Following up on this morning's post, Lt. Gov Peter Kinder told Joplin station KOAM yesterday that "we're bring [our lawsuit] on behalf of individual citizen plaintiffs," which he hopes will allow him to raise "unique constitutional claims." Watch it:
Kinder fails to mention that his original intention was to sue on behalf of Missouri. His Chief of Staff, Rich AuBuchon, even told reporters that he could represent the State of Missouri by himself. Later, Team Kinder backed away from that assertion, and stated repeatedly that Kinder would be suing in his official capacity. In fact, Kinder has even said he has a "statutory obligation" to file the suit.
The KOAM story does not say who Kinder has brought on board to make his "unique constitutional claims."
Clearly, this shift in strategy indicates that Kinder is worried about his standing to sue in federal court. Compare yesterday's statements to his previous bloviating.
- At his March 23 press conference, Kinder said: "I am here to announce that by my standing as a constitutional officer of the State of Missouri and by my statutory authority as Missouri’s Official Senior Advocate, I intend to join with officials of 13 other states to challenge the legality of this federal healthcare bill and any unconstitutional provision in which may be contained. Our fight is two part: to protect the sovereignty of our states, and freedoms of our citizens."
- The Lieutenant Governor appeared on Fox News Channel, April 7, 2010. During that televised interview, he stated: “I'm going to be filing suit before the end of this month in federal court on behalf of Missouri. I have a statutory obligation as the chief advocate for our state's senior population.”
- Later, during that same interview, Kinder was asked: “Do you have statutory authority to do this? Is there a Missouri statute says, okay, if the governor, the attorney general won't do it, well, okay, the lieutenant governor can do it?” He replied: “I believe I can ...through my status as a constitutional officer of state government and my statutory responsibility to advocate for Missouri's seniors.”
- On April 8, the Associated Press reported: “Kinder said Wednesday that he will file the lawsuit later this month in a Missouri federal court in his official capacity.”
Furthermore, official press releases issued April 7 and April 21 make it clear that Kinder's suit was originally imagined to be all about Kinder in his official capacity, not "individual citizen plaintiffs."