Missouri Leadership Project

   
Red Light Camera Ban Legislation

du·plic·i·tous

adj.

Given to or marked by deliberate deceptiveness in behavior or speech.

Majority Floor Leader John Diehl has a habit of deliberately doing things to make people THINK he supports an issue while, in fact, he's using his power to kill it.

Here's a prime example of that sort of duplicity, caught on video and verified by the official legislative record...

Transcript:

Citizen: "Will you stop red light cameras? Will you vote for a statewide ban?"

Diehl: "Brought it up for a floor, the bill was brought up last year to the floor and the sponsor withdrew it."

Citizen: "That was put into an omnibus bill, it was not... it was not the bill. The bill that was brought up, 1647..."

Diehl: "Right"

Citizen: "...you did not bring up to the floor for a vote."

Diehl: "Oh, I most certainly did."

Citizen: "No, you didn't."

Diehl: "I did, the sponsor withdrew the bill. Be clear you get your facts."

The legislative process can be complicated. Politicians often use that complexity to mask their true actions and intentions. (e.g. "I voted for the bill before I voted against it.")

Here are the documented facts relating to the exchange in the video:

Legislative Process Facts:

  • A bill that originates in and is passed by the Senate goes to a House committee which can amend or substitute the bill with their own version. It then becomes the "House Committee Substitute for Senate Bil XXX. (HCS SB XXX)
  • If the Majority Floor Leader allows that bill on the floor for debate, the whole body of Representatives can consider amendments to the House Committee Substitute and then they must vote whether to adopt the substitute or go back to the bill as originally passed by the Senate.
  • If the whole House adopts the substitute, and then also votes to pass the bill, it must go back to the Senate for final approval in it's latest form.
  • No legislation can be considered past 6:00 p.m. on the final day of session, which was May 16th in 2014. Any bill not passed in the same form by 6:00 p.m. by both the House and Senate is dead forever and must start the entire process over the next year.


Legislative Realities:

  • Since it takes only one senator to filibuster a bill, in the last week or two of the year's legislative session controversial bills are very difficult to pass if any more votes are required in the Senate.
  • On the last day or two, even the threat of a filibuster is enough to kill a bill.
  • Even if there is no threat of a filibuster for a particular bill, there may simply not be enough time to run it back through the Senate if the House amends the version previously passed by the Senate.
  • As a matter of procedure, sometimes the handler of a bill will make a motion, "tongue in cheek", to pass the House Committee Substitute when he really wants the body to vote "No". That allows them to get back to the underlying Senate bill, which they can take up and "finally agree to and pass" without further action by the Senate.


What Rep. John Diehl Wants You To Believe Is Not Reality

CLAIM: In the video exchange, Floor Leader John Diehl claims he "brought" the bill banning red light cameras to the House floor. He says the "sponsor withdrew it".

FACT: Although the bill banning red light cameras, HB 1976, had been on the House Calendar since at least April 28th, Rep. deal never did actually bring the bill, itself, to the floor.

To be fair, though, if the language in a bill is offered as an amendment to another bill, legislators often consider that the same as debating the bill itself. Such an amendment is what Rep. Diehl was referring to. He deserves a "pass" on that approximation of reality. His claim that the "sponsor" withdrew the amendment is also true. (See the record of the House Journal, below.)

DUPLICITY: So, Rep. Diehl's claim that he allowed the language from the red light camera ban to the floor is true. But his attempt to make people believe that either he supports such a ban or that the House even had a real opportunity to vote on a ban is NOT TRUE.

Here's why...

Rep. Diehl, in his own words, "brought" the red light camera ban to the floor --on the last day of session -- only for the purpose of amending it to the House Committee Substitute for SB 773 that they had already planned to vote down. They had to vote the substitute down to get back to the Senate's version of the bill because any amendments would have surely killed the whole bill.

The red light camera ban never had a chance and John Diehl knew it.

That's duplicity.

PROOFS: The following are part of the Legislative Record and are indisputable proof that the red light camera ban never had a chance.

Action page for HB 1976: Proves that the bill, itself, was never brought to the floor.

House Journal for May 15, 2014: Proves that the House Committee Substitute to which the red light camera ban was offered as an amendment was immediately voted down and the underlying Senate version was passed.

Open this PDF, then use the bookmark to go to page 2170, where you see Rep. Spencer offer the amendment. At the bottom of the page, he withdraws the amendment -- that was because the citizen proponents of the red light camera ban smelled a rat.

House Journal

 

THE "RAT":

There WAS a rat. From the journal record (the next page) you'll see that the very next action was to vote down the substitute by an overwhelming vote of 121 Noes to 6 Yeas. The vote was so lopsided because it was predetermined that the bill handler, Rep. Brian Spencer, would move to pass the substitute "tongue in cheek" (he actually used those words).

Again, if they had not voted down the substitute, the whole bill would have failed in the Senate at that late date. To pass anything, they had to get to the underlying bill -- and that was Diehl's intention all along. (The Senate version passed overwhelmingly, 129 to 13.)

Here's the really insidious part... If Rep. Spencer, having been alerted to the plan, had not wisely pulled his amendment, and if it had been added to the House Committee Substitute for SB 773, it would have been part of the "bill" that was voted down 121 to 6.

Then, people in favor of red light cameras (Rep. Diehl and his cronies?) would have been able to claim that the House had a chance to pass a red light camera ban, but they overwhelmingly voted "NO". And they could use that as their excuse for not advancing bills that ban red light cameras in the future.

Duplicity!

Voting is the People's Power Over Elected Officials

Practically the only way the People can control the officials who are supposed to be representing them is through the votes they cast.

If politicians are allowed to subvert the truth and mislead the People, as did Rep. Diehl in the video, how are they to know whether the politicians are representing them, as opposed to a selfish interest group or their own personal agenda?

Help us put an end to this: Sign the No Diehl Petition


The Citizens who have been fighting against red light cameras for years explain their beef with Rep. John Diehl.

John Diehl as Speaker will be an obstacle to the cause of liberty.

John Diehl loves red light cameras. After accepting $1,500 from Tempe, AZ based Red Light Camera Vendor, American Traffic Solutions (ATS), in 2013, he then fast tracked Representative Dave Hinson's HB1554, which would have protected the use of photo-enforcement by statute, as well as given American Traffic Solutions a monopoly on state systems. He fought for this bill so hard that even on the very day a bill banning the use of all photo enforcement in the state received a public hearing and had over 1000 witnesses in support of (and none against), he brought HB1554 to a floor vote.

Not only that, but when the whip counts the night before did not look favorable for the bill's passage, after seeing 10 representatives from both parties standing to speak against the bill and the legal use of the systems, John Diehl called the Previous Question, a parliamentary maneuver to prevent the opposition from having a chance to be heard or oppose the measure for fear of it losing support if debate continued, ramming Red Light Camera Legalization and Vendor Protection though the House by 2 votes. Had Constitution supporting Senators, including his own Senator John Lamping, not stopped the bill from being voted on in the Senate, it may very well have become law.

Matt Hay

Paid for by Ron Calzone