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Your Opinion: Missouri come CLEAN

Your Opinion: Missouri come CLEAN

June 18th, 2017 by Barbara Ross, Jefferson City in Opinion

Dear Editor:

Missourians have undertaken a project of immense importance and that requires herculean effort, but is entirely worthy of our support. The CLEAN Missouri initiative seeks to put democracy, transparency, and trust back into political campaigns and state governance. CLEAN Mo. would wrest power from the hands of the wealthy and corporations whose political influence peddling has shattered public trust in government, destroying any semblance of the common good, replacing it with graft, gratuitousness, and kowtowing to wealthy campaign donors and corporate interests.

Hear the words of Republican legislators describe the treachery, bribery and threats under which they have had to operate.

The St. Joseph News Press reported Rep. Galen Higdon, R-St. Joseph, said, on the record, he will not be running for the open state Senate seat for Buchanan and Platte Counties next year, "I wouldn't go back (to Jefferson City) if they paid me three times the amount (of a legislator's salary) I'm finished with them. All of the lying, the bribery, the threats, all of the big money going into our state is doing nothing but ruining it."

Other Republicans also are outraged at the big money, big lobbyist influence in Missouri government and are speaking out about their firsthand experiences.

Sen. Ryan Silvey, R-KC, said, "The facts are (Senate President Ron Richard) received large contributions. He filed legislation that would dismiss a lawsuit against the people who made those contributions."

Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, condemned corrupt policy making in Mo. saying: "The whole idea of it is you give me something, I give you somethingit's understood."

A billionaire spent big to attack former Rep. Sheila Solon, R-Blue Springs, in an August primary after she voted to protect constituents' interests, she voiced outrage saying: "I do think we need to do something about caps on contributions at this point in time, we have people who want to run statewide that are courting the favor of billionaires so they can get a million dollar check. And folks like, we make 35,000 a year. You're going to be threatened with your job, if you don't do what a billionaire wants you to do. You should represent the folks who elected you."

We can have authentic campaign finance and open government on the ballot, but Missouri citizens must act now — join the CLEAN Mo. legislative reform effort:

Issue-oriented letters to are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words in length; longer letters may be edited to conform to the specified length. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published.