By SHERI GASSAWAY
Kansas City, MO – Amendment 1 – the CLEAN Missouri initiative to overhaul the state’s ethics and state legislative redistricting laws – will remain on the Nov. 6 ballot, the Western District Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 21.
The ruling overturned an earlier decision by Cole County Judge Dan Green to remove it from the ballot because it contained “too many subjects.” It was yet another victory for working families.
In August, Missouri voters overwhelmingly defeated Proposition A by a better than two-to-one majority, 67.5 percent to 32.5 percent, defeating so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) in 99 of Missouri’s 114 counties and the City of St. Louis.
“We’re glad the judges saw through the lobbyists who were terrified of letting Missourians vote on Amendment 1,” said Richard Von Glahn, Missouri Jobs with Justice policy director. “To stop attacks on our families, we must make sure our voices matter more than powerful lobbyists and big donors.
“Missourians across the political spectrum support cleaning up Missouri politics and will be voting ‘yes’ on Amendment 1 this November.”
CLEANING UP POLITICS CHALLENGED BY THE MISSOURI CHAMBER
Green ruled on Sept. 14 on a combined lawsuit filed on behalf of Daniel Mehan, president and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, and Paul Ritter, a Miller County resident, seeking to remove the initiative from the ballot by alleging the amendment contained too many subjects.
Chuck Hatfield, an attorney for CLEAN Missouri, immediately appealed the ruling, resulting in the decision.
On Sept. 19, CLEAN Missouri proponents held rallies and canvasses in support of the amendment in St. Louis and Kansas City.
On Sept. 21, just four days before the deadline to clear the initiative for the ballot, the three-judge panel of the Western District Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the decision to remove it.
“Construing the initiative petition ‘liberally and non-restrictively,’ we conclude that the petition’s multiple provisions all relate to a single central purpose: regulating the legislature to limit the influence of partisan or other special interests,” the ruling said.
AMENDMENT 1: CLEAN MISSOURI
Amendment 1 has been endorsed by the St. Louis Labor Council, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Columbia Daily Tribune, Kansas City Star and Washington Missourian.
If approved, Amendment 1 would:
• Lower campaign contribution limits.
• Eliminate most lobbyist gifts.
• Require state government to be more transparent by following the Sunshine Law.
• Stop the revolving door of legislators becoming lobbyists. Legislators would have to wait two years after leaving office before becoming lobbyists.
• Require fair legislative maps to eliminate the process of gerrymandering.
For more information on Amendment 1, visit cleanmissouri.org.