Monday, August 07, 2006

Oil Prices Rise Again: Akin's Voucher Solution

Listen to Todd Akin's solution to high energy prices. Please click here.

LONDON (AP) - Oil prices jumped by more than $1 a barrel Monday following a production shutdown at an Alaskan oil field that accounts for almost 8 percent of U.S. production.

The news of the Alaska shutdown caught traders by surprise, said Kevin Norrish of Barclays Capital, who added that the current ability to compensate for lost production was "severely limited."

Light, sweet crude for September delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed rose $1.30 to $76.06 a barrel in electronic trading by afternoon in Europe. Unleaded gasoline gained more than 3 cents to $2.2650.

Tetsu Emori, chief commodities strategist at Mitsui Bussan Futures in Tokyo, said a 400,000-barrel per day reduction in output would have a major impact on oil prices.

"Oil prices could increase by as much as $10 per barrel given the current environment," Emori said, though he said it was too early to tell what would be the exact effect.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Akin Answers My "Accusations"


Instead of addressing the issues and detailing his vision for the district, Todd Akin is sending out a desperate mailing, again calling me a "liberal Republican". As I've stated before on this blog, Congressman Akin would be hard pressed to call my voting record liberal. Below is a page from his literature piece answering my "accusations." If you notice carefully, the Congressman skillfully admits that my "accusations" are true. Let's go issue by issue.

Tom Delay

According to the Washington Post, Todd Akin did vote to weaken ethics rules that helped Tom DeLay.

"The rule changes require at least one member of each party to support an investigation before it is begun. Under the old rules, if the chairman and top Democrat did not agree on what to do with a complaint within 45 days after it was determined to be valid, an investigative subcommittee was automatically created. Now, a complaint is automatically dismissed if the committee does not act within 45 days."

In this age of intense partisanship, the chances of the chairman and ranking member agreeing on an investigation of a member of their own party are remote. With the ethics committee evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans, a member siding with the opposing party is equally remote.

As to the DeLay money, three members of Missouri's Republican House delegation and a Missouri Republican Senator returned money last year they received from Tom Delay, regardless if the "money had already been spent."

Student Loans

According to the conservative Wall Street Journal, Todd Akin did vote to cut student loans:

"The Senate passed a deficit-reduction package that calls for $12.7 billion to be cut from federal student-loan programs over five years... It is the largest single cut the federal government has made to student aid programs and is expected to increase the debt burden of students and their families... The move to fixed rates will cost students and their families thousands of dollars over the life of the loan." (2/9/2006)

Transportation Bill

The Post Dispatch said in their endorsement of me that Akin, "has not delivered a major public works projects for St. Louis." Senator Bond said this after passage of the Highway Bill last year:

"The new transportation bill is about all these things: improving road conditions so that drivers and their passengers are safer, reducing congestion so that people can spend less time commuting to work and more time with family or doing what they wan to do, improving roads to attract new businesses, and creating new construction jobs." (7/30/2005)

Medicaid

If my math is correct, capping benefits by $4.7 billion dollars and cutting $15.3 billion in "non Medicaid unnecessary government spending" equals $20 billion dollars in cuts, right?

Todd Akin says in his brochure that he is working to "control spending". According to a 6/16/2005 AP story:

"Republican Rep. Todd Akin was the most frequent traveler among the state's nine House members. He went on four expense-paid trips... Akin traveled to Pakistan and India courtesy of the Inayat Begum Foundation and took another trip to India paid for by Jubilee Campaign USA."

If you've had enough of Akin's duplicity and Washington double speak, vote for me - Sherman Parker - on August 8th.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Election Day Almost Here

Below are links to recent press coverage of our campaign:

Parker, Akin square off in GOP primary

Suburban Journals 8/02/06

KWMU: VOTE '06: Akin faces first primary challenge since taking office

KWMU Audio 8/01/06

Akin cites record on 'values';challenger questions emphasis

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 7/31/06

Monday, July 31, 2006

Post Dispatch Endorses My Campaign

The St. Louis Post Dispatch endorsed our campaign for the Republican nomination for the second Congresional district today. The Post called Todd Akin "extreme" and said that my "moderate, pro-growth views are far more in line with mainstream St. Louis values." It's a sad commenatary on Akin's six year Congressional career, when your only major legislative accomplishment is a bill to keep "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, which the Post cites as a "dubiously constitutional measure".

While in the legislature, I was a strong advocate for education while serving on the Education Committee. During my first year as a legislator, Missouri’s community college chancellors and presidents, named me their "legislator of the year" for my work and commitment to higher education. Todd Akin, who homeschooled his children, wants to abolish the Department of Education and sees no role for the federal government in educating our children. Todd Akin voted against President Bush's "No Child Left Behind Act." He joked on a radio program that he was mistakenly invited to the NO Child Left Behind signing ceremony; even though he proudly states he voted against it. We can do better than this! I ask for your vote on August 8th.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Todd Akin: "Where Has He Been"?












With less than ten days left until the August 8th primary, It's clear that Todd Akin has no interest in letting the voters hear the stark differences we have in priorities for the second district. As the debate countdown indicates, I challenged Congressman Akin to a series of debates months ago.

Instead, Congressman Akin has chosen through surrogates to attack me in the press by labeling me a liberal. I believe people are unhappy with the corruption and influence peddling occuring in Washington. They're tired of politicians like Todd Akin who carry the water for a few, narrow interest groups, whose agendas oftentimes doesn't represent the district he represents.

In this Wednesday's Wentzville Journal, I discussed Todd Akin's misplaced priorities and focus:

"Akin should focus instead on issues more important than the Pledge of Allegiance, such as the high price of gasoline. This is great, but I'm more concerned about gas being $3.09 a gallon in Missouri... I am not opposed to the Protect the Pledge bill, but that's not where my focus is at. I'm happy that he passed the protect the pledge bill, but in terms of issues that affect every day life, where has he been?"

"I haven't seen a press release from Congressman Akin on how he's really looked into the lowering of energy prices in Missouri and the nation. He hasn't talked about health care, education and economic development.

If you want effective leadership in Washington, I ask for your support and your vote in the August 8th Republican primary.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Missouri Stem Cell Debate Goes National

The Wall Street Journal has an article out today entitled: Stem-Cell Issue: Republicans' Undoing? The subtitle reads: Disgruntled Party Moderates Could Pose Threat in Some Suburban Congressional Districts. Here is an excerpt from today's piece:

In Missouri, the stem-cell issue is prominent in Democratic Auditor Claire McCaskill's campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, and a separate initiative backing research is on the ballot, stoking interest. The issue also figures in Senate races in Ohio, Arizona, Minnesota, Montana and Virginia, and in suburban House contests in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Washington. In Missouri's Aug. 8 Republican primary, conservative Rep. Todd Akin, a foe of the stem-cell bill, is challenged by state Rep. Sherman Parker, who strongly supports expanded research and has written that such debates "will determine whether we are a party controlled by social fundamentalists."

We must take a common-sense approach to SCNT research to understand its potential. Radical efforts to criminalize it in Missouri would be devastating to the St. Louis region, which has the potential to become the next biotech center of America.

Beyond the potential economic loss, we would lose the opportunity to develop cures and treatments that might help my family and millions of other families in the world. In Missouri alone, according to the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures http://www.missouricures.com), some 443,000 children and adults either have or have experienced all-too-common medical conditions that could benefit from therapies developed through SCNT research. These include juvenile diabetes and LADA (a similar disease that develops in adults), Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries, heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer's.

If Republicans at the state and federal levels wish to keep their party the majority party, then we must reflect the diversity of cultures, faiths and ideals of America, rather than the exclusive, singular views paraded by Republican hard-liners. I urge my Republican colleagues, as men and women of faith and consensus, to act in the best interests of our constituents and not cower before a loud radical minority within our party.

Government must take action to allow this technology to flourish - with rational guidelines similar to those of the present-day organ donor program. SCNT research has great potential to benefit the human race. We must not let politics destroy its life-saving potential.

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Ballwin Days" Parade

What is more American in the summer time than barbecues, baseball, apple pie and - parades! Last Saturday, I and a host of campaign volunteers participated in the annual "Ballwin Days" parade on Manchester Road. It was an absolutely perfect day for a parade. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the humidity was incredibly low for St. Louis at this time of the year. I met a lot of voters who expressed support for our campaign and many asked how they could help. We did suffer one setback at the parade. We ran out of candy for the kids during the final leg of the parade route. Well, there's always next year.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Two More Endorsements

I received two important endorsements this week. Both endorsements demonstrate that others believe I am a different kind of Republican; a Republican looking to bring people together, instead of trying to divide us with a narrow, social ideology.

Tuesday night, I was honored to be invited to the Carpenter's District Council's monthly meeting. In the parking lot of the hall, was a drag racer the Carpenter's are sponsoring, along with vintage 70's cars and barbecue. I got a chance to meet a lot of the members and thank them for their support- in between hotdogs!

Later, I was introduced by Steve Markus, Assistant Director of Organizing. Steve allowed me a few moments to say a few remarks. I stressed the importance of harmony and cooperation in union/company relations. I talked about strengthening our borders so that undocumented workers can't continue to drive down our wages. I finished by telling them that we need a responsive, independent, and effective member of Congress, not a rubber stamp who sponsors flag burning amendments and "keeping God in the pledge" legislation. Important as these issues are, they are not the issues the American people want the Congress addressing.

While in the legislature, I tried to promote policies and legislation that stimulated economic growth for our state, but also protected our environment. The Republicans for Environmental Protection recognized my efforts and have endorsed me for Congress.

Below is a copy of the press release the Republicans for Environmental Protection released endorsing my candidacy.

MEDIA RELEASE
For Immediate Release June 13, 2006 Contacts: David Jenkins, 703-785-9570; Jim DiPeso, 253-740-2066 Republicans for Environmental Protection Endorses Sherman Parker for Congress

Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP) is pleased to endorse Sherman Parker in his bid for the Republican nomination for Congress in Missouri's 2nd District.

The 10-year old Republican conservation organization, with a nationwide grassroots membership that also includes many elected Republican officeholders, said that Parker supports forward-thinking policies that will address the energy and natural resource challenges facing America.

"Sherman Parker is a conservation-minded Republican in the great tradition of Theodore Roosevelt," said Martha Marks, President of REP. "His understanding of today's key environmental and natural resource challenges is very impressive, as is his commitment to responsible policies that will improve the quality of life of those living in the 2nd district and across the nation."

Roy Gerdel, a REP board member who lives in the 2nd district, said, "Sherman Parker is the right person to represent us. He has a clear voting record in the Missouri State House of safeguarding our natural resources. That stewardship ethic will serve the nation well in Congress."

In contrast, Parker's opponent, Congressman Todd Akin, has worked at the behest of special interests to dismantle landmark environmental protections that were passed and enacted with overwhelming bipartisan support. Congressman Akin received a zero on Republicans for Environmental Protection's 2005 Congressional Scorecard (on line at www.repamerica.org/2005_scorecard.pdf, casting anti-conservation votes on all 12 votes scored.

"Unfortunately, Congressman Akin has proved to be a disciple of special interests bent on advancing policies that enable pollution, waste and greed to go unchecked," said Marks. "There is nothing conservative about special interest politics that put narrow agendas ahead of the public good."

Republicans for Environmental Protection is dedicated to restoring the GOP's great conservation tradition, which began with the vision and leadership of President Theodore Roosevelt.

"Republicans were responsible for most of this nation's landmark environmental laws and for protecting many of America's national parks, forests, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas," Marks said. "We are fortunate to have candidates like Sherman Parker stepping forward to further build on that legacy."

# # #Jim DiPesoPolicy Director Republicans for Environmental Protection jdipeso@rep.orgwww.rep.org Ph: 253-740-2066Fax: 206-417-1878 Seattle Office:10002 Aurora Ave. N, #36 Seattle, WA 98133 National Office:3200 Carlisle NE, #228 Albuquerque, NM 87110

Monday, June 05, 2006

Healthcare Tour

Last Friday, I visited three venues in the district to discuss the state's medicaid cuts and my plan for reforming our nation's healthcare system. My plan includes establishing new, tax-free Health Savings Accounts (HSA) which allows Americans to own and control their own health care. Opening or expanding community and rural health centers with the goal of serving an additional 6.1 million people who live in underserved and rural areas. Granting waivers and flexibility to states to extend eligibility under Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to an estimated 2.6 million low-income Americans. Implementing new rules to lower drug costs for millions of Americans by strengthening competition between generic and brand-name drugs. This will save American consumers more than $35 billion in drug costs over the next ten years. I also want to create a Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit to help seniors pay for their medicines and one that they can understand. I had a very enjoyable experience having lunch and speaking to seniors at a retirement center in Kirkwood about Medicare and the new prescription drug plan. Many signed up for the plan but unfortunately, many put enrolling off and missed the deadline due to the plan's complexity.

At two of my stops, I spoke with healthcare professionals and administrators at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Peters and at People's Health Center in north St. Louis. They were very concerned with pressing financial burden of uninsured patience and the effects the medicaid has had on the hospital and their patience. They thanked me for voting against the cuts. I believe my colleagues in the Missouri Legislature had the best intentions when they approved the cuts in Medicaid benefits. Creating a commission to study the program and recommend reforms is a good first step - but I believe it should have been done before enacting Medicaid cuts, not after. Instead, we now are forced to tell many Missouri citizens that the safety net they relied on for basic health care no longer exists. The Post Dispatch has an editorial today discussing the ill effects the cuts have had on our most vulnerable citizens.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

We Must Secure The Borders

In his prime time address to the nation Monday night, President Bush spoke on the number one pressing issue facing our country; illegal immigration and border security. The President said that "We must face the reality that millions of illegal immigrants are already here. They should not be given an automatic path to citizenship." I am foremost against any type of amnesty program for those who are living and working in this country illegally. We should not put at the front of the line those who entered our country illegally. I think it sends the wrong message to those who have waited patiently for years to enter our country lawfully. Before Congress considers any type of guest worker program, we must secure our borders first. This is a question of national security as well as national sovereignty.

The President further added in his speech that he's calling on Congress to provide funding for "dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border." I have said in debates that If we can't muster the will to enforce our laws then we have to look at other measures such as erecting a border fence, hiring more border guards, or even using the military and military assets such as drones to patrol the border. I agree with the President when he says "We need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire". We know that putting them all on busses and planes and sending them home is impractical. To end the problem, we must enforce the laws and punish employers who knowingly employ illegal aliens. If an illegal cannot find work because an employer won't hire them, they will have no other choice but to return home and apply legally to work in this country. Their main incentive is jobs! We are a society that must adhere to the rule of law."

I co-sponsored Missouri HB1984 which requires any person convicted of hiring illegal aliens to repay double the value of any tax credit, tax abatement, or loan. The State of Missouri should not be rewarding unscrupulous businesses who thwart our laws to make a few extra bucks. President Bush was correct when he said we must honor the "great American tradition of the melting pot". He must remember that within that sacred tradition is a responsibility to immigrate legally.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Ashcroft Inducted Into Hall Of Famous Missourians

Sherman and former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Missouri native son John Ashcroft was inducted last Wednesday into the State Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians. Attorney General Ashcroft joins a host of notable and distinguished Missourians in the Hall, including Harry Truman, Walt Disney, Mark Twain and Cardinal broadcaster Jack Buck. Ashcroft served Missouri as our Auditor, Attorney General, Governor and Senator. I was happy to get a chance to congratulate my old boss at the induction ceremony. He looks happy to be out of Washington!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Illinois Joins States Funding Stem Cell Research

I wrote a couple a weeks ago about the State of Maryland joining California, Connecticut and New Jersey in using taxpayer funding to support the promising science of embryonic stem cell research. This research may hold the cures to many afflictions such as paralysis and to debilitating disease such as Altheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes; a devastating disease which afflicts both my grandmothers'. Diabetes has cost my paternal grandmother both of her legs and my maternal grandmother her sight.

Illinois became the first Midwestern state to fund embryonic stem cell research by awarding $10 million dollars to a group of Chicago scientists. According to Donn Rubin, chairman of the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures, St. Louis and Kansas City are in the forefront of the multibillion-dollar life science research industry. It is important that Missouri doesn't get left behind. We must move forward and create an ethical environment to practice stem cell research.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Balancing Religion & Politics

Today there is a political debate raging within the Republican Party. The outcome will determine if we are a party controlled by social fundamentalists, or if we are a party that allows a mainstream approach to find solutions to the concerns of everyday Americans. I truly believe this debate will ultimately decide our ability to remain a majority party by returning our focus to those core Republican values that propelled the Reagan Revolution such as non intrusive government, lower taxes and a strong national defense. In the 21st century global economy, voters tell me they are increasingly concerned about economic development, job creation, health care and education. Former Senator Jack Danforth put it correctly when he said last year that the Republican party will face serious electoral challenges when "a party has gone so far in adopting a sectarian agenda that it has become the political extension of a religious movement." Senator Danforth was recently interviewed on CBS News discussing his concerns.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Maryland: Newest Medical Research Rival

Gov. Robert Ehrlich of Maryland recently signed stem cell research legislation that supporters say will make Maryland a forerunner in stem cell research. The legislation will authorize $15 million for research in the coming year. The Maryland Governor said in a statement:

"This new law will solidify Maryland's reputation as a national leader in medical research, attract and retain biotech companies and researchers to Maryland, and offer hope to millions of Americans suffering from debilitating conditions," Ehrlich says in the statement."

The St. Louis region has the potential to become the next biotech center of America. The Brookings Institution affirmed this point when they identified four regions in the United States as having the scientific and university research capacity to become biotech powerhouses. They are St. Louis, Chicago, Ann Arbor/Detroit and Houston. Approximately 390 plant- and life-sciences companies in the St. Louis region employ a total of 22,000 employees and generate more than $10.5 billion in direct and indirect annual economic impact. Now, Maryland will attempt to become a leader in this potentially life saving research.

Since 1997, I have cared for my grandmothers and watched them deteriorate due to the debilitating effects of diabetes. My paternal grandmother has had both her legs amputated; her right leg was amputated last month. In 2000, she suffered kidney failure, which now requires dialysis treatment three times a week. My maternal grandmother lost her sight in 1994 and never will see my 3-year-old daughter or her six great-grandchildren. Due to their ages and the toll diabetes has taken on their health, it is not likely that medical therapies developed through SCNT research will be discovered in time to help my grandmothers. It would not be too late, however, to help people like my 32-year-old brother or my 35-year-old best friend, who both suffer from debilitating diseases and injuries

Like many other Republicans - including Senator Orrin Hatch and former Missouri Sen. John Danforth, and former first lady Nancy Reagan, I believe that early stage stem cell research holds great promise for cures to diseases like Parkinson's, sickle-cell disorders, diabetes and Alzheimer's. I do not support cloning. I co-sponsored HB457 "which prohibits human cloning and the use of public funds and facilities for the purpose of human cloning." Scientists produce embryonic stem cells in a laboratory by removing the nucleus of a donated unfertilized human egg cell and replacing it with the nucleus of a patient's cell, such as a skin cell. The stem cells produced develop in Petri dishes and cannot become a human being. We must take a common-sense approach to SCNT research to understand its potential.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hello, Anyone There???

Today marks the tenth day (and counting) since I sent a registered letter to Congressman Akin asking him to agree to four debates between now and the August primary. The national and local press have been interested in our views, as I'm sure are the constituents in the second district. Fox News Channel contacted my campaign this week to arrange separate, on air camera interviews with me and Akin. I agreed to do the interview because I believe the voters deserve to hear the two candidates asking for their vote in August. When I asked her when she wanted to conduct the interview, she said it depended on Akin being interviewed also. That's only fair, I have no problem with that. Unfortunately, the interview may not occur. The reporter told me an Akin campaign spokesman told her "He's [Akin] not sure if he wants to do the interview or not." Todd Akin should be considerate enough of the voters to at least answer my letter and agree to do the Fox interview.

Friday, April 07, 2006

2005-06 Missouri Teacher Of The Year

Earlier this week at the Capitol, I had the honor of meeting Girard "Jerry" Thornton Jr. Jerry was recently chosen as Missouri Teacher of the Year for 2005-06. A selection committee appointed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education interviewed six finalists before choosing Jerry. His selection automatically makes him Missouri's candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award. The State Board of Education will honor him and the other five finalists at a banquet Nov. 14 in Jefferson City.

Jerry is a physical education teacher at Warren Elementary School in the Francis Howell School District. I'm proud to say that the "Missouri Teacher of the Year" teaches in my legislative district! He is beginning his 16th year in the profession. He has been in his current position at Warren Elementary School for five years and has worked in the Francis Howell School District since 1995. This is how Jerry sums up his teaching philosophy:

"I am a physical education teacher, but physical education is just the vehicle through which I deliver my message. When I go to work each day, I am seeking to impart far more than rules of games and results of exercise. I want my students to know that they do not play games in order to win but to learn. Through games, they learn good citizenship, cooperation, sportsmanship, safety, friendship and loyalty. After the game is over, what should be remembered is not who won but how they played the game and treated others."

Congratulations to Jerry Thornton for achieving this award. He is well deserving of this recognition by his peers and students.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

"People Are Unhappy With What Is Going On In Washington, D.C."

This piece was in the St. Charles County Journal today. It sharply contrasts the differences in legislative priorities between Todd Akin and me. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Parker called Akin a "poster child" for ultra-conservative Republicans. We need someone in Congress that will focus on the issues that we care about, such as economic development, job creation, health care and education.

He said Akin, in contrast, focuses on gay marriage and keeping the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. I think I have a pretty conservative voting record, Parker said. Those issues are very, very, very important. But I think they rank behind the ones I mentioned.

As I said in the article, voters are unhappy with the conviction of lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the criminal charges against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. Did Congressman Akin vote to change the rules to allow DeLay to continue in his leadership position after he was charged? Akin's press secretary said there were "two votes on DeLay by Republican House members. Neither recorded how individual members voted. The first vote changed the rule, and the second one re-instituted it". Which way did Todd Akin vote during the Republican members unrecorded vote?

In January when a petition was being circulated by Republican members to replace Delay, Akin said this: "None of our current, acting leadership has been indicted for wrongdoing and strict rules are in place to remove anyone who is. Therefore, I do not see a need for immediate action." This what he said about Delay late last year, “He deserves thanks for what he has done to make America stronger and safer. The partisan attack on Tom DeLay is unfounded and Tom will, I believe, be exonerated of the baseless charges leveled against him"

Congressman Akin has received $15,000 from Delay's PAC, (ARMPAC) which he refuses to return, and he's given $1000 to Delay's legal defense fund. This is not a question of Todd Akin's ethics, it is a question of having the independence and will to change the way business has been conducted in Washington for far too long.



Blogger Freda Robinson from The New Leadership Blog wrote a good piece today on the lobbying scandals and the Tom DeLay resignation.

Eminent Domain

My record has shown that I have consistently advocated in the legislature for the urgent need for economic development in our rural and urban communities. Earlier this year I sponsored, along with co-sponsor Rep. John Bowman, HB 1487 which establishes a"Revitalization and Reconstruction Commission" in Missouri. In the 21st century, global economy, we can no longer afford to leave entire communities behind while competing with foreign countries. The Commission's mission will be to devise a comprehensive 10-year plan to alleviate the problems of blight, deterioration, and declining property values associated with distressed urban/suburban areas. The plan may include incentives to generate venture capital, attract developers to build low-to moderate-income housing and even create new tourist attractions. Hopefully, the end results are vibrant communities of employed people, patronizing businesses established to serve them. In many cases in order to fulfill this vision, abandoned and eys sore properties must be seized by eminent domain and demolished. Everyone agrees that this necessary activity falls within the legal and accepted bounds of eminent domain.

The recent Kelo decision sets a dangerous precedent which I believe reinterprets the founders original intent of the meaning of eminent domain. I am pleased the Missouri House Judiciary Committee voted on a bi-partisan vote of 9-1, to pass House Bill 1944 on to the House floor. This bill repeals nine sections of Missouri law and enacts twenty-three new sections in their place. I look forward to having a chance to consider and vote for HB 1944 on the House floor.

HB 1944 stipulates that private property can be taken through eminent domain only for public use or blight. Farmland cannot be declared blighted and, therefore, is protected from eminent domain. Churches and non-profit organizations, both which could be threatened under Kelo's economic development justification, will be protected. The bill allows authorized entities, like governments and utilities, to continue using the power of eminent domain to build public schools and libraries and to provide vital infrastructure like highways, railroads and electricity.

The bill also proposes a number of pro-landowner measures to further protect property owners rights when their land is condemned, a necessary step before eminent domain can be used. The condemning authority will be required to give the landowner thirty days written notice both before beginning negotiation for the land and before filing a condemnation petition. The condemning authority will also be required to provide a Landowner's Bill of Rights that gives a plain understanding of the condemnation process. I believe this bill will restore the balance between property rights and eminent domain.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Wild Night In "Tornado Alley"

Twenty seven people were killed in three states Sunday, after killer tornadoes ripped thru the midwest and midsouth. Fortunately, the only inconvenience my family had was a few hours without power. At one point, 200,00 people were without electricity in the St. Louis metro area. My prayers and condolences go to the families who lost loved ones and property due to the storm. I guess this is why the call this section of the country "tornado alley." It looks like we may be in for a rough spring!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Labels, Labels, Labels.

The Arch City Chronicle has linked to a National Journal interview I did earlier this week. In the article, an Akin spokesperson again called me a "liberal." The spokesman said Todd Akin [is] "a voice that Republicans can trust to advance conservative principles such as lowering taxes, standing up for fiscal responsibility,[and] fighting illegal immigration." The spokesman also said, "It really doesn't bode well to have liberal stances in this primary, and Sherman Parker has had liberal stances on a wide variety of issues." While in the Legislature, I sponsored and cosponsored bills that Todd Akin would be hard pressed to call liberal. Below is a partial list of bills I have sponsored:

* HCR7 which urges the United States Congress to repeal the death tax.

* HJR55 which proposes a constitutional amendment to remove the restriction against distribution of public funds to religious organizations.

* HB1487 Establishes the Revitalization and Reconstruction Commission to address the problems associated with distressed urban areas.

I co-sponsored these bills:

* HB1984 Requires any person convicted of hiring illegal aliens to repay double the value of any tax credit, tax abatement, or loan.

* HB435 Allows for the "Respect Life" special license plate, creates the Alternatives to Abortion Support Fund, and establishes the Respect Life Commission.

* HB457 Prohibits human cloning and the use of public funds and facilities for the purpose of human cloning.

* HB 978 Establishes the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board to serve as a liaison between state agencies and small businesses.

I am a strong supporter of the second amendment. I received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association and a "100%" rating from the Missouri Gun Owners of America. In the 2004 election cycle, I received the endorsement and an "A" rating from Missouri Right To Life. Throwing around labels never win a debate and it doesn't get legislation passed either. I'm assuming my support of stem cell research is their basis for calling me a "liberal." As I said in the National Journal article, my brother and two grandmothers who raised me are diabetic. My mother's mom is blind. Just last weekend, my paternal grandmother had her second leg amputated, due to diabetes. Akin sees it as an issue where they're protecting life. I want to protect existing life. I'm not saying stem-cell research will help us find a cure, but we don't know and we won't know unless we try. Why be shortsighted and not give this an opportunity? Why not find out first before we say no? Let's give people hope, not close the window of opportunity and hope.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Debate Challenge

Below is a copy of the registered letter I recently sent to Congressman Akin:

March 29, 2006

Dear Congressman Akin:

I am sending you this correspondence to formally ask for your participation in a series of four debates prior to the August 8th Republican primary. If your schedule permits, the first debate could be held during the Congressional Easter recess. With the primary taking place in a little over four months, the voters deserve to hear how the candidates stand on issues important to the second district. Rather than speaking to our constituents, or to each other through the press, why don't we set a time and place to meet and have a civil exchange of ideas? I'm sure we can find a suitable organization to host this event, and a venue in which it can be held.

Because we both have such busy schedules, I ask that you get back to me some time this week with a few dates that work for you.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,


Sherman T. Parker

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Allman & Smash

I will be on the "Allman and Smash in the Morning" radio show tomorrow morning at 8:30 A.M. (CST) You can click here to listen live. I will be on the air following Congressman Akin. I look forward to talking to the listeners about important issues, my record, and my campaign. It's unfortunate that Todd Akin and I couldn't be on the air together. Hopefully, we'll soon have the opportunity to contrast our views and records for the voters.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"I'm A Liberal??"

The official dealine to file for office in Missouri was yesterday at 5:01 pm. Now that I have filed and the deadline has expired, I received calls from the AP and Congressional Quarterly about the campaign. CQ wrote this about the race:

"The most noteworthy primary will be in the 2nd District, where three-term Republican Rep. Todd Akin faces a primary challenge from state Rep. Sherman Parker, one of the nation’s relative handful of black Republican lawmakers."

The St. Louis American's "Political Eye" wrote:

"Akin is a right-wing ideologue driven more by the religious beliefs of some constituents than what is best for all of the residents and voters in the district he represents. It would be an upset if Parker won the GOP nomination in August, but Akin has tied himself so tightly to floundering President Bush that it could conceivably happen."

An Akin campaign spokesman, when asked about my campaign, said I was a "liberal Republican." Todd Akin makes John Ashcroft look liberal! I should know, I once worked for John Ashcroft. The National Journal says that Akin’s voting record made him 95.8 percent more conservative than his colleagues. The only reason it’s not higher is that four other House members accumulated the same percentage. His “party unity” rating is 99.7%. I'll be happy to compare records and legislative effectiveness with Congressman Akin. I have focused my efforts on promoting economic development, education reform, and health care issues.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Welcome

On March 24th, after serving four years in the Missouri House of Representatives, I officially launched my campaign for the United States Congress. For me personally, I look forward to the opportunity to meet with old friends and hopefully make new friends along the campaign trail. I am not running to oppose any one person or philosophy, but to propose a change of leadership that addresses our region's needs. I will work to spur economic and workforce development initiatives that creates jobs. I will continue to work for education and healthcare reform. But I need your help. I want to use this blog as a virtual town hall to discuss my beliefs and agenda for the citizens of the Second Congressional District. Please feel free to leave your comments and suggestions. I believe our first amendment right is the bedrock of our freedom. Whether you agree or disagree with me, please let your comments to me and other commentators be courteous and respectful. Violators will be deleted.