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Brooks' busy week 

Maggie Brooks was in the news a lot last week.

On the county executive front, her administration reached a tentative agreement with negotiators from a CSEA unit. The terms will be kept under wraps until union members have reviewed the agreement. Members must also ratify it before it goes into effect.

The unit represents approximately 1,900 county employees, including nurses, probation officers, clerical workers, and maintenance staff. They've been without a contract since 2008.

Union leaders recently began an ad campaign targeting Brooks, which was meant to kick start contract negotiations. A billboard along I-490 reads, "Maggie there is unfinished business in Monroe County," and directs people to a website, www.unfinished-biz.com.

Brooks also stepped into Congressional candidate mode last week to denounce Representative Todd Akin's comments about abortion. The Missouri Republican made an attention-grabbing — and thoroughly incorrect — remark about rape and pregnancy. That put GOP candidates across the country — Brooks included — under scrutiny for their attitudes about rape and their positions on abortion. Brooks met with the press to respond to the Akin controversy.

"It was a ridiculous statement," Brooks said about Akin's remark. "It was a stupid statement."

Brooks sought to distance herself from the extreme end of her party.

"I'm a pro-life Republican, but I certainly agree with abortion in the case of incest or if the mother's life is in danger or certainly rape," she said. "I mean, that's not an extreme view, and it's something I've been consistent about."

Brooks is running against Democratic incumbent Louise Slaughter for the 25th Congressional District seat.

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