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What Republicans are Saying about Rex Sinquefield and Tim Jones' bullying tactics

Billionaire Rex Sinqufield has long used bullying, threats, and money to scare Missouri legislators. However, Sinqufield and his ally Speaker Tim Jones have begun to heavily target Missouri Republicans and they aren't very happy about it. 

CPAC St. Louis - That's a Whole Lotta Crazy

CPAC St. Louis convenes this Saturday and the crazy level in the lou is about to go off the charts. Progress Missouri is proud to present this year's crazy brigade, an assortment of right wing radicals who will be speaking at CPAC St. Louis. Strap on your tin foil helmets, it's going to be a bumpy, GIF-tastic ride.

Speaker's Chief of Staff Contradicts Speaker on Sinquefield-Backed Threats

Yesterday, Speaker Tim Jones staffer Tom Smith was quoted in the STL Beacon accusing the media of "speculating" that House Republicans who voted against House Bill 253 could lose their committee chairmanships. 

In which Chris Koster Teaches Tim Jones about the Constitution (as told in gifs)

Speaker Tim Jones (and attorney) took to teh twitterz earlier this summer to show off his expert legal analysis of House Bill 436 when he declared that nullification is perfectly legal, even though the Supreme Court says it isn't. 

Unfortunately for Speaker Jones, there are some lawyers that seem to disagree with his conclusion. For example, Attorney General Chris Koster. 

Who needs evidence when you have a pretty chart and touch screen thingy?

Rex Sinquefield lobbyist Travis Brown went on CNBC last week to promote a very pretty-touch-screen-chart-thingy in place of fact-based analysis. Despite the hosts' fascination with Brown's bright shiny object, they still managed to poke several massive holes in his logic. As you watch it, note how one of the mesmerized CNBC folks pops Brown's balloon with the inconvenient fact, "there is no conclusive connection between tax rates and the reasons that people move."

For fact-based analysis of giveaways to the One Percent, check out recent studies by the Missouri Budget Project and The Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy.

Speaker Reveals Coordination With Michigan Legislators on Anti-Worker Legislation

House Speaker Tim Jones disclosed this month at an Americans for Prosperity meeting in the Capitol that he has been communicating with legislators in Michigan about advancing so-called right to work legislation here in Missouri. Listen for yourself:

"I think it's very important how this issue is messaged. I was on a conference call last week with my colleagues here in Missouri and some of my colleagues in Michigan. I got to know my colleagues in Michigan in the past few years as I've worked with some of the National conservative groups and they say messaging on this issues is extremely important. This has nothing to do with the relationship between an employee and an employer. It has everything to do with forcing an employee to do something that they may not want to do. it has everything to do with forcing an employee to join a group, a union, which they may not support -- plus it takes some of our foundational freedoms, the right of free assembly, to join or not join, to participate or not participate. I see the analogy with the Obamacare bill. We're all being forced to participate in that. We're trying again to fight the Governor, we're doing are best to stand up against that federal taxation, or regulation..."

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a corporate front group founded and funded by billionaire industrialist David Koch. The Kochs also fund smaller right-wing think tanks around the Midwest, as well as the American Legislative Exchange Council, which drafted the model legislation sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison and co-sponsored by the Speaker.


GOP Leaders in General Assembly Leaders Embrace Discredited Nullification Theories

Nullification, the theory that states may invalidate federal law they declare unconstitutional, was first proposed in 1798. Since that time, attempts by state to engage in Nullification have been declared unconstitutional in 1809, 1813, 1819, 1821, 1824, 1832, 1842, 1859, 1958, and 1960. So yeah, the Supreme Court is pretty sure Nullification isn’t constitutional.

The Kansas City Star summed it up nicely with their January 20th article about Nullification:

“The states can’t simply choose to defy and override a valid federal law,” said Allen Rostron, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The U.S. Constitution deems federal statutes “the supreme law of the land,” Rostron said, a fact that was tested and confirmed by the Civil War. Attempts to invoke state supremacy have been shot down over the years by generations of U.S. Supreme Court decisions. That legal view hasn’t quelled enthusiasm among conservatives. According to the National Conference of Legislatures, forms of nullification legislation have been introduced in two dozen states in recent years. In Missouri last year, the House approved legislation making it a crime for any government official in the state to enforce the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Another bill went further, attempting to amend the state’s constitution to prohibit Missouri from recognizing or enforcing any federal law. The fact that the Supreme Court refuses to recognize Nullification shouldn’t be surprising because, well, the constitution does not actually contain any clause providing that the states have the power to declare federal laws unconstitutional, like none at all.

The pesky little fact that Nullification is wholly and absolutely unconstitutional hasn’t deterred the Missouri General Assembly from, in their infinite wisdom, proposing over a dozen Nullification bills on a variety of topics. Despite the pressing economic issues in the state, the Missouri General Assembly is focusing its efforts on a legal theory that has never been upheld in any United States Supreme Court decision, ever.

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