Dear Sen. Richard:
I want to take a moment to thank you for not putting me on the Appropriations Conference Committee this year. While your decision transparently epitomizes the worst of petty personal politics and flies in the face of 196 years of Senate tradition, it is a load off my mind not to be tasked with cleaning up the mess you have created.
When I joined a group of 10 Republicans and nine Democrats to fully fund the education formula, over the votes of both you and your chairman, we succeeded in funding what is and has been my No. 1 priority in the budget. Furthermore, since the House had already fully funded the formula through the visionary leadership of Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, it is no longer a difference and there is no need for me to fight to protect it in conference.
Moreover, I cannot in good conscience follow your Chairman in defending the Senate position in some of the other items. In a tight budget year when we are cutting services for children, senior citizens, as well as our informed and impoverished, there is no way I could support the earmark you had him place in House Bill 4 to build a new $1 million hangar for private planes at your hometown airport. This earmark is nothing more than pork for the powerful and I thank you for not asking me to defend it for you.
While many people are concerned that you chose political retribution over putting the most experienced appropriator in the legislature on the conference committee, I hope this letter puts your mind at ease.
I and many others are comforted by the fact that you only have one year left to play these political games and a new Missouri is on the horizon.
Sen. Ryan Silvey, Republican from
Missouri District 17