Weekend Roundup: Reconsidering Akin

Missouri Farm Bureau may dis-endorse Rep. Akin • Hardly working in West Virginia • The states with the most rural students

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The Missouri Farm Bureau is souring on Todd Akin. 

The state Farm Bureau is reconsidering its endorsement of Rep. Akin, the Republican who is running against incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill. The Farm Bureau’s original endorsement had near unanimous support for Akin — but that was before the Republican made his now famous remarks about the inability of women to become pregnant from a “legitimate rape.” 

“After polling the Missouri Farm Bureau county leaders, a majority believe the endorsement of Todd Akin for U.S. Senate should be reconsidered,” said Farm Bureau spokesman Estil Fretwell, an adviser to the group’s political arm. A new vote will come soon.

The Missouri Farm Bureau has backed the Republican in every U.S. Senate race since 1982, when it first made endorsements. If the Farm Bureau withdraws its support from Akin, it is unlikely the group will endorse McCaskill.

The Rural Third — The Rural School and Community Trust reminds us that rural students make up more than a third of all students in 16 states. 

Mississippi has a higher percentage of rural students than any other state (54.7%) and is followed by Vermont (54.6%), Maine (52.7%), North Carolina (47.2%), South Dakota (42.5%), South Carolina (40.0%), Alabama (39.7%), Tennessee (38.7%), North Dakota (38.6%), Kentucky (38.5%), West Virginia (37.6%), New Hampshire (35.8%), Arkansas (35.5%), Georgia (34.8%), Iowa (34.3%), and Montana (33.9%).

Hardly Working — A retired economics professor told an education forum that only 53.7 percent of West Virginians of working age were actually working. 

“Those saying we have hard-working West Virginians have it wrong,” said former West Virginia University professor Tom Witt. “Hardly working is more like it.”

Total Eclipse: 2017 — The total eclipse of the sun on August 21, 2017, will be most complete in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The town is already making plans for the big (and dark) day. 

Missouri’s Tax Incentives — The tax breaks Missouri gives to businesses have gotten so hefty that Gov. Jay Nixon says the state legislature needs to consider limiting these give-aways.

Missouri businesses have cashed in $629.3 million worth of tax credits in the last 12 months, up 15 percent from the previous year. 

“Every dollar Missouri spends on economic incentives is a dollar we don’t have to invest in other critical priorities, such as education and public safety,” Gov. Nixon said.

What Food Safety Law? — From the Denver Post editorial page

Yet another groundbreaking consumer-protection law has disappeared into a mysterious policymaking black hole at the White House.

Twenty months after President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act, the landmark legislation appears to have suffered the same fate as another important measure: the Physician Payment Sunshine Act, which passed in 2010 and requires doctors to publicly disclose their financial ties to industry.

Both historic laws have yet to become a reality because the Obama administration hasn’t completed the work of turning the laws’ language into practical regulations, then issuing that guidance to the public.

 

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