Documents Legal, Laws, and Regs

The money game

One of the problems I kept running into when preparing stories for this site is the fact that Missouri’s Department of Agriculture seems to have abysmal data systems. Every Sunshine Law request, no matter how small, exceeded whatever amount of money I had set as a cap for the request.

Now it would seem the same problem occurs elsewhere in state government. When asked about Lt. Governor Kinder’s calendar, journalists were first told the entries were not available. Later, though, it was discovered that the entries were available, but the cost would be well over several thousand dollars in order to get the information.

I had turned in a Sunshine Law violation complaint to the Attorney General’s office and was told by the person who responded that my main concern seemed to be not that the information wasn’t available, but that the cost was too high. According to the AG office rep, high cost to access the information does not form a Sunshine Law violation. However, when the price tag is invariably high—too high for the average person—cost does form a barrier against transparency.

Either Missouri has the worst data systems in the country—in which case there’s another first we can’t take pride in—or cost is being used as a barrier to information.

Legal, Laws, and Regs Political


The bill we fought so hard for, Proposition B, was killed today. It was killed by the state legislature, and it was killed by Governor Nixon. It had the honor of dying in a bi-partisan fashion, killed by Democrat and Republican alike.

I have found there is one thing that can bring both parties together: the vote of the people. All we have to do is enact direct democracy at the national level, and politicos from both parties will bond tightly, in a mutual shared horror of “we the people”.

Governor Nixon manufactured a “compromise” that was supposed to be an improvement of the bill the legislature began, but as I’m writing over at Puppies at Burningbird, it was a simple matter to discover the gaps and loopholes the breeders can easily find in this new “improved” law. Not only was Proposition B ripped to shreds today, but it was done so with compliance by a couple of major players in the animal welfare movement in Missouri: the Humane Society of Missouri and the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation. Some would say they meant well; I will be charitable and just call them foolish.

Betrayed. I feel betrayed. But I don’t matter. What does matter is that the dogs were betrayed. In the end, even the most progressive of people on Twitter were implying that, after all, they’re just dogs.


And so much for the voters…

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Word is now circulating that Governor Nixon signed SB 113.

The will of the voters means little to the people in Jefferson City. Cruelty to dogs means even less.

Update: Confirmation from Yael T. Abouhalkah from the Kansas City Star.

Not to worry, claims Nixon in an oily move: The legislature has promised to look at his “Missouri compromise” that also guts the voter-approved Prop B in important ways, just not as badly as the legislature’s bill does.

Of course, by signing the really bad law into effect, Nixon must pull out stops to get his merely “bad” bill through.

Barb Shelly also published a writing on the SB 161 debate in the House today, including the fact that it has an emergency clause that would basically override the people’s ability to bring about a referendum blocking SB 113. They certainly don’t want us to ever vote on this issue, do they?

What also concerned me about the House discussion is the vet requirement mentioned in the debate mirrors SB 113 rather than the text of SB 161 the Governor posted. Was the text of the SB 161 amendment changed before being introduced in the House today?


And so much for the voters again…

And the House passed SB 161 today. Worse, it passed the emergency clause, which makes the bill “referendum proof”. The debate was contentious and there were a couple of brave folks who spoke out against the emergency clause, but when you have a legislature so dominated by special interests, the people don’t have a chance.

I have a recording of the emergency clause debate and will post it and other recordings I’ve made. I’ll post them all eventually.

These people didn’t just want to kill the Proposition B vote, they wanted to piss on its grave, too. How can we vote for people who have so much disdain for us?


SB 161 vote in Senate

The reps literally ran SB 161 from the House to Senate and instituted a vote on the senate floor. The move was so quick, the senators were confused and they had to run the debate and vote again.

I was so disappointed to hear Jolie Justus join with the rural legislators in order to throw HSUS under the bus. The Democrats felt it was more important to back Nixon than to back their own voters. And they did the worse thing possible: they attacked a national organization with numerous members in this state, in order to ensure the Democrats win the governor’s election in 2012.

This is the worst form of political expediency. We talk about the political shenanigans on the Republican side, but what about the Democrats? Well, as we can see, they’re not above playing political games. After all: it’s just dogs, right?

I’m a Democrat but I have no pride in my party today. None at all.