Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Robyn Hamlin Radio Interview

This post marks my 100th post as a blogger. Seeing as I do not post multiple times a day this is a somewhat momentous occasion for me. This post occurs just a few weeks after my 1 year anniversary of starting this blog. No matter what happens in the coming months, I hope to continue to offer the investigative and in depth reporting for the 1st district that the St. Louis Post will not do.

With that said, I do not know if anyone caught it, but Robyn Hamlin was a guest on St. Louis NPR yesterday morning. Here is her interview with Don Marsh from this morning. Robyn makes up the first 23 minutes of this recording.

While NPR may not be the most hospitable crowd for Robyn as a candidate, I was glad to hear that someone gave her a chance to talk on the radio. We all need to make sure that we listen when Lacy Clay is on so that we can ask him the questions that we would normally have at a town hall, if he were to ever have one. We must be respectful but at the same time ask him the hard questions he should be asked and hold him accountable for his actions and inactions in the House of Representatives.
Additionally, everyone needs to recognize that part of politics is getting your name out there. Lacy Clay has had it easy since he can ride on the coattails of his father. Robyn does not have that luxury. If you know anyone in the radio, TV or print business, work with them to get Robyn's name out there. Ask them to do an interview with her, do a piece on the small businesswoman running for office, etc. This is the type of press that she needs and is not getting. Lacy Clay is smart and his inaction during recess means that the press does not have to look for opposing viewpoints. We need to get Robyn and the first district on every one's minds. This blog can only do so much.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Do You Know Your District? - UPDATED

As I talked about in an earlier post HERE, the census is very important to politicians. Yes it gives government an idea of who lives where and all sorts of statistical data, but it also plays a very important part to the House of Representatives. After the 2000 census, St. Louis was re-districted.

Here is what the 1st, 2nd and 3rd districts looked like pre-redistricting. Maps courtesy of the US Census

The districts were changed after the census to look like this.

The third district saw some changes, but the second and first districts were changed the most. Parts of north county as well as a decent chunk of west county were all taken from the second district and moved into the first. This change was done in such a way to almost guarantee the status quo, thus meaning the first district would be represented by a Democrat.

The sad thing is, a lot of people do not know that they were moved around. This became very apparent when a co-worker who lives in Maryland Heights was complaining that she had no one to vote against Todd Akin (she is a yellow dog Democrat). When I challenged her on whether or not she was in Akin's district, she swore she was. I had her go to this tool HERE. Low and behold she found out that she is in fact in District 1. She was not even looking because she was sure that she was in the 2nd district. This got me thinking, so I started asking more and more people that live in Maryland Heights, Hazelwood area and many, not all, thought that they were still in the second district.

So, it was with great surprise that I received an email with the following video.

Take the time and learn what district you are in and make sure you cast your ballot come November 2nd.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fannie and Freddie and the art of Hypocrisy

I have seen it in my own neighborhood and you probably have too. People quickly and quietly packing up their houses, putting everything they can in cars, trailers and trucks, suddenly leaving the neighborhood they called home. Why were they doing this, because they were being foreclosed upon.

The market crash of 2008 was one of the worst that this country has seen in a couple of generations. Today, we are still suffering the repercussions of that crash. Many people are still out of work, many houses sit empty due to foreclosure and 401K’s were greatly diminished. The reason, or much of the reason for this is due to the gross mismanagement of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

I was reminded of this topic while going through my emails and looking at an e-newsletter I had received from Lacy Clay. His letter read as such:

Thank you for reading another edition of my e-newsletter.

In the wake of our nation’s current economic crisis, I strongly support the establishment of a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to hold big banks and Wall Street accountable. Congress must ensure that taxpayers will never again be forced to bail out big banks and huge firms because they are "too big to fail."

Financial reform is vital to ending the reckless schemes and outrageous abuses that nearly caused a second Great Depression and contributed to millions of Americans losing their jobs.

As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, I am committed to working with my colleagues and President Obama to adopt strong, common sense rules that will protect our economy and working families.

Honest and transparent financial reform will help create a stronger financial sector so that small businesses can get loans, families can get affordable mortgages, and entrepreneurs can create the jobs of tomorrow.

Consumer financial protections are currently spread across seven different government agencies. Our objective is to create one single Consumer
Financial Protection Agency -- tasked with preventing predatory practices and
making sure you get the clear information you need to understand your personal

You can learn more about the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that I strongly supported by clicking here.

For additional information on Financial Reform and many other topics, please visit my website at http://lacyclay.house.gov/.

It is a great honor for me to represent your interests in Congress. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. I value your views, as your input helps me to better represent the people of Missouri’s 1st District.



Re-reading this, I had to laugh to myself as he is trying to talk of economic reform and ending the reckless schemes that hurt our nation. It was with great amusement, then, that I stumbled across this you-tube video featuring Lacy and several other Democrats railing against those trying to create oversight over Freddie and Fannie.

I find it funny that Lacy and others try and make this into a racial issue rather than deal with the facts from those that know what they are talking about. While not coming out and saying those suggesting oversight were racist, they used words like “..the political lynching of Franklin Raines” and such. This is the standard move by Democrats when they cannot discuss things using logic or are proven to be wrong, throw out the race card.

Now, of course, the Democrats want to point the blame at the Republicans for all of this. They talk about how this could have been avoided when the Republicans had control if they really knew there was an issue. Never mind that even Bill Clinton had concerns about the size and power of Fannie and Freddie. This is just pure hypocrisy on their part; complain about wanting regulation and then when things fall apart, blame those who tried to implement it for not doing so. That said, the Republicans do have some blame in this. They could have pushed more to get something done. Yes, the called for regulation, but did not really push the matter as far as it could have gone. In this case, the Democrats were the obstructionists that created much of the mess we are in now.

This is just another thing for everyone to think about when it comes time to vote. Sure, they are claiming they are for oversight now, but where were they before the crisis? I am sure this is another question that Lacy does not want to have to answer at a town hall or a debate.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Skip Starbucks Week

In the theme of helping those candidates out, I am starting Skip Starbucks Week. I have nothing against Starbucks. In fact, I love Starbucks coffee. This week, though, I want everyone to skip out on their Starbucks fix and use the money saved to help a candidate of their choice.

I have posted the following on my Facebook status:
This week is skip Starbucks this week. Take the $25.00 and donate to the candidate of your choice. There are a lot of good campaigns that can use the funds.
Did you know that 5 day's worth of Starbucks coffee can buy a campaign about 625 flyers, 3 - 4 campaign shirts, 2 yard signs or 59 bumper stickers.
If you like this post, copy it and make it your own!

So whether it is via Facebook, Twitter or word of mouth, pass the word on and get everyone to skip their Starbucks, QT soda/coffee, morning donut, whatever and donate that money to the candidate of their choice.

With this being a short week for most people, it should make it that much easier. You already have a jump start with no work on Monday.

Pass the word on.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Political Donations and You

What does a donation mean to a political candidate? Well, if you are challenging an established incumbent, it can mean a lot. In St. Louis, we have two candidates that are challenging established incumbents with decent war chest funds. These challengers need YOUR time, effort and yes money to be able to succeed.

Why do they need YOUR donations, you may be asking. There are two reasons.

  1. Candidates need donations of time and money. They need:
    • time because they cannot be at all places at all times. They need people to help organize fundraisers, drop literature, assist at events, make phone calls, make mailers, answer the phones, etc. A volunteer, a true volunteer and not one of the Democrat paid volunteers, is worth their weight in gold to a candidate. They are the lifeblood of a challenger and can make the difference in a tight election.
    • money because that is what it takes to get their name out. Money is needed to register to run, print flyers, run advertisements on radio and TV, get a web page made, have a phonebank make calls and even rent and operate a headquarters.
    • stuff. You would be surprised what kind of stuff a candidate needs. They need computers and printers. If they have printers, they need toner and paper. If they have a headquarters, the need furniture. They need yard signs, bumper stickers, buttons, shirts and hats. They need all of the things that a normal business needs to operate, but they need it quicker.
  2. If the money comes from you, the candidate is being paid for by you. If the candidate gets their money from PACs and companies, they are indebted to these companies. Not all candidates are this way. There are several out there that do what is right for the people. That said, there are many that are willing to do what is right for their campaign contributors. Do you think Lacy Clay would give a care for the Rent to Own industry if they did not pay him or his personal PAC so much money? If you want a candidate that is going to represent you and not have to make deals with companies and PAC's to get money, then YOU have to donate and not leave it to the interest groups

Based upon the current, as of data available today, Federal Elections Commission information, here is how the two races look in regards to donations. Both Russ Carnahan and Lacy Clay have received more money from PAC's than they have from individuals. Don't believe me, click on the images below to see for yourself. These come straight from the FEC website.

If you want to do your own homework, click HERE to go to the Missouri page.

To add insult to injury, of Lacy Clay's $185,642 in individual contributions, $89,420 is from people out of the state of Missouri. In the case of Russ Carnahan, $96,510 out of $575,207 is from people out of the state of Missouri. While Russ has a higher percentage of Missouri donations, both seem to be receiving a lot of money from out of state interests.

In the interest of fairness, I have to say that Ed Martin has received a considerable amount of money from out of state individuals too. Of his $820,064 in individual donations, $101,916 comes from individuals out of state. Robyn Hamlin does not have any individual donations listed, meaning that she has not received, any individual donations over $200.00.

Across the board, people agree that it is time to get rid of the established and entrenched Democrats that have sat in the Senate and Congress for years and done nothing for their constituents. If you really want this to occur, the candidates need your help. They need your financial support and they need your time.

Now, let me say something for those in Missouri in and out of the MO first district. Robyn Hamlin needs your help. There has been no time within in recent history that we have been this close to being able to get rid of Lacy Clay. While many are focusing on the Russ Carnahan vs Ed Martin fight, Robyn is getting ignored. She needs your help too. Lacy Clay is beatable. If you would just please give her a few dollars, it can go a long way. Skipping Starbucks or brown bagging lunch for a week for one person can by some additional flyers, yard signs or bumper stickers. If you can, please go to her website at http://www.hamlinforcongress.com/ and make a donation.