LETTER: Chris Kelly brings a youthful attitude

Friday, October 31, 2008 | 1:44 p.m. CDT; updated 4:42 p.m. CDT, Friday, October 31, 2008

Voters of the 24th House District have an important choice between two candidates, both of whom are qualified and talented. I urge them to choose Chris Kelly over the incumbent Ed Robb. Chris is younger, much more energetic, has campaigned all over the district and is more anxious to take the voters' concerns into account than the incumbent.

Other comparisons reflect well on Chris, too.  The incumbent representative was instrumental in revising the foundation formula that funds public schools. He helped make it fairer overall to schools statewide. Unfortunately for those of us in the Columbia and Southern Boone County school districts, the new formula gives our schools a lower share of state school support. Robb's work helped other school districts but hurt his own district's schools.

Moreover, Robb supported the move in 2005 to cut recipients off the Medicaid rolls. Beyond the callousness of this policy shift, in practical terms it meant that the state of Missouri turned down federal matching funds which would otherwise have been available to our state. Pennsylvanians, New Yorkers, Californians and residents of many other states were happy about this — but Missourians lost out.

The incumbent is a professional economist and supports the ideology of deregulation that has ruled nationally since the 1980s but which the Wall Street crisis has now fully discredited. Alan Greenspan, former head of the Federal Reserve Bank, has had to eat humble pie before Congress for supporting the premise of deregulation. It's time to root out this philosophy in state government, too. Vote for Chris Kelly for a pragmatic, energetic, tireless representative who will take care to reflect his constituents' needs.

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