The state Senate worked late into the night one day in the just-completed session, its adjournment delayed for more than an hour by two Senators who had offered amendments to a tax credit bill and had lost and then decided to talk for a while.
It wasn’t a filibuster as we normally think of a filibuster. Filibusters usually last for several hours, often as a pressure tactic to get something done. And most of the time they are gawd-awful boring. But this time Senators Kurt Schaefer of Columbia and Jolie Justus of—uh—Somewhere gave an entertaining mini-tutorial in what filibusters can be. Since Justus did most of the entertaining, we’re referring to the event as a Joliebuster.
Senator Schaefer consumed sufficient ink in this place during the session so we’re not going to pay him much attention to himn this time. We want to focus on Senator Justus, a Senator from Somewhere. Here’s why she has that designation:
Jolie Justus is an amazing state senator elected by voters in Kansas City who represents the amazing Tenth Senatorial District that includes all or parts of the counties of Callaway, Montgomery, Audrain, Lincoln, Monroe, Montgomery, and Warren. How could this amazing circumstance arrive?
Recall the most recent legislative and congressional redistricting exercises after the 2010 census. Justus is a senator serving the last two years of the eight years allowed under term limits. She found the number 10 assigned to a new senate district during that process. The way the system works, even-numbered districts don’t have an election for the Missouri Senate until 2014, She, however remains the Senator from the Tenth district wherever the Tenth District is now–and that’s central and eastern Missouri although she lives in and was elected by voters in Kansas city.
In her real life she is the Director of Pro Bono Services for the prominent Kansas City law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon. That means she coordinates a lot of the free legal services the firm provides people who cannot pay for lawyers in civil actions. SHB is regularly acknowledged as one of the top 100 firms in the country that provide no-cost legal services.
Senator Justus wasn’t always a Kansas City girl. She grew up in Branson. A few years ago, she bought a farm in Callaway County, which is one of the counties in the relocated Tenth District. So she’s a little bit city and a little bit country. And she’s been having an amazing time getting to know her new constituents.
We should pause at this point to suggest to her and to those who have joined us in today’s journey that there are synonyms for “amazing.” Among them are: astonishing, astounding, surprising, awesome, fascinating, incredible, marvelous, prodigious, shocking, unbelievable, stunning, and wonderful. That’s a pretty amazing list. You’ll understand why we make this point if you keep reading.
We are going to attach two sound files that make up most of the Joliebuster from this session. The first segment features a senator elected by voters in Kansas City discovering the people and the places she now represents in rural central/eastern Missouri.
The second segment is about growing up in Branson as it was gathering itself for the Branson Boom, and some of the incidents and adventures that went with it. We especially enjoy the story of the car full of smoke and the two famous people inside. Amazing stories.