The appeal is this Thursday, 2:30 PM at the Court of Appeals at 1300 Oak St. We will be there to voice our support for keeping Clean Missouri on the ballot. See you there.
Here's the note we received from our friends leading the charge in the Clean MO campaign:
We wanted to share a few updates from the campaign office about this week’s legal fight. We are confident we’ll prevail in our appeal of the local court’s ruling about Amendment 1. Here’s why:
We’ll be in the Western District Court of Appeals (in Kansas City) this Thursday afternoon at 2:30pm, and we expect a ruling very soon after the hearing. Our legal team filed our first brief to the appeals court yesterday, and it's very clear that the circuit court judge erred in his ruling last week.
Amendment 1 is constitutional. As Attorney General Josh Hawley told the Circuit Court on behalf of Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft: Amendment 1 "does not contain multiple subjects [and] it does not amend multiple articles." Attorney General Hawley's analysis was correct, as was his assertion that "The measure [Amendment 1], if enacted by the voters, would promote transparency and accountability in the General Assembly."
Senator Rob Schaaf, former Senator Jim Lembke, former Senator Bob Johnson, and Common Cause filed an amicus brief in support of Amendment 1 on Saturday. "The voters of Missouri, rather than the courts, should decide the fate of this important initiative," they told the court. "The Clean Missouri initiative, if enacted by the voters, would improve democratic accountability of the legislature in very important ways."
The case law, facts, and people are all on our side. More than 300,000 Missourians signed petitions demanding a vote on Amendment 1, and they're going to get that chance on November 6.
That’s why our campaign is still moving at full speed towards Election Day. What the lobbyists really want is to discourage, distract, and disorganize us — and to drain our resources in the final weeks before Election Day.
We’re not going to let them do that.
So here are my asks to you:
If you're in the Kansas City area (or even if you aren't), join us Thursday afternoon at the Court of Appeals. The hearing begins at 2:30 PM, so come early to get through security and find a seat.
Make sure people understand who is fighting to protect the corrupt status quo in Jefferson City with this lawsuit: A lobbyist for disgraced former Governor Eric Greitens, another powerful lobbyist, and the personal lawyer for Missouri’s biggest donor.
Join us for rallies and canvasses around the state Wednesday evening to shine a light on who we're fighting against, and to keep taking our message directly to voters.
There will be more details and information, so stay tuned.
We’re going to win this week, and we’re going to win in November.
Missouri Ethics Commission Finds Greitens Guilty
The Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) found reasonable evidence former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens broke laws when filing a campaign finance report.
Yet, for the second time this year, the Cole County prosecutor, to whom the case was referred, has declined to file charges.
The case alleged Greitens had not been truthful on filings to the state regarding a donor list obtained from the charity, the Mission Continues.
Former Democratic Party Chair Roy Temple, who filed the case, stated he hopes a newly elected prosecutor will hear the case before the statute of limitations expires. Mark Richardson, the current Cole County prosecutor, lost his primary bid for re-election. This marks the second time Richardson declined to prosecute the former governor.
Amendment 1 – CLEAN Missouri Gains Endorsement
The League of Women Voters gathered this week in Springfield to endorse the measure.
The ballot initiative proposes to change several things about the way state government is run, by eliminating most lobbyist gifts in the general assembly. Additional issues include:
Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Josh Hawley Win Respective Primaries
Senator McCaskill won the Democratic field with just over 500,000 votes against six opponents, while Republican Hawley secured over 389,000 votes in a field of 10 opponents. For months, nearly every news outlet has identified McCaskill’s race among the closest Senate races in the country. McCaskill is defending the position she’s held since 2006 to balance Missouri’s Senate representation. To do so, McCaskill must court rural “Trump” voters while maintaining the support of her urban base – a delicate balance in a state that Trump won by almost 20 points.
Fellow Democrats concede the difficulty of McCaskill’s position. Yet, Representative Emanuel Cleaver, another seasoned Missouri Democrat, stated it’s not impossible for McCaskill to pull it out. ‘“Missouri is an interesting place; it’s really a place where you have to show me,” Cleaver said, … It’s the state motto, but politics is real. I think people want to see her.”’
Cleaver believes McCaskill’s problem among African-American communities is easily fixable. Both he and other Democratic Party operatives say this seeming shift in voter loyalty isn’t necessarily Missouri Democratic voters moving more to the left. Instead, Missouri’s Democrats are part of a national trend of highly energized and revitalized activists than has been seen in many years.
On the Republican side, Hawley’s campaign was hampered by the scandals of the Greitens administration and some controversial remarks he made about women. However, with Greitens’ resignation, Hawley is free to focus on beating McCaskill and securing a second Republican seat in the US Senate.
For this tightly contentious race, the Missouri Republican Party has put forth a young, conservative attorney general to take on the seasoned McCaskill. A graduate of Stanford and Yale Law School, Hawley has criticized “political elites” in the vein of President Trump, who has visited Missouri and stumped for Hawley several times in the past year.
Both sides are spending large sums on aggressive campaign advertisements and challenging one another to debates. Stay tuned, it promises to be a nail-biter.
Republican House District 15 Winner Touts Racist, Fringe Policies
Steve West, also known as “Jack Justice,” won a 4-way primary race for the Republican House seat in Clay County’s District 15, beating his closest competitor by 25 votes. District 15 is comprised of Gladstone and parts of Kansas City, North. West faces incumbent Democrat Dan Carpenter.
West hosts a radio show on KCXL out of Liberty, Missouri, during which he has espoused anti-Jewish and anti-Islamic views. West’s top six platform issues as listed on his website:
· Pornography ("should be strictly regulated")
· Sodium fluoride ("a poison that should be outlawed from our water supply")
· Casino Gambling & Puplic [sic] Assistance ("recipients of public assistance should be banned from casinos")
On Thursday, the Missouri Republican Party “wholeheartedly condemn[ed]” West’s comments and rhetoric.
Lawsuit Seeks to Remove CLEAN Missouri Question from November Ballot
The CLEAN Missouri ballot initiative is facing a court challenge. Kansas City attorney Eddie Greim is trying to knock a question off the November ballot designed to end partisan gerrymandering.
The lawsuit claims the proposed referendum violates a provision in the Missouri Constitution that prevents multiple subjects from being combined into one ballot proposal.
“One purpose of the prohibition on multiple subjects in a single ballot proposal is to prevent ‘logrolling,’ a practice familiar to legislative bodies whereby unrelated subjects that individually might not muster enough support to pass are combined to generate the necessary support,” the lawsuit says.
The referendum asks whether voters want to tighten campaign contribution limits, ban lobbyist gifts, institute a two-year “cooling off” period for lawmakers-turned-lobbyists, start a new redistricting system in 2020 and require lawmakers to adhere to the Sunshine Law.
Democrats Decry Republican Mega Donor David Humphreys’ Influence
Missouri House Representative Gail McCann Beatty Resigns; Accepts Position of Director of Jackson County Department of Assessment
“Bungled” Medicare Amendment Roll Out Criticized by Missouri Legislature
Governor Parson’s $154,000 cut threatens trauma centers
Parson approves partial repeal of Missouri prevailing wage law
Governor Approves $28.6 billion Budget
Greitens’ dark money donors face FEC complaint
While it doesn’t include language to address governor’s elections, the “Clean Missouri” bill seeks to address much of the secrecy in state government. In November, Missouri voters will be asked whether the Missouri Constitution should be amended as follows:
Kansas Echoes: Voter Fraud vs. Security
Missouri’s Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft testified in Washington this week stating fraud is “an exponentially greater threat than hacking of election equipment.” His testimony counters well-documented evidence that hacking poses a much greater threat than voter fraud.
Governor Parson is headed to Washington, DC to meet with a group of governors and President Donald Trump. “It’s important that we discuss best practices to tackle shared challenges and priorities. In order to continue our strong economic growth, we must address our infrastructure needs, ensure our workforce is ready, and remove job-killing regulations,” Parson said.
Governor Mike Parson Backs Infrastructure, Possible Gas Tax Increase
Touting transparency, Parson embarked on a multi-city tour of Missouri in the state plane vs. the private flights of his predecessor. Parson visited Springfield, Branson, Carthage, St. Joseph and Kansas City. On Wednesday, he went to Columbia, Gordonville, Sikeston, and St. Louis.
Parson spoke with Missouri leaders about infrastructure and workforce and economic development, including a 10-cents-per-gallon gas tax increase. He also wants to focus on the urban and rural divide in the state, challenging Kansas City Mayor James to visit rural Missouri in exchange for another Kansas City visit focusing on crime, schools and housing. Parson’s presentation to local area leaders was well-received.
Lingering Legal Bills
Thursday, the Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman announced Missouri would not pay former Governor Greitens’ legal bills totaling $180,000. She stated the primary beneficiary of the lawyers' work was Greitens individually rather than governor's office itself. Democrat Auditor Nicole Galloway and Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley reportedly agree with the decision. However, both teams of lawyers disagree with the decision and intend to pursue payment from the state government. Greitens was represented by the Graves Garrett law firm of Kansas City and the Connecticut-based Shipman & Goodwin law firm.
Senate Budget Cuts $50 million in Education Funding
Right to Work
No Corporate Money to PACs
Greitens Grabs More Headlines
Amidst the high level of drama in the Capitol, both houses passed tax bills. The House sent its version to the Senate this week, where it is not expected to gain much support. Both bills are corporation-friendly but costly for the state’s declining coffers. Both bills tax individuals more as have recent bills.
McCaskill vs Hawley
First quarter election finance reporting closed in March and the hotly contested, widely-watched Missouri Senate race made some headlines. Several news outlets reported the account balances of Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill ($11.5 million) vs. Republican Josh Hawley ($2.12 million). During the first quarter, McCaskill raised $3.9 million while Hawley brought in $1.5 million. Hawley’s efforts include a St. Louis event with President Trump, which netted him about $206,000. To date, Hawley remains the only Senate candidate Trump has helped with fund raising. The McCaskill campaign is planning an event featuring former President Barack Obama in May.