Backlash on Proposition B Should Not Result in Limiting Citizen Access to Ballot!

You may have heard or read about a nascent movement to make “corrections” to Proposition B.  It failed in 103 of 114 counties but passed the suburban counties surrounding St. Louis and Kansas City, two counties in the bootheel and, of course, in Kansas City and St. Louis.  The measure passed by 51.6% which is surprising given that just a few weeks ago the polls were showing 70ish approval.  That was until people learned more about Prop B and then it started to plummet faster than Owebama’s approval ratings!

However, there is a very dangerous consequence in attempting to “fix” the shortcomings of Proposition B. The citizens of Missouri have reserved unto ourselves a right that many of our eastern neighbors do not have, the right to place an issue either Constitutional or statutory measures on the ballot to be voted on by We the People.

The Missouri General Assembly has a history of attempting to restrict the right we have reserved.  The Missouri Constitution contains the right but gives the legislature the abilty to “implement” it.

Several bills have been proposed the past few legislative sessions that would significantly restrict YOUR access to the ballot initiative process reserved by “We the People” in our state Constitution! The danger we face is that legislators and special interests that have wanted to attack that access will use Proposition B as the excuse to take away or significantly limit OUR ability to change our laws and constitution!

If Proposition B is truly “fixed,” no pun  intended, it cannot and must not include measures that restrict OUR access to the ballot.

It is certainly true that citizens are upset that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) could come into the state and present such a false and bad initiative such as Prop B. There are solutions to this problem without restricting citizens’ access to the ballot initiative process.

Thousands of e-mails were sent to the legislature last session AGAINST impeding the citizens’ access to the ballot provided by our Constitution. We the People reserved these rights to ourselves and the legislature should not back door the people’s right to access those rights.

In every “bad” case from Prop B to the minimum wage initiative, the opponents of the issues waited far too long to take any actions to stop them or to help educate voters. The opponents of Prop B did a very good job of getting grassroots engaged and educated but a little too late. As we all know, almost doesn’t count.

If the organized groups who opposed Prop B and the minimum wage initiative had spent some funds and efforts up front when people were being sold the bill of goods to sign the petitions, that might have staved off the assaults. Tell people about the bad stuff that is in the petition BEFORE it gets on the ballot. Don’t just wait for a vote.

Failure to take timely action or being afraid to speak out, as most business groups were on the minimum wage because they feared repercussions, is no reason to attack the people’s access to the ballot.

Man up and fight bad stuff from the beginning!

Carl Bearden
View all posts by Carl Bearden
Carl's website

Comments are closed.