Posted by – June 12, 2008
Missouri state Rep. Rachel Bringer, D-Palmyra, was not notified of a bill signing ceremony in Marion County by Gov. Matt Blunt on Tuesday. It would not be the first time a Republican governor did not to invite a Democratic legislator to a bill signing — or vice versa.
But in this instance, Bringer was the author of a major amendment to the new methamphetamine law.
Bringer has tried for the past two years to make it easier for prosecutors to enter evidence in drug cases involving the log books that pharmacy workers fill out when people buy medicines containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Her legislation eventually became an amendment on the new law that creates an electronic tracking system for the purchase of these ingredients which are used in making meth.
(Amendments are used by many minority legislators to get their bills passed.)
In Blunt’s defense, he has invited Bringer to other bill signings, so this might have been an oversight.
Bringer, when contacted Wednesday, said she did not feel slighted.
"I’m just thrilled that it’s law," Bringer said.
She added that as long as her legislative priorities move forward and become law, she doesn’t care whether she’s there to see them signed into law.
An extensive poll conducted in Missouri during mid-May by SurveyUSA found a higher percentage of undecided voters than those supporting either of the two major Republican candidates seeking the gubernatorial nomination.
U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof was supported by 29 percent of the 400 respondents who were considered likely voters in the primary. State Treasurer Sarah Steelman was supported by 25 percent. Another 32 percent had not decided how they will vote, and 14 percent support either first-time candidate Scott Long or perennial candidate Jen Sievers.
Hulshof was the hands-down favorite in Northern Missouri and the St. Louis area. Steelman was preferred in Kansas City and Southern Missouri. Hulshof comes out with even better numbers among those who consider themselves Republicans, and fewer of his supporters say they could be convinced to vote for someone else.
Regardless of those bright spots for Hulshof, his lead is small and there’s time for a big issue to surface.
The bigger problem for both Steelman and Hulshof is their relative ranking when surveyed against Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor. Nixon is currently running 57-33 against Hulshof and fractionally higher against Steelman.
It’s not surprising to see a presumptive nominee running ahead of a pair of contenders from the other party. The problem is that once Missourians select their nominee, they’ll have just three months to turn those numbers around in the general election sprint.
It will take big money to launch a general election campaign, and right now, Nixon is raising money at a brisk pace with little need for big expenditures. Hulshof and Steelman are spending much more of what they raise, slugging it out in the primary.
The Republican winner may feel like a mountain climber who has won a race to the top of a lofty peak, only to see that the race to an even higher peak has already begun — and the opposition has gotten a head start.