A week ago yesterday an article appeared on the front page of our local newspaper, The West Plains Daily Quill, which revealed that our local state representative, Mr. Shawn Rhoads, had placed eighth in the entire state legislature, House and Senate, on total gifts received from lobbyists. I commented on that situation in this space last Saturday. Over the weekend I decided to expand on my thoughts and concerns with a letter to the editor of the newspaper. I submitted it on Monday and was told that they only published letters on Saturday. So this afternoon my effort appeared in print in the local newspaper.
I directed my comments toward the practice of lobbyists giving gifts to legislators rather than at my state representative himself. Sadly, he just seems to be doing what everyone else is doing, though on a grander scale than most. The practice of gift-giving by companies and organizations who have business to present before the legislature, however, is unethical and wrong - whether it is illegal or not. If our legislators were doing their jobs properly, the practice would be illegal because they would have already addressed it with some hard-nosed legislation.
But I said that better in the letter. It follows below for your edification and amusement.
"To the Editor,