Missouri Senate Primary: Contrasting Lucas Kunce And The Self-Funding Beer Heiress
Blue America starting running for 4 ads Missouri. All 4 are running statewide, targeting likely Democratic primary voters on Facebook and Instagram. There one above contrasts Lucas Kunce and his primary opponent, self-funding beer heiress from a billionaire family. As you can see in the ad, she’s not about anything and doesn’t really have anything to say. The St Louis Post Dispatch, in their fulsome endorsement of Kunce, noted that the heiress is “unprepared and unconvincing.” Still, all those millions of dollars she’s spending on TV and radio ads has her neck-and-neck with Kunce.
Her empty, shallow and pointless "message" will lose badly in a general election and polls that show Kunce tied with the top-polling Republican, show her losing by 9 points.
The second Blue America ad is just about Lucas and his campaign’s raison d’etre— re-balancing power to give working people a say in the country. “Make things in America” could be his campaign slogan. Watch:
If you’d like to help Blue America keep these ads up right through Election Day please contribute here. If you want to contribute directly to Lucas’ campaign, please give here.
Here’s the transcript of an interview KSDK just ran with Lucas yesterday:
To the extent any single member of Congress can influence the U.S. economy and labor market, what immediate steps would you take to reduce the cost of living burden Missourians face during this period of inflation?
Kunce: You know, the reason we have inflation right now is that we don't make things in America anymore, right. We have outsourced literally, literally everything you saw during the pandemic, the way we couldn't get semiconductors, we couldn't get all sorts of things that we needed.
You know, when I was at the Pentagon doing procurement, we had a study done that found that you can't make a single major weapons system without inputs from China. We can't be that reliant on someone else. We can't stop making things here. Right? When we don't do that and the supply chain gets strung so tight, there's a disruption like the pandemic. It just pops and the price of everything goes through the roof. So we need to do is we need to invest in America. We need to invest in production in America. And we actually need to do that not just for inflation, but also for our national security.
Missouri state law prohibits women and girls from seeking abortion procedures at any time during their pregnancy, regardless of circumstances involving rape, incest, or other unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. Would you support a similar law at the federal level? If not, then which women or girls should be allowed access to safe, legal abortion procedures?
Kunce: I support getting rid of the filibuster and codifying Roe versus Wade. Right. Like this law, you know, you're talking about the Missouri trigger law that was put into effect. No exceptions for rape or incest even like. That's crazy. That's crazy.
And the reason these Republicans, these country club Republicans were cool with passing that law is because it doesn't affect them. It doesn't affect them. Right. Because they have wealth. They have access. They have power. And if they or their family members need to get an abortion, they're just going to leave town and go out of state to go do it right. The people this affects are the people who grew up in or living in neighborhoods like the one that I grew up in, where we don't have wealth, we don't have access, we don't have the opportunity to do things that other folks have.
And so for me, you know, the current law as written, it creates a two-tiered system of rights where if you got wealth and power, you got one set of rights. And if you don't, you don't. That's what I saw when I deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan as a United States Marine. It's un-American, and the only way to fix it is by getting rid of the filibuster and codifying Roe versus Wade.
What specific policies or practices would you support from Congress that could directly improve safety and reduce violent crime in Missouri?
Kunce: What we need to do is invest in our country again. We need to invest in early childhood education, universal pre-K, afterschool programs. Like when I look at my old neighborhood when I was growing up, this neighborhood was a beautiful place. It was incredible, right? Like we were all broke. We were growing up paycheck to paycheck. Right. My mom's writing checks, checks at the grocery store, begging the manager not to cash until the end of the month. But it was a safe place and everyone could take care of each other. Now, because we don't invest in America anymore, we don't invest in our own neighborhoods.
I mean, I watched us spend $6.4 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan. Right? $6.4 trillion. We can't do anything close to that here. It's unbelievable. And it increases crime. It gives people fewer opportunities and it leaves places like my old neighborhood just destroyed. Right. The corner store where my little sister and I used to take a ten cent break time refill cup to get refilled with Mountain Dew for my mom. That shut down right now because it's been robbed so many times that they can't keep it open. The house I grew up in, you know, it's boarded up and it's because we don't make investments in our communities.
What do you perceive as the single greatest threat to American democracy and how would you address it in Congress?
Kunce: It's financiers buying off our politicians and stripping our communities for parts. We don't even own a lot of our own farmland anymore right here in Missouri. You know, our biggest pork producer, Smithfield, they're owned by China. We don't control our own food supply.
Many of our industries have been shipped overseas. It's an American tragedy. It's a threat to democracy because people are dissatisfied. It hurts them. They can't have the standard of living that they deserve and that they've earned.
You know, we have good, hardworking Americans who've lost their jobs because people have shipped things overseas and they're furious and they're rightfully furious. We don't we like we just don't have the capability to do anything anymore.
It hurts democracy. It hurts national security. And it leaves us in a position we're going to be reliant on authoritarian governments like China going forward, and they have no interest in promoting democracy here or anywhere else.
To what extent do fossil fuels contribute to the changing climate? To what extent should Congressional action attempt to alter that trajectory?
Kunce: So I wrote down this in-depth a little while ago before I was in this campaign, I worked at the Pentagon. And we have study after study out of the Pentagon actually from many administrations, Bush administration, Obama administration, Trump administration, even that show that climate change is one of the greatest national security threats that we have right now.
And so what I saw and I saw this even when I was doing work at the Pentagon, you know, I was doing arms control negotiations with NATO and Russia. This was after Russia had invaded Georgia in 2008, after Russia had invaded Ukraine in 2014. So they already invaded two of their neighbors. And I would go over to our allies and I would talk to them in Brussels, and I would say, look, here's the intelligence these guys are building up there, violating all their treaties. We need you to do something about it. And you know what? They repeatedly wouldn't do something about it because they were hooked on Russian gas.
They actually got more reliant on Russian gas from 2014 onward. And now we're seen by that as a war in Europe that's been funded entirely by their purchase of that gas when if America had done something instead, which is invest in the next generation of energy technology right here in our own country, create a bunch of good jobs, export that energy. We could have defunded Putin a long time ago. And now Western Europe is looking at, oh, boy, we made a real mistake buying all this gas from Russia.
What's the next generation of energy going to look like? They're not looking to the United States. They're looking to China. And so we are essentially going to replace Putin and the Saudis and some multinational corporations with China for our energy. It's not good. It's bad for America. It's bad for the climate. It's bad for our country. It's bad for our national security.
Public polling shows most Americans believe the U.S. Supreme Court has become too political. What reforms, if any, should Congress take to reshape or reimagine the makeup or behavior of the court?
Kunce: It's not apolitical right. It is a legislative body of nine people who are appointed for life to make legislative decisions now, for us. I think that's wrong. I think we need to take power away from the Supreme Court. And the first thing we need to do is we need to start legislating in a way that we have clear laws that support human rights, support our constitutional rights, and just take away that court's ability to determine what our rights are going to be or not going to be.
Which Constitutional amendment is your favorite and why?
Kunce: Well, you brought up my military service before, which I'm very proud of, right. And I'm really thankful that in that time the Third Amendment was in place. So I didn't get put in a bunch of random people's houses whenever I was stationed somewhere. Somewhere, right. So that's kind of fun.
But seriously, like, they're all important and we need people in Congress who are going to support them. We need to make sure that they're strong. We need to make sure that we're not relying on the Supreme Court to determine, you know, what sort of human rights we all have.
What is your favorite movie, most influential book, and go-to genre of music?
Kunce: For movie. I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy. So, you know, for me as a kid who grew up in Missouri with no money, family went bankrupt from medical bills. It was a story about how, you know, someone small, someone insignificant can change the world. And that's what we're doing on this U.S. Senate campaign. Like it's about someone who is dedicated to service. I've spent my entire life in service. Thirteen years in the Marine Corps. Iraq. Afghanistan. Arms control negotiations with Russia. I want to continue that here.
When I was a kid and we were going through our hardest times, I remember my mom reading Dr. Seuss books to me. So, you know, The Lorax, The Butter Battle Book, the whole suite of those. And so for me, you know, I have a 6-year-old, a 9-year-old right now. I love reading those of them as kids. And it's just it's a really personal thing for me. And I like those books.
Country man, but classic country. So a classic country is my jam. Don Williams, Merle Haggard. It's what I grew up listening to. It's what I love to this day.