Notes from the front lines

 (Jottings that don’t quite merit full-blown blogoviation)

 Senate President Pro tem Tom Dempsey was rummaging through some of his old files the other day and came  across some new kindling for the fire the Senate is stoking under the Revenue Department.  Back in 2001,when Dempsey was a mere state representative, the legislature passed a bill prohibiting the Department of Revenue from gathering personal information from Missourians or putting unauthorized private information on driver’s licenses.

Dempsey’s news release of August 8, 2001, says “The bill is aimed at preventing the DOR from encoding personal information beyond what is necessary for law enforcement purposes and authorized by the General Assembly.”  It concludes, “The DOR would be prohibited from collecting any information from which a person can be individually identified, unless the department has obtained specific statutory authority to do so.  In addition, the DOR is forbidden to encode in print, digital or electronic format any information that can be used to identify a specific individual.” 

Dempsey strongly supports the actions taken by the Senate Appropriations Committee to gut the motor vehicle licensing division because of its new policy of scanning and digitizing private information into a department data base.


Senator John Lamping wants to move the August Primary election to June.  He doesn’t think Missourians have enough time to enjoy things like the Akin-McCaskill general election race last year.  

The Missourinet has covered statewide primary and general elections since 1976.  No matter when the primary is held, the best day of the year is the day after the November general election. That’s every other year.  Annually, Capitol reporters consider the day after the legislative session ends as  personal freedom day, too. 


We’ve been watching and listening to the state senate debate Senator David Pearce’s bill establishing a funding formula for higher education.  We can’t help wondering, as we listen to the discussion, if this formula will be as successful as the formula used to provide state aid to elementary and secondary education.   That formula is such a big success that the state is about $620 million behind what it promised to provide.  

But several legislators think they have the solution to the School Foundation Formula shortfall.  Write another formula.  


And finally, an apology to Governor Nixon for misquoting him a few entries ago.  It is comforting to know that our blog posting titled “Kerfluffle” has been the topic of extended discussion by lobbyists  who use the Legislative Library as their lounging room when there are no lawmakers to entertain them.  We’ve been told there was even a dispute about whether Governor Nixon referred to the confrontation between some legislators and the Department of Revenue as a “kerfluffle” or a “kerfuffle,” and whether there is even such a word as “kerfluffle” or “kerfuffle.”   We understand Big Noah was consulted and Mr. Webster listed neither word.  But Big Noah is no longer the ultimate arbiter of our national tongue.  One of the lobbyists whipped out an electronic device and discovered a non-Noah source that listed both spellings.  It is not every word that has two accepted spellings, nor is it every vocabulary that includes such a word of such distinction. 

So we congratulate Governor Nixon on the extent of his vocabulary and apologize because we added an “L” to the version he used.   

And that’s about enough kerfluffle about kerfuffle. 


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