Catholic Legislator Heads Up Investigation of Greitens

House Speaker Todd Richardson has chosen Rep. Jay Barnes, (R-Jefferson City) to head up a committee to examine whether impeachment should proceed against Governor Eric Greitens. Rep. Barnes is a young Catholic attorney known for his willingness to stand up for what he believes is right, even when it is unpopular.

The Barnes family, which includes Jay, his wife, Jane, and their four children, can be seen at Sunday Mass every week at Immaculate Conception parish in Jefferson City. Jay and Jane named one of their children Atticus, after Atticus Finch, the small town Alabama attorney in To Kill a Mockingbird who defends a black man charged with raping a white woman.

Barnes has served eight years in the Missouri House and is term-limited, meaning he cannot run again. He is a traditional Republican in many ways, but has bucked his party on occasion. He opposed denying legal entry to refugees, citing Ronald Reagan’s reference to America as that “shining city on a hill.” When other legislators said A+ scholarships should be limited to public school students only, Barnes said that wasn’t fair because private school parents pay taxes, too. Due in large part to his efforts, the A+ program now allows college scholarships to graduates of Catholic and other private high schools.

Representative Barnes has said he will follow the facts wherever those facts lead in investigating the governor. Say a prayer for Representative Barnes as he takes on this last, crucial assignment as a State Representative.