Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Page Calls on Kinder To Release Blunt E-mails

Newly emboldened Democratic candidate for Governor Sam Page is calling on Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder to release the back-up e-mail records of the Blunt Administration.

Kinder is Acting Governor right now because Blunt is out of the country on a trade mission. Blunt will be in Europe for 18 days.

"Peter Kinder is in a position to separate himself from a cover up that has gone on for too long," said Page. "He will claim the guilt for himself if he continues the Blunt administration's policy of secrecy in government," he added.

"As governor, Kinder can permanently lay to rest the issue of the secret e-mails and close this shameful chapter," Page said.

1 comment:

moLTgov said...

Lite Gov candidate Michael Carter tweaks Page for proposing that Kinder release Blunt e-mails
St. Charles lawyer Michael Carter, a Democrat campaigning for lieutenant governor, chided Democratic rival Sam Page on Wednesday for Page’s latest criticism of incumbent Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

Page suggested that Kinder, a Republican, could end the court battle over Gov. Matt Blunt’s handling of public records by ordering the release of the documents requested by investigators. Kinder has the authority to release the records, Page said, because Kinder is acting governor while Blunt is in Europe on an 18-day trade mission.

But Carter said Page is misinformed.

“It’s a neat public relations ploy,” Carter said of Page’s suggestion. “But if he genuinely means what he said, it shows a lack of understanding about the office.”

Carter pointed to the controversy in the early 1990s when John Ashcroft, a Republican, was governor and Mel Carnahan, a Democrat, was lieutenant governor. Ashcroft sought a court ruling about what powers Carnahan had when Ashcroft left the state.

“Missouri's Supreme Court ruled … that in order for the lieutenant governor to truly be the ‘acting Governor,’ the elected-governor must be meaningfully absent – rarely ever the case,” Carter said in an e-mail. “Further, if the Governor elects to let Lt. Governor 'play' governor, it comes with very tight reins.”

In an interview, Carter said the ruling means that Blunt would have to be unable to communicate with his staff for Kinder to take charge.

“It means no phone, no e-mail and no fax,” Carter said. “In today’s world, you can be in Madagascar and can still communicate to Missouri.”

And the lieutenant governor really can’t take executive action in the governor’s absence without the governor’s approval, he said.

“While I agree that it would be nice if Kinder could/would release the Blunt e-mails,” Kinder really has no power to release the computer tapes that hold them, Carter said.

It all shows, he said, that the office of lieutenant governor really has little meaning. Carter said he would support a Constitutional amendment that would truly transfer most executive power to the lieutenant governor whenever the governor steps outside Missouri.

“It would create a system of executive checks and balances,” Carter said. “It would force the governor and lieutenant governor to have a true working relationship.”

Such an amendment could be tempered by requiring the governor and lieutenant governor to run as a team just as the president and vice president, Carter said. Or perhaps only certain executive powers would be transferred to the lieutenant governor.

It’s a novel approach, but one worth considering, Carter said.