An Open Letter to Missouri Representative Glen Kolkmeyer.
Representative Kolkmeyer, you are correct, every participant in the market place “needs to play by the same rules”, as you were quoted by the Springfield News-Leader.
You are wrong; however, by intimating that two wrongs make a right.
The First Wrong: The current rule (law), that you told the media “decided (that) any car sold in the state of Missouri would be sold through a dealer”, is a wrong that should be fixed to ensure an even playing field and restore natural contract rights. That wrong-headed market intervention, Chapter 406.826, exists pursuant to a 2001 House bill sponsored by a St. Louis Democrat and was adopted by a Democratically controlled committee and House of Representatives, hardly “decided by our forefathers”, as you were quoted in the Leader.
The second wrong, for all the reasons explained in this post, would be to adopt Senate Substitute for House Bill 1124 and would not make that existing statute right.
Neither can this wrong be justified by including a reference to the existing public policy statement related to the manufacture and distribution of automobiles, found in Chapter 407.811. Another one of our so-called forefathers, Senator Mike Parson, sponsored the public policy statement, cited in the Senate Substitute for House Bill 1124, which he introduced when a Representative.
To demonstrate that the public policy statement was little more than an attempt to provide preferential treatment of motor vehicle dealerships, the introduced version of that 2010 bill, House Bill 2198, contained the following language:
Given the importance of the motor vehicle industry in the state, the provisions of the MVFP act (Motor Vehicle Franchise Practices Act) shall be liberally construed to protect motor vehicle dealers.
Thank goodness that someone saw the flaw in the attempt by that “forefather” to provide unabashed preferential treatment of automobile dealerships by regulators and the courts and it was stricken in the truly agreed version of the bill.
The right thing to do when the Senate Substitute for your House Bill 1124 is taken up by the House is to refuse to recede to the Senate Substitute and allow the bill to die. Then, assuming your re-election, offer a bill next session to repeal or sunset Chapter 407.826.