Republican Senator filibusters Republican bill to give firefighters more freedoms
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Republican Senator filibusters Republican bill to give firefighters more freedoms

Date: April 7, 2011
By: Elizabeth Hagedorn
State Capitol Bureau
Links: SB 231

A Missouri Senate Republican filibuster delayed the vote on a Republican bill to allow from firefighters to openly participate in politics while off duty.
RunTime:  0:41
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The ability to participate in political campaigns is what Savannah Republican Senator Brad Lager calls a fundamental right.

But Clay County Republican Senator Luanne Ridgeway there are some people that shouldn't be involved in politics.

Actuality:  RIDGE4.WAV
Run Time:  00:07
Description: "We've got too much involvement from people who we entrust our basic safety to."

Lager's bill would give firefighters the ability to engage in political activities while off duty and allow local municipalities to decide whether or not their firefighters could run for office.

Ridgeway said letting firefighters participate in political activity could create a conflict of interest.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.

A Missouri Republican Senator filibustered a Republican bill allowing firefighters to play politics.
RunTime:  0:40
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap: The vote on Savannah Republican Brad Lager's bill was delayed on the Senate floor.

By another Republican.

Clay County Republican Senator Luanne Ridgeway says giving firefighters the right to engage in political campaigns could create for them a conflict of interest.

Actuality:  RIDGE2.WAV
Run Time:  00:11
Description: "You want to know that if you're the mayor of a town and you have your house on fire and the firefighters are campaigning against you, I'd don't think that makes you feel very good.

But Lager calls the right to participate in politics a fundamental right which shouldn't be denied.  

After nearly an hour of debate, the Senate did not vote on the matter.  

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.

A Missouri Senate Republican filibustered another Republican's bill to allow firefighters to partake in political campaigns while off duty.
RunTime:  0:39
OutCue:  SOC

Wrap:  Savannah Republican Brad Lager says his bill guarantees fundamental rights to firefighters.

Actuality:  LAGER2.WAV
Run Time:  00:06
Description: "I believe you should have the opportunity to be part of the process that our Founding Fathers put in place to be part of this country."

But Clay County Republican Senator Luanne Ridgeway says that firefighters should be treated differently than the general public.

Actuality:  RIDGE3.WAV
Run Time:  00:10
Description: "We rely on those people at our deepest, most serious point of need. And to me, that puts them in a completely different catagory."

Ridgeway says there may be a conflict of interest on the job for firefighters who participate in political campaigns.

Reporting from the state Capitol, I'm Elizabeth Hagedorn.

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