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Tea party forum fields candidates from state to local level

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Candidates mingle with voters Tuesday evening during the Cape County Tea Party primary candidate forum at the Career and Technology Center in Cape Girardeau.
(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
There was talk of smaller government, lower taxes and more than a few jabs were directed at President Barack Obama. Political hopefuls called out for new blood while incumbents touted the value of experience. The name of Ronald Reagan was conjured up more than once and most pledged their eternal support for legislation that was pro-God, pro-gun and pro-life.

And at the end of the night, an irate woman described by one event organizer as a "Democratic operative" had to be escorted to her car by police after confronting Republican congressional candidates Todd Akin and John Brunner.

Minor confrontation aside, Cape Girardeau County Tea Party chairman Brian Bollmann deemed Monday's 2012 Missouri candidate forum largely a success, though he said he was a bit let down by the five candidates who had agreed to come but didn't show.

"I wasn't really irritated, I was slightly disappointed," Bollmann said. "But overall I was very pleased with how the event turned out."

In all, the roughly 150 who attended the event at the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center heard from 18 candidates and stand-ins for five others, from major statewide contenders such as Akin and Brunner and secretary of state candidate Shane Schoeller to third-party candidates such as former representative Cynthia Davis, who is running for lieutenant governor under the Constitution Party banner.

"Now we're ready to have some fun!" said Davis of O'Fallon, Mo., who served four terms in the Missouri House after serving on the O'Fallon City Council.

The event featured candidates who hope to get the chance to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, including Akin, Brunner and fellow Republican Hector Maldonado.

Brunner, a former St. Louis business executive, quoted Reagan about the definitions of economic recession and depression, adding a bit to make a point: "The definition of recovery is when Claire McCaskill loses her job."

Former Missouri treasurer Sarah Steelman, who also wants a shot at McCaskill, wasn't at the event Tuesday -- and hadn't agreed to be there -- but one of her representatives was there, fresh off a Steelman endorsement from former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Congressional candidate Jerry Beck had told organizers he planned to attend but did not show.

While U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson was not in attendance, two opponents were -- Republican Bob Parker and Libertarian Rick Vandeven, each who failed in attempts two years ago. Parker continued to tout himself as a true conservative who is more suited to represent the district.

Vandeven began his speech by yelling "Wake up!" into the microphone before announcing he was not running for Congress but against it. He described the Democratic and Republican organizations as "two archaic and wobbly parties." Governments born of them, he said, would do what they've always done -- "grow government exponentially at the cost of freedom."

Three candidates for governor sent representatives -- Republicans Bill Randles and Fred Sauer and Libertarian Jim Higgins. All are running, with varying degrees of optimism, to unseat popular Democrat incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon.

Greg Tlapek of Cape Girardeau, president of the Missouri Libertarian Party for more than a decade, stood in for Higgins. He defended the need for more than a two-party system. He acknowledged that Libertarians may not win many races but noted Republicans may not either.

"A lot of our candidates could win," Tlapek said. "But they won't. And that's true of most of yours, too."

Then he added this: "Jay Nixon is going to be governor again ..." That's when the buzzer went off, indicating his four minutes were up.

Local candidates, including Republican candidates Wayne Wallingford and Ellen Brandom, were there, each continuing to try to convince voters that they deserve the Missouri Senate's 27th District. Candidates for the Missouri House's 146th District -- incumbent Donna Lichtenegger and challengers Gerald Adams and Van Hitt -- had four minutes apiece. Cape Girardeau County Commission candidates Moe Sandfort and Charlie Herbst also spoke. But incumbent Jay Purcell sent an email to organizers before the forum that he would be unable to attend after being stung several times by yellow jackets while performing his duties as parks superintendent.

At least one speaker suggested that four minutes was not enough to get to know a candidate, and Bollmann agreed.

"It's hard to get a sense of a candidate in a 45-minute speech, because sometimes they don't say anything," Bollmann said. "This was just an attempt to get a flavor of everybody who wanted to come. It was exactly what I expected it to be. It wasn't an analysis of their positions -- just a small chance to get to know them."



Pertinent address:

1080 S. Silver Springs, Cape Girardeau, MO

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Here's Bob Parker's speech. Turn up the Volume:


-- Posted by nolimitsonthought on Tue, Jul 17, 2012, at 11:50 PM

Let me guess, Emerson was at a Union meeting! No, How about a Democratic fundraiser!

-- Posted by rbburnett on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 3:05 AM

Steeleman has about the same qualifications to be missouri's senator as "I can see Russia from house" Palin did to be vice president. Maybe if elected steeleman would do us the same favor Palin did Alaska and resign early.

-- Posted by SamTheEagle on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 6:41 AM

Jo Ann was doing her job and voting in Washington. She voted last night against funding the UN. http://clerk.house.gov/floorsummary/floo...

Jo Ann will still be representing us after the primary, believe it! Bob Parker wants legalize drugs and then lied about it. Don't believe me? Check out the video. I report, you decide. http://semotimes.com/busted-parker-lies-...

-- Posted by workerdignity on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 6:52 AM

Funny how Jo Ann is doing what she was elected to do, VOTE, she gets bashed for not being two places at once. Looks like bobby got about as much attention in this article as he is relevant!

Samtheeagle, although I do not share your disdane for ms palin, Steelman should do us all a favor and go away. If she is as terrified as she sounds, how will she ever represent in DC?

-- Posted by bionicrotor on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 6:55 AM

Why so bitter, Sam? Does the balanced budget Missouri largely because of Steelman bother you that much?

I think it's great that Steelman got Palin's endorsement. Palin is sure a lot more interesting and dependable than Biden....and Brunner, I wonder why he wants the seat so badly that he's spent more than 4million of his own money on it? Anyone know? One thing that bothers me a lot is the $10k he gave to HSUS and then his cavalier attitude when he says, (basically) "my daughter stole my checkbook." It leaves me wondering why we should trust him with the nation's business if he can't even control his own family and his own checkbook. Thoughts?

Bob's talk was great! As usual. :)

Did anyone video the entire event?

Congratulations to the Cape Tea Party for a great event, and thank you to the SE Missourian for covering it so well!

-- Posted by Dreen on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 7:09 AM

I would like to point out that when Mrs. Emerson came to my county to speak at the GOP meeting, she gave her talk, and then left without taking questions, asserting that (at 9 p.m., no less) she had to drive to a meeting elsewhere in the district. The run-around my group got last election cycle about her appearing/not appearing was very frustrating and disappointing. She has got to know that the small government pro-Constitution conservatives have absolutely had it with her voting record, and want her replaced. Personally I am not going to waste another nanosecond of my time emailing her so that I can get some inane off-topic robo-reply or talk to one of her army of representatives who seem to be some sort of job creation program. These staffers represent some part of the gargantuan system of political patronage and favors, perfected by all of our elected representatives, which is used to generate good will among the electorate, or more blatantly, just buy votes by giving people's college kids jobs. This rankles me so much that I simply must reject it.

If the Representative doesn't want to vote the way I want, shouldn't I have the right to support and vote for someone who does? After all, I'm a taxpayer, and I am not a convicted felon...don't I have a voice? When it comes to the federal government, the closest representative is the person elected to the House for that two-year term. (Think about that...the Founders thought there just might need to be a turnover after two years...compare that to 16 years in the House. Seems a little at odds, doesn't it?)

So, bionicrotor, yes, she may have been in DC voting, and that's what we elected her to do. But when she is actually in the district, there is a great deal of selection in who she appears before, and who she'll talk with. It seems to me that there is an impenetrable wall between her and the constituents who would like some dialog with her on some very important issues, like, "We'd like you not to vote against the Constitution which you took an oath to uphold and defend."

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 7:41 AM

Only a hand full of Republicans in the House vote with the Democrats more than Jo Ann Emerson. Bob Parker is far more conservitive!

-- Posted by dash7 on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 7:48 AM

Impenetrable walls are usually used for defense from opponents that have proven themselves unwilling or unable to be dealt with with reason, logic or professionalism.

You have every right to vote for whom ever you desire. No one that I have heard from has claimed otherwise.

And the Congresswomans constituent services and accessibility have been NOTHING BUT first rate in every instance of my experience with her her and her office. It might have something to do with the tone of the approach.

-- Posted by bionicrotor on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 8:16 AM

bionicrotor, it may have been more because of the subject matter than the tone. It's simply not at all alright with those who want the US Constitution to be upheld that Emerson voted for, and was "proud" to do so, indefinite detention of US Citizens in the NDAA. Nor was it alright that she voted for all the bail-outs, for embryonic stem cell research, and a myriad of other insults.

One issue that is getting no play in this contest is that she spearheaded an effort to encourage the USDA to ignore the Supreme Court's order that a thorough environmental impact study be done prior to releasing Round Up Ready alfalfa. They were also supposed to have a plan to control gene flow. But Congress, at the behest of Emerson, pushed for approval of this dangerous mutant alfalfa without the impact study and gene flow plan.

Two days after Vilsack approved it, USDA Research scientist Roger Huber made his letter to Vilsack regarding 40% mortality rates of cattle fed on round up ready products public. BTW, Monsanto is 85% owned by Phizer. Seems to me they likely have a plan that consists of, "You make them sick with your phood, and we'll sell them drugs to treat the symptoms!" Big Government is having a menage a trois with Big Pharma and Big Pharm.

This is simply corrupt politics for profit on a scale that boggles the mind.

The fact is that Emerson's past Chief of Staff's son and her own daughter work for Monsanto. No conflict of interest is likely there. Grrrr.

While it may not be a big deal to you to have your rights, your livelihood, your children's lives and the health of the nation trampled upon, it sure is a big deal to many of us.

Politics as usual has got to stop.

-- Posted by Dreen on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 8:51 AM

Yellow Jackets? Really?

-- Posted by jacksonresident1 on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 8:55 AM

Ms. Emerson would dissolve like a vampire in sunlight were she to attend a Tea Party event. Good thing she had an excuse to not show up. Two of her staffers did though, neither of which took to the stage on her behalf.

You say she was voting against the UN. Wow, you can tell she's really worried about her job, which she should be. She's voted to fund it every other time it has come up in Congress in the 16 years She's been there. She also calls our unconstitutional Military intervention in Libya, run by NATO and the UN without any authority what so ever in Congress as "A model for our future [military] endeavors". She also votes for and supports every major free trade deal backed by the UN that has destroyed the manufacturing base of our country and sent our jobs overseas and south of the border.


Jo Ann represents this district you say "snopes"? I say Jo Ann represents Jo Ann, her democrat husbands unions, her lobbyist daughters corporations (General Motors and Monsanto), and all the special interests that inject money into her campaign account. She's nothing more than a "money junkie" that has benefited greatly, as has her family, from her position.

It's time the 8th district quit Jo Ann "cold turkey" and they will on August 7th's Primary.

-- Posted by ddshea on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:03 AM

the bit about the yellow jackets is the most interesting part of this story...

-- Posted by TommyStix on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:17 AM

Bobby P is a moron and should go away soon and never return.

-- Posted by schoolhouserock on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:23 AM

Funny how all this corporate out of state and some out of country money is going to support the TEA Party folks. They are as big a sell out as the rest. The ONLY ones who get the support and and backing are those who sold out.

-- Posted by Mudflopper on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:29 AM

Really, why go to a so-called tea party event anyway. They are an embarrassment. As for our local candidates, they are all a stuck record, and never address any important issue. They are all pro God, pro gun, like to hunt, have a pickup truck with a gun rack, are pro- life depending on the definition, if you are all ready born, they could care less based on their healthcare stands, what a waste of a night. What these people need is a functional brain, and a plan.

-- Posted by wrcactus on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:35 AM


The "tone" of my "approach" does not, and never has, been to ask her to give me the fruit of other people's labors. Mostly the "tone" of my "approach" has been to ask her to adhere to the Constitution.

Do you personally know something about the "tone" of my "approach" in my communications with her or her office?


Do you have access to psychometric testing on Mr. Parker to back up your slur that he is a "moron"?

"Please be respectful of others and try to stay on topic."

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:59 AM

ddshea just claimed that a human being would dissolve in sunlight.

Take it from Dirk Shea- If you want to let people know you have a stupid comment, lead off with some good science fiction.

-- Posted by SterlingCooper on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 11:24 AM

Just my two cents but I think Vampires fall into the Horror category, much like Jo Ann Emerson's voting record.

Anyone interested about the real Ms. Emerson can find out what they need to know by going to


I wish her voting record fell into the category of Sci/fi or fiction in general but it is a matter of record and fact. She continually runs from it, denies it, and refuses debate and town hall forums. That should tell you all you need to know but I always encourage anyone to not believe a word of it, but examine the information and check the record and Ms. Emerson's and her campaigns own video recorded statements for yourselves.

And Vote your conscience on August 7th in the Primary Election.

-- Posted by ddshea on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 12:04 PM

What these people need is a functional brain, and a plan. -- Posted by wrcactus on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:35 AM

And what you need is a job to take care of yourself. All you whine about is trying to get more money from other people. Why don't you focus on your own wallet and quit stealing from the rest of us? Can't handle the real world?

-- Posted by Dug on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 1:25 PM

lets be honest, there are only 2 "Parties" in this country and neither one starts with Tea. Republicans in sheeps clothing trying to rile up the ignorant masses is hardly anything new in politics, but it sure is funny to hear about how less taxes when they are already at record lows is the solution to our enormous federal deficit. Meanwhile cities across the country are cutting firemen, policemen and teachers to try to make their budgets work, and guess who's gonna be there to help you when your house is on fire? Hope the Teabaggers have a very long hose.

-- Posted by burnt on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 1:39 PM

Hope the Teabaggers have a very long hose. -- Posted by burnt on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 1:39 PM

Instead of pushing more gubmint money as your solution, why don't you tell your president to stop giving billions to his donors for "green" energy? Or $30 BILLION in lost taxpayer money on GM? Or the $1 TRILLION "stimulus to nowhere" that didn't work. And you want more of our money for what? Firemen? Teachers? You could have doubled the number of firemen, teachers and police on your presidents failed stimulus give away.

We don't have a tax problem, we've got a spending problem.

-- Posted by Dug on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 2:01 PM

Dug, you say all these things, but you're not really saying anything but nonsense. I don't really see what is wrong with the stimulus when the Congressional Budget Office reports that the much-maligned stimulus placed up to 2 million people in jobs in December.

-- Posted by non-believer on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 2:46 PM

the Congressional Budget Office reports that the much-maligned stimulus placed up to 2 million people in jobs in December. -- Posted by non-believer on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 2:46 PM

This sounds like nonsense. $1 TRILLION dollars and we get 2 million jobs? Where, exactly, are the jobs?

Don't you remember the hyper-inflated "jobs" and "jobs saved" the Obama admin was touting? It was all lies. If so many jobs have been created why is unemployment at 8.2Z% and likely to climb? Why is African American unemployment at +14%?

The problem with the stimulus is $1 trillion in borrowed money we can't pay back. Does it make you feel good that your kids/grandkids now owe $30,000 more in debt thanks to your support of Obama?

-- Posted by Dug on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 3:12 PM

The only place the Tea Baggers still think they are a force is in Southeast MO. Really makes me want to take a good laugh that the media even covers it.

-- Posted by 3forone on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 3:26 PM

Dug they are like talking to a brick wall, they will find out come November. majority of the stimulus money went toward increased social programs. The stimulus was suppose to go toward majority of it that is to the infrastucture where we could put people back to work. Money for the infrastucture was not much at all by the time Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid got done with it.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 5:30 PM

Parker simply flattened Emerson! 82-17 in the Straw Poll from the Cape Tea Party candidates forum.

This is Emerson's "home base" outside of DC, where she is really at home.

I'm sure snopes will come on and say something like "it was rigged" or whatever. The fact is Missouri is saying NO to Jo!

-- Posted by Dreen on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 5:51 PM

Cynthia davis also won the straw poll..... That lunatic cimparws politcs to shampoo bottles.

-- Posted by SterlingCooper on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 12:00 AM

Congratulations to Lisa Reitzel on winning the straw poll for Public Administrator, with 40% of the vote. Pretty impressive win in a field of 13 contenders! Way to go, Lisa!

-- Posted by Aunt P on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 9:37 AM

What I find interesting is that this is a story about an event with lots of different races, but most coments are about the 8th congressional race. This is not a normal race for Jo Ann Emerson.

-- Posted by dash7 on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 2:46 PM


I'm waiting. Any psychometric tests you can share?

Is Sterling Cooper your spokesperson?

-- Posted by Givemeliberty on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 3:12 PM

I think it's great that the Emerson supporters talk as if the Tea Party is no account. I bet votes will count just the same and you arnt helping your cause. Jo Ann sure isn't going to a Tea Party meetings!

-- Posted by dash7 on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 2:06 PM

The RINO Wino was probably too busy up-ending a bottle to be there.


"Last summer, as a vote neared on the incendiary question of whether to raise the national debt limit, Jo Ann Emerson, a moderate Republican representative from Missouri, argued with a freshman House colleague about the potential consequences of a failure to act. A Republican vote against extending the nation's borrowing authority would risk a financial-market meltdown, she insisted; her colleague replied that the risks were justified. "We've spent way too much money," he told her. Arriving home that night, Emerson asked her husband to pour her a big glass of wine, declaring: "I cannot believe that I had this conversation with somebody who was elected to Congress." "

-- Posted by Audit The Fed on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 10:05 PM

The RINO Wino doesn't have a drinking problem, it's the easiest thing she does.

From '09. Party time, Scotland style!


""That was awesome," Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R., Mo.) said to one of her companions afterward. A spokesman for Ms. Emerson said he didn't know what such a remark would have been about and couldn't confirm it." ,,,(yeah, right)

-- Posted by Audit The Fed on Sun, Jul 22, 2012, at 11:17 PM

You've got 6 days people of the 8th district. She what your 16 year representative has been doing in your name



Do your own research and vote your conscience on Tuesday, August 7th.

-- Posted by ddshea on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 6:43 PM

Anyone, who want's to see the truth about Jo Ann Emerson and who she has become and just what she's been up to in DC in your name, go to



Do your own research and vote your conscience tomorrow, August 7th in the Missouri State Primary.

-- Posted by ddshea on Mon, Aug 6, 2012, at 7:37 PM

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