Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 237
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for April 22, 2004

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

In view of Mr. Kim Green’s personal attack on me in the April 8th Gazette, I would appreciate it if you’d publish the following Open Letter in response.

Dear Mr. Green,

I’m really surprised that an aide to a distinguished legislator would make such a personal attack on a citizen for expressing opinions about a particular piece of legislation. The whole tenor of my letter was to poke some gentle fun at the legislature. While legislators certainly should respond to perceived errors in constituent interpretation of their actions, resorting to personal attack demeans your service to Senator Caskey, who has been a strong and effective legislator. I have particular respect for the way he has stood apart from his party on key issues, often on the side of fiscal sanity and personal freedom.

As to your comments on the specific legislation, from the taxpayer’s standpoint I fail to see much difference between the legislature’s authorizing counties to increase salaries (SB1220) and the counties actually doing so; this county’s officeholders have historically voted themselves the maximum. On the tuition freeze, you’re right, I did misread SB780; the joke is not on the students after all, it’s on me. However, I daresay that the miswording of bills passed by our legislators, no matter how dedicated and hard-working, is of far greater consequence than a simple misread by a citizen.

Mr. Green, according to the most recent Official Manual (the “Blue Book”), as a state employee of the Missouri Senate you are paid $68,676 per annum, money provided by the taxpayers of Missouri. Surely, Mr. Green, a man in your position would not want to stifle dissent? Surely, Mr. Green, a man in your position would want citizens to inform themselves of what the legislature is doing, independently of legislators’ press releases such as are published in this paper? Surely, Mr. Green, a man in your position would not attempt to intimidate or silence those who question the increasing intrusiveness of government at all levels?

Mr. Green, it appears that you believe that immediate electoral success is the sole validation of a person’s opinions. History is full of examples to the contrary, such as the abolitionist movement of the early 1800s. Were I more interested in “winning” than in advocating a less intrusive government, I would not choose to be a Libertarian.

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