The Buzz

TheChat: Brandon Ellington protests conviction of 22 clergy members


Good morning.

▪ “Under today’s verdict, the right to peacefully protest and petition elected officials for a redress of grievances no longer exists in the Missouri Capitol.” — Missouri state Rep. Brandon Ellington, a Kansas City Democrat, on the conviction this week of 22 clergy members in connection with a peaceful 2014 protest in the gallery of the state Senate.

Those convicted were among hundreds of activists who sang hymns and chanted during a May 2014 protest over lawmakers’ refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility. The 22 were found guilty of trespassing for not leaving the gallery when Capitol Police ordered them to do so. But they were found not guilty of obstructing Senate operations.

▪ “The election was stolen from the people of the 78th District.” — Democrat Bruce Franks who lost to incumbent state Rep. Penny Hubbard in the race for a north St. Louis legislative seat by about 90 votes.

Franks has filed a lawsuit saying that nearly 300 people who voted absentee in the Aug. 2 primary were not qualified to do so. He contends that constitutes sufficient grounds for a new election. (link via

▪ “Running a nation is a big proposition involving lots of people, just as running a state government is a pretty major proposition involving a lot of people. What he’s shown in Gov. Pence is that he’s going to get good people around him. You’ve got to realize that’s the way a nation is run.” — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback when asked last week if he has confidence that Donald Trump can lead the nation.

The remarks didn’t strike us as a major vote of confidence in Trump. Brownback endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the primary. Brownback seemed more enthused about Trump’s pick of Mike Pence as his running mate.

▪ “Part of what they want to signal is that she has so many pathways to 270 (electoral votes).” — Maria Cardona, a Democratic strategist closely aligned with the Clinton campaign, on Clinton’s decision to send Tim Kaine to Missouri this week and other red states.

The Democrats are attempting to expand the playing field, and that begins to explain why Kaine spent some time in his old Kansas City stomping grounds. Democrats insist that the road to victory for Trump is narrowing.