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TheChat: Ron Richard flips positions on releasing his emails

Richard
Richard

Here we go.

▪ “All you have to do is ask for it, and I’ll give it to you. I don’t care.” — Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard telling a roomful of reporters and editors that he was willing to turn over his emails and daily schedules.

Yet when the Associated Press submitted an open-records request for a week’s worth of Richard’s emails and daily calendars, he changed his mind. The AP sought the information from leaders in all 50 states, but many cited an exemption in their state’s open records laws as the reason to reject the requests. Richard told the AP that he switched his position after learning that his predecessors had concluded that the information was not subject to the Sunshine Law.

▪ “Hijacked.” — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon noting that a proposed constitutional amendment enshrining discrimination against gay people distracted attention from ethics reform, which many lawmakers proclaimed as the session’s top issue this year.

He noted that the bad blood that the discrimination bill kicked up could undermine work on other issues.

▪ “I'm deeply troubled by this trend that's developed ... a repeated failure to prioritize education and the cynical effort to hide it.” — Nixon chiding lawmakers for not doing more for schools.

Nixon, a Democrat, made the remarks after the House approved a budget that falls short of his recommendations both for higher education and K-12 public schools.

▪ “This is insane.” — Kansas state Sen. Michael O’Donnell, a Wichita Republican, expressing his frustration that lawmakers learned via Twitter that the state could have a bond rating issue in connection with a disagreement over the future of the Docking State Office Building.

Some administration officials had wanted to keep that concern private. O’Donnell couldn’t believe that Gov. Sam Brownback released the information on a social media site. The moment illuminated a rare public dispute between the GOP Senate and a governor from the same party.

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