Protests and Petitions

There was a Humane Day at the state capital yesterday. I should have posted a note before the event, but I got caught up in the fooflah surrounding Governor Nixon’s “generosity”.

As noted in the news story, SB 113 not only guts Proposition B but also undermines existing enforcement. The bill uses tricky wording to make it seem as if it is improving enforcement, when what it is doing is adding additional layers of complexity.

I love the comment by Representative Loehner:

“I understand this is a very emotional issue on both sides,” Loehner said pointing to the lengthy hearings his Agriculture Committee had on House legislation and the Senate bill. He has six or seven dog breeders in his district some of whom were forced out of the hog business by slumping pork prices. “They are animal people; they know how to take care of them,” he said.

Yes, because there’s absolutely no difference between a hog raised for meat and a dog raised to produce puppies as pets. And these people call themselves experts in animals? If they failed at hog farming, that demonstrates they’ll do well as dog breeders?

So much for people who say they love dogs, but see them as nothing more than produce: minimize costs, maximize profits. This is the definition of a puppy mill.

(I also have recordings of Loehner and others as they argue on the House floor for Constitutional Amendment ballot items that basically seek to deny us the right to bring about initiatives such as Proposition B. More on these later.)

The rest of the story also highlights something we suspected: that urban representatives are trading away the vote of the people in their districts in order to get something they want from the rural representatives. This kind of political mechanization is inherently dishonest. Worse, most of the deal making is probably to support corporate interests, rather than the interests of the voters. Neither voters, nor dogs, really seem to matter to most of the elected officials in this state.

There is another story, though, that came out yesterday and that should give us some hope: the announcement of Voter Protection Alliance. This is an effort to put an initiative on the 2012 ballot that will add a Constitutional Amendment stating that citizen initiative bills can only be modified by a 3/4 vote of the General Assembly. No longer could a simple majority of representatives overturn the will of the people with ease, as Missouri representatives have done this legislative session. Perhaps, for once, the voice of the people can be heard over the dropping of coins into campaign coffers from big business.

I’ve already signed up to gather signatures. I hope others join me, because we have a long road to walk to ensure a decent life for animals—and voters—in Missouri.

Critters Legal, Laws, and Regs

This isn’t the end

I listened to, and recorded, the “debate” on SB 113 in the House today.

First, my thanks for those brave souls who suffered the indignities heaped on them by Representative Loehner, aided and abetted by Tilley. I’ll have the folks’ names as soon as I can decipher who said what from the recording. I’ll also post all of the recordings I have—though be forewarned, you’ll need a strong stomach to listen to them.

This is not the end. We still have the possibility of a Nixon veto. Well, OK, the possibility is slight: after all, the politicians in this state are more afraid of the Missouri Farm Bureau than the voters. Still, we can only be pleasantly surprised—read that “astounded”—at this point. Whether I vote for Nixon again is based on his actions in regards to SB 113. I have no patience for people who trade either dogs or our votes for political gain. It is just that simple.

If Prop B fails, if all our leaders let us down, then we’ll start over with a citizen referendum that overturns SB 113. But next time, we’ll also have the companion initiative that adds a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting the state representatives from modifying the bill without a 3/4 majority vote. Such an amendment would have killed SB 113 in the Senate.

We also have two other ballot items we’ll have to fight: HJR 3, which creates a ballot item to create a Constitutional Amendment to protect agriculture from any new laws regarding livestock enacted by the citizens of the state; and HJR 5, which attempts to do the same about hunting and fishing. It’s time that we remind certain folks in Missouri that they have to play by the same rules as the rest of us.

We will be heard. One way or another, we will be heard.


The Reps who voted against their districts

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

The Jefferson City News Tribune has a list of the votes for SB 113 in the House.

I’m focusing on those from Yes on B districts who voted to gut Proposition B by voting for SB 113.


My old friend, TJ Berry, who I got into a back and forth with last week, came out for SB 113. I’m not surprised by his action: he was just playing games when he talked about “compromise”. Since his district voted for Proposition B by 57.1%, tell him what you think of his “compromise” in the next election.

John Diel came from a St. Louis district that voted for Proposition B by 61.4%! I wonder what he got in order to betray the people in his district so heavily.

Kurt Bahr’s district supported Proposition b by 61.7%. So, Rep. Bahr, are you saying that 61.7% of your district is too stupid to know how to vote?

Paul Curtman let down the 54.7% of the people in his district that voted for Proposition b.

Melissa Leach also let down the 51.5% of the people in her district.

Bill White also felt that 53.4% of the people of his district don’t really need representation, since he wasn’t really representing their interests.

Wow, Paul Wieland, you don’t think much of the 61.5% of the people in your community who voted for Proposition b, do you?

Doug Funderburk walked out on the 60.5% of the people in his St. Charles County community. Last I heard, the folks in St. Charles County don’t take kindly to elected officials disrespecting their votes.

John McCaherty also decided that he knows better than 62.8% of the people in his district. Why, if he’s so much smarter than they are, I’m sure they’re going to release him from his onerous obligation of pretending to support their interests in the next election.

Jerry Nolte came from a district that voted for Proposition b by 70%! More people voted for Proposition b in his district than voted for him. Think about that, Representative Nolte.

Noel Torpey from Independence. Rep. Torpey comes from a district that voted for Proposition b by 65.5%. In his promise to voters on his election site, he wrote:

I, Noel Torpey, pledge to give you a voice in the Missouri House of Representatives. I believe as Thomas Jefferson once said “The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government.” I will be walking door to door in your neighborhood soon. I look forward to meeting with you and hearing your thoughts on improving Missouri.

The will of the people… Yeah. Right.


Jamilah Nasheed, from St. Louis. Representative Nasheed comes from a district that voted for Proposition b by 80.8%. What the hell was she thinking? Hopefully, her district lets her know how they feel being spat on in the next election.

Though not as egregiously bad as Rep. Nasheed, Terry Swinger from Caruthersville comes from a district that supported Proposition b by 56.3%.

Those who were absent:


Chuck Gatschenberger let the 54% of the people in his district down by not showing up for the vote and not voting to support them.

Jeff Grisamore let down the 60.2% of the people in his district. I think we’re seeing a trend: only those who come from districts who supported Proposition b didn’t show up to even vote.

Yup, Dwight Scharnhorst didn’t show up for the vote and didn’t support the 64% of his district who supported Proposition b.

All three of these gentlemen were present for the previous bill’s vote.


I’m particularly disappointed in Steve Webb not voting. He comes from a district that voted for Proposition b by 72.2%. However, I note that he was missing from all votes that day.

Michael Brown from Kansas City was absent from the vote and his district supported Proposition b by 74.4%. Again, he was missing from all votes that day.

The same cannot be said for Linda Black, who was at the vote, but didn’t vote, and didn’t support the 58.7% of the people in her district that voted for Proposition b.

As I noted earlier: every single absent/non-voting representative came from a Proposition b district.


Official House Journal detailing the vote and the amendments offered.