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Opinion: Make Webster whole again

No matter where I go these days, I seem to get the same question: “What’s happening to our country?” Whether I am in Springfield, Greenfield or Marshfield, my answer is the same.  Increasingly, I see self-interested, career politicians more focused on their next election than doing the job that “We the People” elected them to do. Unfortunately, there is no longer much difference between the dysfunction in Washington DC and the dysfunction in Jefferson City.

To see a clear example of just how broken our state government has become, look no further than

Brian Gelner

the congressional redistricting debacle going on right now. This process is constitutionally-required every 10 years, following the census, and comes with a well-known deadline. We find ourselves just days away from the end of the legislative session and our elected leaders still haven’t done their job to pass a map that divides Missouri into eight congressional districts.  This whole process has been an embarrassment leaving Missouri as one of the last states in the country without an approved congressional map.

Why is the Missouri Legislature so far behind? I may sound like a broken-record here, but the answer is the same: self-dealing, career politicians that are putting their political interests and future aspirations ahead of every Missourian.  They are trying to gerrymander themselves a future seat in Congress at the expense of your community and mine. When you look at some of the proposed maps, it’s obvious these politicians don’t care about their citizens. They don’t seem to understand how splitting a city, a town, or even an entire county, could be devastating to a community.

In a congressional map passed a few weeks ago by the Missouri Senate, these politicians showed their lack of concern for the people of Webster County when they split the City of Marshfield into two. This Senate-approved map divides the courthouse building and City Hall into two different congressional districts with one in the 4th and one in the 7th. You can’t make this stuff up!

I believe not only should the City of Marshfield remain whole; Webster County shouldn’t be split.  When a like-minded city, or county, is divided, the collective voice is diminished. Unfortunately, this foolishness is happening all over Missouri. I know we can do better.

For the last decade, Webster, a county of less than forty-thousand people has been quieted through the division of a collective voice. With the chance to unite Webster this year, self-dealing, career politicians are failing us again – our state and our Missouri congressional representation will suffer.  Whether you live in Marshfield, Rogersville, Seymour, Fordland, Niangua, Diggins, or somewhere in between, all are Webster County citizens with a voice that matters and deserves to be heard. It’s time career politicians put their constituents first, exercise conservative common sense and Make Webster Whole Again!