Tuesday, May 09, 2006


The new job has published a three-part series on Joplin-area Senator Gary Nodler. Many of you know him as the senator who wanted developmentally disabled kids to be quiet during a showing of "Fantastic Four." He demanded their caregiver be written up, even though he had a free pass to get in.
Not many of you know him as a rising star in Republican circles. The rumor mill churns tales about how if Roy Blunt ever took a bigger job, Nodler would be the guy to replace him. Nodler also has a healthy backing of lobbyists helping him win his campaigns, as the stories report.

What the Mailbox found interesting is Nodler's lack of cooperation--not with the whole newspaper, but just a reporter.

According to this story, the Globe's reporter Max McCoy called Nodler for his input in the "Spheres of Influence" series. Nodler said no; he was still smarting for how he was treated over the whole movie theater incident. He told the Globe's editor he'd answer the questions from anyone else; the Globe said no. The paper published the list of questions.

After scanning over the questions, the Mailbox has only one question: Why would Nodler NOT want to answer these? His reluctance just makes him look even more like a jerk, if that was possible. The only other alternative is that he sees nothing wrong with how candidates raise money.

So, is this just a hatchet job? Is the Globe out to get Nodler? Is this another case of the liberal media picking on a well-meaning conservative? Consider this: Nodler, after only four years in office, is riding on donations of almost $500,000. He is the third-most senior Republican in the Senate and leads two important committees: He's chairman of Education and vice-chair of appropriations. Not bad for four years.

Nodler has not been accused of any criminal activity. His political career simply shows that the system is broken; that money still runs politics.

It's safe to assume Sen. Nodler would not have answered the Globe's questions no matter who asked them, but having Max McCoy be the reporter gave the senator a convenient out.
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