Today, Missouri Speaker of the House Ron Richard confirmed that he is in the process of naming a special interim committee to investigate the creation and distribution of the Missouri Information Analysis Center's (MIAC) "Militia Memo." The Missouri Libertarian Party applauds the creation of this committee as a step in the right direction that brings our state one step closer to prohibiting political profiling and the abuses of power that go with it.
Springfield Republican Representative Bob Dixon is expected to chair the committee.
Missouri LP spokesman Mike Ferguson issues the following statement in response to today's developments:
"Thanks to the continued effort of grassroots Missourians, the Missouri Libertarian Party, various other political groups and several state legislators who see this controversy for the serious concern that it is.
"Representatives Shane Schoeller, Chris Molendorp, Bob Dixon, Chris Kelly and Jim Guest are among the many who stepped up to address the MIAC issue. We appreciate their outstanding leadership on this issue. We also appreciate the Speaker's decision to move forward and appoint the committee."
With political profiling having now been exposed at the national level, it is more important than ever that Missouri lead the way to protecting the privacy and the rights of individuals. Tragically, the US Department of Homeland Security also has a report that classifies specific groups of ordinary Americans as potential security threats due to political beliefs.
In addition to Libertarians, the Missouri version of the report also listed supporters of former presidential candidates Bob Barr (LP) and Ron Paul (Republican) and those who support Paul's Campaign for Liberty, those who are pro life, those who oppose illegal immigration and those who oppose further infringements of our Second Amendment rights.
The Missouri Libertarian Party has actively led both the citizen effort to stop the MIAC report from being implemented as a training document for law enforcement and the demand for a complete investigation into the report.
Like the general public, the Missouri Libertarian Party wants both policy changes to prevent the political profiling that was promoted in the MIAC report and oversight of all MIAC and Highway Patrol activities by legislators. Having legislative oversight is vital because someone who is directly accountable to the public, as opposed to bureaucrats, will be more likely to advocate for the rights of Missourians.
The Missouri Libertarian Party encourages the committee to invite former Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia and US Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who were named in the MIAC report, to testify at one of the committee hearings. Barr, who was the Libertarian Presidential nominee in 2008, has confirmed his willingness to come to Missouri and speak to the committee.
Ferguson continued his statement in the interest of clarifying any confusion of who demonstrated leadership on this issue.
"In contrast to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's grandiose statements and rhetoric in his press conference last month, he's nowhere to be found on actually delivering the solution to this problem. Despite his skillfully taking a public bow for the hard work of others, it should be pointed out that Mr. Kinder contributed nothing to this effort other than empty words.
"It's important for the public to know the difference between those who merely talked about leading, like Lt. Governor Kinder, and those who truly led, like Representatives Schoeller, Molendorp, Dixon, Kelley and Guest."
Speaker Richard's office told the Missouri Libertarian Party today that the final list of House members on the interim committee will be announced next week.