Saturday, August 13, 2005

Nodler free movie perk goes nationwide

"Perks of being a legislator in Missouri: a daily expense allowance, special license plates and don't forget the free movies."
That's how Associated Press writer David Lieb began his article on the free movie perk that Missouri legislators, including Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, receive from the United Motion Picture Association.
The article does not mention Sen. Nodler's run-in with the caregiver for the developmentally disabled adults that has become a cause celebre in southwest Missouri these past several days, but it does quote the senator. This is how the article features Nodler:

"I don't know anything about the organization that provides the passes," said GOP Sen. Gary Nodler, a movie buff who studied film history in college. "I've never had any contact or communication with them, I don't believe they lobby at all, and I can't imagine what their issues would be."

Nodler's comment ran in dozens of newspapers nationwide, including Newsday in New York, the Chicago Tribune, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Philadelphia Inquirer and newspapers in other cities, including Macon, Ga., Biloxi, Miss., Grand Forks, N. D., St. Paul, Minn., Columbus, Ga., Seattle, Wash., Bradenton, Fla., Wilkes Barre, Pa., Fort Worth, Texas, Tallahassee, Fla., Louisville, Ky., and Miami, Fla.


Anonymous said...

Hey Randy. Did you read the national AP story. Seems Nodler was right and had no contact with the group giving the pass. Several passes were given to a Democrat Senator who in turn gave one to Nodler. Guess its a Democrat scandal more than a Republican one. Be careful where you shoot.

Randy said...

I would suggest that you be a bit more careful about where you shoot. My comments about Nodler, based on the context of the incident at the movie theater and his entire past record, were right on the money. And if you want to check out my credentials for fairness, ask anyone who read my columns at The Lamar Democrat and The Carthage Press when Bob Griffin was the Democratic Speaker of the House in Missouri. I doubt if you would find any writers who criticized Griffin more than I did. And if I had started the political commentary on this site when Bob Holden was governor, he would have been under fire almost all of the time.

Anonymous said...

I am not particularly a Nodler fan but I am a bit embarassed about how cynical the American public has become. In this day and age it seems that democrats have truly become antagonistic when it comes to forming opinions about Republican politicians. Randy, your blog is quickly becoming a forum for you to throw out that old slogan of "fair and balanced" and become totally one-sided about an issue that means very little in the grand scheme of things. I am pretty disappointed.

Randy said...

I would be inclined to agree with you, but the Nodler incident to me cannot be viewed as an isolated event. I have been writing for months about how politicians have become insulated from the people they are elected to represent, and this generally can be broken down into three areas, all of which are connected: campaign contributions, lobbyists, and free perks. The more of those that the politicans receive, the less connection they have with their constituents. That being said, it doesn't help that other media are generally isolating this incident. Taken by itself, Gary Nodler's movie incident is a flash-in-the-pan story and it will fade away eventually. It is when it is connected with the other ways in which politicians stop representing the people they are elected to represent that this story becomes one which should continue to be covered.