For Immediate Release
Missouri Leadership Project Calls for
Activists' Pressure on House to Respect Constitution
Jefferson City, MO -- February 21, 2012
Today the Missouri Leadership Project is calling for activists across the state to demand the chairman of the House Economic Development Committee to retract a statement she made about the lack of responsibility her committee has to consider the constitutionality of bills.
The groups also will be asking the Speaker of the House, Steve Tilley, to send a memo to all of his committee chairman, explaining their responsibility to adhere to the Constitution.
See the call to action here: http://www.libertytools.org/Mail-Templates/Klebba-Zerr.html
The controversy began at a January 31 hearing for HB 1476, which is the portion of the "China Hub" bill (SB 8) from September's special session that provided special subsidies to Freight Forwarder's. Citizens promoting free market principles and constitutional governance attempted to present testimony which questioned the constitutionality of that bill.
Chairman Anne Zerr repeatedly interrupted the 5 minute testimony of Ron Calzone, stating that his comments weren't germane, that her committee had no responsibility to consider the constitutionality of bills, and that such questions were the court's purview.
These same citizens played a significant role in stopping the passage of SB 8 last fall. Some legislators closest to the bill credit the grass roots activists with killing it.
If Chairman Zerr was sensitive to the effects of the activists, the feeling may have been mutual, as some were concerned with her decision not to allow her committee to debate and offer amendments for SB 7 & SB 8 before they were sent to the whole House during the special session.
This call by citizens for the House of Representatives to conduct business in a constitutional way comes on the heels of last week's rebuke by the Missouri Supreme Court. In Klebba v. Missouri, the Court declared the omnibus ethics bill from 2010 to be unconstitutional and chastised the General Assembly for their lack of adherence to the Constitution.
Some of the same activists concerned about Rep. Zerr's policy had complained about constitutional problems with the ethics bill in 2010.
The Missouri Leadership Project is a coalition of Patriot, Tea Party and other groups who occasionally collaborate to promote fair and open debate in the legislative process, as well as adherence to the constitutional process.
For more information, contact:
Ron Calzone -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Oath of Office
Every senator or representative elect, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear, or affirm, that I will support the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and faithfully perform the duties of my office, and that I will not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or nonperformance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law." The oath shall be administered in the halls of the respective houses to the members thereof, by a judge of the supreme court or a circuit court, or after the organization by the presiding officer of either house, and shall be filed in the office of the secretary of state. Any senator or representative refusing to take said oath or affirmation shall be deemed to have vacated his office, and any member convicted of having violated his oath or affirmation shall be deemed guilty of perjury, and be forever disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit in this state.
Article III Section 15 - Missouri Constitution
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