Tag Archives: Missouri

Missouri Legislator & Wife Ask Court for Protection During Obamacare Lawsuit Appeal

Thomas More Society Seeks Preliminary Injunction for State Rep. Wieland and Family

ST. LOUIS, Nov. 25, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ — Today, Thomas More Society attorneys filed for preliminary injunctive relief on behalf of Missouri State Representative Paul Wieland and his wife Teresa in the couple’s lawsuit contesting Obamacare’s infringement on their First Amendment rights. The couple is asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to exempt their family from the Health and Human Services mandate that would require them to participate in group insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs, sterilization, and birth control for their teenage and adult daughters.

The Wielands are suing the federal government for violating their religious liberty, free speech, and parental rights by reason of Obamacare’s mandating a religiously objectionable health insurance plan provided by the State of Missouri. Beginning January 1, 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandates that the Wielands obtain for themselves, and provide for their dependent daughters, health care coverage that includes coverage for “contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.”

This coverage, which is abhorrent to the Wielands, given their Catholic faith, is mandated to continue until their dependent daughters are 24 years old. The Eighth Circuit court and other federal appellate courts have held that for-profit employers are likely to prevail on similar claims under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because their free exercise of religious faith is substantially burdened when the government forces them to provide such coverage for their employees. The Wielands claim that their religious freedom — Paul’s as an employee and both Wielands, as parents, is also protected under the act.

The Wielands had previously obtained a health insurance plan that did not include abortion-inducing drugs and contraceptives. But because of the Health and Human Services mandate, that plan was eliminated and, without their permission, the Wielands were transferred to another plan that is contrary to their Catholic faith.

“We liked our health care plan. We should be able to keep it,” Mrs. Wieland said. “It protected our religious beliefs and our rights as parents.”

To date, forty for-profit employers have filed lawsuits over the controversial Obamacare mandate. Thirty-two of the plaintiffs have secured injunctive relief against the mandate. “There is every reason to expect that the Wielands will also prevail in their quest to secure their religious liberty,” said Timothy Belz, special counsel for the Thomas More Society, who is representing the Wielands.

According to veteran court watchers, the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will consider whether to take up one or more of four cases on the mandate decided in the lower courts — including an appeal by the Obama Administration of the Hobby Lobby decision by the Tenth Circuit in June that upheld the right of the Christian craft store chain to exclude abortion-inducing drugs and devices in their employee’s health plans.

The lawsuit by the Wielands names the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, U.S. Department of the Treasury, and U.S. Department of Labor as defendants.

Read the request for injunctive relief for the Wielands here.

A copy of the original lawsuit is available here.

Missouri Law Enforcement Shared Gun Owners’ Private Information With Feds

The NRA has long held the belief that universal background checks and the retaining of even more information could lead to a national registry of gun owners. Now, the Missouri Highway Patrol may have proven the firearm advocacy group’s fears to be well-founded.

On Thursday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol admitted that it has provided a list of Missouri concealed gun permit holders to a federal investigator – an acknowledgement demonstrating the dangers of even more invasive gun laws.

The list was provided on computer disks to a federal investigator looking into Social Security fraud. The investigator was unable to read the disks and ended up destroying them.

Gun right's advocates protest

Courtesy of Marc Langsam

Although the federal government never used the information, the fact that gun owner data was given to authorities not specifically investigating a gun crime shows that the NRA’s fears are not unfounded. Any time the federal government asks, they can get a list of who owns guns – a move gun rights advocates see as a mere shuffle-step from confiscation.

Highway Patrolman Ron Replogle testified to a State Senate committee that the investigator requested a list of Missouri’s concealed firearm permit holders to determine if there were any on the list claiming to be mentally ill. The link would allow the federal government to establish that the permit holder was illegally in possession of such a permit or not actually disabled.

Several in the Missouri State Senate have expressed outrage. Sen. Dan Brown (R – Rolla) exclaimed that the debacle was “a big breach of public trust.” Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R – Columbia)  believes that the sharing of the entire database “crosses the line between law enforcement activity to profiling through intelligence gathering.”

This most recent admission of feeding private citizens’ information to the federal government comes after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (Dem) found himself defending the disclosure of Missourian’s Driver’s License information being given to the Department of Revenue. “This state of Missouri is not collecting a bunch of unuseful data to send to some sort of magical database someplace to mess with people. It’s not happening.”

Now the Missouri State Highway Patrol may be unraveling the beleaguered Democratic Governor’s statements and adding foundation to the fears of gun owners and rights advocates nationwide.

BREAKING: Shooting at St. Louis Business School

A former student at Stevens Institute of Business opened fire on the downtown St. Louis, MO campus this afternoon. According to latest reports, he shot a financial adviser on the staff, and turned the gun on himself.

Both the victim and the shooter were reported to be sent to nearby hospitals – one to Barnes Jewish Hospital, and the other to St. Louis University Hospital. The shooter was reportedly in grave condition. SWAT teams, ambulances, and fire departments responded to the situation, and reportedly searched the building to verify that it was clear.

This is a developing story, and updates will be added as they become available.

Update 5:03pm EST: From KSDK-5 St. Louis:

The victim, whom sources identified as Greg Elsenrath, was shot in the chest. Elsenrath is the financial aid director at the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts.

Update 5:41pm EST: Both the gunman and Elsenrath have been upgraded to stable condition.

Update 5:54pm EST: Video: Interview with St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson

Update 7:33pm EST: St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

A police source identified the injured shooter as Sean Johnson, 34, of the 5300 block of Cote Brilliante Avenue. Johnson was put on probation in 2011 after slashing a man with a box cutter. Court records from the case indicate Johnson had mental health issues and was on prescribed medication.

High School Student Suspended For American Flag

In Kansas City, Missouri, at Kearney High School, classes  at were shortened for all students to participate in a school wide event to produce a video, but three students are not even sure if they appear in the video.

Dylan Eckstein, Taylor Snider and Jackson Specker decided to paint an American flag across their chests collectively to show their patriotism in the video. Eckstein, who is a member of Missouri’s Army National Guard, was actually suspended over it. The school administration has stated that it was not the American Flag that got him suspended, but the fact that he was questioning authority.

You can read the entire article about the incident here.


Vote For Todd Akin For Senate

First, I’d like to preface this with one thing. Before anyone gets the bright idea to start complaining about what I have to say here, bear in mind that I am not making these statements without some degree of experience in the matter at hand. I was date-raped in college. To be exact, the situation would undoubtedly meet the requirements of what Todd Akin considers “forcible rape”, since it was a violent situation, and the only reason why I call it “date-rape” is because I had actually dated my attacker. It wasn’t one of those “Oh no, I had sex with HIM?”, followed by after-the-fact claims that it had been against my will situations. I fought, and had the bruises to prove it.

DonkeyHotey (CC)

Now that you all know where I am coming from, let’s focus for a moment or two on Akin’s asinine statement. In case you missed it, I’m from Pennsylvania, so I’m not entirely unfamiliar with screwed up comments on the role of women, abortion, and all the other hot button issues to do with sexuality that get the religious right all in a tizzy. Before there was Akin, there was Rick Santorum, after all. I read Santorum’s manifesto, It Takes a Family, and bluntly, his “crazy” isn’t very far from Akin’s current nonsense. But it wasn’t Santorum’s undoing here in the Keystone State. What did him in had more to do with dollars, than religious nonsense. Why? Because we were all wise enough to know that dear old Santorum wasn’t in a majority on his wacko ideas about any of those religious issues. Even with the shift right, he still isn’t. And this time around, his religious views got him early victories, but his fiscal issues that screwed him here in Pennsylvania, came back to haunt him.

Enter Akin, and the race for the Senate seat in Missouri. No matter how wackadoodle the man is when it comes to issues like rape and abortion, he is still a better fiscal choice than his opposition. Call me silly, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the folks in Missouri aren’t any less intelligent than the folks here. I think they are smart enough to realize that in this election, they need to vote in favor of their pocketbooks, not their Bibles. Scream at Akin, and demand an apology or retraction of his silly statement about legitimate rape victims (whatever that means) not being able to get pregnant against their will. But, stop demanding that he step aside.

Seriously, this is not worth it. He’ll eat crow for this one way or the other, and even if he doesn’t, the bottom line is that there is no way he could ever cause a law against abortion without exceptions for rape victims to be passed. Bluntly, there are far too many big fish to fry before anyone even thinks about this on the Hill. If nothing else, take it from a woman who could have easily ended up in need of an abortion after a rape. Akin’s statement is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. It was ignorant, and he should apologize for it. But, handing that seat back to Claire McCaskill over this is overkill.

I don’t know what Akin will do to make up for this, if anything. But, the priceless response would be an apology, and perhaps something about not bowing to Islam, and the practice of rape and forced conversion. I can dream, can’t I?

UPDATE: Akin did respond. Yes, he did say that he misspoke, and expressed his feelings of empathy for victims of rape. And, more importantly, he placed the focus back where it really belongs:

“But I also believe that this election is about a wide-range of very important issues, starting with the economy and the type of country we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. We’ve had 42 straight months of unacceptably high unemployment, trillion dollar deficits, and Democratic leaders in Washington who are focused on growing government, instead of jobs. That is my primary focus in this campaign and while there are those who want to distract from that, knowing they cannot defend the Democrats’ failed economic record of the last four years, that will continue to be my focus in the months ahead.”

“It’s the economy, stupid!”

Missouri: Sarah Palin endorses Sarah Steelman

ROLLA, Mo., Aug. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —  Governor Sarah Palin addressed over one thousand people at the Steelman Surge BBQ at The Berry Patch in Cleveland, Missouri (pop. 592) yesterday, despite the heat and short notice. Gov. Palin emphasized that Steelman was the only candidate who had the backbone to do what’s right and stand up to the establishment and special interests that lurk in Washington, DC, stating, “She’s the candidate in this race who scares them because she won’t go to Washington to just go along, to get along. You have that choice to choose, results over rhetoric. Convictions over consultants and Missouri over Washington.”

Governor Palin pointed to Steelman’s conservative record and her ability to follow through with commitments, some of which can be found here: http://www.sarahsteelman.com/pages/sarahs-contract-with-missouri. Among the legislative items Steelman commits to sponsoring or cosponsoring are a balanced budget amendment, a cap on federal spending, repealing Obamacare and protecting life and liberty.

“A lot of candidates talk in vague terms about their plans and refuse to give specific details about how they’d vote or what they’d do. But that isn’t good enough anymore. From the beginning of this campaign I have offered details about whatWashington programs I’d cut and what legislation I’d sponsor or support. This contract offers voters a clear vision; it is a check list and is something they can use to measure my performance,” declared Steelman.

The BBQ was advertised as a way for the Steelman campaign to thank supporters and lasted past its allotted time due to the overwhelming response. Steelman and Palin stood side by side serving BBQ to close to 1000 supporters. Since Governor Palin’s endorsement, the campaign has seen an overwhelming increase in fundraising, website visits, calls to the office and, most importantly, the recent surge in the polls. This, coupled with Brunner’s collapse, proves that an endorsement from Governor Palin has a powerful impact.

Polling shows about 20% of voters still undecided, however the recent surge in the polls has shown that Palin’s voice and presence has the ability to rise above other political advertising and reach the undecided voters in an already saturated race.

“I’m grateful for Gov. Palin’s endorsement,” said Steelman, “She knows what it takes to fight for what’s right in politics, and that is why she can relate to me. She knows that I have a history of standing up to the powerful and not backing down. She knows that I’ll continue to be a fighter for what this country needs: a balanced budget, less spending and a greater respect for life and freedom.”

Ms. Steelman is a former State Treasurer and State Senator, a strong supporter of limited government, individual responsibility, and sound fiscal policy. She is also a staunch advocate of life, the Second Amendment, repealing Obamacare and strengthening our military. Steelman has been endorsed by over 50 conservative Missouri State Representatives, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), the Susan B. Anthony List, the Tea Party Express, Missouri Right to Life, National Right to Life, View Pac, ShePAC and Maggie’s List.

Rick Santorum Sweeps Trio of States

While Sen. Santorum was expected to win Minnesota and Missouri, Colorado was widely-believed to be a safe state for Mitt Romney because of the large margins he held in 2008. That turned out to be far from the truth as the Santorum campaign orchestrated a Tuesday night tsunamai for which the Romney people were totally unprepared.

While Romney decided to skip these three states for others, Santorum used retail politics as he did in Iowa to exactly the same result. Political pundits had proposed that this style of campaigning would be impossible to keep up past Iowa and Santorum has proven that kissing babies and saying hello can still get it done.

Gingrich’s campaign is said to be suffering from financial difficulties and having fared this poorly will certainly make it even more difficult for him to continue. Of the less-effective candidates in these races, Gingrich finished at or near the bottom of all three races while Rep. Ron Paul floated in the middle.

Ron Paul has cash from a very loyal following that will keep him going despite being the only remaining GOP candidate to fail to win at least one primary or caucus event.

It is widely expected that Romney will change tactics to placate the right while going heavily negative on Santorum to remove a stubborn challenger.

Colorado Results (99% reporting 1:32a)

Candidate Results
Gingrich 13%
Paul 12%
Romney 35%
Santorum 40%

*CDN is calling Colorado for Rick Santorum

Minnesota Results (86% reporting 1:03a)

Candidate Results
Gingrich 10.7%
Paul 27%
Romney 17%
Santorum 44.9%

*CDN is calling Minnesota for Rick Santorum

Missouri Primary Results (100% reporting 1:00a)

Candidate Results
Santorum 55.2%
Romney 25.3%
Paul 12.2%

*CDN predicts that Rick Santorum has won the Missouri (Beauty Contest) Primary – no delegates to be awarded (caucus to be held later)

Live Blog

1:33 – There is nothing more to see here folks.. it’s over.  Go to sleep… really (Ferris rocks!)

1:00  – Colorado GOP chair announces that with 98% of the vote – Rick Santorum wins Colorado – it’s a sweep

12:24 – Romney takes slight lead .. shortly after CDN calls it for Santorum.. figures.

12:18 – Anderson Cooper calls Colorado poll attendance “depressing”

12:15a – CDN calls Colorado for Rick Santorum.

11:22 – Colorado results begin coming in again

11:12 – Colorado results coming very slow. No new info in more than 90 minutes.

11:09 – Paul takes the stage to say “We had a strong second place and it’s going to continue”. Looking forward to results in Maine.

10:47 – Santorum takes stage in Missouri and starts with “We doubled him [Romney] up tonight in Missouri and Minnesota”. Santorum also announced “I am not standing here to be the Conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I am the Conservative alternative to Barack Obama.”

10:21 – CDN is calling Minnesota for Rick Santorum

10:15 – Lack of entrance and exit poll data (and slow results from Colorado) will delay CDN’s call on the remaining two states

9:56 – CNN pundit says that “Santorum voters will go to Romney” counting him out of the race despite tonight’s results.

9:45 – with almost 4% in, Santorum clearly posing a challenge to Romney’s “electability” claim

9:40 – Romnemomentum could come to a halt tonight as Santorum is poised to take the middle of the country.

9:33 – CDN is calling Missouri for Rick Santorum with more than 26% of the vote, his lead is significant and accelerating (54.2%)

9:32 – MSNBC’s Maddow misstates result totals in Missouri as 1% of returns when more than 25% are in.

9:22 – CNN tries to get a Romney supporter on Camera from a caucus crowd.. no takers.

9:13 – Missouri results flying in while Minnesota’s are trickling in a bit slower.

9:01 – Herman Cain says that big win for Santorum tonight will only give him a slight “bump” not a “surge”

8:47 – Some pundits already starting to explain Santorum’s early success as a result of low voter turn-out

8:45p – Santorum holding his early lead so far. Paul showing better in MN than MO while the reverse is true for Romney

8:15p – Polls close in Missouri.

8:00pm – Minnesota Caucuses begin