Best Lightning Rod - 2011
State Senator Jim Lembke
The ire directed at Jim Lembke over the past twelve months hit its zenith in March after the Republican from south county characterized the unemployed as lazy freeloaders. "People need to get off their backsides and get a job," said Lembke, arguing to reject federal long-term jobless benefits for Missourians out of work. "Maybe they'll have to get two jobs or three jobs to make ends meet, but they need to quit stealing from their neighbors." Prior to that, the state senator angered many St. Louisans by arguing against local control of the police force. "St. Louis has not earned the responsibility," Lembke pronounced. So, what's it like being such a firebrand? "I believe it's the job of the states to hold the federal government's feet to the fire," responds Lembke. "I know some of my positions have not been popular, but I'm a firm believer that people are best protected when government moves slowly and deliberately and spends within its means." For those who don't like it, there's always the next election. "That's what is great about our democracy. Ultimately the people decide," says Lembke, who won office in 2008 by just 70 votes.