Notes from the front lines

(Stuff that doesn’t quite make it to full bloghood but answers demands from somebody somewhere that this space be filled with new material from time to time.)

A big bunch of people held a retirement celebration, commemoration, observation—whatever fits–on Monday night expressing their relief, regret, delight, sadness–whatever fits–that this correspondent is abandoning his 70-hour weeks of trying to explain state government to Missourians on December first.  It was a nice event populated with longtime friends, associates, teachers, mentors, and family members .  Several people had things to say in a video played during the event.

(In response to the Girl Scouts’ claim , I made sure a 2007 case of Girl Scout Thin Mints were available.  Several people tried them.  As of this writing, all are still drawing breath, proving that Thin Mints need not be refrigerated to remain viable–in fact, freezing them dries them out, sticks them together, and is counterproductive.  Research has shown they survive nicely under a desk. You’ll understand if you see the video.)

Thanks to those who put the event together and thanks to all of those who attended, especially to those who travelled good distances.


We have railed in this space many times about the Nixon administration’s commitment to managing the news.   We regret to note that Attorney General Chris Koster, who has ambitions to be Nixon’s successor, appears to be practicing to continue that trend.  He issued a statement after a circuit judge ruled that same sex marriages performed in other states must be recognized here but has refused repeated requests from media organizations to explain why he, as the defender of Missouri laws, is not going to appeal that ruling.


Here’s another sign that someone wants to buy government.  A circuit judge candidate in Jefferson City who is challenging a two-term incumbent circuit judge has gotten a $100,000 donation funneled through the Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington, D.C. The money has gone through the RSLC-Missouri PAC to the campaign of Brian Stumpe, how the city prosecutor.

Who gave that money to the national group?   That’s a big secret.  And why such a gigantic amount in a race for local circuit judge?  Well, that’s simple.  Stumpe says it’s because incumbent Patricia Joyce is too liberal.

The Missouri Non-Partisan Court plan, designed to keep judicial candidates from being front-people for special interests,  particularly those who want courts to rule their ways, does not include Cole County.  Those who have advocated for years expanding the plan to all counties now have a textbook example to justify their position.


State auditor Tom Schweich says 15 percent of our local governments and their agencies do not comply with the state law that demands they tell the public what they’re doing.   That’s a lower percentage than he found in a previous audit.

The reduction in non-compliance is not something to cheer about.  Thomas Jefferson told Charles Yancey in a January 6, 1816 letter than a nation cannot be ignorant and be free.   The continued failure of fifteen percent of local government to be as honest as they should be with the people who pay taxes to support them remains unforgiveable.


Go Royals.  Go Cardinals.  Wonder if Governor Nixon will follow Governor Ashcroft’s lead and arrange for a World Series Special train if both teams make the Series.  It was a fun ride in ’85.





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