Franc Flotron; Former State Senator and Ponytailed Lobbyist
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Franc Flotron; Former State Senator and Ponytailed Lobbyist

Date: April 24, 2012
By: Mary McGuire
State Capitol Bureau

Former State Senator and current lobbyist Franc Flotron discusses ponytails and changes in the Republican party.
RunTime:  3:23


Wrap: The only Republican male lobbyist with a ponytail working in Jefferson City is Franc Flotron.  

Actuality:  FLOTRON9.WAV
Run Time:  00:15
Description: "I had long hair in high school and college, it wasn't until the work thing started and interfered with such activities, like growing hair. I don't know, I guess its on my bucket list, I don't know how much longer I am going to have a full head of hair."

He says he's not making a statement with his salt and pepper ponytail.

Actuality:  FRANC1.WAV
Run Time:  00:14
Description: "Facial hair and hairstyles have very often been political statements, during the French revolution, all the men began growing mustaches, you know, and thats sort of a phenomenom, I'm not making any political statement."

But Flotron does have a statement about the reason for the current lack of integrity in legislators.  

Actuality:  FLOTRON3.WAV
Run Time:  00:20
Description: "Intrestingly though, I think that requirement for integrity has been substantially reduced as a result of term limits. When members aren't around a long time, don't know as much, they aren't as much in a posistion, as they used to be, to hold lobbyists accountable."

Flotron remembers how legislators used to call out bad lobbyists in the past.


Actuality:  FLOTRON5.WAV
Run Time:  00:29
Description: "I did hear, a lot of stories from lobbyists way back when, that Dick Webster, would wait until the lobbyist was in the upper gallery, and he would start talking about what terrible things they were and he would point at them, and so there was an enormous amount of pressure applied from the body to make sure that the lobby corps was giving them good information and I think most regrettably thats one of the things that has been lost as a result of term limits."
Flotron says changes in the media have had a drastic effect on the Republican party nationally.
Actuality:  FLOTRON6.WAV
Run Time:  00:20
Description: "We don't have something that pulls people together, from the point of view of what they believe to be the truth. Whether its good or bad, I can make arguments on both sides, but it certainly has had the influence, I think, of balkanizing American politics, I see it on the state level and the federal level."

The cut throat process of American elections have also affected both Republicans and Democrats according to Flotron.

Actuality:  FLOTRON7.WAV
Run Time:  00:30
Description: "A lot of issues that people have thought to be wedge issues, that were designed to turn out the vote, or what have you, and maybe in a different era, people would have cynically understood, that yes, this is what we do to get elected, I think a lot of the folks are buying into those things, maybe in a respect that they haven't in the past, on both sides. We don't have a very strong political middle anymore."

And as for the Republican "War on Women"?


Run Time:  00:08
Description: "My wife, would consider herself a Republican feminist, I think, it would be safe to say, and she has not told me that she has felt 'warred' upon."

The political world is constantly changing, but for now, Flotron's ponytail is here to stay.

Actuality:  FLOTRON1.WAV
Run Time:  00:24
Description: "I didn't know how much of an investment it took to have a ponytail. It took a whole lot longer than I expected, and its not quite there yet, but I figure I've been in this building for 30 years, if people don't, those people I need to talk to, don't recognize me for who I am rather than having my hair do my speaking for me, I'm in trouble anyway."

Reporting from the State Capitol, I'm Mary McGuire.