View from the Capitol
by State Rep. Ed Schieffer
On Sunday, Oct. 28, from noon to 3:00 p.m., the new Winfield/Foley Fire Department will host an open house for their new facility on Highway 47 in Winfield across from the high school. The new firehouse was made possible by a $1.2 million American Recovery Reinvestment Act grant. This was one of five federal economic stimulus projects in the State of Missouri. I am proud that the Winfield/Foley Fire Department applied and received this large grant that allowed them to build a facility that will continue to serve and protect eastern Lincoln County for generations. Congratulations!
Several constituents have asked me about Constitutional Amendment No. 3 concerning the selecting of judges. It is my opinion that we do not need to change how we recommend judicial appointees to the Governor. We surely do not want to be like Illinois were the Supreme Court judges have commercials like all statewide politicians. Please vote NO on Constitutional Amendment No. 3.
Following is how the current system works in Missouri:
On Oct. 10, the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission selected three finalists from among 18 applicants for a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court created by the retirement of 20-year court veteran William Ray Price, Jr., in August. The finalists are Jackson County Circuit Judge Michael Manners, St. Louis attorney Stanley Wallach and former Cole County Circuit Judge Paul Wilson.
Manners, 62, of Lee’s Summit, was also a finalist for the last Supreme Court vacancy in 2011. He was appointed to the Jackson County circuit bench by Gov. Roger Wilson, a Democrat, in 2000. Manners is a 1976 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
Wallach, 47, of Kirkwood, is an attorney with the Wallach Law Firm in St. Louis. He is a 1992 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School.
Wilson, 51, of Jefferson City, is an attorney with Van Matre, Hollis, Taylor & Bacon in Columbia. Wilson was a longtime aide to Gov. Jay Nixon, first while Nixon was Missouri Attorney General, and later in the Governor’s office. Nixon, a Democrat, appointed Wilson to fill an unexpired term as a Cole County circuit judge in 2010, a post Wilson held for a year. Wilson is a 1992 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.
Under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, Nixon must appoint one of the three finalists to the Supreme Court by December 9th or forfeit the selection to the commission.
As always, I respect your trust and value your advice, comments and questions. Let me know how I may serve you and your family. Please call me at 573-751-9459, toll free at 855-285-3781, locally at 636-299-3270 or 636-462-7295. If you wish to fax my office, our fax number is 573-522-0411. You may e-mail me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer
One issue that makes me very worried when I consider its impact on American families is rising gas prices simply because of how much of our economy is tied to the cost of energy. With the holiday travel season just around the corner, people have not only made it clear they are extremely concerned about how much they’re paying at the pump, but also about the rising costs of many goods because of higher energy prices.
Since the president took office in 2009, we’ve seen the price of a gallon of gas more than double. And when gas prices go up, the cost of everything, from food to other consumer goods, rises exponentially. This has put a large dent in many people’s pockets which in turn has a negative impact on our ability to climb our way out of the current economic hole.
Since my arrival in Congress in 2009, I have supported an “all of the above” energy policy and have fought for lower gas prices and energy independence. In the current Congress, the House has pursued legislation to expand offshore energy production, open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and natural gas production, encourage the development of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline project.
This effort, known as the American Energy Initiative, is an ongoing effort by House Republicans to address rising gasoline prices and expand American energy production. The president, on the other hand, is pursuing counter-productive energy policies like regulatory restrictions on coal production and failed forays into alternative energy including the Solyndra scandal. By doing so, he is harming consumers and discouraging the production of American energy. House Republicans, on the contrary, are committed to finding sensible solutions to families’ rapidly rising energy costs and putting Americans back to work.
The president clearly cannot stand on his record when it comes to energy. After rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline, the president is now refusing to work with Republicans to get several House-approved, pro-growth energy bills considered in the Senate. The bills would do everything from pushing forward the development of domestic oil to eliminating needless permitting delays that have stalled important energy production opportunities.
These domestic opportunities for energy production are critical to our nation’s economic health and its national security. With increasing political instability in places like the Middle East, we have an opportunity to free ourselves from the bondage of unstable and often unfriendly regimes.
It is my firm belief that by putting our country’s abundant natural resources to use, we can lower prices at the pump for your family, break free from our dependence on unstable sources of foreign oil, and, perhaps most importantly, put Americans back to work. I will continue to fight for solutions that promote job growth and energy security as we move forward during uncertain times.