Why I’m Running for Re-election
Missouri, like the rest of the country, is in the midst of the second greatest recession in modern history. This state needs effective representation in Jefferson City – people who worry more about the outcome than the headline and the impact rather than who gets credit.
As I near the end of my first term one thing is very clear – as a Democrat and a member of the minority party in Jefferson City – the best way to have impact is to reach across the aisle. The hard work of effective public policy requires quiet and serious teamwork.
I am running for re-election because the Missouri General Assembly needs competent leaders who are willing to compromise. As a lawyer with extensive experience in trial work, criminal and civil law I am experienced in negotiating. And as a public servant committed to putting the needs of people before corporations, I know that we will not make progress unless we work with our opponents.
Let’s look at my record:
- On the floor of the House I learned of a proposal to amend the tax code to move sawmills from industrial to agricultural. While the change attracted little attention, as a lawyer I knew immediately of possibility that employees could be cut off from workers’ compensation. Can you think of an occupation more in need of workers’ comp? While there are no sawmills in my district I put workers first and alerted leadership on both sides of the aisle to the devastating impact of the change. As a result of my efforts workers in that field continue to have the protection of workers’ comp.
- Because of my independence I was the only freshman Democrat appointed to the Special Standing Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability which investigated scandals related to home healthcare patients who received substandard attention and care as the result of the bankruptcy of Syncare.
- I was the only Democrat on the committee charged with oversight resulting from the Mamtek debacle in which the citizens of Moberly were left holding the bag on millions of dollars in unredeemable bonds. While I believe strongly in the use of tax incentives to spur economic development, we cannot waste taxpayer funds. On the Special Standing Committee on Government Oversight and Accountability I advocated for greater transparency and accountability and proposed legislation that successfully passed the House to reform the State Economic Development Commission.
- I have been a lifelong advocate of prison reform and was appointed to the Interim Committee on Criminal Justice, which with the Pew Foundation conducted a comprehensive study of probation, parole and sentencing of criminal defendants. After months of meetings we drafted legislation of which I was the chief co-sponsor and succeeded in passing one of the most significant pieces of legislation to pass in the last 20 years, according to the Speaker of the House. This bill will result in many non-violent offenders being diverted from costly prison time into the more constructive drug courts and other alternatives, all while maintaining public safety.
I advocate to…
- Strengthen laws dealing with day care providers to protect the safety of children
- Preserve the Nonpartisan Court Plan to keep the courts free of political interference
- Protect the rights of low income parents in cases involving the termination of parental rights
- Increase cigarette taxes to reduce teen smoking
- Collect sales taxes on ALL online purchases; State neglect has cost us hundreds of millions of dollars
- Fully fund the School Foundation Formula
- Enable control of the St. Louis Police Department by the City of St. Louis
In 2013 my District will have new geographical
lines. Here is a map of the new 86th District:
I have stayed in contact with constituents, friends and neighbors through my office and regular public discussions on key issues including predatory lending, prison reform, budget issues, resources to help pay utility bills, and regular legislative wrap ups.
Although I am unopposed, I ask for your support in my re-election campaign. If you have any questions or would like to get involved, please let me know <link to email>.