For a long time, I have been amused to read the comments from those who consider me to be some sort of left-wing radical. If I write something bad about a Republican, I am immediately branded part of the "liberal media." All of this happening while I have consistently written about the problems Democrats have had with the law and with accepting gifts from lobbyists and campaign contributions from special interests.
My reporting on the $9,000 plus Rep. Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, has received from lobbyists this year (nearly $5,000 more than the nearest representative) drew the ire of the Tony's Kansas City blog, which is mostly my fault. As has been my practice, I sent Tony the link because that is something I have consistently done when I have a story I believe may interest a blogger.
This is part of Tony's post:
And phony teabag ethics don't win out in downtown.
Also, I find GOP propaganda regarding ethics from the same people willing to kick most of the State off Medicare a little confounding.
But go ahead and believe this is a big deal . . . Unlike the paper of record TKC is happy to link Republican smear tactics and challenge them head on . . . And anybody who believes this is a big issue or will influence an election is far too childish and naive for Kansas City politics.
Judging from that passage, Tony has not been a reader of The Turner Report, which has criticized the decision to pare thousands off the Medicaid rolls and has been especially critical of those who feel it is their God-given right to be rude and overbearing at town hall meetings.
I am concerned about Tony's passage which says there is nothing wrong with Mike Talboy accepting all of those gifts because Talboy is a good guy:
Furthermore . . . These attacks are stupid and prey upon misguided people because they only represent Talboy keeping really good track and REPORTING all of his interactions with lobbyists.
But here's the most important fact for me . . .
KANSAS CITY NEVER FAULTS A POLITICO FOR MAKING OR ENJOYING CASH!!!
It may not be right, it probably represents a corrupt culture but it's a fact of life.
Kansas City accepts success by any means necessary.
Tony's post received several comments, many from readers who tried to correct Tony's erroneous perception of The Turner Report, including this one:
The Turner Report just hates lobbyists in general, nothing other than that.
Actually, as hard as it may be for some to believe, I don't hate lobbyists. In fact, I acknowledge they serve a valuable purpose for our system. That being said, I have a strong belief that our elected officials should accept no gifts from lobbyists and that lobbyists should not be involved in collecting campaign contributions from their clients for politicians.
Eliminating these things would still leave lobbyists with a considerable advantage over the rest of us. They are located in Jefferson City, for the most part, with easy access to our senators and representatives. They normally have more research material available on issues and more money to conduct such research. Let the business be conducted in the office, and if they have to meet over a meal, let the politicians pay for their own food and drinks.
It wasn't long ago that a Missouri politician said, "People think these lobbyists are somehow giving gifts and providing benefits for lawmakers, and that simply isn't the case. If you simply eliminate the practice, it clears up the question."
It's time for the politician who spoke those words, Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, to back them up with some action. All Nodler has to do is steer a bill like that through the General Assembly and I will never write about the gifts that he, Mike Talboy, or any other state legislator receives ever again.