Republican candidates push for preservation of Constitution at Lincoln Day dinner

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 2/28/24

OSAGE COUNTY   —   At Thursday’s Lincoln Day dinner, keynote speaker Missouri Republican Sen. Mike Moon (29th District) of Ash Grove encouraged attendees to support the U.S. and …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Republican candidates push for preservation of Constitution at Lincoln Day dinner


OSAGE COUNTY    At Thursday’s Lincoln Day dinner, keynote speaker Missouri Republican Sen. Mike Moon (29th District) of Ash Grove encouraged attendees to support the U.S. and Missouri constitutions.

He was specifically critical of how bills that sometimes become law are adopted in violation of the Missouri Constitution.

Article Three, sections 21 and 23 note that no bill shall contain more than one subject, and no bill shall be amended in passive reading or to change its original purpose. “That’s pretty simple,” Moon said, “and that’s the easy part.”

He cited House Bill 1460, which was introduced and passed in 2018. “This bill is also known as the gas tax,” said Moon. “The original purpose of this bill was a tax deduction for certain Olympic athletes. The purpose was changed to the fuel tax increase. If you have a tax deduction on one hand and a fuel increase on the other, are those the same things? No, they’re not. But to make that germane, the title was changed to state revenues; that all matches, right? Because tax decreases and tax increases are revenue.”

The measure went on the ballot as a referendum and was voted down. Two years later, the same legislator reintroduced the bill, which then was passed to establish a gas tax. “I’m not saying we don’t need infrastructure, but that was not the way to do it because we violated all sorts of things,” said Moon.

Another example was a bill related to Lincoln County’s financial statements. Moon noted that legislators added a prohibition on homeless people camping out on public property. “I would agree we shouldn’t have homeless people camping out on public property,” he said. “Would you agree with that? Would you vote for a bill that violates Article Three, section 23?”

The bill passed and was signed by the governor. Moon explained that whether a bill passes Constitutional muster doesn’t matter. If it’s signed into law, the only recourse is through legal proceedings.

In this case, the Missouri Supreme Court threw out the entire bill.

On the flip side, Moon said he’s proud of Senate Bill 49, which he and 17 others co-sponsored. It’s related to gender transition procedures. “We will not be protecting minor children from the medical community trying to make transgenders, so I’m proud of that bill,” said Moon.

He reiterated the Declaration of Independence, which says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Moon said if something is self-evident, it should be jumping off the page; it should be evident to anyone reading it.

“How do they get their power?” Moon asked. “Are they deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed? If you don’t do what Linda’s trying to get you to do to help her, we are at the mercy of the machine. And you know how that goes, right? If we don’t get involved, we have no reason to gripe about what the government passes down.”

Moon told those gathered that all government officials, including him, need to be held to task. “I’m giving you the liberty today to hold me accountable,” he said. “If I do things wrong, you better call me because if somebody doesn’t, my leash gets a little longer, and I might be more willing to do a little more.”

Gubernatorial candidate Chris Wright said that while he and fellow candidate Bill Eigel are opponents in the Primary Election, it’s important to remember the overall mission. “We’re still Republicans, and we’ve got to stay together no matter what because the Democrats are after us,” he said. “They’re after our liberties.”

Wright served for 24 years in the military, nine years in law enforcement, and has been a small business owner for 17 years.

“I’m just a regular everyday blue-collar guy who loves people, my country, and my state, said Wright. “I want to do better for our state. I had a successful military career, and I run a successful construction company.”

Wright noted that law enforcement falls under first responders, and the goal should be to reduce crime. “Officers are quitting at an alarming pace,” he said. “They do not get support in a lot of places. We’ve got to go back to supporting our law enforcement officers. I don’t think it’s a problem here in this county, but in a lot of counties and cities, it’s a problem; we’ve got to get back to supporting them.”

Wright also supports teachers and suggests returning to local family control over what students are taught and exposed to at school. He added that teachers should be teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic and not “all that nonsense.”

Wright added that the fight against human trafficking continues, with Missouri third in the nation. “That’s not something we need to be leading,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. Every man in here — and this isn’t a sexist comment — it’s your responsibility to take care of the women and children in the world. It’s our obligation as men.”

In closing, Wright said tax breaks are important, but that will not happen without reducing the state budget. “That’s one of the things the governor can do,” he added. “The most important thing is that I owe zero favors to special interest groups. I’m just a regular guy.”

Eigel, an Air Force veteran, small business owner, and seven-year Missouri Senator (23rd District), said he ended up in politics because he’s identified many things that are wrong. “I put almost 50,000 miles on my truck going all over the state to meet Republicans, asking them how they think we’re doing in Jefferson City, and the answer is still the same,” said Eigel. “They are furious, angry, and frustrated with a bunch of go-along, get-along Republicans that always seem to get nothing done. I want you to know you’re not alone. There are millions of Missourians around this state in our urban centers, our suburban areas, and all over our rural farming communities who are standing up and engaging in this conversation right now because they’re ready to see Missouri be a leader of these United States.

“They are tired of bold, conservative governors and other big red states calling on their people to be leaders in this country while Missouri gets overloaded,” he continued. “And while Missouri has been suffocating, and you’ve been waiting for that leader to come forward and take the reins and call on us to that better version of what we can be, we’re missing out on the war of ideas we can win under the GOP platform we all pledged to support. That’s why I’m telling you now that the ideas I’m talking about are going to make this state stronger and a leader in the United States.”

Eigel’s first objective if elected governor is to eliminate personal property tax bills. “We’re not going to continue charging for the crime of owning a car. That’s the first thing we’re gonna do.”

He noted that services will be financed another way.

“The second thing we’re gonna do is to get rid of every one of these Joe Biden voting machines that nobody trusts anywhere in the state,” said Eigel. “Very few politicians have had the courage to stand up and say we’re not doing it anymore. We’re gonna go back to hand-counting ballots, which worked for the state for more than 100 years. We don’t trust the big special interests to determine the outcomes of our election anymore. How does that sound?”

Eigel also spoke of immigration. “There’s an invasion going on at the southern border of America right now precipitated by Joe Biden,” he said. “It’s tolerated by way too many Republicans in Jefferson City. We’re going after every one of the more than 51,000 illegal immigrants in this state right now, costing the taxpayer billions of dollars.”

He plans to speak with every sheriff in the state, the National Guard, and law enforcement agencies across Missouri. “If I have to drive buses full of illegal immigrants myself back to the borders of this country, we’re taking our state back.”

Eigel spoke of the sale of Missouri land to other countries. “They want to buy up all our farmland and take control of our food supply,” he said. “You know why? Because they want to control your lives. Well, guess what? When I’m the governor of this state, we’re not selling one square inch of Missouri, not just to China, because that’s the low-hanging fruit. We’re not selling one square inch of Missouri to any foreign country.”

He added that special interest groups are not fans. “I’ve been in this discussion for seven years. You know what the special interest think about me? They despise me because they’ve gotten to know me over the past seven years. They know that no matter what they tried to get me to do, I never listened. And they will always hate me, just like they hate Donald J. Trump on a national level. I want you to know that no matter what happens over the next six months, I’m going to continue to defend you as a state senator because I work for you, and I couldn’t care less what any of those folks in the special interest in status quo think.”

Katie Ashcroft spoke on behalf of her husband, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who is running for governor. “As some of you may know, Jay is a mechanical engineer,” she said, “and like most engineers, he’s always interested in how things work. He used to drive his mom nuts by taking apart her kitchen appliances and clocks and leaving them scattered around the house because he wanted to see how they worked and how he could make them better.”

Ashcroft added that she has seen her husband employ that mentality in public service. “Sometimes, he likes to say, ‘Politicians fix blame, engineers fix problems.’ Since taking office, Jay has fixed many of the problems that plagued that office, and he’s made Missouri a leader in election integrity in the nation,” said Ashcroft. “In 2016, he ran on an election integrity platform, and when he got elected, made it the law.”

She noted that Jay successfully required a government-issued photo ID to vote in elections and banned ballot drop-boxes and private money from information moguls like Mark Zuckerberg to ensure they weren’t influencing the election processes. In November 2022, when the federal government tried to send agents to Missouri to monitor Cole County elections, Jay led the way in throwing them out. “Missouri was the first state in the country to say no, we don’t need the federal government interference in our state’s election,” Katie said.

She also said Jay believes adult-oriented content should be relegated to the adult section of tax-funded libraries and that children should not be exposed to such materials.

“Jay has led on these issues because he understands that’s what you elected him to do,” Katie said. “He’s running for governor because we believe Missouri can still do better in some areas. Missouri’s budget has doubled in six years, which is unsustainable. We need to get government spending under control because I doubt most of you feel like you’re getting six times better government.”

Jay also believes in defending the unborn and prioritizing public safety funding to allow law enforcement the tools to enforce the laws on the books, including supporting border states in their efforts to shut down the flow of illegal immigrants.

Senator Denny Hoskins (District 21) is running for Secretary of State, noting he is the only candidate to be endorsed by Missouri Right to Life because of his pro-life voting record. “I know right now we’ve got pro-abortion advocates trying to gather signatures to legalize abortion, and they try to candy-coat it,” he said. “We want to make sure if somebody asks you to sign a petition to legalize abortion that you don’t sign it.”

Hoskins, a Loose Creek native, also believes the most secure way to protect election integrity is to require voter ID on Election Day with a paper ballot. “I don’t trust voting machines and support going back to hand-counting ballots,” he said, adding that he agrees pornographic materials should not be accessible by children in the kids’ section of publicly-funded libraries. “I would appreciate your vote.”

Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller is also seeking the office of Secretary of State. His representative, campaign manager JD Ed, highlighted Schoeller’s integrity. “He is one of the finest men I’ve ever known,” said Ed, a 35-year veteran pastor. “He was at our church, and we needed someone to teach college students in Sunday School.”

After serving three terms in the House of Representatives, Schoeller spent nine years in the Secretary of State’s office and served as the election authority for Green County.

During one election, a recount was held, with the original winner earning the seat. What set this apart from other jurisdictions is the way Schoeller handled it. “He invited everyone, from the Democrats and the Republican chairs to the media,” said Ed. “Because he didn’t board up the windows like they did in Michigan, you could trust the vote. Shane is a relentless fighter against voter fraud.”

Schoeller also believes that only U.S. citizens should be able to vote.

Vivek Malek is running to retain his position as State Treasurer, to which Gov. Parson appointed him in January 2023. “It has been an honor and privilege to serve as your 48th state treasurer for the past year,” he said. “During the past year, I have worked hard to implement what I call the three Ps.”

— PROTECT Taxpayers’ Money – to ensure investments are safe while earning the best rate of return for Missourians.

— PROVIDE the Opportunity for Growth – with programs of the Treasurer’s Office, including MOST, MoScholars, MoAble, and MoBucks.

— PROMOTE the Promise of America.

“I work to protect your tax dollars and investments,” said Malek. “When I learned that Missouri State Employees Retirement funds were invested in Chinese businesses, I led a successful campaign to say no to China.

In seeking the U.S. Congressional District 3 position being vacated by Blaine Luetkemeyer, Dr. Bob Onder said the people in Washington, D.C., aren’t listening to constituents. “If Washington were listening, we would end the spending and the socialistic policies of the Biden administration,” he said. “If Washington were listening, we would close the Department of Education, and we would end the mandates, wokeness, political correctness, and the downright indoctrination of our children emanating from Washington, D.C. If Washington were listening, we would open up domestic energy production and stop begging foreign dictators for oil and waiting for Congress to listen to you.”

Sen. Onder thought about continuing service in state government, a position he’s held since 2015, but believes he can do more at the federal l level.

After successfully passing the strongest law in the country banning sanctuary cities and catch-and-release of illegal immigrants. “The Biden administration is letting 7.2 million illegal aliens a year since his administration began into the United States,” said Dr. Onder. “You could fill up Osage County in two days with illegal aliens. We need to fix that problem in Washington.”

Dr. Onder is the only candidate endorsed by Missouri Right to Life, and is the co-founder of the conservative caucus. “I played a pivotal role in passing the heartbeat bill, two major tax cuts, constitutional carry the Second Amendment Preservation Act, and the religious liberty amendment,” he said. “On this theme of vetting, it’s amazing how people run for office, lower public office, and higher public office and don’t act like Republicans. Unlike one of my opponents, I’ve never identified as a liberal Republican. I’ve never done legal work for Chairman GE. Unlike another one of my opponents, I’ve never been a registered Democrat and never voted for Obama. So, I am running because Washington needs to listen.”

Freeburg Trustee Shane Zimmer is also running for the U.S. Congressional District 3 seat. “When asked who I am, I’ll tell you, I’m a husband, a father, and a friend,” he said. “I’m a God-fearing gun-toting United States Army veteran, and I’m a man who fights for what he believes in,” he said. “Today, I stand before each and every one of you with an unwavering sense of duty, as I did when I was 18 years old, raised my hand, and swore an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.”

Zimmer agrees that Washington legislators need to listen to the people they represent. “Our great nation deserves leaders who listen, act, and champion the causes that matter most,” he added. “In Missouri, we stand at a crossroads. We face challenges that demand bold solutions and bold leaders progressing forward. My vision is clear: create a future where every legal American has success and has access to non-government-funded health care, education, and economic opportunities as long as you go out and work for them. We can build bridges and walls without a conservative lifestyle being trampled on. Education is the cornerstone of our progress, and children are our future. That education starts at home and not some government-mandated curriculum.”

Zimmer also believes in investing in research and innovation, supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses by harnessing technology and creativity to drive economic growth and job creation. “We need to strengthen mental health in this country,” said Zimmer. “We need to combat the opioid crisis, and we need to support struggling veterans and streamline the VA processes. We continue to build our wall because we can’t provide help to those in need.

“We can’t send money to other countries when our country is facing a national debt of $34 trillion,” Zimmer continued. “What does that say about the nation we’re leaving for our children? In a divided political landscape, I strive to be a voice for the people of Missouri. With the technology we have today, it’s not hard to stay connected with constituents; we have to listen to what they have to say. Let’s find common ground and breach divides. Together, we can restore faith in our Constitutional Republic and uphold the values that define us as Americans. One candidate in this race says all candidates need to put their money where their mouth is. I wrote a check for up to and including my life. Is that a big enough check? United we stand; together we fall.”

Osage County Administrator Paul Stratman is running for the 61st District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives. In his 24th year, Stratman has not been opposed since he beat the incumbent in 2000.

“I will fight for all your needs, law enforcement, EMTs, or whoever,” said Stratman. “I’ll fight for each one of you. Over the years, I fought against insurance companies to provide individuals with doctors and facilities. I fought for them, and I’ll fight for you too.”

Stratman said he believes legislation should address mental health services. “We have so many people not getting services in this state because there’s not enough money for housing for these individuals,” he added. “We have people living in jails around the state with no place to go. We have people at St. Mary’s Kansas City for more than six months at a time with no place to go. That is awful.”

Stratman said that as a representative, he will support legislation that supports local farmers’ property rights, veterans, local businesses, and the unborn. He wil also support fully funding law enforcement, public schools, and local and county governments. Stratman said he’ll be a strong supporter of First and Second Amendment rights, and continue to be an intrepid advocate for the mentally and physically disabled.

A look at candidates for county offices and more on vetting will appear in an upcoming issue.