This week I plan on going off topic a bit. Instead of centering on my recent activities, I want to take a small leap into the future.
As we get closer to Election Day, there could very well be a spate of negative advertising and campaigning. This happened in 2012 and 2014 against Gary Grigsby, who was the Democratic candidate in those particular election years. I have yet to discuss this with John Cozort, 2016’s Democratic candidate.
Now, if a PAC or other interested groups wish to place advertising of any kind, they must do one of two things. They must clear it with their candidate and place a statement telling people that the candidate’s committee is endorsing the advertising, OR… they must do their advertising without the direct knowledge and participation of their candidate. They must not place the committee’s name on that advertising in the second case.
In 2012 and 2014, the Missouri Republican Party of 105 East High St., Jefferson City, sent out some pretty inane and silly ads and flyers. They used generic language to keep from being sued, and stated things such as “Gary Grigsby will fight for the radicals,” with a photoshopped picture of Gary Grigsby’s face on a body at a podium with people behind him holding up incendiary signs. There were others stating that he wanted to raise taxes, promote a liberal agenda, and just about anything vague that they could find to use without saying anything specific at all.
When a person confronted that particular Republican candidate about this, he responded by saying his name was not on the flyers. This is the same candidate I am facing.
If the shoe is on the other foot, and someone does that for me to hurt my opponent, I will denounce the ad or flyer.
I want my ads to be truthful and accountable.
The other problem with these ads and flyers are that they are generally mailed out or published to hit just days before the election so there will be no timely response to them.
Anyway, I think that you can all expect some of these flyers later. I wonder what picture of me they will Photoshop? It would be funny, except that it isn’t. If my opponent dislikes something specific that I stand for, I expect him to be able to speak to it. I will certainly be doing the same in response to his views. I will also do this at the proper time; during debates, forums or interviews. I won’t hide behind false and misleading negative campaigning.
Enough of that, let’s get back to the present. There has been a lot of discussion about photo IDs and drug testing for people on Medicaid.
I may lose a few of my party on these issues, as I am sort of middle of the road on them. I do not like voter fraud any more than you do, so I do see the need for some sort of ID. However, this must be done in a manner that absolutely does not disqualify any legitimate voter from casting a vote. I am also in favor of early voting, as there are people who may find themselves unable to get to their polling place on the day of the election. Some will counter that this is what absentee ballots are for, and I am in partial agreement on that. However, those need to be mailed in before the election day. Suppose someone discovers that they must be out of town on election day, but they found this out one or two days prior to the election. They may not have the opportunity to send in the absentee ballot, but they may find time to vote otherwise.
You may think that missing one election isn’t that important. It may not be so to you, but it may be very important to the person we are using as an example. Early voting would still require a valid ID, and it really should not pose a problem. Therefore, I am in favor of some sort of universal ID that is fair and as foolproof as possible, but not in the event that someone cannot vote due to a lack of that ID being issued to them in a timely manner. I am also in favor of early voting.
Now, on to drug testing for Medicaid users. If someone is on prescription meds and cannot find a job because of these meds, they should not be denied Medicaid benefits if they are otherwise eligible.
However, if that person is using illegal drugs and cannot find a job because of their use, then I would opine that they may not be a worthy candidate for some Medicaid privileges. If they are only using Medicaid as a way to make money and are unwilling to apply for a job, then perhaps their enrollment should be rethought. Theses issues get complicated when families are involved, and it will require a great deal of thought and reason before something legitimate can be passed by the legislature and enforced properly. I am, however, willing to take a look at that issue, and I would do my best to make it a fair outcome for everyone.
No one wants a freeloader if that is their only issue. Most of the time, however, that is not the issue and we do not want to treat any needy person badly. What we need to be doing with them is getting them into a position where they can get a good job and make a living for themselves. This may include training, and yes, drug testing. Let’s work together to make sure that everyone is in agreement with whatever is finally proposed and voted on, because it is going to happen sooner than later, and we need to begin researching balanced outcomes now.