Return Claire McCaskill to the U.S. Senate
The Kansas City Star
Missouri voters have a clear, important choice in the nationally watched U.S. Senate race. We recommend re-electing Claire McCaskill, a smart, moderate straight-shooter.
She’s actually a two-fer vote: McCaskill can continue her effective role as a watchdog of government contract spending, especially with defense industries, and she can spare Missouri the embarrassment of promoting the dangerously backward-thinking U.S. Rep. Todd Akin.
A vote for McCaskill returns to the Senate a leading moderate, known for bipartisan co-sponsorship of sensible legislation. And it protects Missouri and the nation from more votes by Akin against fair pay measures, emergency contraception after rape or incest, and federally subsidized school lunches for low-income children.
While conservatives desperately hope to paint McCaskill as too liberal, her record is firmly in the middle. Early in her term, she even won high ratings from the conservative U.S. Chamber of Commerce, before that group turned on her in an effort to shift control of the Senate to Republicans in 2012.
McCaskill endured a relentless ad barrage from outstate secret special interests during the Republican primary. Until, that is, Akin won that election and explained his bogus theory on “legitimate rape” victims holding the power to avoid pregnancy. Republican leaders scurried for the exits, asking Akin to step aside so the party could nominate someone else.
Akin didn’t listen. Now voters need to show him the door.
The 65-year-old from St. Louis County has a deplorable record of missed votes and positions well out of the mainstream on issues from finance to foreign aid. He backed Rep. Paul Ryan’s initial Medicare plan that would have created vouchers and likely cost seniors $6,000 extra a year. Following demonstrations in Egypt, he carelessly suggested the United States cut off all foreign aid to that country.
He’s a strict anti-abortion adherent who wants to force his views on all by denying access to abortion or emergency contraception in all circumstances, including in cases of rape and incest. Even access to birth control would not win Akin’s vote in the Senate. He is too dogmatic to have in office.
Also on the ballot is Libertarian Jonathan Dine.
McCaskill, an accomplished former Jackson County prosecutor and Missouri auditor, knows the ropes in Washington.
She has stuck to her principles on opposing earmarks. McCaskill deserves thanks for trying to end a system of political favors that undermines local decisions and rewards politically powerful politicians.
She learned after arriving in Washington of the “honey pot” tales. Certain party committee leaders would skim money off the top of accounts they reviewed for home projects. Earmarks have grown to ridiculous proportions over the years and are not a fair or an effective use of tax dollars.
Among McCaskill’s votes that critics don’t want you to know about: She twice tried to cap federal spending, co-sponsoring bills with conservative Republican Jeff Sessions of Alabama. She supported the Keystone XL pipeline construction, provided safety measures were strictly followed. And she successfully pushed to end the secret holds on presidential nominees, a practice that stymied filling positions under both Democrats and Republicans.
She supports reforming the health care system, making insurance affordable and accessible. She hopes in another term she can help craft more changes to the Affordable Care Act that will better control future costs.
Claire McCaskill is making a positive difference for Missouri and for the nation. She has earned a second term.