Monday, December 19, 2005
Neosho Daily calls Nodler on legislative games
Gary Nodler once again showed just how thin his skin really is when he pounced on the Neosho Daily News for its recent editorial which pointed out the political shell game being played by Nodler with the filing of his bill to strengthen penalties against CAFOs. I made similar points in a recent post.
Nodler adopted his normal superior tone in a letter to the editor printed in the Thursday, Dec. 15 Daily. "The editor expressed his suspicion of the timing of my announced legislation since the controversy had gone on for nine months. I will be happy to educate him on this." Nodler then noted that Senate bills cannot be introduced after March 1 and the Moark controversy started after that.
I thoroughly enjoyed it when Nodler wrote, "The newspaper also stated that this (his bill) was an attempt to get back in the good graces of Newton County constituents. The fact is that my constituent communications have never indicated that I was out of the good graces of voters in Newton County and I also know of no polling that would support that suggestion." If that doesn't indicate that the senator is out of touch with his constituents, nothing will.
Then Nodler comes to the heart of his letter. "I have said before and I will now repeat that it is unethical for a legislator to use his or her office to interfere with an ongoing regulatory proceeding. It is also unproductive because when a legislator does that, he or she makes it less likely that the position they favor will succeed. Most regulators will bend over backwards to avoid the appearance of yielding improperly to political pressure. Most Missourians do not want to live in a state where regulators obey the orders of politicians rather than the dictates of state law."
Well, no, Gary. Most of your constituents would appreciate your using your influence to help them. That is what good politicians do. At the least, an appearance at one of the meetings or an attempt to broker a compromise would have been well received.
But I will repeat what I have said earlier. It is easy to propose a bill after the damage has already been done. And the whole thing smacks of hypocrisy since Nodler has shown an inclination to get involved in other matters and throw his political weight around.
Case in point, the situation that occurred late last year when two Joplin police officers arrested and handcuffed an 11-year-old boy at an elementary school. The following was featured in an article written by Jeff Wells in the May 10 Globe:
"State Sen. Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, said Monday that in a telephone conversation last week, he told (Police Chief Kevin) Lindsey that he thinks the city needs to reveal what punishment was given to the officers.
" 'I believe it would be healthier for the community if the city's response to the incident was publicly known and understood,' Nodler said.
"Nodler said his comments are strictly as a private individual, and Lindsey said he thought Nodler was not speaking in an official role."
Nodler had no qualms about getting involved as a private citizen in that situation. So forgive me if I have trouble buying into his reasoning for avoiding the Moark controversy.
You can't have it both ways, Gary.