Michael E. Carter

Candidate For Missouri Lieutenant Governor

POKIN AROUND: Attracted by obscurity
 

By Steve Pokin

Michael Carter, a St. Charles attorney, wants to be your next lieutenant governor and he also wants you to know, right now, that you'd better visit his Web site if you don't want to receive the dozen or so automated voice messages he plans to send you.

Carter plans to bombard voters across the state with 50 million automated phone calls delivered by robo-dialing between now and the Aug. 5 Democratic primary.

If you think all those automated calls might be a bit, well, annoying, he suggests you visit his Web site, www.Vote4Carter.com, to escape the robo-Carter blitz.

To me, this seemed a strange way to run a campaign.

"I would say that I'm actually reaching out to the public in a public-relations way," Carter said. "If they have concerns about it - I have not started them yet - let me know and maybe I can get you off the rotating calls that we will make."

He promises to respect state and federal no-call lists, even though, he says, as a purveyor of political speech he doesn't have to.

Carter is a real estate attorney. You've probably seen his law practice billboard at Fifth Street and Boone's Lick Road in St. Charles. He also teaches business courses with a focus on marketing and public relations at the University of Missouri at St. Louis. He lives in St. Peters.

Why not lower your sights? I suggested. After all, I said, I don't want to take the wind from your sails, but you've never actually won an election yet. Why not run for St. Peters alderman?

"It doesn't excite me," he said. "It is sort of the way some people like blue better than green."

Carter, 36, has tried three times to win office since he graduated from the University of Missouri law school in May 2004.

Before he even passed the bar he filed to run as a Democrat for circuit judge in St. Charles County, challenging Republican Nancy Schneider in Division 2.

Matt Blunt, then Secretary of State, disqualified Carter from appearing on the August 2004 primary ballot because Carter wasn't a practicing lawyer yet.

As a result, Carter had to run as a write-in candidate.

Schneider gathered 108,240 votes.

Carter gathered 18.

And the St. Charles County Election Authority had the audacity to state that Schneider captured 100 percent of the vote.

Carter did considerably better two years later in another bid for circuit judge, losing to Rick Zerr in Division 4. This time Carter claimed 52,059 votes, or 43 percent.

And then in April 2007, Carter was in a four-way race for municipal judge in St. Peters. He finished second with 17 percent of the vote. Incumbent Donald Kohl won with 50 percent.

I asked Carter why he chose to run for lieutenant governor.

"The lieutenant governor's race is pretty obscure," he said.

He mentioned what Thomas Eagleton, who rose to U.S. Senator, once said about the post of Missouri lieutenant governor that he had held. It was good for "watching the Missouri River flow by," Eagleton said.

"I don't know if the best advertising campaign on Earth can make the voters care about the office of lieutenant governor," Carter said.

As such, he said, it's an office that he just might be able to "slip into" without spending more than the $50,000, tops, of his own money that he might put into this race.

That way, he said, if he wins he won't owe his soul to large campaign donors.

Carter said that if elected, he would fulfill the duties of the office, such as advocating for senior citizens. In addition, he would continue the efforts of incumbent Peter Kinder to promote the "Tour of Missouri" bicycle race. Carter said he would also try to expand the duties of the office to see if he could do anything to help raise teachers' salaries.

"But I just don't want to tell anybody that the office is going to make huge inroads," he said.

To file for statewide office, Carter and other candidates had to pay $200, provide proof of identity and present a signed statement that he or she does not owe taxes.

Filing opened Feb. 26 and closes at 5 p.m. Monday, March 25.

Carter was one of five to file on the first day. No one has filed since.

On the Democratic side there's Carter and state Rep. Sam Page, a doctor and former Creve Coeur councilman first elected to the House in 2002.

On the Republican side is Kinder and Paul Douglas Sims of Lecoma. The Libertarian candidate is Teddy Fleck.

In Carter's view, whoever wins the Democratic primary is a shoe-in to win the general election in November.

The key to Carter's campaign, as mentioned, is automated calling. In 2006 Carter, with the help of students, resurrected a time and temperature phone number that had been dormant since 2002. The number had been sponsored by a series of banks for 39 years.

If you call it you'll get the time and temperature. You'll also get Carter telling you he's running for lieutenant governor and you can visit his Web site if you don't want to hear his automated voice in the near future.

He said the number gets about 10,000 calls a day.

Carter said he can afford to make his estimated 50 million automated calls because of his expertise and connections in telecommunications. He said he has the know-how to pay a couple thousand dollars for a robo-dialing result that might cost someone else 10 times more.

Carter said he's in the race to stay, despite being urged by Democrats to drop out and instead run against Tom Dempsey in the state Senate.

"Anyone can run for office in Missouri if they can make it to Jefferson City and pay the filing fee," Page, his opponent, said. "I wish him well."

Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Democratic Party, said Friday that the party does not back candidates in primaries. But Cardetti said Page seems to be in a better financial position to unseat Kinder.

According to reports on file with the Missouri Ethics Commission, Kinder has raised $858,278 and Page $664,414.

Carter said he didn't file a report because he hasn't yet received a campaign contribution and, thus far, hasn't spent any of his own money.

He thanked me for my interest.

"Although I think I've probably dug myself a hole that I won't be able to get out of," he said.




 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paid for by Mike Carter

 
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Who is Michael Carter?

Michael Carter is a Senior Lecturer for the University of Missouri System who knows first hand the importance and impact of Missouri educators on our youth.

What Has Michael Done?

Michael has worked for the Missouri Attorney General's Office, Missouri Western District Court of Appeals, United States Senate, major Missouri corporations, his real estate law firm, and the University of Missouri.

How Can We Provide a Real Voice for Missouri's Seniors?

Too much lip service is given to helping senior citizens across our state and country.  One certainty is that "Baby Boomers" do not consider themselves "senior citizens" in the traditional sense.  They will dictate new ways for government to deal with their needs.  Not only do Baby Boomers control much wealth and represent a very large swath of the general population, they are very aware of the moneys they've contributed to government.

How is It That Veterans Have Put Up With the System for This Long?

Michael's grandfather served many years in WWII and, now, must travel over 100 miles to receive the care he rightfully earned when serving his country. 

Help Michael Become Your Lt. Governor

If you're so inclined, drop us a line and help with the effort.