An Open Letter to Missouri State Senator Jim Lembke

Update - 3/23/2011 - State Senator Lembke and three colleagues are continuing to filibuster the bill. Tim Sampson at the Missouri News Horizon has the story:

For nearly a month, the legislation, which has already passed the House of Representatives and is expected to pass the Senate easily if ever comes up for a vote, has been blocked by an ongoing filibuster orchestrated by four conservative Senators protesting what they see as wasteful government spending.

It's a position that has put Republican Senators Jim Lembke, Rob Schaaf, Brian Nieves and Will Kraus at odds with many, including their own party’s leadership, who failed to break the filibuster before lawmakers adjourned for spring break this week.

Originally posted 3/02/3011

(via webmail)

Dear Senator Lembke,

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will publish its latest numbers over the next few days, but there are two numbers that you and your staff need to be made aware of.

  • The first is 3.2 million - that's the total number of job openings across the United States.
  • The second is 13.9 million - that's the total number of out of work Americans.

Senator, given the state of the national job market, surely you can see that your suggestion to "get two or three jobs to make ends meet" is an impractical recommendation at best.

Unemployment benefits are a financial lifeline for million of out of work Americans. Nationally, almost 1.8 million men and women have lost access to that lifeline, and it has been estimated that an additional 4 million people will lose access this year.

Would you, Senator, tell firefighters to set their hoses down when they're putting out a house on fire? Would you tell them that "99 gallons of water are enough" if the fire hasn't been extinguished yet?

I don't think you would, Senator. I think you would tell them to fight that fire until it's out. I would ask you to do the same in this instance. Let the Missouri Senate keep fighting until the work is done.

Thank you.


  1. Dear Senator Lembke,

    I take great offense to your words and your obviously ignorant thought process. I am supposed to get 2 or 3 jobs and leave my teenage children at home without supervision every night? Are they supposed to live without a parent so you can say you saved this country by cutting off unemployment benefits? I have worked full time for over 25 years and sometimes have held a second part time job. I applied for a job with a county office 2 weeks ago and spoke with the elected official and she stated that there were 113 applications for the 1 position that was available. Do you really think everyone on unemployment is a lazy ass? You sir, are a self-serving, demeaning, out-of-touch, typical rich boy politician.

  2. Hurting badly in JoplinApril 3, 2011 at 11:41 PM

    Mr. Lembke:

    I wrote to you last week asking you to please do the right thing. Don't make a statement on the backs of the working class. I know the votes are there, the house passed it, and the governor is waiting. Meanwhile, the story is getting around that Missouri is the only state not helping its unemployed and the only state breaking the deal made in congress in Dec. Please do the right thing, not the politically expedient one.

    I remain a conservative, nationally, but that is because I am for the shrinking middle class. Locally, I may be switching my vote; it seems local lawmakers, not being in the public eye as much, are less willing to compromise when it's needed.

    I'm college-educated with advanced degrees. I've worked my whole life and am nearing retirement. I am active politically; ironically, in the Tea Party. You see, the TP never meant for you to hurt the working people; we know about the crony capitalism, earmarks, fraud, etc. -- THAT'S what we want cut. Cut out the depts. that only hurt the average citizen -- EPA, Dept. Of Ed and of Energy. Shrink the government.

    But don't take away the one middle/working class benefit we have to turn to when times are hard. Food and energy are up, and those of us without children do not get welfare, like food stamps.

    Do the right thing for us, yourself, and your party. Give Missouri working people their much-needed unemployment extension, as the other states are doing.


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