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Tommy Sowers (D) is challenging long time incumbent Jo Ann Emerson (r) in the 8th Congressional District. The district has the highest poverty rate in the state:

Missouri 8 20.5% (124,990) [poverty rate] 30% (43,283) [child poverty rate]

* 72,661 women (22.54 percent) in the district live in poverty

* 9,177 African-Americans (36.19 percent) in the district live in poverty

Rep. Jo Ann Emerson

And the unemployment rate ain’t exactly stellar either.

You’d think that the sitting U.S. Representative would be looking out after working people.

Nope.

Jo Ann Emerson has a history of voting against legislation for fair pay for working people:

H.R.12 [2009]

Title: Paycheck Fairness Act

Sponsor: Rep DeLauro, Rosa L. [CT-3] (introduced 1/6/2009)      Cosponsors (200)

Related Bills: H.RES.5, S.182, S.3772

[….]

SUMMARY AS OF:

1/6/2009–Passed House without amendment.    

[….]

Paycheck Fairness Act – (Sec. 3) Amends the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) known as the Equal Pay Act to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages.

Revises the exception to the prohibition for a wage rate differential based on any other factor other than sex. Limits such factors to bona fide factors, such as education, training, or experience.

States that the bona fide factor defense shall apply only if the employer demonstrates that such factor: (1) is not based upon or derived from a sex-based differential in compensation; (2) is job-related with respect to the position in question; and (3) is consistent with business necessity. Avers that such defense shall not apply where the employee demonstrates that: (1) an alternative employment practice exists that would serve the same business purpose without producing such differential; and (2) the employer has refused to adopt such alternative practice.

Revises the prohibition against employer retaliation for employee complaints. Prohibits retaliation for inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing the wages of the employee or another employee in response to a complaint or charge, or in furtherance of a sex discrimination investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, or an investigation conducted by the employer.

Makes employers who violate sex discrimination prohibitions liable in a civil action for either compensatory or (except for the federal government) punitive damages.

States that any action brought to enforce the prohibition against sex discrimination may be maintained as a class action in which individuals may be joined as party plaintiffs without their written consent.

Authorizes the Secretary of Labor (Secretary) to seek additional compensatory or punitive damages in a sex discrimination action….

The vote:

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 8

H R 12      RECORDED VOTE      9-Jan-2009      1:19 PM

QUESTION:  On Passage

BILL TITLE: Paycheck Fairness Act

—- AYES    256 —

Carnahan

Clay

Cleaver

Skelton

—- NOES    163 —

Akin

Blunt

Emerson

Luetkemeyer

—- NOT VOTING    14 —

Graves

[emphasis added]

Then there’s the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Again, Jo Ann Emerson is no friend of working people:

H.R.11 [2009]

Title: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

Sponsor: Rep Miller, George [CA-7] (introduced 1/6/2009)      Cosponsors (195)

Related Bills: H.RES.5, S.181

Latest Major Action: 2/11/2009 Referred to Senate committee. Status: Read twice and referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.

[….]

SUMMARY AS OF:

1/9/2009–Passed House amended.

[….]

Title I: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 – Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 – (Sec. 3) Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to declare that an unlawful employment practice occurs when: (1) a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted; (2) an individual becomes subject to the decision or practice; or (3) an individual is affected by application of the decision or practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid. Allows liability to accrue, and allows an aggrieved person to obtain relief, including recovery of back pay, for up to two years preceding the filing of the charge, where the unlawful employment practices that have occurred during the charge filing period are similar or related to practices that occurred outside the time for filing a charge. Applies the preceding provisions to claims of compensation discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

(Sec. 4) Amends the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 to declare that an unlawful practice occurs when a discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted, when a person becomes subject to the decision or other practice, or when a person is affected by the decision or practice, including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid….

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 9

H R 11      YEA-AND-NAY      9-Jan-2009      1:28 PM

QUESTION:  On Passage

BILL TITLE: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009

—- YEAS    247 —

Carnahan

Clay

Cleaver

Skelton

—- NAYS    171 —

Akin

Blunt

Emerson

Luetkemeyer

—- NOT VOTING    15 —

Graves

And that paycheck fairness issue? There’s a history of votes against it, in 2008:

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 556

H R 1338      RECORDED VOTE      31-Jul-2008      7:33 PM

QUESTION:  On Passage

BILL TITLE: Paycheck Fairness Act

—- AYES    247 —

Carnahan

Clay

Cleaver

Skelton

—- NOES    178 —

Akin

Blunt

Emerson

Graves

—- NOT VOTING    9 —

Hulshof

[emphasis added]

And against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2007:

FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 768

H R 2831      YEA-AND-NAY      31-Jul-2007      2:40 PM

QUESTION:  On Passage

BILL TITLE: Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

—- YEAS    225 —

Carnahan

Clay

Cleaver

Skelton

—- NAYS    199 —

Akin

Blunt

Emerson

Graves

Huslshof

—- NOT VOTING    9 —

[emphasis]

Yep, that’s consistency for you – looking out for anyone but working people.