The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 6, 2013

Susan Redden: Both Missouri senators now on Armed Services Committee

JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri now has two U.S. senators on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The office of Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, last week announced that he had been appointed to the panel, which has jurisdiction over matters relating to the military and national defense policies.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, has been a member of the committee since her first term in 2007, and she will advance in seniority this year.

She also is chairwoman of the subcommittee on military contracting and oversight, which drafted a contracting reform measure that was included in the National Defense Authorization Act passed by the Senate last week. In addition to service on the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Committee on Aging, McCaskill is chairwoman of a subcommittee established in 2009 that investigates contracting abuses throughout the federal government.

Blunt stepped down from the Senate Intelligence Committee to accept the Armed Services Committee post. He will keep his positions on the Appropriations Committee; the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee; and the Rules and Administration Committee.

In the announcement, Blunt noted that Missouri is home to almost 18,000 active duty servicemen and women, nearly 10,000 civilian employees, 25,000 reservists and members of the National Guard, and almost 29,000 additional military-related personnel.

“The Senate Armed Services Committee will be faced with a number of critical challenges and responsibilities this year, including dealing with the sequestration cuts,” Blunt said. “We must rein in Washington’s out-of-control spending, but these cuts should be targeted in a way that does not jeopardize our national security or military readiness.”

Session starts

Joplin area lawmakers will be headed back to Jefferson City this week. New and re-elected members of the Missouri General Assembly will be sworn into office in ceremonies set for noon Wednesday.

Inauguration festivities will follow on Monday, Jan. 14, with a parade at 10 a.m. and the inauguration of Gov. Jay Nixon and oaths of office for other statewide officials during a midday ceremony, followed by receptions and the inaugural ball.

New GOP chairman

Members of the Republican State Committee on Saturday elected Ed Martin as the new party chairman.

Martin, of St. Louis, won the seat on a 34-32 vote, edging out David Cole, a Cassville attorney who has held the post since January 2009.

Martin was the Republican candidate for attorney general in November, losing to incumbent Democrat Chris Koster. Martin formerly was chief of staff to Gov. Matt Blunt, chairman of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners and a GOP candidate for Congress.

Chief deputy

After taking office Jan. 1, Jasper County Sheriff Randee Kaiser has tabbed a member of the criminal justice faculty at Missouri Southern State University as his chief deputy.

Kaiser said Tim Wilson, an assistant professor at MSSU, started Jan. 2 as his second in command. Wilson previously worked for the Neosho Police Department, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and the Joplin Police Department.

“He’s got an extensive background in law enforcement in the area, and he’s close to completing his doctorate,” Kaiser said.

Wilson holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Missouri.

Kelly Stephens, who had served as chief deputy under former Sheriff Archie Dunn, retired last month, Kaiser said.

SUSAN REDDEN is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at sredden@joplinglobe.com or 417-623-3480, ext. 7258. Follow her on Twitter @Susan_Redden.

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