PLEASANT HILL, OCTOBER 15, 2018 – The November 6th, 2018 ballot will have several amendments for the voters to consider. Here is the wording and an opinion on the Amendment.
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:
- Change process and criteria for redrawing state legislative districts during reapportionment;
- Change limits on campaign contributions that candidates for state legislature can accept from individuals or entities;
- Establish a limit on gifts that state legislators, and their employees, can accept from paid lobbyists;
- Prohibit state legislators, and their employees, from serving as paid lobbyists for a period of time;
- Prohibit political fundraising by candidates for or members of the state legislature on state property; and
- Require legislative records and proceedings to be open to the public?
State governmental entities estimate annual operating costs may increase by $189,000. Local governmental entities expect no fiscal impact.
Fair Ballot Language:
A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to change the process and criteria for redrawing state legislative district boundaries during reapportionment (redistricting).
Currently, bipartisan house and senate commissions redraw boundaries and those maps are adopted if 70% of the commissioners approve the maps.
This amendment has a state demographer chosen from a panel selected by the state auditor redraw the boundaries and submit those maps to the house and senate commissions.
This amendment would then allow changes to the demographer’s maps only if 70% of the commissioners vote to make changes and do so within two months after receiving the maps from the state demographer.
The amendment also reduces the limits on campaign contributions that candidates for state senator or state representative can accept from individuals or entities by $100 per election for a senate candidate and $500 for a house candidate.
The amendment creates a $5 limit on gifts that state legislators and their employees can accept from paid lobbyists or the lobbyists’ clients, and prohibits state legislators and their employees from serving as paid lobbyists for a period of two years after the end of their last legislative session. The amendment prohibits political fundraising by candidates for or members of the state legislature on State property.
The amendment further requires all legislative records and proceedings to be subject to the state open meetings and records law (Missouri Sunshine Law).
A “no” vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution regarding redistricting, campaign contributions, lobbyist gifts, limits on lobbying after political service, fundraising locations, and legislative records and proceedings.
If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.
This amendment removes the responsibility for redistricting from elected officials, to a non-elected party, accountable to no one. The only remedy to anything proposed by the Demographer, is if 70% of the commissioners agree. This is by a greater super-majority than constitutional amendments.
The current system, imperfect as it is, keeps the responsibility on the elected officials and puts the hurdle on passage on the approval of 70% of the commissioners. The current system is a good check and balance.
Gerrymandering is always a concern. In a REPRESENTATIVE Democracy as we have in Missouri and in the United States, puts the onus on the voter to elect the correct people of their choice, and to have the elected representatives make the decisions to which they are held responsible.
A non-elected appointed official has the potential of being impartial, however, they too have the potential to be biased in one way or another that goes against the wishes of the electorate; and it removes recourse from the electorate.
The current State Auditor is Nicole Galloway, from the Democrat Party. She was appointed – not elected – by Governor Jay Nixon in 2015. Keep in mind, in this situation, a non-elected official would have the right to appoint another non-elected official that will affect Missouri districts for 10 years. Whether Democrat or Republican, this is not the way a representative democracy runs.
This proposal is a very dangerous abdication of the electorate’s right to be represented by those they elect, and have a non-elected party dictate, to the voters, in what districts they will vote.
VOTE NO, on Amendment 1.
The Lee’s Summit Conservative