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The Lake News Online
  • Area woman testifies during Nixon impeachment hearing

  • A Rolla area woman testified Wednesday during the conclusion of a Republican-led Missouri House committee hearing on three measures seeking to impeach Gov. Jay Nixon.
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  • A Rolla area woman testified Wednesday during the conclusion of a Republican-led Missouri House committee hearing on three measures seeking to impeach Gov. Jay Nixon.
    House Judiciary Committee Rep. Stanley Cox said he isn't sure if the committee will vote on the measures before lawmakers adjourn May 16, according to the Associated Press.
    The three resolutions seeking to impeach the Democratic governor are HR 380, regarding his decision to allow certain same-sex couples to file Missouri combined income tax returns; HR 923, regarding what some legislators feel is Nixon’s failure to discipline or dismiss executive branch employees responsible for releasing concealed carry endorsement information; and HR 476, regarding Nixon’s perceived failure to issue writs of election to fill vacancies in three House districts and one Senate district.
    Pamela K. Grow, who lives outside Rolla in the 120th House District, attended the hearing which began April 23. That hearing lasted about one hour and 20 minutes, Grow said. The hearing concluded April 30 after an hour and 40 minutes.
    Grow is chair of the 120th Legislative District Republican Committee, spoke on the impeachment resolution regarding the elections.
    The 120th District has been vacant since June 2013 when Jason Smith was elected to Congress.
    Grow, along with 10 other people who live in the four vacant legislative districts, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus in January against Nixon for failure to call special elections “in a timely manner” and “without delay,” as the state law and the state constitution call for.
    “We wanted the court to instruct the governor to do his duty and call special elections for the one Senate and three House districts,” Grow said.
    On Jan. 31, Nixon called for special elections to be held Aug. 5 for the three House districts — the 120th, 67th and 151st — but has still not set a special election date for the Senate’s 22nd District.
    Two of these four districts had been represented by Republicans, and two by Democrats.
    On Feb. 18, Judge Daniel Green of Cole County Circuit Court denied the plaintiffs’ petition.
    Grow said the case then was filed in the Missouri Western Court of Appeals Feb. 19. “A terse one-line denial of our petition issued forth the next day, Feb. 20,” Grow said. “This case was filed with the Missouri Supreme Court on Friday, Feb. 21, and a one-line denial was issued on Feb. 24.”
    According to Grow, it will be 14 months in August that she and others have had no representative in the Missouri House. “Roughly 30,000 people in my district were disenfranchised,” Grow said. In all four legislative districts, she estimates about a quarter-million people are without a representative in the Missouri General Assembly.
    Rep. Mike Moon, who filed the impeachment resolution regarding the elections, started testifying last week, but the panel ran out of time, so Moon was allowed to continue Wednesday.
    Page 2 of 2 - Grow said the panel asked Moon several questions and then she and others were allowed to testify.
    In addition to Grow, people who spoke in support of the impeachment resolution regarding elections were Ron Calzone, of Missouri First; Dave Roland, Esq., the attorney who represented the plaintiffs in the lawsuit; Maj. Eric Vought, of the Lawrence County Sheriff's Auxiliary; and Steve Hausladen, who lives in the 120th District and is a plaintiff in the lawsuit.
    “There was no one there to testify against any of the bills,” Grow said.
    In an email, Grow wrote, “For me, this is about the governor not seeing that the people in the 120th (District) get representation in a timely way, while laws get passed right over their heads.”
    In Grow’s testimony, she stated that the vacancy in the 120th District “meant that my neighbors and I had no representative accountable to us in our closest state legislative chamber, and that situation persists to this day, more than 10 months later.”
    The district had no representation during last year’s veto session and a special session called on tax incentives.
    “Tax day has come and gone; we had no representative,” she stated, adding that she also will have no representation during the final weeks of this year’s regular legislative session.
    Grow said if the governor had called the special election in April, it might have afforded “us a new representative able to participate in many votes” in the remaining weeks of this current legislative session.
    “I would like to point out that for the 2013 session, 98 percent of the legislation that was ‘truly agreed to and finally passed’ reached that benchmark after the second week of April,” Grow stated.
    “Delay in scheduling an election is an infringement on the right of suffrage ... Since some of its bills this year deal with elections and voting, the Missouri General Assembly must be concerned with the right of suffrage, and I would urge the legislature to act where the judiciary would not, and check the power of the governor to infringe on the people’s right of suffrage by unconscionable delays in calling elections,” Grow said.

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