Letter to the Editor

Jo Ann Emerson resignation

Monday, December 17, 2012

EDITOR'S NOTE: Retirement for members of Congress, like all other federal government employees, is based on incremental time of service and is not tied to the number of terms served.

Let's talk about Jo Ann Emerson's recent announcement of resignation and its effect on her pocketbook, the democratic process for the 8th Congressional District and how it should outrage Southeast Missouri voters while making the political stage look even dirtier than before.

Ms. Emerson is considered an eight-term congressional representative, but as soon as she retakes her oath of office she will be considered a nine-term representative, which will increase her retirement benefits from the federal government. This sounds like a preconceived idea to me to take advantage of something that taxpayers pay for. But that part is not what sits the worst with me, it is the fact that this "announcement" robs Southeast Missourians of our freedom to choose our representatives.

With Ms. Emerson retiring after the election, we the people do not get to choose our candidate. A special committee of the 8th District Republicans will choose a candidate, while the other parties choose theirs. I can't help but believe that this was not a spontaneous decision, but was a well-orchestrated maneuver done in a backroom somewhere. This is not right and not the way our process is supposed to work. We should have had the opportunity for a primary, and a vote by the people of Southeast Missouri would have chosen our candidate.

If this is not all just a shell game to get a hand-picked candidate on the ballot then I think Ms. Emerson should have honored her commitment or gracefully bowed out before the primary.

JASON MINK, Cape Girardeau