One of the state’s most popular services becomes a political football in the legislature–the no-call list maintained by the Attorney General, who prosecutes violators. For several years, bills have been introduced in the legislature to broaden Missouri’s no-call law, adding cell phone and fax numbers. But the proposal usually runs into opposition from Republicans who don’t want Democrat Attorney General Jay Nixon to get more favorable publicity.
Nixon is running for Governor. Senator Kevin Engler, a Republican, proposes taking the no-call program away from Nixon and giving it to the Public Service Commission. He says the Republican leaders in the House will kill the expansion if it provides Nixon with something to campaign on, so it’s best to take the politics out of the service and house it at the PSC.
But Senator Tim Green of St.Louis, a Democrat, says he doubts the integrity of the PSC and argues the Senate should not buckle to the House just because House Republicans want to block good public policy. Some Republicans accuse Nixon of milking the no-call list for all the publicity he can get. Democrats say Treasurer Sarah Steelman, a Republican also running for Governor, has milked the college tuition savings program and the abandoned property program housed in her office the same way.
And Senate Democrats say that’s okay—that office holders regardless of party should be able to talk about their programs that work well. The senate needs one more vote to send the expansion bill to an uncertain future in the House. Engler thinks it will be DOA when it gets there. Again.