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Letter to the Editor: Kinder initiated letter signed by Crowell

Saturday, February 25, 2006

To the editor:

Thursday's news story left your readers with a distinctly misleading impression regarding a letter I wrote Feb. 21 to all members of the Senate Appropriations Committee expressing support for $17.2 million in funding for the River Campus. The story spoke of state Sen. Jason Crowell's "sending a letter to each member of the Senate Appropriations Committee asking them to support the River Campus as MOHELA money is debated." Four paragraphs later, the reader is informed: "Crowell was joined by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Cape Girardeau resident, in signing the letter."

The facts are these: Wanting to steer us all away from the rancor of the last three weeks and move us in a positive direction, I conceived the idea of the letter. A draft of the letter was prepared by my assistant and me in my office. I requested a meeting with Senator Crowell that was duly arranged for 1 p.m. Feb. 21.

I requested the presence of state Sen. Gary Nodler, chairman of the Senate Education Committee and vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, who attended. I showed Senator Crowell my draft. After insisting on the deletion of one sentence indicating the state funds represented only 44 percent of the project, to which deletion I reluctantly assented, Senator Crowell agreed. He also suggested the positive change of specifically referencing the MOHELA funds, correcting my omission.

The letters were prepared in my office on my letterhead, signed by me and taken to Senator Crowell's office where he affixed his signature.

Lt. Gov. PETER KINDER, Jefferson City, Mo.