Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Confirmed! Repubs Were Negotiating In Bad Faith! VETO the Bill!

If someone proposes making a deal with you by saying "give me everything I want, and then I'll consider a deal," I have news for you: it ain't a deal!

If a group forms an agreement with you, and then later changes the conditions so that you first have to give them everything they want before they decide whether they will actually uphold their end of the bargain, they are negotiating in bad faith.

I wrote yesterday that State Senator Mike Parson had backed out of his deal with Nixon, now claiming that Nixon had to sign his bill to repeal the Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act before he would "think about" a compromise. Today it was confirmed that Republicans in the state legislature have no intention of following the agreement. MissouriNet reported:
House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Republican from Perryville, tells the Missourinet he will encourage Governor Nixon to sign Senate Bill 113, which he says maintains the intent of the voters in November while fixing some problems with Proposition B. Tilley says, then, the legislature can consider the compromise the Nixon Administration is proposing. According to Tilley, the House doesn’t have a set position and is willing to work with the governor when it can.
Agreeing is the House sponsor of the bill, Tom Loehner, a Republican from Koeltztown.

“That’s what I would like to see, that he go out and sign 113 and say this is a start, we’ve done this thus far and I think we can do a little bit more with the fix,” Loehner, chairman of the House Agriculture Policy Committee, says. “If we could get that done and an emergency clause, that’s great.”
This, in my opinion, pretty clearly makes the "deal" null and void. There is absolutely no reason why Nixon should be required to give them everything they want (which by the way is in direct opposition to the will of the voters) before they even "consider" the compromise. In fact, they're pretty clear about the fact that they're not sure the compromise can even make it through the legislature, so a situation where Nixon passes the repeal and they then say "whoops, guess we couldn't round up the votes!" seems to be the most likely possibility (and maybe what they were planning all along) if Nixon signed the bill.

At this point, it is clear that Nixon should veto SB113. First, this is the only action that would respect the will of the voters, who voted in favor of Prop B in November. Second, to sign the bill or let it pass would demonstrate tremendous weakness and would encourage Republicans to negotiate in bad faith in the future. If they can't abide by the terms of the agreements they came up with, they need to be politically punished, not rewarded. Nixon can honestly tell rural voters who opposed Prop B that he tried to negotiate a compromise, but the people he was speaking with broke their word. It is House and Senate Republicans who screwed everyone in this deal, including the dog breeders.

1 comment:

  1. Adam,

    You know I just love you. Having said that, let me tell you how crazy this Puppy Mill is driving me.

    First, what's the biggest indicator of abuse or neglect of animals (and children, and vulnerable people)? Poverty for the human responsible for the animal (or child, or vulnerable person). So, it drives me crazy that it seems a million times easier to get a lot of people ginned up about the Puppy Mill bill than it does to get people to do something about the real agenda of the leadership of the MO legislature: destroying access to the middle class lifestyle for hundreds of thousands of working Missourians. So, given how serious the attacks are on people who work for a living (and the animals they care for), it's frustrating that the Puppy Mill bill is the focus for people organizing for animal welfare.

    Second, I agree that it's pretty stupid to undo the Puppy Mill ban that the voters passed in November. But, I disagree that the will of the voters should be considered sacrosanct. If we could muster a majority in the legislature to undo the health care reform nullification vote or the E-Tax ban, or the marriage inequality amendment, we would try, whether the voters had approved it or not. That's all, I've been dying to say this. Still think you're great.