The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

April 28, 2013

Susan Redden: Another group pushing tax cuts heads to Joplin

By Susan Redden
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Americans for Prosperity-Missouri — calling itself the state’s leading voice for economic freedom — will be in Joplin on Tuesday, May 14, advocating for lower taxes as part of its Bold Ideas Tour.

Members of the group want to make the case that Missouri lags behind its neighbors in innovative policy reforms.

Those who attend will have the opportunity to sign a petition in support of those “bold reforms,” said Patrick Werner, state director of the group.

Besides lower taxes, the group also wants fewer regulations, favors right-to-work legislation and wants to expand school choice.

“Time and again, it has been demonstrated that individuals and businesses prefer states with low taxes and regulations,” Werner said. “Missouri must embrace economic freedoms as its neighbors in Iowa, Kansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Tennessee have.”

The event is set for 10 a.m. at College Station Daylight Donuts & Coffee, 3929 E. Seventh St.

Part of the group’s mission statement mirrors that of United for Missouri’s Future, a group that recently held a tax forum in Joplin and brought in speakers from Oklahoma and Kansas. It also brought in state Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, sponsor of one of the tax cut bills currently before the Missouri General Assembly.

United for Missouri’s Future is headed by Carl Bearden, a former state representative. He was state director of Americans for Prosperity before forming the new group. Rex Sinquefield, who has funded other efforts to cut income taxes and expand school choice, is among the financial backers of the new group. Major support for Americans for Prosperity also comes from Charles and David Koch, who head Kansas-based Koch Industries and support a number of conservative and libertarian groups.

Patriot Guard Day

Patriot Guard members in Missouri who honor the military at funerals and other events will be honored themselves at a gathering set for June 15 in Sedalia.

State Rep. Charlie Davis, R-Webb City, recently announced plans for Patriot Guard Day at the Missouri State Fairgrounds.

“We want to honor them because they do so much to honor veterans,” said Davis, who is chairman of the House Veterans Committee.

The Patriot Guard organized after members of Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., began protesting at funeral services of fallen service members.

A federal appeals court decision last week won’t put the group out of a job. The court upheld a Missouri law banning protests within 300 feet of funerals, but it struck down a broader law that could have kept protesters even farther back.

The appeals court said a law that creates a buffer of undetermined size is a violation of free-speech rights. The ruling upheld the 300-foot buffer around funeral ceremonies and graveside memorial services, but the court said the law cannot apply to funeral processions that wind their way through towns.

Picnic, pie auction

Local Democrats can show off their baking skills at a picnic and pie auction set for 4 p.m. Saturday at the Joplin Community Center, 110 S. Main St.

Hamburgers, hot dogs, side dishes and desserts will be served for a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children under age 10.

Those who attend may provide a pie for a pie auction to raise money for local efforts of the party.

Auctioneer Pat Kelly will volunteer his services.

Susan Redden is a staff writer for the Globe. She can be reached at or 417-627-7258. Follow her on Twitter @Susan_Redden.