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House Minority Leader and Representative Paul LeVota released a video of a press conference this evening in the immediate aftermath of the republican majority’s actions in gutting bipartisan ethics reform legislation:

Representative Paul LeVota (D): …sham omnibus bill that had nothing, that the, uh, bipartisan committee on ethics reform included. They loaded it up at eight o’clock in the morning in one committee, at nine o’clock the next committee, in the Rules Committee. Then on the floor at one o’clock with the supplemental calendar, ’cause they know all the stuff in here is bad. The things in here, the provisions of, uh, requiring a voter ID, uh, disenfranchises people, allows, uh, intimidation of workers that want to organize, uh, all these provisions are just bad provisions. In the, additionally, the thing I’m most frustrated about, it has no campaign finance limits for the members who run for the General Assembly. It has a twenty thousand dollar limit for statewide officials and local officials but it doesn’t deal with, um, the general Assembly. So, I think [crosstalk]…

Question: That was deliberate or [crosstalk]…

Representative LeVota: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely it’s [inaudible]. The language is completely different from every other limit that we’ve seen, the old limit that was reversed, the bills that were, um, passed out of that committee. Very frustrating, it was deliberate.

Question: Was any Democrat allowed to actually get up and speak on this bill (inaudible)?

Representative LeVota: No, no Democrat was allowed to speak on heir own behalf or offer any of the amendments to make the bill better. I mean, it happens all the time. This is the process. The process is, if you don’t like a bill then you have amendments in order to change it. We did that. We were ready to offer those amendments and make this a better bill, but instead of allowing us to do that, they wanted to cut our voice off.

Question: [inaudible] your time in the House when, when, when your party was blocked from speaking or offering amendments on a major issue?

Representative LeVota: Well, yeah, my, my first couple years here tort reform was one, um.

Question: Really.

Representative LeVota: Yeah.

Question: So it’s not a [crosstalk][inaudible]

Representative LeVota: Yeah, yeah

Question: Oh surely you guys were allowed to speak.

Representative LeVota: We weren’t allowed to speak on that one, but this is even, maybe even more, uh, heinous ’cause they choreographed and went after, uh, required random members of the caucus on their opinion, but didn’t deal with the provisions that should be in there. They’re trying to skirt the issue. That was the [inaudible] today. And I think the people of Missouri deserve more.

Question: You angry?

Representative LeVota: Um, yeah, I, I’m angry and I think the people of Missouri should be very frustrated at, um, they are demanding ethics reform and they are demanding accountability in their government and instead they got a show here and a sham.

Question: Do you feel gagged?

Representative LeVota: Um, you know, that, that’s a good question. I guess I, I’m not so surprised because it was supposed to be the number one priority of the Speaker and here we are the, uh, last, second to last week and then we have a sham. So, if it was really a true priority we would have dealt with it in January and got it over to the Senate, but, uh, we knew, we knew when they didn’t move on it it wasn’t a priority for ’em.

Question: Throughout that whole debate you were standing, you were [inaudible], you were raising your hand to be recognized and speak. You were not recognized. Do you feel gagged?

Representative LeVota: Uh, I, I think that people in Missouri and their voice were gagged out, ’cause, uh, they didn’t allow members to have a free and open debate. Um, as far as me, they don’t want me to add the accountability things that I sat to them, so they’ve done it to me before, so…


Ethics Reform Legislation in Jefferson City: well, that didn’t go very well (April 27, 2010)

Lucy yanks the football…again, part 2 (April 26, 2010)

The Missouri General Assembly opens the 2010 legislative session, part 2 {January 6, 2010)

Kander (D) and Flook (r): ethics reform legislation in Jefferson City

Kander (D) and Flook (r): ethics reform legislation in Jefferson City, part 2

Kander (D) and Flook (r): ethics reform legislation in Jefferson City, part 3

Kander (D) and Flook (r): ethics reform legislation in Jefferson City, part 4