A reader left a comment a few moments ago to a previous link concerning the late school start bill being proposed once again by Sen. Jack Goodman, R-Mount Vernon. In the post, I noted the amount of Branson tourism money that Goodman receives, as well as the money that has been contributed to Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, who supports the bill.
The reader wrote:
This post is very deceiving. Goodman is a senator that represents Branson. I can understand why such a concern could raise eyebrows if such funding went to someone like Nodler. But a senator getting funding from within his district just doesn't seem like news to me. Regards, Branson Edge
Branson Edge is absolutely correct. The Branson tourism interests are in Sen. Goodman's district, and I have no problem with the senator receiving donations from them.
My reason for continuing to mention this, however, dates back to my first post on the subject, which came in the March 23, 2006, Turner Report:
In a news release, Goodman said the bill "protects families' ability to take summer vacations, be involved in sports and summer camps and take advantage of other important non-classroom learning opportunities."
Goodman continues, adding that this simple maneuver will increase student attendance "as parents are relieved of the burden of choosing between their children's education and these other vital activities."
These things may all be true, though I am inclined to doubt it, but even if they are, Goodman left out one important reason why he sponsored this legislation...it is a pet bill of the state's tourism industry, and if anyone is beholden to that special interest segment, it's Senator Goodman.
There is no doubt that a key reason for this legislation is that it will benefit the tourism industry. Yet the wording of that press release indicated Goodman was avoiding that issue, deliberately trying to keep Branson out of it.
While I appreciate the well-reasoned comments of Branson Edge, I have nothing but contempt for the Nodler supporter who, as usual, took my words, twisted them, and came up with nothing that resembled reality. I have noted that Gary Nodler received his Branson campaign contributions close to the time he announced his support for Sen. Goodman's legislation. The anonymous Nodler supporter continues to claim that Nodler supported this legislation much earlier so I am lying. I have never said he did not support the legislation, all I said was that the donations came just about the time he began showing that support in public. I have yet to find any news articles or any other sources that say Nodler spoke in public in favor of this bill. The first show of public support that I learned about came when he spoke last May at the Southwest Regional Center in Webb City to a group of school counselors. His Branson contributions came right about that time.
And as Branson Edge correctly points out, Branson is not in Sen. Nodler's district.
According to the Missouri Senate website, a hearing on the bill was held earlier this week. As far as I can tell, the media ignored it.