The Show Me How Contradictory We Can Be State

One of the things we’ll be watching in the next several months is some enrollment numbers for Obama Care, the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare overhaul law—we have yet to figure out what’s best to call this program because each of the first two titles carries a partisan political overtone and the third one is, well, increasingly bland. 

We’ll be watching to see how many people in Missouri’s strongly-Republican counties sign up for healthcare coverage under this law–although the people they have elected to represent them in Congress are doing their best to save their constituents from the program and although the people they have elected to the Missouri House and the Missouri Senate say voters have twice rejected the concept and the legislature has refused to have the state run insurance exchanges (the feds are going to do it) and has refused to expand Medicaid. 

As we write this, however, the healthcare program will go into effect one way or the other tomorrow.  If Congress deadlocks on the continuing resolution, the Republican effort to de-fund the program will fail and exchanges will go into operation.  If a CR is approved, it will be without the House language, and exchanges will go into operation. That’s what we expect but we learned long ago that legislative sausage-making can produce some unexpected flabors. 

“The people don’t want Obamacare,” a man just said on a C-SPAN call-in show that aired shortly after GOP House members said the same thing on a Capitol steps media event.   Starting tomorrow, we’ll see if the PEOPLE stay away from the program in droves.   Columnist George Will noted a few days ago that no entitlement program has ever been repealed.  It’s an interesting observation.  The newest entitlement starts tomorrow.  Enrollee numbers will tell a story and define the breadth of the challenge to Congress, election-day votes notwithstanding.

The biggest example of public behavior that runs counter to public votes is term limits.  

Three-quarters of the voters casting ballots in November, 1992 approved restricting Missouri House members to eight years in office and a similar limit for Missouri Senators.\

Since we cover the Senate, we thought we would look at what voters did after imposing term limits, which established the two-term limits as of the 1994 elections.  People elected that year or in the next election, 1996, came under the eight-year limit. It does not appear that voters who favored limiting service to eight years didn’t really believe eight years was enough—at least not for their guys.  

Our guy is a saint.  It’s all those other people that are sinners.  The results in Senate elections bear that out.

Senator John Scott of St. Louis  who already had served five terms (20 years) in the Senate was  elected to a sixth term in 1996 and a seventh term in 2000. 

Senator J. B. Banks of St. Louis, who had served five terms in the Senate, was elected to a sixth term in 1996 and likely would have been electd to a seventh term if he had not resigned while facing a criminal charge in ’99.

Senator Larry Rohrbach of California, who had sereved two terms was electd to a third one in 1998.

Senator Frank Flotron, who had served two terms, was elected to a third one in 1996.

Senator Phil Curls of Kansas City, who had served four terms, was elected to a fifth one in ’96.

Senator Harry Wiggins, who had served five terms, was re-elected to a sixth term in 1994 and a seventh term in 1998.

Senator Ronnie DePasco of Kansas City, who had served five terms, was elected to a sixth term in 1996 and a seventh term in 2000.

Senator Wayne Goode of St. Louis, who was elected to his third term in the same election that term limits were approved, was elected to a fourth term in 1996 and a fifth term in 2000.

Senator John Schneider of Florissant, who had been elected to six terms was elected to a seventh term in 19954 and to a seventh term in ’98.

Senator Mike Lybyer of Huggins, who had served three terms, was elected to a fourth in 1994.

Senator Ed Quick of Liberty, who was elected to his third term the same year voters approved two-term limits, was elected to a fourth term in 1996 and a fifth term in 2000.

Senator Danny Staples of Eminence, elected to the senate three times before term limits kicked in, was elected to a fourth term in 1994 and a fifth term in 1998.

Senator Jim Mathewson of Sedalia, whose voters sent him to Jefferson City for a fourth term on the day  voters approved limits of two terms, was re-elected to a fifth term in 1996 and a sixth term in 2000.

Senator Peter Kinder, elected to his first term when voters imposed term limits, was elected to a second term in 1996.  His voters gave him a third term in 2000.

Senator Harold Caskey of Butler, was elected to his fifth term in 1992, when two-term limits were approved by voters.  He was elected to a sixth and a seventh term in 1996 and 2000.

Senator John T. Russell of Lebanon, had exactly the same record.

And Senator Sidney Johnson of St. Joseph was elected for his second term in 1994 and voters elected him to a third term in 1998. 

Fifteen Senators who had been in office eight years or more before the eight-year limit kicked in were elected to more terms, more years.    

In the coming weeks, we’ll learn if Missourians do it again—say one thing but do another. 

The Show Me How Contradictory We Can Be State. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “The Show Me How Contradictory We Can Be State

  1. Bob: I agree that Missourians (but to no greater extent than any other state) are living examples of contridiction. We say one thing and do another.

    However, I think the premise of your analysis is flawed. Yes sitting Senators with multiple terms under their belts were re-elected after term limits. However you ignore the fact that a Senator with that many decades in public life has a well-oiled political machine that can roll out the votes – to say nothing of the people they have helped along the way, either directly or indirectly, who are inclinced to vote for “their guy.

    That doesn’t mean there is a contridiction in basic philosophy, only that other circumstances over rule.

    I believe in sticking to my diet – but that never gets in the way of a fresh baked slice of apple pie.

  2. Very interesting; thanks!

    1992 was a general election year, so you wonder if the population that voted in November 1992, for term limits in the general assembly, was demographically any different than the population that voted in 1994, when the first “crop” of state senators after the term limits provision was elected. I suspect that population was different, and significantly so.

    My contention would be that the people who contemplate whether or not they should sign up for medical insurance through the exchange, is a different group of people than those who voted August 2010 (Proposition C), and November 2012 (Proposition E.) I think that there just might be large numbers of people who did not vote in those two elections at all, more than those who voted in favor of either of those “anti-PPACA” ballot measures. For example, Proposition E passed, (roughly) 1.6 million to 1 million, but where is the remainder of the 4.2 million (or so) registered voters in the state? And what about adults who are not registered to vote? So, these are different populations, those who need to decide on signing up on the “exchange” and those who go to vote.

    Again, though, I really appreciate the thought it took to put this piece together.

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