The legislation I talked about in the last article, HJR 17, is sponsored by Representative Jason Smith.
If you attended the House meetings on Proposition B bills in the last few weeks, you probably witnessed Representative Smith’s aggressive grilling of those testifying for Proposition B. Though not part of the committee holding the hearings, Representative Smith attended as an Ex-officio member based on his position as Majority Whip.
What you might not know, because he did not state this during the hearing, is that Jason Smith has a personal axe to grind about Proposition B.
In the weeks leading to the Proposition B vote, HSUS released a report called Missouri’s Dirty Dozen, describing several of the worst large scale commercial breeders in the state. Among them is a breeder named Mary Ann Smith.
I looked at Mary Ann Smith’s USDA inspection reports. Among the repeating violations are those that include sick and injured dogs, insufficient space, poor maintenance, as well as inadequate shelter from the cold for dogs in outdoor kennels.
Mary Ann Smith is also Jason Smith’s mother.
I was stunned when I read this information. I would have expected Representative Smith to recuse himself from actively participating in the hearing, considering his personal involvement. At a minimum, I would have expected him to say something to the people attending the hearing. He did neither.
Not only did Representative Smith actively participate in the hearing, he did so aggressively, and with a great degree of animosity, as perceived by those who attended the hearing. In my opinion, such actions are irregular, and highly unethical. What makes such behavior worse is that he’s a member of the House Ethics committee
Now, with his support of a Constitutional Amendment banning any citizen initiative related to animals (HJR 17), Representative Smith wants to ensure that people like him are the only people to ever make a decision about animals again in this state.