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Messages - darrellmaurina


McCaskill aims to require ‘plain English’ for federal regulations

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill

McCaskill aims to require ‘plain English’ for federal regulations
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 23, 2012) — In her ongoing fight for stronger accountability and transparency in government, U.S Senator Claire McCaskill is aiming to shine more sunlight on public documents by making them available “in plain English.” McCaskill today introduced the bipartisan Plain Writing Act for Regulations to require authors of federal regulations to use language that is clear, concise, well-organized and follows best practices appropriate to the subject or audience. McCaskill’s bill is cosponsored by Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and supported by the National Small Business Association and the Center for American Progress. “Any time we make it easier for folks to access and understand government information that’s a good thing,” McCaskill said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...

By Press Office of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill

Military Opinion / Re: wonder who she will vote for
« on: January 15, 2012, 04:24:41 AM »
To of avoided all this crap why didn't they do a background check
'BEFORE' they invited her  ***(((*

Good question for the Coast Guard, too: "Payne's officers nominated her to get one of the president's phone calls. She said she was told she got the nod because of her work performance."

Some junior or mid-level staffers in the White House as well as some mid-level to senior officers in the Coast Guard are likely having to answer hard questions now. I have seen the consequences for Fort Leonard Wood and Missouri National Guard personnel at the colonel and general officer level when people in the Pentagon get copies of some things I have written. It's not pretty.

Something like this will have far more troublesome consequences. That's unfortunate for the military personnel, but the politicians knew what to expect, or at least they should have.

There is very room for error in dealing with national-level political issues. Otherwise, presidents and senators come off looking like county commissioners and that rarely plays well on network newscasts.

Military Opinion / Re: wonder who she will vote for
« on: January 15, 2012, 02:41:44 AM »
the dui charge was a turning point in her life that led her to JOIN the military. It did not happen while on active duty, I think you missed that Darrell. look at the research she did and what she intended to talk about. Her dui was an irrelevant point. Nobama missed an opportunity to showcase how joining the military was a positive step for this person. And if the dui came out afterwards her joining the military reinforces that fact. but nobama is not in the business of building up people anyway!

Actually, I did see that... it's why I wrote that McCain "could quite credibly highlight the role of military service in helping this Coast Guard petty officer straighten out her life."

A person who has worn the uniform can say that with credibility. People who haven't worn the uniform need to be very careful what they say about the military since it can get seriously twisted. Imagine if President Obama had called the woman, then it was found out she had a drunk driving conviction (and it probably would have been found out), and Obama, in response, had said -- quite correctly -- that the military helps a lot of young people straighten out their lives by giving them the discipline they need to succeed.

Some would take that statement at face value and believe it.

There are also people who would take that statement and accuse Obama of saying the military is a place for drunks and social rejects, and since there was a time when judges **WERE** saying "join up or go to jail," other people would accuse Obama of having an outdated and incorrect view of who serves today.

I think those of us who have not dealt with a presidential campaign may not fully understand just how careful politicians and their staff are in these matters -- and they really have very little choice. In politics, avoiding the problem is often much easier than dealing with the consequences once the problem blows up.

Obviously I'm not in Obama's shoes but I think a call from Vice President Joe Biden, whose son does have many years of military service and who has been a Democratic Party advocate for military concerns and police issues for a long time, might have avoided the whole situation. Hindsight is usually better than predictive powers in these cases.

Something more needs to be said about Obama and his contact with military matters.

Everyone who knows me knows I have virtually no areas of agreement with Obama's policies on national defense. For whatever it's worth, remember that I used to be a reporter in Iowa and I have church connections in that state going back more than two decades. The information I'm consistently getting out of Iowa is that then-candidate Obama, in his many months of slogging through small Iowa towns in 2007 leading up to the 2008 Iowa Democratic Caucuses, was in fact quite surprised by what was probably his first close-up experience with families who have sons and daughters in the military. Democrats sign up too, especially in rural communities, and in lots of small towns Obama saw firsthand what it means to be a mom or a dad with a blue star flags in their home. That simply is not a part of Chicago politics that he had seen in his prior political career.

The people I know who dealt with Obama before he was an important player on the Democratic Party scene believe Obama's surprise at what military families go through is real, and since that has been part of Biden's agenda for many years, I think we have at least one advocate for military families at the upper levels of Democratic Party politics. That's not the same as being an advocate for the military or for good national defense policy, but it's better than nothing.

Don't get me wrong: I'm not a Democrat or anywhere close to being a Democrat or even a moderate Republican. I'm a hard-right conservative who will be furious if Mitt Romney becomes our nominee. However, our political enemies are not wrong on everything, and sometimes I get surprised by liberals who actually get a few things right. Even broken clocks are right twice a day.

Military Opinion / Re: wonder who she will vote for
« on: January 14, 2012, 10:56:27 PM »
Let's be fair to President Obama on this one ... at the national level of politics, people need to be ultra-careful to avoid even the appearance of problems.

Around here, people seem to think it's strange that I check the criminal records and tax filings and contribution lists of candidates for public office, and accuse me of playing dirty politics. At the national level, however, news media do much more than that. One of the Republican candidates for president avoided attending events at a certain well-known Iowa chain of convenience stores because a member of the family that runs it had significant criminal issues in his past. Even though I was a reporter in Iowa, I never considered checking something like that, but obviously other media did.

What President Obama did in this case is what many and perhaps all of the Republican candidates would do if they get elected president. The exception might be someone like John McCain whose own military career had more than a few hiccups, and he could quite credibly highlight the role of military service in helping this Coast Guard petty officer straighten out her life. Other than Gov. Rick Perry and Rep. Ron Paul, I don't think any of the other current candidates for either party would have been able to make that call without getting questions asked, and unlike McCain who was quite a "wild boy" in the Navy, I'm not sure Perry or Paul's military background included a history of comparable problems.

Local News / Re: Money missing at Waynesville Schools
« on: January 14, 2012, 10:29:26 PM »
The problem here is Miss Adrienne's Beauty. She dazzles whom ever she is speaking with her bubblie personality and her good looks and extreme inteligence.
And that beffudles most men and they are not sure what they have been told.
Miss 'A' has made many of men and women walk off scratching their heads after talking to her.  :kiss:   :kiss:

I have been told the TV reporter was female and used to live in Pulaski County.

Don't think you want to go there, Maynard... we aren't in Key West or certain other Florida cities and some things are fighting words. Having one woman mad at you is bad enough but two female Pulaski women mad at you could result in unintended consequences.

Elected officials don't scare me. But go ask a certain woman in the county courthouse who is a staff member, not an elected official, how I react to her comments. Hint: former Western District Commissioner Dennis Thornsberry and I agree on at least one thing, and that's the need to avoid wrangling with her!  :)  Every office that deals with the public needs either an enforcer or an elected official who is willing to get a reputation for bluntness and abrasiveness, and usually having a staff member do that works better.

Back to the TV piece, my read is this was a mistake that won't get made twice. Stuff happens.
Long-term, I see no serious harm done and maybe even some good. What KY-3 did may actually help by making clear to everyone this can't get swept under the rug.

Moving on is probably a good idea. I trust Kevin to do what needs to be done on this investigation. Kevin is fully aware that if credible information comes out that he's dragging his feet on a case involving theft of money from a school district, his life will be made miserable not just by the media but by dozens of angry parents with leaked documents in their hands. Kevin has his job because of an "attack of the blogs" in the not-too-distant past, and I believe he is fully aware of the need to be accountable to the public.

Local News / Re: Money missing at Waynesville Schools
« on: January 14, 2012, 06:38:48 PM »
So if you must form your firing squad at anyone, feel free to aim this way.

I'm going to defend Adrienne on this.

I have no way to independently verify what Adrienne and KY3 said to each other, so I suppose it's remotely possible something could have happened that wasn't ideal, but I do know from years of past history that Adrienne is a straight shooter. Many of us on this board know her from professional life long before she was hired in the prosecutor's office.

As long as we're talking about firing squads, she can handle verbal bullets and will deal with them appropriately based on the situation, which in some cases will mean serious return fire. Frankly, I'd rather deal with real bullets from her because I think her verbal bullets would hurt much longer than a well-placed fatal gunshot. ;-)

Now back on track, I think the underlying issue here is that there have been serious coverups in the past with official misconduct in Pulaski County and people are worried it wil happen again here.

That's a valid concern, and there have been cases where I knew theft was going on and had documentation in my files, but I could not do anything about it without risking a libel lawsuit because law enforcement, prosecutors, and/or government officials failed to act. In this case, I think the school district by now has had it communicated to them with a very loud megaphone that coverups won't work in this case.

And yes, I know school board members and staff are reading this. Do your jobs and you won't have to deal with nasty questions from me and other media, and put bluntly, there are much more aggressive and much nastier media out there than me. I hope the KY-3 situation this week makes extremely clear to you that while you may be able to intimidate some local media, you can't control KY-3 and you can't control me once I'm confident that I have enough facts to defend myself against a lawsuit. KY-3 took a risk I wouldn't have taken, but they opened some floodgates that neither school officials nor anyone else can shut now.

In the long run, openness is a good thing. I'd rather have ten reporters screw up a story than have ten elected officials covering things up that involve tax dollars, and that's why we have a First Amendment barring virtually all government restrictions on the media.

Local News / Re: Money missing at Waynesville Schools
« on: January 14, 2012, 03:23:45 PM »
Sheriff King is right.

Here are a few items that may be helpful to see how both sides of this dynamic work.

In this county, we've gotten used to having a sheriff who doesn't hide things. Most people on this message board realize that our current sheriff and our current prosecutor have their jobs in large measure because of the power of the internet to expose things and hold elected officials to the standards they should be following anyway.

Frankly, we've gotten used to something that I'm afraid we risk taking for granted. I was speaking recently to a Springfield television reporter (not on this case) who told me how much she appreciated our sheriff since his approach to the media is the way elected officials should act. That came completely out of the blue; we weren't talking about anything remotely related to the sheriff's office and this was just something that she knows about our community that impressed her.

If Sheriff King tells me he can't answer something on the record, I have a history with him back to 2004 proving that I can trust him to be honest. He also knows that I can use the Sunshine Law to get access to lots of things and that I often know how to get off-the-record comments on things that he can't discuss. That's just part of being a local reporter who knows my beat and knows the people and procedures to get things I need. Out-of-town reporters don't know those things, and can't be expected to.

On Sheriff King's side, he knows that while I can sometimes be a pain in the neck, that's my job. If he tells me something off-the-record, he knows he can trust me to keep it off the record. He has the kind of relationship with me and with other reporters that allows us to trust each other to be honest and to follow the law.

The result is that when he or I make a mistake, we realize it's an out-of-character mistake, not something deliberate, and we move  on rather than blaming each other for being underhanded deceivers and manipulators.

That simply is **NOT** the case with many members of the media in their dealings with law enforcement. Often there is a long history of mistrust and it may be backed up with specific examples of bad behavior on both sides.

It's not every day that Springfield media have to deal with Pulaski County; they don't have a history of trusting our local law enforcement and the reverse is true as well. Also, remember that it takes many years to develop a trust relationship and most reporters live in a community for just a few years and move on.

The media-police dynamic is difficult at best under these circumstances. Add in the all-too-common anti-police attitude with many reporters, and the lack of understanding of need to be accountable to the public that too often develops with police, and things can get bad fast.

Folks you have not lived until you have 15 news media groups calling you for a news release on a case you cannot comment on until much later. Many such reporters demand some type of answer they can make a story out of and you have to tread water in the deep end of the pool with care.

Local News / Re: Money missing at Waynesville Schools
« on: January 13, 2012, 06:57:49 PM »
I've already said a lot more than is probably prudent on this subject since the investigation is underway. I think some key points, however, need to get said:

* I have no malice toward the person who is the primary target of this investigation. I've known the person for years and was shocked since it appears to be utterly out of character based on everything I've personally seen or heard about from others. However, that makes no difference and I need to deal with this as I would with any other person who is under investigation for theft of taxpayer dollars but who has not yet been charged.

* I don't care if this is $50, $500, $50,000 or $5 million. The principle is what counts, not the dollar amount. While the number of dollars involved is relevant for charging purposes and for potential damage to the school district, the fact is that theft from a taxpayer supported entity is theft from taxpayers, especially if it's deliberate and happened over a long period of time rather than being a case of negligence or a one-time incident. The key issues for me are 1) nobody has yet been charged, 2) the person under investigation is a former elected official, and 3) the victim was the taxpayers.

* If and when chages are filed, I'll be all over this. Until charges are filed I need to be extremely careful, as does the prosecutor and the rest of my media colleagues.

* I have no explanation as to what happened between KY-3 television and Kevin Hillman's staff. Something obviously went wrong, but knowing a bit about what it means to work on last-minute deadline problems, I'm assuing this is an honest mistake. Stuff happens, and that's why having multiple competing media is important. Competition works; monpolies usually don't.

* Army Public Affairs policy is that "no comment" is not an acceptable answer. That policy is correct in nearly all cases with a taxpayer funded organization. Kevin is an elected official paid by our tax dollars and directly accountable to voters, the school officials are appointed officials paid by our tax dollars and accountable to an elected school board, and there are very few cases in which "no comment" is the right answer by a public official to the voters who put him in office and pay his salary.

Pulaski County Sheriff Press Releases / Re: PCSD- Stabbing Incident
« on: January 13, 2012, 02:58:31 PM »

Christina Rhodenizer
Saint Robert department head stabbed during domestic violence incident
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Jan. 11, 2012) — The girlfriend of a Saint Robert city department head expected a wedding ring from her boyfriend Monday night, but instead she is in jail facing three felony charges. According to court reports, Christina Fay Rhodenizer, 33, stabbed her boyfriend at the home they shared outside Waynesville on Sedalia Road and was arrested by Pulaski County deputies on a Class A felony charge of first-degree domestic assault, an unclassified felony of armed criminal action, and a Class D felony of tampering with physical evidence. If convicted on all charges, she could spend up to 37 years in state prison with a minimum sentence of 10 years. While widely known and already reported by some local media, the name of the victim has been deleted from court records provided to media as a domestic violence victim. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Darrell Todd Maurina

Local News / Re: Money missing at Waynesville Schools
« on: January 12, 2012, 10:03:25 PM »
It is no secret that Kevin Hillman has already posted his statement on this.  Not much more for you to report at this time.

Kevin posted as I was typing.

Local News / Re: Money missing at Waynesville Schools
« on: January 12, 2012, 07:26:06 PM »
I am sitting at County Commission which is currently grilling Sheriff King on his budget and trying to find a way to cut $150,000. I cannot properly deal with this now since I need to focus on what the county commission is doing with the budget.

The short version is Kevin Hillman doesn't know where the story came from.

The longer version I have on tape and I don't want to summarize Kevin's words without the tape transcribed of an on-the-record interview he gave me today. When Kevin came to County Commission earlier today, I handed him my laptop computer open to KY-3's webpage and handed him a copy of today's Waynesville Daily Guide with their front page story.

I trust Kevin. When he said today that he didn't say what KY-3 is reporting, I trust him that he didn't say it.

It's no secret that I have been following this story for quite a long time. It's also no secret that numerous people are leaking information of various levels of reliability and verifiability, which are two **VERY** different things since sometimes I'm quite sure something is true but I can't verify it, or I don't have sufficient confidence about how I would respond if I end up in a courtroom facing a libel lawsuit.

I would not be at all surprised if people are calling other reporters, not just me. I have no idea what information KY-3's news staff may have from their leaks or what their lawyers may have advised them to do with that leaked information. Let's just say that KY-3's news decision makes my decision considerably easier about what to do next.

Local News / Re: Money missing at Waynesville Schools
« on: January 12, 2012, 04:44:55 PM »
Kevin Hillman is at county commission now and is adamant that the KY3 story and the Daily Guide stories are wrong. He did **NOT** say charges will be filed today and the case remains under investigation.


County Government Opinion / Re: 911 Board
« on: January 08, 2012, 03:28:11 AM »
Waynesville Rural Fire Chief Doug Yurecko is now on the board after being appointed to fill a vacancy; as far as I know, otherwise the board members are unchanged since the last election. Contacting the county clerk's office should get you a list of all currently serving board members... I don't want to speak from memory and give wrong names by mistake.


U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler
Hartzler objects to gay marriages on military bases, lack of flood control
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 2, 2011) — It’s been a while since the waters of the Missouri River receded, but the threat of future flooding is first and foremost in the minds of many Fourth District residents living along the river. With possible 2012 flooding on the horizon, the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee met this week to assess the 2011 Missouri River flooding and to consider operational plans for the future. I testified before the committee, calling on the Army Corps of Engineers to take steps to prevent future flooding similar to what damaged property this spring and summer. Many residents of the Fourth District feel that these floods could have been reduced, if not completely avoided, by earlier action and better prioritization of uses by the Army Corps of Engineers. In another hearing, this week, I joined the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel for a briefing examining the legal and policy rationale leading the Department of Defense (DOD) to issue guidance, earlier this year, allowing same sex marriage ceremonies on military bases. The guidance issued by the DOD directly violates the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which defines marriage for all federal purposes to be only between a man and a woman. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler

Brown comments on newly announced state legislative district borders

State Senator Dan Brown
Brown comments on newly announced state legislative district borders
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2011) — After failing earlier in the session to come to an agreement towards drawing new legislative district boundaries, the Missouri Apportionment Commission has concluded its task, and filed the new boundaries with the office of the Missouri Secretary of State. Despite many hours of debate and hearings, the Missouri Senate, House and governor failed to agree on the boundaries by the end of session in mid-May. In addition, the bipartisan citizen apportionment commissions also failed to reach an amicable solution on the district lines in September. As a result, the state constitution mandates the lines be drawn by the six Missouri appellate judges. The decision marks only the second time in Missouri history that redistricting of both chambers were created by the judicial panel. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By State Sen. Dan Brown

Legislative redistricting plan could complicate Pulaski County politics
PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2011) — A new legislative redistricting plan could dramatically change Pulaski County politics and significantly complicate the campaigns of several already-announced candidates for the Missouri House of Representatives. While in the past State Rep. David Day has served nearly all of the populated parts of Pulaski County except for the Big Piney area and portions of Fort Leonard Wood placed into the Texas County district served by State Rep. Don Wells, Pulaski County’s growth means not just one but three state representatives will serve significant parts of Pulaski County’s population. Day and Wells are term-limited and cannot run for re-election, but Day’s hometown of Dixon, along with Richland, Swedeborg and Crocker, are now grouped into a single district with the city of Rolla. The officer’s housing area of Fort Leonard Wood, Devil’s Elbow, and most of the Highway 28 area south of the Gasconade River are grouped with Big Piney and Texas County, and the areas around Waynesville, St. Robert, Laquey and northern parts of Fort Leonard Wood will be their own district. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Darrell Todd Maurina

This is very interesting. It will certainly throw a monkey wrench into Pulaski County politics.

While in the past State Rep. David Day has served nearly all of the populated parts of Pulaski County except for the Big Piney area and parts of Fort Leonard Wood placed into the Texas County district served by State Rep. Don Wells, we are now going to have not just one but three state representatives serving significant parts of Pulaski County's population. Day lives in Dixon but he's term-limited and cannot run for re-election so the redistricting won't affect his eligibility for office even though his hometown is now grouped with Rolla.

Most of northern Pulaski County, including Richland, Swedeborg, Crocker, and Dixon, has been put into Phelps County along with Rolla to form State House of Representatives District 121. That's the territory currently served by Rep. Keith Frederick, a Republican and an orthopedic surgeon living in Rolla. Since he's an incumbent elected in 2010, he will have an automatic advantage over the two Republicans from Crocker who have already declared they plan to seek the nomination, Don Mayhew and Jim Skaggs.

Waynesville, St. Robert, and most of Laquey will be in a new District 122 which does not have an incumbent. Waynesville Mayor Cliff Hammock and retired Lynch's Furniture owner Steve Lynch have declared they will be running for the Republican nomination and live inside that district.

However, District 122's borders will look considerably different from their current shape even south of the Gasconade River.

The Hancock Precinct, which is Devil's Elbow and most but not all of Highway 28 and its side roads south of the Gasconade River, and part of Fort Leonard Wood that is mostly officers' housing has been placed into Texas County, along with the Big Piney area and parts of Fort Leonard Wood which are already there, and a small part of the Laquey area, to form State House of Representatives District 142. That Texas County area is currently served by Rep. Don Wells, but he's term-limited and cannot run for re-election.

The affected parts of Fort Leonard Wood in the garrison area which have residents are divided by a line running southward from the corner of Nebraska Avenue and Eighth Street along Nebraska Avenue until it curves southwest to New Battery Street, and then running west through the Joint Waynesville-St. Robert Municipal Airport on Forney Field and out of Fort Leonard Wood to the junction of Highway 17 and Sierra Drive in the Laquey area, then straight south to the county line, and eastward from the corner of Nebraska Avenue and Eighth Street along Eighth Street to Jadwin Drive, then east to Oklahoma Avenue, south to Delafield Street, east to a point about 250 feet east of the corner of Jadwin Drive and Delafield Street, and then straight north out of Fort Leonard Wood.

Most of Fort Leonard Wood's housing area will be grouped with Waynesville and St. Robert. The main parts of the housing area that are grouped with Texas County are Piney Hills Drive and associated side streets, alog with the following streets:

* Jadwin Drive east of Taylor Place,

* the south side of Delafield Street, and all of the north side except a portion from Oklahoma Avenue to just west of Jadwin Drive

* Gridley Loop

* Sibert Lane

* Goethals Drive south of Delafield Street

* Cooley Avenue

* the south side of Eighth Street

* Louisiana Avenue south of Eighth Street

* Michigan Avenue south of Eighth Street

While all of Richland, Swedeborg, Crocker, and Dixon are now grouped with Rolla to form a district centered in Phelps County, and generally areas south of the Gasconade River and west of Highway 28 are grouped with Waynesville and St. Robert, there some exceptions. Generally, areas south of the Richland city limits along Highway 7 north of the Gasconade River and south of Rochester Road are grouped with Waynesville and St. Robert, along with areas north of the Gasconade River along Highway 17 south of Reliable Road, including small portions on the far eastern end of Buford Lane, part of Bobcat Road, the southern part of Bobwhite Road, and Basin Road. Most of the other areas north of the Gasconade River that are grouped with Waynesville and St. Robert have few if any roads or residents.

Blunt glad Supreme Court will review arguments against ObamaCare

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt
Blunt glad Supreme Court will review arguments against ObamaCare
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 14, 2011) — In response to the news that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in 2012 surrounding President Barack Obama’s health spending bill, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has issued the following statement: “I’m pleased that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over ObamaCare, which the majority of Missourians and Americans have soundly rejected... I hope the Supreme Court will come to the same conclusion next year.”  Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Press Office of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt

Hartzler thanks veterans, promotes adoption, defends Lake of the Ozarks

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler
Hartzler thanks veterans, promotes adoption, defends Lake of the Ozarks
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 12, 2011) — This week America paused to thank our men and women in uniform who have fought to keep our country free. Veterans Day gives all Americans the opportunity to pay tribute to those who have sacrificed on our behalf. While in Warrensburg, I had the privilege of presenting the 2011 Angels in Adoption award to Dr. Curt and Lisa Dyer for their long-time advocacy for foster care and adoption. The Dyers, who have eight children and four foster children, were chosen because of their personal commitment and dedicated work to find loving homes for all children. In other news, there were major developments in the fight to protect the rights of Lake of the Ozarks homeowners whose homes are threatened by a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) edict which effectively ordered electric utility Ameren, the company that owns the Lake, to tear down thousands of homes and other lakefront structures. I followed up the filing of my bill (H.R. 3244) to rein-in the power of FERC with a visit to the Lake where I met with more than 100 frustrated and concerned residents. I was happy to meet with residents who are pleased that FERC’s overreach is being challenged. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler

Hartzler chooses former Warrensburg mayor for 'Angels in Adoption' award

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler
Hartzler chooses former Warrensburg mayor for 'Angels in Adoption' award
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 9, 2011) — Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler has chosen a Warrensburg couple to receive the 2011 Angels in Adoption award for their long-time advocacy for foster care and adoption and will be presenting the award to them on Nov. 11. Curt and Lisa Dyer, who have eight children and four foster children, were chosen because of their personal commitment and dedicated advocacy for finding loving homes for all children. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute orchestrates the annual Angels in Adoption program. As a passionate advocate for adoption and a member of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption and the Congressional Foster Care Caucus, Hartzler believes the Dyers embody the types of families needed to care for our nation's foster children. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Press Office of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler

Blunt applauds veterans jobs bill, repeal of 3 percent withholding tax

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt
Blunt applauds veterans jobs bill, repeal of 3 percent withholding tax
WASHINGTON D.C. (Nov. 10, 2011) — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt released the following statement regarding the bipartisan repeal of the 3 percent withholding tax and passage of the veterans jobs bill: “The Senate took an important step to reduce economic uncertainty with the passage of these bipartisan bills, both of which passed the House with overwhelming support and President Obama has signaled his willingness to sign it into law. I was proud to cosponsor the repeal of the onerous 3 percent withholding tax, which places an unnecessary financial burden on numerous job creators across America... I was also proud to support important tax incentives for businesses that hire veterans who are coming home and in need of work. As we mark Veterans Day this week, we’re reminded of the incredible sacrifices that our nation’s servicemen and women make each and every day to protect our freedoms. We owe it to these brave heroes to ensure they have the opportunity to earn a living once they return home.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Press Office of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt

National News / Hartzler issues Veterans Day statement
« on: November 11, 2011, 01:06:19 PM »
Hartzler issues Veterans Day statement

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler
Hartzler issues Veterans Day statement
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 10, 2011) — Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler has issued the following Veterans Day statement: "Veterans Day allows America to pay tribute to our men in women in uniform who have sacrificed to keep us free. Since its origin as Armistice Day marking the end of World War One — at the 11th hour ... of the 11th day ... of the 11th month — November 11th has been a day for Americans to honor those who have served at home and abroad. As the daughter of an Army Reservist, I learned the importance of this day early on in life..." Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Press Office of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler

Hartzler introduces legislation to help small businesses grow, create jobs

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler
Hartzler introduces legislation to help small businesses grow, create jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 3, 2011) — Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler has introduced legislation to eliminate some of the negative provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act in an effort to make it easier for locally-owned banks to lend money to small and medium-sized local businesses so they can grow and create jobs. “Dodd-Frank was supposed to more closely monitor the big banks and create consumer confidence,” said Hartzler. “Instead, this overreaching government regulation has harmed smaller, regional banks by making it difficult for them to lend to small and mid-sized businesses through fixed rate loans.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Press Office of U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler

Sneak Peek Sheriff's View / Re: Sneak Peek Sheriff's View
« on: November 04, 2011, 04:33:34 AM »
Thanks, Derek... you are absolutely right that modern Americans are typically short-sighted.

In the world scene, we're dealing with adversaries in the Islamic world and with potential adversaries in Asia who think in terms of centuries or millenia, when we have trouble making plans or commitments that last even half a decade. Is it any surprise that our allies in those parts of the world don't trust us to keep our word?

On the local and national level, far too often we don't find out how we got into our current problems and what structural issues make it difficult to implement short-term fixes without long-term (and sometimes very difficult) underlying changes.

Not every problem can be summarized in a sound bite. (In fact, most of the serious problems can't.) Only rarely can the solutions to a problem be debated in the attention span of people who are used to 30-minute TV programs.

That does not bode well for our country.

Heelo Darrell,
That was a good history lesson. I hope our local populous took the time to read your entire explanation.
I think too many folks now-a-days are short sighted regarding our history let alone world history. I must confess, I never read an explanation such as yours in any one-history book that tells the story as succinctly as you did.
I think it is too bad that our local high school students do not get exposed to factoids such as this...we might actually have well educated high school graduates instead ill-equipped young people. (END)

Blunt applauds bipartisan passage of disaster relief, agriculture funding

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt
Blunt applauds bipartisan passage of disaster relief, agriculture funding
WASHINGTON D.C. (Nov. 1, 2011) — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, released the following statements today regarding the bipartisan passage of the agriculture appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012 and on passage of his amendment to help fund disaster relief efforts. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Press Office of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt

Sneak Peek Sheriff's View / Re: Sneak Peek Sheriff's View
« on: October 29, 2011, 04:42:41 PM »
I don't think a half-cent would kill anyone.

True, but that's not the issue, and the issue is not limited to the sheriff's department.
Understanding how we developed our modern American system of taxation may help understand why we have a grossly bloated federal government combined with local entities which are far too often starved of essential funds to do their jobs, and which are forced to beg for grants from the federal government and sometimes state government.
This may look at first like a history lesson. Keep reading. Understanding our history is key to understanding how we got into our modern mess.
It is a fundamental principle of Anglo-American constitutional law, one which dates back all the way to the earliest days of Norman infighting with the earlier English barons of England after the William the Conqueror's conquest of England, that no taxes can be imposed upon any free citizens without their consent. The English parliament originally was created to give the bishops and the nobles, meeting in a group as the peers of the realm, and a representative body of the commoners (i.e., those who were not nobles or bishops), the right to review and then either approve or deny a request by the king for new taxes. The English kings had their own independent sources of revenues from the Crown Lands, certain customary tolls and license fees paid to the king, and items such as feudal dues and inheritance taxes when a noble died and his son wished to inherit his title, and they were able to run the government on a day-to-day basis fairly well from those revenues, but for any major project such as fighting a war, the kings had to call together a meeting of parliament to approve a special tax. The result was that parliament came to have a de facto veto over major initiatives by the king which involved the entire country, and out of that authority to approve or reject a new tax, the parliament developed into something roughly resembling a modern part-time legislature, though it was only called into being when needed for a major expense.
Note here that because there weren't that many nobles they could meet together as a group that eventually became the House of Lords, but because there was obviously no way all the free landowning commoners of England could meet together, the House of Commons became a representative body which made a decision for the commoners on whether to approve any new taxes.
As Britain conquered North America, in the New England colonies, "town meetings" were held, gathering together all the landowning citizens of a city or a township to approve all sorts of activities through direct democracy including some tax votes, but elsewhere in the colonies that eventually became the United States, votes on new taxes usually followed the House of Commons model in which representatives from all over the colony would be called together by the colonial governor to approve (or reject) a request for taxes submitted by the colonial governor. The colonial legislatures quite quickly developed into functioning legislative bodies that looked very much like the part-time legislatures of our smaller modern states which didn't just meet occasionally to consider new taxes but were meeting fairly often to debate the future activities of the colony.
By the time of the American Revolution and thereafter, slow developments in technology and communications made it realistic to conduct elections in large geographical areas for things other than deciding who would be members of the legislature. States, cities, and counties began to conduct elections on tax issues, but our founding fathers were very careful in how they restricted the ability of the federal government to acquire money from taxes, and until the introduction of the modern federal income tax barely a century ago, the federal government obtained most of its money from its constitutional right to impose taxes on international and interstate commerce, as well as special funds such as sale of federal lands in the interior to new residents. (A side benefit of this is that it promoted American industry since high import duties on foreign-made goods made it less expensive to "buy American" than to buy foreign goods, even if the cost of transportation hadn't been a huge factor.)
The end result is that for most of our American history until the early 1900s, not only were voters given the opportunity to make case-by-case decisions on whether they wanted to pay for a specific project, virtually all such decisions were made on the local and state levels because the federal government simply did not have enough money available to do such things. Deciding on whether to impose a new tax was the original reason for the existence of the English parliament and for a very long time taxing decisions remained a major reason for the existence of state legislatures. County commissions have a somewhat different history dating back to the ancient mists of pre-Norman rule in the English shires (from which we get our word "sheriff" or "shire reeve," by the way) but the principle remained intact that if a major project was going to be built, whether that meant a new road or a new courthouse or a new school building, the voters had to approve it on a case-by-case basis.
The creation of the federal income tax had the effect of creating a steady revenue stream for the federal government rather than approving projects on a case-by-case basis; as far as I know, nobody thought a national vote on federal projects comparable to local votes on school building levies would be a good idea, and in the environment of the 1910s and 1920s, I doubt a vote like that would even have been possible.
There's more to the change, however.
A combination of inflationary creep of incomes into the higher tax brackets originally intended only for the wealthiest of Americans, and the decisions during the Great Depression and during World War II by the Congress to use its power to change the tax rates and brackets and to impose payroll tax withholding, had the effect of turning taxation from a special case-by-case vote for a specific project on the local level into a situation in which the federal government has massively more money available to it than any state or city or county government could ever dream to raise. The Congress now doles out the money to local governments which typically use the money to pay for local projects without a politically unpopular vote of the people to raise their own taxes.
This wasn't entirely unforeseen. There were clear socialist and populist wealth-transfer agendas at work in the 1920s and 1930s and 1940s in creating our current system in which the federal government collects taxes from wealthier citizens and wealthier regions of the country and doles it out to less-affluent people and states. The original idea was that a poor city or school may simply be unable to raise enough money from local tax revenues to do needed projects, and the state and federal government should help the local city or school district out. When a decision like that is made at the state level, I'm not necessarily sure I object in some cases; it is this logic that is at the core of the Missouri dispute on whether court costs statewide should be collected from all counties and put into a common fund used to pay for deputies in poor counties which can't afford to pay a decent wage, thereby transferring money from wealthier urban counties to poorer rural counties -- the issue here is that the circuit court system is an arm of state government and the primary purpose of the sheriff is to perform the duties that the court system needs in order to operate.
It cannot be denied that there have been some benefits to this wealth-transfer tax system.
Most importantly, we probably could not have won World War II without this tax structure in place, and that was a legitimate use of the powers of government to defend its people which dates back all the way to the original reasons that Parliaments were convened to tax the British landowners to pay for an army to fight wars.
Secondarily, and more problematically, we can name cities and schools in this county which, even if they tried to levy enough taxes to fix their sewer systems or pay their teachers, simply would not be able to do so. The rural American South was a massive beneficiary of this wealth-transfer system, and if we don't acknowledge that many of our conservative Southern fathers and grandfathers were right next to the northern liberal Democratic Party's agendas in taxing merchants and industry to pay for Southern projects, we're not being honest with our own history.
The problem is that by the 1950s and 1960s, the ability of the federal government to provide lots of "goodies" far outstripped the ability of local citizens to raise tax money to pay for their own governmental activities. Even when local residents **WERE** able to pay for those activities, the increasing federal tax burden caused overtaxed citizens to vote against local tax hikes.
We have a concrete example of this right here with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department. A half-cent sales tax to support law enforcement will not break anyone's pocketbook. Furthermore, protecting the people is the primary purpose of government; law enforcement and the military are some of the very few legitimate reasons that government should be taxing its citizens at all.
However, the massive tax burden we experience from taxes we can't effectively control -- state and federal taxes -- make local residents strongly inclined to vote against taxes which they **CAN** control. The result is that local governments become more and more starved of funds they need to do their jobs, and have no choice but to seek state and federal funding, which in the long term just makes the problem worse. Instead of making hard decisions on whether to raise our own taxes on ourselves, it's much easier to apply for a federal grant of "free money" which actually isn't free at all.
I very much doubt that most of the Congressmen and state legislators who voted in favor of the necessary constitutional amendment to create the federal income tax had any idea of the monster they were creating. A few of its advocates were socialists who were quite clear in their goals to reallocate the tax burden; a few others in the South understood that by Southern conservatives voting with Northern liberals in the old Democratic Party coalition, they could get lots of "goodies" at the expense of "Yankee" interests. However, I doubt even the wildest dreams of the "progressives" of the early 1900s could have imagined the situation we now have that local governments can't get votes to pay for essential services while the federal government is spending far more than it takes in.
That's where we're at today. We can't get the money we need to run the sheriff's department, not primarily because of anything the sheriff is doing right or wrong, but because people are mad at high taxes -- and the result of local people being mad is that the burden of local government is being shunted off to state and federal funds.
I frankly see no good long-term solution. Repealing the federal income tax isn't possible without a federal default which will destroy the worldwide economy. Raising local taxes to the levels needed for local cities, counties, and schools to stand on their own two feet without relying on state and federal funds is politically impossible, barring a financial collapse on the federal level, which will plunge everyone into financial chaos.
We got into this mess because Northern liberal politicians on the federal level a century ago wanted to do wealth transfer via the federal income tax and got far more than they bargained for, and because Southern conservative politicians thought they could make money for their own constituents out of the deal. Getting out of the mess is going to be very, very difficult, and quite possibly impossible.

How old was this child? Might be in the article but I only had time to skim it.

I asked Kevin Hillman. He doesn't know and it's not in court documents. What counts, legally speaking, is the child is a minor who should have been protected but was instead being neglected, if what the deputies reported is correct.

I am a little ticked off to say the lease! Why did we not read in the same article from the PCSD that a drug arrest was made at the location she got the herion!!!! get with it PCSD

Sheriff King may want to respond on this since it's obviously the decision of his department when and whether to file charges.

However, I probably need to note that if suspected drugs are found on a scene, it's necessary to do lab work to prove that what looks like heroin actually is heroin before filing a drug possession charge. In a case like this where a person can be arrested on a non-drug charge pending the lab report, it's my understanding that most local law enforcement personnel, not just the sheriff's department, make the arrest on the non-drug charge to take the person off the streets and then file the drug charge when the lab report comes back.


Deanna Lea Hough
Homeless heroin mom has a long history of local legal problems
LAQUEY, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2011) — A 911 phone call from a child whose mother became homeless due to heroin usage led to Pulaski County deputies arresting the mother Monday evening on a felony charge of child endangerment. Deanna Lea Hough, 38, faces a Class C felony charge of first-degree child welfare endangerment accusing her of removing her daughter from the Genesis House, a battered women’s shelter in Waynesville, and “taking her to a house where (the mother) purchased heroin and used heroin causing her to pass out, leaving the child unattended at a house where drug activity was occurring, and allowing the child to walk unattended down a state highway.” According to court records, deputies received a call Monday from a girl standing on the side of the road in Laquey by the corner of Highway AB and Southbend Road who told a deputy that she and her mother had been living at the Genesis House but had been asked to leave due to narcotics usage by her mother. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ...
By Darrell Todd Maurina

Local News / Re: Extreme Makeover taping at WHS
« on: October 26, 2011, 07:42:57 PM »
WOW, you got all this from just one entry? Look below it appears that Busybeaver might be a Bus Driver for the school district...
FYI I have nothing to do with this just couldn't believe the massive amount of BS for this simple post.
Must be a slow news day...

Unfortunately, this is not BS. I wish it were.

A few people's jobs have been threatened because they post on the Pulaski County Web. In at least one case, an elected official in a governmental body (not the Waynesville schools) has threatened an employee's job because the employee's spouse posts here. That elected official is no longer in office, at least in part because that isn't the only example of the way he did things.

Private businesses can do what they want, but when this is done by a civilian governmental agency, it is illegal and it needs to stop.

This is not a common problem. Most governmental officials have more sense. Those that don't are sooner or later going to find out in court that they can't control their employees' off-duty free speech activities without a compelling public interest, and it most likely will be the boss, not the blogger, who ends up without a job.

I trust those who are lurking on the Pulaski County Web will take fair warning and go talk to their lawyers about how the First Amendment applies to off-duty activities of public employees. We live in America, not Stalin's Soviet Union or Mao's China.