ONE MAN’S VIEW: Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is a coward; refuses to answer interview on key issues

TRUTH VS. EVASION: Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill Sen. Claire McCaskill (left) will face off with Missouri Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley on Nov. 6. – Charlie Riedel/AP photo

The attorney general of Missouri is supposed to be the defender of the people, strong, courageous, willing to stand for what’s right. In the case of Josh Hawley, who was in office less than a year when he announced his candidacy to try to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, turns out he’s really a coward.

As part of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s efforts to inform readers on Hawley’s and McCaskill’s positions on key issues, they looked at 10 of Senator McCaskill’s votes and asked Hawley how he would have voted on each. (See story below.)

“He (Hawley) declined,” notes the paper. Instead of being honest with voters, his spokesperson offered “background material or statements Hawley has made…” and public statements that “provide strong hints on others.”

Instead of talking directly with the paper about his positions and beliefs, Hawley ducked and evaded, hiding behind his campaign literature and canned statements.

Golden Boy Hawley, who claims he only entered the Senate race because GOP leaders and donors begged him to do so, simply did not answer on five of the issues, and ducked behind his staff’s provision of “background material” on five others rather than talk directly with the paper.

Instead of being honest and straightforward with voters about his positions, Hawley is letting out-of-state, dark money groups (those avid donors who begged him to run) fund negative ads against Senator McCaskill – ads that have been proven false by fact-checking groups and other Missouri newspapers.

Hawley provided no direct response to his positions on all 10 key issues. How’s that for transparency? And honesty? And trusting voters to support your positions

on issues important to them? Zero out of 10. Now that’s a record to be proud of!

Regardless of your party affiliation or whether you agree with Senator McCaskill’s votes on all the issues, at least she has the courage to stand up and speak out and let voters know WHY she took those positions. Given what’s happening in Washington, her honesty and courage are much appreciated.

We may not agree with Senator McCaskill on every one of her votes, but at least she’s consistent:

  • She supports workers’ pocketbook issues unequivocally. That’s vital for us as working people.
  • She has the strength of character, when we disagree with her on a vote, to let us know WHY she took her position.
  • She has, and expresses, a logical thought process in reaching her decisions. Although we might not agree, she speaks honestly instead of spouting the political doubletalk we hear so much these days.

Her willingness to be honest with herself and with us are traits that Golden Boy Hawley, with his avoidance of the issues and sleight-of-hand defense of disgraced former governor Eric Greitens, has yet to demonstrate.

We are at a precarious juncture in American politics. What we do on Election Day Nov. 6 is critical.

We need an honest fighter working for Missouri. We need to re-elect Senator Claire McCaskill.

It will be a fight to the finish, so we need to turn out and vote — for Senator McCaskill and for other Democrats to bring BALANCE back to Congress and the Missouri Legislature. When one party controls everything, there’s no need to debate the issues, or pass laws that work for ALL of us, not just the special interests who can afford to buy their legislators. Missouri is a glaring example of that disparity.

Let’s fix that on Nov. 6 by voting Democrat, even if you’re a Republican, and bring BALANCE back to politics.

10 critical issues Hawley refuses to discuss

Here is a brief summary of the key issues the Post-Dispatch sought Hawley’s position on in an effort to give voters an understanding where he stands. Senator McCaskill has a voting record; Hawley has offered nothing. What’s he afraid of?

1. Net Neutrality: To allow open, unfettered access by everyone and not allow networks to prioritize service and speed for better paying customers.

    • McCaskill supports: “Missourians have been loud and clear…they want free and open access….”
    • Hawley: No response.

2. Dodd-Frank rollback (partial): To free small and medium-sized banks from strict rules passed after the 2008 financial crisis to prevent another meltdown.

    • McCaskill supported: “A common-sense fix for the over-regulation of small banks and credit unions who’ve had their hands tied on lending to Missouri customers who want to buy a house or start a business.”
    • Hawley: No response.

3. Class Action Arbitration: To allow average Americans to file class action lawsuits against banks, credit-card companies, other financial institutions if they felt they’d been wronged instead of forcing them into mandatory arbitration, which almost always favors the company against the individual.

    • McCaskill supported: “To restore Americans’ access to justice and hold financial institutions accountable… to preserve the ability of consumers to band together in class actions when seeking relief through the civil justice system.”
    • Hawley: No response.

4. Mental Health and Guns: Nullifying a rule under which the Social Security Administration would have been required to give the FBI information on people who receive mental health benefits.

    • McCaskill: opposed: The measure wasn’t new gun control, McCaskill said, but would have prevented people who would have been otherwise denied a gun purchase from slipping through the cracks of an “imperfect background check system.”
    • Hawley: No response.

5. Terrorism Watch List Gun Control: To deny gun sales to people on the terrorism watch lists.

    • McCaskill supported. “Why on earth would we let a suspected terrorist legally buy an assault weapon?”
    • Hawley: No response.

6. Defunding Planned Parenthood: While no federal money aimed at women’s health, including birth control, goes to abortions, this bill would kill the other health services the group provides women.

    • McCaskill: Opposed. “We all want to prevent abortions… don’t give them tax money for abortions, but don’t cut off the very way that we avoid abortions in this country.”
    • Hawley: No direct response, but previously called for a total ban on federal monies even for the other health services provided.

7. Government Shutdown: McCaskill was one of five Democrats to vote with Republicans on Jan 19 in an unsuccessful attempt to end a short government shutdown over budgeting and spending issues.

    • McCaskill pushed an unsuccessful effort to at least pay troops to “send a very clear message… to soldiers anywhere in the world that they will be paid for the valiant work they do for our national security.”
    • Hawley: No direct response, but a previous statement attacked McCaskill and Democrats.

8. GOP Tax Plan: Geared to benefit the rich, shareholders and wealthy corporations.

    • McCaskill opposed, saying the $1.5 Trillion plan was geared too much to the rich… and subsequently cited studies showing that large portion of the cuts went to shareholders and wealthy corporations.
    • Hawley: No direct response, but previously issued a statement supporting it.

9. Obamacare Repeal: The so-called “skinny” repeal of the Affordable Care Act was defeated in the Senate, with the deciding vote cast by the late Sen. John McCain.

    • McCaskill opposed, saying it would raise premiums and push as many as 15 million Americans out of insurance.
    • Hawley: No direct response, but previously wrote an Op-Ed criticizing Obamacare.

It should be noted that Hawley is representing Missouri in a lawsuit with 19 other states that challenges the Affordable Care Act.
McCaskill says that the lawsuit threatens to strip insurance protections from people with pre-existing conditions.

10. Gorsuch Nomination to Supreme Court:

    • McCaskill opposed: “…a study of his opinions reveal(s) a rigid ideology that always puts the little guy under the boot of corporations.”
    • Hawley: No direct response, but previously supported Gorsuch and criticized McCaskill for her vote.


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