Both Parties Agree – Film Festival Funding Faulty!

Yesterday’s Constitutionally mandated Veto Session didn’t produce any veto overrides but it did produce discussion on what a horrible idea it was to spend nearly $100,000 of borrowed federal stimulus money for the Show Me Social Justice Film Festival ! Democrats and Republicans alike agreed that it shouldn’t have happened and the state should get OUR money back!

The House attempted to override the Governor’s veto of House Bill 1903 dealing with the creation of a special fund to track new stimulus dollars coming to the state.  The attempt fell considerably short of the 109 necessary to override even though 149 representatives originally voted for the bill.

Rep Chris Kelly made a reasonable argument as to why the veto should not be overridden.  His argument gave his colleagues the cover they needed to flip flop on the vote.

However, during this discussion the use of stimulus dollars for a film festival was discussed on several occasions.  Here is what Rep Allen Icet, House Budget Chair, had to say about it.  Even one of the most liberal Democrat members of the Missouri House, Rep Jeff Roorda, supports getting the money back.

The question is, what are they going to do to make sure that happens?

Unfortunately, the bravado on the floor of the House yesterday about how the money was going to be returned doesn’t result in a deposit back to the state.  The rattling of sabers by the likes of Rep Roorda is likely more political grandstanding than interest in taking real action.

While I am very surprised to be writing this, Missouri Democrat legislative members who agreed that the stimulus funding for the film festival was bad idea should follow the lead of Jerry Brown, California Attorney General and candidate for Governor.  AG/Candidate Brown is suing eight current and former city officials in Bell, California, accusing them of defrauding taxpayers.

You may recall that a number of city officials were paying themselves big salaries.  The City Manager Robert Rizzo, was earning $787,637 a year in a town of about 35,000 people and where one in six people live in poverty.

A lot of people all over the country suddenly became interested in what their city employees were making.  United for Missouri is working on making that data readily available, searchable and on-line.

So, if a liberal California Attorney General can sue to try to reclaim the public’s money from those who acted inappropriately, what will liberal Democrats in Missouri’s legislature do to insure that what they claim they support — return of the public money from the film festival organizers — actually happens?

You can bet we will be watching and letting you know what they do if the state fails to follow through on its pledge to get OUR money back!

Carl Bearden
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