Letters to the editor
In support of Bekki Cook
I am writing this letter to encourage my fellow readers of your newspaper to vote for Bekki Cook for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Missouri on Nov. 2. Bekki is best known to Missourians as the Missouri secretary of state from 1994 to 2000. You may also remember her as a member of the State Board of Education. However, to the members of the University of Missouri Law School class of 1976, of which I am a member, she is remembered as the down-to-earth classmate who took school seriously and worked hard but who always had a smile and a kind word to share.
Despite Bekki's accomplishments and professional success, she remains the same optimistic and self-effacing person that she was as a law student. More importantly, she has the experience as a state-wide office holder and as a practicing attorney to serve effectively as our Lieutenant Governor. Please vote for Bekki on Nov. 2.
Kinder challenges Cook's ads
I would like to address the factual errors contained in Bekki Cook's television ad, which is currently airing against me. The ad is simply incorrect and misleading. The facts paint a much different story.
During my term in office (1992-present) education spending almost doubled and not one cent of public money was spent on a St. Louis baseball park. In fact, the past five years show a total increase in spending of $2 billion without a tax increase.
Here's another fact. The last decade (1993-2003) saw the greatest increase in foundation formula funding for schools in Missouri's history. I voted for and supported each of these funding increases. Taxpayers should keep this in mind as they listen to Cook's insatiable demands for higher taxes. The only person who cut education was our current governor, who withheld $200 million from Missouri's elementary and secondary schools in 2004 and coaxed Cook into running. While I consistently called on the governor to release these funds, Cook remained silent on the issue. Why?
For someone running statewide, it is difficult to understand why Bekki Cook is trying to regionally divide our state on such an important issue as economic development. Appealing to rural voters at the expense of urban areas of our state is not leadership.
I am a rural legislator, but have an obligation of President of the Missouri Senate to support economic development for all Missourians -- not only in rural Missouri, but also in every region of our state. Cook knows this is exactly what the bill she refers to in her ad would have done -- promote economic development and increase jobs in both rural and urban areas of the state. If it is not popular to support economic development that increases jobs in Branson, Springfield, rural Missouri, St. Louis and Kansas City, so be it.
What Missouri needs is leadership that is not afraid to take a stand on the tough issues -- someone who will unite and not divide our state. Bekki Cook has shown very clearly the type of divisive leadership she believes in. There is only one reason someone would begin their campaign pitting one part of the state against the other: she doesn't want rural and urban voters to see how liberal she is on all the issues and how she wants to tax all Missourians.
I will continue to cut waste, fraud and abuse in government, and direct those dollars to education -- something, it can be demonstrated, Cook failed to do while she was in office when her budget ballooned by 34 percent.
Republican Candidate for lieutenant governor
Trick or treating -- Saturday or Sunday?
I am unclear as to why the city wishes trick or treating to be done on Saturday night instead of Sunday, Halloween night.
Is it for Anti-Van? Anti-Van was set up to counter vandalism caused on Halloween. Anti-Van is going to be held on Sunday, Halloween. Why would the city want to designate another night for trick or treating, so under the guise of trick or treating, vandalism can occur?
It can't be for the small children as they don't care when they get to trick or treat, only you have told them all along, Halloween is Sunday, Oct. 31. It being a school night can't be the problem as that happens almost every year anyway. Having the older kids at Anti-Van has tended to lend more of a feeling of safety for the little ones, However, thy won't be at Anti-Van on Saturday night.
If it is for the ones being trick or treated, changing the night changes nothing. If they aren't home or don't want the kids to come to the door, let them turn off their lights and/or don't answer the door. Most of those who feel this way have been doing this for years.
I am just totally lost as to why the city felt it could even become involved. Trick or treating will go on Halloween night, because not everyone listens to the local radio or reads the local paper, and just because it's Halloween night! All the city has done is create two nights for trick or treating.