Thursday, May 19, 2005

There's an upside to blogging, which is that whenever I write a letter to the Post--which they mostly don't print--at least it isn't wasted effort. I can always post it here. Which is what I'm doing today.

Considering Governor Blunt's usual pro-business agenda, it's odd that he and the legislature have decided to screw Missouri's energy consumers--i.e. everyone in the state--just to make the energy lobbyists happy. Even Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, and Monsanto, among others, are protesting. But there's no denying that Republicans passed two bills that will make energy rate hikes easier to obtain. Unwilling to leave any loose ends, now they've fired John Coffman, an attorney highly respected nationally among consumer advocates. His fifteen years of working for Missourians seems to have been a liability.
Having infuriated their religious base by failing to come through with a stem cell research ban and anti-abortion bills, Blunt et. al. are now rankling another major part of their base, businessmen--not to mention all the rest of us. If nothing else, they're a confident bunch.
Asked to justify an unmerited firing that is bound to have deleterious consequences for most Missourians, Blunt's spokesmen pretended they "couldn't recall who had brought up the need to replace Coffman" and blithely asserted that Coffman's fate wouldn't intimidate his replacement. That latter part, at least, is probably true since his replacement isn't likely to represent anybody but the utilities.
I have a question for Michael Sorkind, who wrote the Thursday Post-Dispatch story about Coffman: Did Blunt's spokesman perhaps raise a digit as he was (mostly not) explaining the governor's action? And were you just too polite to mention it?
P.S. Corey Dillon wrote me to explain Blunt's actions. Oh, duh. I had forgotten he had a brother who's a lobbyist--for, guess who. Yes, utility companies. Corey sees it as an early Christmas present for Andy Blunt.

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