I always find it amusing when a Republican legislator who spends his five months a year working for the gub’ment and seven months a year working for someone else who creates jobs, or especially one whose primary income comes from the gub’ment, lectures those who actually employ people on economic development. It’s kinda like the economics professor who claims to know about how to get everybody else rich but spends his life on the gub’ment tit never getting rich himself.
Rep. Rocky Miller was running for House Majority Floor Leader in a race that was assumed to be after the general election next year. When the current Floor Leader Rep. Mike Cierpiot ran for state senate, it meant that the election would obviously have to be held before the start of next session.
Now many of those who work in the media, or who work on the 2nd floor of marble buildings with domes on them seemingly live to cast members of the Missouri General Assembly as corrupt, stupid, lazy, awful people. Well, I’m decidedly on the other side of them on that debate, as many know this hillbilly is quite comfortable being on the other side of the media and Governor’s office on most things.
Either they don’t realize, or care, that the legislature was set up for folks with full-time jobs to dedicate a few months a year to come to the Capitol to serve, then go back home and live and work among their constituents. It’s so they don’t get out of touch with their constituents and do things like dole out paid leave perks to bureaucrats that their constituents could only dream of.
Running for leadership requires traveling to nearly every district in the state to lay out your case to every member and ask for their vote. It’s a grueling and massively time-consuming endeavor.
For a frame of reference, it takes just over eight hours to drive from Rep. Andrew McDaniel’s home in Deering to Rep. Allen Andrews home in Grant City.
It would only take McDaniel six hours to drive from his house to the Gulf of Mexico.
When Miller left the floor leader’s race, in his worst case scenario he had every bit as much of a chance to win as either of his opponents. While it was close, he probably had the largest number of hardcore supporters.
Miller left the race because the condensed time frame demanded too much time away from his expanding business. Choosing your business over politics is the most Republican thing you could ever do.
While many W-2 Republicans enjoy lecturing K-1 Republicans about economic development, they should just shut up and say thank you. Especially those whose primary source of income is from the gub’ment. While Eric Schmitt’s name is on the check, the gub’ment actually forcibly takes the money that buys your family’s groceries from business owners like Rocky Miller and gives it to you.
Miller forgoing political ambitions to run his business and employ Missourians is a far greater contribution to the well-being of the state of Missouri than winning a leadership race.
Republicans should carry him around on their shoulders as the exact model for how to better our state. Regardless of the quality of leader there will always be 163 people elected to the Missouri House every two years, very few of them can do what Miller has done with his business. Every day before a bureaucrat begins his work of pestering and annoying business owners he or she should be forced to write a thank you letter to someone like Rocky who provides the means by which they feed their families.
Not because of his work in the General Assembly, because of his work running his business.
Before I go I’ll offer a couple quick takes from a simple hillbilly:
- Wow, the city of Kansas City made a very, very questionable decision not choosing Burns and McDonnell for the KCI airport project. If anything at all goes wrong, this very sketchy decision will forever be pinned on the careers of those who didn’t have the confidence in Kansas Citians to build the airport to serve Kansas Citians.
- Boy, after the worldwide celebration of German brotherhood, Oktoberfest, is over that’ll make nearly 6 months since the Governor told the legislature to “end your vacations and get to work,” where he promised hundreds of jobs coming to the bootheel. I’d say about that time folks’ll prolly start asking where they can turn their applications in for one of them hundreds of jobs.
- You wonder if Greitens isn’t the perfect person to pitch Amazon on Missouri. In the history of the state, we have never had someone so impressive in an office pitch. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a documented sense of civic awareness, he even purchased the Washington Post. With that in mind, is it possible that he would consider using his company to help heal the most racially divided city in the country in St. Louis. Could his company innovate ideas to help solve racial problems our nation has struggled with since our founding? Further, is Governor Greitens the right man to convince him of such? I’ll say this: in an office pitch I would put Gov. Greitens up against the 49 other governors any day.
- Amazing proposal by the state’s COO Drew Erdmann to expand Missouri’s notoriously effective tax credit programs to include the Innovation Tax Credits. This is the type of work common-sense conservatives produce. Taking liberal programs like Pruitt-Igoe and forcing the gub’ment to work more like the private sector through public-private partnerships, very innovative work.
- Golly, I tell ya, speaking of the Governor, he really just spits right in the eye of the General Assembly again by keeping the metal detectors. However, this time they are making a fool of Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, who has been one of the rare House Republicans whose backbone survived the last election. Hypothetically if firearms are perfectly legal to carry into the Capitol then what the hell are the metal detectors there to detect? Further, how hypocritical are the are the pro-gun control groups for not lauding the Governor and his supporters in the legislature for furthering their public policy agenda?
- Lastly, how humiliating to the state will it be to see veto session end with Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal and Rep. Warren Love still in office? Yes, if after the Speaker-Designee race Tuesday the House doesn’t respect itself enough to boot Rep. Love, the body will lose some of its integrity, and the blame will fall on squarely on Republicans.
- Yes, if the Senate doesn’t respect itself enough to remove Senator Chappelle-Nadal then it will lose some of its integrity. However, it’s not too much for Senate leadership to ask a couple of Democrats step forward and call for her removal as well. Chappelle-Nadal’s bizarre attacks have never hurt a Republican, her attacks have only been harmful to Democrats. It looks like if no Senate Democrats call for her removal, then she likely stays, and when she does, look for Republicans to wait for her to take the floor to use the PQ, and watch even those who respect the traditions of the Senate not blame them at all.
- Her removal only helps Democrats and the integrity of the Senate, and, frankly, in many ways, her removal only harms Republicans who benefit from her being the face of the opposition. It’s not too much to ask to have a couple of those Democrats step forward and publicly say what they are urging quietly.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton, Mo; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff, Mo.; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.