‘Someone needs to stand up to this outrageous overreach’

JEFFERSON CITY — Decrying the outrageous overreach of the Department of Justice attack on the residents of Ferguson, Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder issued the following statement today:

“The Department of Justice lawsuit is nothing less than an assault on the taxpayers of Ferguson. The commandeering of city resources by federal officials who have no idea of the budget priorities and needs of the citizens of Ferguson is antithetical to the American form of government.

“Ferguson already is spending at a deficit and the Justice Department’s 127-page list of demands and reforms for the city would add at least $3 million to the city’s expenses. Ferguson leaders are making a good faith effort to adopt reforms to correct past problems. But the Justice Department demands would force the city to stop providing basic services to residents to pay for mandated wage hikes. Even then, the ongoing costs would threaten to bankrupt the city. That’s why the City Council voted unanimously to add conditions to its acceptance of most of the DOJ demands.

“The Justice Department’s response was to sue the city to enforce its draconian mandates. As far as Obama’s Justice Department is concerned, if Ferguson won’t accept an agreement it can’t afford, it now must fight a lawsuit it can’t afford.

“The DOJ is behaving like an emperor in a far distant castle handing down decrees to its subjects. If they can do this to Ferguson, they can do it to Neosho or Tarkio or Poplar Bluff. Someone needs to stand up to this outrageous overreach.”