The headline placed over Rep. Kevin Wilson's column in Thursday's Newton County News read "No Surprises," and the headline was certainly accurate.
It did not surprise me that Wilson mentioned nowhere in his considerably lengthy column that he had cast a vote to uphold Governor Matt Blunt's veto of $227,000 that had been designated for Alzheimer's research.
The word Alzheimer's did not appear anywhere in the Neosho Republican's column. This is what he had to say about the attempts to override the governor's vetoes. "The vetoes that even raised any eyebrows related to line item budget items and given the financial scenario of the state we need to work with the governor to keep the budget balanced. In most instances, items that were vetoed were redundant programs, research programs that did not provide actual services, or funds were transferred from other areas to fill gaps. I think that this is what you expect your government to do- think outside the box and get the most out of your tax dollars."
Wilson says at the beginning of the column that there were "no serious attempts to override any of the governor's vetoes," yet every Democrat and 20 Republicans, including Bryan Stevenson of Webb City, voted to override the Alzheimer's research veto. I would call that a serious attempt.
After that, Wilson briefly reviewed other items that came up for a vote, then ended his column with several paragraphs about the recent U. S. District Court decision in California keeping schools from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance because of the words "under God."
While, I agree with Wilson that the attempt to ban the Pledge of Allegiance by a California publicity seeker is ridiculous, I would have liked to have seen him tackle head on why he felt the need to back up the governor's veto of such important research. The past General Assembly has provided numerous financial gifts to big business,while cutting services for those who most desperately need them (but who will never have the ability to donate to the legislators' campaigns).
Believe me, Rep. Wilson, most of your constituents did not consider workmen's compensation reforms and lawsuit reforms to be pressing needs.
Wilson ended his column with a famous quote, "The only thing necessary for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." He added a postcript, "I believe that it is high time for good people to speak out and I know that you will."
Allow me to be the first, Rep. Wilson.