Missouri Sen. Bob Onder loves taking corporate cash; hates it when same “corporate elites” object to his policies

To hear Missouri Sen. Bob Onder tell it yesterday, Missouri politics are infected with these pesky business people sticking their noses where they shouldn’t.

It’s almost like he thinks Big Business shouldn’t go meddling in the political lives of Missouri lawmakers.

Onder is unhappy with business folks in their fancy suits speaking up about Senate Joint Resolution 39, a piece of legislation that masquerades as a “religious liberty” measure but that everyone knows is just a way to make life more difficult for gay couples wanting to get married in Missouri.

SJR 39’s supporters say it protects the blessed and divine cupcake maker from having to produce his or her tasty confections for a same-sex marriage if they don’t want to. For anyone who actually reads the bill, it’s easy to see how the language would get stretched to allow wholesale discrimination against LGBT couples. If SJR 39 passes both the Missouri House and Senate, the fate of basic dignity for gay couples rests in the hands of the voting public.

During a lengthy debate on Tuesday, Onder, a St. Charles County Republican who supports SJR 39, complained about the growing number of companies that are pissed off that Missouri politicians want to allow businesses to deny service to any activity connected to a same-sex marriage.

“Missourians are going to resent being bullied by corporate elites,” Onder said , according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I think that we are being told by corporate elites that you either do what we say — don’t protect religious liberty; don’t protect what you believe are people’s constitutional rights under the First Amendment — or we’re going to punish you.”

It’s rich to hear Onder speak about bullies and punitive measures when he carries water for legislation that does just that. It’s also funny to think about Onder suddenly wishing that companies would refrain from trying to throw their weight around.

In fact, if Onder is serious about being bullied by “corporate elites,” he should take the campaign cash out of his mouth that was stuffed there by those same corporate elites that are now calling out the stupidity and deceit of SJR 39. Those would include: 

• Express Scripts, a St. Louis company that gave him $1,000 on November 9, 2014 and another $1,500 on December 2, 2015.
• Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant that gave Onder $500 September 1, 2015.
• Burns & McDonnell, the Kansas City engineering firm, gave Onder $2,000 on November 11, 2014.
• Bryan Cave, the St. Louis-based law firm with a big Kansas City office, gave $250 to Onder on December 14, 2015.

All those companies, and many, many more, have publicly repudiated SJR 39.

C’mon, Bob, let’s see how close your pocketbook rests next to your sincerely held beliefs. Send those contributions back to your bullies. I’m sure they have better ways to spend the money.

Categories: News, Politics