If you read your mail over the weekend, you were probably shocked to see an out-of-state special interest group attacking our own Rep. Sue Entlicher, R-Bolivar. Not only was I shocked, but I was sickened and angered.
I have the pleasure of working with Sue in the Missouri General Assembly, representing the areas of Polk and Cedar Counties. I also worked with her for more than 12 years at the county level when she was Polk County Clerk and I was Polk County Sheriff. I know firsthand there is no one who cares more about our region and its’ citizens than Sue Entlicher. For an out-of-state organization to come into our district and try to discredit our local representative, who spends every day trying to make our area better, is modern politics at its worse. Attempting to tie Sue to Nancy Pelosi, President Obama, and Harry Reid would be laughable if it wasn’t indicative of how vicious and divisive politics have become.
When a political piece is sent out in Missouri, it is supposed to contain a disclaimer stating who paid for it. There is no such disclaimer on this postcard, only an obscure address from Florida. It makes me wonder who is really behind this attack on one of our own. When special interests avoid our state’s ethics laws, public trust and transparency is compromised. While Sue works every day in the public eye to improve our area, an out-of-state organization hides behind the veil of secrecy to attack her.
As someone who has served in political office at both the county and state level, I completely understand that those of us in office are fair game for scrutiny of our actions and voting records. What should not be allowed is the ability for an honest person’s reputation to be attacked and tarnished by misinformation and outright lies by special interest groups whose only goal is to advance their agenda with no regard for basic honesty. This is a perfect example of why people are hesitant to step forward to serve in today’s political arena.
There is no doubt I will never completely agree with every vote Sue makes, nor she with every vote I make. The same goes for the constituents we represent. However, when it comes to the character of Sue Entlicher, I will stand by her to the fullest measure possible.
I am grateful for the level of service and integrity Sue Entlicher brings to the Missouri House of Representatives, and I have told her so. The next time you see or talk to Sue, tell her how much you appreciate what she does for us. In our area of the state we protect our own.
I filed two bills, one of which is sure to occupy much of my time this Session. My bill will authorize the issuance of approximately $600 million in bonds to pay for maintenance and repairs to state buildings that has been deferred to the point of posing a danger. Fulton State Hospital and the Capitol are two examples of our biggest problems. Without quick action they will continue to deteriorate, resulting in higher utility costs, lost productivity, and more expensive repairs in the future. We have an obligation to preserve public buildings of historic significance and also provide a safe workplace for essential functions of government. Caring for the mentally ill is one of those essential functions.
Although they have risen slightly, interest rates are still very low and this would be a good time to take advantage of this opportunity. In addition, our state has an excellent bond rating, and investors quickly purchase Missouri bonds when they are offered. I want to only use this bonding authority to pay for deferred maintenance, not new construction. I believe we first need to take care of what we already have before we spend tax dollars on any new buildings. The challenge is going to be keeping this bill from being loaded up with everyone’s pet project as it makes its way through the process.
Another bill I filed will protect law enforcement and other public officials from being the victims of fraudulent liens. The ability for citizens to file liens on property when they are owed a debt is important, but under current state law it is too easy for anyone to file a lien on someone out of spite even when no debt is owed. Even though these types of liens are baseless, they are still legally filed and require significant time and effort to remove. My legislation is similar to a federal law passed in 2008 in response to the Montana Freemen standoff. In that situation, members of the organization filed multimillion dollar liens against homes and other property of federal judges.
I look forward to working for you and with you in the coming year. Please do not hesitate to contact me on issues you think are important or if we can be of any assistance to you.
‘Nothing is Politically Right Which is Morally Wrong’
Senator Mike Parson, State Capitol Building, Room 420. Phone: 573-751-8793 or 800-752-8256. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions or comments regarding issues in state government or within the 28th Senatorial District, please feel free to contact my office.