The Buzz

BuzzChatter: The Missouri Capitol is no 'House of Cards' ...or is it?

Why are papers from the Clinton White House still being withheld from public view? See Quote #4:

• “This isn’t ‘House of Cards.’” — Missouri state Rep. Caleb Jones to the Post-Dispatch’s Virginia Young about the culture of the Missouri Capitol.

Jones’ General Laws Committee is preparing a package of ethics bill to present to the full House. But as Young reported, lots of lawmakers are skeptical about many of the proposed reforms. Missouri, remember, is the only state in the country that allows unlimited lobbyists’ gifts and unlimited campaign donations. That, by itself, puts a cloud over the General Assembly’s work — and has for years.

• “There’s plenty of horror stories being told (about ObamaCare). All of them are untrue.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Wednesday.

Reid, the chamber’s top Democrat, overreached here enough to make today’s Buzz Chatter. Truth be told, there are some horror stories out there, and Reid compounds the program’s early troubles with hyperbole like this. Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican, shot back a statement in which he asked, “Does Harry Reid believe Missourians are making this up?”

• “We are going to make war on fundamental voting rights for 220,000 Missourians, for poor people, and for black people so you can entertain a fantasy.” — Missouri state Rep. Chris Kelly, a Columbia Democrat,

on a GOP proposal that would require voters

to show photo ID before casting ballots.

Republicans continue to insist that a photo ID requirement would safeguard the integrity of elections, while Democrats point out that the requirement would disenfranchise a big bunch of voters. Besides, Democrats say, there is so little voter fraud that it’s not worth arguing about. The House passed measures this week that could lead to a photo ID requirement. But the recent history of this legislation suggests it faces tough odds. Past attempts have either stalled in the Senate, faced a Gov. Jay Nixon veto or been blocked by judges.

• “The obvious answer is they are trying to protect Hillary, and there’s no question at all that there’s something in that but the reality also is they don’t have the staff.” — Gettysburg College professor Shirley Warshaw, a frequent visitor to presidential libraries, on why

a trove of Clinton White House records

that have been processed for release remain hidden from public view.

The question is why Clinton presidential records that were to be released in January 2013 after a 12-year blackout period remain under wraps. About 33,000 pages of documents are at stake and include confidential advice given to the president and communication from then-first lady Hillary Clinton. National Archives staff has already reviewed the documents, so the excuse about personnel shortages to review the papers doesn’t fly. The Clintons have been through a lot with Whitewater and the like. They don’t want to resurrect those olds ghosts now. So, get the documents out.

• “There is probably not another issue that we're going to debate on the Senate floor that is more important because it affects all of us.” — Missouri state Sen. David Pearce, a Warrensburg Republican, on the student transfer bill.

Under current law, unaccredited districts must pay for students to attend better-performing public schools. The Kansas City School District is adamantly opposed to the law because of the potential cost it would bear to pay for the transfers. The General Assembly is now debating a bill that would limit the financial impact to unaccredited districts like Kansas City’s.

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