Your Opinion: District elections urged
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Gov. Nixon should allow elections in the four districts with open seats.
According to Bostonian lawyer and legislator, James Otis, “taxation without representation is tyranny.” Most will associate the phrase with the Boston Tea Party, however, we can just as readily say that since four legislative districts in our state have vacancies the statement is as true today as it was before the revolution.
Missouri’s Constitution says, in Article III, Section 14, that Gov. Nixon has the sole responsibility to issue writs of election to fill vacancies in the General Assembly. State Statute RSMo § 21.110 requires the governor to issue “writs of election” to fill such vacancies “without delay,” once he is notified of the vacancy.
Even though Gov. Nixon has been made aware of the vacancies, the 120th, formerly held by Congressman Jason Smith, has been empty for about seven months. In addition, representative districts 67, 151, and Senate district 22 are also vacant. Who is working for and representing the residents of these districts?
Recently a lawsuit has been filed against the governor for his in action (and disregard for the MO Constitution.) The suit contends that the governor has been derelict in his duty, and has violated the law, affecting nearly 300,000 citizens.
Kudos to those involved in bringing the suit, but who will absorb the cost of the action? The short answer is, you will! Your taxes pay the salaries of the governor, attorney general (and his staff who will defend the governor’s inaction).
Those bringing the suit, though, will pay double: out of their own pockets to pay the attorneys working for them and through taxation to pay for the state attorneys working against them. Truly this is “taxation without representation.”
In the words of Wallace Shawn, who played Vizzini in the movie, The Princess Bride, “inconceivable!”
I was elected to office in a special election last April 2. Gov. Nixon acted accordingly (to the Constitution) when he issued a writ of election on Jan. 17, 2013.
Contact the governor: Tell him to schedule an election to fill these seats post-haste!