JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House has created a committee to study the release of a controversial report suggesting militia members tend to favor certain candidates.
The report drew Republican criticism when it was released earlier this year by the Missouri Information Analysis Center, which is part of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. The center collects intelligence from state and federal agencies to combat terrorism and criminal activity.
The report said some militia members subscribe to militant anti-abortion or anti-illegal immigration movements. It also noted that militia members tended to back such presidential candidates as Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas; Libertarian Bob Barr; and the Constitution Party's Chuck Baldwin.
In March, the three candidates signed a letter to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in response to the study, which they requested "be immediately removed from any and all websites associated with or maintained by the state of Missouri or any agency thereof, including the MIAC."
The outcry prompted James Keathley, the superintendent of the highway patrol, to stop distributing the document to law enforcement officers. In a letter released March 25, Keathley also said he would create a process that ensured he and Department of Public Safety Director John Britt will read all future reports before they are released.
The interim House committee is to hold hearings across the state.