I’ve had a bit of a heavy heart the past few days with the passing of former Rep. Keith English. Keith was a friend of mine. We talked politics countless times and raised a glass more than we probably needed to. It never mattered that we disagreed, I liked him and I respected him.
The one thing I will always remember about Keith is that he loved being a state representative. Most people appreciate the honor, but Keith loved the job in a unique way. He loved the Capitol, the people who work there, and pretty much everything about public service. Unlike some who pretend to be put upon by serving in state government, he openly loved the privilege.
I remember him remodeling every office he had in the House himself. He wanted his office to be as nice as possible for the people who came to visit him. He was also one of the most generous people you could know.
His four years in office was spent serving in the minority, but he was known for taking a key vote on a tax cut, being loyally pro-labor, and being one of a few pro-life legislators in the Democratic caucus.
If there is one politician who would give you the shirt off his back, it would be Keith. He was always a confident guy who appreciated women, but that came to an abrupt halt when he met his bride, Kelly. Keith loved that woman.
There is no way to know why Keith did what he did. I find myself typing this more than I would like, but I wish he would have called me. I’m ashamed of myself that he didn’t feel like he could have.
As these tragic events keep happening the overwhelming feeling inside me is that you wish you could have had a few seconds to talk to the person, tell them you care about them, and try and help.
Yes, I realize we’re in an age where demagogues attacking the legislature seems popular, but I think it’s cruel to disregard the impact transitioning from the demands of serving in the legislature back into the life of a private citizen.
I understand the demagogue would throw a fit at anyone feeling any empathy for a member of the General Assembly, but serving in the legislature is a radical change in many people’s lives who get elected. When that service is over it is a reasonable human emotion to struggle with the transition back to the life you lived before.
Maybe something to come from this tragedy is not to forego criticizing our leaders, but maybe while critiquing them remember these are real people with the same human emotions all of us have.
Give Hawley a chance
A few other things to wrap up an amazing week in Missouri politics.
Look, I understand those who are up in arms about Attorney General Josh Hawley’s investigation into the Governor and his staff’s deleting government records with their Confide app.
Yes, it was not his best day. While other scandal-ridden politicians like Richard Nixon have exerted executive privilege to hide their actions from investigators, executive privilege doesn’t exist in Missouri law.
That aside, I do not believe that its a coincidence that the day he announces the failure of his investigation into the Confide app is the day he announces his investigation into the Governor’s campaign’s use of the assets of his charity for political purposes.
I think Hawley has taken his job seriously and hasn’t done anything to embarrass the office. I’ve been wrong before, but I do not believe that he is simply a partisan stool pigeon.
It seems to me that the failure of his Confide investigation may be more about how weak Missouri law is on transparency issues. However, the law isn’t weak here. It’s pretty clear, and there isn’t one Missourian that believes that Danny Laub is the unethical patsy the Governor claims he is.
In fact, the first time I was told about Greitens using this charity’s assets for political purposes was by people currently serving in Governor Greitens’ administration. The truth is out there, and I’ll be the first to say I was wrong if the Attorney General proves too partisan, too delicate, or just too incompetent to go after it.
There is no question the state of Missouri is on her knees right now, embarrassed and ashamed by her state government. She desperately needs a leader with the courage to kick down that basement door and come to her rescue. Some may, but I wouldn’t count Josh Hawley out as that leader just yet.
Couple other items:
We are always asked to look at other growing states and copy them. Well, it’s getting odd that lots of movies want to be shot about Missouri, but aren’t shot in Missouri. The people who know say it is because we let the film tax credit expire. Well, if we are wanting to model Missouri after growing states like Georgia and North Carolina, why don’t we renew our film tax credits too? Or is that argument only valid for partisan issues?
Congrats to Senator Bill Eigel – the Senator from Tax Cuts’ new proposal is gaining support throughout the business community. It’s always funny to me how not for profits think they know more about creating jobs than business owners who have actually created jobs. Business owners like Bill Eigel.
The Governor hired a lobbyist… the irony is too rich for a hillbilly of my limited intellect to add anything to that one. If I were Thomas Jefferson, I’d keep my eyes peeled.
The construction around the capitol is a testament to Senator Richard. He is the one who has taken the responsibility of maintaining Missouri’s beautiful Capitol to heart. The fact that in an age where such projects are nearly impossible to pass, its a testament to him that Missouri is being responsible with this treasure of the state.
Finally to answer your question, yes, I am very worried about the Cardinals rotation.