Posts Tagged ‘Ken Wilson’

For those that don’t know, State Representative Ken Wilson has introduced a bill for the recall of County Commissioners. It’s HB 580 and you can read the full text here. This has been at the pushing of local activists that have been involved in the audit movement.

Full disclosure, this bill would give us no ability to recall the two commissioners we’re most frustrated with. The idea arose among many of us that are involved as a way to insure the future.

Last night, I saw Commissioner Ridgeway’s testimony against the bill posted on Facebook. I thought I’d go through her response as there are a couple pertinent points. As usual though, there are multiple things wrong and we learn a little more about her disrespect of the people she represents.

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Commissioner Ridgeway, Representative Wilson doesn’t owe you a thing. He never needed to discuss this legislation with you. He represents a portion of your district in the state house. And most importantly, he represents the people of his specific district. Personally, I hope he represents your full district in a couple years.

Furthermore, I know that you think when you speak just accept what you have to say, but you and Commissioner Owen don’t speak for the full Commission, and the only time the Clay County Commission speaks as one voice is when it passes a resolution that is unanimously supported by all three of your voices. This hasn’t happened, but yet you use that language.

You’ve been asked by Commissioner Nolte to stop doing this. As is usual with your behavior, you demonstrate an outright disrespect of the Commissioner that represents the full democratic voice of all of Clay County. You and Commissioner Owen represent political subdivisions and represent the voice of the democratic body from over two years ago. More importantly, that majority voice just spoke months ago when it told Commissioner Nolte that they were content with his representation, and I’d argue his continual oppostion to you and Commissioner Owen.

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This section of the letter is just an absolute mess. Fundamental proof that just because someone has a law degree, it doesn’t mean they know anything about the principles that founded our country.

An election is not a recall process. It’s a chance for the democratic body of a political subdivision to decide who they want to represent them going forward. A recall gives a strong minority voice of a democratic body the chance to further check the majority.

Sometimes the Democratic winds shift, and not neccessarily at the time of an election. A recall gives those winds a chance to be tempered, but also heard. Tempered by a barrier through a limit on the amount of petition signatures, heard in the form of an election if necessary.

The founders of this country were terrified of the majority voice as they knew that it from time to time makes mistakes. You’re correct in the sense that an election is one place that we can right a majority wrong, but a recall mechanism, rightly constructed, further gives the body politic a chance to correct a mistake. In today’s world, a world that is arguably quicker paced due to various reasons, a recall process makes sense and still pays respect to the construction our representative Republic.

The state constitution currently provides for 3 county commissioners whose terms are staggered. Every four years we allow the full body politic to speak in the form of Presiding Commissioner, then offset by two years, we allow smaller democratic bodies inside of the full body politic to speak.

Since you were last elected we’ve seen a growing movement of a frustrated minority that opposes your actions, the winds have shifted and they blow harder with every news report it seems, but we currently have no check on your actions due to the construction of the Commission.

Commissioner Ridgeway, people often mockingly call you the Queen of Clay County politics. And you’re writing above demonstrates that that sarcastic quip is not completely off the mark.

You’re worried about a minority harming the majority?

You don’t even respect the will of the full democratic body of this County as we just elected Commissioner Nolte for another four years. You and Commissioner Owen seem to care little about what Commissioner Nolte says, and you refuse to listen to the growing minority opposition. If we had a recall option, I suspect your behavior would be markedly different. You’d definitely be listening more than you are. You’d probably be open to compromise. And you’d be acting in ways that you showed you care about the minority criticisms.

I guess that’s maybe what you meant by this sentence:

“The net effect is that every officeholder subject to a potential recall will always be looking over their shoulder for any vocal minority in opposition.”

From your vantage point, I suspect this is terrifying to you based upon your actions of the past years. In my estimation, this should be a feature, not a bug of a well constructed representative democracy.

It was an irate tireless minority that threw off the shackles of the King of England to found this nation. Heck, even the Revolutionary War was supported by a minority of the total population.

You’re just flat wrong here.

In fairness, I always believe that you should give people you vehemently disagree with credit when they are correct. Your following criticisms of the bill are valid and deserve to be listened to.

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I agree. I see no reason to limit this recall bill to just County Commissioners. Let’s put every elected official in the state on notice that if you don’t listen to the people, that you absolutely could face a recall. The natural result of this would be better governance and politicians more in line with the democratic bodies they represent. Yes, action might even be slower, but again, that should be a feature, not a bug. We want quick action only when an overwhelming majority feel it is necessary.

I find the bill language about defining a reason for the recall unnecessary. If you’re going to start a petition, you’re going to define that in your appeal to the public. This shouldn’t be written into law. I don’t think it really matters.

I completely agree that 7.5% is way too low of a barrier for the signatures. I think this bill should be amended, and the amount of signatures increased. She’s right. If we find precedent in statute in Missouri for 25% it’s probably prudent to go with this. I agree with Commissioner Ridgeway in the sense that you don’t want too small of a minority able to do this. A recall should not be a walk in the park and we do not want too small of a minority able to interrupt majority will. The balance is probably debatable, but I think 7.5% tilts way too small.

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I’m not clear on where you’re getting the statement about a recalled Commissioner being banned from being a candidate. If you read the bill in its entirety, you don’t see a clear statement on this. I’d actually agree, I don’t think a recalled Commissioner should not be allowed to run. This would respect the tension that we hold in our form of government between majority will and respecting the minority.

I believe you’re wrong on the last concern. From what I understand, Missouri law provides for solutions to your conerns. You can still have a quorum with 2 commissioners. If you lost 2 commissioners to recall, the Governor can appoint one. If you lost 3 commissioners, decisions of the commission are kicked to the presiding judge of the circuit court.

I agree we need to improve this legislation, but there’s no reason to not support the general goal. I applaud Representative Wilson for being a leader on this bill. I look forward to supporting his primary challenge of Commissioner Ridgeway.

It will truly be for the Best of Clay County.

It’s the most important election of our lifetime! (At least until 2020.)

I thought I’d take a spin through all the races that I would be voting on next Tuesday. This is not a rundown of the entire county.

For those that don’t know how to find their ballot, you should stop right here and find something else to do with your time on Tuesday. I’m not explaining it to you. Please don’t vote.

For US Senator: Josh Hawley – Republican

I’m probably going to need two hands to fill this bubble in on the ballot. One hand to write with, and the other hand to make sure I don’t pull the other hand away as I fill in the bubble.

I don’t know why I have higher expectations for Republicans. They’ve proven to me for years that if they can find a bad candidate to run for a statewide office, they’ll probably do it.

Hawley is uninspiring. I find him severely lacking in taking strong principled stances for markets, responsible spending, and issues of Liberty.

Hell of an endorsment so far, isn’t it?

Anyway, why am I voting for him?

Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court, and the Democrats have lost their minds in this country.

I was going to vote 3rd party in this race. I didn’t care. But when I saw what the Democrats did to Kavanaugh, I couldn’t stand idly by and not be a part of removing Claire McCaskill. The Democrats behavior was beyond anything I remember in modern politics. To destroy a decent man, a man I somewhat suspect will not be the best Supreme Court justice on civil liberties like they did, the Democrats should be forced to pay dearly for this.

Trump may get 1, possibly two more Supreme Court justices. This becomes even more probable if Trump wins reelection (just puked in my mouth). I want a Republican majority in the Senate as long as we can, so there’s at least a small, teeny-tiny, itsy-bitsy chance we get Liberty oriented justices.

I’m not convinced the Constitution and the United States can survive a Supreme Court that’s tilted toward Democrat nominees.

Our Founders never wanted the Court to be impacted by democracy, but it is, and I’m going to do my part and hope we’re able to maintain the Constitution for just a little while longer.

For State Auditor: Jacob Luetkemeyer – Constitution Party

Lots of digital keystrokes have been punched on the local social interwebs about this race in the context of the Clay County Audit. And to make matters worse this race is a bit of a mess.

I have said in the last few years that Nicole Galloway is one of the few Democrats I’ve ever really liked. Overall, I think she’s done an okay job as the state Auditor.

I tend to play the longer game, so County Audit or not, I’m not voting for her for the following reasons:

  • There’s this peculiar situation that you don’t hear much about regarding her failure to produce Sunshine documents requested by the Missouri Alliance for Freedom. Sunshine for thee not for me apparently.
  • She strongly supported Hillary Clinton. I don’t like Trump, didn’t vote for him, but Clinton is one of the most crooked, dishonest people in the history of modern politics. I always look at someone who passionately supported Clinton with suspicion.
  • If Amendment 1 passes, Galloway becomes somewhat powerful in the redistricting process. I don’t trust her enough at this point to believe that she would not attempt to sway the new redistricting process.

I find the Republican nominee, Saundra McDowell, unconvincing. You would think the Republican party could come up with a little better candidate than this.

There are two large criticisms levied against her.

The first is the residency requirement in the state Constitution. I personally don’t think that one is a big deal, and it seems petty. I don’t see residency as a make or break deal for the auditor. It’s less of a “representative” office and more of a functional government role. Plus, a past Missouri Supreme Court decision seems to indicate this won’t be a big deal either. Additionally, she’s really been in and out of the state for what seems like legitimate reasons. She’s shown legitimate intent for over 10 years to be a resident. This is petty politics at its finest.

The other issue is this deal with her personal finances. She seems to somewhat be able to explain this, it sounds like a bad contract gone wrong, but something about it bugs me. I personally feel like there’s more to the story here.

I really don’t like how connected she is to some of the long standing establishment of the Republican party. I have little respect for the Ashcrofts and the Bonds. She seems to love them. That’s a huge strike in my eyes.

So, what to do?

I’m a card carrying member of the Libertarian party, and I usually vote for one statewide candidate. I somewhat know Sean O’Toole, and think he might be capable of the job. It doesn’t seem like he’s spent any effort on seriously campaigning this time around.

I’m intrigued by Jacob Luetkemeyer. Young guy, spent lots of years in private industry in the field of accounting. You can read more about him here: http://luetkemeyerforauditor.com/

So, what the heck, sounds like a fun protest vote. I like outsiders who might break things. I’m going with it.

I know some may seem a little shocked by this considering how strong of a supporter of the Clay County audit I am. I hate to break it to you, but the clowns at the county courthouse have had a long time to prepare for this audit. I wouldn’t be too shocked if it doesn’t produce much. Plus, the elected State Auditor and the auditor’s staff are really two different things. It’s not like the State Auditor is sitting in the back room with a calculator combing through all the books. It’s going to be the professional staff of the state auditor’s office doing this. Some of these people have been in their roles for years. The audit happens and is probably done as good as it’s going to be no matter who wins the office.

For US State Representative District 6: Dan Hogan – Libertarian

I no longer can support Congressman Sam Graves. He’s become a disappointment in Washington. He’s terrible on civil liberties and privacy, he votes for spending bills that have done nothing but run up the debt, and he’s no fan of the free market. There’s nothing “conservative” really left about that man. Whatever he set out to do all those years ago when he surprised all in Clay County has pretty much been a waste. He’s part of the swamp, and it’s time to send a message to him that he either needs to ship up or move out. I could care less who the Democrat is in this race. You’re only going the wrong way if you put a Democrat in this seat in Washington.

For State Senator District 12 – Dan Hegeman – Republican

If there was a Libertarian in this race I’d probably vote for them. Senator Hegeman is a really nice man, but I’ve found him to be nothing more than a rubber stamp down in Jefferson City for leadership. I read through his opponents issue page, typical Democrat who wants more government. At least with Hegeman there’s a small chance spending stays stagnant and my taxes don’t go up.

For State Representative District 12 – State Rep Ken Wilson – Republican

I know Ken Wilson quite well, and proudly consider him a personal friend of mine. Wilson has done well to try and stand on his own two feet in Jefferson City. He’s actually been good on issues of Liberty, and has shown a willingness to make party leadership mad. We’d do well to send him back to Jefferson City this cycle. He’s one of the good guys.

For Presiding Commissioner – Jerry Nolte – Republican

Commissioner Nolte is one of the good guys. I’ve known Jerry for years. He’s fought the good fight down at the Clay County Courthouse. He undeniably deserves another term. Let’s hope we can get him some help to right this ship in 2020.

For County Clerk – Megan Thompson – Republican

I was actually somewhat skeptical of Thompson 4 years ago. I’ve gotten to know her through the years. I’ve found her competent, smart, and on the right side of all the chaos down at the Courthouse. She and her office have unfortunately paid a political price for doing the right thing. There’s no compelling case to change things in the Clerk’s office.

For Recorder of Deeds – Katee Porter – Republican

This race concerns me as lots of people don’t do their research on these local races. The guy that’s running against Porter, Bruce Cantwell, has made no serious effort to run for this office, he has a major question about unpaid debt, and he appears to be unqualified for the job. Meanwhile Porter has done an excellent job in the office for the last four years. She deserves another four years in the position.

Judicial Nominees

I honestly have no clue. No one ever does a good job of getting information out about these, so I’m not voting on them. It’s okay not to vote sometimes.

Constitutional Amendment No 1 – No

This thing is an absolute mess. If there was ever an issue that was a solution looking for a problem, it’s Amendment 1. Which probably means that this thing passes because I suspect there will be a significant amount of ignorant voters at the polls across the state due to the marijuana initiatives and the minimum wage increase.

But, but, but, “dark money”.

I swear if I hear that stupid, loaded phrase one more time, I’m going to scream. It’s amazing to me watching some of you people. Say something enough times, make it sound scary, and you run around parroting it like the world is going to end tomorrow if we don’t do something.

For anyone that wants a halfway decent look at what exactly this monstrosity does, CLICK HERE.

My concern lies in the redistricting process. There’s been a significant amount of outside money spent on this thing and it looks as if it’s an attempt to get Democrats more power through the state redistricting process. There’s no strong evidence that Democrats are being underrepresented through redistricting. And, yes, George Soros is involved here to the tune of $250,000. Soros only does things that helps Democrats.

The greatest comedy is that if there ever was a person who put more “dark money” in play in the USA, it’s that clown.

The redistricing process isn’t perfect right now, but there’s a good chance this thing makes it an absolute nightmare. What we have works good enough.

Marijuana Initiatives – No on Amendments 2 and 3, Yes on Proposition C

I’m a big supporter of medical marijuana as there is a growing body of evidence that it works in both narcotic and non-narcotic forms (i.e. CBD oil). I think C is the best of the three. I’m not sure what happens if voters pass all three of these?

Constitutional Amendment 4 – Yes

Bingo! No, really, Bingo. Weird. I see no issue with this.

Proposition B Minimum Wage Increase- Hell NO!

There are two ways to approach the topic of a minimum wage: economic and moral

If there was ever an idea that proved most Americans are economically illiterate and have absolutely no idea how an economy works, it’s the concept of a minimum wage. I could spend time citing economic research that shows this doesn’t work, I could give you an explanation of how wages work in an economy, and I could show you that few adults actually work for the minimum wage.

But many wouldn’t care what the evidence is because in their eyes this is a moral issue. And you know what, I agree, but I’ll severely disagree in which way the morality is tilted.

Few things piss me off more than people who think, stereotypically, that business owners are out to harm the people that work for them. People believe that if only the greedy fat cat business owners would just cough up a few more dollars, all would be well with the world.

Well, I’m about sick of it.

Here’s the reality. Business owners deal with more stress and frustrations than most people ever dream of. Young businesses often pay minimum wage BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THEY CAN AFFORD TO PAY. By increasing the minimum wage you are directly harming the ability of the next small business to get off the ground and maybe pay a “living wage” (which is about as asinine of a phrase as “dark money”).

If you think an employee should be paid a specific wage, then get off your ass, get out there, and start a company that pays that “living wage” you’re so passionate about. If you’re making minimum wage, then do something to develop more skills that make you more marketable in the economy. There’s no reason a high school graduate should be making the minimum wage in this society if they’re not lazy. None.

I’ve worked in private business since I was 14.5 with a 5 year hiatus in public education. The one thing that is as true today as it was when I was 14.5 is the following:

Hard-workers and learners always make more money.

A minimum wage increase is the equivalent of you pointing a gun at a business owner demanding him or her adapt their business model to your demands. It’s shameful and highly immoral.

Propostion D – Gas Tax – No

This is only something a bunch of legislators could come up with in Jeff City. I personally support an increase in the gas tax, but not in this manner. If Jeff City wants us to support a gas tax, then give us one that shows us specifically what you’re going to spend the money on and why. I’d also like to see a full audit of MODOT before we pass it.

This bait and switch of putting public safety in front of the measure in the hopes we pass it is disingenous.

A town hall meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16 at 5:00 P.M. in Kearney, MO in the lower level of the Reece & Nichols Building located at 307 S. Jefferson. Congressman Sam Graves, State Representative Ken Wilson, and Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones be available to do a Q&A session after each speaker has given an update of his area of responsibility.