“…The truth is that you are being used by a small group of very self interested people. When, in the future, you read about the manipulation of the government by a few super rich people at the expense of average citizens remember that you actively participated in just such a scheme when you sent this letter…”
Representative Chris Kelly (D). [file photo]
Representative Chris Kelly (D) replied to a letter he received on HB 253. The letter he received:
Dear Representative Kelly:
HB253 is the first opportunity in nearly 100 years to reduce taxes for all Missourians – and take a stand on the side of every day Missourians who have weathered the storm of this economic recession instead of special interests and government bureaucrats who only wish to serve their own interests.
Perhaps more importantly, HB253 would allow Missouri to stop spending and start growing by directing an increase in state revenues back to taxpayers instead of into expanding the size of government that promotes greater waste.
I urge you to support HB253 during the upcoming veto session.
The response from Representative Kelly (D):
Thank you for the letter regarding HB 253.
The bill is significant to me not simply as a state rep but also as a taxpayer. I am 66 years old and had a heart attack this past May. I now take six different pre[s]cription medications. 253 imposes the state sales tax on that medicine. My pharmacist calculated that if the veto override, which you support is successful I will pay about $140 per year in sales tax; significantly more than any benefit from the income tax decrease. I am not alone. In fact I am probably paying less for medicine than most people in my demographic (geezers).
The bill also imposes the sales tax on college text books.
In addition, the bill allows income tax payers to go back three years to file amended returns and receive more refunds. The sponsors claim that this is a “mistake”. They now say that the prescription medicine tax is a mistake. If anyone in the private sector made those kind of mistakes they would be fired.
That amounts to about half a billion dollars worth of “mistakes”. It turns out that all the “mistakes” are things wanted by Rex Sin[que]field, the guy who made more than $1.5 million in campaign contributions to the supporters of the bill.
This is one of the sloppiest bills I have seen in my 17 years in the House. It is a disgrace that any legislator would allow it to move forward, if for no other reason than its quality.
The truth is that you are being used by a small group of very self interested people. When, in the future, you read about the manipulation of the government by a few super rich people at the expense of average citizens remember that you actively participated in just such a scheme when you sent this letter.
The very wealthy will see a huge benefit and average people will pay the tab. Every supporter of [HB]253 should be ashamed.
A further note. The letter you sent me is a form written by the media people who are funding the political campaign for [HB] 253. I’d like to know what your opinion is.
And that’s how you deal with astroturf.
Sinquefield is funding and that Rep. Kelly is beginning to get these form emails from an organized campaign (which I do not intrinsically object to – see below) spouting the anti-tax propaganda.
Rep. Kelly’s response? Perfection.
Measures to counter the Sinquefield message? We know that Governor Nixon is working hard to enlist allies in the fight against a possible override and will try to make sure that those who vote to override pay a political price. As for organized citizen efforts, Progress-Missouri also sent the following email out to those on its distribution lists:
The “contact your legislator” link takes you to a form letter that can be personalized or sent as is. Here I have to add that I personally have no objection to just sending the form letter as is if the sender feels it expresses his/her point of view adequately – although, as Rep. Kelly makes clear above, the recipient might have more respect for a letter writer who takes the time to put their comments into their own words and so taking the requisite time to personalize the letter might be more effective. My point of view, however, is that in cases like this something is always better than nothing and not all people feel comfortable writing or even have the time to do a credible job.