Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Way We See It: Stouffer is Skelton’s Only Challenge to Re-Election

By Molly Teichman
Twitter: @mommentator

To say Lafayette County has a unique perspective on Missouri’s 4th Congressional District race to unseat Ike Skelton is an understatement. As one pundit put it, Ike Skelton has been a part of our political scene since “baby Jesus was riding to school on the backs of dinosaurs.”

Politics is a war of ideas, not personalities, and while we respect Ike Skelton as a statesman, we can no longer stand by and watch him vote with Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time.

Lafayette Co. voters appreciate Ike’s service, but it is now time for the lawyer from Lexington to be honorably discharged from Washington. After 33 years as our congressman, Ike has become part of the problem, not the solution.

In 2010, Skelton will have the first real challenge of his modern political career. His state senator, Bill Stouffer, will challenge him for his seat.

Stouffer is not a slick politician. He is a farmer. He shows up. He is honest. He is grounded.

The problem for Skelton in 2010 goes beyond the national climate. Bill Stouffer cuts at the heart of his base. He is a popular state senator in the three northern counties in Skelton’s district. His home county went for Ike with over 80% of the vote last year; Stouffer is the only Republican to get similar support on the same ballot.

Only Bill Stouffer can cut at the only Democrat base in the district; in 2010, Republicans will have to compete in the north to come close to Ike district-wide.

Stouffer’s strengths are more than just numbers. He’s not alone in beating the anti-Ike drum. There’s a gaggle of other Republicans calling for Ike’s defeat throughout the district that only helps Stouffer’s cause.

Bill Stouffer understands our economy will only turn around on the backs of small business, not bigger government. In the late 1970’s Stouffer worked with farmers throughout Rural Missouri to reorganize MFA, Inc. from near bankruptcy. Years later, it became the highest return-on-investment cooperative in the nation under his leadership.

As the state’s leader in transportation issues, Stouffer is also not afraid to tackle tough issues. He has proposed a plan to expand Interstates 70 and 44 to eight lanes, including four truck-only lanes. The plan let Missourians decide through a statewide ballot to pay for the proposal in ten years. Both roads play a major role to the economy rolling through the 4th District.

Finally, while he does not wear it on his sleeve, Stouffer is as socially conservative as they come. He is a Sunday school teacher to young adults at his church. He will also be the first to tell you his faith has grown significantly in the last six years, after helping to nurse his wife, Sue Ellen, back to health from a farm accident that led to a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Fully recovered, she is his best asset.

From the way we see it, of the candidates to take on Ike Skelton, Bill Stouffer is his only real challenge. He has not run away from Jefferson City when things got tough – he nose-dive tackles tough issues even if it is they are not politically popular.

Stouffer’s support base, his background as a farmer and leader, and his profile as a staunch conservative make Bill Stouffer the only real challenge to Ike Skelton’s re-election in 2010.

Nixon Takes Credit Where No College Credit is Due

Tuition at Missouri’s public colleges and universities is not increasing thanks to fiscally responsible legislation passed by Republicans—not because of a supposed “deal” negotiated by Jay Nixon.

Jay Nixon has been cutting education funding since the first month he was in office—when he slashed millions of dollars intended for construction projects on campuses across the state. (Associated Press, January 28, 2009)

Now, Jay Nixon has announced an across-the-board 5% cut to Missouri’s higher education institutions. This amounts to tens of millions of dollars for our state’s public universities.

Although Nixon is taking credit for a supposed “deal” that prevents the universities from raising tuition, the truth is that most universities are legally barred from raising tuition thanks to Republican-passed legislation that holds increases to the Consumer Price Index (which was negative this year).

The bill (SB 389) was passed in 2007 on a largely party-line vote (91-64 in the House, 23-11 in the Senate).

Nixon strongly opposed the bill when it was passed. “Moreover, the so-called ‘tuition caps’ in Senate Bill 389 provide far more fuel for political sound-bytes than actual protection for students and their families.” Letter from Jay Nixon to Gov. Matt Blunt, May 22, 2007

Unfortunately, Nixon is attempting to take credit for Republican efforts to protect hard-working Missouri families—despite the fact that he opposed those same efforts 2 years ago.

Nixon invented this “deal” to distract the press from the real story—that he is slashing funding for higher education.


SB 389 Bill Summary: For institutions whose tuition is greater than the average tuition, the percent change in tuition cannot exceed the percent change of the consumer price index over the past year or zero, whichever is greater. For institutions whose tuition is less than the average tuition, the dollar increase in tuition cannot exceed the product of zero or the percent change in the consumer price index, whichever is greater, times the average tuition. If the tuition increase exceeds the limits set forth in this act, then such institution must remit to the board an amount equal to 5% of its current year state appropriation, which shall be deposited into the general revenue fund, unless the institution asks for a waiver within 30 days. (SB389 Bill Summary)

Jay Nixon drafted a letter to Gov. Matt Blunt opposing the tuition caps included in the bill. “Moreover, the so-called ‘tuition caps’ in Senate Bill 389 provide far more fuel for political sound-bytes than actual protection for students and their families.” (Letter from Jay Nixon to Gov. Matt Blunt, May 22, 2007)


During his campaign for governor, Jay Nixon claimed that “on higher education, Missouri is moving backwards” because “Missouri ranks ‘dead last’ in higher education funding increases since Blunt has been in office” and because “Missouri ranks 47th for per capita higher education funding.” (Jay Nixon for Governor fact sheet).

Now, Jay Nixon is cutting higher education even further.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Join Lafayette Countians for dessert and coffee with Bill Stouffer for Congress on Monday

You are invited to a coffee and fundraiser in Support of Senator Bill Stouffer, Candidate for U.S. Congress, on Monday, November 23 at 6:30 PM at the home of Glen and Lisa Kolkmeyer, 7075 Deerview Drive, Odessa. Watch for Stouffer signs.

For your enjoyment--bluegrass music by Copper Creek Band and a delectable dessert assortment of torts, pies and cookies served with coffee and hot tea.

Call: 573-761-7875 if you can attend.
(Paid for by Stouffer for Congress, Larry Rohrbach, Treasurer)