JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A rodeo clown has performed for the first time since a controversial State Fair rodeo act that mocked President Barack Obama.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling hammed it up for the crowd during a pro bull riding event Friday in Jefferson County.
Beforehand, Gessling said everything has been very overwhelming and that he's surprised people took offense to the politically themed skit. It featured another clown wearing an Obama mask, while Gessling made comments — including "We're gonna stomp Obama" — to the crowd.
Gessling says the skit had been performed before, and that several past presidents' faces were placed in similar scenarios. Gessling had other shows scheduled between his State Fair and Jefferson City appearances, but they were canceled.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Top Missouri Republicans are looking for ways to ensure greater party loyalty after a supermajority in the GOP-led House recently failed to enact an income tax cut.
Meeting Saturday in Kansas City, the Missouri Republican State Committee proposed a new requirement for candidates registering to run as Republicans. They would be asked to sign a statement saying: "I have read, understand and fundamentally support the platform of the Missouri Republican Party."
Supporters of the measure noted that tax cuts ought to be a central Republican philosophy.
Fifteen Republican House members defected from party leaders this week to help sustain Democratic Governor Jay Nixon's veto of an income tax cut. Some echoed his concerns about the effect on education funding.
The GOP committee took no action Saturday on the proposed policy.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rookie James Paxton gave up two hits in six shutout innings and the Seattle Mariners ended a five-game losing streak, beating St. Louis 4-1 Saturday night and dropping the Cardinals into a first-place tie in the NL Central.
St. Louis and Pittsburgh share the division lead once again. The Pirates topped the Cubs 2-1.
The Cardinals mustered only three hits, including Matt Carpenter's league-leading 50th double in the eighth. He later scored on a wild pitch by Charlie Furbush.
Franklin Gutierrez hit a two-run double in the fifth inning that ended St. Louis rookie Michael Wacha's scoreless streak at 23 2-3 innings. Kendrys Morales hit his 22nd homer in eighth off Tyler Lyons to make it 3-0.
The St. Louis hitters have been struggling all week, and they never got going at all against the 24-year-old Paxton (2-0), who limited them to a pair of singles.
The first was by Wacha (3-1) in the third when Paxton came off the bag to field a tapper and then slipped and fell, losing his grip.
The Cardinals managed three hits in seven scoreless innings to start the weekend series against the Mariners before winning 2-1 in 10 innings. They broke up no-hit bids in the sixth against Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada, winning both games while taking two of three from the Brewers.
Paxton struck out five and walked two. He won his major league debut a week ago against Tampa Bay, allowing an earned run in six innings.
Danny Farquhar finished for his 14th save in 16 chances.
Wacha struck out five in his seventh career start but also walked four in five innings.
Mariners pitchers were 0 for 20 with 13 strikeouts at the plate this year before Wacha walked Paxton on four pitches in the fifth to put runners on first and second with none out, setting up Gutierrez's double.
Seattle leadoff man Brad Miller was removed with a mild left hamstring strain after running out a sacrifice bunt in the fifth. Replacement Carlos Triunfel had a sacrifice fly in the ninth off Fernando Salas.
NOTES: Yadier Molina, who threw out two runners attempting to steal in the same inning Friday, was the first Cardinals C to do that since manager Mike Matheny on May 1, 2001, at Florida. Matheny said he didn't remember the occasion, but added, "You don't normally get that many opportunities unless you're stinking, or else your pitcher's just giving you no chance."
LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) — Whether they think he got away with murdering 17-year-old Trayvon Martin or was just a neighborhood watch volunteer "standing his ground," many Americans can't seem to get enough of George Zimmerman. And he can't seem to stop giving it to them.
So it's hardly surprising that everything Zimmerman does produces a Twitterverse explosion and spins into heavy news coverage. Comedian Deon Cole nailed it when he said being found not guilty doesn't make Zimmerman a free man.
He certainly hasn't been free from the spotlight. He's been stopped for speeding and toured the factory where the pistol from the shooting was made. This week, Zimmerman was handcuffed in the street after an alleged scuffle with his estranged wife and father-in-law.
Crisis management expert Mark McClennan calls the pattern of fame a two-way street.