During their tenure, both Bill Clay Sr. and Lacy Clay Jr. have watched while policies they have supported have compounded the problems already being faced by the St. Louis area. Increased regulations and corporate taxes combined with strengthening labor unions have caused an unprecedented flow of population away from the city and even from the state. Factories have been moved out of the city, out of the county, and even to other states or other countries to avoid oppressive regulations. Some entire businesses have been shut down entirely in the aftermath of government bailouts that were designed to "save or create" jobs - just apparently not in St. Louis.
Yesterday I questioned why, in the face of such obvious need, Ed Martin would step outside his own desperate district to launch a campaign elsewhere. The answer is as depressing as it is simple: most people actually believe, politically speaking, that Missouri District 1 is a lost cause. They believed that Bill Clay was their only choice, and that Lacy Clay was the natural successor. They believe that anyone who would dare to launch a campaign against a Clay would be destined for a quick defeat, and thus far history has proved them right.
So what kind of man would launch such a campaign?
Martin Baker, for a start.
So who is Martin Baker? He would tell you he's just a regular guy who sees a need in his own hometown. He would tell you that he is standing up because someone needs to stand up against the liberal policies that are taking our city - and our nation - down the wrong path. He would tell you that he is standing up because his faith and his education have taught him that occasionally the little guy has to stand alone for a difference to be made. (Think David and Goliath...)
But don't be fooled into thinking that Martin Baker is the "little guy." He is a fixture in St. Louis conservative circles, and co-founder of Move-On-Up.org, a social network for African American conservatives. He is a former Navy Seal (And he is probably yelling at me through his computer for telling you that) who looks at his time in service as something he owed his country rather than a feather in his own cap.
And please don't make the mistake of thinking that he is standing alone.