Tens of thousands of Missouri citizens who say they are victims of taxation without representation have gone to court to force Governor Nixon to do his job. They’ll be without representation when the legislative session begins next Wednesday. Some have been without representation since June, when Representative Jason Smith of Salem was elected to Congress.
One of his constituents, Pamela Grow of Rolla, is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit asking a judge to order Governor Nixon to call special elections to fill three vacant seats in the House and one in the Senate. She says the state constitution requires the governor to call elections to fill vacancies. State law requires him to do so “without delay.” Grow hopes a judge orders Nixon to call special elections that can coincide with the April municipal elections.
Two of the vacancies result from resignations in early December: Rep. Steve Webb, a Democrat from Florissant, who resigned after being accused of personally using campaign funds, and Republican Dennis Fowler of Advance, who accepted Governor Nixon’s appointment to the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole.
The third vacancy was created December 18 when Senator Ryan McKenna of Crystal City left his Senate seat to become Director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations.
The vacancies leave Republicans with 108 members in the House, the bare minimum needed to override a Nixon veto. Two of the three House seats involved had been held by Republicans.