To the editor: Missouri’s House of Representatives has demonstrated an arrogance of power that sends a clear message to the 62 percent of Missouri voters who asked them to conduct public business – their business and ours – in public. It is clear that they do not represent the majority of the state’s voters. Who do they represent?
State representatives voted Thursday to ignore the ethics reform provisions of the Clean Missouri initiative approved by Missouri voters in November’s general election.
The state’s Open Meetings and Open Records law is Missourians’ first protection against official incompetence and corruption. What does it tell us when the Legislature’s Republican-led House says we do not deserve such protection? Why did members vote to give the state’s lawmakers leave to exempt themselves from accountability? What is in their public records that the public doesn’t have a right to see?
Consistent with such an arrogant attitude, the vote to ignore the will of the public was done by a voice vote. Individual votes cannot be tracked. The result is a secret vote.Voters in each Missouri’s House district who believe their will should be done should insist that their own lawmaker make a public, yes public, vow to abide by the ethics reform provisions of the Clean Missouri initiative – or be prepared to accept unwelcome action the next time they seek re-election.
Frank L. Martin