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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of September 4, 2000

 


. Missouri's highways continue to dominate gubernatorial race (09/09/00)
ST. LOUIS - Missouri's highways continue to be the focal point of the gubernatorial race, with both major-party candidates agreeing that action needs to be taken.

But U.S. Rep. Jim Talent, the Republican candidate, and Democratic state Treasurer Bob Holden sparred about the specifics of such action at a forum Friday.

All candidates for statewide office showed up at the forum with one notable exception -- Democratic Gov. Mel Carnahan, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

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    . Missouri Supreme Court hears tobacco settlement arguements (09/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Attorneys for various interest groups seeking their own compensation from tobacco companies asked the Missouri Supreme Court to prevent the state from dropping its lawsuit against tobacco companies.

    Under the agreement the state must drop its lawsuit before it can collect any of its $6.7 billion settlement.

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    . GOP charges Carnahan gambling ties (09/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Republican Party on Thursday called on the Federal Election Commission to investigate Gov. Mel Carnahan's ties to casino lobbyist Michael Lazaroff.

    In a complaint, the GOP charges Carnahan's Senate campaign with accepting donations from Lazaroff, who has pleaded guilty to three felony charges of fraud and campaign finance violations.

    Carnahan's campaign says the donations have been returned.

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    . Attorney General debate garners little interest (09/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Less than 15 people attended the season's first attorney general debate, with not even the incumbent, Democratic candidate Jay Nixon, at the event. And more than half of those 15 were campaign workers.

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    . Missouri loses $14 million in federal road repair money (09/07/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri legilature has not passed stiffer drunk driving laws.

    For that reason, $14 million is being redirected from highway repair to highway safety programs.

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    . Highway Patrol Cars May Have Tires the Government Deems Dangerous (09/06/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - While many state agencies have checked their vehicles for the recalled Firestone tires, others report they are not sure if they are using Firestone tires that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration deems dangerous.

    Because state agencies purchase vehicles and tires individually, no central office montiors the tires on state vehicles.

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    . The defeated Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor is keeping alive the Ethics Commission complaint against her opponent. (09/06/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The defeated candidate for the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor has not given up her fight.

    Although she lost the primary in early August, Rep. Gracia Backer is continuing her campaign against victorious fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Maxwell.

    Backer charges involve Maxwell's recommendations to potential contributers that contributions that would exceed contribution limits be directed to other campaign committees.

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    . One of the major races in the state is being managed by people in their 20s. (09/05/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - When it comes to the campaign for Missouri's Secretary of State, put aside the idea of a grizzled, gray-haired war room boss running the show.

    The campaign managers for the two leading candidates both are in their 20s -- but bring experience in differing ways to their respective campaigns.

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    . Missouri State Supreme Court to hear arguments in tobacco settlement case (09/05/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Supreme Court will hear arguments Thursday in a case that has prevented the state from receiving any of its estimated $6.7 billion settlement with major tobacco companies.

    At issue is the state's ability to drop its case against the tobacco companies. All states entering into the national settlement must drop their lawsuits before they can receive any of the money.

    Several parties, including a health care provider and St. Louis City, are appealing a lower court's decision allowing the state to drop its case. The parties want their interests addressed before the state does so.

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    . Religion to play major role in Senate race (09/01/00)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The candidates in Missouri's Senate race haven't said much about it, but religion has assumed a major role in a contest between two devout men with dramatically different approaches to their faiths.

    Gov. Mel Carnahan, a Southern Baptist deacon, seeks to unseat Republican Sen. John Ashcroft, a member of the Assemblies of God church and a former touring gospel singer.

    Religion overtly popped up in the campaign only recently and both candidates have avoided talking directly about the topic. Under the surface, however, religion has been rising in importance for years.

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