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Editorial: Jetton's London trip

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The public perception of politicians is eroded when they act in ways that look irresponsible to the taxpayers and voters they profess to serve, even if those actions don't violate any laws. Such is the case with a trip to London taken by Rod Jetton of Marble Hill, Mo., who rose to political prominence as speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Jetton, now a lobbyist in Jefferson City, appointed himself while still speaker to the Missouri State Employees Retirement System board, which oversees billions of dollars in investments that generate revenue for the millions of dollars paid out every year in retirement benefits to former state employees.

While it is unusual for a speaker to appoint himself to such a key position, it apparently isn't prohibited. But what sticks in the craw of practical Missourians is the trip to London, which is where some of the MOSERS investment firms are located. Jetton missed most MOSERS board meetings and did not report back to the board the findings of his London visit.

Some might call Jetton's tenure on the MOSERS board -- he no longer is a member -- arrogant or irresponsible. At a minimum, he owes fellow board members and the state's taxpayers an explanation of his MOSERS service -- or lack of it.

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Jetton is a typical politician. I'm an old codger and back in my youth, people knew that politicians were crooks. Nothing has been eroded, merely exposed.

-- Posted by BCStoned on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 8:09 AM

Most current politicians are summed up accurately by your phrase "arrogant or irresponsible". They no longer represent their constituency. Their main focus, albeit legal but immoral, is to get reelected. We need term limits for everybody! Only one 6-year term with NONE being back-to-back. ALL politicians.

-- Posted by Rocket_Surgeon on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 9:00 AM

His travel buddy on this trip was none other than Senator Jason Crowell...

-- Posted by doubtful on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 9:21 AM

No, more like two frat boys on a scorch and burn campaign.

Kind of goes against the grain of the good Senator's pristine image of being so concerned about how taxpayer money is spent.

Obviously it didn't matter with MOSERS money.

-- Posted by doubtful on Tue, May 5, 2009, at 11:46 PM

I find it interesting that MOSERS has an investment firm in London. I wonder what exactly this London firm had to offer that US-based firms couldn't. And it's not as if overseas investment firms are doing any better than US firms in this economic downturn, so that's not an argument.

Seems to me they could have scheduled a weeklong video teleconference and cut their expenses by 90%, if not more.

So I wonder ... did they pick the firm just because it's overseas ... and therefore warranting a trip (read as "vacation") abroad? Anyone want to wager on where the next investment firm for MOSER will be located ... Australia? Germany? Tahiti?

-- Posted by Wisconsin on Wed, May 6, 2009, at 1:12 PM

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