions or wanted photos. Before departing the diner Senator McCaskill purchased a few pies for her staff to share on the campaign RV.

Senator Claire McCaskill (D) in Odessa, Missouri – October 15, 2018

Watching from the main dining room.

A Navy veteran speaks.

“…I’m a United States Navy, retired. And let me say this, if it wasn’t for Claire McCaskill and the late [Representative] Ike Skelton veterans would not be in the position that we’re in today. Because of those two individuals, this I know for a fact, I thank God that they stood up for veterans and the insurance and the benefits that we have. And I appreciate very much, and the sad part, we’ll never have another Ike Skelton, and that’s very sad, but we have Claire McCaskill [applause]…”

Listening to a constituent.

Before leaving the diner Senator McCaskill also took questions from a reporter for the local paper:

Senator Claire McCaskill (D): [….] …But we don’t want to go back to the bad old days where the insurance companies can just yank us around. [“Right.”] And over charge and refuse to insure. So, that’s really where we are right now. We need to hold on to the good parts and fix some of the problems that we still have.

Question: So as you’re looking at what to fix does some of that include some of the parts that weren’t put in, that didn’t get implemented or didn’t get [crosstalk][inaudible]

Senator McCaskill: Well, the parts we want to fix are the parts that are making the individual market so expensive. Which is, how do we get more people, more healthy young people in the pool. And a lot of that is figuring out a way to bring down those costs. Because if you’re a young person you want health insurance, too. But you’re not going to pay an arm and a leg for it ’cause you think, well, I’m healthy, I don’t really need it. So, you’ve got to figure out a way that you can attract those young healthy people in to the pool ’cause that brings down the cost for everybody. And that’s really what the provisions are that I support, and frankly, a lot of Republicans support, if [Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell [r] would just let us vote on it. The bill is written and it’s got good stuff in it, but Mitch McConnell, I, I don’t know why, I think because promised repeal and replace, he’s too afraid to fix. Does that make sense? [“Yes.”] They promised to repeal and replace, they didn’t have a replace [“Um, hm.”], so know they’re just hoping everybody will, will not notice.

Question: Okay. Um, this event has been really focused on health care, which I totally understand. What are some of the other thing that you think voters out here should be most thinking about?

Senator McCaskill: Well, I think workers’ rights. I mean, Missourians spoke with a really loud voice against Prop A, um, in August. This county was no different than most Missouri counties. The margin was very large against Prop A. Josh Hawley [r] supports Prop A. He thinks that the bosses should be able to drive wages down even further. Um, minimum wage. We have a very reasonable proposal to raise minimum wage, on the ballot in November. I’m for it, Josh Hawley’s against it. So, there really is another really big contrast on workers’ rights [“Um, hm.”] and that’s where I think he’s really out of step with Missourians, not just on the health care stuff, but that. And finally, that he supports the idea that there should be anonymous dark money allowed in politics. I oppose it. He, um, and he likes to come back and say, well, you’ve got dark money helping you. Here’s what I’ve said over and over again, if you can’t figure out who paid for the ad, I don’t care if it’s for me or against me, you should ignore it.

Question: All right. Um, he’s spoken a lot about middle class values. You want to say a little bit about what your value come from?

Senator McCaskill: Well, you know, I worked my way through school as a waitress. Um, my family moved around a fair bit when I was a child, and because of the need for my dad to find a better job to support his family. Um, I was a single mom with three kids when I met my husband, who had had great success in business. The Republicans love successful businessmen when they run for president. They don’t like them so much when they’re married to a Democratic senator. [reporter laughter] So, um, I’ve done fifty-two town halls in the last year in Missouri, all over the state, listening, a lot of places where I’m not very popular. I don’t think Josh Hawley’s ever had a town hall. So, I really am confident that I am in better touch with Missouri than he is. If you’re not willing to stand in a room in front of people that you work for and let them ask you any question they want to ask, then I don’t know that you have a right to be in elective office.

Question: All right. [“Okay.”] Anything else that you think people out here need to know about you or the race?

Senator McCaskill: …I think that everybody should check fact checks. [reporter laughter] I mean, there are absolutely blatant lies being told about me, my family, my votes. They should check, you know, check for themselves with these independent fact checkers. They’re going to be astonished how many of the ads are being run for Josh Hawley have been deemed false by independent fact checkers [“Um, hm.”].


A trio of republican operatives, two in costumes, waited outside to harass Senator McCaskill as she left the diner to board their campaign RV. As they were waiting I asked one of the costumed operatives standing near me, “You get paid for this?” He said nothing in response, but reached for his smart phone to start recording.

Campaign Finance: You think someone is serious about GOTV?


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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for a PAC:

C171334 10/14/2018 MOVE Ballot Fund America Votes 1155 Connecticut Ave NW Suite 600 Washington DC 20036 10/11/2018 $250,000.00

[emphasis added]

Progressive interests. Turning out the vote, eh?

“My God, they’re using our own weapons against us…”

Funny that.

Campaign Finance: on a roll


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The republican candidate for State Auditor is well on the way to setting a Missouri record when it comes to a dollars to votes ratio in campaign fundraising and spending for a statewide candidate from a major party.

Via the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C171374: Saundramcdowellformissouri.Com
Committee Type: Candidate
3854 South Ave
Springfield Mo 65807
Party Affiliation: Republican
Established Date: 12/06/2017
Information Reported On: 2018 – October Quarterly Report
Beginning Money on Hand $5,006.96
Monetary Receipts + $38,927.52
Monetary Expenditures – $16,745.05
Contributions Made – $0.00
Other Disbursements – $731.85
Subtotal $21,450.62
Ending Money On Hand $26,457.58

[emphasis added]

So far, so good.

You can feel the enthusiasm of the six individuals who contributed the maximum of $2,600.00 to the campaign in the quarter ending on September 30th.


About that State Auditor race (August 18, 2018)

If you don’t pay your bills, you’re just a deadbeat (September 15, 2018)

How not to run for State Auditor (October 6, 2018)



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A June 22, 2018 protest imitates life at Representative Kevin Yoder’s (r) district office in Overland Park, Kansas:

I really do care. Do U?

That was then:

Melania dons jacket saying ‘I really don’t care. Do U?’ ahead of her border visit — and afterward
By Betsy Klein, CNN
Updated 3:14 PM ET, Thu June 21, 2018
“It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe,” East Wing communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN in a statement.

This is now. Melania Trump, on an ABC interview, about her wardrobe:

Melania Trump tells @TomLlamasABC she wore the ‘I really don’t care’ jacket “for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. And I want to show them that I don’t care.” #MelaniaTrump
9:31 PM – 12 Oct 2018

Uh, we knew that already.

By the way, Melania Trump is also a birther.


Protest imitates fashion (June 22, 2018)

Campaign Finance: middle classy


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At the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C180050: Middle Class Missouri Pac
Committee Type: Political Action
Po Box 428
Columbia Mo 65205
Established Date: 01/27/2018
Information Reported On: 2018 – 30 Day After Special Election-6/5/2018
Beginning Money on Hand $14,004.28
Monetary Receipts + $5,000.00
Monetary Expenditures – $18,888.43
Contributions Made – $0.00
Other Disbursements – $13.90
Subtotal ($13,902.33)
Ending Money On Hand $101.95

Now they have a lot more. Today:

C180050 10/12/2018 Middle Class Missouri PAC Missouri AFL-CIO COPE 227 Jefferson Street Jefferson City MO 65101
10/11/2018 $25,000.00

C180050 10/12/2018 Middle Class Missouri PAC Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union No. 36 2319 Chouteau Ave Suite 100 St Louis MO 63103 10/12/2018 $12,500.00

C180050 10/12/2018 Middle Class Missouri PAC MO Organizing & Voter Engagement Action 4526 Paseo Blvd Kansas City MO 64110 10/12/2018 $25,000.00

C180050 10/12/2018 Middle Class Missouri PAC United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 655 300 Weidman Road Ballwin MO 63011 10/12/2018 $25,000.00

C180050 10/12/2018 Middle Class Missouri PAC Missouri NEA PAC 1810 East Elm Street Jefferson City MO 65101 10/12/2018 $30,000.00

[emphasis added]

It was a good day. Because of working people.

Jason Smith goes all Trump; lies about motor-voter laws and immigration


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Rep. Jason Smith (R-8) has decided to go all in on Donald Trump’s “signature issue” for the midterm and has sent out a press release decrying “the evils of immigration.” In the process he also copied Trump’s modus operandi by resorting to lies and conspiracy theories:

Cities in California, Illinois, and Maryland are taking the extreme step of disregarding their state constitutions and registering illegal immigrants to vote in elections.

This is the latest push by the radical left to give illegal immigrants the rights and privileges reserved for American citizens, without any respect to the rule of law and our immigration process.

What Smith’s on about is automatic motor-voter registration laws. Unfortunately for Smith, the conservative claim that these laws will permit non-citizens to vote has been thoroughly debunked. For instance, in reference to California – which has experienced difficulty in duplicating the seamless implementation that characterized the process in states like Oregon – non-citizens are neither automatically registered nor empowered to vote:

The false story, on and circulating on Facebook in recent days, is the latest in a series of such claims, which misrepresent a law designed to increase voter registration among U.S. citizens in California. Users of the social media site flagged the story as potentially false and rightfully so.


While it’s true that undocumented residents living in California can obtain driver’s licenses, the state has not passed any laws that also provide them the right to vote. The New Motor Voter Act was passed in an effort to improve voter turnout, and while this law does automatically register citizens to vote when they obtain or renew their driver’s licenses, that action only applies to citizens who have already attested and/or documented an eligibility to vote.

Smith’s diatribe is full of such dishonest assertions – he basically hits all the low points that Republicans are using to try and muddy the current sad state of our immigration policy in the U.S. – policy that the GOP, which controls the legislative and executive branch of the government, could have the changed to fit their preferences at any time in the past two years. Somehow, despite any evidence, Rep. Smith manages to conflate Democrats desire to enact a humane and functional border policy with advocacy for “open borders.”

But, of course, these specious claims have another truly evil purpose: to present Democrats as irrational radicals, Trump’s “angry leftwing mob,” perhaps even, as lyin’ Donnie would have it, evil. Democrats who are repelled by images of babies torn from their mothers’ arms are characterized as cynical and casual lawbreakers by a cadre of demonstrably cynical scofflaws with whom Rep. Smith has chosen to identify himself.

Will dishonest attacks on Democrats pay off? Will demeaning and lying about Democratic lawmakers and their efforts to solve the problems posed by desperate brown people trickling over the Southern border divert attention away from GOP failures over the past couple of years? Maybe – but there’s a good case to be made that the obvious racism that shores up the GOP immigration stance and the brutality that it attempts to justify might backfire come November. After all, most Americans are neither cruel nor stupid.