Messenger: Parson threads the needle with an ad that links politics to data research | Tony Messenger
Several years ago I got a call from a rural Missouri Republican asking me to write something negative about him. It was after Thanksgiving, and the lawmaker had visited his family, right after I wrote something that sided with him on a legislative issue.
It made a vacation uncomfortable. It has long been a tradition for Republicans in Missouri, especially in the more remote areas of the state, to fight with the Post-Dispatch. For some, the newspaper is a punching bag, serving as a training partner as the GOP takes on the Liberals, Socialists, Communists, or whoever is their current straw man demon.
So when this particular Republican found himself praised, he asked me to balance the scales for a more comfortable existence for him. Shoot, he said. He would appreciate it.
This story came to my mind when I watched the latest video ad concocted by Uniting Missouri, the political action committee that supports Republican Gov. Mike Parson.
“Governor Parson stands up to bogus media,” says the narrator, “and pledges to bring to justice anyone who has obtained private information. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is all about politics.
In some ways, Parson’s announcement and underlying accusation that my colleague Josh Renaud broke the law when he discovered and alerted the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education about a loophole. website that exposed the Social Security numbers of Missouri teachers to the public, is just good old-fashioned Missouri GOP policy.