Today's Edition Local Missouri National World Opinion Obits Sports GoMidMo Events Classifieds Newsletters Contests Special Sections Jobs

William Steinmeier

Jefferson City

Dear Editor:

A great deal of expensive advertising opposes Amendment 3. About 80 percent of the funding of the "No on 3" campaign is from outside Missouri, including from George Soros' Open Society Policy Center, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the Sierra Club. That campaign focuses on the fact that Missouri voters approved, in 2018, an initiative petition euphemistically called "Clean Missouri." Voters were attracted by the limits on gifts to legislators, and on campaign contributions, imposed by that initiative petition. Those limits are not repealed by Amendment 3 and, in fact, are strengthened by it.

The real point of "Clean Missouri" in 2018 was to change the way legislative districts are drawn in Missouri. Hidden behind the very popular gift and contribution limit provisions, few voters noticed that "Clean Missouri" replaced the historic process of defining legislative districts with a "nonpartisan demographer" to be selected by the two top senators (one Republican, one Democrat) from a slate presented by the state auditor. Why the state auditor should be the gatekeeper in this process is unclear. This new redistricting process is consistent with a current leftist trend to replace processes that are voter-responsive with so-called "experts" who are not accountable to the voters.

I voted against "Clean Missouri" because of the redistricting provisions. I have no interest in districting being done by a new, unaccountable bureaucrat rather than by a group of elected officials accountable to voters.

I also voted against "Clean Missouri" because, as I have expressed previously in a LTE, the next initiative petition I plan to vote for will be the one that eliminates initiative petitions. They are inconsistent with our system of government, where we elect representatives to thoroughly study and debate issues and enact legislation based on that study and debate. The general public never knows enough about the intricacies of an initiative petition to vote intelligently on it. The public certainly knew little about the redistricting provisions in "Clean Missouri" in 2018.

Amendment 3 will require that legislative districts are drawn to meet the criteria of: equal population; compliance with federal law, including the Voting Rights Act; contiguous and compact boundaries; preserving communities, with priority to keeping whole counties intact; and partisan fairness and competitiveness.

Among many others, Missouri Right to Life and the Missouri Farm Bureau support Amendment 3. We will join them in voting in its favor.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.
/** **/