JUDGEMENT DAY FOR CLAY CHASTAIN!!!
TKC NOTE: Here's a statement from Kansas City Transit activist Clay Chastain regarding his trial today that won't put his initiative on the August ballot but WILL settle a long standing issue regarding the power of citizen initative petitions.
Facts and law on our side in hearing today
Shootout at the O.K. Courtroom (Judge Midkiff..10:30) between The James' Gang (led by Mayor Sly James) who has gotten carried away with power and is trying to block a vote on a lawful light rail initiative.
Community activist Clay Chastain who is confronting that abuse of power in behalf of nearly 5,000 registered Kansas City, Missouri voters.
An old adage of law says: "When the law is on your side, argue the law. When the facts are on your side, argue the facts. When neither is on your side, pound the table."
In this legal shootout today, the City will be pounding the table (whining that the initiative is misleading and they should not be required to place it before voters) because all the law and facts are on our side.
Law #1. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled the light rail initiative was constitutional, thus rejecting the City's 2.5 year bogus claim it was unconstitutional.
Law #2. Sections 703 and 711 of the City Charter both mandate that the city "shall" place valid initiative ordinances before the voters...no questions asked!
Law #3. Missouri case law says, " Initiatives shall be liberally construed to effectuate their purpose."
Mega fact: The Missouri Supreme Court did not rule that the light rail initiative was unlawful, misleading, or deceiving to voters, as the City has falsely implied. The court merely observed that the ordinance language did not technically agree with the ballot language...drafter's error (mine), and therefore if the voters approved the ballot language the city would not be legally bound to build the specific transit system the voters approved. That does not mean the initiative should not be placed before the voters, warts and all, since the City would indeed be politically bound to build the light rail-based transit system approved by the voters in the ballot language, or could even, post-election, amend the initiative's ordinance language to comport with what the voters approved.
This whole point over which the city is trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill,
is actually irrelevant since the City is already not legally bound (City Charter grants them the power to repeal initiatives) to implement voter-approved initiatives as we witnessed when the City Council overturned, in 2007, the stated will of 75,000 Kansas City voters (53.4%) who voted for a light rail initiative without public debate!!!
The City and Mayor James have been playing politics with the people's light rail initiative for 3 years now in order to protect from competition their wayward streetcar plan.
We pray today the judge will take this issue out of the courts and onto the ballot so the people can decide between the City's streetcar plan and the people's Light rail-based multimodal citywide transit initiative.
This ruling would be according to the law and in the public interest.