The Buzz

TheChat: Emanuel Cleaver targets cities that use traffic tickets to bolster their budgets


Good morning.

▪ “It is a common practice of certain law enforcement officials of state and local municipalities to target communities solely for profit.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver on Monday about a a bill he plans to introduce that would bar law enforcement activities, such as the issuing of speeding tickets, to boost the bottom lines of cities.

Cleaver, a Democrat from Kansas City, said he wants to end the practice of “using law enforcement as a cash register,” which disproportionately affects the poor. But what then would constitute legitimate law-enforcement work aimed at cracking down on criminals? And when would police activity be viewed as for revenue-generation purposes only?

▪ “No question that the coarseness and the negativity of our political campaigns takes a toll on people, and people need to remember that.” — Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill on “Meet the Press” talking about the impact of aggressive campaigns on candidates.

McCaskill said a “stupid, negative, hurtful” radio ad aimed at former Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich along with a whispering campaign about his faith, were a “contributing factor” to his death. Voters, McCaskill said, need to punish candidates who employ over-the-top political operatives.

▪ An “apologist for radical Islamic terrorism.” — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, on President Barack Obama in a closed-door speech to Iowa evangelicals.

Former Star Jefferson City correspondent Jason Noble who now reports for the Des Moines Register tweeted this Monday. This is why Ted Cruz is, well, Ted Cruz.

▪ “I think Missourians are willing to give somebody new a chance.” — Jason Kander, the Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate from Missouri, speaking about his candidacy to Jo Mannies of St. Louis Public Radio.

Republicans have hammered Kander, the current secretary of state, for his lack of experience and his ambition. His argument will be that long-time pols in Washington have become part of the problem. Republican incumbent Roy Blunt remains the favorite.

▪ “I’ve never sent one.” — South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, explaining that he’s never used e-mail.

Added Graham, “I don’t know what that makes me.” “Tech-savvy?” Probably not.