A Democratic State Representative has declined to resign under pressure from others in his party over his association with an alleged racist talk show host.
Democratic House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty of Kansas City along with Democratic U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill called on Representative Bob Burns of Affton to resign Saturday.
In a statement, McCann Beatty said she had learned about recordings of calls by Burns to a St. Louis-area radio show whose host is “notorious for making racist on-air statements”.
McCann Beatty acknowledged some of the recordings were edited but said Burns’ repeated calls to the show were “reprehensible”.
Burns issued a statement Monday saying he was responding to a completely different topic and only talking about troops and veterans. He said he felt his words were purposefully edited to appear to be offensive and demeaning.
In his statement, Burns said he was deeply sorry that his words or actions have offended colleagues, friends, and constituents. He said he did not condone the rants and negative comments of the commentator.
MacCaskill said Burns, who worked for her senatorial staff from 2007-2010, should resign immediately after she learned of his multiple call-ins to an individual who has delivered a “constant toxic stream of racist, sexist attacks on his radio show”.
Separately Monday evening, Democratic State Senator Jamilah Nasheed of St. Louis released an open letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai asking that the agency issue fines and revoke the license of the radio station that broadcasts the talk show host’s comments.
Nasheed singled out 1190 KQQZ-AM for airing “Bob Romanik’s regular use of racist language as host of the ‘Kool Killer Kountry’ [KKK] radio show”.
She cited 18 U.S. Code § 1464 which says that anybody who utters any obscene, indecent, or profane language by means of radio communication shall be fined or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
Nasheed said, “The FCC has the authority and responsibility to take action, and I am demanding that they act immediately so that this despicable speech cannot fuel hate in our community any longer.”