Four legacies of Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley
The Kansas City Star
Steve Tilley won’t go into the books as one of the great speakers of the Missouri House. After two years in that post, he’ll be remembered for:
1) Getting Rush Limbaugh added to the Hall of Famous Missourians. Tilley slipped the controversial “Rush Bust” into a locked chamber on Monday, for an inauguration ceremony witnessed only by Republican lawmakers and their staffers. The public and Democrats were kept at bay.
2) Signing on as a co-sponsor of the “don’t say gay” bill, which would have prohibited any talk about sexual orientation in public schools, even in conversations to deter bullying.
3) Presiding over last summer’s flop of a special session. The Senate bore the larger share of responsibility for that crackup, which went on for seven weeks, cost $281,000 and produced next to nothing. But Tilley didn’t have the leadership clout to make it work.
4) The 2012 presidential primary fiasco. Under the leadership of Tilley and Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer, the legislature was unable to do something as simple as move the event to a date that complied with Republican National Committee rules. Instead, Missouri spent $7 million on a primary that resulted in no delegates being selected.
Tilley is term-limited from serving another term in the House. He announced he was running for lieutenant governor, then changed his mind, which is probably just as well.