There is a grassroots movement in motion, to unseat Republican, Missouri House Speaker heir apparent, John Diehl. And perhaps the most surprising thing about he movement is that its not advanced by Democrats. It’s precipitated by conservatives. It seems conservatives in the 89th and across the state are dissatisfied with Diehl’s stand on the issues and they don’t want to see him in a position of leadership in the Missouri House.
Today, volunteers took to the neighborhoods of the 89th district to distribute brochures in hopes of educating the voters there as to why John Diehl should not be re-elected to his House seat.
The position of House Speaker is a powerful one, in the Missouri political structure. The position controls all committee and chairmanship appointments. It also controls the assignment of any and all bills to those committees and whether, or not, they are forwarded to the Floor Leader to be placed before the General Assembly for a vote. Diehl currently serves as the House Majority Floor Leader.
It is the general procedure to elect the upcoming Speaker at least 2 years in advance of taking office, which allows an excessive amount of time for him to attract the attention and big money donations from lobbyists and special interests. This money often gets filtered to the campaigns of state reps, across the state, which is often seen as buying their loyalty, loyalty, which is rewarded by committee and chairmanship positions.
The group, MOLeadershipProject.org believes the present process leads to politics as usual, and separates the people from their representation.
As Floor Leader, the group also feels Diehl has been using his position to block legislation on key issues. They contend he was the key player in killing pro 2nd amendment legislation. He has repeatedly opposed critical paper ballot legislation that would thwart voter fraud and stalled anti-Common Core and intrusive student data collection legislation by reassigning it to committee where it could be gutted, late, into the session. They raise concerns about his ties to companies that reap huge benefits from red light camera tickets and accuse him of blocking legislation that would end their use. They also note he voted to place a ¾ cent sales tax increase on the ballot, in opposition of the wishes of 72% of the constituents in his own district.
Not only do these conservative activists not want to see Diehl gain the Speakership, they don’t want him re-elected to his seat in the House. Should he lose in the November elections, his seat will be taken by a Democrat. While they acknowledge the most conservatives and Republicans work to maintain Republican seats, should they be successful in unseating Diehl, and a Democrat wins, the House will still maintain its majority. And, in their opinion, electing Diehl would be no different than having a Democrat in that seat.
On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. MO Leadership Project is holding a press conference in Queeny Park to engage the larger Missouri voting audience. It is important, in their view, for voters across the state to express to their own elected House representatives, their opposition of Diehl’s leadership positions. They intend, at that time, to announce plans for fighting the establishment Republican Party’s process for maintaining the current status quo.
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