Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Election Results

Hey everyone,

First of all, I want to thank all of you for the support you offered me during this experience. By participating in this project, my family, friends, peers, and additional readers in the community excited me about the opportunity to learn more about the political system, and my only regret is that I did not have time to do more.

Rebecca McClanahan lost the election to Zach Wyatt yesterday. The people have spoken, and they chose someone who I (as clear in other posts) feel is in adequate for the job. I can only hope for the sake of Missouri District 2 that I am wrong and Zach does an awesome job for the constituents in the House of Representatives. I wish him nothing but the best!  

Rebecca McClanahan was a wonderful asset to this community, and I know she will continue to work hard to better our lives in whatever way she may chose. It was a pleasure to get to know her and have several opportunities to talk with her.

I would like to issue a special thanks to Charles Smith, who was always there to answer questions or feed me information. You are amazing!

For the last time, it was nice talking with you. Maybe next election I’ll blog again… out of love for the system rather than for a grade.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day!

Hey Everyone!

Just a quick post to remind you to go out and vote if you haven't already!

I'm going to the McClanahan watch party at the Dukem tonight! Look for a post coming after the election... with the good news!!!

- Abi

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rebecca...On the Issues!

Hey everyone!
As you know, tomorrow is Election Day! Which means it’s time for the post I’ve been working on for a long time. I’ve talked to Rebecca about this to make sure I got it straight, so here goes…

Rebecca McClanahan: On the Issues!

I feel that there are three main issues that Rebecca McClanahan focuses on continually – jobs/economy, education, and healthcare. What does she have to say about them? Well, they are all interlinked for our district.

Representative McClanahan believes that fixing the job situation and the economy is more complex than simply cutting taxes/red tape. McClanahan said specifically “the number one quality of life issue to influence an employer to establish in a community is high quality education.” Without a good education, we cannot have a good workforce. Therefore, we have an obligation to support public education. Therefore, McClanahan is in support of programs that keep Missouri’s best and brightest in the area. Take, for example, the Bright Flight scholarship. The Bright Flight scholarship program is designed to help high ACT scoring individuals with tuition if they go to school at an in-state public institution. This past year, many Bright Flight Scholarships (including myself) were upset to see our scholarship funds cut. McClanahan says that the purpose of the scholarship was to increase with inflation, and fought the cuts. She believes that the funds should be increased as the program was set to do.

McClanahan also fought “Access Missouri” scholarships. Why? The program gives twice as much money to students attending non-state run institutions instead of state universities (for more information, click here.) McClanahan believes that by encouraging enrollment at universities such as Truman State University, we help enhance employers of choice. According to the Kirksville Chamber of Commerce (website here), education and health services are the 2nd largest employer, losing only to the government by a few jobs. So by fighting for education we also encourage employment.

The same theory applies to healthcare. McClanahan believes that we need to focus on decisions that can be made at the state level by protecting patient care for seniors and the disabled. She believes the eligibility for coverage is a huge problem with 180,000 people cut off from healthcare. That being said, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) can bring a lot of good to Missouri. Rebecca says the PPACA offers Missouri:

-          - more eligibility for Medicaid at 133% of the federal poverty level
-         -  it can return the eligibility level to pre-2005 levels
-          - an increase in access to insurance (more than any single piece of legislation
-          - AND… it will draw down federal matching dollars.

So what does drawing down matching funds do for Missouri? It can bring quite a bit of money to the state institutions and does NOT come out of our state budget. So in the end, more Missourians are covered with federal funds.

Let’s follow this train of thought. The federal government provides Missouri with matching funds. This allows a boost to the economy…without raising state taxes or cutting our budget? More healthcare jobs are needed to support the newly insured. More teachers are needed to train the healthcare professionals. Kirksville’s two biggest employment fields? Education and healthcare.

Rebecca, I like the way you think.

As always, I welcome your thoughts and comments! Don’t forget to vote tomorrow!
-         -  Abi

P.S. What did you think about the Robo-Call scandal

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

“I’m Going To Vote For Her”

Hey everyone!


I'm getting ready to meet Rebecca McClanahan and her campaign manager here in a few minutes, so the post tonight is going to be brief. I should have more to post after the meeting though, so look for an additional post or two this week!
Don't forget – only a week left until the election!

After the debates, there were many differing opinions that were being voiced by many different parties. While everyone left rather quickly, I was able to talk to a few people. I asked a man, a woman in the crowd what they thought of the McClanahan/Wyatt debate:

"I thought it was very good. It showed us where they stand and helps us make a decision." – Robert Fredricks

"I thought it was wonderful. I'm going to vote for her." – Woman (asked to be anonymous)

I then spoke with Charles Smith (campaign manager) about what his thoughts were on the debate:

"I think after the debate tonight, it's clear who the most qualified and experienced candidate for the position is"

Also in the crowd was political science professor Dr. Randy Hagerty. When I asked him what he thought of the debates, he spoke for a while. Here is a summary of what he said:

Its tough to get a clear stance on the candidate's issues in this debate format. The best you can do is get a general idea of what they stand for because the time allotted is not enough for in depth issue analysis. Also, you are not just talking to the people in the room itself. Its going out to the more general public. In general, students may show a low level of interest, but those who are interested can get a broad idea of where they stand from the debates, and if they are interested, have a place to start to find more information.

Last, and certainly not least, after the debate I was able to talk to Representative McClanahan and see what she thought of the debate. I really liked her response to my question.

"It is so important to me to understand issues deeply, and it is frustrating to hear highly complex issues discussed in talking points and sound bites that create misunderstanding and distortion.  Surely we should be able to discuss the merits of the issues and identify things that need to be changed or adjusted without painting it in its extremes.  I would like to have had the opportunity for a full discussion of the issues."

This concept of going more in depth of the issues truly encompasses how Rebecca handles the responsibility of being a state representative. I encourage you to talk to her for a while – she really does know the issues, and enjoys talking about them in depth.



Monday, October 25, 2010

The Debate

Hey Readers!


First of all, thanks for the emails I received asking about the post. I'm not quite sure why it didn't make it up (technical difficulties?)…but here it is, in all its glory. Its a long post, so enjoy what it has to offer!


Tonight at the El Kadir Shrine Club in Kirksville, candidates for positions throughout the county met to discuss key issues and give voters a general idea about their stances on those issues. I have never been to a political debate forum before, and it was very interesting. Basically, the candidates for whatever office was up would both stand. A question would be asked, one candidate would respond, and then the other candidate would respond. On the representative and senate seats, the candidates also had a 30 second rebuttal time. Candidates either had one or two minutes to share their opinions. Each office was asked about three or four questions.

Before the debates began, there was an hour meet-and-greet. I arrived around 5:40 to walk around and meet the candidates. I encourage anyone to go to a debate in the future. Not only was their free food (YES!), but there were a bunch of handouts and fliers with good information about the candidates. It was interesting to me that though I walked by every candidate for office, none of them caught my eye or attempted to talk to me, even those that were not conversing with anyone! However, I also did not attempt to start a conversation, so take that for what it is worth. When
Representative McClanahan arrived, however, she spoke to me almost immediately, remembering my name and asking if I was excited for the debates. The only other candidate that spoke to me was Wes Shoemyer, who came over and introduced himself to me, asking my name and where I was from. We spoke briefly about this project, and he expressed his pleasure at students taking a role in this process.


Now, what you've all been waiting for…

The actual debate between McClanahan and Wyatt was very intriguing. Both participants were highly passionate about their issues. There were four questions asked, concerning healthcare, education, jobs, and social security/senior citizens. Here is my summary of how the candidates answered (I tried to write as fast as possible and include the major points from both candidates to the fullest extent):

Question concerning:Representative Rebecca McClanahanZach Wyatt
EducationMain points:

  • Education took a hit this year
  • We were able to protect career ladder
  • We must do what we can to keep Parents as Teachers
Main points:

  • We need to do better.
  • No school vouchers
  • Need to bring Parents as Teachers Back
  • Need to stop the Democratic Governor from cutting education
HealthcareMain points:

  • McClanahan was encouraged by the health care cuts of 2005, causing her to run in 2006
  • McClanahan is an RN
  • Fought to protect personal care attendance for elderly and disabled
  • In rebuttal to Wyatt's comments about "Obama-care" – we have little influence in Washington, but we must focus on Missouri healthcare
  • Encourages people to keep in mind that "Obama-care" covers children with pre-existing medical conditions
Main points:

  • 7/10 people in Missouri do not support Obama-care, which hurts Medicare.
  • We must have better healthcare for our children
  • The children are the future of Missouri and we need to have them here.
JobsMain points:

  • Must have a favorable business environment
  • McClanahan sits on the agricultural policy committee, helped to identify language to defend animal agriculture
Main Points:

  • Agriculture must be preserved
  • Frivolous lawsuits hurt farmers
  • We must look to our neighbors to the west
  • The Governor and Attorney General could lose us jobs, we may become a ghost town

Senior Citizens/Social Security
Main points:

  • Sits on MO HealthNet Oversight Committee, Healthcare Committee, and was recently appointed to the Missouri Rx Plan Advisory Commission
  • Has stood up for funding for seniors
  • Meals on Wheels type programs
  • We must cut back do to the budget, but we must do so strategically.
Main points:

  • Missouri must stand against Obamacare.
  • Seniors could lose $5 million
  • We must take care of our Veterans, such as in Amendment 2, which we will be voting on



Overall, I was highly impressed with Rebecca's answers, though I would like to know have liked to hear more specifics on what is being done for secondary education programs like the Bright Flight program. Her responses on healthcare were very passionate, which is one of the things that makes it easy to like Representative McClanahan. I was a little confused as to how she planned to create a more favorable business environment.

Wyatt spoke very clearly and was easy to listen to. I felt that his answers lacked depth or knowledge, but I also plan on watching the debate again to see if that was just me at the time or if there is still something to be desired.

My post for Tuesday, October 26th will be about the reactions after the debate – what did Representative McClanahan, as well as a few other people think?

Did you watch or listen to the debates? What did you see?

See you all soon!

  • Abi

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Coming soon!

Hey everyone!

I'm working hard on a post about the debates. They ended about 40 minutes ago, and I just got home. The post will be late, so I apologize for the inconvenience. Bear with me!

For now, know that I had a blast at the debates and am excited for this post!

Representative Rebecca McClanahan and Me, before the debate!

Michael and Me - the only two from the Political Communication class there!

Be back soon!

Tweeting Live

Hey everyone!!

Just to let you know, I will be tweeting live from the debates tonight. Follow me on twitter @mcclanahanconvo