You might have heard that State Senator Dave Schatz gutted ethics reform in Missouri. According to Ryan Johnson of Missouri Alliance for Freedom:
Cleaning up the practice of Jefferson City’s revolving door is the reason for Rep. Caleb Rowden’s House Bill 1979 (carried in the Senate by Sen. Bob Onder). It puts in place a one year cooling off period that will make legislators sit out for at least a year before lobbying. It passed the House early and with overwhelming support.
It was the Senate that gutted his bill. Senator Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, offered an amendment to strip out the one year cooling off period making the bill worthless. His amendment passed and for now the revolving door remains open.
Adding insult to injury the Senate played cute by allowing his amendment to have a vote by the practice of standing division. This means there is no written record of who voted to gut the revolving door bill except ours. It helps that we are in the Capitol watching.
Here’s what I wrote to my State Senator Dave Schatz:
Why did you gut the the ethics reform bill?
I understand you pushed the amendment to remove the one-year cooling off period from HB 1979, making the law meaningless. Why would you do that?
Missouri is the wild west of revolving-door politics, as you know. By gutting a common sense ethics reform bill, you seem to say, “I like cronyism more than I like good government.”
As a voter and activist in your district, I find your position disturbing, and I look forward to your next appearance on the ballot. Then again, you probably do, too. With Missouri’s revolving door, win one time and you’re set for life.
Sincerely, Bill Hennessy
Other Republicans who supported Schatz’s amendment and opposed clean government include:
• Senator Ed Emery • Senator Mike Kehoe • Senator Doug Libla • Senator Wayne Wallingford • Senator Paul Wieland
Let’s give these Senators a swift kick through that revolving door. Maybe they’ll do less damage as lobbyists than as legislators.