State Senator Mike Moon spoke to a group of area residents at the Hughes Brothers Theatre in Branson on Saturday, Oct. 2, about the Missouri Constitution and also told them about some of the “dirty tricks and power plays” which take place within the Missouri state legislature. He titled his talk “Missouri’s Deep Dark Secrets.”
Moon shared with the audience things he felt most Missourians didn’t know what is in the Missouri Constitution and that America itself is not a democracy.
“The founders guaranteed us a republic,” Moon said. “So when someone says we’re in a democracy, shake your finger kindly and say ‘we have a republic, and it’s guaranteed by the Constitution.’”
Moon said many do not know the purpose of both the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions.
“The primary purpose or one of the primary functions of the Constitution in government is to protect your God-given rights,” Moon said. “If you have knowledge of a government, whether it be a local, city, state, or federal government that is doing something that violates your rights, it’s unconstitutional, and I’m going to ask you today to practice civil disobedience.”
Moon said the general lack of education of the public on what is in the constitution leads to actions by governments that may be well intended but end up infringing on civil rights.
“Oftentimes [elected officials] aren’t aware as well,” Moon said, “So it’s our duty to educate them.”
Moon explained multiple parts of the Missouri Constitution most people do not know, and one example was explaining to those in attendance county sheriffs are the highest elected officials in their counties and many of them do not know the full extent of their authority.
“Sheriffs even have the Constitutional authority to say ‘you can’t come into my county,’” Moon said. “So we need to be talking to our sheriffs and make sure they understand their authority.
“They have a lot of power. Now it needs to be checked, and we’re the check.”
Moon pointed out Article I, Section II of the Constitution in his view when it says promoting the “general welfare” means “the good of the whole” and not welfare programs as people understand them.
“We’re giving people our money and we’re enabling them not to work,” Moon said. “Everybody. Branson, Springfield, Mt. Vernon, all the cities around the state and country are hurting because the all-mighty federal government, and I say that sarcastically, decided to give away money and Missouri was complicit. Now we have dug a deep hole.”
Moon told attendees they had a natural right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He said if you look at founding documents, this includes property, time, a business, and a home.
“All persons are created equal and are entitled to equal rights and opportunities under the law,” Moon said. “To give security to these things is the principal office of government. We should be protecting your right to live your life free. When the government does not confer security, it fails in its chief design.”
Moon said he wanted to know how long people will allow the government to fail them on these issues before they rise up. He was clear he was not talking about armed action, but items like civil disobedience.
“Until our elected leaders understand we’re not playing games, they’re going to have a lot of fun continuing on,” Moon said.
Moon praised the fact Missouri citizens can petition to amend the state constitution, but he stated in the last decade out of state billionaires have sent money to Missouri groups with an attempt to alter the state’s government, including George Soros spending significant amounts of money to push “Clean Missouri.”
“George Soros would like to destroy America,” Moon said. “But yet he has influence in Missouri, and it needs to change.”
Moon walked the audience through the process of passing a bill through the legislature, while noting the ways the current legislature violates the Missouri Constitution in passing bills. Through the process, he pointed out the ways he feels the leadership in Jefferson City has been violating the state Constitution, and thus the civil rights of Missouri residents. Moon cited omnibus bills containing amendments which have no connection to the originally proposed law.
Moon also let the attendees in on some of the behind the scenes intimidation tactics and “dirty tricks” played by leadership in the House and Senate. He explained how the leaders in the chambers will sit on a bill they don’t want to push by sitting aside to be assigned to a committee, which won’t be done until the final week of the session, sometimes the final day. Moon said while it’s theoretically possible to move a piece of legislation through a chamber in one day, it’s extremely difficult, and this action usually kills the legislation.
Moon also said when he tried to stand on his rights as a legislator, he was the subject of intimidation and negative action by some of the state’s highest Republican leaders.
Moon relayed a story where Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe took action against him without what he felt was not any legitimate basis for his action.
“When Lt. Governor Kehoe brought the [override] bill up, I stood to my feet,” Moon said. “He said ‘Senator from Lawrence, for what purpose do you rise?’ and said ‘I move for the consideration of the override of the veto of House Bill 4.056.’ He said ‘Senator, you’re not recognized for that motion.’ I said ‘Under what authority.’ He said ‘Senate tradition.’”
Moon said he asked if there was a law or rule stopping him and it led to a five hour debate because someone raised a point of order.
The override went to Senate Pro Tem Dave Schatz, who Moon said is nicknamed “Tax Hike Dave.” He said Schatz deliberated the point of order and came back with a piece of paper and read from the paper. In his decision, it talked about “Senate tradition.” When Moon asked him to re-read it, Moon said Schatz re-read it twice without saying the phrase “Senate tradition.” Finally Moon was able to get Schatz to read the entire document again with “Senate tradition” and Moon challenged him on where in the Missouri Constitution it said “Senate tradition” could overrule a Constitutionally approved action.
Moon said Schatz couldn’t produce evidence to back his assertion, but said his decision to not allow Moon to make the motion stood despite no Constitutional authority for “Senate tradition.”
Moon then appealed the ruling of the chair, and he said Schatz then made a veiled threat.
“He said ‘you know, appealing the ruling of the chair comes with consequences.’,”Moon said. “I said ‘like what?’ He said ‘oh, like stripping you of your committees.’ ‘I said OK. Strip me of my committees. I don’t care.’
“That’s just the way it works [in Jefferson City.]”
Branson Tri-Lakes News reached out multiple times to Lt. Governor Kehoe and Senator Schatz’s offices for comment on Moon’s statement but did not receive any response by press time.
Moon said the leadership in both the House and Senate have “entirely too much power” and changes need to be put in place.