Contact Us


« Wednesday in The Star's Ed pages | Main | It's my third party and I'll cry if I want to »

August 01, 2006



The meanness on one side, the mock indignation on the other, the making mountains out of molehills on both . . . at least with children it's somewhat understandable.

Disgusting. How low will the GOP sink?

Just another perfect example of "compassionate conservatism." What arrogant and insensitive jacka$$es.

Mike Flaherty will protect the tax payers of the 10th District. As your next State Senator Mike will take the fight to Jefferson City and bring our share of state money home!

Check him out at

Hey, Mike Flaherty, you have posted the same message on numerous threads. You are not helping your campaign at all. In fact, I would be inclinded NOT to vote for you simply because you posted here.

Go find another avenue for free PR.


So if I understand this correctly, the McCaskill campaign provides proof they filed their report in a timely manner and MRP/Talent campaign accuses McCaskill of "hiding behind the unfortunate death of a staffer"?


I seem to remember the MRP firing a spokesperson for calling McCaskill a "cheap hooker". I wonder how long until the MRP/Talent Campaign discipline Sloca???



Both sides are trying to take as much advantage of the situation as possible. Its called hardball politics. The sad thing is that it does nothing to advance the debate on issues.

I tend to believe that while the issue was fair game, it shouldnt be a core part of the campaign unless the report completely disappears. This is a tempest in a teapot and should be treated as such.

I tend to agree with the line that the democrats are using the death of a staffer as a shield regarding the situation. The question is, how important is this? Why is the GOP driving so hard on the issue? Would the media be as so forgiving if the rolls were reversed?

I believe that the staffer's death should be left out of the discussion and if there is an issue with the FEC filing it should be discussed outside of the context. I mean, if it was sent and everything is okay, why all the screaming? It makes me, an outsider, wonder if there is somthing to the GOP talk.


I am posting this response to each thread related to this issue:

Just to clarify some things there, Bob. The finance report has been proven that it was mailed on time (i.e: postmark and proper receipt of such). The issue that I point out here is that neither the McCaskill campaign nor Claire herself can be held responsible for the slowness of the U.S. mail system. You seem to be implying otherwise.

Also, note the timeline of events here:

MONDAY, July 31st: McCaskill campaign issues a statement regarding the death of Ms. Berridge, the COMPLIANCE DIRECTOR.

TUESDAY, August 1st: The MO GOP releases baseless attack on the supposed late finance report filing from the McCaskill COMPLIANCE DIRECTOR.

Do we really need to explain any more to you and the other moronic Repugs on here why this was in such bad taste and utterly disgusting of the MO GOP? Come on.


As we near this essential election, I would like to sum up what transpired during this offensive and revealing incident. I am Melissa Berridge's niece, Jessica, and I witnessed these events firsthand.

On July 24th, my aunt Melissa Berridge, Compliance Director for the McCaskill campaign, completed and mailed an important report, expertly continuing the 99% disclosure rating (compared to Talent's mediocre 85%). Five days later, on July 29th, she died in a sky-diving plane crash. The members of my family who don't live in Missouri rushed there to grieve, make arrangements, and attempt the impossible task of saying goodbye to Missy when it was far too late. On Monday, July 31st, we went to the crash site, her apartment, and her place of employment. We spoke with Claire McCaskill for over an hour, and she exhibited sensitivity, warmth, and genuine sympathy for our loss. She had already issued a brief, tasteful press release regarding the accident. She comforted us with stories about Missy's hard work and successful use of chocolate as an office icebreaker, and gave us a thoughtful gift of framed photographs of Missy. Just before we left her campaign office, the Talent campaign sent over a condolence letter, expressing sympathy at McCaskill's loss of "a dedicated staff member", and to us, Missy's family. We were touched, and deeply appreciated all of these gestures.

The next day, August 1, just after a painful viewing of Missy's body, and at a time when we were hurting so very much, we were stunned to learn that Paul Sloca, the spokesman for the Missouri Republican Party, had issued a press release stating that the incompetent McCaskill campaign had failed to submit the important FEC compliance report. Their attack was based on a common FEC warning that the report had not yet been received, and that the campaign "may have failed" to submit. McCaskill immediately refuted the charge with solid proof of meeting the deadline. My uncle Jim called the MOGOP (who answered the phone "Hello, Jim Talent for Senator"), and asked that the premature, false, and EXTREMELY INSENSITIVE press release be taken off of the MOGOP website. They got around to it the next day, though they were now saying that Claire's campaign was using my aunt's death as a shield ( For what? There was NO late filing! ). By this time we were incensed, and asked for an apology. Sloca told my uncle that there would be no apology from the MOGOP or Talent, and no retraction. Nothing. They considered that taking the smear off of their website was good enough. We persisted, and the story even made local news ( ). They still said NO.

We were furious. We are the kind of people who believe that when you hurt other people (even when it's an "accident" or they're on another team), you ALWAYS apologise, and do whatever you can to make it right. Paul Sloca, the MOGOP, and their succored candidate Jim Talent, did not behave in an ethical manner. These are not good people.

None of the possible rationales for this behaviour are acceptable. Are we to believe that the MOGOP don't read every press release issued by their political opponent? Of course they do. McCaskill issued a press release on July 31 explicitly stating that Melissa Berridge, Compliance Director, died in a plane crash on July 29th. Talent sending that condolence letter proves that his people saw the press release. The very next day the MOGOP issued their triumphant accusation. Now, either they did it knowing full well that McCaskill's Compliance Director had just died (of course they did), or they simply did a VERY sloppy job checking their facts (regarding both the supposed offense and the individual responsible) before they deliberately inflated the story in their gleeful press release. While the second scenario isn't quite as morally repulsive as the first, neither is very impressive as decent human conduct or leadership. And even disregarding how tasteless the timing of this particular distortion of truth was, the fact that they would mislead the public at all calls all of their subsequent negative campaigning into question.

But the capper to all of this is the fact that they would NOT apologise, issue a retraction, or even express the minimum regret that such a PR "accident" occurred. Talent, the MOGOP, and other elected Republicans seem pathologically incapable of admitting that they are wrong. This press release was a foolish,unethical thing to do, and their follow-up was even worse. But they couldn't express regret or make amends, because that would be an admission of negligence or wrong-doing. They put their hubris and prestige ahead of genuine compassion for my family- decent hardworking Americans, many of whom are civil servants or served in the Armed Forces. We never did anything to deserve this, and neither did my aunt Melissa.

I loved my aunt very much, and I will miss her intelligent warmth, mischievous humor, and adventurous spirit for the rest of my life. Missy truly believed that Claire McCaskill was the superior moral choice, and based on the mean-spirited circumstances immediately following Missy's death, I have to agree.

Now, McCaskill's people are demanding an apology from the GOP and from Republican Sen. Jim Talent for the "insensitive...baseless" attack.

John Kerry our troops are demanding an apology!

The comments to this entry are closed.