After the opening of the legislative session in Jefferson City on January 6, 2010 Speaker Ron Richard (r) took questions from the media in a press conference:
….Question: Speaker Richard, uh, why start, uh, your speech and, and emphasis this ethics committee.
Speaker Richard: It has been the topic of conversation among many members. It’s been a topic of press stories and I thought we’d get to the bottom of it and get working on this issue. And, um, show the people of Missouri that we can, uh, fix perceived problems. And I went to, uh, Representative LeVota and I have got an outstanding group of Democrats and Republicans. I think we can come up with a, uh, solution and I look forward to that. And, uh, bills will be sent to that committee real quick…..
….Question: Senator Shields has proposed a ban on contributions from lobbyists during the session. Is that something that you would support?
Speaker Richard: I will support whatever comes out of our bipartisan committee. Whatever comes out.
Question: What is the advantage [inaudible] the ethics proposals [inaudible]?
Speaker Richard: Uh, I want to make sure that both sides have the ability to, uh, have a dialog. And we go to the House, the floor, for [inaudible], you know as well as I do there’ll be several hundred amendments from all different sizes and shapes. Um, but I think that dialog is necessary and we’ll have an open dialog and, uh, we’ll get something to the Senate, uh, in a prompt basis….
That was then, this is now:
Speaker Ron Richard has declared the bipartisan ethics reform bill dead because a bipartisan group of legislators demanded a floor debate on the proposal. Earlier today, 56 Democrats and 3 Republicans signed a petition to place the bipartisan bill — legislation with campaign contribution limits — on the House calendar. Last night, Republicans on the House Rules committee voted to block the legislation from heading to the floor, preferring a stripped-down proposal. The discharge petition is designed to circumvent the GOP leadership on the Rules Committee….
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.