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Your Opinion: Amendment 1 puts families before lobbyists, money

September 30, 2018 at 5:05 a.m. | Updated September 30, 2018 at 5:05 a.m.

Nimrod “Rod” Chapel Jr.

president of Missouri State Conference of the NAACP

Dear Editor:

Every year, state politicians say they’ll pass real ethics reform — and every year they fail. Years of lip service have gotten us nothing. Now is the people’s chance to do it ourselves by passing Amendment 1 to clean up Missouri politics.

Of course, the politicians, powerful lobbyists, and big money donors are trying to stop Amendment 1.

Why would they want to eliminate all expensive lobbyist gifts when they take an average of nearly $900,000 every year in free trips, carts of liquor and concert tickets?

Why would they lower campaign contribution limits to their own campaigns?

Or follow the Sunshine Law? Or make districts more competitive so they can’t cater to big donors while ignoring voters back home?

The policies in Amendment 1 are strong, common-sense, nonpartisan reforms that have been vetted and endorsed by leading reformers across the political spectrum, including the League of Women Voters, former U.S. Sen. John Danforth, and Republican attorney Trevor Potter at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

Amendment 1 will make Missouri families the priority in Jefferson City — instead of just wealthy donors and special interests.

The NAACP has a proud history of fighting for political equality for all citizens. All of our voices have been drowned out by big money, and that’s why the Missouri NAACP is in full support of Amendment 1 to clean up Missouri politics.

Here are the facts about what Amendment 1 will do:

• Lower campaign contribution limits.

• Eliminate all lobbyist gifts to legislators worth more than $5.

• Require legislative meetings and records to be open to the public.

• Stop politicians from becoming lobbyists for two years after leaving the Legislature.

• Require fair and competitive state legislative maps so politicians are no longer protected by safe, gerrymandered districts. It also enshrines the Voting Rights Act into the Missouri Constitution to protect minorities’ right to be represented in the Legislature.

The NAACP is not political but instead stands with a coalition of Republicans and Democrats — but preserving representative democracy. We must all work for a better Missouri together.

The fight for justice in our state starts with restoring integrity, transparency, and accountability in our state government. Amendment 1 gives us a rare opportunity for desperately needed reforms to give power to the people. Learn more and get involved at Then vote “yes” on Amendment 1 this November to clean up Missouri politics.

Print Headline: Your Opinion: Amendment 1 puts families before lobbyists, money


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