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Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill had a town meeting on March 13 at the Parkville Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel. She started off by assuring the American people that although it doesn’t look like it, there is bipartisan work being done in congress.
McCaskill went into how those enthusiastically on the right wing, watch news that often goes with what they believe, like Fox News, while the left enthusiasts watch shows like The Rachel Maddow Show. The rest of the population that doesn’t pay attention, “don’t know who to believe”.
McCaskill also mentioned the fact that there have been requests all over the country for town hall meetings from the citizens, and often politicians now don’t want to make an appearance because they’re afraid of the negative comments.
However, McCaskill said, “I think I owe the people I work for a face to face [meeting].”
This got the whole crowd up and clapping, with their agree papers waving in the air enthusiastically.
McCaskill then decided to talk about one of the most important victories she had for the state of Missouri. The state has one of the biggest sex trafficking problems in the country, and McCaskill found a way to crush a big part of it. There was a website called Back Page that had the advertisements for sex trafficking in KC. She went all the way up to the Supreme Court and subpoenaed them. However, the day before trial, they took the website off themselves, which was a huge win, because that was their biggest way of advertising.
Five other questions besides mine were answered. Most of them were about healthcare and the education system; one was about transgender bathrooms. Two important things she talked about were the Citizens United, and the difference between Trumpcare and Obamacare.
She called Citizens United, “the worst Supreme Court decision in our lifetime.”
McCaskill predicted that $100 million dollars of “dark money” will go to next year’s election in Missouri because of Citizens United, a decision by the Supreme Court that doesn’t give a restriction on the amount or the source of where the money comes from for a campaign, which gives lobbyists an opportunity to have a say on what politicians do.
She also talked about how the Trumpcare bill was going to affect people poorly with a lower income. An example was of someone that makes $30,000 a year would pay roughly $2,000 for Obamacare’s silver plan, but would pay about $10,000 for Trumpcare for about the same coverage–one third of their yearly income.
Whether or not people in the room agreed with her ideas, she gave everyone an opportunity to speak out, especially those who disagreed.
Out of a basket of over 100 questions, mine was the fifth out of six chosen. I asked Claire McCaskill, Missouri US Senator, what she thinks about the rise of fake news, alternative facts and mistrust towards journalists during the Trump presidency, and what we as citizens can do about it. This was her response.
“So here’s the thing, if we can’t agree on what the facts are, how can we ever get to an agreement on anything? So I certainly encourage you to expand your horizons in terms of what you read, I urge you to use common sense, I urge you to read news outlets where there are still editors, because editors fact check….If a news outlet is trying just to get clicks, don’t trust them.”
Lastly, McCaskill promised that, “I am going to fight for common sense.”
There is a reason she is known as the most candid woman in the US Senate.