Dave Spence Interview Leaves Me Wanting

I don’t know him personally, but suspect Dave Spence might be a great guy.  When looking for a Missouri Republican to defeat incumbent Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon, however, I want someone who appear sharp and energetic, not someone who reminds me of Sarah Steelman.  Unfortunately, those qualities appear to be in short supply in a recent interview Spence gave to a Southeast Missouri newspaper reporter.

Only at the 4-minute mark in the interview video above, when Spence begins to talk about his past, does he begin to show some enthusiasm — and that’s not going to cut it.  Instead, I think it’s going to take a candidate — home economics degree or not — who’s enthusiastic and energized about the future to defeat Nixon in November.

The other Republican candidate in the race is Bill Randles.

Previous posts about the Missouri governor’s race:

Harvard Law Classmate of Obama Releases Transcript as Part of Run for Missouri Governor;

Missouri Lt Gov Backs Longtime Friend in Governor’s Race Despite Pro-TARP Stance;

Rumors Turn Reality in Missouri Governor’s Race; and

Bill Randles Appears to Be the ‘Herman Cain’ of Missouri’s Republican Race for Governor in 2012 ;

Harvard Law Classmate of Obama Releases Transcript as Part of Run for Missouri Governor

Almost three months ago, I published a piece in which I described Bill Randles as the “Herman Cain” of Missouri’s Republican Race for Governor in 2012.  Today, despite knowing how some might want to second guess my previous effort, I compare the Kansas Citian to another politician, Barack Obama.

Bill Randles

Randles, a Kansas City lawyer-turned conservative Republican candidate for governor who hopes to unseat Democrat Jay Nixon in November, shares more in common with the man currently occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue than many might be aware.  Most importantly, he holds the distinction of having attended Harvard Law School at roughly the same time as the current commander-in-chief — that is, Randles was one year ahead of the upstart Obama.

Unlike Obama, however, Randles has not sealed all records related to his life.  Quite to the contrary, he’s published a photo of his complete Harvard Law transcript (below) on his campaign’s Facebook page.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  I direct individuals seeking information about Randles’ GOP primary opponent to read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the newspaper with a penchant for ignoring Randles, the candidate who’s been in the race for a full year, and devoting its attention to Dave Spence, the St. Louis-area businessman — backed by the GOP establishment, I might add — who only recently entered the race — and to lackluster early reviews from political insiders.

UPDATE 1/11/12 at 2:19 p.m. Central:  Jake Wagman at the Post-Dispatch finally wrote an article about Randles that consists of more than an afterthought-style mention at the end of a piece about another candidate.  Of course, the headline of the latest article begins with Randles’ opponent’s last name.  For details, see Spence’s rival releases school transcripts, including Harvard report card.

Small Missouri Town Loses Some of Its ‘Magic’ (Update)

A story that bears many similarities to the one involving Solyndra, the Fremont, Calif., “green energy” company that received $500 million in federal loan guarantees shortly before filing for bankruptcy, is taking place in tiny Moberly, Mo.

Founded in 1866, Moberly is a town that, according to the city’s website, seemed to spring from the prairie overnight in 1873, earning it the title, “The Magic City.”  One-hundred-thirty-eight years later, the city of almost 14,000 lost a little bit of its magic when a start-up newspaper founded by Janet Morales closed its doors.

The reasons behind the newspaper’s demise are troubling.

Morales, 54, founded The Moberly (Mo.) Mirror & County Observer after working three years at the long-established daily newspaper, the Moberly Monitor-Index, as a news reporter. Unfortunately, her newspaper venture would end also — in April 2011 — after she caught flak for having had the gumption to ask local officials questions about an economic development project Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) announced July 9, 2010, would bring 612 jobs to the community.

That economic development project involved Mamtek International, a sucralose-production company that needed a U.S. location for a new facility where it would use a new “green” approach to make its artificial sweetener/sugar substitute, Sweet.Zero™.

While officials in Moberly were working hard to attract the company, Morales was asking questions about the project.  Unfortunately, those on the receiving end of her questions — namely senior officials at Mamtek — did not appreciate a snoopy reporter asking questions, according to Morales.  And that’s when, in July 2010, her troubles began.

Her troubles increased after the Moberly Chamber of Commerce held a meeting of its board in November 2010.   Soon after the meeting, she said,  business owners in town began pulling their ads and revenue for her newspaper began to dry up.

Like any good journalist who encounters resistance, Morales began digging deeper and looking elsewhere for answers.  After all, the details “just didn’t add up.”

Following the loss of revenue, Morales opted to close The Mirror the following spring — but not before mailing every Moberly resident a copy of its final issue that explained about the Mamtek company and the speed — 72 days! — with which it was welcomed to town, about the potential conflicts of interest that existed among Moberly officials and about the questions concerning the validity of the Mamtek company, especially concerning its plant in China.

The Mamtek site construction in March 2011 (Photo: The Moberly Mirror)

The Mirror’s original website was shut down the day of the mailing, but a new one — http://www.TheMoberlyMirror.com –  was quickly set up.  There, Morales’ Mamtek stories — published March 31 under the headline, Mamtek & the Mirror Experience — were posted so everyone could read them and have access to the information.

Six months later, the Moberly officials who didn’t like answering Morales’ questions find themselves having to answer even tougher questions on the heels of news that Mamtek failed to make a $3.2 million bond payment and has named Peter Kravitz, an attorney well-known in restructuring and liquidation circles, as its interim president.

Today, as the promised economic boom appears to have gone bust and the city of Moberly appears to be on the hook for more than $37 million in bond payments, there is a very narrow silver lining for most Missouri taxpayers.

According to a Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune report Tuesday, Missouri Department of Economic Development Director David Kerr said the public should be comforted that no state tax money — more than $17 million worth — has been actually applied to the project.  Better still, no federal stimulus dollars appear to have gone to Mamtek.

Conversely, there’s no silver lining for the job-hungry Missourians in Moberly.

UPDATE 9/19/11 at 9:27 a.m. Central:  A source in Moberly tells me that St. Louis Post-Dispatch business reporter Tim Logan is in Moberly, purportedly to investigate whether or not there is any China Hub connection to the Mamtek deal.  If you’re not familiar with the China Hub deal, read this Show-Me Institute account featuring the views of economists from St. Louis University and the University of Missouri.  I’ll keep my eyes on this one.  ALSO, a Central Missouri publication reports the city of Moberly might not be on the hook for the Mamtek bonds.

UPDATE 9/19/11 at 9:55 a.m. Central:  The Mamtek website is down.  See screenshot, too.

UPDATE 9/19/11 at 3:37 p.m. Central:  Mamtek has “little cash…”.

UPDATE 9/21/11 at 4:09 p.m. Central:  According to this report, the “wheels” for this deal began turning in the Missouri state capitol.

UPDATE 9/22/11 at 6:54 a.m. Central:  Three days later, here’s the story by Tim Logan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

UPDATE 9/23/11 at 4:06 p.m. Central:  Ahh, there was a China connection after all — sort of.

UPDATE 9/28/11 at 9:10 a.m. Central:  New company formed, reportedly to restart project.

UPDATE 10/01/11 at 2:26 p.m. Central:  On her Facebook page today, Janet Morales shared her thoughts about an article — I think she was referring to this article — in the Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune:

Major mistakes in the latest Tribune story about the Mirror as those of you who went to elementary school with me know. Tribune said Mirror made accusations it didn’t. CT reporter admitted mistakes said he was too busy working on the next story. Website is www.themoberlymirror.com The Mirror does not back down from anything in those March 30, 2011 stories. Only corrections as I look over old emails is merchant didn’t “strongly indicate” they would pull advertising. They DID pull advertising. As to the meeting when we were told not to ask questions, that, too, is documented in emails – July 22. Citizens of Moberly know the Mirror printed the truth, as recent events have proven.

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Stimulus Fails to Deliver Economic ‘Shot in the Arm’

A lot has happened during the year since President Barack Obama signed the so-called “economic stimulus” into law as as a measure that would give the economy a “shot in the arm.” Unfortunately for the president, little of what has happened can be described as good.

The nation’s unemployment rate stands close to 10 percent despite the president’s promise to save and create jobs and not allow unemployment to rise above 8 percent.   Furthermore, Obama-loving politicians, including first-term Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.), are on record telling a C-SPAN audience that, “If there’s debt, Missouri kids and grandkids will pay that debt off”.

On the positive side, however, the passage of the stimulus spurred a nationwide tea party movement that has raged against out-of-control federal spending and attempts to nationalize health care while holding their elected officials’ feet to an increasingly-hot fire.

If Obama keeps up his efforts to socialize the nation, Americans might get fired up enough to ensure Constitutional order is restored to the nation’s government.

Trust in Missouri Governor Seems to be Misplaced

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano’s tour of Missouri’s “fusion center” on March 11 was her first visit to a state fusion center since joining President Barack Obama’s Cabinet. Governor Jay Nixon briefed Napolitano on the workings of the fusion center, known as the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC).

The words above, which appeared as the first paragraph of a Missouri Department of Public Safety news release, would lead the average Show-Me State resident to trust that Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, knew what he was talking about when he briefed the nation’s top Homeland Security official during her visit to Missouri March 11.  But that trust seems to have been misplaced.

The Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader‘s Chad Livengood reports in an article published today that Governor Nixon is claiming ignorance and blaming others for the information coming out of MIAC, a program the aforementioned DPS news release refers to as a “fusion center” where law enforcement and other agencies pool information, resources and analysis to better address and detect crime and potential terrorist threats.

In the lead paragraph of his article, Livengood reports Nixon blames lax oversight from former Gov. Matt Blunt’s administration for the distribution of the now-infamous state intelligence report (pdf) on the “modern militia movement.”

In the fifth paragraph, Livengood quoted the governor as saying that the MIAC report was “formed under my predecessor” and his staff was unaware of the document.

Ten paragraphs later, Livengood refers back to the aforementioned DPS news release which claimed Nixon had “briefed Napolitano on the workings of the fusion center.”

What Livengood failed to mention — and, perhaps out of kindness, omitted — was the fact that, at the tail end of Secretary Napolitano’s visit to the state, Governor Nixon accompanied the former Arizona governor to Kansas City where the two of them addressed the National Fusion Center Conference.

Surely, Governor Nixon didn’t go to Kansas City and address attendees at an important Homeland Security event on key national security matters about which he knew little or nothing — or did he?

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See also:

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Accused of Harassing St. Louis Man Who Filed Sunshine Law Request

Yikes, I Might Be Part of the Militia Movement!

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Accused of Harassing St. Louis Man Who Filed Sunshine Law Request

Uproar over a document (pdf) linking various right-wing organizations with the modern militia movement prompted the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Wednesday to cease distribution of the report prepared by its agency, the Missouri Information Analysis Center, according to an article published in the Southeast Missourian today.  If, however, you think the controversy is over, you are mistaken as good news is accompanied by bad.

The good news in the paragraph above comes only three days after Fox News published an article — which, by the way, included some of my comments — about the controversy which included portions of an interview I gave to FNC news editor Joshua Rhett Miller.

It’s tempered by some bad news delivered to me by Springfield, Mo.-area blogger Clay Bowler.

Bowler wrote and published a post today in which he outlines how the Missouri Political News Service web site today received an e-mail containing a copy of a letter in which St. Louis resident Josh Carter.  Carter had, under provisions of the state’s Sunshine Law, requested information related to the MIAC report and now believes he is being harassed by Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) and unspecified Missouri law enforcement officials as a result of his actions.

In a separate post, he draws attention to two somewhat-related matters: A Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader article about inconsistencies in Governor Nixon’s claim that Matt Blunt, his Republican predecessor in the governor’s mansion, is responsible for the anti-conservative rhetoric in the MIAC report; and his own efforts to obtain information — via the Sunshine Law — from the governor’s office.

While I do not know and have never met Carter or Bowler, I am familiar with Governor Nixon’s political track record; therefore, I will continue to track this story unless or until someone can prove the accusations against the governor are without merit.


Yikes, I Might Be Part of the Militia Movement! (Sixth Update)

It appears I removed the political bumper stickers from my car just in time — that is, before the Missouri Information Analysis Center issued to members of the Missouri law enforcement community what one writer described as “chilling instructions” about how to identify members of the “modern militia movement.”

Don’t get me wrong!  I’m not a member and don’t know anyone who is, but I do seem to match many of the criteria for being identified as a member of the movement, according to the MIAC Strategic Report issued Feb. 20 by the heretofore little-known branch of the Missouri State Police.

It’s all spelled out in this document (pdf), complete with the signature of the Show-Me State’s new liberal governor, Democrat Jay Nixon.  Here are some examples:

  • ECONOMIC COLLAPSE OF THE UNITED STATES: They explain, “Many militia organizations feel that the U.S. government will fall due to economic or racial issues.” They follow up on that thought by citing the influence of a recent political forecast by Igor Panarin, a Russian professor, upon militia members.  Panarin predicted in December that the U.S. would collapse and split into six different regions controlled by foreign governments.  Lock me up! On Dec. 29, I wrote and published a post about Panarin’s prediction and even reprinted the very map contained in the MIAC document — and I did it on the same day as the subversives at the Wall Street Journal published an article on the same subject.
  • NORTH AMERICAN UNION: They explain that conspiracy theorists claim that a North American Union would link Canada, the United States, and Mexico and would, among other things, unify its monetary system and trade the dollar for the Amero.  Lock me up! In a post Aug. 17, 2008, I announced that North American Union coins were already available for puchase!
  • RFID TECHNOLOGY: They explain that militia members fear the government will enforce mass RFID human implantations that would make it possible for the government to continually know the locations of all citizens.  Lock me up! I’ve written at least three posts about RFID technology since Aug. 30, 2008.
  • CHRISTIAN IDENTITY: Next to a page 4 subhead, “Christian Identity,” they explain that religious ideology is popular in extreme right-wing circles.  Lock me up! I’m a Christian!
  • POLITICAL PARAPHERNALIA: They claim that militia members most commonly associate with third-party political groups, that it is not uncommon for militia members to display Constitution Party, Campaign for Liberty or Libertarian material and that members are usually supporters of former presidential candidates Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin and Bob Barr.  Lock me up again! On Oct. 14, 2007, I chronicle my long history of correspondence with Ron Paul followers in a post, Blogger Pens Open Letter to Ron Paul Supporters.  Nine months later, I went as far as publishing a post under the headline, Report: Ron Paul ‘Sleeper Cells’ Poised to Strike.  In addition, I offer hundreds of humorous and/or thought-provoking designs — many of them political — on t-shirts and other merchandise via my online store, The Bob McCarty Shop.

I could go on and on about the absurdity of the MIAC report, but a statement that appeared in an Associated Press article published Saturday states what many people believe to be true.  Roger Webb, president of the University of Missouri campus Libertarians, said, “It seems like they want to stifle political thought.”

All of this reminds me of the series of events involving St. Louis area prosecutors attempting to stifle political speech that was not favorable toward their presidential candidate of choice (i.e., Barack Obama).  See posts here and here for details.

Hat tip: Gateway Pundit [Note: It's worth noting that Jim Hoft, the St. Louis-area man behind the Gateway Pundit blog is, suspiciously, "out of the country" as the MIAC Strategic Report is making headlines.]

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UPDATE 3/19/09 at 9:33 a.m. Central: I just finished a phone interview about this topic with Joshua Miller, a news editor at Fox News Channel in New York City.  He said he expects to post a story based on the interview by this afternoon.  If/when he does, I will publish another update here.

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SECOND UPDATE 3/19/09 at 3:27 p.m. Central: Josh Miller just advised me that his article will be published at FoxNews.com tomorrow.

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THIRD UPDATE 3/20/09 at 3:18 p.m. Central: Attempts to reach Josh Miller about when this article will be published at FoxNews.com have gone unanswered so far today.  Stay tuned…

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FOURTH UPDATE 3/23/09 at 11:57 a.m. Central: Josh Miller’s article finally appeared on the FoxNews.com web site today!  See this post, Long-Awaited Fox News Article Goes to Press, for details.

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FIFTH UPDATE 3/26/09 at 7:15 p.m. Central: See Missouri Governor Jay Nixon Accused of Harassing St. Louis Man Who Filed Sunshine Law Request

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SIXTH UPDATE 3/27/09 at 1:27 p.m. Central: See Trust in Missouri Governor Seems to be Misplaced