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Conservative Caucus focused on mission over size of group, Eigel says


The Conservative Caucus is continuing to move toward a focus on fundamental Republican ideals, state Sen. Bill Eigel said while discussing the makeup of the Senate group following the August primary elections. 

“Like anything in the Senate, you’ll have some folks that want to be public about their joining the Conservative Caucus or not, but the reality is the number doesn’t matter,” he said. “The caucus is a philosophical group, and my takeaway from these primary results is that the theme in the chamber is a move towards the more founding principles of the Republican party.”

It’s been speculated that state Reps. Rick Brattin, Mike Moon, and Holly Rehder, who won their GOP primary elections for the state Senate, could be new additions to the caucus. 

Eigel appeared on Sunday’s episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” to discuss his campaign for reelection, voters’ recent decision to expand Medicaid coverage in Missouri, and the bills being considered during the special session on violent crime. 

“Not everything has gone according to plan, whether you’re the governor or the Senate or the House, but the reality is that we’re gonna pass some of these,” Eigel said. “There’s never a bad day to talk about law and order. I think Gov. Parson is spot on by doing anything he can do to bring attention to an issue that has plagued our largest urban center for decades, for generations. We’re seeing results in St. Louis city that now the state feels like it has to get involved to try to find ways to bring down the crime problem. People are leaving the area and crime is soaring in the area, and it’s a real indictment of the policies put in place by the leaders that have been elected in that area.”

Special session and schools

This week’s panel included state Rep. Tracy McCreery, attorney Sam Gladney, Liberty Alliance Executive Director Chris Vas, and Barklage Company President David Barklage. The panel discussed the special session, elections, local control, and the reopening of schools for the fall semester in the face of COVID-19.  

“The safe bet is to keep everybody home; that’s safe politically,” Barklage said. “But you hear so much from sociologists and psychiatrists, even from the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], that they believe we need to get kids back in school. I think unfortunately we are going to take a public policy issue and partisanize it, but I think the governor’s on the right track.”

“The fact that we have elected school boards is really important during this pandemic because a one-size-fits-all approach to schools opening does not work,” McCreery said. “What I would like to see is the administrations support the schools with additional things for cleaning and [personal protective equipment] and things like that. A lot of schools are struggling to pay for those.”   

Watch the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” below.