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City sheriff joins those taking aim at Carnahan's pro-cap-and-trade vote

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 1, 2009 - Bad enough that Gov. Jay Nixon's favorite local bakery is posting an angry sign blasting the U.S. House's vote last week in favor of the cap-and-trade energy bill that many say will lead to higher fuel bills.

Now, St. Louis Sheriff Jim Murphy is circulating copies of a disparaging editorial in the Wall Street Journal, and calling on readers to "call your senators to vote against this legislation."

Among their targets is the congressman whose district includes McArthur Bakery and the sheriff's home: U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis. He was among those voting in favor of the bill, which was strongly backed by President Barack Obama.

The bakery has posted a sign condemning Carnahan's vote, while one of its executives, David McArthur, apparently sent the congressman a letter that's now circulating among the bill's critics -- which include conservative blogs. McArthur did not return a call seeking comment.

Two weeks ago, the governor stopped by the bakery to sign a jobs bill and stock up on some sweets for his staff.

Murphy, a fellow Democrat and the 12th Ward's committeeman, he still supports Carnahan. But Murphy said he is concerned that his party's members of the U.S. House -- who overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill -- could be putting themselves in a touchy political spot.

"I'm upset with all of them,'' Murphy said in an interview this morning. "It's a terrible piece of legislation."

The bill in question seeks to reduce polluting energy emissions by setting limits (cap), and requiring those companies who need a higher limit to purchase credits (trade) from companies that pollute less.

Murphy said he sent the editorial "just to five or six friends,'' and was not out to make a big political statement. But it's now circulating in both parties' circles -- especially since Murphy sent it in an envelope with the return address of "Sheriff Jim Murphy."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Carnahan said today that he has gotten a lot of e-mails and phone calls since last week's vote. "But it's been mixed,'' said press secretary Jim Hubbard, with some praising Carnahan and others blasting him.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.