Missouri’s constitution allows the governor to call legislators into special session for “extraordinary” reasons.
We’ve looked and looked, but we can’t find “political self-promotion” mentioned anywhere in that document.
Yet Missouri’s lawmakers will gather in Jefferson City again Monday, at the call of a governor whose self-serving approach to politics is increasingly a cause for concern across the state.
Gov. Eric Greitens wants legislators to talk about abortion. He wants them to discard a St. Louis ordinance protecting women who’ve had an abortion from housing discrimination. And he wants them to enact new restrictions on abortion.
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Those subjects are serious and worthy of debate. In fact, we expect the legislature to address these issues thoughtfully and purposefully in the days ahead.
But a serious approach to pressing issues seems to be the farthest thing from Greitens’ mind. He’s in such a hurry to become president of the United States that he’ll seize on any headline-grabbing issue to promote himself.
A statewide anti-abortion tour with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee confirms that suspicion.
Greitens says he is pro-life. Yet Missouri Right-to-Life PAC refused to endorse Greitens in the Republican Party primary last year because its members couldn’t confirm his commitment to their cause.
Now, Missouri taxpayers will be forced to pony up $60,000 or so for an unnecessary session devoted to an issue that should have been settled during the spring.
Missouri is grappling with several challenges that deserve attention: the opioid crisis, crumbling highways, the lack of ethics reform. Asking lawmakers to devote time to those concerns would make sense. Sending the legislature into overtime for political reasons does not.
This special session isn’t extraordinary at all, but another example of Greitens’ political ambitions driving his decisions.