Since publishing the original Wall of Shame, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback. As you can imagine, some were glad that those who failed Missourians on the veto override of HB253 were identified. Others, not so much! 🙂
One of the pieces of feedback I received was why all the people who had either changed their vote or voted NO after being absent on the first vote were not listed? After reviewing that question, I discovered that Representative Steve Hodges was left off the original Wall of Shame. I’ve corrected that oversight.
The three who originally voted NO on HB253 –Gannon, Hampton and Fowler – at least remained consistent. Their assessment of the bill was in error but at least they stayed the course. We can’t say the same thing for the other 15 members of the Wall of Shame.
It’s been interesting to watch the side-step shuffle some of the people on the wall are doing in justifying their vote. As a former legislator and member of the leadership team – someone who has stood tall in the arena – what I’m seeing is the second verse of the same old song and dance routine.
The most often repeated line is “I voted my district”. Nine out of ten times when someone tells you that after they have taken a vote such as the one in question it’s not entirely accurate but it sounds good.
What they are really saying is that they were afraid of the vocal minority comprised of the rent seekers in their districts. The rent seekers are those who benefit from taking from the taxpayers and redistributing to them. What would you expect to hear from those with their hands in the taxpayers’ pockets?
Rent seekers pretend to be a force. They aren’t. Their only power is that given to them by those on the Wall. Any of the representatives on the Wall really know that but may not be able to objectively acknowledge it.
I don’t hold a personal grudge against anyone on the Wall. There are some fine folks on it. I certainly believe they made the wrong decision when casting their vote. I also believe that they should have no problem answering for that vote.
The bottom line is that everyone on the Wall of Shame negotiated with and paid the ransom to the hostage taker – Governor Nixon. He was the only one cutting education, senior services, mental health, etc. Instead of standing up to the bully, the hostage taker, they capitulated. What these representatives did was to encourage future bullying and hostage situations.
It’s been suggested to me that by identifying and educating people about who was responsible for the failure to override HB253 could cause problems in the future. That some of these representatives may not be willing to vote on certain things as a result of such things as the Wall of Shame.
I would like to believe that’s not true as that in and of itself would be shameful. But it would also be further evidence that any representative who votes against the right thing because of personal grudges is unworthy of holding an office of public trust.