KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — Rep. Nate Walker, R-Kirksville, sent an email this weekend to the 14 other Republican House members who voted against overriding the veto of House Bill 253 which addresses concerns he has about the actions of House Speaker Tim Jones.
“One thing I know for sure, you all are of the highest integrity…something that I can NOT say for our Speaker Tim Jones,” Walker writes in the email. “What a disgrace he has become…talking out of both sides of his mouth…throwing us under his AG Campaign Bus.”
Walker’s comment about “the AG Campaign bus” refers to Jones’ plans to run for Attorney General in 2016.
The email started circulating the Capitol Monday morning, legislative staff tells The Missouri Times.
“I know that nothing is private in government,” Walker says about the email that he says was solely meant for other members of the so-called ‘Flimsy 15.’ “If we’re going to start releasing everything out, let’s release some of the messages I’ve received from the Speaker or his friends.”
Maybe he should have used different words, Walker adds, but the gist of the email is something he stands by.
“All I did is react to what he has done,” he says, referring to correspondences with the Speaker and to comments from the Speaker on The Dana Loesch radio show. “I didn’t throw out a press conference and send this out to everybody. It was intended for 14 people who were treated poorly by the Speaker and his friends.”
Walker says there should never have been a vote on HB 253 because it was “a losing cause.”
“[Speaker Jones] wanted a vote to make us look bad,” he says, adding that with the support he’s received from people in his district — who he says he took the vote for — it’s the pro-HB 253 side of the debate that “looks bad.”
Jones tells The Missouri Times Tuesday afternoon that he hasn’t read the letter.
“My only comment would be that Nate is a member of our caucus and I look forward to working with him to create legislation that will improve the lives of all Missourians,” he adds.
Walker seconded that notion, saying that he hopes to continue to work with the Speaker on future legislative efforts that will benefit his district.
“If he wants a public apology, I would be willing to meet with him and talk about it, but I don’t think I’m the only one that should apologize,” Walker says.
Ashley Jost is no longer with The Missouri Times. She worked as the executive editor for several months, and a reporter before that.