The St. Joseph News Press reported this weekend that Rep. Galen Higdon (R-St. Joseph) will not be running for the open state senate seat for Buchanan and Platte Counties next year. His reason why was astounding:
“I wouldn’t go back [to Jefferson City] if they paid me three times the amount [of a legislator’s salary] … I’m finished with them. All of the lying, the bribery, the threats, all of the big money going into our state is doing nothing but ruining it.”
Rep. Higdon’s on the record comments echo those of numerous other Republicans who have seen first hand what big money and big lobbyists have been doing in Jefferson City.
Sen. Ryan Silvey (R-Kansas City) has been particularly critical of the role big money appears to have played in decisions made by Senate President Ron Richard and other Senate leaders:
“The facts are (Richard) received large contributions. He filed legislation that would dismiss a lawsuit against the people who made those contributions.”
Sen. Rob Schaaf, the current Senator from St. Joseph, has been very forceful in condemning the corrupted policy making process in Missouri:
“The whole idea of it is you give me something, I give you something…it’s understood.”
Former Rep. Sheila Solon (R-Blue Springs) expressed outrage last year after a billionaire far from her district spent big to attack her in an August primary after she voted to protect her constituents’ interests:
“I do think we need to do something about caps on contributions— that hopefully will be addressed. My concern is, at this point in time, we have people who want to run statewide that are courting the favor of billionaires so they can get a million dollar check. And folks like, we make 35,000 a year. You’re going to be threatened with your job, if you don’t do what a billionaire wants you to do. You should represent the folks who elected you.“
Legislative leaders have repeatedly stopped bipartisan bills to reform campaign finance laws and limit lobbyist gifts — but we’re not waiting on the political leaders and lobbyists in Jefferson city to fix themselves any longer.