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Author Topic: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?  (Read 6663 times)

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Offline Just_a_Biker

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MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« on: June 04, 2009, 07:50:02 PM »

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Dave,
  I know there is a lot of contraversy regarding the MO Helmet modification proposal on the governors desk right now, that's to be expected.  However, every time I turn on the radio, pick up a paper, or read an online article I see or hear something from MODoT Director Pete Rahn spewing out skewed statistics and urging Missourian's to contact the governor and veto the helmet legislation passed by both the Senate and House.  I understand that Mr. Rahn is using TAX PAYERS MONEY to run these ads, hold press conferences and conduct questionable surveys of the Missouri people. 
 
My first question is "Is this legal?"
My second question is "Why is the Director of MODoT conducting surveys and polls to ascertain what the people of Missouri want?  Isn't tha what the House and Senate are for?"
 
How much money has Director Rahn spent on his propoganda campaigne?  How many Missouiri lives could have been saved by utilizing that money to improve roads, or improve drivers education? 
 
Thanks,
Tim
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Cicero - 55 BC, Rome

Offline David Day

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2009, 08:42:23 PM »
I could write about 3 pages on my outrage on this, but I won't...I will be short.

My opposition of Director Rahn using tax dollars to lobby has a fairly long history, starting with his fly-around the state a few years ago to push for a primary seatbelt law.  Earlier this year he had state employees come to the capitol while being paid to do so to push for the primary seatbelt law and oppose the helmet law.  Now, as you can see, he is doing polling, holding press conferences, running around the state to oppose the helmet law change....ALL AT TAXPAYER EXPENSE!

Now, I fully understand if someone wants a primary seatbelt law or doesn't want helmet laws changed, and I respect that as I am sure you do.  However, it is the job of the legislature to pass or kill laws, then it is the job of the Governor to sign or veto those laws.  It is the job of Department Directors to make sure their departments carry out those laws.  During the process many departments act as information aids and it is common for their thoughts to be known by legislators, but that is where it ends.  NEVER have I seen anything like this.  It is also interesting to note that Director Rahn's department has nothing to do with the enforcement of the helmet law or seatbelt laws, that is up to the Department of Public Safety, and they did not testify against changing the helmet law...interesting.

Now, can he do this....yep I guess so.  Many years ago citizens decided they didn't want politicans involved as much in road issues in MO, so the MODOT Commission was set up and they are in charge of hiring/firing the Director.  The Gov. picks commissioners, the Senate approves them but once they are seated they answer to nobody.  The Governor can't fire the Directors of MODOT, Conservation, or Veterans...that has to be done by the Commissions.

So yes, unless his Commission wakes up and says stop, I guess he can.  I don't think many people paying highway taxes at the pump have this in mind when they pay them, I think they are more interested in roads and bridges being improved with their tax dollars, not paying state employees to visit legislators and telephone polling being done.

I don't know what Darrell will do with it but he asked me for quotes on the issue and Gary at the radio station ran some comments I made about it also.

I do know this Director who is telling everyone the legislature is "silly" for what we did on this law is also the one that will be asking us to put a tax increase on the ballot so they can have more money in a few years or asking for some other form of increased revenue, that will be interesting. 

My opposition to his actions, as well as that of many other legislators is well known, but he doesn't care.  I think he needs to find his focus again and start worrying about roads and bridges again and leave public safety laws up the the law enforcement.

Sorry so long, very frustrated with his actions right now.

Dave
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Offline Just_a_Biker

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2009, 09:14:32 PM »
THANK YOU!  Now, what can we do about it?  Is this something we should write / call the governor about?  I know the military has a Fraud / Waste & Abuse hotline to report this type of thing.  What about contacting the Missouri Attorney General and asking for an investigation or ruling?

I'm frustrated, as you are, and I'm just looking for a little guidance on how to tackle this.  I for one do not appreciate MY tax dollars being spent to further someone's political agenda, especialy when those funds could be spent to improve our roadways or drivers education in MO...

Thanks again Dave
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance. Cicero - 55 BC, Rome

Offline David Day

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 09:18:43 PM »
I would suggest contacting the Governor, although I don't know that there is fraud, in my opinion there is no doubt that tax payers don't have this in mind when they pay taxes for highways/bridges.  I do know he is burning bridges (sorry, had to) with legislators with each day he is out there.

You can find contact information for the governor at www.staterepday.com, then clicking on District Directory, then State Elected Officials.

Dave
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Offline David Day

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Offline matrsnot

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2009, 01:46:06 AM »
Seems to me to be conversion to personal use and could be a criminal matter since he is wasting tax dollars for his personal interests?

Offline David Day

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2009, 01:53:28 AM »
He can argue that he is using tax dollars for safety on highways, and that it is a policy issue for the state.  He is legal in this, especially if his bosses (commissioners) have approved it or even know of it and have not told him to stop.  BUT, just because something is not illegal does not mean it is not wrong.

I think he is going to have a rough road ahead of him in the legislature after this little game.

Dave
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Offline Vado Del Rio

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2009, 02:10:11 AM »
I must say that our roads have improved dramatically over the past five years or so.  Prior to that, the democrat controlled legislature was robbing from MODOT funds leaving us with some of the worst roads in the nation.  The ballot proposal mandating that highway funds only be used for highways was also helpful.  I believe the Director Rahn was brought in from another state to unscrew some serious problems during that period.  I suppose he's doing a pretty good job with the highway infrastructure minus keeping his nose out of legislative policy.  I do wonder if MODOT was threatened with the loss of federal money by the elitists in Washington should a the helmet law be repealed...........  It wouldn't surprise me one bit !!!

Offline David Day

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2009, 02:18:17 AM »
If that were the case he would be saying it.  Also, if that were the case, it would then be the responsibility of the legislature to make that money up since we are the ones that passed the law.  There was almost no fiscal impact on the state from this law so I don't believe there are any federal funds tied to it.

Yes, the roads are better and improving.  Like him or not, Governor Blunt made that a priority and the legislature held his feet to the fire by requiring an annual report that of course was public...so he had to produce and he did on that front.
Dave
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Offline Vado Del Rio

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2009, 02:33:54 AM »
Thanks for bringing that to my attention Dave.

Offline David Day

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2009, 02:59:26 AM »
It was a legit thought, feds tie money to almost everything.

Dave
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Offline Geezer Glide Taz

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2009, 02:26:15 PM »
I wrote a email to the Governor voicing my concern that a Government Employee was utilizing tax payer money to voice his personel agenda. I basically said lawmakers make law, not MDOT directors. If he has a personal view, then he should be utilizing his own money, not tax payer money.
If he is against abortion or gay marriage, does that give him the right to utilize our tax money to make speeches all over the media for that too?
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Offline Seeg

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #12 on: June 05, 2009, 03:36:42 PM »
What a crock.....  This man needs to lose his job as this is a TOTAL abuse of power, imo.
"I love my country... it's just the government I fear!"

Offline Vado Del Rio

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Re: MODoT Director - abuse of power? Misuse of funds?
« Reply #13 on: June 05, 2009, 03:40:06 PM »
I have a close family member who was in a position similar to the MODOT Director years ago.  I do recall him telling me that it was "inappropriate" for him to pubically lobby for anything as that was the role of "elected officials" as he called it.  He'd express views to his oversight boards and various law makers in private but that was the extent of his involvement.