Gov. Mike Parson has fired off a three-page letter criticizing House Republican leadership for disrupting his plans to hold last week’s State of the State address in the lower chamber. Parson said four hours before the start of his speech, the House Leader informed him the address could only be given to an empty chamber. The governor does not specifically mention House Speaker Rob Vescovo, R-Arnold, by name but Vescovo is in charge of the chamber.

Gov. Mike Parson delivering his State of the State address on Jan. 27, 2021 (Photo courtesy of his Flickr page)

Parson, a fellow Republican, had several special guests traveling to Jefferson City for the event. So, the House leadership decision left the governor’s team scrambling to relocate the annual address in the much smaller Missouri Senate.

In the letter, Parson wondered why the House had to be empty, yet the chamber held a packed hearing the night before with several unmasked people inside. The governor also said the House Leader told him about the change as the House was voting on a measure with several maskless members on the floor. And, Parson said he learned that other members of House leadership were told not to contact the Governor’s Office on Tuesday night but to instead wait until mid-morning on Wednesday.

In the letter, the governor said the State of the State was an opportunity to “share our successes and vision for the future.” Instead, he said the day became “an insider stunt and petty show of arrogance and political power.”

“It is hard to see this as anything other than a purposeful and disgusting scheme to embarrass me and the Office of the Governor,” said Parson.

Missourinet asked for a response Monday and House leadership has not given one.

Here is the full letter, provided by the Governor’s Office:

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