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Senator Mary Bland accuses Senate leadership of discrimination

May 8, 2003
By: Megan Murphy
State Capital Bureau

One Senator called attention to the lack of diversity in the Appropriations Conference Committee appointees. Megan Murphy reports:

In a press conference, Senator Mary Bland called attention to the all-white, all-male Senate Conference Committee.

Bland wrote a letter asking to be added to this committee. She was not. She says she thinks the Senate Republican leadership has apparently decided to silence her - the most senior African-American senator.

Actuality:MARYBL1.WAV
RunTime: 17
OutCue: "change hearts"
Contents: "Discrimination runs rampant in the Senate, and it is the Seante is greater than that. And I would hope that most of my colleauges would feel the same way. Because if not, we haven't moved anywhere. We've made laws, but we can't change hearts."

Senate leader, Peter Kinder said he was surprised at the charge. Kinder said race and gender are not considerations when choosing committee members.

In Jefferson City, Megan Murphy, KMOX News


One Senator accused the Senate Republican leadership of discrimination when choosing committee members. Megan Murphy reports:

In a press conference, Senator Mary Bland brought attention to the fact that the Appropriations Conference Committee is solely comprised of white males.

Bland said she should have been appointed to this committee because she is the most senior African American member of the Senate. She also accused leaders of letting discrimination run rampant against African Americans and women in the Senate.

Senate leader - Peter Kinder was surprised by what he calls a deadly charge.

Actuality:PK1.WAV
RunTime: 13
OutCue: "thought process"


Contents: "If you're asking me now when 5 names are layed in fron tof me, do I go through a check list of racial and gender check-offs. That is not part of my thought process."

Kinder later contradicted himself by saying that race and gender can be a consideration in certain cases.

In Jefferson City, Megan Murphy, KMOX News