Ballwin – A candid look at the past, present and future of the Democratic Party in Missouri was the focus of a gathering recently of more than 150 Democratic leaders, faithful and friends from across the state hosted by UFCW Local 655 at their union hall, 300 Weidman Rd.
Local 655 President David Cook set the tone: “Missourians are under attack from a radical wing of the Republican Party. We have to fight back! We have to all pitch in and elected our friends, 95 percent of the time that will be Democrats.”
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, whose recent election to a six-year term could allow her a few years of ‘peace and quite’ before she needs to begin campaigning again, put aside that notion and pledged to work as hard for Democratic candidate in the 2014 election as she did in her own campaign.
“We’re going to take back the House next year. I challenge everyone to keep up with me,” she said to wild applause, pledging not only her time and energy to find and elect solid candidates, but her personal money.
“Taking back Missouri for our working families has to be our number one priority,” she stressed. She praised the labor movement for their support of issues and principles that support all working people pointing out that in Missouri the radical right is looking out only for the very wealthy, not workers. She praised Local 655 and Cook for showing “real leadership to move Missouri forward.”
MISSOURI NOT ‘RED’
House Minority Leader Jack Hummel, a member of IBEW Local 1, made the point that “Missouri is not as red as people think.”
When people really look at the Republican agenda that wasted so much valuable time and did nothing to help working families, they will return to the Democratic Party, he stressed.
He noted that the Republican-dominated legislature wasted a lot of valuable time by spending time on passing foolish laws or trying to pass them, instead of working on issues that create jobs and improve the state’s economy.
R’s WASTED TIME ON FOOLISHNESS
He gave a few examples of the foolishness: making it a crime for police officers to enforce federal gun laws not even in effect yet; forbidding the implementation of a United Nations resolution that has no impact on any state operations, that it was only a recommendation referring to sustainability; turning down a billion dollars in federal funds that would have provided health care to over 300,000 Missouri families that would have cost taxpayers “not a single penny; instead our tax money will go to other states.”
Jeremy LaFaver (D-KC), the new chairman of the House Democratic Victory Committee, expressed enthusiasm and confidence for his new role, pointing out the Democratic Party has a new leader – Executive Director Jordan Overstreet -, new staff and a renewed sense of direction designed to restore balance in the political composition of the Missouri legislature, balance that will benefit all Missourians, not just the very wealthy.
The meeting was opened by State Rep. Bob Burns (D-Lemay).