Commentary

Wayne Lovern receives his COVID-19 vaccine

Johnson & Johnson vaccine suspension – what this means for you

BY: - April 14, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration on April 13, 2021 halted use of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine that has been given to 6.8 million people in the U.S. The pause is due to reports of blood clotting in six people who have received the vaccine. […]

John Boehner blisters Republicans in Congress

BY: - April 6, 2021

It’s time for a confession. I have misjudged John Boehner. Oh, I knew he might speak candidly. Or, more precisely, I knew he could be extremely blunt. But where I was wrong was not recognizing Boehner was quite capable, and comfortable, being even more direct and more blunt than I ever dreamed possible. The 71-year-old […]

Holding Medicaid hostage over birth control defies law and reason

BY: - April 5, 2021

While playing politics with healthcare in Missouri is certainly nothing new, holding Missouri Medicaid hostage over basic birth control is a stunning — and consequential — shift. As captured in headlines across the state, state Sen. Paul Wieland has put the entire Missouri Medicaid program in jeopardy with his late-night amendment to a mandatory Medicaid […]

Capitol Perspectives: How Missouri controls filibusters

BY: - April 2, 2021

The debate about changing U.S. Senate filibuster rules demonstrates how different that chamber is from Missouri’s Senate. Missouri Senate rules make it more difficult to kill a bill by a filibuster. Unlike the U.S. Senate, a filibustering Missouri senator must maintain the floor, although the floor can be yielded to a colleague to grab a […]

Why does Missouri have a baker’s dozen of possible U.S. Senate candidates?

BY: - March 19, 2021

In winter 2007, weeks into my tenure in the state Senate, I prepared to board a flight back from Washington, D.C, and bumped into former U.S. Senator Jim Talent at the gate. I’d hosted a series of events for the Democrat who had defeated him a year earlier, Claire McCaskill, and been an active surrogate […]

Missouri’s groundwater threatened from corporate factory farm expansion

BY: - March 16, 2021

Here’s a story for you. A 10,467 hog factory farm is attempting to build near farms and homes, near the Poosey Conservation Area in Livingston County. It’s a JBS contract operation, meaning the hogs would be owned by JBS, a Brazilian corporation and the biggest meatpacker in the world. While examining the site for the […]

Capitol Perspectives: Missouri’s legislative second half

BY: - March 15, 2021

The Missouri legislature’s week-long break that began Monday is a good time to assess where the General Assembly may head in the second half of it’s annual session. This year taxes, school choice, voter rights and COVID-19 promise to be dominating issues. On taxes, the legislature left for spring break with eclectic decisions by the […]

Celebration of openness has special urgency

BY: - March 11, 2021

A year ago this week, the world descended into the throes of the COVID-19 crisis. It’s fitting that our year of darkness appears to be ending as Sunshine Week 2021 gets underway. This annual celebration of openness in government, created by the news publishers who often lead the fight for it, has special resonance this […]

Josh Hawley says workers deserve a raise. But it’s been all talk

BY: - March 9, 2021

No matter where we live or what we look like, we work hard for our families. But today, certain politicians, including Sen. Josh Hawley, hurt all of us with their lies and actions. The senator recently tweeted that workers “deserve a pay raise.” I, alongside a majority of Missourians, heartily agree. The problem for Sen. […]

Capitol Perspectives: Legislative efforts vs. the Constitution

BY: - March 5, 2021

This year, an effort to provide financial help for parents to send their kids to alternative schools could run afoul of two very clear provisions of the state’s Constitution. The issue arises from a bill that started out as a simple idea to give home-schooled kids the right to participate in public school sports. But […]

President Biden, don’t make the same mistakes in rural America

BY: - March 3, 2021

On Feb. 23, Tom Vilsack was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, again. In 2011, I helped write an op-ed called “What a good president would do — that would really help family farmers.” It stemmed from President Obama’s and then-Secretary Vilsack’s unsuccessful attempt to level the playing field and increase competition in agriculture. We […]

As a former Missouri Capitol intern, the latest scandals come as no surprise

BY: - March 1, 2021

The news of another controversy surrounding a legislator’s alleged misconduct toward a subordinate in the Missouri Capitol comes as no surprise. While I don’t know Rep. Wiley Price, or the intern he denies having sex with, this type of scandal has become almost cliche.  Jefferson City has always been a boy’s club. Look back at […]