Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Looking Down Ballot: Dr. Sam Page for Lieutenant Governor

When I met Dr. Sam Page, I asked with genuine puzzlement why he would want to be the Lieutenant Governor. Underlying my puzzlement was my impression that Lieutenant Governor is kind of a half-hearted ambition, kind of like a kid dreaming of being the MVP of Minor League Baseball or wanting to be Alfred instead of Batman.

Sam Page wants to be the Lieutenant Governor, and Missourians should give him the job. It turns out that under Missouri's Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is more than just a "Vice Governor", and Sam Page is uniquely qualified to carry out the duties of the job. Here, from Sam Page's web site, is a description of the task he is seeking:
The Lieutenant Governor assumes the powers and duties of the Governor when the Governor is absent from the state or is unable to serve. This is common knowledge, but the other roles of the office are little known:

* The Lieutenant Governor is the only statewide elected official that is part of both the Executive and Legislative branches. Under the Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Missouri Senate and presides over the Senate, subject to the procedural rules of the Senate.
* The Constitution also gives the Lieutenant Governor the right to debate and vote on issues when the Senate sits as a Committee of the Whole.
* The Lieutenant Governor is to stand ready to cast a vote in the case of a tie.
* In addition, by law, the Lieutenant Governor serves on Twelve Boards and Commissions and of these, half have much to gain by the presence of a physician. Sam can and will make a serious contribution.

Commissions and Boards

* THE GOVERNOR'S COUNCIL ON PHYSICAL FITNESS AND HEALTH
The Council promotes physical fitness and health throughout the state by implementing programs, fostering communication and cooperation and developing statewide support.
* THE MISSOURI SENIOR RX PROGRAM (CHAIR)
The Program assists seniors in handling high costs of prescription drugs.
* THE PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE COMMISSION (CO-CHAIR)
The Commission examines existing programs and services, provides community based treatment, facilitates communication and collaboration between state agencies, Health and Community based services, and consumer directed care.
* THE STATEWIDE SAFETY STEERING COMMITTEE
* SPECIAL HEALTH, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND SOCIAL NEEDS OF MINORITY OLDER INDIVIDUALS COMMISSION
The Commission studies certain needs of the state's minority older individuals and makes recommendations.
* THE BOARD OF FUND COMMISSIONERS
The Board issues, redeems, and cancels state general obligation bonds and performs other administrative activities related to state general obligation debt as assigned by law.
* THE BOARD OF PUBLIC BUILDINGS
The Board has general supervision and charge of state facilities at the seat of government. The Board also has the authority to issue revenue bonds for the construction of state office buildings and certain other facilities.
* THE MISSOURI DEVELOPMENT FINANCE BOARD
The Board assists infrastructure and economic development projects in Missouri by providing the critical component of the total financing for projects that have a high probability of success but are not feasible without the Board's assistance.
* THE MISSOURI HOUSING DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION
The Commission works to provide quality, safe, affordable housing for low and moderate-income citizens of Missouri.
* THE MISSOURI RURAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
The council adopts and revises a comprehensive state rural investment guide consisting of policy statements, objectives, standards, and program criteria to guide state agencies in establishing and implementing programs relating to rural development.
* THE MISSOURI TOURISM COMMISSION
The Missouri Tourism Commission promotes the growth of Missouri's travel industry.
* THE SECOND STATE CAPITOL COMMISSION
The Commission evaluates and recommends courses of action on the restoration and preservation of the Capitol.
* THE VETERANS BENEFITS AWARENESS TASK FORCE (CHAIR)
The Task Force helps Missouri veterans access and receive their earned benefits.
* THE MISSOURI COMMUNITY SERVICE COMMISSION
The Commission nurtures volunteerism by encouraging an atmosphere that enables citizen service to prosper.
* ADVISOR TO DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY/SECONDARY EDUCATION ON EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND THE PARENTS-AS-TEACHERS PROGRAM
Sadly, our current Lieutenant Governor does not even realize the scope of his duties. Buried in a long article about the race in the Kansas City Star is this horrifying indication of the incumbent's lack of concern for his duties: "On early-childhood issues, Kinder said he did not consider them part of the lieutenant governor’s portfolio of tasks." Sadly, the incumbent Lieutenant Governor has the same uninformed view of his job as I had, before I met Dr. Sam Page.

Dr. Sam Page not only knows what the job of Lieutenant Governor entails, he is eager to take it on and do it well. Missouri is lucky to have a man of his caliber running for the job, and we should take the opportunity to replace an uninformed, underqualified Republican with an impressive, serious Democrat.

Vote for Sam Page for Lieutenant Governor.

Labels: , , , ,