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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Your view: These are the facts

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Publisher's Note: For over 20 years, we've tried to accurately and fairly edit our Speakout column. There have been times in the past when we erred and times when we've been overly cautious and omitted comments that probably should have been published. Rep. Myers and Rep. Black have taken exception to a Speakout caller last week making reference to campaign contributions. In this case, the two legislators are right. We have a fairly consistent policy of contacting individuals for comment when they are the subject of a Speakout call. In this case, we did not. We believe the caller was a political opponent trying to criticize when there was no basis for that criticism. We have investigated the comments made by the caller and found them to be inaccurate. And for that error in judgment, we apologize to Rep. Myers and Rep. Black for the inaccurate representation.

It's a sad day when my political opponents would question my integrity and deliberately distort the facts in SpeakOut. Let's deal with the actual truth, not with a bunch of lies. It is also disappointing that my hometown newspaper would publish these slanderous statements without checking with me first. All records of my campaign contributions are on file with the Missouri Ethics Commission. As your state representative, I must file a written records of contributions and how I spend these contributions every three months. Even cash contributions are reported accurately. These records will show that there were no illegal contributions ever given to me.

The real facts are:

I did not accept illegal campaign contributions in the '90s or at any time in my political or private life.

I was not fined by the Missouri Ethics Commission for any illegal contributions.

I was not found guilty by the Missouri Supreme Court or the Ethics Commission. In fact, there was no legal action whatsoever against me by either of these entities.

The Missouri Republican Party purchased some ads for me in 1998 which they incorrectly reported to the Ethics Commission. This was corrected by an amended report to the Ethics Commission. There was a period of time when political candidates could have accepted more than the $275 limit on campaign contributions. This was corrected by a Supreme Court ruling. During that time I did not accept any contributions over $275.

Campaign contributions to me (most of which are from friends) do not affect my voting or decision-making process in the State Legislature. I spend the vast majority of my non-legislative time working on constituent problems for local people about whom I have no clue as to how they voted. Very few of these people contribute to me or any other political cause. They are mostly people who need help sorting through government red tape.

I resent the fact that I have to defend my conduct to you, the voters of the 160th District, but when issues are so deliberately distorted, I feel that an accurate response is needed.

I will, however, sign my name to my statements and not hide behind SpeakOut, as my accusers have.

Peter C. Myers Sr.