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Missouri Family E-News November 8, 2010

Pro-Family Leader Vicky Hartzler Heads to Washington

Missouri's Congressional delegation will now include another strong pro-family voice with the election of Vicky Hartzler as the new Congresswoman from Missouri's 4th Congressional District.

Hartzler unseated long-time Congressman Ike Skelton, who had served seventeen consecutive terms in the U.S. Congress. Skelton was one of the few remaining pro-life Democrats in the U.S. House, but he came under fire for his votes on economic and environmental issues. Skelton had managed to hold on in a heavily Republican Congressional district due to his strong pro-defense and pro-military profile.

Hartzler is a true hero to the pro-family and pro-family community. She is a deeply convicted Christian woman who has been a highly regarded leader of the social conservative movement in Missouri. Vicky led the successful statewide effort in 2004 to amend Missouri's Constitution to preserve traditional marriage.

Hartzler and her husband Lowell operate a farm implement business. She is no stranger to government. Hartzler served six years as a state representative in the Missouri Legislature from Cass County. Vicky chose not to run for a fourth term so she could return home to give full attention to a new baby girl in the Hartzler home.

Hartzler is the author of a book well-known in Christian civic circles entitled "Running God's Way: Step by Step to a Successful Campaign." The book outlines how a Christian should conduct themselves in a political campaign to maintain their witness yet still work toward a successful outcome. With her ascendancy to Congress, Vicky will now have the opportunity to "govern God's Way," and hopefully someday write a book on that subject.

Please pray in thanksgiving to God for the blessing Vicky Hartzler will be to Western Missouri, much as Christian statesmen Congressman Todd Akin has been to Eastern Missouri.

Voters in Iowa Rebuke State Supreme Court
Pro-marriage forces in Iowa won a smashing victory last week with the successful removal of three sitting justices on the Iowa Supreme Court.

Iowa citizens voted by a 54-46 percent margin not to retain Chief Justice Marsha Tenus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit on the state's highest court. The three justices had joined their colleagues on the Supreme Court last year in issuing an outrageous ruling that mandated so-called same-sex "marriage" in the state of Iowa.

Bob Vander Plaats, the Sioux City businessman who coordinated the ouster effort, cheered the voter verdict. "The people of Iowa stood up in record numbers and sent a message...that it is "we the people, not we the courts."

The National Organization for Marriage and Family Research Council joined the Iowa Family Policy Center in working to mobilize pro-marriage supporters to back the removal effort.

Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, says the vote sends a startling message to elected officials and judges alike. "Backers of gay marriage are fond of promoting the lie that gay marriage is inevitable in this country. What this election shows is that support for gay marriage is a career-ending position for judges and legislators. The people of America still strongly support marriage as the union of one man and one woman."

Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin had this to say about the outcome in Iowa: "The message of the election was immediately said to be about the economy. But there was a message on social issues, too, especially on gay rights. Judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage do so at great peril to their political futures."

Appointed judges who face retention votes are hardly, if ever, rejected at the ballot box. In fact, most of the time they are retained with support of two-thirds of the voters or more.

The ultimate lesson to be learned from the Iowa voter backlash is pretty basic: If judges are going to function like legislators by making law from the bench, then they are going to face potential political retribution just like legislators. If judges are going to behave like politicians rather than jurists, then they should not be surprised when they are treated like politicians by the voters.

Mayer, Tilley to Lead Missouri Legislature in Next General Assembly

State Attorney, Chris KosterTwo legislators from southeast Missouri will serve as the leaders of the Missouri Legislature during the upcoming 96th session of the Missouri General Assembly. Newly elected legislators met in the State Capitol this past week to select their officers following an election in which Republicans made historic gains in the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives. State Attorney, Chris Koster

The Senate Majority Caucus selected Senator Rob Mayer of Dexter as the President Pro Tem of the Senate, the top leadership post. Republicans gained three seats in the State Senate, giving them an extremely commanding majority of 26-8. This is the largest majority Republicans have ever held in the upper chamber. One of the seats gained was that of a retiring senator who was very liberal and very pro-abortion. Senator Mayer, an attorney in private practice, has previously served as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

He has been the leader of pro-life efforts in the Missouri Senate. Mayer was the sponsor of the major pro-life bill adopted this past session which greatly strengthened Missouri's informed consent law on abortion. He is a very committed Christian who is expressive about his faith, and is highly respected by his colleagues. Mayer won the top Senate spot over Senator Kevin Engler, the current Senate Majority Leader, who has also been a good friend of the pro-life and pro-family movement. Senate Republicans chose Senator Tom Dempsey of St. Charles to serve as the new Senate Majority Leader. Minority Caucus Democrats retained Senator Victor Callahan of Independence as the Minority Leader, who has had a pro-life voting record.

The House Majority Caucus voted to elect Representative Steve Tilley of Perryville as the new Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives. State Attorney, Chris Koster Republicans gained an astonishing 17 seats in the House, and now hold a very decisive 106-57 majority. This is the largest number of seats the Republican Party has ever held in the Missouri House. Five state representatives who are supporters of legalized abortion were defeated, and two retiring House members who were not supporters of the pro-family movement were replaced by conservative candidates.

Tilley, who owns an optometry practice, is primarily a fiscal conservative, but has been supportive of pro-life and pro-family initiatives. He played a crucial role this past session in the passage of legislation regulating sexually oriented businesses in the state. Representative Shane Schoeller of Willard was chosen as Speaker Pro Tem, the number two position in the House. Representative Tim Jones of Eureka will hold the influential position of Majority Leader. Both Schoeller and Jones are strong pro-life and pro-family allies. Minority Caucus Democrats chose Mike Talboy of Kansas City as Minority Leader.

The gains by the Republican Party in the Legislature were so substantial that Republicans are on the brink of having veto-proof majorities in both chambers. State Attorney, Chris Koster Republicans have more than enough votes (with 26) to override a Governor's veto in the Senate, where 23 votes are required. They are three votes short of the number needed to override in the House, where 109 votes are required to overturn a gubernatorial veto.

The conservative gains in the Missouri House bolster the strength of the pro-life and pro-family movement in that chamber, where tremendous success has already been achieved through bipartisan support. Backers of Senator Mayer's successful bid for Senate leader have been pressing for a more aggressive conservative agenda in the Senate, where the movement has hit some roadblocks in recent years. It is hoped that the religious liberty amendment promoted by the Missouri Family Policy Council will finally obtain passage in the Senate this session.

Republican gains in the Missouri General Assembly were likely assisted by the potent campaign run by Congressman Roy Blunt State Attorney, Chris Koster in winning the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Senator Kit Bond. Blunt defeated Secretary of State Robin Carnahan by 14 percentage points, an amazing margin for a U.S. Senate race in Missouri. Blunt will be a reliable and effective voice for pro-life and pro-family priorities in the Senate, and the strongest such voice since Jim Talent served in that chamber. Carnahan was highly trumpeted by national pro-abortion interests, and her defeat is a major setback for pro-abortion strategists in Missouri.

There is no question that boiling discontent over the economy and President Obama's health care legislation played a pivotal role in the election outcome in Missouri and across the country. State Attorney, Chris Koster But moral concerns also were prominent, with evangelical Christians highly disturbed by the anti-life and anti-family policies of the current Congress and Administration. Post-election polling by the Faith and Freedom Coalition estimates that 32% of all the voters who turned out to cast ballots last week were evangelical Christians or self-identified conservative Christians.

There is little question that the dramatic change in the composition of Congress will put the skids on the militant pro-abortion and pro-"gay rights" agenda championed by President Obama, Senate Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. But whether Republican leaders will truly advance legislative objectives of the social conservative community is yet to be seen. Republicans have had a history of placing such issues on the back burner once they have gained power.

We must continue to pray that many of the newly elected legislators in Washington and Jefferson City will distinguish themselves as true Christian statesmen and stateswomen. State Attorney, Chris Koster We must also pray that incumbent legislators will become more emboldened to proclaim their Christian values and principles in their public deliberations. We pray that Godly convictions will not only be welcomed in the halls of our state and federal capitol buildings, but that God and His Wisdom will be consulted as legislators go about the business of governing. May politicians and political parties realize that while the reins of government may be in their hands, there is only One who carries government on His Shoulders.
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