Help from a neighbor was welcome this winter

M.E. Bryant, Independence

To the editor:

We would like to publicly thank Council Member Mike Huff for his help during the long, sometimes severe winter. He is our neighbor and has voluntarily taken it upon himself to plow our driveway after each snowfall. We very much appreciate what he has done for us.

 

Jefferson City takes a slap at its constituents

Marvin Sands, Independence

To the editor:

It seems that our Republican friends in Jefferson City wish to make it more difficult for the voters of our finestate to file initiative petitions. Going back to last August when voters initiated a petition banning mandatory union fees in the form of Proposition A.

Actually what happened was this particular petition was to be placed on the November ballot but certain legislators were pressured to move it to the August ballot, thinking the turnout would be smaller and therefore not likely to pass. But the Missouri voter, being wiser than their Jefferson City wise guys, turned out in force and overwhelming passed Proposition A by more than 60 percent.

It didn’t stop there. Other propositions appeared on the November 2018 ballot such as the “Clean Missouri” issue, revamping redistricting and making lawmakers’ records public.

The passing of these issues no doubt drove the big donors of certain legislators up a tree, and what happens next in this year’s legislative session are attempts to make it more difficult for the voter to initiate petitions to gain certain freedoms as mentioned above. There are at least two billionaires in the state who probably are hopping mad that certain of these issues passed and passed rather handily.

So to get even, so to speak, the big donors go to their lobbying partners and persuade their favorite legislators to enact legislation making the initiative petition effort a bit more difficult. Which, in effect, is a slap in the face of every voter in the state of Missouri who voted for each of these issues.

Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft testified that he is not attempting to make the initiative petition more difficult but that it seems the process is much too easy and therefore some constraints should be put in place. Please, give me a break.

It is exactly the intent of certain legislators to make the petition process more difficult which is supported by the secretary of state, the governor and especially their billionaire donors. It is exactly the intent to subvert the will of Missouri’s voters in every possible way to create barriers to this process.

Here is the crowning jewel – if a citizen effort appeared on the ballot, a proposed bill would require a two-thirds majority. But if the same effort would be proposed by a legislator, it would only need a majority. Folks, that isn’t democracy. That is dirty rotten politics and a stab in the back to every Missouri citizen.

Let’s just be honest here, any legislator or any Missouri office holder who would subject themselves to his kind of governing doesn’t deserve to represent anyone in our state’s governing body. This isn’t governing and it isn’t representing the will of the people. It is only looking out for the dark-money lobbying interests and their deep pockets.