Peruse my thoughts...
Today I spent the day walking around downtown Lexington and then Higginsville doing some shopping and meeting people. We only have two months until the election and I have not had the chance to meet all of you! I know that meeting several hundred or even a couple thousand people is a big order but I really wanted to meet many of you. I will be honest though, I am not a really outgoing, in your face kind of person. I remember a deacon we had once who said he preferred friendship evangelism rather than the hell fire and brimstone. I agree, I prefer to quietly meet you and let you get to know me. To that end I would like to ask for your help. If you are on this page and following me and KNOW that we need a change in Jefferson City, I am asking for your help. I keep telling people I want to truly represent you and not some party affiliation.
Here is what I need:
During the rest of September and into October I would like to schedule some town hall meetings to let people come out and tell me what they think is important for our district and state and to let them meet me and for me to meet you. I don't know all of the ins and outs of your communities like you do. Please help me and let me know where in your town or community would be a good place to have an open house. Remember that I am not taking in money like Mr. Kolkmeyer does and therefore I have nothing to spend for a venue or even refreshments. I can bake you all some cookies if you want though, depending on how many come! Please let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . I need your input, not only NOW, but after the election too! This is a representative thing and I want to represent YOU. Tell me what to do!
We just celebrated Labor Day but I wonder how many of us truly think about what this holiday really stands for. It stands for the people who fought and some who actually were injured and died trying to get companies to give workers some basic benefits. As I am writing this I had a hard time coming up with the word benefit. I thought rights, justice, and just couldn't really grasp a word that represented what was won through the strikes, walk outs and strife. Little things we take for granted were gained. A 5 day work week, 8 hour work day, overtime pay, the ability to take a vacation or even a sick day without losing your job, pay increases, insurance benefits, safe working conditions, and the start of child labor laws. There are so many things that we take for granted that simply didn't exist in the late 1800's. All of these benefits were introduced and fought for through the unification of a group of people who were fed up with bosses that lowered their pay simply because they wanted to but at the same time kept prices of goods and housing at the same rate. Kind of sounds like a case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Sound familiar?
Here in Missouri we just voted for our legislature to remove the "Right to Work" amendment from our state constitution. We had not voted for it to be placed on there, our current legislators and our past governor decided to place it there and voted it through without our consent. Some Union members protested and decided to do something about it. They gained signatures that questioned the authority of the governor and and legislature passing this. The question was put back to the people of Missouri to decide. We voted and loudly said NO. But even after we voted and obviously don't want it, some of our legislators are saying they are just going to pass it again. Why?
Some people think the reason is that our elected officials are being "bought" by big business. Campaign funding and contributions have no limit in Missouri. Yes, it has to be reported, but there is no limit on who or how much can be given to a legislator. You know the saying that Money is the root of all evil? Well, corruption in politics is rampant. We need to do two things this coming November. 1. we need to see who voted to place Right to Work in place (my opponent Glen Kolkmeyer did) and if you voted to repeal it, don't vote for those people again. It would be like changing your no vote to a yes vote. and 2. We need campaign finance reform. We need to limit the amounts anyone can give a legislator or candidate. The Clean Missouri initiative will do this. Some politicians have donations that amount to the tens of thousands of dollars. Why would someone give that much to a candidate? Just to be generous? They really like the person? They are "hoping" the person will support the same ideals that they do? I don't want to be cynical but, I'm not talking about donations of $50 or even $150 I'm talking about donations in the thousands. Why would you give someone that much money without getting anything in return... I'll be honest, I wouldn't.
Today a new law was passed that brought Missouri in line with just about every other state by not allowing anyone 15 or younger to be married. How did this come to the legislatures attention? It started with a series of reports in the Kansas City Star. An article recently written by Sarah Fenske states "Those laws, as the Kansas City Star reported in a groundbreaking series earlier this year, made Missouri "the easiest place in America for a fifteen year old to wed." As the paper reported, "From 1999 to 2015, more than 1,000 15-year-olds married in Missouri. Of those, The Star’s review of data shows, more than 300 married men age 21 or older, with some in their 30s, 40s and 50s. Assuming they had premarital sex, those grooms would be considered rapists."
Having been a High School Counselor it amazes me that this measure is just now passing in 2018. A 15 year old is a Freshman or Sophomore in High School. They are still maturing, some girls have not even started their monthly cycles, some boys are just starting to get that voice change and squeak. And I can assure you that the person wanting to marry them is not another 15 year old. I've spoken to those students dating older men or women and they "know" they are in love. They "know" the person they are with loves them. What did you think when you were 15? Look back at your High school yearbook or pictures. Think of your friends, your likes and dislikes. Anything changed since then?
On a personal note, I wasn't allowed to date until I was 16. My children were not allowed to date until they were 16. I wasn't going to drive him and she needed to be able to kick the guy out if he did something wrong and drive home herself. High School is for having fun with your friends, being silly, learning about relationships and hanging out with groups.
Here is something else to think about: 50 members of the current House of Representatives voted against this change stating it infringed on people's rights... Seriously, Representatives? What are you thinking?
This weekend a true American Hero passed away. Senator John McCain of Arizona lost his battle with cancer. I would like to share some thoughts of the loss of Senator McCain. Only one person that I know of has questioned that this man is a war hero. While serving his country during the Vietnam War he was shot down, Spent years in a concentration camp, survived, came home and then continued to serve his country as an elected official. He put his life in the spotlight for us to see. Senator McCain will be sorely missed in congress as he did something few politicians these days will do. He voted for what he believed was right no matter whose idea it was. We may not have agreed with him all the time or he with us, but he was willing to listen and then decide. Then today a letter, written by Senator McCain, to us Americans was released. I cannot summarize it and do him the justice he deserves so following is a copy of his letter. Thank you, Senator McCain. You have made your mark on history and your message and spirit live on.
"My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,
Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.
I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.
I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.
'Fellow Americans' — that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.
We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.
We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.
Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.
I feel it powerfully still.
Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.
Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America."
We had wonderful weather for the Lexington Fair. The Model T had some problems with the generator so we were not able to bring it for the parade and the Model A still needs the front springs replaced (but he's working on it!) We decided we would feel kind of funny just the three of us walking in the parade with no sign to let people know who we were and why we were there! We did have a booth and had the opportunity to meet several people and hear about what some in the town of Lexington and surrounding areas feel about issues coming up this year. One question asked was what I thought about I-70 becoming a toll road. It hasn't been done or decided yet, but there is talk about it. I know that my husband drives I-70 to work each day from M Highway into downtown KC so the first thing that goes through my mind is "What is that going to cost us!" Would there be a cheaper rate for those of us that drive it to work every day? Another issue coming up for vote is the sales tax on gasoline going up over the next several years. what do you think about that? These are questions that I want to hear from YOU what you think. Both of these are supposed to put more money into road improvements. We know we need those, but are these the right ways of getting the money? and will the money be used in our area?
Very interesting day. I received a phone call this morning from my sister saying she was very excited when she saw my name on the "real" ballot. She had to call and tell me. I got to the polling place about an hour later and it was a strange feeling. A year ago I would have never thought I would be running for office. Just shows you what paying attention to what is going on in our government can do to a person. It makes you want to stand up and change what is going on!
I want to thank everyone who came out to vote today no matter what or who you voted for. We, as Americans, need to be active participants in our government. That is what our forefathers intended for all of us when they said "We the People." Now, We the People, need to coordinate and win back control of our state and our government.
A couple of other items to note: 1) Looks like we have come together and agreed that Right to Work is Wrong for us in Missouri. We need to stay vigilant and make sure it is not slid by us again. 2) I am very excited to announce that I will be watching another race this year as my niece, Nicole Thompson, won her primary in Senate District 6 in Jefferson City. She is to blame for my discovering how naive I was about how much state government affects me and lighting this fire under me.
Just spent the last three days manning an information booth during Odessa's Puddle Jumper Days meeting several people from our district. I am overwhelmed by the needs in our district and the lack of help people have received for medical and personal care. I love our community and was truly saddened to listen to stories of neglect and attempts to improve their positions which ended with not only no help, but with no response or rude replies and outright statements from politicians stating they did not care. I also cannot count the times I heard that a citizen called their representative to never receive a call back from the representative or any staff member in that office. I admit I have not been in politics in the past and don't know the number of calls or visits that a state representative receives in a day, but i was a counselor in a large school and always made it a policy to visit with anyone who came in whether it was immediately or as soon as I could get out of a meeting and returned the call or e-mail of each one received. If our elected officials do not care about us, why did we elect them and what good are they to us? This opens up the next question of who is supporting their campaign? What are they basing their choices on when voting for a resolution or bill? Are they truly working for us if they don't know what we need and want? It is a very frustrating and confusing process and it should not be. Our representatives are elected by US to represent US. Their duty is to listen to the people in their district and to make choices based on the needs and wants of their district. That is what I plan on doing... It seems that my logic is not that common, but don't you think it should be?
We had the great opportunity to visit with the Lafayette County Democrats at their annual Dinner and Pie Auction tonight. We met lots of great people and had a very nice welcome in Higginsville. I didn't get the pie I really wanted but came home with some awesome Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes! I want to thank the Lafayette County Democrats for giving me a couple of minutes to speak and introduce myself. I appreciate the welcome and the comments I received after.
The main speaker for the night was Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver. I was fortunate enough several years ago to hear him speak when he was Mayor of Kansas City at a Missouri School Counselor's Association Conference at TanTarA and was very taken with him. Tonight was just as inspiring. He is a man of wisdom and faith and very much a people person. If you ever have a chance to hear him you will not be disappointed! On a side note, I would say gooseberry is his favorite pie since he bought two! We will be at the Odessa Puddle Jumpers Days next weekend. Come out and see me and tell me what you would like to see Missouri do for you!
We had such a great day Saturday in Mayview! I appreciate all of the people who stopped by and introduced themselves. It was great talking to you and finding out what is important to you. I took some notes, put October 13 on my calendar to come back and praised God when it started raining. I told people I wouldn't care if we got rained out and all my things got ruined if it would just rain, and it did! Although we packed up early because of the rain, we thoroughly enjoyed the time we were there. My husband, Fred, entered his Model T (Henry) in the car show and he won a trophy. You would not believe how excited he was! It was the first time he had ever won anything like that in his life. He is still smiling about it and the trophy is in my Dining Room on the sideboard. I wonder if he expects me to keep it there?
Regardless, I am not sure I can wait til October to come visit again. I need to check out the new store and the restaurant and I think I may have to go back to talk Sadie into baking me a pie one day soon! Coconut cream?
on a sad note, when we got south toward my house the dust wasn't even settled by the rain...
I had a young man ask me the other day what was wrong with Right to Work. He said he knows it is supposed to be bad, but no one ever says why. I answered him and later got to looking at the signs and ads. He was right, none of them said why. So here is my uneducated, but very personal, take on why Right to Work is Wrong. I've looked at Right to Work states and my husband was employed in the state of Kansas for many years. Just last year he was injured on the job performing a running maintenance procedure, which means that the machine is kept running so that there is no down time in the production of the product. These can be dangerous machines but some companies value production over people. His shirt sleeve was caught in the machine and he was pulled in and almost lost his arm. He was taken to the hospital, ambulances cost too much, was cleaned up and sewn up and asked to see the company's Workman's comp doctor the next day. He went to the company's doctor who said he didn't think he should return to work yet but had to check with the HR person at the company first. Long story short, as soon as he was off workman's comp, he was fired. He tried to ask why, the company said he was careless doing his job. He filed for unemployment (he'd worked there for over 5 years. 7 days a week, mandatory and most days over 8 hour days, again mandatory) The company denied his unemployment. Right to Work meant he had to work those 7 day weeks and when he was fired, basically for getting hurt, there was nothing he could do about it.
I don't care if you are Union or non Union, but years ago in US History, Unions organized to get 5 day, 40 hour work weeks, decent pay, lunch breaks, vacations and paid holidays, recourse if you are unjustly fired and as you can see from my husband's example, Right to Work can allow a company to take a lot of that away.