ONE MAN’S VIEW: Beware the next effort to screw workers: Constitutional Convention


Let’s see: The Missouri Republican-controlled legislature has so far voted to:

  • Drive down workers’ wages, safe working conditions and ultimately their benefits with the passage of the phony, anti-worker “right-to-work” law.
  • Keep local governments from demanding quality construction from local construction companies hiring local, skilled tradespeople by prohibiting Project Labor Agreements. This will further drive down wages because low-paying companies from the South will now flock to Missouri with incredibly low bids based on the fact they pay their workers next to nothing.
  • Further intrude into local government by telling the City of St. Louis they can’t raise the minimum wage for 35,000 underpaid workers, as they had already done, forcing the city to roll back the increase on Aug. 28 – cutting the wages workers are already receiving – and blocking a similar increase in Kansas City.
  • Force the City of St. Louis to roll back part of an anti-discrimination ordinance that keeps employers and landlords from denying a woman a job or evicting her because of her reproductive health decision. A bill passed in the Senate and modified in the House would prevent the law from being enforced against pregnancy resource centers that discourage women from having abortions.

And while the list goes on, there’s one that I’m sure will come up soon: the Republicans in the Missouri Legislature will want to change our U.S. Constitution. OMG!

And they will probably try to do it with a proposed resolution created and promoted by none other than the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the cabal of right-wing big businessmen whose intent, a Wisconsin legislator pointed out, is clear: “To them, government is not about the people, but the most powerful doing what they want, when they want, and to whom they want.”

As of July 20, 28 states of the needed 34 have passed this resolution to hold a Constitution Convention (read: attack the U.S. Constitution and legalize once and for all their right-wing, anti-worker interests).

And here’s the kicker: once there is a convention, EVERYTHING is on the table. Nothing is sacred.

A document that has led our nation to greatness since the first national Constitution Convention in 1787 will be open to savage attack by right-wing ideologues whose only concern is what’s best for them and their big business bottom lines, not the working class “scum” they perceive the rest of us to be.

The only potential saving grace: should a convention be convened, their dirty work will need the agreement of three-fourths of all the states – 38.

Given that the Republicans now control both chambers in 32 states and the governorship in 25 of them, the 38 it would take to ratify the changes is within reach. Especially since ALEC’s backers, notably the Koch Brothers, would be willing to spend whatever it takes on TV, social media, direct mail, etc. –– and of course lining the campaign coffers of any reticent legislators — to get it passed.

And don’t think our Governor Eric Greitens, the political coward that he is, won’t sign off. He will. His big money backers will pull his strings and he’ll sign without a whimper.

Be forewarned. It will come.

And who will be hurt the most? The very working people, including our own union members, who voted for this political coward and the other self-centered R’s who are attending the ALEC conference (July 19-21) in Denver.

Wonder who is there from Missouri?

P.S. Let me make it clear, this condemnation does not include all Missouri Republicans. There are some – although too few – who are in Jefferson City to do what’s right by ALL Missourians, not just the rich and powerful. But that’s a small group. We salute them for their integrity – and strength of character –  to stand up to what must be awful pressures when key anti-worker issues come to a vote.


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