17 March 2012

All This Chaos Just To Keep 26 Yet-To-Be-Committed Delegates?

Less than 24 hours after the Show-Me State's Tiger faithful were shown the door by a coastal city's Spartans, the state has shown the world how lousy caucuses can get.

Dysfunction, confusion over the concept of parliamentary procedure, and a lack of decorum in some places (especially St. Charles County) have turned the Missouri Republican Party's attempt to play by the national party's rules into a potential PR disaster and once again diminished the state's potential in determining who appears on the ballot. Power struggles from the get go and motions to sway the county's support were all to claim (get this) zero Tampa-bound delegates today.

In some counties (including McDonald, whose caucus I observed this morning and recount below), the selected slates of delegates to the state and district conventions didn't express a preference or make a commitment, and under the state's rules were under no obligation to do so. No commitments for candidates are made until April 21 at the district conventions, and even then only 24 will be designated. 25 more will be committed at the state convention June 1-2 in Springfield, and three will be filled by statewide officials.

Of course, this wouldn't have happened had Missouri's elected officials agreed to move the primary date back a month, from February 7 to March 6. Unfortunately, in typical political fashion, the Republican-dominated General Assembly saddled it with provisions unpalatable to Democrat Governor Jay Nixon, Nixon didn't want to give up the right to fill vacancies in statewide offices (thus keeping the same power that Rod Blagojevich used only to find himself a new home in Colorado), and then the Republicans fractured over job-creation measures and as a result didn't bother to move the date back a month. By not doing so, Missouri risked losing half their delegates.

(I should note that I agree with by-elections for vacancies of any kind, and find it a bit odd that people would push for this while at the same time move to eliminate calendar dates & write-in opportunities in the interest of saving local election officials money. Electing state leaders in by-elections costs money to, as Nixon noted in his veto letter, but sticking to principles are worth the added cost.)

But in a twist that was bound to happen, Democrats blamed Republicans when they decided to waive the delegate penalty for Missouri, and their primary went on with Obama winning 88 percent of the vote. The RNC, recognizing the need for Missouri's bellwether to remain red, could have easily done the same. And in hindsight, the continued resurgence of Rick Santorum's campaign has proven Missouri's worth.

Even if the RNC hadn't waived the penalty, the 26-delegate penalty now looks like a small price to pay for this dragged out process that's only going to put a blemish on state Republican efforts to reclaim the governor's mansion, the Senate desk once occupied by John Ashcroft, and offices of secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney general, all while maintaining their near veto-proof majorities.

Observations From Pineville

This morning I observed the caucuses in McDonald County, and compared to what's happening around the rest of the state, this went smoothly. 147 credentialed voters participated and within an hour elected their slates of eight county GOP leaders to the district and state conventions. No action was taken on the party platform, with the crowd informed that any suggestions they had were to be submitted in writing by Monday. The slate selected did not express a preference for a candidate and did not poll participants for one, though in last month's boutique primary, 45 percent of the 973 votes cast went to Rick Santorum, 25 percent to Mitt Romney and 22 percent favoring Ron Paul.

Proportionally, Paul's supporters were present at the caucus and ready to make their mark. However, their efforts did not come to fruition, as their slates and nominees for caucus leaders were voted down by a generally 11-to-3 margin. Twice representatives from the group addressed the crowd and attempted to read a prepared statement to the effect of saying that Paul best represented McDonald County's values. However, they were promptly cut off after one minute, as stipulated in the rules that were proposed by the state party and adopted without opposition by caucus goers. Although one Paul supporter called it rude to be cut off without allowing to finish, they could have easily organized an assertive tag team much like what fourth-graders at the nearby elementary school do when they popcorn read.

There were three hitches to note: first, the new community center was brimming full with participants and not enough places to park. The caucus had to recess briefly after a Pineville marshal entered and asked four participants to move their cars out of private driveways. Second, several people were having trouble hearing the sound system, and I would attribute that to the microphone used.

Third (and perhaps most critical) was a move to close off nomination of the slate before Paul's supporters could submit theirs. Firstly the parliamentarian determined that the woman seeking to name the slate didn't stand up quick enough to be recognized. Then there was a delay as to figure out whether two-thirds of the caucus voted to close the nomination, with 97 voting in support and 98 being the threshold. For a moment (perhaps by way of mental miscalculation rather than duplicity), the motion was set to pass after someone suggested that 94 was the threshold. After the chair declared the motion defeated, the Values slate was submitted and, like all their other proposals, defeated by the same 11-to-3 margin.

In the end, McDonald County's Republican leadership implored participants on several occasions to remember the one thing that they had in common: defeating Obama in November. However, even among some participants there was quiet disagreement as to whether the candidate chosen to carry the GOP banner would be any different than the current resident of the White House.

11 March 2012


Two years ago, while enduring sunsets at 4 p.m. along the Kentish Riviera and a successful grassroots efforts to make an anarchist's breakthrough track from 1992 the top song the week of Christmas, I began work on a novel approach to connecting everyday Missourians with their already approachable state representatives and senators in Jefferson City. Over the course of 27 months, over 35 lawmakers submitted their weekly capitol reports and various news releases for publication in Missives from Missouri.

Unfortunately, as I am now in the second year of my full-time radio job (and by full-time, I mean 60+ hours of news writing, copy editing, Cool Editing (I'm not bothering to upgrade to Audition), driving to and from council meetings, running the board during high school ball games, even getting to call some ball games, touring battlefields and on and on), time has gravely diminished to the point where maintaining Missives has become impossible to keep current.

It is with grave reluctance and disappointment that I announce that I am discontinuing updates on Missives. While a novel concept and one I enjoyed performing for much the past two years, the time and incentive required to maintain it has proven insufficient to warrant its continuation. (And if such incentive or marketability were to come up, I am very much open to the idea.)

Missives helped pull me from a dark moment in my life. My return from England was far from ideal, and while I had the greatest support system in my family anyone could ever ask for (and a job interview a week later at a station in the Lead Belt), I was far from confident in myself and felt useless. Just by contributing those snippets to the political discussion in our state I began to regain that confidence. And while I was a sandwich delivery driver, I kept my skills and focus honed on this task.

I'm amazed by the effort that many in the state blogosphere continue to contribute: first and foremost John Combest, whose headline aggregations are now in their second decade. Joplin's Eli Yokley has also been doing great work with PoliticMO. Indeed the list can go on and on with Randy Turner, Jason Rosenbaum, partisans on the left, partisans on the right, etc. etc. It takes a great devotion and stamina to stay focused on your craft, as does a willingness to risk one's investment of time and money, and most importantly, faith in yourself.

However, I can claim a minor victory: since starting this blog, increased interest has been paid to weekly columns. In this session, sign-up buttons have appeared on each state representative's page and state senators' columns now appear under their media section. Several other blogs have also taken to posting weekly reports, contributing these two cents to the political discussion. Of course, Missives took some of the legwork out.

I'll continue to read reports as they come in, and will likely weigh in on some from time to time in The Missouri Expatriate. And again, I'd love to bring this back up. But for now, it's time to dial things down and stick with making occasional comments from the sidelines of Missouri's 118th County.

28 February 2012

What's In A Number?

What's in a number? That which we count four
By any other number's not a score.

Today marked the start of the filing period in Missouri, the culmination of a colossal fustercluck in preparing the maps for the 2012 election. A process which still isn't done, as the map for state senate was only initially approved for public review Feb. 23.

Already one major concern has cropped up, the inexplicable renumbering of some districts, which has left Chesterfield Republican Jane Cunningham scrambling for a new constituency and Kansas City Democrat Jolie Justus representing six counties in the eastern half of the state. What makes the renumbering even more inexplicable is how clustered odds and evens are around our major metropolitan areas.

(Firstly, it needs clarified for those that require it that senators serve staggered terms; odd-numbered districts are elected in years when the governor is elected, even-numbered two years later.)

Starting with the Kansas City area:
Among the four counties which contain portions of the city, there are five odd-numbered districts, including the District formerly known as 10. If you count Ray and Lafayette counties to the east, there would be six districts being contested in the metropolitan out of eight. The only even districts present are eight in eastern Jackson and 12 in rural Clay, which is now appended to the rest of the Northwest.

Now to St. Louis:
Of the districts depicted in St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Lincoln, seven are even numbered and six are odd-numbered. Luckily, this works out within St. Louis. However, among rural districts, four of the five northernmost are even-numbered (the entirety of the border with Iowa and Nebraska), and Arkansas is bordered exclusively by odd-numbered districts, as are Kentucky and Tennessee.

And then there's Springfield:
District 20 for the city, District 30 for the surrounding area. Might help stave off the persistent sideshow candidates, but again it's a lopsided approach.

We're left with this shortcoming in this map because the previous map ran roughshod over a provision in the state constitution which requires counties be kept whole unless a county can wholly contain another district. Unfortunately, this gives us wonky-looking districts which has Shannon County attached to the Bootheel, Sedalia and Lebanon in the same district anchored by Highway 65, and Boone County's Kurt Schaefer again switching his second county (now Cooper rather than Randolph or Howard). Compact and contiguous, which provides better proportional representation, is incompatible with this requirement.

The maps are marked tentative, and the commission is expected to meet March 9 to formally adopt the proposals. Although any changes would be just as chaotic as outright rejecting the map, at least switching 10 & 7 back would alleviate some headaches. After all, someone's going to have to move to Warrenton soon.

This situation also has me thinking outside the box, and I'm tempted to jabber about single transferable vote or party-list proportional representation. However, I'll save that rumination for a future post.

25 February 2012

End Of An Era… Or Is It?

This is my obligatory "boo, we lost" entry. This afternoon was a spirited game that certainly proved the conventional thinking: KU's a tough team and Mizzou still resorts to shooting behind the arc more times than the sun rises in the east.

And along with that comes the chatter about whether the rivalry, rooted in the Civil War and the border skirmishes years prior, should continue. Tiger fans overwhelmingly support it despite the overwhelming disadvantage in the wins and national championships columns, while Jayhawkers would rather find a new conference rival around the corner in the Octogon of Doom and from a far-flung, insulated state notorious for shaving down entire mountains. And while the end of the Border War (excuse me, Border Showdown) will hopefully decrease the vitriol between the two fan bases (and the cross-border job poaching too), the rivalry could easily be replaced from the same history book. While it won't have the same ingrained lore and appeal, it has the same roots from 150 years ago.

Enter March 8-10, 1862:

Image from Library of Congress

Just south of the Missouri border, outside the bustling town of Leetown, was the largest battle west of the Mississippi: The Battle of Pea Ridge. Or Elkhorn Tavern, if you prefer the South's name (which might make more sense, as Pea Ridge was just a ridge at the time and not the current town four miles west of the brilliantly preserved battle site).

Eager to keep the southern-minded General Assembly and their Confederate backers out of Missouri permanently, a Union army led by Brigader General Samuel Curtis invaded Northern Arkansas and pushed Southern armies deep into the Boston Mountains. (Interestingly, the Union took positions that required Confederate Major General Earl Van Dorn to attack from the north.) While the Union armies were outnumbered, their positions around the tavern and superior artillery caused larger casualties among the Confederates, forcing their armies to scatter.

Although marauders and raiding parties would threaten the western half of the state the remainder of the war, the Confederates were never able to seriously threaten Union control of Missouri after Pea Ridge. And although militia were able to make a push up to Cane Hill & Prairie Grove later in 1862, the Union had free reign over Arkansas when the Confederate government opted to focus on protecting states that produced their precious cash crop cotton.

Union armies consisted of volunteers from Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Missouri (Too bad Jim Delaney wasn't paying attention), while Confederates relied on troops from Arkansas, Missouri and the Cherokee Braves from the neighboring Indian Territory. Today, areas of Southwest Missouri are practically Razorback territory; the principal newspaper in McDonald County is owned by Little Rock-based Stephens Media, whose Morning News is now grouped with the Northwest edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Go driving through Seligman or Thayer on game day, and chances are they're watching Bobby Petrino's gridiron warriors instead of Gary Pinkel's.

But for anyone worried about Hogs and Tigers turning into fire and gasoline, Pea Ridge also provides some historical closure. The 25-year anniversary was marked not just with a reunion, but a unified remembrance, with both sides present for memorials to the dead on each side. A candlelight memorial planned for the 150th anniversary of the battle will not differentiate between Union and Confederate losses. And although Leetown was obliterated in the battle, the city of Pea Ridge was organized years later, and Union generals continue to cross their Confederate counterparts daily by way of the city's street names.

While the majority of critics will try and label an Arkansas/Missouri rivalry as the "Hillbilly Bowl" or anything involving a certain Sooner State transplant who attended both schools and from both states began his vast retail empire that turns 50 this July, the Battle of Pea Ridge can provide a good historical context for a sensible, spirited yet friendly rivalry between the Hogs and Tigers.

Sure the Hogs will join KU in reminding Mizzou that they're about as successful in the championship department as Arsenal (which happens to be majority-owned by a Mizzou alumnus), and Mizzou will look at their southern neighbor as their little sister (we did snip the bootheel out of their turf before becoming a state). And while keeping a 105-year tradition going would be nice, perhaps a new one with less rabidness and bitterness will be fruitful to everyone's sanity. It'd certainly reduce the need to rush after an AED.

23 February 2012

Les Québécois perdent-ils la capacité de conduire leurs voitures quand elles croisent le Mississippi?

I'm still hoping that one of my 12 predictions will come true this Saturday, but given Mizzou's lackluster display on Tuesday, I suspect anyone hoping to visit Phoenix next month will have just added Frank Martin's number to their speed dial. Unfortunately, another prediction is set to come true (and it's still not Adele filming a music video in McDonald County.)

And it occurred to me on Mile Marker 123 of Interstate 70 this past weekend, when I passed a semi-truck with a license plate from Quebec. Were House Bill 1186 to arrive on Governor Nixon's desk and receive his signature, this driver would likely not be able to get a license in Missouri.

Under the provisions of HB 1186, the state would only be allowed to administer driving tests in English. Currently the Department of Revenue provides tests in 11 other languages, having started in 1962. Supporters claim this would make roads safer by making sure everyone on Missouri's roads know English.

That doesn't stop Québécois, Latinos, or Patois-speaking Bahamians and Jamaicans from driving through the Show-Me State. And if someone can't get a driver's license in Missouri because they're still struggling to learn English, they could easily get one just by moving to Springdale, East St. Louis or KCK, and still drive through Missouri with ease. They'd still be the "safety hazard" the measure's supporters seek to deter. In the House committee that heard testimony on the bill, representatives from insurance companies within the state warned that not allowing foreign speakers to obtain drivers licenses could increase premiums, as those drivers would not be able to purchase insurance, let alone operate a car legally.

Frankly, this is what I'd have to classify as a boogeyman bill targeting illegal immigrants and thus baiting votes from people who recognize the problem (or are generally xenophobic). Unfortunately, the collateral damage of making it more difficult for legal immigrants and refugees to integrate into everyday Missouri life (where a century ago, a sizable population spoke only German!) will not prove fruitful in the long run and deter job creators when Missouri still hovers above eight percent unemployment.

And if the target is truly to keep illegal immigrants off the roads, this is just a symptom of the gross inaction of an unwilling, gridlocked federal government. Citizenship standards are suppose to be a national standard. Patchwork efforts to curb illegal immigration, even if pursued uniformly, fall apart if just one state remains a sanctuary. And even then, the manner in which Arizona enforces their crackdowns on illegal immigrants differs from Alabama and Oklahoma. In effect, you get 50+ different legal definitions of who is and isn't suppose to be in the United States, and states exporting their symptoms to their neighbors as such laws go into effect.

There are more effective ways to identify, publicize, and curtail the problem of illegal immigration and the issues that arise from it. Maligning all non-English speakers and essentially chasing them off to neighboring states is not the way to do it, especially if you're not going to set up checkpoints along every dirt road that crosses the state line to make sure everyone crossing can read and understand English.

01 January 2012

New Year's Predictions For 2012

Some feasible, some wacky, some seemingly impossible predictions for 2012:
  1. Despite a down year for Democrats nationwide, Jay Nixon coasts to re-election

    Having a near veto-proof majority in the General Assembly is only useful if you can wield it, and Republicans fell apart from the word go during last fall's Extraordinary Session. What should have been a significant push for economic development, disaster recovery efforts, tax credit reform, local control of St. Louis City Police, and clean-up of measures that fell by the wayside last session turned into a two-month vegetable that wound up including a house resolution that inadvertently slammed a company with 15,000 employees in Missouri, and a bill which technically can't take effect without a court order stripping the qualifying legislation.

    Of course, Nixon would have been a prime target for a principled conservative, unilaterally "withholding" $170 million from the state budget to pay for disaster relief in Joplin, Birds Point, and the Platte Purchase when a half-billion dollar Rainy Day Fund has been set aside for the past 20 years for that very purpose. (Asking five of the state's 14 public four-year universities to lend that amount from their reserves doesn't bode well either.) But as his most likely challenger Tweeted his way into near-political oblivion, his only two Republican challengers are St. Louis plastics magnate Dave Spence and Kansas City lawyer Bill Randles, a native of Northwest Arkansas. Nixon was an easy winner over Kenny Hulshof in 2008 by picking up 61 percent of the vote in Southwest Missouri. His re-election prospects in the region are buoyed with his bringing about the Missouri Solution to counter the November 2010 passage of Proposition B, and his public presence around Joplin in the months following the tornado of 22 May. Unless Spence or Randles start a massive grassroots push in the outstate, it'll be the same story in '12 even if the GOP candidate for President turns out to be a shoe-in for Missouri's 10 electoral votes.

  2. Despite the persistent "Oust The Incumbents" drumbeat, every member of Missouri's congressional delegation is re-elected. (Yes, that includes Claire.)

    Any mention of Congress' disapproval rating should be taken with a grain of salt, at most. There are 435 voting members of Congress, and most respondents who say the place is dysfunctional still vote to retain their rep, because it's the other 434 who wreck the place. This mentality will prevail again in Missouri in 2012, particularly in the outstate. Graves, Emerson, Hartzler, Leutkemeyer, and Long will secure re-election. Cleaver will be in another dogfight with the addition of Ray, Lafayette, Saline, and southwestern Clay counties, but there will be just enough support in the urban core of Kansas City to keep him around. Clay will remain in St. Louis City, and will likely edge out Russ Carnahan should he run for the 1st. Were Carnahan to run for the 2nd, he would probably win depending on the GOP challenger.

    Although I am very skeptical of Obama's chances of claiming Missouri's electoral votes, I see Claire McCaskill squeaking out another close victory. She will campaign heavy in the outstate and find a way to deflect the [damn] many [plane] criticisms [husband's $17m income] that [Obamacare] will [Super-PAC after Super-PAC zeroing in on her] be levied against her. Especially if illegal immigration were to become a campaign issue. The GOP will claim a slim majority in the Senate, but it will not be by way of Missouri.

  3. Missouri GOP retain majorities in the General Assembly, but the margin will diminish

    The House and Senate will not change hands in 2012. Even with several radical adjustments in the house boundaries, the gap is just too wide for Democrats to overcome in one election (particularly with the growth in the Southwest and sub-suburban St. Louis). However, given the bitter stagnation of the Extraordinary Session, and the prospects of not much more being accomplished this session, it would be surprising to see this many Republicans return in 2013.

    Part of the reason that majority will diminish:
  4. The greatest accomplishment of the 2012 General Assembly will involve a boogeyman conjured up for vote-mongering purposes.

    Hopefully that boogeyman will be the chronic job poachers from a certain state to the west, but with candidates looking to shore up their credentials, expect bill discussed in detail that target any of these boogeymen:
    1. Sharia law
    2. Ballot box stuffers
    3. Illegal immigrants
    4. CAFOs
    5. Tax credit junkies
    6. Online shopping
    7. Term limits

  5. Rex H Susa starts chowing down on medicinal hemp, but he'd rather buy it in Arkansas where sales tax would be a bargain nine percent.

    He's back, and in full force. Petitions are circulating around the state on a multitude of issues, most notable an effort by Rex Sinquefield's Let Voters Decide to eliminate the income tax and replace it with a higher, broader sales tax to make up the difference. The Humane Society of the United States, bitter over their ag-jeopardizing Proposition B being substantially reworked with the blessing of Governor Nixon and the Humane Society of Missouri, are fronting Your Vote Counts and pushing a constitutional amendment that would require a 75 percent affirmative vote of the General Assembly to overturn any voter initiative, no matter how flawed the proposal is.

    And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Petitions are in the works for updated renewable energy mandates, medical marijuana, an increase in Missouri's lowest-in-the-Western-world 17¢/pack cigarette tax, the prohibition of eminent domain for the benefit of private enterprise, allowing Missouri to vote early, elimination of property taxes, local control of St. Louis City's police force, reform measures for campaign finance, pay day loans, and an increase in the state's minimum wage by $1/hour. Not all of these will get enough signatures, but expect a lot of zombified soccer moms flooding the ballot box with affirmative votes for those that do after seeing carefully crafted TV ads in-between segments of Extra! and Talk Soup.

  6. The Euro holds on, at least until Ireland defaults.
    It's the ticking time bomb that will define the 21st century: whether the sick man that is Europe will be able to recover from what's turned out to be a modern version of Articles of Confederacy. Greece and Italy have taken drastic steps to bring their debt crises under control, but three more Eurozone members are in trouble: Spain, Portugal and Ireland. Even with a centre-right coalition running the Irish Republic, they too will have to make serious changes to avoid defaulting after spending a decade as Europe's fastest-rising economic destination.

    Spain and Portugal having to make drastic steps will not impact as much for this reason: the fate of the EU as we know it rests in London's Whitehall. Public opinion of the EU is trending lower and lower. Were Ireland required to make even more drastic steps, supporting the EU will be seen as toxic, particularly in a nation which wails every so often that, "Britons never never never shall be slaves." Seeing the impact of an economic calamity on their doorsteps, rather than in far-flung corners of the continent, will push the Cameron-led Coalition to hold a referendum on the fate of EU membership.

    The Euro needs the stalwart financial sector of Canary Wharf to hold on. If they leave the picture, it will collapse and cause greater economic uncertainty that the American economy will have to weather, rather than risk its own solvency for a Marshall Plan 2.0.

  7. Now, the more important picks:
  8. Adele makes a comeback from her throat surgery by recording a stunning rendition of "I'll Fly Away" as the bonus track on her 23 album.

    And not just that: She'll record a music video of it featuring the hometown of its songwriter, Albert Brumley

    You can't deny the phenomenal vocal power of the Tottenham native. Even if her tracks "Someone Like You" and "Rolling In The Deep" wound up each being played six times a day on CHR and AAA stations, there's dang good reason. After being sidelined last fall with laryngitis that required surgery to preserve her cords, don't count her out. Adele certainly has another album or two up her sleeve, and hopefully someone at Walmart will capitalize on her return by snagging her to sing a bonus track on her next album (which, if the naming scheme continues, would be 23).

    Where does "I'll Fly Away" come in? Just 30 minutes away from the Walmart Home Office is the McDonald County hamlet of Powell, which still has a post office and a lot of community spirit anchored by the Albert E Brumley & Sons Publishing Company. Just south of the hamlet is a 97-year-old iron bridge which is unlike any other, and as such was named to the National Registry of Historic Places last year:

    The Powell Bridge crosses the scenic Big Sugar Creek, which becomes the oft-rafted Elk River in Pineville. And boy do I mean scenic. Come out here on a sunny spring day and it's the most ethereal blend of natural beauty surrounding a rustic, historic structure. Add in two gems just across the state line: War Eagle Mill east of Rogers and Fisher Ford Bridge south of Siloam Springs, and you'll have the most beautiful music video of 2012. Just make sure the film crew has plenty of Catfish John's.

  9. Mizzou men's basketball finally break through to the Final Four and win their last conference game at Allen Fieldhouse.

    Mizzou has the second-most number of appearances in the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament without ever reaching the Final Four, now at 24. Provided the Big 12 doesn't throttle the RPI and momentum of the black-and-gold, this team has all the pieces to persevere and at least make it to New Orleans. And claim a victory over their archrival Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse, carrying that all the way to the SEC. And speaking of the SEC:

  10. KU reluctantly schedules Mizzou for football, but only after the Big East successfully holds West Virginia hostage the next two years.

    KU do not want to play Mizzou now that the Tigers are preparing to tussle with Gamecocks and Gators. And Mizzou still have three blank spots on their schedule. The only way the rivalry game will continue next season will be by way of the Big East holding West Virginia to the 27-month exit period, resulting in the Big 12 having only eight conference games. This would mean everyone left in the conference would be scrambling to schedule other games. And either they can remain scorned about being left behind and play a cupcake, or boost their strength of schedule by challenging a future SEC contender. This would have certainly helped Oklahoma State this season.

  11. Mizzou's first season in the SEC will result in a respectable bowl bid, likely Chick-Fil-A

    Too bad they don't have any in Columbia (or any chicken places not named Lee's or KFC - insert plea for Zaxby's to finally open up in the Show-Me State), but either way Mizzou will appear in a bowl game and pull off a close win against Clemson. Or it might be the Music City Bowl with a solid win over Louisville. However it works out, Mizzou will make a serious push for the SEC East title and come up just short, though appearing in the Georgia Dome to get blown out by LSU/Bama/Arkansas in the title game will be more than enough to put the Big 12 behind them.

  12. The Chiefs FINALLY draft a quarterback.

    They need one. They really need one, and this year's crop will be bountiful. Quite likely KC will end up with Aaron Murray, who will emulate fellow Georgia product Matthew Stafford in developing a quality offense. However, they'll only be as good as the offensive line, and if the Chiefs don't stock up, Scott Pioli will find himself curating an art museum back in New England.

  13. The weather will be far less bizarre than 2011, New Madrid Fault notwithstanding
    For a state that took twisters to its 12th largest city and a major airport, flooding along its two major rivers, two epic snowstorms, and a heatwave that peaked at 42°C, we're finally going to get a break and have a not-so-harrowing season. Provided the fewer quakes along the New Madrid Fault in the past couple years doesn't mean it's building up for the big one this year.

09 December 2011

And Just Like That: A Tweaking

After the appellate panel realized that several of their Senate boundaries might have violated the state constitution concerning counties with more than one district, four of the six members agreed to a revised map that tweaked several districts in the southwest and around St. Louis. So a couple tweaks in the KC area for my proposed names of each district, as follows:

Missouri Senate (Click for maps)
  1. St. Louis South
  2. St. Charles West
  3. Cape Girardeau-St. Genevieve-St. François
  4. St. Louis Forest Hills
  5. St. Louis Riverfront
  6. Lower Osage
  7. Lower North East
  8. Lee's Summit East-Blue Springs-Odessa
  9. Kansas City East
  10. Kansas City West & Lee's Summit West
  11. Independence & Raytown
  12. The North West
  13. St. Louis North
  14. Ferguson-University City-Clayton
  15. St. Louis Southwest
  16. Upper Gasconade
  17. Kansas City North
  18. Upper North East
  19. Boone & Howard
  20. Western Ozarks
  21. The Central West
  22. The Lead Belt
  23. St. Charles North
  24. St. Louis West
  25. The South East
  26. Lower Gasconade
  27. St. Louis Southwest
  28. Lower South West
  29. Upper South West
  30. Springfield
  31. Upper Osage
  32. Jasper & Newton
  33. Eastern Ozarks
  34. Platte & Buchanan

Naming Missouri's New Districts

So now the 130th is the 160th, the 20th is now the 49th, and the 8th's split between the 5th, 6th, and 7th. A subdivision in Liberty that was once wholly in the 34th has part of a cul-de-sac in the 17th and the rest in the 38th. But at least the asynchronous 62nd is now in line with its neighboring districts as the 156th.

Anyone else think these numbers are way out there and confusing? Sure brandishing our area codes are even seeping their way beyond their 'hood origins (660 Represent, Y'all?), but who walks around bragging "I'm from the 39th, don't be messing with me?" (And apologies to the newly elected Judy Morgan from the 39th District, who now gets drawn into the same district as a fellow Democrat, Minority Leader Mike Talboy.)

It's simpler to just use numbers, as it's less time consuming to write down names, but what good is a number to describe your area if it's just going to change every ten years? And even if it's going to change every ten years, what difference does conveying "68" make whether it's along Skinker Boulevard or a stretch of the Butterfield Stagecoach Road?

So let's start naming these districts. Be they after counties, county seats, or neighborhoods, names can be tweaked as need be, and the evolution of the districts can be easier to trace than throwing numbers around and watching a number dart from Rock Port to Athens to the Bootheel over the span of 30 years. So here's what I suggest for names of house districts.

General guidelines:
  • Limit of three proper nouns (similar to Canadian Ridings)
  • Should be ordered by most population to least
  • Emphasis on counties for rural districts, cities or neighborhoods if suburban or urban
  • Cardinal direction should only be used if base location is used more than once
  • Geographical feature or area if possible and patently unique
And now, the obnoxiously sized lists:

Missouri House (Click for maps)
  1. Nodaway & Holt
  2. Upper Grand River
  3. Kirksville & the Green Hills
  4. Canton-Memphis-Edina
  5. Hannibal North & Shelby
  6. Macon & Randolph North
  7. Lower Grand River
  8. Caldwell & Clinton
  9. Savannah & Buchanan East
  10. St. Joseph Center
  11. St. Joseph South-Buchanan West-Platte North
  12. Platte City-Smithville-Kearney
  13. Platte South
  14. Platte Southeast
  15. Gladstone
  16. Shoal Creek Valley
  17. Liberty South & Claycomo
  18. North Kansas City & Vivion Road
  19. Kansas City Northeast
  20. Independence North & Fort Osage
  21. Independence East
  22. [Kansas City] Blue Ridge
  23. Kansas City East
  24. Kansas City Downtown
  25. [Kansas City] Brookside
  26. Kansas City Troost
  27. [Kansas City] Swope Park
  28. Raytown
  29. Independence South & Kansas City Southeast
  30. Independence Southeast & Woods Chapel
  31. Blue Springs South & Tapawingo
  32. Blue Springs North & Jackson East
  33. Harrisonville-Pleasant Hill-Lone Jack
  34. Lee's Summit East & Greenwood
  35. Lee's Summit West & Longview
  36. Kansas City Red Bridge
  37. Grandview & Jackson Southwest
  38. Liberty North & Excelsior Springs
  39. Ray-Carroll-Chariton North
  40. Hannibal South-Paris-Bowling Green
  41. Lincoln & Troy
  42. Warren-Montgomery-St. Charles Southwest
  43. Audrain & Callaway East
  44. Columbia East & Centralia
  45. Columbia Columns
  46. Columbia Southwest
  47. Boone West-Randolph South-Howard East
  48. Boonville-Fayette-Chariton South
  49. Callaway South
  50. Boone South & Moniteau North
  51. Warrensburg East-Marshall-Pettis North
  52. Sedalia & Whiteman
  53. Lafayette
  54. Warrensburg West & Pettis South
  55. Raymore-Peculiar-Cass Central
  56. Belton & Cass West
  57. Cass South-Henry-Benton North
  58. Moniteau South & Morgan
  59. Cole South & Miller North
  60. Jefferson City
  61. Lower Gasconade & Osage
  62. Upper Gasconade & Osage
  63. Wentzville & Wright City
  64. St. Paul & Lincoln Southeast
  65. St. Charles East
  66. Bellefontaine Neighbors & St. Louis Chain Of Rocks
  67. Old Halls Ferry
  68. Florissant Central
  69. Florissant West
  70. Maryland Heights West & Chesterfield North
  71. Maryland Heights-Overland South
  72. Maryland Heights-Overland North
  73. Hazelwood-Lambert-Ferguson West
  74. Ferguson East & Jennings
  75. Dellwood & Castle Point
  76. St. Louis Kingsway
  77. St. Louis University & Fairgrounds
  78. St. Louis Gateway
  79. St. Louis Hyde Park & Lafayette Square
  80. St. Louis Tower Grove
  81. St. Louis Holly Hills
  82. St. Louis Southampton & Lindenwood
  83. Maplewood-Brentwood-Rock Hill
  84. St. Louis Forest Park
  85. Overland East, Bel-Ridge & Northwoods
  86. University City
  87. Clayton & Ladue South
  88. Creve Coeur & Ladue North
  89. Town & Country
  90. Kirkwood
  91. Webster Groves-Shrewsbury-Crestwood
  92. Affton & Concord
  93. Lemay
  94. Mehlville
  95. Oakville
  96. Fenton & Sunset Hills
  97. Arnold West & Murphy
  98. Ballwin Meramec
  99. Manchester & Valley Park
  100. Ballwin North & Chesterfield South
  101. Chesterfield West & Wildwood North
  102. Dardenne Prairie
  103. Cottleville
  104. St. Peters West
  105. St. Peters East
  106. St. Charles West
  107. O'Fallon
  108. Lake St. Louis
  109. Franklin North
  110. Pacific-Eureka-Wildwood South
  111. Jefferson West
  112. Jefferson North
  113. Arnold East & Barnhart West
  114. Festus & Barnhart East
  115. Jefferson South & St. François North
  116. Ste. Genevieve-Farmington East-Perry North
  117. Farmington West & Park Hills
  118. Jefferson Southwest & Washington North
  119. Franklin South & Washington Northwest
  120. Steelville & St. James
  121. Rolla-Dixon-Richland
  122. Waynesville
  123. Laclede East & Camden South
  124. Miller South & Camden North
  125. St. Clair-Hickory-Benton South
  126. Bates & Vernon
  127. Barton-Dade-Jasper Outer
  128. Bolivar & Stockton
  129. Laclede West & Dallas
  130. Greene West
  131. Springfield North
  132. Springfield Center
  133. Springfield Southwest
  134. Springfield South
  135. Springfield East
  136. Springfield Southeast
  137. Greene East & Webster West
  138. Stone & Christian Northwest
  139. Christian West
  140. Christian East
  141. Webster East & Wright
  142. Houston-Big Piney-Edgar Springs
  143. Dent-Shannon-Oregon
  144. Washington South & the Arcadia Valley
  145. Madison-Bollinger-Perry South
  146. Cape Girardeau Outer
  147. Cape Girardeau Inner
  148. Scott East & Mississippi North
  149. New Madrid-Pemiscot North-Mississippi South
  150. Dunklin & Pemiscot South
  151. Stoddard & Scott West
  152. Butler South
  153. Butler North-Ripley-Carter
  154. West Plains & Caulfield
  155. Douglas-Ozark-Taney East
  156. Taney West
  157. Lawrence
  158. Barry
  159. McDonald & Newton South
  160. Newton North
  161. Joplin Hope
  162. Joplin North & Jasper Southwest
  163. Carthage & Oronogo

Missouri Senate (Click for maps)
  1. St. Louis South
  2. St. Charles West
  3. Cape Girardeau-St. Genevieve-St. François
  4. St. Louis Forest Hills
  5. St. Louis Riverfront
  6. Lower Osage
  7. Lower North East
  8. Lee's Summit & Blue Springs
  9. Kansas City East
  10. Kansas City West
  11. Independence & Raytown
  12. The North West
  13. St. Louis North
  14. Ferguson-University City-Clayton
  15. St. Louis Southwest
  16. Upper Gasconade
  17. Kansas City North
  18. Upper North East
  19. Boone & Howard
  20. Western Ozarks
  21. The Central West
  22. Lead Belt
  23. St. Charles North
  24. St. Louis West
  25. The South East
  26. Lower Gasconade
  27. St. Louis Southwest
  28. Lower South West
  29. Upper South West
  30. Springfield
  31. Upper Osage
  32. Jasper & Newton
  33. Eastern Ozarks
  34. Platte & Buchanan