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Missouri 2018 Voter's Guide

The Marc Cox Morning Show
October 18, 2018 - 4:41 am

2018 VOTER’S GUIDE

On November 6th, Missourians will vote on seven statewide ballot measures. The full text of each measure can be found HERE.

I will summarize each ballot initiative, and tell you how I plan to vote. I also review the St. Louis County ballot issues. I expect each of you to make a wise decision - and follow my advice. 

For election day: MC Voter's Guide Cheat Sheet

Amendment 1 (aka "Clean Missouri")

Ballot wording:

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?

 

This is a wolf in sheep's clothing, and the summary is VERY misleading. It claims to "clean" campaign financing and make redistricting "bi-partisan." Instead, it will radically change the way your House/Senate district is drawn for the Missouri Legislature. Right now, the men and women you elect make this decision based on the census results. If Amendment 1 passes, a "demographer" chosen by the State Auditor will make that decision, with the stated goal of making every district 50/50. Like your district in St. Charles County? You can't keep it. It may be gerrymandered like a serpent just to be "fair" - in simple language, not representative of you or your neighbors at all. Ready to get a headache? Read the exact wording of what they want to do:

"To this end, the non-partisan state demographer shall calculate the average electoral performance of the two parties receiving the most votes in the three preceding elections for governor, for United States Senate, and for President of the United States. This index shall be defined as the total votes received by each party in the three preceding elections for governor, for United States Senate, and for President of the United States, divided by the total votes cast for both parties in these elections. Using this index, the non-partisan state demographer shall calculate the total number of wasted votes for each party, summing across all of the districts in the plan. Wasted votes are votes cast for a losing candidate or for a winning candidate in excess of the fifty percent threshold needed for victory. In any plan of apportionment and map of the proposed districts submitted to the respective apportionment commission, the non-partisan state demographer shall ensure the difference between the two parties’ total wasted votes, divided by the total votes cast for the two parties, is as close to zero as practicable.

To promote competitiveness…the demographer shall ensure that, in each of these simulated elections, the difference between the two parties’ total wasted votes, divided by the total votes cast for the two parties, is as close to zero as practicable."

This is a disaster, and an attempt by George Soros and liberal, progressive activists to break the Republican majority in the Legislature - plain and simple. Missouri would be the only state in the nation to do this. Our legislators can address campaign finance reform.

MARC'S VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1: NO

 

 

 

Amendments 2, 3 and Proposition C: Medical Marijuana

I remain opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use, and I see all three of these inititatives as a slippery slope ultimately leading to that. That said, if you are okay with medical marijuana and plan to vote YES on one of these plans, I recommend Proposition C. Amendments 2 and 3 are just that - amendments to the Missouri Constitution, which would require another statewide vote if problems are discovered. Amendment 2 wouldn't even allow local cities to ban dispensaries. Prop C would allow local cities to opt out, and can at least be changed by the Missouri Legislature with the governor's signature, as problems develop.

Amendments 2 & 3 dangle large sales taxes on the marijuana, with promises of spending that cash on healthcare services and "biomedical research." Remember the promises of the lottery for schools? They're still broke. Prop C only carries a 2% sales tax, and reserves the money for the problems this will cause: Drug treatment, and law enforcement. So choose PROP C if you plan to vote yes!

MARC'S VOTE ON 2, 3, AND PROP C: NO

 

 

 

Amendment 4: Bingo

Ballot Language:

Do you want to amend the Missouri constitution to:

  • remove language limiting bingo game advertising that a court ruled unenforceable; and
  • allow a member of a licensed organization conducting bingo games to participate in the management of bingo games after being a member of the organization for six months instead of the current two years? 

 

Yes, it's actually an issue. This ballot measure would remove the constitutional ban on organizations advertising bingo games and lower the time required that someone is a member of an organization to manage a bingo game for that organization from two years to six months.

Really, who cares if the VFW advertises for bingo games? This actually failed on the ballot back in 2000.

MARC'S VOTE ON AMENDMENT 4: YES

 

 

 

Proposition B: Minimum Wage

Ballot language:

Do you want to amend Missouri law to:

  • increase the state minimum wage to $8.60 per hour with 85 cents per hour increase each year until 2023, when the state minimum wage would be $12.00 per hour;
  • exempt government employers from the above increase; and
  • increase the penalty for paying employees less than the minimum wage? 

Are you stupid? No, this is a horrible idea. Econ 101 - the market will decide the value of your skills. This would force employers to pay $12 an hour to unskilled laborers. The person making $12 now will have to make $16. A Big Mac will cost $10, because employers will pass on the expense to consumers. The same people getting the raise would be hit by those increases the most. Immigrants come from around the world to take advantage of the opportunities in this great country. You can too.

MARC'S VOTE ON PROP B: NO

 

 

 

Proposition D: Gas Tax Increase

Ballot language:

Shall Missouri law be amended to fund Missouri state law enforcement by increasing the motor fuel tax by two and one half cents per gallon annually for four years beginning July 1, 2019, exempt Special Olympic, Paralympic, and Olympic prizes from state taxes, and to establish the Emergency State Freight Bottleneck Fund? 

If passed, this measure will generate at least $288 million annually to the State Road Fund to provide for the funding of Missouri state law enforcement and $123 million annually to local governments for road construction and maintenance.

 

We need to stop spending, stop spending, stop spending - STOP SPENDING, that's what we want. It's often said we don't elect politicians for how they save us money, but instead for how they spend it. The legislature had a chance to make a tough decision to increase infrastructure spending without raising taxes. But they chickened out (all due respect to chickens) and decided to punt the question of a tax increase to voters. This would raise $288 million dollars a year. Guess who supports it - every construction-related union in Missouri which stands to get a slice of the tax pie. I understand their motivation, but we need to stand firm against raising taxes instead of making tough spending decisions. If not, we'll be Illinois soon.

MARC'S VOTE ON PROP D: NO

 

 

 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY PROPOSITION 1

Ballot language:

 "Shall the Charter of St. Louis County be amended

to provide for the regulation of campaign finance

contributions, as set forth in Exhibit A of Ordinance

No. 27,144, on file with the St. Louis County

Administrative Director and St. Louis County Board

of Election Commissioners?"

 

This one limits campaign contributions to $2600 per person, and it prevents a candidate from accepting any money from a company or person actively bidding on a County contract. 

While I like the restriction on undue influence, I think the contribution limit also limits free speech.

MARC'S VOTE ON ST. LOUIS CO. PROP 1: NO

 

 

 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY PROPOSITION 2

Ballot language: 

"Shall the Charter of St. Louis County be amended

by addition of a section requiring voter approval of

certain land transactions concerning county parks,

as set forth in Exhibit A of Ordinance No. 27,131 on

file with the St. Louis County Administrative Director

and St. Louis County Board of Election

Commissioners?"

 

This one forces a county-wide vote in order to sell any County park property. Minus many evidence that this is an actual probelm, and as a former elected official, why are we putting people in office if it’s not to make these decisions?

 MARC’S VOTE ON ST. LOUIS CO. PROP 2: NO

 

 

 

St. Louis County Proposition B

Ballot Language:

Shall the Charter of St. Louis County be amended

to provide for the regulation of fund transfers within

a department, as set forth in Exhibit A of Ordinance

No. 27,145, on file with the St. Louis County

Administrative Director and St. Louis County Board

of Election Commissioners?

 

Recently, County Executive Steve Stenger transferred money from the County Council budget, effectively preventing Council from paying staff members. Well...that's what this is about. This would prevent the County Executive from doing that going forward without County Council approval. 

MARC’S VOTE ON PROP B: YES

 

 

 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY PROPOSITION C

Ballot language:

"Shall the Charter of St. Louis County be amended

to provide for a website to publish certain county

financial documents, as set forth in Exhibit A of

Ordinance No. 27,143, on file with the St. Louis

County Administrative Director and St. Louis

County Board of Election Commissioners?"

 

Transparency is good, and it’s time to move in to the 2000’s. I'm surprised this isn't already required. Why shouldn't taxpayers be able to sign on a see what their government is spending?

MARC’S VOTE ON ST. LOUIS CO. PROP C: YES

 

 

 

ST. LOUIS COUNTY PROPOSITION D

Ballot language

"Shall there be a Charter Commission to revise and

amend the Charter?"

 

A Charter Commission is on the ballot every ten years.  They make recommendations to the Council is necessary - but haven't made a recommendation in the past 30 years, from what I'm told. From the length of ballot items, it appears County Council is doing that job for them.

MARC’S VOTE ON ST. LOUIS CO. PROP D: YES

 

 

 

St. Louis County Amendment Prop E

Smoking Ban 1 *Removed by Judge

Ballot language:

 Shall the St. Louis County Charter be amended by providing for prohibitions against smoking in or upon various County-owned properties, all enclosed public places, and all enclosed places of employment and certain outdoor spaces owned by other public or private entities, and by providing for various rights of persons pertaining to such prohibitions and methods of enforcing such rights and prohibitions?

A court ruling has removed this from the ballot. Your vote on this will not count. A major fail by a coalition of health groups who spent thousands of dollars to tell you how to run your life. I would be a “NO”, if it counted. Among other reasons, it’s just stupid to put St. Louis County Casinos at such a disadvantage to their competitors.

 

 

 

St. Louis Co. Proposition F

Smoking Ban 2

Ballot language:

 Shall the St. Louis County Charter be amended by providing for the authority of casinos licensed by the Missouri Gaming Commission to allow smoking on no more than fifty percent of the floor area on which gambling games are permitted?

This was an alternative to Prop E, offered by the Casinos. I don’t smoke, but any restriction like this will drive gamblers to St. Charles and St. Louis. Plus, the do-gooders will be back with another total ban attempt soon.

MARC’S VOTE ON PROP F: NO

 

 

 

Proposition Z

Zoo Tax

Ballot Language:

 Shall St. Louis County impose a county-wide sales tax of one-eighth of one percent for the purpose of providing funds for the management and care of animals and other zoological activities and zoological facilities of the Saint Louis Zoological Park Subdistrict, and with all moneys received to be deposited in the treasury of St. Louis County (minus any statutory costs of collection) to the credit of the Saint Louis Zoological Park Subdistrict and kept separate and apart from other moneys of St. Louis County, with the Saint Louis Zoological Park Subdistrict Commission to have the exclusive control of the expenditure of all moneys collected to the credit of the Saint Louis Zoological Park Subdistrict?

 

This tells you everything you need to know about this sales tax: No accountability or guarantee for how it’s spent, and only St. Louis County taxpayers are expected to pay more. Once this tax passes, no elected official will have any say over how it is spent. We’re told the Zoo is starving for more money - mainly by those who’ve never met a tax they didn’t like. But they declined to put this on the City ballot, because really, how much higher can sales taxes go in the City before everyone leaves? Don’t buy the hype. The Zoo District gets $20-million a year from taxpayers. If they need more money, let them charge admission to non-residents.

MARC’S VOTE ON PROP Z: NO

Additional voter resources:

St. Louis County Sample Ballot

St. Louis City Sample Ballot 

Illinois Voter Guide

Your Missouri Judges

Absentee (Early) Voting Information - Missouri

Military and Oversees Voting Access Portal