Law and Order

Standing Up For Law and Order

The first and most important function of government is to keep our citizens safe.

Murder rates are skyrocketing in our cities, with St. Louis and Kansas City seeing an 18% and 41% increase in homicides in 2015 alone.  Lawlessness is taking hold in too many communities and at our universities.  It is time to bring law and order back to the streets of Missouri.  Let’s tackle the rising crime rates in our inner cities, give the police our support to do the job that we need them to do and restore the trust between our communities and law enforcement.

As a former federal prosecutor, I was appalled by Governor Nixon’s blame-the-police attitude in Ferguson.  I have prosecuted thousands of cases with the assistance of local, state and federal law enforcement officers, and I know how difficult the challenges faced by police are.  While there may be some bad apples, the vast majority of police officers serve their communities and selflessly risk their lives to make us all safer.  As Governor, I will stand up for law enforcement.

Action Plan:

  • Support police officers who are doing their jobs right;
  • Increase the penalties for violent felons found to be in possession of a firearm to a mandatory minimum of five years’ imprisonment;
  • Increase the minimum penalties for using a firearm in furtherance of a felony (“armed criminal action”) to five years for a first offense and ten years for subsequent offenses;
  • Impose a three year mandatory minimum sentence for all violent assaults of police officers;

Regulations

Beating Back the Federal Government

We need a Governor who will stand up for Missouri.

As Governor, I will always stand up for Missouri and stand ready to beat back federal actions that conflict with the principles upon which this great nation was founded.  Too often, the federal government is interfering with the way we educate our children, our freedom of religion and the way we run our farms and businesses.  Our state government is often merely an echo chamber and enforcement agency for every regulatory initiative sent our way by the federal government.  The Tenth Amendment reserves all powers not given to the federal government to the states and the people, and it is time we started reminding Washington D.C. of that.

Action Plan:

  • Fight Common Core or any new attempt by the federal government to dictate to parents and educators how we should educate our children;
  • Fight Obamacare and the federal takeover of our healthcare system;
  • Fight against President Obama and the EPA’s proposed Waters of United States (WOTUS) regulation that is so broad that it even covers 98% of dry land all over our state, making it impossible for farmers to farm without worrying about the possibility of an arbitrary EPA attack on their rights;
  • Fight against President Obama and the EPA’s attempt to implement the so-called Clean Power Plan, which would act as a tax on hardworking Missourians by dramatically increasing the cost of electricity that they pay to light their homes.

Law and Order

Bringing Quality Jobs to Missouri

Failed liberal economic policies have brought our state decades of steady decline, economic stagnation and population loss relative to the rest of the country.  During the last decade, we have been 46th in GDP growth, 38th in job growth, and 42nd in overall economic performance.  I offer a new way forward, with bold, conservative solutions that will throw out the old Jeff City playbook, put Missourians to work and get government and the trial lawyers out of the way so that we can build a better future for our children and grandchildren.

Action Plan:

  • Free Missouri workers to choose whether to pay union dues. I will sign Right-to-Work into law, to increase workplace freedom and draw industry back to Missouri;
  • Reduce, reform, simplify and modernize our taxes. I want all Missourians to keep more of their hard-earned paychecks, and I will end giveaways to cronies and lobbyists;
  • Reduce the number of costly frivolous lawsuits. I will fight the trial lawyers to bring real judicial and tort reform to Missouri;
  • Eliminate purposeless, job-killing regulations. I will freeze all new regulations on day one, except for emergency measures, until we can find out what’s working and what’s not.

2nd Amendment

Securing the Right-to-Bear Arms

Ever since I was a Marksman First Class in the NRA as a girl, I have always believed that the right to bear and carry arms is what differentiates America as a truly great and free nation. We cannot stop fighting to protect our Second Amendment rights.  As Speaker of the House, I supported concealed carry and persuaded 18 Democrats to join us in overriding the Governor’s veto. Making concealed carry the law of Missouri for the first time was one of my greatest legislative achievements. I will always support the Second Amendment.  An armed citizenry is, as ever, the best defense against tyranny.

Action Plan:

  • Support passage of a Constitutional Carry bill that will allow law-abiding Missourians to carry concealed weapons without asking the government’s permission first;
  • Propose laws allowing responsible campus carry, as well as carry in other public places where it is currently banned without good cause;
  • Ensure that Missouri’s government fights all federal efforts to build a national gun database or restrict Missourians’ gun rights in any other way.

Pro-Life

Protecting Innocent Life and Values

I am 100% pro-life and have a record to prove it, consistently receiving high ratings from Missouri Right-to-Life. When I was Speaker of the House, we ended public funding of abortions and put in place Missouri’s first mandatory waiting period for abortions.I have continued my fight to protect the unborn by speaking at Planned Parenthood protests, calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and calling upon our state legislature and Governor to increase the state penalties for trafficking baby organs and tissue.

In our nation’s Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson put the Right to Life first among all rights, and as Governor I too will always put Life first.

If elected, I will seek to make Missouri the nation’s leader in protecting life.

Action Plan:

  • Increase the state penalties for fetal organ sales like the ones we heard about in the Planned Parenthood videos, making them a felony instead of a simple misdemeanor as they are now;
  • Defund Planned Parenthood immediately and send the money that would have gone to the 13 Planned Parenthood clinics in Missouri to the 588 federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics. This would expand access to care, especially in rural areas, while eliminating state funding for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry;
  • Pass a pain-capable unborn child protection act, banning abortions on all unborn children who are past the 20-week mark at which they begin to feel pain;
  • Press for a ban on sex-selective abortions and other barbaric practices that should have long ago disappeared from this country.

Regulations

Ending Job-Killing, Liberty Infringing Regulation

Like a couple sandbags in the bed of a pickup truck when there is snow on the ground, some regulations are necessary to keep the economy on the road.  But for too long bureaucrats in Washington and Jefferson City haven’t been willing to stop at what’s necessary, burdening us with so much red tape that our economy is struggling.  In 2015 alone, the Missouri Register of new regulations totaled over 1,900 pages—over three times as long as Moby Dick—and that’s just from one year!   As Governor, I will work to repeal burdensome state regulations and fight against illegal and unconstitutional federal regulations.

Action Plan:

  • Order state officials to refuse to cooperate with illegal and unconstitutional power grabs by Washington insiders;
  • Fight against President Obama and the EPA’s attempt to implement the so-called Clean Power Plan, which would act as a tax on hardworking Missourians by dramatically increasing the cost of electricity that they pay to light their homes;
  • Fight against President Obama and the EPA’s proposed Waters of United States (WOTUS) regulation that is so broad that it even covers 98% of dry land all over our state, making it impossible for farmers to farm without worrying about the possibility of an arbitrary EPA attack on their rights;
  • Fight Common Core or any new attempt by the federal government to dictate to parents and educators how we should educate our children;
  • Impose a moratorium on all new, non-emergency regulations until we have a chance to review the regulations on the books and eliminate those that infringe on liberty or that are dragging our economy down;
  • Start cutting away at overly long, overly burdensome regulations like the more than 10,000 words regulating our state’s barbers, to promote small business and get our state working again;
  • Require all state departments and agencies to provide written, binding responses to questions from business owners and farmers about whether a specific activity or practice violates state laws or regulations, so that Missourians will be able to go about their business with certainty about whether they are acting legally.

Agriculture

Growing Missouri to #1 Agricultural Economy in the Nation

Agriculture and Agribusiness are a natural strength for our state.  While Missouri does not have a coast or oil fields, we do have fertile soil, navigable sections of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and access to railroads like Kansas City Southern that can take our goods to markets from Canada to Mexico.  We also have some of the most talented and experienced farmers in the world and some of the most brilliant agricultural scientists in the world, many working within the Danforth Plant Science Corridor in the east of the state, the Animal Health Corridor in the west, and at cutting edge laboratories and research facilities at our state universities.  Missouri’s 99,000 farms and 28 million farmed acres of land are well positioned to lead the nation in producing the food needed to feed a growing world population—it’s no wonder that Missouri has more farms than any other state in the union other than Texas and that Missouri is the third largest producer of cattle in the country. My dream is to make Missouri the #1 Agribusiness state in nation.  We can do this by integrating Missouri’s farms with its scientists, attracting Ag related business and building on the success we have had in developing plant science and animal health businesses and institutions in our state.

As Governor, I will work to make Missouri as friendly to agriculture and agribusiness as possible, and be a salesman for our state’s most important economic sector.  People everywhere need to learn about how Missouri farmers produce some of the best crops and livestock in the world.  And companies everywhere need to know that, if they want to make an impact in the agribusiness world, Missouri is where they need to put down roots.

Action Plan:

  • Relentlessly promote Missouri’s farmers and agribusiness sector, to secure new markets for our products and encourage businesses to move to our state;
  • Fight against President Obama and the EPA’s proposed Waters of United States (WOTUS) regulation that is so broad that it even covers 98% of dry land all over our state, making it impossible for farmers to farm without worrying about the possibility of an arbitrary EPA attack on their rights;
  • Fight against President Obama and the EPA’s attempt to implement the so-called Clean Power Plan, which would act as a tax on hardworking Missourians by dramatically increasing the cost of electricity that they pay to light their homes;
  • Cut down on state regulations and permitting processes that make farming or raising livestock more expensive than it needs to be;
  • Rein in the trial lawyers by passing punitive damages caps on nuisance lawsuits to make sure that the Right to Farm amendment that we passed is more than just a slogan or empty words;
  • Fight against regulatory delays that prevent us from responsibly developing our state’s natural resources;
  • End the practice of using the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as an enforcement agency of the EPA.

Education

Improving Education by Empowering Parents, Teachers and Communities

When I was born, my father was a teacher.  My grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse. Good teachers are one of our state’s most valuable resources, and it is a disgrace that Missouri teachers’ average starting salary is 48th in the nation, and average compensation of all Missouri teachers is 40th in the nation, while the bureaucracy continues to grow and grow.  Missouri kids deserve the best educational opportunities in the nation.  Quality education has three essential elements:  local control, excellent teachers and involved parents. Missouri needs a Governor willing to stand up to Washington bureaucrats telling Missouri families how to educate their children, and Missouri needs a Governor willing to bring innovative ideas to this state that will allow parents to get their children the education they need and deserve, whether in a traditional public school, charter school, private school, religious school, or homeschool.  As Governor, I will stand for local control, for great teachers, for involved parents and for our children.

Action Plan:

  • Never withhold appropriated funds from schools, as Governor Nixon has done time and again to score cheap political points;
  • Fight Common Core or any new attempt by the federal government to dictate to parents and educators how we should educate our children;
  • Restore local control and empower hard-working teachers in classrooms, involved moms and dads and concerned citizens on school boards;
  • Cut back on the blooming administrative roadblocks and expenditures generated by the over 2,000 employees at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that serve as an impediment to improving education, and use the money saved to improve teacher pay;
  • Empower parents to guide their children’s education by introducing more parental choice in our educational system through educational savings accounts and course access, allowing parents to seek alternatives to failing public schools in other traditional public schools, charter schools, private schools, religious schools and through home schooling;
  • Ensure that our students graduate ready for the workforce by supporting innovative, new programming to prepare them for the workplaces of tomorrow;
  • Support robust distance learning course offerings, to ensure that all children have access to a curriculum that will allow them to thrive;
  • Restore local control over teacher hiring, firing, promotion and tenure, while ensuring that our best teachers are recognized and appreciated;
  • Fight to protect the ability of our children to afford a top-quality higher education and make our state universities models of safety and learning, ensuring that students today can work their way through college, giving them the keys to a better future for them and the families they will raise, without having to take on an average of $24,000 in student loan debt to get through a state school.

Courts

Reforming Missouri’s Courts

The threat of baseless lawsuits or unjust multi-million dollar judgments hinders every Missourian from achieving their potential. Businesspeople and farmers across Missouri budget, plan and save to keep doors open and mouths fed, but all it takes is one trial lawyer willing to file a nonsense lawsuit and years of work can end up flushed down the drain.  Doctors, especially those in high-risk specialties like surgery or OB/GYN, say the cost of malpractice insurance is a key reason why record numbers are leaving the profession. We need courts that are places of justice, not lotteries and casinos for trial lawyers.

Action Plan:

  • Promote a system of direct appointment of judges instead of our current system that gives lawyers more of a voice than the ordinary citizens, ending the conflict of interest that sees judges presiding over cases argued by the lawyers who put them in office, and lawyers pushing judges onto the bench who they know will take their side;
  • Impose financial penalties on those who bring frivolous lawsuits against hardworking Missourians, so that people who press meritless lawsuits can be put on the hook for part of their opponents’ legal fees;
  • Institute medical malpractice damages caps to protect the doctors who keep us healthy and serve our communities;
  • Require punitive damages to be proportionate to actual damages—the legal system should be a means of seeking compensation for harm suffered, not a lottery ticket for plaintiffs and their lawyers;
  • Work to make sure that all hearings on dispositive motions in court are held on the record, and not in secret behind closed doors in judges’ chambers, so that judges will be required to explain the basis of their rulings.

Ethics

Renewing Ethics in Government

Recent scandals have revealed to us all how some of our lawmakers, who are supposed to be representing our interests in Jefferson City, actually seem to be viewing their time in office as an opportunity to party it up and cut corrupt deals while still on the public’s payroll.  After my first year as Speaker of the House, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a paper that is no friend of mine, said that under my leadership “prayer had replaced partying” in the Capitol.  As a former federal prosecutor who actually prosecuted public corruption cases, I am ready to take on the culture in Jefferson City once again.

Action Plan:

  • End the revolving door from public to private sectors, by prohibiting former legislators from being lobbyists for at least four years after they leave office;
  • Ban all lobbyist gifts, period;
  • Require truth in campaign finance by requiring candidates and officeholders to use the money raised running for the declared office and to close their fundraising committees within a year of their last election or day in office, so that donated money is only used for the purpose donors intended;
  • Allow the Missouri Ethics Commission to initiate investigations without having to wait to receive an independent complaint;
  • Forfeit the pension and fundraising committee funds of any public official convicted of a felony arising out of his election campaign or his public office;
  • Prohibit the use of fundraising committee funds for legal defense when the charges do not relate to election law violations;
  • Extend the Sunshine Law to cover meetings with public-sector unions and prevent circumvention of the public meeting requirement of the Sunshine Law through the use of email, telephone calls or other electronic means.

Healthcare

Healing Missouri’s Health Care System

President Obama’s takeover of our health care sector has failed, and now it is up to states like Missouri to blaze a new path forward.  This year, Missouri is one of the 49 states that will see individual health care premiums increase as a result of Obamacare, while patients, both insured and uninsured, continue to have difficulty accessing medical care.  As Governor, I will work to improve health care outcomes and reduce cost of care for all Missourians, while safeguarding our state’s fiscal future and ensuring that every dollar that we spend on healthcare is a dollar well spent.

Action Plan:

  • Refuse to expand Medicaid through Obamacare, in order to protect Missouri’s financial future;
  • Reform Medicaid to ensure that patients are served as efficiently as possible, introducing more market forces, financial incentives, and aspects of managed care to control costs and improve patient outcomes;
  • Find innovative ways to provide better care to underserved rural areas through better utilization of nurse practitioners and physician assistants;
  • Improve access to mental health resources, especially in rural areas, through state support for remote diagnosis and treatment.

Roads

Building Better Roads

Our system of roads and bridges is crumbling in this state, and we need to act now to ensure that our state road network does not deteriorate further.  Despite having a budget of $2.1 billion—up from $1.7 billion in 2004—the Missouri Department of Transportation claimed last year that it was considering only fully maintaining 8,000 of the 34,000 miles of roads in the state.  This is unacceptable.  We cannot allow towns to be cut off from one another, farmers to be cut off from markets and our state’s infrastructure to deteriorate to the point where it holds back Missouri.  As Governor, I will work to ensure that we leave a legacy of excellent infrastructure for our children and the future of this state.

Action Plan:

  • Comprehensively review MODOT’s contracting and procurement practices, in order to ensure that it is driving the hardest bargain on behalf of the taxpayers as possible;
  • Free up over $200 million each year in funds from the gas tax to be spent on road construction and maintenance by calling on the General Assembly to fund the Highway Patrol out of general revenue;
  • Work for innovation and modernization of infrastructure with the best technology for smart roads, 21st Century ports, and integrated rail, air, river and road transportation;
  • Incentivize investments from the private sector in needed infrastructural improvements.

Immigration

Cracking Down on Illegal Immigration

As U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, I prosecuted hundreds of illegal immigration cases, and as a result I know all too much about the dangers present in improper enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws.  With as many as 65,000 illegal immigrants residing in Missouri, the time to take action to protect our communities is now.  As Governor, I will work to bolster Missouri’s protections against illegal immigration.

Action Plan:

  • Require employers to verify the legal status of their employees through E-Verify, a free system run by the Department of Homeland Security;
  • Require law enforcement officers to verify the legal status of those criminally detained or arrested who they suspect are in the country illegally;
  • End state cooperation with the resettlement of refugees from hostile regions like Syria until a better screening process is in place.