Fraser v Lamping: WU Decide
Remember, remember the second of November. Election Day. The day in which Americans flock to public schools, churches, synagogues and local recreational facilities to fulfill their civic duty is approaching.
Voters in Missouri’s 24th state senate district have a decision to make: whether to vote for Republican John Lamping or Democrat Barbara Fraser.
The 24th district is a politically moderate district including Clayton, Richmond Heights, Brentwood, Ladue, Frontenac, Des Peres, Creve Coeur, Saint Ann, Overland, Olivette, Maryland Heights and parts of University City. It is comprised of affluent and middle class families. The district has been Democratic in recent elections, despite being solidly Republican prior to the 2000s.
John Lamping, the Republican candidate, was born in south Saint Louis County. He attended St. Louis University High School. After graduating high school, Lamping attended Princeton University. He graduated in 1985 with a degree in economics and went to work as a currency trader in New York City. He moved back to St. Louis with his family in 1995. Lamping has no previous political experience and resides in Ladue.
Lamping has made job creation a central component of his campaign. He opposes short-term economic fixes that will lead to large tax increases in the future. He stands in opposition to tax credits, saying that the savings from cutting the credits can be used to create economic development programs that attract businesses to the St. Louis area.
Lamping also wants to increase funding for job training to help people learn the skills necessary to obtain new employment opportunities. He contends that this initiative will increase the technical capabilities of the workforce that will enable companies to succeed and grow.
Finally, Lamping wants to attract new business into St. Louis and wants to foster an environment in which small businesses, particularly those focused on emerging technologies, can grow.
Lamping is in favor of local control over schools and seeks to work to ensure that the 24th district gets the necessary funding required from the state government. He also wants to distribute more of the taxpayers’ money to schools and away from other state programs. These cuts can come in the form of reducing the use of state jets, perks, bonuses and special interest spending. On his website, Lamping vows to fight to bar the governor from using withholdings from local schools to balance the budget. He also promises to work to prevent funding cuts for vocational school and community college and to increase funding for job retraining programs.
Lamping seeks to improve the local health care situation in Missouri by increasing access to affordable health insurance for average working Missouri families. Lamping wants to pass laws allowing consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines in order to lower insurance costs by creating more competition and more choice. He also wants to overhaul the Medicaid system by targeting Medicaid fraud, which costs the state millions of dollars every year.
Democrat Barbara Fraser, a resident of University City, is currently the chairwoman of the Saint Louis County Council and a representative from the County’s Fifth District. In 1983, Fraser was elected to the University City School Board, where she served four terms, with one term as president. Prior to being elected to office, Fraser worked as a history teacher for 22 years. In 1999, Fraser represented Saint Louis County’s 83rd District as State Representative until 2006. During this time, she sponsored the bill reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and served on the Interim Committee for Funding for Higher Education and the Joint Interim Committee for K-12 education.
To improve the economic situation for the 24th District, Fraser wants to exert fiscal discipline at the state level by continuing to maintain a triple-A (AAA) bond rating, which allows county government to borrow at favorable rates to encourage economic expansion. She also wants to support entrepreneurs and small businesses by extending loans to accelerate the successful startup of entrepreneurial companies. Fraser wants to encourage the plant and sciences research work that takes places in Missouri with support services such as business incubators, development incentives and entrepreneurship competitions. Fraser wants to provide workforce training programs and career centers for displaced employees. Finally, she wants to promote “green” economy jobs.
To maintain a strong public education program and help train Missouri’s future workforce, Fraser wants to support early childhood education and increase every Missourian’s access to such services. She also seeks to fight for equitable education funding so that all of the school districts get similar funding. Fraser stands in opposition to private school vouchers. Finally, Fraser wants to promote college affordability by freezing tuition at Missouri’s state-funded universities and to minimize cuts to university funding. She also supports increasing efforts to attract and retain teachers by increasing professional development programs for teachers and administrators.
Fraser’s health care platform includes expanding and improving health care for children, since every Missouri dollar spent on child health care is matched threefold by the federal government. Fraser also wants to expand drug benefits for seniors by continuing to hone in on the aspects of prescription drug reform that are needed for elderly Missourians. Finally, she seeks to improve the health care system by creating a high-risk pool, funded with federal dollars, so that Missourians who could not obtain health care previously now could. She also wants to create health insurance exchanges in order to keep costs down. Fraser wants to expand Medicaid for the working poor through federal government contribution.