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When Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, won election last fall to her first term in the House, her predecessor, Sam Page, advised her to be on the floor whenever it was in session, learning the ropes. She and three other progressive freshman women from St. Louis spoke to the West County Dems on Monday, and she commented on his advice:

So I think each one of us actually were among the few who were always on the House floor, always paying attention, trying to not only hear the debate but follow the processes. And I think it served each of us well.

Even if they paid attention, though, Jeanne Kirkton says they were lucky if they could keep from being caught flat footed.

Hmm. Reminds me of the way congressional Republicans kept the pharmaceutical bill open on the House floor into the wee hours of the night till they could twist enough arms to pass their bad legislation.

The Dems got Congress back not too long after that fiasco, and–with redistricting looming after the next election–2010 is the year it has to happen in Missouri.