The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

August 24, 2011

Rep. Kevin Elmer, guest columnist: Kinder is not worthy of candidacy for governor

NIXA, Mo. — Editor’s note: Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, acknowledged last week that he visited an Illinois strip club about 10 times when he was a state senator about 17 years ago. Kinder said he now considers that a poor decision. He has not announced his candidacy, but has been gearing up to challenge Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in the 2012 elections.

It is time for Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder to step away from his campaign to be elected as Missouri’s governor in 2012. His irresponsible decisions in his personal life have impugned his ability to lead publicly from a principled position.

Some Republicans will chastise me for my stance on this issue. They may quote Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment to “never speak ill of another Republican.” However, I challenge any such proposition, because ill speech has a requisite of malicious intent. That is not the case in these words you read.

Just as in any libel or slander claim, truth is an absolute defense. Truth here is derived from principles that take precedent over party. It is birthed from principles that demonstrate integrity because a person lives by them in their public as well as personal life.

The truth in this case is Lt. Gov. Kinder has failed to demonstrate consistent principled behavior in his life. An attempt to excuse his poor decisions because it happened when he was 40 fails to pass muster. I am a 40-year-old state representative, and I can tell you sitting in a dark club sipping wine while watching women take off their clothes for money is impermissible behavior for someone elected to be a leader in the community.

At my age, I have some understanding of what moral shortcomings it takes for the adult entertainment business to exist. One of the main components is a man willing to objectify women in a manner that is degrading and demeaning. In this setting the debate over whether or not physical aggression has occurred is misplaced, because I submit to you that it already has been perpetrated mentally. If I enter a strip club once or 10 times, I go in knowing that I am willing to submit to thoughts and fantasies of unhealthy relationships.

It is inconsistent for Peter Kinder as the party’s highest-ranking state official to speak about ensuring our rights to pursue life, liberty and property while he is willing in his behavior to devalue certain members of our society. I believe it is disqualification from being the Republican Party’s nominee for governor.

I ask that campaign donors and party leadership stand tall in the light of truth. At a time when our citizens’ hopes are deflated, it is critical we remain vigilant in deriving courage from our convictions. During these days of trials, the Republican Party must be the voice resounding that all is not lost. We do believe in something better.

Rep. Kevin Elmer, R-Nixa, represents the 141st District.

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: MH17 Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball
Sports