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 LIST OF ISSUES

Truth Matters

ABORTION - Barb is Pro-CHOICE

      Women should have full autonomy over their bodies. Women's healthcare should not be dependent on an election, a zip code, or somebody else's religion. I have a Down syndrome grandson. Our family knew early in the pregnancy that Vinney would have special needs and chose to carry him to full term.  He had 3 holes in his heart and underwent heart surgery.  He will need continued specialized care.  The worry and heartbreak was almost unbearable.  It takes a special family to raise a handicapped child that will never be able to live on his own, and decisions like this should not be made by the government.

      I will fight for women's access to safe, legal, accessible, affordable reproductive healthcare.

     Colorado developed a program to offer long term (IUD) birth control which reduced unwanted pregnancies by 40 percent, abortions by 42 percent, and saved $70 million per year in public assistance.     

ELECTION SECURITY - The BIG LIE.

     The Associated Press reported: "Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared  "the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election"." 

     Barr then abruptly resigned.

     Chris Krebs, Trump's director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said "there is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised."

     Krebs was immediately fired.

     Krebs testified before Congress about steps taken after the 2016 Russian intrusion to shore up our election process. Kreb's testimony can be read here.

JANUARY 6th INSURRECTION 

     Despite losing at least 63 lawsuits filed by Trump and associates after the 2020 election, no widespread voter fraud was found. The Department of Justice and the FBI investigated Trump's baseless claims. For the first time in American history, the peaceful transfer of power was violated.

     Trump summoned far-right white nationalist groups to Washington D.C. and dispatched them to the Capital where the ceremonial counting of electoral votes was occurring. He told them to fight like Hell - and they did. At least 7 people (including police officers) have died in the aftermath.

     Trump told Pence to reject the electoral votes and thank God Pence refused. Speaking at the Federalist Society conference, Pence delivered his strongest response yet to Trump's ongoing efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, calling it "un-American" to suggest one person could have decided the outcome.

     Trump stated "He [meaning Pence] could have overturned the Election!" 

     Trump associates also organized fake Republican electors in 7 states that Trump lost. Republicans signed their names to forged documents, claiming that they were the rightful electors.

     Trump, the January 6th organizers, the white nationalists, and the fake Republican electors are seditionist traitors and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Senator Scott 11 Point Plan to "Sunset" Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and raise taxes

    

     While voters are up in arms about Critial Race Theory (CRT), Senator Ron Scott (Chair to elect Republican Senators) has flown under the radar with his 11 Point Plan to Rescue America. READ HERE.

     Scott's plan will ensure all Americans pay taxes (no matter the poverty level). Republican Senators also want to "Sunset" or eliminate Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Every American needs to pay attention to this plan and say NO NO NO!!

INFRASTRUCTURE - Democrats Deliver 
     President Biden's Jobs Act bill is expected to give Missouri $6.5 billion for roads, up to $99 million for electric vehicle charging stations, $100 million for broadband internet infrastructure and $674 million to improve public transportation, according to an analysis by McClatchy’s Washington, D.C. bureau.      

     Jefferson County has all the ingredients needed for economic growth: Train, river, and major highways. I will support opening a train depot in DeSoto - breathing new life into a town that was originally centered around the rail road. And I will become involved with the Port Authority, as the re-districted DIST 115 extends to the Mississippi River.

     In 2013, Desoto built a bridge over the Joachim Creek. Since then, Joachim Creek  flooded residential neighborhoods 4 times in 5 years. It took five years for a study to even start.

     Studies were done, spearheaded by a group of DeSoto Citizens (Citizens for Flood Relief) and it is up to the City of DeSoto and Jefferson County to fix.  Some buyouts are in the works. I will fight for funds to help DeSoto.  

EDUCATION - UNDER ATTACK by Republicans 

      Missouri has a teacher shortage. We rank 50th (lowest) in starting pay for a teacher and 48th for average salary, because the Republicans have been in power in Jeff City for over 20 years. This is disgraceful! In 2018, 25 rural school districts had converted to 4 day per week schedules because of a lack of funding. In 2022, that number is up to 128 or 25% of our schools. The 4 day per week schedule makes it easier to retain teachers and easier for under paid teachers to find a 2nd job. 

     To add to the teacher exodus, Republican legislators have introduced numerous bills to ban books, critical race theory (CRT), and prevent teachers from teaching actual history. If a student is made to "feel" uncomfortable by learning the truth about history, these laws allow the Missouri Attorney General to sue the district for $10,000 - with $8,000 going to a special fund for private schools and $2,000 going to the plaintiff. Democratic legislators called these bills Trojan horses, designed to defund public education. 1600 record-setting testimonies were submitted in opposition to these bills. Teacher testimony claimed that if these bills pass, even more History and English teachers will quit.

     CRT was written 40 years ago as a curriculum for law students. It deals with the differences in policing and sentencing minorities. Republicans are using this as a scare tactic to elect more Republicans at the school board level. CRT is not taught in public K-12 schools.

Medicaid Expansion -  Voters said YES as GOP blocked

     

     Over 300,000 signatures were gathered to put the expansion on the ballot (thru the Initiative Petition process). Workers making less than $18,754 annually are eligibleGOP lawmakers refused to fund the Medicaid expansion implementation in 2021, but a Missouri Supreme Court cleared the way for Medicaid expansion to take effect. 90% of the expanded expenses are covered by the federal government. Plus, regular Medicare is increased another 5%.

     Republicans are still introducing bills to defund the expanded Medicaid and add work requirements. The budget year ending in June is likely to have $3 billion in unspent general revenue. Missouri can afford this. The voters and the courts have spoken, but the GOP isn't listening.

     Because Republicans don't want citizens to have a voice, they are also attacking the Initiative Petition. Republicans have submitted numerous bills to raise the number of signatures to unreachable amounts.

Right To Work -  Takes Away Your Voice
     

     If the legislators really wanted to make America great again, they would support unions.  Fifty years ago (referring to the great period), a third of the work force was unionized. Today, less than 8% of the workforce belongs to a bargaining unit.  The real purpose of Right to Work is to destroy labor unions and collective bargaining, and to tilt the balance toward big corporations.  As union strength declines, corporate profit and greed increases.  Collective bargaining is the only thing that keeps corporate greed in check.  With unions out of the way, there is no voice for the worker.  In return, big business continues to control legislators with lobbyists and dark money. The majority of current legislators have been persuaded to turn against the middle class and favor the wealthy and their belief of trickle-down economics. 

      Workers in Right to Work states are paid 12.2% less, are less likely to have health insurance, have a higher poverty rate, higher infant mortality rate, higher workplace fatality rate, and invest less in education. 

      Unions ensure a higher standard of living for their members by providing a means of bargaining that leads to higher wages, health insurance, a pension, and paid vacations – all of which causes the economy to grow.  That is good for everyone.

     Make no mistake, the Republican controlled legislation voted to enact Right to Work without the consent of Missouri voters.  Unions gathered 300,000 signatures  (via Missouri's Initiative Petition process) to place Right To Work on the ballot. Voters said "NO" by 78% in Jefferson County and 82% in Washington County. Republican legislators are promising to bring it back. 

     The only way to permanently stop Right To Work, is to vote the Republicans out, as the Initiative Petition is now at risk. Republicans have submitted bills to raise the number of signatures to unreachable amounts. If this bill passes, Right to Work will return and Democrats will not be able to stop it. 

 

HEALTHCARE - NOT a privilege. Let's make it YOUR RIGHT.

     Healthcare has a strangle-hold on the American economy.  By reigning in Big Pharma and insurance providers, healthcare costs can be cut in half while covering everyone.  France has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. I visited France and the people love their healthcare.  France spends roughly 1/3 of what the US spends. An asthma inhaler (Advair) in the US costs $154 and in France costs $34.  Insulin (Lantus) in the US costs $186 and in France costs $47.  

     Between 2008 and 2015, prices for brand prescription drugs increased 264%, while during the same time period, inflation only rose 12%. Consequently, 20 million Americans do not fill their prescriptions, leading to serious health consequences, expensive hospital stays, and possibly bankruptcy.  Because of the windfall that the pharmaceutical companies received from the Trump tax bill, their stockholders have received $50 billion, and the prices of drugs have not dropped a single penny.

     The US is the only industrialized country that believes healthcare is a privilege. America ranks 28th in the world in life expectancy, 17th in quality of care, spends roughly twice as much, patients don’t go as often to the doctor, and have fewer numbers of doctors. More people work in billing than the number of beds in a hospital.  No other country does this.  31% of every healthcare dollar goes to overhead, administration, sales, marketing, and profits - much of which can be eliminated with Medicare For All.

   Since 2005, 8 rural hospitals have closed and 26 more are vulnerable. Only three other states top Missouri for the number of hospitals in danger of closing. The lack of Medicaid expansion is the key reason.

     "193 Republicans recently voted against lowering the copays for insulin, the drug necessary to keep the 30 million Americans who live with diabetes alive. The price of insulin has soared in the U.S. in the past 20 years while it has stayed the same in other developed countries. A vial of insulin that cost $21 in 1999 in the U.S. cost $332 in 2019. Currently, insulin costs up to ten times more in the United States than in any other developed country. " -- Heather Cox Richardson 4/1/22

     Tearing down and rebuilding healthcare would eat away at the national debt and ensure long-term economic growth, without gifting tax breaks to the wealthy.  Slashing healthcare costs is the key to funding infrastructure and education, and being fiscally responsible.  And, it’s the right thing to do.

ETHICS - NO GIFTS FROM LOBBYISTS

      I believe lobbyists control the majority of Republican legislators.  The gridlock and inability to compromise are due to the powerful influences of dark money and corporate greed.  I will refuse to take any gifts from a lobbyist - nothing - not even a cup of coffee. Gifts come with stings attached. I will go to our capitol to represent Jefferson County familes. NOT THE LOBBYISTS.

     

GUN RIGHTS - GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION

     I am a gun owner and I bought my first Smith & Wesson .38 revolver over 40 years ago for protection.  I support the 2nd Amendment and gun safety, and believe that we must find a balance to reduce gun violence while respecting the 2nd Amendment.  I support background checks for everyone and denying permits to those on the No-fly lists. Gun violence research by the CDC has been shut down for 20 years - it needs to be reversed and funded at the federal level.  

      I was an NRA member, but not any longer.  I agree in part with Wayne LaPiere when he says that reporting agencies can do a better job in reporting felons and the adjudicated mentally ill.  According to LaPiere, 38 states do not properly report felons. The NRA played a large part in taking away the background checks done by the local sheriff and replacing with a national data base.  The sheriff often personally knows the mentally ill, the drug dealers/users, the felons, and the wife beaters.  We should not have eliminated that source of first-hand information, in favor of an instant system that lets so many people fall thru the cracks.

     I DO NOT agree with LaPiere when he says that Democrats want to take away  guns and the 2nd amendment. Those are flat out lies.  

FARMER'S BILL OF RIGHTS - STOP FOREIGN COUNTRIES and  CORPORATE TAKEOVERS
 

     Right to Fair and open Markets – Two decades ago there were 600 seed companies - today, there are only 6. This concentration of large corporate power is hurting the family farms by raising the cost of seeds and controlling the price at harvest time.  Democrats want to level the playing field.

     Right to Local Control of Land – GOP legislators have lifted a ban on foreign countries owning Missouri farm land. One result is that China now controls the pork market in Missouri.  Ten thousand pigs are raised and slaughtered in a “concentrated animal feeding operation”. The floors of the buildings are slatted, allowing waste to be flushed into 30-feet-deep open-air pits the size of two football fields.  The smell is unbearable for the surrounding area.  The effluent waste leaks into the soil, overflows during heavy rains, and contaminates local streams and rivers.  Because the profit goes out of the country to China, Main St. suffers, the tax base erodes, and schools suffer. There used to be over 10,000 small pig farms in Missouri.  Now there are less than 700.

     Right to Rural Opportunity – By undermining family farms, the concentration of wealth and power in large corporations and monopolies has led to the closing of Mom-and-Pop shops and has helped to drive away younger Missourians in search of jobs and economic opportunities.  Democrats want to reverse the decline of Main St. and help rural economies flourish.

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