Tuesday, March 9, 2010

More Double Talk

He did ask Jolie Justus if he could be on the Blue Ribbon Panel. He wasn't invited to the Bi-State Autism Initiative meeting. He asked me to get him an invitation. I did. He came and sat two seats away from us so that no one would think that he was affiliated with us. He left early and stopped by and spoke to Jolie Justus. After the meeting was over she came up to us and told us that he asked her if he could be on the Blue Ribbon Panel. He also states that he didn't want to be on the Blue Ribbon Panel because he was going to be on the Missouri Autism Commission. The list for the Missouri Autism Commission just came out and he is not on it.

As for the Autism Blue Ribbon Panel, I did not speak to Senator Justus about letting me on the Commission. Senator Gibbons, who leads the Senate told me he had wished he had known of my interest in autism before the apointments because he would have wanted to appoint me. We did discuss having me added to the panel after the appointments, but I instead plan to serve on the Autism Commission as a House member. It would have been difficult for me though to make all their hearings with my interim commitee and service on the Missouri Children's Services Commission of which I am now serving as Chairman.

He made it appear that his invitation to the ball was a big deal. Anyone can go to the ball and no one needs his personal invitation. We went to the Autism Rally, in Jefferson City, and he stopped two feet in front of us to talk to his talking heads. Then he walked right past us and completely ignored us. He met with us in November of 2006. That was almost 2 years ago. We met at Atlanta Bread Company twice. It should have been three times, but he didn't show up for the third visit after requesting the meeting. He met us at the church once. We met at Dairy Queen once after the meeting of the legislators at the district office. When the Governor came to Children's Mercy he ignored us until the governor spoke with us. Then you acknowledged us. We haven't received correspondence from you in six months except for the email thanking me for inviting you to Beauchamps and you were not invited. We asked you not to campaign that night, after finding out that you were coming and that's exactly what you did. You turned the event into your event and acted as though you had put it together or that we had put it together for you.

From the first meeting in November, to you attending the ball, to the other follow up meetings, I have spent more time with your group than any other constituency, y. Our focus January through May is the legislative session and the three autism bills I am working. My legislative work on autism will continue in future sessions as well in addition to serving on the Commission we are creating. I did not even know you were at the Autism rally. I wish you would have come to me. Had I known you were there, I would have been happy to speak to you.

Here is a portion of his "Urgent Request"

I urgently need your help. To continue my fight for the disabled and their families, I need to raise significant funds for my re-election this year. My ability to influence funding and services for the disabled for years to come is related to how much I can raise for my campaign.

March 31st is an important deadline, as April quarterly reports for campaign financial disclosures will show contributions received through March 31st. Any and all contributions that I can receive by March 31st will greatly help our cause of advocating for the disabled.

My goal is to raise up an army of grassroots supporters by the hundreds and thousands who will stand with me to fight for the disabled and give them a stronger voice in Jefferson City.

My passion driven priorities for the disabled is very innovative and ambitious, but I can't do it without your help. I need an army of grassroots supporters to stand behind my campaign so that I can raise enough funding to assume future chairmanships and leadership in the House.

Contributions of any amount up to and totaling $325 per person in the primary cycle (now through August 5th) and $325 in the general election cycle (8/6 through 11/4). Couples can give up to $650 now in two separate checks for $325. Children 14 and over can do the same.

For those who can't give that much, even $30 is helpful and just $3 can count you among our coalition for the disabled and make a statement as we mobilize an army of supporters to fight and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Most of his constituents are broke from fighting with the school district that he is in bed with.

Your assumption about my ability to receive campaign funds relating to helping families is misunderstood. I will continue my passion and fight for individuals with disabilities whether I receive contributions from those in the disabilities communities or not. What I was conveying is that the more I receive from the autism and disabilities communities, whether large or small gifts, such as a $5 check I received last week, the more influence I will have for them to effect laws and increase funding for them.

As for the schools, you really need to rethink your assumptions in the interest of those who are in it with you and your ability to influence the schools positively for children with autism and special needs. You write I can't have a strong relationship with the schools and help you. Actually, I can and do. I have a strong relationship with the schools and have their respect and ear. I am also helping you and all groups related to autism through the legislation I am passing into law. What I do is at the state level. We appropriate education funding and pass laws governing schools. We cannot tell R-7 what to do. However, I am working on a future pilot program on autism and special needs for R-7. You wrote in one blog I voted against a bill to help your kids. I have a bill that would help 100% of children with special needs statewide--nearly 140,000--not just up to 10% with autism. Missouri is way behind other states on autism and special needs and we are incorporating best practices and model language from other states and will be progressively incorporating the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel--all 36 hopefully, in time.

The Superintendent assured me that Jeff Grisamore didn't have the district's ear and that the meetings between the district and me had nothing to do with Grisamore.

"Rep grisamore is getting ahead of himself. There have been no follow up discussions about any ideas that may have been mentioned in some setting. Honestly, I do not recall discussing this committee but I may have forgotten. It happens. My invitation to discuss the issues is for you only at this time. You and I can discuss together where all of this goes from there. I hope this clarifies my intention. I do not go into this knowing where we will end up but do feel our dialogue has the potential to make us a better district and help you better understand our challenges. I am really looking forward to our meetings."

As for a committee on autism and special needs in R-7, I have spoken to the Superintendent and Board, which relates to why he spoke to you. If that committee is formed, you will have one voice, although I would like to see D on it too, along with others, such as J. That will be up to R-7. Given your antagonism toward me and them, you are most fortunate you are being considered to be on such a committee. I would encourage you to consider changing your approach for the sake of LSASG's credibility and influence with R-7 and beyond. Your current approach is only isolating and alienating yourself from me and others who are doing much to help children with autism and their families.

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