Voting Tomorrow? Beware!

Tomorrow, February 7, is the presidential primary in Missouri. The “winner” of the primary wins nothing. Both national party organizations made it clear that if Missouri’s primary for delegate selection was tomorrow, they would lose half their delegates to the national conventions.

Missouri wasn’t the only state given this warning. It’s a ridiculous threat made to “protect” the “First in the nation….” It’s a disservice, and, in my honest opinion, the state parties should have stood up and told the national parties to take a hike, but they didn’t.

The legislature gets a lot of the blame for a $7 to $8 million fiasco that many consider little more than a political beauty contest. They managed to pass a bill eliminating the primary only to have it vetoed by the governor. They failed to override the veto, and they failed to pass another bill to eliminate the primary during special session last fall.

You have some candidates who are still in the race not even bothering to campaign here or not bothering to even get on the ballot. Then you have some candidates who laid down their $1,000 registration fee but are no longer in the race.

A great disparity of opinion exists about whether tomorrow means anything at all. My personal contention is that unless you have a local issue on the ballot, it really does mean very little.

If you do go to your appointed polling place, you are likely to encounter people who ask you to sign petitions to get initiative questions on the ballot. There are a number of them vying to get on the ballot, as noted on the SOS website.

Sometimes people make a big deal out of the number of initiatives submitted. Most of the time, this fuss is made because they disagree with the proposal. However, that is no reason to want to restrict the people’s ability to submit these petitions. As is usually the case, you cannot prohibit the “bad” people from doing something without restricting your own freedom. Those who want the initiative process to be more restrictive ignore the fact that when you shut one person or group out, you shut them all out.

In states that have taken restrictive actions on initiatives, the opposite outcome has resulted. Those groups that were supposedly the ones to be most affected flourished, while those not intended to be affected suffered. It’s one of those “be careful what you ask for” situations.

Some of those initiatives approved for circulation and signature collection are not actually being circulated. And some that are being circulated will fail to get the requisite signatures. At the risk of alienating some because I didn’t specifically mention the initiative they are most interested in or because I oppose one they are, I recommend two you should sign if given the opportunity and one you most definitely should not.

The Let Voters Decide coalition may be collecting signatures for the Missouri Taxpayer Relief Act. If approved, it will eliminate double taxation of income and sales by eliminating the individual income tax and replacing it with a consumer-driven sales tax. It will create jobs and make Missouri the economic engine of the Midwest. We have written extensively about the measure, debunking false information from the big-government-spending opponents. You should definitely sign that one!

The next measure you may be asked to sign is the Safer Missouri Local Control petition. The state took control of the St Louis Police Department away from the taxpayers of St Louis during the Civil War. It was a purely political move. We are commemorating the 150 anniversary of the Civil War. One of the ways to commemorate is to give the taxpayers of St. Louis control of the police force they are paying for back to them!

The petition you SHOULD NOT sign is euphemistically known as the Your Voice Counts initiative.  The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) decieved voters in passing Proposition B, the so-called Puppy Mill initiative.  The legislature and governor, working with animal rights groups in Missouri as well as the agriculture community, fixed some very serious – even unconstitutional – issues with Proposition B during last year’s legislative session. All these groups signed off on the compromise – except for the out-of-state HSUS!

Now, HSUS is seeking revenge by proposing a measure that is so devoid of reason it’s pathetic. And as they did with Proposition B, they are trying to dress it up and make it look and smell pretty – it isn’t and it doesn’t!  Missourians should expect the legislature to honor their will but should also expect them to correct mistakes, which they did on Proposition B.

Carl Bearden
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