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Does Refusal of House and Senate Republicans to Investigate the MIAC “Strategic Memo” Show Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is Too Weak to Lead?
The worst-kept secret in Missouri politics is Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's plan to challenge Governor Jay Nixon in 2012.
The Missouri Libertarian Party asks how Mr. Kinder expects to lead our state when he cannot lead his own party to honor his call for an investigation into the now-defunct "strategic memo" that outraged Missourians. The memo, produced by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), politically profiled as potential member of violent militias Missourians who are, among others: Libertarians, pro-life, opposed to illegal immigration, opposed to gun control legislation or Republicans who supported Ron Paul's presidential campaign.
Lt. Governor Kinder held a press conference on March 25th and called for a full investigation into the MIAC report and called for Missouri Department of Public Safety Director John Britt to be placed on administrative leave while the matter is investigated. He followed up that press conference with an op-ed that ran in several Missouri newspapers that reiterated his call for an investigation.
The Missouri Libertarian Party has confirmed that an investigation is not planned in either chamber of the legislature despite the fact that both the House and Senate are controlled by Republicans. The Republican leadership is ignoring Kinder's request for an investigation.
Missouri Libertarian Party spokesman Mike Ferguson issued the following statement:
"Despite massive public opposition to the political profiling practices defined in the MIAC report, Mr. Kinder has been unable to motivate the Republican leadership to follow through on demands for an investigation.
"We appreciate the Lt. Governor's statement in his press conference and later in his opinion article, but making a public call for an investigation is little more than political theater if he's unable to convince the House and Senate leadership to actually do it. It seems that Speaker Ron Richards and Senate President Pro Tempore Charlie Shields do not take the Lt. Governor's request seriously.
"If Peter Kinder cannot lead his own party on something with overwhelming public support, how does he expect to lead Missouri as governor?"
Mr. Kinder will need the support of pro-life voters, gun owners and fiscal conservatives in his gubernatorial bid. Standing up for these voters, and the others who were profiled as potentially dangerous by the MIAC report, requires more than making headlines with a press conference almost two weeks after the story broke.
Ferguson continued: "Lt. Governor Kinder said the right things in his press conference and in his editorial. What I want to know is if he is going to show us that he takes this seriously enough to make sure the investigation takes place and the needed oversight of MIAC's operations is put in place.
"So far, all we've seen is talk, not leadership. Mr. Kinder has the ability to make an investigation happen in a Republican-controlled legislature, I hope he shows us that he is willing and able to lead by action."
Mike Ferguson, Missouri Libertarian Party Spokesperson