Today, it was reported that Republican Spence Jackson had left a suicide note stating “I just can’t take being unemployed again.” This tragedy speaks to some deep problems within the Missouri Republican Party.
This event makes me wonder about the level of animosity Mr. Jackson must have felt from the Republican establishment to conclude he was not going to be able to find work in GOP politics. Especially in a state in which the GOP has the vast majority of elected offices. Had John Hancock put out the word that anyone associated with Tom Schweich was to be blackballed from Republican campaigns? As Chairman of the Missouri Republican Party could John Hancock make that stick? With such a highly credentialed career why would Spence Jackson have a problem finding a job in Republican politics? I would like to think the business of the MO GOP would be handled more professionally but the whisper campaigns, sleazy commercials, and innuendo surrounding the Hanaway Gubernatorial campaign leave much to be considered.
This event also raises the disconnect with how Republicans act when making policy and the real world results of those policies. The Missouri Republican Party has done much to make unemployment more difficult than it needs to be for all Missourians. Former Republican Senator Brain Nieves pushed through legislation that reduced Missouri unemployment benefits from the standard 26 weeks to the current 20 weeks. The GOP has proposed drug testing the unemployed, reduced funding for Career Centers, and generally cast the unemployed as takers from the system when in reality most of these folks lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
Thousand of Missourians including many from Franklin County have had to deal with the challenges of unemployment. I helped many former Integram employees move from place to place as their lives were turned upside down due to being laid off. Lost houses, repossessed vehicles, and hectic schedules mixing job training and family responsibilities are hallmarks of these challenging times.
Republicans seem more than willing to make these times more challenging for everyone else but when reality hits home it all may be too much to bear.
How about in addition to cleaning up the cesspool that has become the Republican campaign industry they pursue policies that are not only good for them when taking money from donors but would be good for them if they had to live with the results?
Let’s hope this doesn’t take as long as it will for John Hancock to say he’s sorry.