Thursday, December 6, 2007

College Democrats Speak Out Against Apathy

The Mizzou College Democrats hosted a display called "The True Cost of War." It featured about 1900 fake tombstones, each with the name of an American soldier killed in Iraq and the name of a dead Iraqi civilian. The display was erected on the Carnahan Quad Tuesday morning and taken down that evening.

"We had a lot of great responses," President Mark Buhrmester said. "People are really appreciative that we are presenting them with such a visual display of what the War is costing America."

The display was covered in the Columbia Tribune where College Democrats emphasized that the target of this display is apathy.

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Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Act

And voila.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Bill to Reappear?

The Free Exchange on Campus Coalition is rallying the troops to oppose round two of the Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Bill, which they expect will be resubmitted in the next legislative session. The Current reported on a field organizer of the Coalition that came to UMSL to discuss the bill.

The Brooker bill caused a firestorm of controversy last year as it worked its way through the House. Its sponsor, Jane Cunningham, who is now running for State Senate is expected to gain some media coverage from the bill again, but it remains to be seen if it will be the banner issue it was last year.

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Monday, December 3, 2007

Kelley-Johnson Win MSA Election

While the election might have taken place in early November, the victors of the Missouri Students Association were only declared late last week. The Maneater reports that Kelley-Johnson beat out the Barker-Ekhoff ticket by 16 percent.

The College Democrats favored Kelley-Johnson, although they did not make an endorsement. Rather, President Mark Buhrmester sent a message that said that Democrats should keep in mind that Jim Kelley was an active member of the College Democrats.

The College Republicans on the other hand quite forcefully endorsed Barker-Ekhoff with the following message from their Vice President Marcus Bowen:

Current MSA President, Rachel Anderson, is an avid
Hillary Clinton supporter and the leader of a Hillary Clinton campaign
group at Mizzou. Liberal Rachel Anderson has chosen her successors, she
supports the Kelley/Johnson ticket. Many of the College Democrats have been vocal supporters of Jim Kelley and Chelsea Johnson.


Vote Now for Barker/Ekhoff!!!

know that Dustin Barker and Jessica Ekhoff are reliable and trustworthy
conservatives. I know that they believe in our conservative principles
and will use these principles to govern our school. I would ask all
College Republicans to stand with me in support of the Barker/Ekhoff
ticket. Vote now at

Your vote really counts, it just takes a moment to make a difference. Thank you very much. Have a nice day.

The next day Bowen apologized for the strongly-worded message and simply encouraged everyone to vote.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Football = Funding?

We'll see if the Tigers exceptional football season will yield a friendlier audience in Jefferson City. In the meantime, though, it is yielding more alumni donations and increased new student applications.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WashU Employees favor Obama; Trustees go with Romney

I thought this was interesting.

Half of all Washington University employee donations went to Barack Obama, followed by John McCain at 22%. WashU employee donations totaled $15,437. (Hillary Clinton did not receive any donations from employees.)

On the other hand, the Board of Trustees donated $54,400 with Mitt Romney leading the pack at 31% off that sum, followed by Clinton at 22%.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Speaking of...

Speaking of student groups supporting Presidential candidates, there is an article in today's Maneater about these groups.

Notice the conspicuous lack of any groups touting Republican candidates.

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Mizzou Dems Host Forum

The Mizzou College Democrats are hosting a Presidential Candidate Forum tomorrow. The forum will be moderated by Mark Buhrmester, and will feature student groups representing Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. The Facebook event currently has 56 RSVPs which could make it one of the more widely attended events of the semester for the chapter.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

A techy update

I just installed a program called ScribeFire to my beloved Firefox. This will make it more convenient for me to post, which means I will be making more regular posts in the future. Thanks for sticking with me through my dry patch!

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Recap from YDMO Fundraiser

The Young Democrats of Missouri (YDMO) held a fundraiser a week ago to accumulate funds for an Executive Director for the state organization. I have a short update on that event. Since it's Thanksgiving (Happy Thanksgiving!) I'll keep it short.

There were about 40 people in attendance, including Rep. Judy Baker and Rep. Sam Page. The event netted about $1700. Their goal for this position is $10,000. So they still have a ways to go.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

YDMO Fundraiser on Thursday

The Young Democrats of Missouri have a fundraiser lined up in Columbia on Thursday evening. The event is hosted by such community and political leaders as Rep. Judy Baker, former state representative candidates Jim Ritter and Sid Sullivan, former (and future?) Congressional candidate Duane Burghard, MU professor Herb Tillema and Missouri Democratic Committeeman Stephen Wyse. Not a bad line-up.

Tickets to the event are $10 for students, $30 for adults and $50 for couples. They are receiving matching funds from the Young Democrats of America for the purpose of hiring an executive director.

To have a professional in charge of YDMO would be a huge boon to their organization as well as the state Democratic Party. Last year, young people heavily favored the Democrats on the national level, but in Missouri young people only barely favored McCaskill over Talent. An Executive Director would help them out in pulling young people to the Democratic column.

Friday, November 9, 2007


DEMSTOCK III seemed to be quite the success for the College Democrats of Missouri. Jason Rosenbaum made my day and recorded Jeff Harris singing Johnny Cash. The video is below. You can't see it too well, but it sounds alright. Apparently they raised somewhere between $800-900 at the event.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


DEMSTOCK III, the twice-yearly music festival hosted by the College Democrats of Missouri, is happening tomorrow. I'm crossing my fingers that Jason Rosenbaum attends and videotapes Harris singing with the Cotton Mollies. Here are the details from Facebook:

Come watch four great bands at the Blue Fugue, see presentations by other liberal-minded groups, and hear our Democratic leaders rally the College Democrats!



Democratic Leaders:
Rep. Judy Baker (8:45)


The Honorable Chris Kelly! (10:45)
Liberal student groups:
Students for Clinton (9:45), Students for Edwards (10:45), Students for Obama (11:45)!!!

STAND Mizzou! (9:45)

Teach For America! (10:45)

Peaceworks! (11:45)
18 and up! $5 admission for the College Democrats of Missouri!

Double draws (2 for 1) until 9 pm, then $2 wells!
Let me know if you're carpooling in and I'll find you a couch.

Reaction from Chuck Graham Demonstrations

As you might know, the College Democrats and College Republicans both held demonstrations at Sen. Chuck Graham's fundraiser last Friday. The College Democrats argued that Graham had a strong record of defending the University, while the Republicans said that Graham's DWI arrest harms his ability to represent the district effectively.

There's a blog called (YDA as in Young Democrats of America) that picked up this story. The author of the blog criticized the College Dems for defending Graham. Granted, the author didn't come across as particularly intelligent, but it's still interesting to see Young Dems criticizing one of their own.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Truman Anti-War Rally Recap

I mentioned last week that the Truman College Democrats and The Stonewall Group (a GLBT equality organization) were hosting an anti-war event.

The auditorium (capacity: 200) was at times standing room only, although it thinned out a bit towards the end of the two-hour event. The College Republicans came sporting their club t-shirts with a box full of newspapers. They planned to undertake a form of civil disobedience and read the paper during the event, although that was largely thwarted as they took an interest in the speeches that were made.

Also of interest is that the Democrats undertook an extensive chalking campaign to create publicity for the event. However, in several places where they chalked, there were other messages added, such as "This event brought to you by Osama bin Laden."

Ah yes. You're either with us or against us.

Colleges and Universities are the 2nd Most Dangerous Organization in America

Bet you didn't know that.

Jason Rantz, a radio talk show host from San Diego, published this ditty on the Family Security Matters website a couple days ago. (In case you didn't know, FSM is the "national security resource for American families.) To Rantz's credit, he included some real crazies like the Family Research Council and CODEPINK, but seriously. Colleges and Universities? Get real.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

LTE Regarding the Debate

Here's a letter by MU Freshman Aimee Koon. Look for more letters in the days to come:
"The Democratic debaters made the best of a bad situation and gave audience members an excellent opportunity to learn about the party’s platform through mutual discussion. Tonight, I am proud to be a Democrat. It must be a dark day for Republicans."

The Show Went On.... Kinda

Rick Puig, one of the College Democrats debaters,
fields questions from the audience.

The debate that was supposed to happen between the Mizzou College Democrats and Republicans didn't go as planned. Mark Buhrmester, President of the Mizzou College Democrats, made an opening speech in which he had "bad news" for the audience of a shade more than 100. In its place, they would host an open forum on the Democratic Party in which audience members could ask any question they want.

“Last night, at about 6 p.m., the vice president of the College Republicans called me and told me that College Republicans would not be coming tonight,” Buhrmester said, adding that that was pretty short notice of an event that had been planned two weeks prior.

Marcus Bowen, the Vice President of the Mizzou College Republicans, said that “the College Democrats thought that if they publicized enough, they could bully us into going against our principles,” Bowen said. “We never gave them any reason to put together this debate.”

But Buhrmester said he believes that the College Democrats and College Republicans have an obligation to the campus community to provide an open discussion of ideas and issues.

You can check out the full story in The Maneater here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The 411 on Tonight's Debate

The debate tonight at Mizzou between the College Democrats and the College Republicans may not happen afterall. I thought it was strange that the CRs would accept a debate after turning it down for months, so I inquired of their Vice President, Marcus Bowen, what was up. He told me:
"I have heard a few rumors that the the Democrat group at Mizzou has planned an upcoming event which uses our name in the title, but as I said earlier, we are not affiliated with, nor have we helped plan, nor have we accepted any invitation to said event. College Republicans are a very busy, professional organization, and we certainly don't have time to police the the Democrat group on wheather [sic] they choose to use our name in the title of an event that they are hosting."
Iiiiiiinteresting. I got a response from Mark Buhrmester, President of the Mizzou Democrats as well.
"Their assertions that they've only heard rumors, or that they don't have the time to check up on what we're doing are very misleading. I've invited them directly numerous times. They had no reason to rely on rumors nor did they have any need to check up on my organization. I will forward you the emails that I've sent them."
Buhrmester emailed the CR leadership the invitation on October 11, two weeks ago, and sent two follow-up emails as well. Buhrmester argues that the only reason he got from the CRs for not debating is their busy schedule. The idea, he said, was to organize and publicize it to make it as easy as possible for them to attend. As of a couple days ago, he was still hopeful that they would come.

Bowen shot back, saying, "Once again I will say that Thursday's event is a hoax, and it has been a disgusting publicity stunt from the beginning."

It seems to me as though this was not a publicity stunt, but an honest attempt to create a debate. The follow-up emails prove that, in my opinion. I can see how someone could construe this as a publicity stunt, but this was not a stunt of any sort until the CRs declined the invitation. And it has not been made apparent to me whether they actually declined the invitation or ignored it.

At any rate, the "debate" is scheduled to begin in less than 2 hours. We'll see what happens, if anything.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Litany of Interesting Campus Events...

There are a lot of interesting/controversial campus events coming up.
  • This week is the National Students of Concealed Carry on Campus Empty Holster Protest. The Evangel College Republicans are getting in on the action.
  • Monday also marks the beginning of national Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. This idea was sparked by David Horowitz. The Washington University Republicans are kicking it off with a showing of a film called Suicide Killers. This event has caused some controversy, and has resulted in a Teach-in for Tolerance that is co-hosted by a number of groups including the College Democrats. One national response to the Horowitz-hosted week is the encouragement of students to wear green on Wednesday to protest the "Islamophobic campaign."
  • Tuesday the Associated Students of the University of Missouri are hosting a panel discussion on higher education with a researcher from the Show-Me Institute and the Missouri Budget Project.
  • Thursday there will be a debate between the Mizzou College Republicans and the College Democrats. There are, so far, about 130 confirmed attendees. I'll try to find out how this came about, as the College Republicans had repeatedly refused a debate. We shall see how it goes.
  • Finally on Thursday, there is an anti-war event planned at Truman State that features a number of professors speaking out against the war.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Q&A with Shamed Dogan

Shamed Dogan, 29, is running for state representative in the 88th District as a Republican. The campaign is off to a great start, with his first quarter of fundraising raking in about $12k.
YMP: Why are you running for state representative?
SD: I am running for state representative because I want Missouri to continue to head in the positive direction provided by the leadership of Gov. Blunt. I will work to keep taxes and spending low, promote economic growth, improve education, and control illegal immigration to make life better for Missouri families.

YMP: What advantages does your youth provide for your campaign?
SD: For one, I have plenty of energy to spare and I've been working hard to meet voters and tell them about myself and my values. Also, I can help bring a fresh new face and a new voice to the Republican Party to appeal to young working people.

YMP: Disadvantages?
SD: Often, youth means inexperience and a lack of familiarity with the issues, but in my case that's far from the truth. I have years of legislative and campaign experience working for Senator Talent on behalf of Missouri. Also, West St. Louis County has a long history of electing young people to the legislature.

YMP: How have the Young Republicans in the area been helping your campaign?
SD: My wife Sara and I are very active YR members, and I was recently named the St. Louis Area Young Republicans' Man of the Year. My YR friends have been very reliable volunteers and contributors to the campaign, as have many of the College Republicans throughout the St. Louis area. It's very exciting to have the support of so many of our state's future leaders.

YMP: What will be your number one priority if you win election?
SD: Making sure that I act with integrity and work hard on behalf of my constituents.

The Dems-GOP Robb Saga Continues

Who wants to see some more letters regarding Ed Robb's comments regarding several institutions of higher education?

Well, ready or not, here they are!

First, here we have Jeremy Hagen, Vice Chair of the Missouri College Republicans, responding to Nate Kennedy's original letter. Hagen argues that Republicans are in touch with everyday Missourians: "Republicans such as Blunt and Robb did all of this without a tax increase."

Next, we have Trevor Turner, Chair of the College Democrats of America Disabilities Caucus (and a member of the Mizzou Chapter), responding the Nick Haynes, who responded to Kennedy. Turner winds his letter up like this: "If I were a public university in Missouri, I would be wary of Robb on a budget committee bulldozer."

I suppose now we just have to wait and see if there's another round of letters coming.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

WashU Dems Promote "Democracy Day"

This one slipped through the cracks, but fortunately I found it later rather than sooner.

The Washington University College Democrats are spearheading a campaign to cancel classes on Election Day. As of October 1, they had collected 250 petition signatures, but they have also been working with the Student Union Senate to draft a resolution in support of this initiative.

The initiative was meant to be a bi-partisan effort, but the College Republicans have not signed on. Here's an excerpt from the Student Life campus newspaper article:

"We want to increase awareness about Election Day and give students the time to vote," said Meredith Sigler, president of College Democrats. "There are a lot of students who have a test or paper due that day and that's all they're thinking about. This is really about increasing [student] awareness."

According to Sigler, the Democracy Day initiative is an attempt to increase political involvement on campus, to encourage voter turnout among college students and to stimulate discussion about the issues.

Although the initiative is intended as a bipartisan solution, the Washington University College Republicans, the other major political student organization on campus, has not joined the movement.

"We think it's really not needed because the polls are open for 12 hours in the day," said Sam Gittle, president of College Republicans. "People either want to get involved or they don't. You can do as much pushing as you want, but [this day] won't make someone who's not going to vote go out to vote."

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Exclusive Interview with Jeff Harris

Rep. Jeff Harris with CDMO President Nate Kennedy, then-candidate for State
Representative Lucas Kunce, and Jay Nixon's son Jeremiah at the opening of Project Victory 06.

By virtue of being from Columbia, Rep. Jeff Harris, Democratic candidate for Attorney General, is in a special position to reach out to young people. It seems like he has taken advantage of that opportunity, with a number of students serving as staff or interns on his campaign. I asked him a few short questions regarding the relationship between young people and his campaign. This is what he had to say:

YMP: How does being from a college town affect your ability to reach out to young people?
JH: You’re reminded every day of the importance of higher education, academic freedom, and the vitality that comes with the college experience. You’re also reminded every day that today’s college students are tomorrow’s leaders.

YMP: My post about you speaking to the Mizzou College Democrats was circulated more than any of my other entries. What did you think of that experience?
JH: It was a great experience with tons of energy, enthusiasm, and drive. To have over 125 students excited about our party speaks volumes about the strength of Democrats among college students. This generation of college students is clearly a generation that wants to make a difference and that cares about making the world a better place.

YMP: What about you appeals to young people?
JH: I am energetic and I try to be accessible. I listen to what college students say. I really value their input. They matter. I have also been a champion for higher education and increasing young people’s to participation in the political process.

YMP: How does your campaign view young people in terms of a voting bloc?
JH: Young people are very important. This generation is making its voice heard and that's wonderful. They are the leaders of tomorrow.

YMP: Have the College/Young Democrats done much in the way of aiding your
campaign? Either as an organization or individuals within the organization?
JH: We have tremendous support from Young Democrats and College Democrats. Young people and college students have been extremely involved in every one of my campaigns from the very beginning.

Please also visit my website at, the campaign’s MySpace page or my Facebook profile.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Haynes Responds: Kennedy Manipulated Robb's Words

Former Mizzou College Republican President Nick Haynes responded to Nate Kennedy's letter to the editor of The Maneater with his own guest column.

Haynes claims that Kennedy lied by omission about Robb's position on four state universities. Kennedy claimed that Robb wanted to get rid of these universities. Haynes claims that Robb simply wanted to remove their status as a university, and downgrade them to a college.

So who's right? Both? Neither? One or the other?

There was a bit of a dialogue between Kennedy, Haynes and some others on Facebook about this topic. Young Democrats of Missouri President Rick Puig chimed in with this:
"First of all, Ed Robb DID make the following statement... 'There is no reason for some of these schools to exist. They are nothing more than glorified community colleges.' I took that statement down verbatim. If you want further confirmation, ask the Maneater reporter who was there. ..."
To which Haynes responded:
"... As with regards to his quote, he did say that, but Nate failed to highlight the context that Robb laid out. I don't have the exact quotes, but I do remember him asserting that they should not be considered universities. ..."
So what's the truth? At the very least Robb wants to remove the title of university from them. But he also wants to remove state funding from at least some of them (which would in effect eliminate them). So maybe they're both right. Or wrong.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Kennedy: Robb wants to eliminate four state universities

College Democrats of Missouri President Nate Kennedy wrote a letter to the editor of The Maneater, where he discusses comments made by Rep. Ed Robb (R-Columbia) at a campus event. According to the letter, he reports that Robb wants to get rid of (at least as far as state funding is concerned) four state universities: Missouri State University, Missouri Western State University, University of Central Missouri and Harris-Stowe State University.

Kennedy also posted the letter on the CDMO website. Here, it says that the four schools to be eliminated are the "Universities of Southern Missouri, Western Missouri, Central Missouri, and Harris-Stowe." So there's a discrepancy here. Is it the University of Southern Missouri or Missouri State University?

I'm wagering Robb wants to get rid of University of Southern Missouri as it is more similar to the other schools on his black list. Also, the post of the CDMO website came straight from Kennedy whereas the letter was filtered by the Editor of The Maneater.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Art Arton Switches Parties, Runs for State House

Anthony "Art" Arton, who is due to graduate from the University of Central Missouri (UCM) in December, is the former President of the UCM College Republicans and a former intern for Republican Rep. David Pearce (who is running for the state Senate). And now he's looking to fill his old boss's shoes in the 121st District... as a Democrat!

According to this post at Show Me Progress by Michael Bersin, there are two other Democratic candidates. They are Jeff Alvarado who lost by a wide margin to Pearce in 2006 and Jim Jackson the former Warrensburg mayor, who lost to Pierce in 2002.

Now for some interesting tidbits.

* The 121st is in Sen. Chris Koster's district.
* Arton is the current student member of the UCM Board of Governors. Also on the Board is former Rep. Deleta Williams (D) who held this seat before Pearce.
* You can find Arton's Facebook group here. It already has 262 members.

Here's the exclusive Young MO Politico interview with Arton...

YMP: What made you decide to run for State Representative?
AA: I feel like this is the perfect time in my life to run for an open seat. I think the issues that are important to our generation (Education, Health Care and the Environment)need to be addressed now and I think I am the candidate who will go down to Jefferson City and fight for those issues. There is a lot at stake and we can not afford to allow these problems to get any worse.

YMP: Why did you switch parties to run as Democrat?
AA: When I began considering my candidacy I started writing down issues that were important to me. Issues that were important to me in the past and issues that are important to me and our future. When I look at the issues that face our generation I realized that the Republican Party was no longer a good fit for me. People always ask me why did you change your values? I havent changed my values I just re-prioritized them.

YMP: How do the College Republicans at UCM feel about your party switch? And the College Democrats?
AA: The College Republicans are disappointed, but they have also been very understanding. A lot of them are close friends of mine and people I shared many evenings with on the campaign trail. So I think it's tough for them to see me go. The College Democrats seem to be pretty excited about my switch. Although many of them are new members and dont realize what party I was with before.

YMP: How do you intend to use the campus community to your advantage in your race?
AA: In every way possible. Grassroots will be a huge part of my campaign and I will be counting on a lot of help from a lot of different students. Also I expect there will be a lot of faculty/staff that will help support me because of my position on the Board of Governors and they know that I am passionate about public education specifically higher education and they know that I will be the candidate that will fight for more funding.

YMP: Why do you think you can win?
AA: I believe I am a good candidate that can relate to the issues. I understand what it is like to be low-income and have to live pay-check to pay-check. I understand what it is like to not have health insurance. I believe that there are many people out there who have shared my struggle, and if I can remain competitive in the fundraising and utilize the volunteer base I have through the campus community I can take the primary and go one to win the general.

YMP: Have you received support from some local Democrats?
AA: Yes. And it has surprised me. I think they feel like having a young candidate is a positive. They understand that our generation has the most at stake and I believe they feel that I bring the new ideas and new approaches to this race.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Truman CR helps Jumpstart Libertarians?

Facebook tells me that Casey Sharp, Vice Chair of the Truman State College Republicans, will attend a planning meeting for the College Libertarians tomorrow. She also plans on attending the Missouri College Republican fall meeting, so she apparently is not bolting the party. Perhaps she would prefer a fusion party system. There is a significant portion of MOCRs who identify as libertarian including Vice President Jeremy Hagen. It doesn't seem like there is any sort of tension between these two wings.

As a side note, the Truman Libertarians used to be pretty active, but has fallen dormant over the last year and a half or so. It will be interesting to see if they can get the ball re-rolling.

Monday, October 1, 2007

MO College Republicans to Hold Fall Meeting

The Missouri College Republicans are having their Fall Board meeting at Mizzou on October 13. Kudos to them for having regular statewide board meetings. Here's their agenda:

(1) Reports from the Executive Board & Regional Directors
(2) Letters to the Editor Powerpoint Presentation
(3) Convention bids
(4) Upcoming Events
(5) YouTube Debate Questions (For the upcoming YouTube Presidential Debate.)

Mizzou College Dems Create Blog

The Mizzou College Democrats recently created a blog on their website. The most recent post, which was added today, discusses Chris Kelly's bid to oust Ed Robb from his seat. President Mark Buhrmester had this to say: "I've talked with him a couple times, and I know this much is certain: He's ready, he's energized, and he's going to win!"

The blog is a welcome addition of timeliness to an otherwise outdated website.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Students for" Groups Featured in Maneater

Here's an article in The Maneater that features how the different Democratic Presidential student groups are doing. I find it really strange that at this point there are no similar groups for the Republican side.

The most active group of the three is certainly Mizzou for Obama, which is headed up by the Mid-Missouri Campus Organizer for Claire McCaskill's campaign. His experience seems to be paying dividends.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"My Media's More Liberal Than Your Media!"

The student newspaper for Colorado State University published an editorial that read: "Taser This: F*** Bush." Can you believe that there were some people who were upset? Believe it! In fact, the paper in the hours following the printing of the editorial, the paper lost $30,000 in ad revenue and received hundreds of comments.

Here's the story by USA Today.

Confused about the taser reference? Log onto The Internets, and clog the tubes by going here.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Buhrmester: Thank Your University Administration

Mizzou College Democrats President Mark Buhrmester penned a letter to the editor of The Maneater regarding stem cell research. UM System President Gordon Lamb issued a strongly- worded statement against the proposed anti-stem cell amendment. He caught a lot of flak about this statement, so in response to the criticism, all four Chancellors issued a joint statement supporting Lamb and his remarks. Buhrmester, on behalf of the Mizzou College Democrats, thanked Lamb and the Curators for standing up for "higher education, decency and sound judgment."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Soon-To-Be Octogenarian Running for House

Mary Kasten

The headline for this post is not exactly Earth-shattering. It's no secret that there are a lot of old fogies in the realm of Missouri politics. Take, for example, George D. "Boots" Weber. He's a former State Representative (mid-1960's) who has attempted several times to unseat Rep. Todd Akin and is now running for President. I hope that I have that much energy when I'm 82 years old.

There's another former State Representative running for office, but this time it's not President. Her name is Mary Kasten and she's running for State Representative in the 158th District. She is 79 years old.

Sen. John McCain is 71 and has received a lot of criticism about his inability to relate to the 95% of America that are his junior. How anemic would his poll numbers be if he was 79?

Some people wonder why young people aren't more involved in politics. This might be one reason: alienation.

Emily Kiddoo Featured in Truman Index

Emily Kiddoo is a College Republican who serves as the student representative to the Truman State Board of Governors. She was featured with a three-page article (at least in the online version) in this week's issue of the Truman State Index.

Here's an interesting quote from her: "People get afraid when I say that I'm a Republican and I worked for them, but I'm not a crazy Republican."

An interesting aside: Kiddoo was mentioned (not by name) in the piece that fellow Truman Stater Sam Hodge wrote for the Huffington Post. I posted about Hodge's piece here.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mizzou CRs Remember 9-11

As I mentioned before, the Mizzou College Republicans planned are creating a memorial for 9-11. Well, that date came and went, but not before the CRs placed 911 miniature American flags on the Carnahan Quad, manning a table, handing out buttons and stickers and recording some "thank the troop" messages. The videos are due to be posted on YouTube soon, although they have not been posted yet (that I found, at any rate).

They got some good press with The Maneater here.

Friday, September 14, 2007

President of Mizzou for Obama Held at Knifepoint

I probably should have put two and two together before now, but I suppose it's better late than never.

A couple weeks ago Glenn Rehn was elected President of Mizzou for Obama. He's a former officer in the Mizzou College Democrats, and worked on the McCaskill campaign last year. Last week, a homeless man entered his home, cut his roommate (although not too badly), tied him up at knifepoint, stole several expensive items including his car and then crashed his car into a brick house.
“It was frightening at the time,” Rehn said. “I was scared but it wasn’t traumatic. I’ve played over a few what-ifs about the situation, but in the end insurance will cover the car, we got our merchandise back and no one was hurt.”
Here's the story in The Maneater.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mizzou Dems: Help MU Go Green

The Mizzou College Democrats are trying to get their University to be a bit greener. Mark Buhrmester, President of the Mizzou College Democrats, wrote this column in today's Maneater. It starts out by expounding on the Mizzou College Democrats successes, moves on to critique the Mizzou College Republicans for declining a debate, and then continues by discussing the issue of environmentalism on campus. An excerpt:

To underscore the importance of taking the lead on this important issue and to learn how to get involved, please join the College Democrats as we sponsor a live rendition of “An Inconvenient Truth” by an Al Gore-trained presenter. The event will be at 8 p.m. on Wednesday in the General Classroom Building room 204.

Help the College Democrats as we prove that a Tiger can have “green” stripes, too.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Mizzou for Hillary Kicks Off

Mizzou for Hillary is having their first-ever meeting tonight at 8pm. The organization is being started by Missouri Students Association President Rachel Anderson as an answer to the Mizzou for Obama group that has been active on campus for about half a year.

Here's a comment posted by a MU student on the Mizzou for Hillary message board. I think it's interesting:
I would be very interested in being involved with [this group]. We need to beat back that Obama group (I like Obama and think he would make a good president, but that group is driving me insane...and Hillary is WAY better).

Friday, September 7, 2007

Mizzou for Obama Meets, Sets Lofty Goals

The Maneater reports that Mizzou for Obama, which was formed last semester, had their first meeting of the semester this week. They had over 30 people in attendance. From the article:
The first task on Wednesday evening’s agenda was to recruit volunteers for the group’s tabling campaign. Thirty-six positions were available for a three-day campaign, and in less than two minutes, every position was filled.
Not too shabby. They set some pretty high goals as well, hoping to pledge 5,600 Mizzou students (20 percent of the student body) to vote for Obama in the Presidential Primary February 5.

Mizzou CRs attract 30, plan 9-11 memorial

According to this article in The Maneater, the Mizzou College Republicans attracted Rep. Ed Robb, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's campaign manager and a representative of Gov. Matt Blunt's campaign to their first meeting on Wednesday.
College Republicans Vice President Marcus Bowen said the MU chapter of College Republicans is one of the biggest in the state. About 30 students attended Wednesday’s meeting.
Their next event will be a memorial on September 11 of miniature American flags.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Update from SLU CRs

Amy Kaufman, President of the SLU College Republicans, reports that their opening meeting was a success. They had about 25 people in attendance with a good variety of Freshmen, Sophomores, and Juniors. Among the activities they have planned for the year are a debate with the College Democrats and an Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week. Shamed Dogan's speech, as one might expect, focused on the importance of young conservatives and political activism.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

SLU CRs to host Shamed Dogan

The St. Louis University College Republicans will have their opening meeting this evening. Their special guest is Shamed Dogan, 28, a candidate for state representative. Kudos to the SLU CRs on getting Jo Mannies to mention them on her blog. In their press release they state that "SLU's chapter is one of the largest and most active chapters of the approximately 20 College Republican campus groups in Missouri."

I hope to have an update regarding how their meeting went in a day or two.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

CRs Decline Debate with Dems

According to a letter to the editor by Rick Puig in Tuesday's Maneater, the Mizzou College Republicans declined to debate the College Democrats.

I will note here that I sought comment from the President of the Mizzou College Republicans, but did not get a response.

Here's the letter:

The readers might remember the College Republicans versus College Democrats debate that occurred before the 2006 Midterm Elections last fall. Although the outcome of the encounter was mildly contentious, it certainly furnished an incredible opportunity for MU students to observe the political perspectives of the university's student-led political organizations. With a showing of more than 300 attendees, the debate was, by any measure, a sweeping success that garnered media attention on and off campus.

It has come to my attention that the current leadership of the MU College Republicans is unwilling to pursue another campus debate, citing a hectic schedule.

Frankly, I am disappointed and surprised that the leadership of a young political organization doesn't have the time to give voice to its platform in a setting conducive to open public discourse. if the College Republicans don't think it is worth their time to engage young voters in a political conversation, why do they feel the need to exist?

Apparently, the College Republicans feel like they have better things to do than promote dialogue. I can only wonder what is on their agenda.
Coverage of last year's debate can be found here, here, and here. There was also a guest column in the Maneater by a College Republican entitled College Republicans Lacked Organization. That might have something to do with the College Republicans' hectic schedule. But on the other hand, you'd think they'd want to seek redemption.

Nixon on Facebook

Jay Nixon not only has a Facebook account - a lot of candidates do - but he just formed a Facebook group about his petition regarding MOHELA and college affordability and has placed Facebook ads.

The ads read:
Your tuition is skyrocketing. Not only is Gov. Blunt letting it happen, he's making it worse by diverting funds from MOHELA. Sign Jay's petition to make schools like [insert school here] more affordable!
If you click on it, you're taken here where you are encouraged to sign his petition.

It's exciting to see candidates engaging young people so early. Voters under 29 are due to continue the recent trend and explode in turnout next year - especially if a young, energetic candidate like Barack Obama gets the nomination. Candidates are starting to understand that, and by speaking to these voters they will turnout even more than expected.

So, candidates, buy Facebook ads. They're not that expensive, only $10 for 5000 views. I'm not payed to plug Facebook, I'm just doing it because it makes sense.

Kudos to Nixon for getting it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ashcroft to speak at MSU

Former Missouri Senator John Ashcroft, the most recent Attorney General to not be forced into a resignation, will speak at the 2200-sear Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts on September 12. His address is entitled "Today and the future of homeland security."

While the event is not sponsored by the College Republicans, they are trying to pump up the publicity for the event, obtaining permissions for flyers and advertising on the campus radio station.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Students for __________"

There are "Students for" groups popping up on college campuses. Barack Obama leads the polls among young people, and this shows in his efforts to sway college students. There are already five Students for Barack Obama chapters in Missouri. The Maneater takes a look at the fledgling Mizzou for Obama group:
“Our most important goal is to turn out 5,600 pledges on Feb. 5, the date of the primaries,” Mizzou for Obama President Michele Boeche said. “We’ll probably be registering more than that, but we would like to get 20 percent of the undergraduate population of campus to pledge.”
The Missouri Southern College Democrats are undertaking an interesting strategy of forming the "Students for" groups themselves in order to siphon more people into their organization. So far, MSSU for Hillary has the most facebook members of the presidential candidate groups.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Mizzou College Republican Opening Meeting

I've received some emails asking if I had any information about the kick-off meeting of the Mizzou College Republicans. It will be held September 5 in Memorial Unions South 016 at 7pm. I'll try to get the low-down about their meeting once it happens.

Here's a teaser, though. Judging by the looks of their venue (below), it won't be anything like the Mizzou College Dems meeting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Buhrmester: Kick-Off Meeting a Huge Success

Mizzou College Democrats President Mark Buhrmester wrote a note on Facebook. He tagged me on it, so I'm reposting it here. If any other college chapters would like me to show the world how your back-to-school meetings are going, feel free to let me know.

The Kick-Off Meeting and Pizza Party for the Mizzou College Democrats was this evening, and it was a HUGE success! There were 126 people in attendance. We signed up 50 volunteers for various campaigns. About 40 people became dues-paying members on the spot.

Rep. Jeff Harris rocked the house. We heard from representatives from Rep. Sam Page's campaign for Lt. Governor, and Jay Nixon's campaign for Governor. We had the delight to hear from Rep. Judy Baker and meet Russ Unger who is running for state representative.

Can you ask for anything more? Absolutely not.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to join us this evening. I hope I see you at our next meeting September 6, 7pm in A&S 113.

Thanks again,

Monday, August 20, 2007

It had been a while....

I've been really busy the last week and a half or so. Sorry it had been so long since I had posted an update. Life should be calming down soon, so be sure to keep checking back for updates on the beginning of the school year.

Puig and Hagen Exchange Letters

Young Democrats of Missouri President Rick Puig and Executive Director of the College Republicans of Missouri had an exchange published in the Springfield News-Leader.

Some excerpts....

Hagen's Letter:
Sen. Reid and Speaker Pelosi, with the support of Sen. McCaskill, removed the provision banning the logrolling of earmarks and significantly weakened the provision prohibiting the giving of earmarks to family, staff, campaign supporters and lobbyists. Why?
Puig's Response:
The portion of Hagen's letter I strongly disagree with was his insinuation that Sen. McCaskill was involved in an effort to remove the heft behind the milestone earmark provisions included in the final bill. Not only was this claim completely inaccurate, but he fails to recognize the fact that McCaskill is one of a handful of senators, both Republican and Democrat, to have the courage not to request a single dollar in earmarks this year.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Missouri Young Republicans Convene in St. Louis

The Missouri YRs are having their annual convention in St. Louis this Saturday. Confirmed to speak are Speaker of the House Rod Jetton and Senate President Pro Tem Michael Gibbons. Their "featured speaker" will be someone from the White House, but details could not be released. They are meeting over lunch downtown, and then heading over to the new Busch Stadium to see the Cards take on the LA Dodgers.

An interesting aside.

Sam Hodge Featured on Huffington Post

Sam Hodge was featured on the Huffington Post today. Apparently, earlier this week he had lunch with a Truman State alumnus, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson. Hodge was none too impressed with the Secretary, as this post shows.

An excerpt:
I asked the Secretary what was his favorite part of his job. I expected a canned answer about "bettering people's lives," but instead, Secretary Jackson said that his favorite part of the job was "going to Camp David." I laughed awkwardly and asked what else he liked about being Secretary. He then said, "Flying on Air Force One - you can order anything on that plane!" He wasn't kidding. Jackson never spoke about impacting people's lives and making America a better place to live.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Equitas Redux

Equitas was a monthly conservative newspaper on the Mizzou campus from approximately early 2002 until 2005 sometime. The paper was well-made, and it provided an important outreach tool of the College Republicans.

Now, the former President of the Mizzou College Republicans and current state coordinator of a school voucher group, Brian Johnson, is attempting to bring it back. He has created the Equitas Alumni Resource Council to help recreate the paper. The purpose of the Council is to:
  • provide financial assistance or otherwise help fundraise
  • share lessons learned from our time with the publication
  • serve as a professional network for talented and ambitious conservative students
  • offer direction as the publication seeks to develop relationships with key national organizations and prominent political, business & media figures
An interesting aside.

Monday, July 30, 2007

CDA Convention Update

The College Democrats of Missouri faired will at the annual College Democrats of America Convention. Four CDMOers were elected to leadership positions within the national organization. CDMO had the fourth largest number of delegates at the convention, behind North Carolina, Massachusetts and Wisconsin. In fact, they brought more people the convention than they did last year when it was held in St. Louis. Here are the new CDA leaders from Missouri.

  • Sam Hodge, CDMO Vice President, CDA Political Affairs Director: We've been following Sam Hodge's campaign for a while now. Well, it had a happy ending for him, as he won with about 90% of the vote against Lee Drake, the Northwest Regional Director. While Hodge was a favorite, few would have expected the vote to turn out that lopsided. As far as I'm aware, this is the first time a Missourian has ever been on the CDA Executive Board.
  • Mark Buhrmester, Mizzou Chapter President, Chair of the CDA GLBT Caucus
  • Anna Koeppel of Mizzou, Vice-Chair of the CDA Women's Caucus
  • Trevor Turner of Mizzou, Vice-Chair of the CDA Disability Caucus

Barack Obama at CDA

Hillary at CDA

Sorry I couldn't embed the video of Hillary and the heckler during her speech at the CDA convention. I did, however, find a stillframe of it. Notice how she "dosen't" care. Click on the photo, or here, to view the video.

Monday, July 23, 2007

CDMO/YDMO Connections

I mentioned earlier that the College Democrats of Missouri and Young Democrats of Missouri are coordinating their efforts at least to some degree through their officers having roles in each organization. I said that I would try to sort through it all. I had grand aspirations of drawing a diagram, but you'll just have to settle for this instead.

Nate Kennedy - CDMO President, YDMO Nat'l Committeeman, Mizzou Dems Member
Rick Puig - CDMO Comm. Director, YDMO President, Mizzou Dems Treasurer
Mark Buhrmester - CDMO Pol. Director, YDMO Member, Mizzou Dems President
Stephen Griffard - CDMO Member, YDMO Secretary-Treasurer, Mizzou Dems Vice-President

Clearly, Mizzou is the nexus of power for the CDMO and YDMO, but expect to see the responsibilities start to move out to other chapters like Missouri State, Missouri Southern, SLU and WashU as they are strengthened and brought into the CDMO/YDMO organization.

2008: Bigger and badder

So, as you might have heard there's an election in 2008. A big one. One that will certainly bring young people to the polls in new record numbers.

This is will be even more true for young people in Missouri if a couple proposed initiatives make it onto the ballot. One of the initiatives lowers the drinking age to 18, while the other does away with affirmative action and similar programs.

These are two initiatives that drastically affect young people and will undoubtedly serve to increase turnout among young people. That's one more reason for the not-so-young Missouri politicos to pay attention to young people.

One interesting item to keep an eye on: Will these initiatives receive official endorsements from the College Republicans or College Democrats?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

CRNC Video... I couldn't resist

I've been covering youth political organizations without any sort of spin. I've been giving you just the facts, ma'am. So I think I've earned the right to post something that's entertaining, even if it's not unbiased. Take it for what it's worth: a progressive journalist having fun at the expense of the College Republicans. With that in mind, you can enjoy regardless of your political stripes.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hodge Fundraiser Report

Sam Hodge's Thursday fundraiser in DC was , by all accounts, a success. There were about 45 people in attendance, including former CDMO President Aaron Keyak, CDA Communications Director Ethan Porter, candidate for CDA Development Director Kyle Schulberg, Russ Carnahan's campaign director Ben Murray, and President of My Rural America and former Vice-Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Barbara Leach.

I'm not sure how much was raised, but given the number of people in attendance, I would estimate about $500.

Congrats to Nate Kennedy

Nate Kennedy of Mizzou, the former President of the Mizzou College Democrats and current President of the College Democrats of Missouri, received the Young Democrat of the Year Award at the Boone County Democrats annual picnic last Sunday. Just wanted to give Nate a quick high-five.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Hodge Campaign Update: Carnahan (kinda) out, Clay in

I posted earlier about Sam Hodge's run for CDA Political Affairs Director.

His DC fundraiser is tomorrow night. At last mention Russ Carnahan expressed his regrets but instead will be sending his Chief of Staff. On the other hand, Lacy Clay has confirmed his attendance. Tickets to the event are listed as $10 for interns, $25 for young professionals and $50 for professionals. I'll be sure to update about the success/failure of the event as soon as I get word.

YDMO in Dallas

The Young Democrats of Missouri arrived in Dallas today for the Young Democrats of America National Convention. There are no contested elections for national executive board positions that I'm aware of, and neither are there any Missourians running. Rick Puig, President of YDMO and an intern with the Nixon campaign, gathered an entourage of about ten Missourians to make the trek down to Dallas. This is a large improvement for YDMO after years of turmoil.

A side note: YDMO and CDMO are cooperating, as opposed to competing which they do in some states. Nate Kennedy, the President of CDMO, is the YDMO National Committeeman. There's actually quite a tangled web of CDMOers, YDMOers and individual chapter leaders (most notably from Mizzou) that I will attempt to unravel at some point.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

CRNC Update and Emily Brooker Addendum

CRNC Elections: The NewCRNC team swept the elections. Charlie Smith of Colorado was elected Chair with 145 votes in favor and 7 abstentions. Justin Smith of UMKC was elected Midwest Regional Chair.

A bit more info on the Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Bill: In a previous post I mentioned the letters to the editor written by college students regarding the Intellectual Diversity Bill, but I could only find a link to one of the three letters I had in mind. Jeremy Hagen, Vice Chair of MOCR, emailed me copies of some additional letters. Just for fun, here's the letter that was published in the Columbia Daily Tribune as a response to the letter by Mizzou College Democrats President Mark Buhrmester:

In “Opposed groups agree diversity act a bad idea” Mizzou College Republican Chairman Nick Haynes recorded his opposition to HB 213.

Missouri College Republican (MOCR) chapters, such as Mizzou, are sovereign and thus free to take policy stances on particular issues. Accordingly, Chairman Haynes was free to take a position on HB 213, however misguided that position may be.

My purpose is to clarify and reinforce the fact that Missouri College Republican students overwhelmingly support HB 213 for the following reasons, despite what Mr. Haynes has said.

First, universities should be centers of learning, not indoctrination, yet many students are afraid to openly speak their minds when a professor politically or religiously proselytizes. A recent opinion poll of Missouri students found that 51% felt they had to agree with their professors’ political views to get a good grade.

Second, the deficiency of intellectual diversity damages the traditional mission of universities. Public universities receive taxpayer money for a specific purpose: to educate future leaders. Universities fail in their missions when professors create classroom environments that discourage open discussion.

Third, HB 213 requires universities to take action. Many of Missouri’s universities pay lip service to intellectual diversity, yet few follow through on those promises. Legislative action is needed to prevent further abuse by faculty who are otherwise largely immune from student and taxpayer criticisms.

This legislation is simple, but will prove effective in fostering intellectual diversity for all viewpoints. In the end, HB 213 is a step in the right direction for Missouri students.

Jeremy Hagen

Executive Director,

Missouri College Republicans

Missouri State University Student studying Political Science

Saturday, July 14, 2007

YDA and CDA Conventions coming up, too

I just wanted to make a quick post to mention that the Young Democrats of America Convention and the College Democrats of America Convention are both coming up as well. The YDA Convention is July 18-21 in Dallas and the CDA Convention is July 26-29 in Columbia, SC.

A bit of background: Many states are active in either YDA or CDA, but not both. Many other states are active in both, allowing YDA to focus on youth pre- and post-college, and having the college students be the niche of CDA. Traditionally, Missouri has only been active in CDA, but they've been shifting to the latter model ever since Rick Puig of Mizzou was elected President of YDMO in March.

Friday, July 13, 2007

CRNC Convention

The CRNC is in the midst of their biennial convention this weekend. Friday they heard speeches from important public officials such as former House Majority Leader Tom Delay and Sen. Sam Brownback. The keynote speaker was David Horowitz who, as you might recall, helped inspire the Emily Brooker Intellectual Diversity Bill that was hotly debated in the Missouri State House. This bill also spurred a series of letters to the editor by student political leaders.

(There were more letters, but I couldn't find links to them. One was written by the President of the Mizzou College Republicans and another was written by someone in the leadership of the Missouri College Republicans.)

The New CRNC ticket (which is like a political party within the CRNC) has produced some jostling in the Missouri College Republicans, but is expected to do well, as they have several unopposed candidates including their candidate for Chairman, Charlie Smith. This consensus is in stark contrast to their last convention that was marred by conflict and scandal.

Justin Smith of the UMKC Law School, former MOCR Chair and a member for the New CRNC ticket, is running for Midwest Regional Vice-Chair and is favored to win.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Intrigue in MOCR

This story has some twists and turns and loops and curves, and at this point I do not have it all figured out. But something's better than nothing, and I plan on obtaining more information for you all shortly.

Here's the story.

In early April the Missouri College Republicans (MOCR) impeached their chair, Taylor Burks. A statement from MOCR reads:

He has unjustly fired and maligned the character of an active and valuable member of the state executive board, insulted the rest of the executive board by refusing to properly communicate and consult with them, and neglected duties assigned to him by the constitution. In light of these grave problems, the Board of Directors voted tonight after five hours of deliberation 18-6 for impeachment.

However, critics suggest that he was actually impeached because his favored candidates for the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) leadership were not the favored candidates of the majority of MOCR.

At any rate, this statement was released by Burks a couple days ago, strongly criticizing the NewCRNC team and its alleged smear tactics. It will be interesting to see how all of this drama plays out, as the CRNC convention is this weekend in Arlington, VA.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Hodge Running for CDA Exec. Board

Sam Hodge, a Senior at Truman State University, is running for Political Affairs Director of the College Democrats of America (CDA) and seems to be the favorite at this point. He is currently Vice President of the College Democrats of Missouri (CDMO), and Co-Chair of the CDMO GLBT Caucus.

His only announced opponent is B. Lee Drake from the University of Wyoming who appears to have only nominal support. Hodge on the other hand has the support of the current Political Affairs Director as well as a number of other current Executive Board members.

It has been reported and confirmed that Hodge is having a fundraiser in Washington, DC with Frank Chi of Maine, a candidate for CDA Communications Director. The kicker, though, is that Rep. Russ Carnahan has confirmed his attendance at the event. Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver and Rep. Lacy Clay are also said to be working with their schedules trying to make the time to attend.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

And we're off!

I've been wanting to contribute to Missouri's blogosphere for a while now, but a lot of the bases in Missouri politics were already covered. Except for one.

Blogs do a great job of covering items that the mainstream media won't. But there's one topic that both have done a poor job of covering, and that topic is the politics among the youth in our state. Both the College Republicans and the College Democrats have strong infrastructures in Missouri. They play VERY important roles in campaign season, while educating their campuses during the off-season.

It's time to let the world know what's going on within these organizations. And that's the role of YoungMOPolitico.