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February 10, 2009

Why was lawmaker left off committee?

I am greatly concerned about the reason Missouri House Speaker Ron Richard gave for replacing Jeannette Mott Oxford with Michael Corcoran on the Special Standing Committee on Children and Families (2/6, Local, “Gay lawmaker questions being left off committee”). Oxford has many years of experience working with children and families and had served on committees concerning children and families since entering the legislature in 2005. Why would Oxford be rejected and her experience discarded?

And how is being “one of my favorite guys” (a quote from Richard) a qualification for appointment to any committee?

Shirley Godt
Wright City, Mo.


Jeff H

sad, but true... until we get into an environment where our state government doesn't try to sneak around behind our backs and deny our right to know what they are doing with our money that affects our lives, we will have to deal with people choosing their "favorite guy" rather than who is most qualified. And as long as that happens, personal bigotry will have an affect on our legislation but be very difficult to prove since so little documentation and transparency is required by the voters in our state.


And how is being “one of my favorite guys” a qualification for appointment to any committee?

Because this is Missouri politics, plain and simple.

It seems that there was something behind Oxford's being left off of family committees, but let's be careful here. Other than a "he said, she said" allegation that someone allegedly said she was "highly offensive", there doesn't appear to be any evidence that her sexual orientation had anything to do with it.

Whether or not she was fairly (and lawfully) treated is an issue that we don't have enough information about.

There are two things that we do know, however. One, we know that the Missouri constitution gives the speaker almost unlimited right to appoint who he wants. Two, we know that complaining to the press virtually guarantees being "black-balled" from the process in the future.

If there's really anything to the allegations, it should be an interesting case to follow.

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