Monday, February 05, 2007

Indicted lawmaker filed for bankruptcy twice

Associated Press is running a story noting that indicted legislator, John L. Bowman Sr., D-St. Louis, has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy twice, once in 1990 and again in 2004.
It appears that credit for the scoop can go to Republican operative Jeff Roe's blog, The Source, which featured the information hours earlier and also did something the AP article failed to do- It noted the hypocrisy of Bowman's signature legislation, bills that would require all Missouri high school students to take course in personal finance. Roe wrote:

Bowman, who received an indictment last week due to his potential involvement in a massive bank-fraud scheme, will appear in court this afternoon along with the rest of his alleged co-conspirators. Bowman gained much of his celebrity following his introduction of legislation that requires students in Missouri’s education system to learn the importance and utility of responsible financial management. In fact, Bowman even received public recognition for his levelheaded legislation. Ironically, though, he may have needed to take a similar course himself. At the exact time that he was discussing, forming and drafting this legislation, Bowman had accumulated nearly $34,000 in personal debt. Two short years after that, he then was forced to file for bankruptcy, due in large part to that massive debt. As of last year, much of Bowman’s personal debt remained unpaid. Four short years ago, Bowman reigned supreme in the state of Missouri for the foresight he showed when drafting the bill. Now, there is a much different aura surrounding Bowman.

Bowman serves on the House Budget Committee,

A search of Google newspaper archives indicates no story ever being written by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch or any other mainstream newspaper about Bowman's bankruptcy, despite the fact that the bankruptcy court records indicate Bowman did not pay state or federal income tax between 1999 and 2001. In fact, the Post-Dispatch lavished praise upon Bowman numerous times. If a newspaper's job is to serve as a watchdog and not just rewrite news releases and serve as stenographers then it should not have taken three years for the information on Bowman's bankruptcy to see the light of the day.
Bankruptcies are not a badge of dishonor; bad things can happen to good people, but any time people who are in charge of making decisions on how taxpayers' money is spent declare bankruptcy, it needs to be brought to the attention of the voters.

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