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NewsBook:  Missouri Government News for the Week of February 29, 2016

The Senator who flipped his deciding vote on a bill was berated on the floor Thursday for his seen preference to macrobreweries.

After Sen. David Pearce, R-Warrensburg, voted against a bill to allow portable coolers and self-service containers in supermarkets the day before, he placed the key vote for the measure to pass to the House.

"Senator, I just want to know- do you prefer Bud, Bud Light, or Bud Select?" Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, said immediately following the vote.

Schaaf opposed allowing coolers leased from beer companies because he sees them as a hindrance to local craft breweries' sales.

Pearce said he was contacted overnight by supermarket owners who wanted more shelf space and options for consumers.

Anheuser-Busch was not immediately available for comment.

Grocery store coolers would allow brand names of the companies that leased them to be shown, though the bill limits some advertising.

Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-St. Louis County and a candidate for state treasurer, said the bill helps shop owners sell all brands of beer to their customers.

"Beer is the #2 category in convenience store sales, #4 in grocery store sales, and one out of five folks that are looking for beer don't buy beer if it's not cold," Schmitt said.

Rolla Sen. Dan Brown, another candidate for Treasurer, said the products in the cooler are not likely to differ from the brand on it, hurting small and local producers.

The measure would also allow growlers, large containers of beer for home use, to be available in any store that sells alcohol.

The Missouri Senate voted Thursday, March 3, on imposing restrictions on how left-over campaign funds could be used if the candidate became a lobbyist.

The measure would require the funds be returned to the contributors, donated to non-profit organizations or given to political organizations.

The bill follows the 2012 actions for former House Speaker Steve Tilley who had amassed more than $1 million for a campaign for lieutenant governor. But Tilley dropped his campaign and  became a lobbyist. In the succeeding years, he's donated some of that money to political candidates who turned around and paid him as a consultant.

The original House-passed measure would require campaign funds be invested in accounts that allow immediate withdrawal or short-term investments.

The bill cleared the Senate 30-0 and now goes back to the House for review of the Senate changes.

"I'm not sure this is going to pass, but I want to have a discussion about it," said Sen. Rob Schaaf, R- St. Joseph.

One senator who openly supported the bill from the beginning was Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City. Holsman originally voted the bill out of committee.

"I supported this bill coming out of committee, and I will support it again today. I really think that when this is all said and done, a measure like this will have a positive effect on how we conduct our business," Holsman said. This is the first ethics bill the Senate has passed in the 2016 session.

A Senate debate Wednesday, March 2, likened the rates charged in civil lawsuits to predatory loans that have been a major issue for Missouri lawmakers for the last few years.

A bill sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, would establish a ceiling on the percentage of an award that a lawyer could collect collect from a civil lawsuit award.

Schaefer told the Senate the bill was designed to protect vulnerable members of the population who find themselves in these suits, which he said have become "a commodity."

Initially, Schaefer's bill had established a 21 percent cap on the amount that could be collected from these suits.

Opponents of the bill said the 21 percent cap was determined arbitrarily and was an example of needless government interference in business.

Both Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, and Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, opposed the bill on the Senate floor.

Romine submitted an amendment to remove the 21 percent cap in order to allow, "the free market to determine what the cost of this civil litigation funding would be."

"It has allowed people access to funds that banks, credit unions will not lend to because there is no collateral," Romine said. "You don't understand what the process is, you're not going to $2 or $3,000 without knowing the business involved."

Schaefer countered Romine's amendment with an amendment of his own that upped the ceiling from 21 to 29 percent.

Despite his opponents' advocating for the free market, Schaefer said the bill ultimately protects the most vulnerable population.

"Nothing says justice like an unlimited amount of what can be charged on interest to people who are in a very vulnerable position," Schaefer said.

The bill was ultimately put on the Senate's informal calendar following a call for a point of order from Sen. Jason Holsman, D-Kansas City.

Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said he would support whomever wins the Republican nominee for presidency, even if that nominee is Donald Trump.

Although Richard is the co-chair for Marco Rubio's campaign team in Missouri, he said the day after Trump's Super Tuesday's victories  that he would vote along party lines.

Early in the election cycle, the Republican candidates agreed to support whomever the party nominates.

"If all the candidates agree to that I'll follow their lead, too," Richard said. "But it's a little early to pick the winners."

Richard said he was surprised by Donald Trump's popularity.

"Usually the outsiders have a tougher time winning more of an insider game, so I am surprised," Richard said.

A Senate committee heard two bills designed to stop racial profiling by Missourian law enforcement Tuesday, March 1, 2016. The bill provides specific guidelines for police officer when performing a routine traffic stop and requires training for law enforcement on how to interact with citizens and while using appropriate force.

The sponsor of one of the two profiling bills heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee -- Senate Jamilah Nasheed said the relationship between Missouri's law enforcement and its citizens has become very negative, and this bill would help everyone in the community.

"This bill is not an attack to police officers," Nasheed said. "What we are trying to weed out the bad cops for the betterment of the community and law enforcement alike."

Ferguson Resident Tiffani Reliford told the committee how racial profiling affects her and her community.

"As a resident for eighteen years, I witnessed racial profiling and discriminatory practices," Reliford said.

Reliford expressed her fear of her community being destroyed due to the heightened racial tensions between law enforcement and citizens, before and after the Mike Brown trial and unrest in Ferguson.

"I knew once I walked out my house, I could be viewed as a subject simply for being black," Reliford said. "This was my relality, while living in Ferguson."

The bill would establish guidelines on the questions that a police office can ask during a traffic stop.

The Missouri Fraternal Order of Police President, Kevin Alhbrand said the point of traffic stops is to ask questions when something seems unusual.

"Really the most concerning section to me is the part that limits what an officer can ask during an investigatory stop," Alhbrand said.

Alhbrand said the bill would make it more difficult for police officers to their jobs and micromanages law enforcement.

No immediate action was taken on the bills.

An attorney for Mary Ann Smith, owner of Smith's Kennel, argued before the Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday, March 2, that the United States Humane Society had defamed his client and invaded her privacy in a report they published in 2010.

The report listed her kennel as among Missouri's "Dirty Dozen"of the 12 worst puppy mills in Missouri with the stated purpose of encouraging the passing of Proposition B, a proposed constitutional amendment that would have made for stricter rules for puppy mill owners in Missouri.

Proposition B was  passed, but a year later the legislature eased several of the provisions to  But a year later, Senate passed a bill changing many of the provisions including a limit of 50 dogs in a breeding kennel.

The case pits claims of defamation and privacy invasion against the Humane Society's argument that their report was an opinion and therefore protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Stephen Gaunt, attorney for Smith, said Smith is a private citizen and that the report was an unmerited invasion into her privacy.

As a private citizen, Gaunt argued that Smith could claim defamation without proof of actual malice by the Humane Society under the First Amendment.

"In this case you've got a private citizen in rural Missouri, minding her own business, running a kennel and she finds herself in national news," Gaunt said.

But Bernard Rhodes, attorney for the United States Humane Society, said the report was an opinion and therefore "absolutely privileged" by the First Amendment.

Opinion is not subject to proof of actual malice.

"She is not a public figure but that's not relevant because the question before this court is not whether actual malice has been shown," Rhodes said. "The question before this court is whether or not the Humane Society is protected by the privilege for statements of opinion."

Gaunt said the report could be interpreted "by a reasonable person" as a statement of fact.

He also said his client was included in the "Dirty Dozen" report for strictly political reasons.

Smith is the mother of Republican Congressmen Jason Smith who was serving in the Missouri House when the Humane Society report was first issued.

A bill to allow breweries in Missouri to lease coolers to retailers passed first round approval in the Senate Wednesday, March 2.

This comes after action on the bill was delayed after two days of filibuster. 

Bill sponsor and state treasurer candidate Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-St. Louis County, brought the bill to the floor again for further debate.

Sen. Dan Brown, R-Rolla, who is also a candidate for state treasurer, was one of the senators who participated in the Monday filibuster.

He continued to express his opposition to the legislation in debate on Wednesday.

"We don't need to take this very lightly because this is, in my opinion, a huge policy change, and that's about all we effect in this building is policy and how it is operated in the state of Missouri," Brown said. "I think this is a huge change over how we've done business for the last hundred and however many years."

While those who participated in the filibuster continued to voice opposition, some lawmakers came to a compromise.

"There's concerns that it will limit their opportunities, I believe it should expand them and again if you got a good product and you can get it out there, people will buy it and they'll demand that of the convenience store operators. They'll get shelf space because that's what sells and their out there to sell," said Sen. Dave Schatz, R-Franklin County. "Again, I do have some concerns, but I think we've kinda addressed them. So I'm gonna proudly support this bill."

The Senate voted 17-15 to adopt a revised version of the bill and gave the revised version first round approval.

Missouri's House Select Budget Committee approved a $7.6 million cut to the budget of the University of Missouri.

The cut comes in response to the university's handling of the now-dismissed Associate Professor Melissa Click and other actions that led to the resignation of the university system's president.

The cuts, targeted at the university's administration, were included in the recommendations of the committee chair.

A motion by Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, to restore nearly $4 million of the cuts was defeated.

Rep. Genise Montecillo, D-St. Louis County, was one of two Democrats who voted against restoring the $7.6 million cut. She voiced concerns that the university "heed our concerns and concerns across the state."

Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, said the problems at the university existed beyond the campus events of last fall.

"They showcased Mizzou on this national news story back in 2014 or 2013," Burlison said. "They said, a University of Missouri admissions officer bragged to the TV show crew about the university's day spa, and said that, when it comes to recruiting students, 'more important than reading, writing, and arithmetic is giving our Tigers spring break anytime they step into the student recreation complex.'"

Rowden said he would prefer the new administrators not be crippled by the university's past.

"Much of the highest-level leadership isn't here anymore," he said. "What I'm asking today is for us to give the new leadership a chance to make the changes that we want to see."

A few representatives said the racial tension that led to Melissa Click's dismissal is still a major issue on campus.

"I am very much disturbed that our conversations, particularly in this building, have not dealt with the issues around racial problems on the university campus," said Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, D-Jackson County. "We keep pushing it aside as if it's simply just going to go away. This is not a situation that just started yesterday. It's been going on a long time."

The Senate passed a prohibition on unions subtracting dues from public employee's paychecks.

The bill was passed by a vote of 23-7 after six hours of a Democratic filibuster.

The vote went along party lines except for Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-St. Louis County, who voted for the bill and Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Jefferson County, who voted against it.

The proposal would require annual written approval for an employer to withhold part of a worker's salary for union fees.

The bill's supporters argue that their money is being taken to support union endorsements of political views with which they do not agree.

Its detractors said unions work to improve working conditions and salaries for all workers in that business, and workers should pay for those favors.

Rep. Joshua Peters, D-St. Louis City, told the House unions' political power help poorer citizens have a voice.

"This legislation is designed to limit working families' participation in the political and legislative process by singling out unions," Peters said.

"You're Talking about dismantling the middle class." Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D- St. Louis City, said in the Senate meeting. 

Nasheed went on to further criticize the bill, "This [bill] is about weakening the union movement from within the republican party."

Sen. Gina Walsh, D- St. Louis County said that she "does not agree with this bill at all."

Senators got into a heated debate over the motives behind the bill, and only one senator spoke in favor.

Other filibuster conversations varied from the Royals' recent signing of Salvador Perez, embarrassing stories involving failing bras and sleepy stories of previous filibusters.

The House Emerging Issues Committee heard a bill that would repeal the crime of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Springfield, told the committee Monday, Feb. 29, that the bill would make current statute more logical in regards to conceal and carry, because it is supposed to restrict where gun owners can have guns, not how they are allowed to carry them.

"At the end of the day what this bill does is it addresses what I think is the most important thing," Burlison said. "Which is that we should not be placing a financial burden, a tax on someone, simply to want to have their Second Amendment rights."

Dr. Curt Frazier of the Missouri Firearms Coalition testified in favor of the bill.

He said the government should not be allowed to regulate how one can carry a gun where it is legal for them to carry it.

"While we strongly encourage our members to receive the highest quality training available, we do not believe this to be a replacement, or, rather, a requirement before someone can carry a firearm to defend themselves or their family," Frazier said.

Rep. Mike Colona, D-St. Louis City, took issue with the bill, saying it would not be practical in places with high crime, like St. Louis.

Colona mocked the argument that changing this bill would help reduce crime.

"But maybe if we pass this, maybe if we [do away with all regulations] that way we don't have to come back here again year after year and engage in a slippery slope that doesn't exist," he said. "Maybe then our crime rates will go down, especially in the city of St. Louis."

Two Republican candidates for state treasurer have become major combatants in the Senate on a bill that would allow breweries in Missouri to lease coolers to retailers.

The bill sponsor, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-St. Louis County, is running for state treasurer.

But another candidate for treasurer, Dan Brown, R-Rolla, has stalled action on the measure during two Senate sessions.

"One in five consumers will leave without buying beer if they can't find the cold beer of their choice," Schmitt said. "And it's the No. 2 and No. 4 category in C-stores and in grocery stores respectively, so there's a lot being sold. The more cold beer that is available, retailers are able to participate more in the free enterprise system and sell more beer."

Brown said he has only heard opposition to the bill.

"I don't know that I've ever had any more contact, both by telephone and by email, than I have on this one issue and I haven't had any of them that support the idea," Brown said.

Senate opponents said the bill would create at disadvantage the smaller, craft breweries that do not have the ability to provide refrigeration units to retailers.

But Schmitt said that many retailers were in favor of the bill and the idea of renting coolers.

"There are over 13 thousand retailers small and large across the state that want this bill," Schmitt said. "13 thousand whether it's the grocer's association, the petroleum marketer's association, all those folks that came and testified in support, they want more cooler space."

Brown later accused Schmitt and the bill of being in favor of larger breweries, like Anheuser-Busch, located in Schmitt's district.

"I think we have to proceed very carefully and not favor just the larger breweries over the smaller businesses that's actually created more jobs over the last few years," Brown said.

After two hours of the second debate on Monday, Feb. 29, Schmitt put his bill aside.

Last Week

A Cole County circuit judge issued an order Thursday prohibiting a former lobbyist, David Poger, from entering the Capitol Building or coming within 1,000 feet of the building.

The order was filed in response to a petition filed by the chief counsel of the Missouri House alleging Poger had harassed interns.

David Welch's petition was filed in the name of the General Assembly and contained affidavits from staffers citing instances in which Poger made repeated unwelcome requests for dates.

One affidavit was from an intern who recounts numerous contacts initiated by Poger despite the intern telling him she was not interested.

The other affidavit is from a House staffer who recounts complaints from two female interns about unwelcome comments from Poger including repeated comments about one intern's appearance.

Welch's petition charged that Poger had "harassed numerous individuals, employees, and interns of the General Assembly."

Poger could not be reached for comment.

It is unclear why he frequently was in the statehouse. He has not been registered as a lobbyist in more than four years.

He was registered as a lobbyist for less than three months during the legislature's special session in 2011 that was dealing the governor's proposal to provide tax breaks for an air freight project in St. Louis.

The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted 4-2 to fire a faculty member who called on students to physically block a student from video recording students at a campus protest.

The vote was taken Wednesday night, Feb. 24, during a closed-door meeting, not made public until the following day.

Melissa Click had been charged with assault for her actions calling students to provide "muscle" from other students to obstruct a student from recording the protesters after their demands had been met for the resignation of the university president, Tim Wolfe.

In their decision to fire Click, the curators also cited her earlier activity when she was involved with black protesters who blocked the motor vehicle of the university president during the fall homecoming parade.

"The circumstances surrounding Dr. Click's behavior both at protest in October when she tried to interfere with police officers who were carrying out their duties and at a rally in November when she interfered with members of the media and students who were exercising their rights at a public place and called for intimidation against one of our students, we believe demands serious action," said the president of the curators, Pam Hendrickson, reading from a statement.

Hendrickson actually was one of the two board members to vote against the motion to fire Click, but she did not respond to questions about the reasons for her vote against Click's dismissal.

The Curators actions come after a majority of Missouri's legislature had signed a letter demanding Click's dismissal and after House plan was presented to cut the university's budget in retaliation.

Earlier this year when the curators voted to suspend Click, the Columbia campus faculty's executive board urged the curators to present the Click issue to the faculty process for review of a complaint against a faculty member.

The four-campus organization of faculty was even more critical of the curators and called for Click's situation to be addressed by a faculty-committee process provided for in regulations adopted by the Curators for tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Lobbyists would have to complete the sexual harassment training under a bill filed in Missouri's legislature.

Rep. Gina Mitten, D-St. Louis County,  sponsored a bill that would require lobbyists to complete Missouri Ethics Commission Training on sexual harassment within 90 days of their registration.

Mitten's proposal was endorsed by one lobbyist. "I believe this is a common practice in most fields of service and professions that workers undergo some sort of training," said lobbyist Colleen Coble who represents the Missouri Coalition against Domestic Violence.

Earlier this year, the House required members and House staffers to complete harassment training.

The measure was filed a few days before legislative staff took action to bar a former legislator from the statehouse complex because of complaints about sexual harassment.

A Cole County circuit judge issued against David Porger from being in the grounds of the State Capitol on the basis of two complaints of sexual harassment from two unnamed  interns.rt, David Poger.

"This building is full of registered lobbyist the interact with all of the staff members and members of the General Assembly, so why shouldn't those folks have to be subject to the same training?" Mitten said.

Government agencies would be required to divest from companies with contracts with governments that support terrorism under a measure approved by Missouri's Senate Thursday, Feb. 25.

The state of Missouri and its retirement system would not be allowed to contract with or invest in companies who have active business with governments that support terrorism as listed by the U.S. State Department.

Senate Democratic Leader Joe Keaveny, warned the bill could force the retirement system for state government to divest from investments in one of the state's largest businesses -- Boeing aircraft.

Boeing has expressed interest in securing a contract to produce aircraft for Iran Air which had entered a contract with Airbus to build 118 new aircraft.

"We have a major manufacturer in St. Louis," Keaveny said. "Apparently Iran is going to upgrade their airline fleet. If they [Boeing] bid on that contract and get it, then all of our state pension funds are going to have to divest themselves from this company if this passes," he said in a question the bill sponsor -- Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-St. Louis County.

Schmitt said the bill ensures the state does not implicitly support terror.

"We are not supporting state sponsors of terror that are held on the State Department's website, one of those countries being Iran," Schmitt said.

The right of the Missouri Senate to ban video recording of committee hearings by the general public came before the Missouri Supreme Court Wednesday, Feb. 24.

The issue before the court pits the constitutional power of the Senate to govern its own proceedings against the state's Sunshine Laws that allow members of the public to record government meetings.

A liberal advocacy group, Progress Missouri, has been blocked from video recording some Senate committee sessions.

"We assert that the Senate believes they are above the law," said Laura Swinford, Executive Director of Progress Missouri. "We disagree."

But Jeremiah Morgan, defending attorney for the Senate argued to the court that the Senate is allowed to make regulations regarding who is permitted to record because it is a self-governing body.

Members of the media that are part of the Missouri Capitol News Association generally are permitted to record committee meetings, but the Senate maintains the right to restrict recording access.

At least twice in recent years, Senate committee chairs have blocked video recording by television news reporters.

Christopher Grant, attorney for Progress Missouri, said joining the press association would require groups like Progress Missouri to relinquish their advocacy abilities.

He said joining the press association should not be a requirement for access.

"I think the Sunshine Law here is very clear and it's very broad," Grant said. "It says it shall allow and it grants no special privilege to the institutional press."

Senate Communications records committee meetings for distribution upon request, but Grant said the Senate was unable to provide complete recordings for several committee meetings.

Morgan said the Senate has the Constitutional right to determine the rules of their own proceedings and can make decisions about who is granted access.

He said Congress has similar regulations that allow media outlets to record but block recording by advocacy groups.

"[Progress Missouri's] argument however is that because some media can record and some can't that it is therefore a violation of the Constitution. Actually it's not," Morgan said. "The plaintiffs are not media. They have not alleged that they are media."

Although the House also has the constitutional right to determine rules for its proceedings, Swinford said Progress Missouri has had no problem recording in House Committees.

The Missouri Senate postponed a vote on a bill that would criminalize lobbyists giving gifts to legislators.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers argued Tuesday, Feb. 23, that the measure approved by the House went too far.

The measure approved by the House would ban a lobbyist from providing virtually anything of value to an individual legislator or statewide elected official. The only exception for an individual official would be a plaque or similar honor so long as the value was $50 or less.

The only other exception if the gift or meal was provided to the entire legislature or the entire group of statewide elected officials.

A lobbyist who violated the law could be punished by up to seven years in prison, with some exceptions.

"If we happen to have someone that comes by our office, unknowingly leaves an ink pen or a sticky pad, if that person is unaware, are they still criminally liable?" asked Sen. Jamilah Nahseed, D- St. Louis.

"I might cut my finger and need a Band-Aid." said Sen. Dave Schatz, R- Franklin County. He added that he could come up with numerous things a long the same lines that could be misinterpreted as lobbyists giving what would then be illegal gifts. "I'm concerned about that."

After three hours, the Senate sponsor put the bill aside, delaying a vote on the measure.

Earlier this year, the Senate removed a House-passed provision in another bill that would prohibit a legislator from becoming a lobbyist for one year after leaving office.

Under the Senate version, the only restriction would be for a legislator who resigned before the term of office had expired. In that case, the former legislator could not register as a lobbyist until the term for which the person had been elected had expired.

JEFFERSON CITY - The House Economic Development Committee spent less than five minutes on a measure to deny tax cuts for the now-departed Rams football team.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Anne Zerr, R-St. Charles, would prohibit any professional sports team owner that abandons a publicly funded facility any government incentives or local funding from Missouri until all expenses of the facility are repaid before Missouri Legislature.

"The state of Missouri is on the hook now until 2021 for between $10 and $12 million per year", Zerr said at the committee hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 23. "It's a lot of revenue we lost."

If this bill is passed, Stan Kroenke, as owner of the Saint Louis Rams would be denied any new tax cuts in the state of Missouri until the stadium's construction fees are fully paid.

Nobody testified in opposition of the measure.

After the hearing, the bill's sponsor acknowledged the measure had little chance of clearing the legislature.

The committee did not take an immediate vote on the bill.

Hundreds of aspiring political candidates spent up to two hours waiting in line on the opening day to file for the August primary.

Filing opened at 8am on Tuesday, Feb. 23. The deadline to file will be 5pm March 29.

Those filing on the first day are assured their names will be above others who file for the same office later.

There is a belief among candidates that some voters are more likely to vote for a person whose name is high on the ballot list of names for an office.

The Secretary of State's website shows 335 candidates filed on the first day.

The process to file is not simple.

First, the candidate must pay a filing fee to the candidate's party -- $200 for a statewide office down to $50 for a state House office. Then, the candidate needs to get a notarized statement that the candidate is not delinquent in state taxes. Only then can the actual filing process begin.

The candidates who filed for governor offered conflicting thoughts about whether the process should be changed.

Republican businessman John Brunner gave a positive response to the crowed, time-consuming process.

"What I like is the personal interaction," Brunner said. "A chance to meet, shake hands, visit with friends and have real camaraderie with both parties, because we're all in this together. It's like the days of getting a real letter in the post office. It has a personal connotation, you connect with people and you shake their hands. I wouldn't change the process, I think it's fantastic."

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder disagreed, saying digital filing would make the process simpler.

"To facilitate matters, it would seem that we could do this online," Kinder said. "It would be a lot easier on everyone."

Former Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway said the process already has been simplified from the days she first ran for office.

"If you file on the first day, we're all random," Hanaway said, referring to current law that assigns a randomly-selected placement on the ballot for candidates who file for an office on the opening day for filing. 

Previously, placement was determined by who was at the front of the line that would begin to form the day before under the assumption higher placement on the ballot garnered more votes. It led to candidates -- or their surrogates, showing up the day before to secure a spot in the line.

Before adoption of the system for random placement of names on the ballot, some candidates or their representatives would spent the night sleeping outside the secretary of state's office to hold a spot line.

Although Hanaway was among the early filers, she noted her early appearance did not affect ballot placement.

"The only reason to get in line early is to save some time in the course of your day," she said. "If you file tomorrow, then you're after everybody today."

Hanaway commented as she stood in line with her two children.

Two of the persons who filed for the office of governor declined to give an opinion.

Former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, who filed as a Republican, was cut off by campaign manager Austin Chambers when responding.

"We would love for you to send us the information on that, but it's not something we have any information on right now," Chambers said.

Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster also declined to comment on the issue.

"I would leave that to Secretary Kander," Koster said. "I don't know the best way to do this. It would be easier if we could do it over the internet, but I have no suggestions for Secretary Kander on that."

Little disagreement emerged  during the latest debate among the Republican candidates for governor

Three of the four Republican candidates for Missouri governor attended the Monday, Feb. 22, debate in Jefferson City that lasted less than one hour.

Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and businessman John Brunner were involved in the debate and none of them strayed from party lines.

Though the candidates had different answers to the questions prompted, they all had similar views on the issues brought up.

Medicaid expansion, gun control, abortion and cutting taxes were all topics of discussion.

"I'm running for governor because I know that governors are the last line of defense against the federal government," Hanaway said. "I'll oppose Obamacare, I'll oppose medicaid expansion, common core and whatever kooky idea they come up with next, including importing a bunch of refugees from terrorist countries, into our state."

The candidates were also asked to talk about what they would do regarding the University of Missouri and its board of curators.

"It cast a shadow across our great state, and it all comes down, my friends, to leadership," Brunner said. "No leadership in our governor, no leadership in the board of curators, no leadership in the administration."

Hanaway said it was time to end the lawlessness at the University and Kinder said he would look for curators that would turn the college around.

The candidates in attendance did not attack each other, but focused on attacking Democratic candidate and Attorney General Chris Koster.

"I can be trusted to beat Chris Koster and to carry our banner proudly this November, because of my record and because that record has been crammed with success in three statewide elections," Kinder said.