Follow up

A few things to add to some recent or semi-recent posts:

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and the Penthouse Pet – He tells Jake Wagman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he visited the strip club where Tammy Chapman worked about ten times before he decided it wasn’t the kind of place a Christian like him should go to. He tells Wagman he did not see her for several years until he stopped at a bar where she was working to use the bathroom. That’s when the picture was taken of them together. Jake’s story doesn’t address lap dances and offers to use Kinder’s condo.

A couple of days after the story started circulating through the media, Kinder called the story told by Tammy Chapman “bizarre” and said it was untrue. The story remains a challenge in terms of how to appropriately cover development or whether to cover them at all.

On our blog about term limits yesterday – Our unofficial Director of Political Arcania, Marc Powers, reminded us that Missourians have voted to eliminate their own chances to vote for a member of congress they really, really like. Here’s what he has recalled for us:

“Here’s another angle to consider: Missouri voters have already decided that they don’t want to be able to decide to elect U.S. reps to Congress for more than four terms (one more than Wagner and Martin suggest) or U.S. senators for more than two terms.

As you recall, at the same election that voters approved state legislative term limits in 2002 1992, they also approved a separate constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Missouri’s congressional delegation. The former, Amendment 12, passed with 75 percent support, while the latter, Amendment 13, got 74 percent of the vote.

Of course, since the U.S. Constitution trumps the state constitution, the congressional term limits provision isn’t enforceable. (Even if it was enforceable, it hasn’t been triggered yet since it requires at least half the states to adopt congressional term limits before taking effect.) But it’s still there – Article III, Section 45a.

But in 1996 Missouri voters decided that they wanted to congressional candidates to pledge that if elected they would use all of their power to enact a national term limits amendment limiting reps to three terms – one fewer than the 1992 amendment – and senators to two terms.

If they didn’t so pledge a cross note was to appear next to their name on the ballot saying that he or she was a very bad person for not supporting term limits. That one, Amendment 9, was ratified with 57.7 percent support, but the courts also ruled it unenforceable. It’s in Article VIII, Sections 16-22.”

Thanks, Marc. In fact, we had not recalled these things when we wrote the blog.

As we said at the start of yesterday’s blog, “One of the things that makes life interesting for reporters is the inconsistencies of the public mind.”

Joplin tornado and aftermath – For almost three months we have been reporting on the Joplin tornado and its aftermath. You’ve heard on our newscasts the remarkable day by day stories of the city mourning its 160 dead, cleaning up unimaginable amounts of debris, and starting to rebuild and to heal. Our affiliate in Joplin, KZRG, has continued to help us tell you those stories. This week, the station provided our listeners with the voices of school officials and others as the school system began classes on schedule—as superintendent C. J. Huff promised would happen just four days after the tornado. Four days! At the same time St. John’s Hospital—-you recall the pictures that showed the devastated hospital building towering over piles of debris—announced a billion dollar commitment to build not one, but two, new hospitals in the city.

The school system and the hospital building project are milestones in Joplin’s recovery story. And KZRG’s coverage that Darrin and Joe and Josh have share with us have helped you understand this latest example of the strength of the human spirit.

Missouri River Flood – About the same time as the Joplin tornado, the Corps of Engineers began counting the days of the Missouri River Flood of 2011. Every day the Corps has a teleconference so that reporters and public officials in the Missouri River states can learn the latest conditions and the latest efforts to fight the flood and counter its effects. When you have heard us report on conditions along the Missouri, you have mostly heard information we’ve gotten from those calls. They’ve been important for all of Missouri to understand the agony of flood victims as it has been for all of Missouri to understand the agony of tornado victims in Joplin.

Affiliate contributions – In this year of disaster we have relied on our affiliated stations for other events. We could not have covered blizzards, floods, tornadoes—even a little earthquake, personal tragedies in the bootheel and in the floodwaters of northwest Missouri—without people who cover what is local news for their own audiences but is also statewide news for us. It’s how networks work. Without their eyes and ears and their voices, we couldn’t be the MISSOURInet.

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