WHAT OTHERS SAY: Proposed governor pairing won't benefit Missourians

Thursday, January 26, 2012 | 12:12 p.m. CST

When evaluating proposed legislation, a relevant question is: How would this advance the interest of Missourians?

Two state senators have proposed constitutional amendments to require the governor and lieutenant governor to seek election as a pair.

We await reasons why this would benefit the residents of Missouri.

The governor and lieutenant governor now run for office separately, unlike the pairing of president and vice president at the federal level.

Missouri voters have not established a pattern, based on recent history. In the past 10 elections, voters in five contests have elected a governor and lieutenant governor from different political parties.

The existing duo pairs Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon with Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Among the two proposed constitutional amendments:

• Sen. John Lamping, R-St. Louis County, would require a candidate for governor to select a running mate before the party primaries.

• Sen. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau, would permit the gubernatorial candidate to name a running mate after the primaries.

Crowell referenced past squabbles between executives from opposing parties. He said if governors must temporarily relinquish authority, they should not “have to worry about their lieutenant governor making unbelievable appointments to different things that the governor may not agree with.”

The use of the possessive, their, in that statement is troublesome.

The lieutenant governor now serves the people of Missouri, not the governor.

The forced pairing proposed in the amendments would benefit the governor, but how would it benefit the people?

Missourians deserve a persuasive answer because they must approve a constitutional change in a statewide vote.

For now, file these proposals under government self-indulgence that does not merit popular support.

Copyright Jefferson City News Tribune. Reprinted with permission.

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