Endorsement: Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate

In Missouri, working families are lucky to have strong, independent-minded senator like Claire McCaskill. A frequent critic (and target!) of both political parties, McCaskill consistently and unapologetically holds what is best for Missouri above partisanship, popularity, and political expediency.

When the economic crisis hit and auto companies were on the brink of collapse, McCaskill worked with her colleagues and the Obama Administration to make crucial investments in the American auto industry. While not the most popular thing to do at the time, her persistence is paying off: Ford and General Motors have announced new investments of more than $1.4 billion in Missouri factories, creating thousands of jobs and revitalizing communities. She also voted to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas and create tax incentives for moving offshore production back to the United States.

Senator McCaskill recognized the situation with the auto industry as one where government had to take bold, swift action. But she is also an enemy of waste, inefficiency, and corruption. She fought against the famous “no-bid contracts” in Afghanistan and Iraq, following in the footsteps of her predecessor Harry Truman.  She wants to end the practice of “secret holds” that senators use to block nominations to the court and agencies. In general, she has sought to make the U.S. Senate operate with more transparency and common sense, from her leadership on the Contracting Oversight Subcommittee right down to her personal Twitter coverage of Senate proceedings.

This year’s Senate race in Missouri has been marred by the extremism of Republican challenger Todd Akin and the injection of enormous amounts of untraceable outside money. Even before Todd Akin clinched his party’s nomination, as of July, outside groups like Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS had spent nearly $13 million on attack ads.

As for Akin himself, his radical beliefs extend well beyond his infamous comments about rape: he has said that Medicare is unconstitutional, that he “doesn’t like” Social Security, that the minimum wage should be abolished, and that student loans are “a stage 3 cancer.”  Akin sat on the committee that produced Paul Ryan’s budget, which McCaskill says would “pull the rug out from under Missouri’s seniors in order to reward corporations and the richest Americans.”

As concerning as his agenda is Akin’s status as a policy lightweight – at a time where Missouri needs confidence in its leaders. “He appears to have only the vaguest idea of what’s contained in some of the bills he’s voted for…” wrote the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board, “You ask him about the so-called “fiscal cliff” that looms at year’s end, when a perfect storm of economic catastrophe awaits, and he says he’s not up to speed on the details of economic policy.”

McCaskill is independent, hardworking, and capable of making tough and complex decisions based on facts. Her opponent, even apart from the comments that made him famous, is none of those things. We urge a vote for Claire McCaskill for U.S. Senate. Plan your vote now.

Photo by KOMUNews on Flickr

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