A Washington political action committee says it buying TV air time to run ads to highlight Rep. Roy Blunt’s voting record on issues that affect children in Missouri. The conservative Republican lawmaker is leaving the House to run for an open Senate seat from the Show Me State.
The Vote Kids Action Fund (VKAF), a federal independent expenditure PAC, says it purchased broadcast and cable air time in Missouri for a first round of the advertising, which may continue in the period immediately before the election.
The group also has launched a new website, BluntExposed.com to detail what it says is more than a dozen anti-child votes by Blunt, covering such issues as health care access for infants and toddlers, Head Start funding, and cuts in federal funding for Missouri’s enforcement activities to collect child support for the state’s children.
“We’re here today to bring attention to Congressman Roy Blunt’s terrible voting record on kids—one of the worst in the House of Representatives,” Michael Petit, president, Vote Kids, says in a statement. “His voting record shows why Wall Street can depend on Cong. Blunt, but why Missouri kids can’t. When Wall Street banks depend on him for hundreds of billions to bail them out of their recklessness, Cong. Blunt delivers. But when thousands of Missouri kids depended on him to support the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), he voted against spending one dime to provide health insurance for all Missouri kids.”
Missouri has an estimated 291,000 children – 20.7 percent of all children – living in poverty, with about 129,000 who are uninsured against disease and other illness, according to Vote Kids. About a quarter of the state’s two-year-old children are not properly immunized, it says. Six in 10 three- and four-year-old Missouri children are not in a preschool, nursery school, or pre-kindergarten program. Nearly a third of fourth graders in Missouri are below acceptable basic reading levels, the group adds.
Dr. Kelvin Walls, an internist who practices in Blue Springs, Mo., and Lees Summit, Mo., says: “People tend to think of votes in Washington as having little to do with day-to-day life in Missouri. But as a medical professional, I can tell you it is possible to draw a very direct line between Roy Blunt’s ‘leadership’ and harm done to kids and their families. Roy Blunt led the charge for votes that resulted in less health care, less safety, less preschool education, less economic security, and a plethora of deprivations for thousands and thousands of children in this state.”
Blunt is running against a member of Missouri’s storied Carnahan family for the seat being left by retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.). Recent reports indicate that Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan has closed the gap with Blunt in the race, with the two tied in a late September poll.
First elected to Congress in 1996, Blunt rose through the ranks to become House majority whip before Republicans lost the majority in 2006. Blunt continued on as minority whip in the 110th Congress, but resigned his leadership role after Republicans suffered greater losses in 2008.
The publisher of the news site On The Hill, Scott Nance has covered Congress and the federal government for more than a decade.