Letter to the Editor


This article comes from our electronic archive and has not been reviewed. It may contain glitches.

To the editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to comment about Friday's front-page article in the Southeast Missourian, in particular the part of the headline that said, "Heckemeyer says Kasten sat idly by."

I cannot think of any one individual with whom I have had the privilege to serve in the Legislature for whom I have more respect than Mary Kasten. Mary's passion for the work she does and for the people she represents is unparalleled. I was just sickened to see the cheap shots that were taken at her by our colleague, state Rep. Joe Heckemeyer. I would perhaps expect that he might take a shot at me like that, given our political rivalry and in aspirations for the 27th District seat in the Senate. But for him to be so self-serving at the expense of Mary Kasten is outright shameful and disgusting. Mr. Heckemeyer has misquoted me so many times in the past, twisting and distorting things that I've said, so all of this should come as no surprise. But when he did it to me, I never gave him the satisfaction of a reply. But doing this to my friend, Mary Kasten, is going too far and is totally unacceptable.

Mr. Heckemeyer knows that as a member of the Budget Committee he has the same privilege as any other member to ask for a roll-call vote if he thought it was necessary. Apparently, the only way he can justify not having acted appropriately is to criticize and ridicule this honorable lady.

I'm sure the readers of this newspaper would much rather have read about two Southeast Missouri lawmakers pulling together to provide a valuable resource to this region. Instead, they have to read about why Mr. Heckemeyer couldn't do anything but take a cheap shot at one of his colleagues by publicly humiliating her and by kicking her when she was down.

I say Mary Kasten after the ordeal in the Budget Committee, and I can tell you that she was terribly upset and disappointed but all the more determined. Mr. Heckemeyer was quoted as saying, "It's too late," referring to being able to get the funding for Cape Girardeau's new vocational-technical school in the full House. All I can say to the good people of Cape Girardeau County is that it's a good thing Mary Kasten hasn't given up, and you can bet that she'll exhaust every effort possible to secure this funding. By the way, Mary, there are a bunch of us you can count on to help you.


155th District