by Ivan Foley
A speech given by State Rep. Jason Brown at a recent Republican event has been termed “reprehensible” by the man targeted in Brown’s words.
Brown, the District 30 Republican who lives in Platte City, encouraged Republicans at an April 3 Pachyderm Club meeting to work to defeat Jason Grill, a Democrat serving southern Platte County’s District 32, because Grill “is not a good person.”
Brown then showed a newspaper article focusing on a police report that was filed by a 22-year-old Kansas City woman who initially told police she had been sexually assaulted by Grill on Election Night, 2006, shortly after Grill had won his state representative race. She claimed the alleged assault took place in a car in a Zona Rosa parking lot. She said she had met Grill earlier that night at O’Dowd’s, where a post-election party for Grill was taking place. The woman later decided not to pursue charges against Grill, who was 27 at the time.
Grill is seeking reelection this November. He is opposed by Republican Abby Olson, though Olson has indicated she will withdraw her name from the race if another Republican can be found to step in by May 18.
Brown’s April 3 speech was reported in last week’s Landmark. Grill did not return a phone call seeking comment until after deadline last week. This week Grill emailed the newspaper his response.
“I believe Rep. Brown has allowed his political ambitions to cloud his judgments in his belligerent and slanderous verbal attack against my character,” Grill wrote.
“Rep. Brown’s recent behavior was reprehensible and reminiscent of two other prior outbursts,” Grill said. ‘He once attacked my father, Brad Grill, at a Missouri Farm Bureau candidate forum in Platte City in 2004. Rep. Brown, before he had even met me, screamed and yelled at my father making personal attacks. My father was representing me at this event, while I was preparing for the Missouri Bar exam.
“The other incident occurred on the Missouri House floor when Rep. Brown returned home from Iraq in 2007. He attacked the Republican Speaker of the House for allowing me to carry and pass legislation on the House floor as a Democrat from Platte County. My bipartisan bill to help military personnel serving our country should have been a common-ground issue for us, yet he fought to kill it only because I am a Democrat.
“I respect Rep. Brown’s military service, however he should leave the ‘your enemy represents everything evil’ mentality in Iraq where it belongs. We need to put politics aside to ensure we are acting in the best interests of our constituents.”
Grill went on to say he has tried to work with Brown “only to have more of the same angry response and divisive partisan attitude from him.”
Grill also fired a shot toward Brown’s political consultant.
“I have no interest in bitter partisan attack politics based on fear and hatred that Rep. Brown and his campaign consultant Jeff Roe of Axiom Strategies LLC employs. These interests simply hurt the taxpayers and put partisan politics over progress.”
“I won’t allow these partisan personal attacks on my faith, my family, and my character to alter my course of doing what is in the best interests of all residents of the 32 District,” Grill said. “I will trust my record as a legislator over the cheap-shot attacks and partisan ambitions and antics of Rep. Brown.
“Enough is enough. Let’s get on with the business of the people,” Grill remarked.
Reached by phone for comment to Grill’s response, Brown said he feels Grill’s words avoided the issue.
“It sounds like he is already running his Senate campaign for 2010. Nowhere in his explanation did he at any point in time explain why he would put himself in such a position that an allegation or police report would be filed by the young lady.
“I think by the long explanation he is trying to prove his innocence by saying things about me. I don’t know if there’s an answer in there,” Brown said.
“I stand by my statement. That type of behavior, putting yourself in that situation, doesn’t represent the values of families in Platte County. But he’s not my state representative,” Brown added.
In a telephone conversation with The Landmark, Jeff Roe, Brown’s political consultant mentioned by Grill, said he considers Grill’s response “confusing and a political statement meant to change the subject.”
“(Alleged) rape isn’t a partisan or political issue. He either forced sex on a young lady in her car in a parking lot at a bar on election night or he didn’t. He’s not a victim, she is,” Roe said.