Friday, February 26, 2010

Updated - Help Me Help Others

While my blog covers issues on a national level, I tend to focus on the issues of the 1st district of St. Louis. A lot of attention is paid to the 2nd and 3rd districts and the various groups within those districts. With the November elections only 8 months away, we need to organize as best we can.

To help alleviate that and because I have a lot of readers in the fist district, I want to offer my blog as a place where we can create a comprehensive list of the Republican, Conservative and Libertarian groups that meet within the 1st district. It is my hope that this list can be used to help like minded individuals network and communicate with one another. To that end, I am asking all and each of you to please leave a comment or send me an email with any groups that meet these qualifications. If you can, please send me as much information on these groups. My plan is to create a links section with all of these groups.

Please help me, create this list so we can create larger and more organized networks.

Thank you all,

Middle Class Joe
UPDATE - As of this evening, I have already received 3 groups which I have added to the bottom of the blog. Please keep the information coming! Shoot me an email or leave a comment to this post.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Clay Willing to Go the Distance - For Rent To Own Industry

Lacy clay stood up for the people he represents. He stood up and said that he was prepared to "go the distance". Too bad the people that he is willing to go the distance for is the Rent to Own Industry.

The rent to own (RTO) industry just kicked off their annual event in Washington DC, where Lacy Clay met with his constituents campaign contributors to tout his loyalty to their cause. If it were not so sad it would be funny. The RTO is now trying to claim that the bill Clay is sponsoring, HR 1744, which I detailed HERE, is a "jobs" bill.

The president of the RTO industry group APRO is claiming that if this bill passes, there will be rapid expansion of the rent to own industry which will create more jobs.

This is just sad. What is worse is Lacy Clay and the last quote from this article. Rather than promoting fiscal responsibility, or promoting savings during these tough economic times, Lacy says,

"My constituents need a variety of financing alternatives to be able to have all the modern conveniences others enjoy," Clay said. "We have a cause I believe in and am willing to fight for. I'm fired up and ready to go."

Yeah, because people really need to pay $2500 over a two year period for a no name big screen TV that they could save up and buy from Best Buy for around $700 with out it being on sale. Check it out for yourself. Go to a National Rent to Own site and look at the brands and prices. These are off brands that with financing will run over two times their true worth. Lacy should be ashamed of himself for promoting this fiscal irresponsibility and instead promote savings instead of instant gratification.

You can check out this info on APRO's own website HERE.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

2/23 - Candidate Filing Day In MO

I just thought I would just share this. As of this evening, here is what the primary election cycle looks like for St. Louis. This information comes from the Missouri Secretary of State website.

It looks like the two St. Louis Democrats in the House are both up against some competition from both Republicans and Democrats.
I know that it does not mean anything as they have until March 30th, but I thought it was interesting that Lacy Clay has yet to file his candidacy.
This is going to be a very interesting election cycle. I wonder if the Democratic National Committee will give up on ole Russ to keep Clay in office.
As a side note, I want to welcome Robyn Hamlin, Robb Cunningham and Julie Stone to this years election for the first district. Let it be known that I would welcome and they have an open invitation to, an interview with me on this website. The same goes for Congressman Clay, although I think he will stay in the friendly confines of people like Charles Jaco and such.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sorry for my Absence

This is just a quick note. I wanted to apologize to my readers for my absence. I have been out of comission for a while with bronchitis.
Never fear, as our great health system has given me the treatments and the meds to recover and I hope to soon be fully back on my feet.
There are a couple of things I am planning, specifically targeting some things here in the first district.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Obama Admin Wants to Track Your Cell Phones

If you are like me, you use your cell phone a lot. In fact, many people have gone the route of only using a cell phone and not having a home phone any longer. Well from the president who campaigned against warrentless wiretapping comes this little nugget.

According to this article in CNET the Obama administration wants to start using your cellular providers records to track movements. The kicker is they want to do this without a warrant. According to the Obama administration,
….the Obama administration has argued that warrantless tracking is permitted because Americans enjoy no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in their--or at least their cell phones'--whereabouts. U.S. Department of Justice lawyers say that "a customer's Fourth Amendment rights are not violated when the phone company reveals to the government its own records" that show where a mobile device placed and received calls.

It is true that candidate Obama campaigned against warrantless wiretaps. In fact, he made several statements chastising Bush for allowing this. Including this statement during a campaign stop in New Hampshire.
“For one thing, under an Obama presidency, Americans will be able to leave behind the era of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and wiretaps without warrants,”

That was 2008, in 2009 Obama quietly changed course and agreed with the Bush policy. In fact, based upon this Wall Street Journal article, he has adopted a legal stance that is equal to if not more aggressive than Bush’s.

So, what is the big deal you may be asking yourself? Honestly, I was thinking the same thing but the longer I thought about it, the more uneasy I felt. I am not an extreme nut that thinks the government is spying on all citizens nor do I wear a tin foil hat to keep aliens from monitoring my thoughts. That said, this troubled me in that the government is promoting warrantless cell phone tracking not for the specific purpose of national security, but instead day to day criminal investigations. This could be problematic at best as there is no clear delineation as to where a line could be crossed. In regards to national security, the government does not need this as they should be covered under the NSA terrorist surveillance program.

Maybe it is because this could be such a slippery slope. What’s next, going to Internet providers and demanding website traffic tracking? And where is the outcry from the far left. Other than the ACLU, I have not hear anyone complaining about the imperialistic nature of the Obama administration as they did with Bush.

What do you think? Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Lacy Clay's Campaign Contributors

As I reported several months ago, Lacy Clay has made some interesting friends. Specifically, Lacy has gotten into bed with the Rent-to-Own (RTO) and Payday Loan (PL) businesses. I reported on the campaign contributions as well as various "donations" to Lacy's personal interests.

Backtrack even further and you may remember my mentioning my belief that we should target those companies and individuals that contribute to these far left candidates.

So, I have begun tying some of these things together and have made some rather interesting finds I thought I would share with you all. I went through the most recent FEC Campaign Contributions and found that Lacy has received at least $13,000 in campaign contributions from RTO and PL political action committees. I know that does not seem like that much, but if you look even closer at the personal individual contributions, you will find that Lacy received nearly $20,000 from those individuals involved with the RTO and the PL businesses.

The 20K that Lacy received is a very conservative estimate. To calculate these donations I went through every person who donated $250 or more dollars to his 2010 re-election campaign. It is required that they list their employer/occupation. I traced that information and counted only those companies that are specifically listed as working in the RTO or PL areas. There is considerably more money that has been donated to his campaign from various financial establishments who offer various financial services. If these companies did not come right out and say they offered payday loans or check cashing services, I did not count them.

I tried to be as fair to Lacy as possible. I did not concoct any of this data. It is easily available through the FEC website. If you do not believe me, check the data yourself. Click HERE and you can review the data yourself.
So, is Lacy really looking out for you?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Interview with Candice Britton

There has not been any press that I have heard on this, so I guess you could say you are hearing it here first. Lacy Clay has some competition for the 1st District of Missouri in the House of Representatives. That competition is coming from one Candice Britton or "Britt".

Candice first emailed me after reading a few of my articles on the corruption that is Lacy Clay. I went over to her campaign website and read through her info and stances on the various topics. Since the St. Louis Post Disgrace Dispatch has failed once again to do their job and report the news, I thought I would take it upon myself to reach out to Candice.

The following is an interview I did with Candice online over the course of several days. This is strictly an interview. I am not giving my opinion or am I commenting on anything that Candice has to say. I think it is only fair to let Candice speak her points without comment by me or anyone else. Let you and the people in District 1 make their decisions. While the questions have been rearranged for better reading, all of her answers are verbatim.

Q. Why are you running for the seat currently occupied by Lacy Clay for the 1st District of Missouri?
A. I am running for the seat that is currently occupied by Lacy Clay for the 1st District of Missouri because I feel that Government spending is out of control. Both parties are responsible for the dangerously huge Debt and Deficit. Senators and Congresspersons have forgotten whom they work for…we the people. Democrats and Republicans refuse to work together to set a good example for our children. The deliberate feud between the parties keeps this Country and her people divided. Due to this they are free to do as they please, such as, enact legislation the majority of the people are against. I want to return our Government back to the people.

Q. You said that you want to represent the first district? Lacy Clay claims that he does. how would you go about ensuring you are?
A. Not be an insider. I don’t know all the ends and outs of Congress. What I would like to do if permitted is to set up a special 800- phone line just for the District 1 constituents in the Washington D.C. office and the offices in Missouri.

  • I would assign staff to all the different areas that government covers to aide my constituents with their needs.
  • I also would answer the phone myself as much as possible (the special constituent phone line).
  • I would meet with my constituents one-on-one if needed. (Of course, I would screen for safety matters.)
  • I would hold as many town hall events as I could. I would also answer their e-mails in a manner that lets them know what my thinking is on the topic that they e-mailed me about. I will be trying to find the best way to keep communications open with my constituents.

Q. What differentiates you from Lacy Clay in your beliefs and stances?
A. I can’t tell you what Mr. Clays beliefs are because I do not know them. I can only tell you what are my beliefs and stances.

I believe the Government is of the people and for the people of this great country. I believe our legislators are to work for us. Mr. Clay and I are different in the following areas:

  • Most, not all, of his votes are along the Democratic Party line. My votes will not be for party or self-political gain. I will vote for the will of District 1 constituents and consider the will of the majority of the Country and use common sense.
  • We also differ on many other issues, such as, Immigration, the closing of Guantanamo Military Prison, Healthcare reform and Government Ethics.
    • Mr. Clay voted No on H. Res. 895, which establishes an Office of Congressional Ethics within the House of Representatives. I would vote yes.
    • Mr. Clay voted No on S 1: A bill to provide greater transparency in the legislative process. I would vote yes.
  • I believe my voting record would be very different from his on many issues. Before I would vote on ANY legislation, I would read the legislation with my staff. I would research the legislation to make sure that I have a good sound knowledge and understanding of the legislation before I voted. If the majority leader would not give sufficient time to research and understand the legislation before a vote, I will vote “NO”. I will use common sense and NEVER forget whom I work for.

Q. You are not a Washington or even a St. Louis political insider. What makes you qualified for this position?
A. It’s because I’m NOT a Washington D.C. or Political party insider that I’m qualified. My question to everyone is…how’s Mr. Clay doing? How are the Congresspersons doing? Are you happy with the job that they’re doing for you and our country? Some are Lawyers’, Businesspersons, graduates from Harvard, Yale, Millionaires’, Career politicians etc….

My education is 15 years of school. I have life experience and common sense. I know how every Social Entitlement program works or don’t work. I’m you, just a regular person, who wants to try to make a difference in the lives of the District 1 constituents and my fellow American brothers and sisters. I feel that our founding fathers wanted people just like you and me to represent each other as far as our government is concerned. I think our founding fathers want regular folks like you and me to make the laws and regulations that govern all Americans. I believe that I’m what the founding fathers had in mind.

“We The People Of The United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

Each constituent in District 1 will have to decide if they feel I am qualified to represent them and their needs in Washington D.C. I will
respect their decision.

Q. What is your platform?
A. My political platform is democratic with a strong belief that our country can’t survive without a strong manufacturing base. We must produce the majority of our own goods to survive and compete with other countries.

Q. Are there any committees that you would especially want to participate in, should you be elected?
A. I will have no say over the committee assignments. Though, if I could choose, I would choose from the following:

  • House Committee on Education and Labor
  • House Committee on Small Business
  • Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions
  • Subcommittee on Rural Development, Entrepreneurship and Trade
  • Subcommittee on Regulations and Healthcare
  • Subcommittee on Elections
  • Committee on Housing

Q. Reading your website, it reads like some of your positions are things we have heard from the St. Louis Tea Party; is that what you are running under or as a part of?
A. I’m a Democrat that has participated in several St. Louis Tea Party events. I agree with some of the Tea Party positions as well as with some of the Republican positions and some of the Democrat positions. I’m an independent thinker. I believe no one group, party or person has all the answers.

Q. How do you feel the President is performing?
A. At this time, I feel that he lacks experience and leadership skills. I currently don’t feel he is governing in the best direction for our country. I don’t agree with the majority of his policies.
What has he done right?

  • Asking Hillary Clinton to be Secretary of State
  • and by also asking George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to handle the Haiti disaster.

What has he done wrong?

  • Closing Guantanamo Military Prison.
  • Prosecuting Terrorists in U.S.Federal courts.
  • Half of the 2009 Healthcare reform legislation is not up to par.
  • Bad Economy issue decisions, such as, the Stimulus package, bailing out the Auto manufacturers and banks and T.A.R.P.
  • The Cap and Trade legislation would increase utilities.

Q. You said half of the Healthcare bill was not up to par. In which ways do you agree and disagree with the bill?
A. These are just a few things I like and don’t like about the Healthcare bill.

  • Provide small employers with fewer than 25 employees and average annual wages of less than $40,000 that purchase health insurance for employees with a tax credit.
  • For tax years 2011 and 2012, provide a tax credit of up to 35% of the employer’s contribution toward the employee’s health insurance premium if the employer contributes at least 50% of the total premium cost or 50% of a benchmark premium. The full credit will be available to employers with 10 or fewer employees and average annual wages of less than $20,000. Tax-exempt small businesses meeting these requirements are eligible for tax credits of up to 25% of the employer’s contribution toward the employee’s health insurance premium.
    • Such rate shall not vary by health status related factors, gender,class of business, claims experience, or any other factor.
    • A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage, may not establish rules for eligibility (including continued eligibility) of any individual to enroll under the terms of the plan or coverage based on any of the following health status-related factors in relation to the individual or a dependent of the individual:
      • Health status.
      • Medical condition (including both physical and mental illnesses).
      • Claims experience.
      • Receipt of health care.
      • Medical history.
      • Genetic information.
      • Evidence of insurability arising out of acts of domestic violence.
      • Disability.


  • Individual mandate. Require U.S. citizens and legal residents to have qualifying health coverage. Enforced through a tax penalty of $750 per adult year.
    Impose a tax on individuals without qualifying coverage of $750 per adult per year to be phased-in beginning in 2014.
  • Impose an excise tax in 2013 on insurers of employer-sponsored health plans with aggregate values that exceed $8,000 for individual coverage and $21,000 for family coverage (these threshold values will be indexed to the consumer price index for urban consumers (CPI-U) plus 1%). The threshold amounts will be increased for retired individuals age 55 and up and for employees engaged in high-risk professions by $1,850 for individual coverage and $5,000 for family coverage.
  • Impose new fees on segments of the health care sector: $2.3 billion annual fee on the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector; $4 billion annual fee on the medical device manufacturing sector; and $6.7 billion annual fee on the health insurance sector.
  • 500 billion in Medicare cuts over 10 years to help offset the enormous cost of providing care to 45 million uninsured Americans.
  • SEC. 2701. FAIR INSURANCE COVERAGE. Rate shall vary only by:
    • Family structure
    • Community rating area;
    • The actuarial value of the benefit;
    • Age, except that such rate shall not vary by more than 2 to 1.
  • United States Preventive Services Task Force.
  • Independent Medicare Advisory Boards (named informally the death panel).
    • Section 3403 of Senate requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.”
    • Section 3403 of Senator Reid’s legislation also states, “Notwithstanding rule XV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a committee amendment described in subparagraph (A) may include matter not within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance if that matter is relevant to a proposal contained in the bill submitted under subsection (c)(3).” In short, it sets up a rule to ignore another Senate rule.
  • No comparative effectiveness research and value-based purchasing.

Q. What is the one thing you want to accomplish should you be elected? –
A. To rebuild our manufacturing base.

Q. How would you go about rebuilding our manufacturing base?
A. I know the above won’t be easy and to get it done will take a lot of like-minded legislators to achieve it. With that said, we must start the process and let folks know how important it is to the well being of the American people.

  • I would start by learning everything I can about manufacturing.
  • I would visit as many different kinds of manufacturing companies as possible to do the following:
    • I would ask them what keeps their company in the U.S.?
    • What do they need to compete with China, India or any other foreign countries?
    • I would visit the manufacturing companies that have moved their factories to another country and find out why?
    • I would ask them what would they need and what would it take for them to return their company back to the U.S.?
  • After I gathered all the information, I would then go to work in trying to figure out what I can do as far as with the Federal Government through legislation, tax incentives, tariffs, etc. I then would do what I could to bring our American Companies that left back home.
  • Those that left the U.S. to use child labor and create sweatshops for greed will never return. Those companies should be forced to give up their American citizenship.

I will need to educate myself more to gain the knowledge needed to achieve the referenced above.

Q. Running against Lacy Clay, are you afraid that your disease and even your housing and disability will become an issue?
A. No, I’m not afraid. Could the above become an issue for some voters? Yes. Could Mr. Clay make it an issue? Yes. I personally don’t feel it should be an issue. We have many Senators and Congresspersons who have had cancers, strokes and brain tumors while holding office and are re-elected. Anyone including the District 1 voters could become ill (God forbid). President Ronald Regan (who had Alzheimer’s) held the office of the presidency with the very early stages of Alzheimer’s. If I’m not mistaken, Vice President Biden had a brain tumor at one time. The District 1 voters will decide if it is a reason to not vote for me. If that is the case, I will respect their decision.

Q. What is your background? Tell my readers more about you? –
A. My roots are in Sullivan and Bourbon, Missouri. Yes, I’m a country girl.

I grew up on the Meramec River and love outdoor activities, such as, fishing, hiking, boating and all things that growing up on a river can offer a person. I played Varsity softball and volleyball in high school and during my time in high school loved working on my old cars and keeping them running. In my younger years, due to my passion for working and thurst for learning new things, I did various types of work. I have 5 siblings, but none that live in St. Louis.

I attended East Central Junior College and Meramec Community College. When I was 21 years of age, I had to move to the city to find work and have been here ever since. No children of my own. I love life and all the adventures she can offer. Most of all, I love my country (the people) and have a passion that burns deep inside of me to keep her strong for those of us who are here now and for those that are to come in the future.

Writing about myself is the hardest question you have asked me to answer.

Running for Congress is not about me. It’s about “We the People” and giving our government back to its rightful owners, “The People”.

Q. Have you approached or are there any plans for you to debate Lacy Clay? If so, when?
A. I don't know if Mr. Clay knows that he has a Democrat challenger yet. I don't know that he will deem me a threat. I have had no contact with Mr. Clay. I will wait and see how things go. I'm open to debating Mr. Clay. It would be my first debate ever in my life. Mr. Clay would have a huge advantage. If Mr. Clay asks for a debate I will debate him and do my best.

As you can see, Candice has some very interesting points. Please check out her webpage and reach out to her via her website or on Twitter via @Candicebritton.

I hope you found this as informative as I did. Please comment your thoughts on here and let Candice know what you think.