Show-Me 'Conservatives Against Corruption' Defending Missouri Petition Process

A note sent our way might deserve a bit of consideration tonight if only for this reason . . .

In Kansas City, conservatives rely upon petition power to preserve their rights. 

 For those interested in this topic or Democracy and the future of the Republic . . . Here's the word:

Senate attacks the freedom of citizen initiatives, Conservatives call on State Senators to protect liberty; “destroying our freedom does not represent conservative values”

Conservatives Against Corruption defends Missouri’s citizen ballot initiative as Senate is expected to debate future of the 116-year-old Constitutional freedom

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – On Wednesday, Conservatives from across the state held a press conference at the Capitol and met with multiple Republican Senators to call on them to defend the ballot initiative process and vote no on any legislation that attacks this century-old, Constitutional freedom.

These individuals spoke at Wednesday’s press conference.

“When I was a state senator, Democrat lawmakers tried to gut the initiative process in retaliation for conservatives using it to pass the Hancock Amendment to limit taxes,” said Bob Johnson, former State Senator (R-Lee’s Summit). “Governor John Ashcroft, with support from Republicans in the legislature, vetoed these attacks on the people’s freedom saying that the General Assembly ‘should be reluctant to enact legislation which places any impediments on the initiative power.’ Now, nearly thirty years later, we unfortunately find ourselves in a similar situation. Attacking the will of the people and our freedom to determine the laws that govern us is not a conservative course of action. Republicans should reject these unnecessary regulations on Missourians’ freedom of the citizen initiative process.”

“Honoring Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto means truly allowing the will of the people to be law. Missouri’s ballot initiative process embodies the spirit of our state motto by enabling citizens to carry out popular will and advance legislative priorities important to our families and communities,” said Daniel Romine of Springfield, board member of Show Me Integrity and member of the Conservatives Against Corruption coalition. “The legislature’s attempt to intervene in the people’s authority goes against our constitution and the conservative ideals of limited government. Our State Senators should oppose HJR 43 and any other legislation that directly undermines Missourians’ constitutional jurisdiction over our government.”

“For more than a century Missourians have used our Constitutional freedom of the ballot initiative process to bypass partisan gridlock and take reforms directly to the voters to get things done,” said Benjamin Singer, CEO of Show Me Integrity and co-founder of the Conservatives Against Corruption coalition. “In 1980, Missouri citizens organized and passed the Hancock Amendment to limit state and local taxes and spending. In 2010, we banned unfair double taxation on real estate transactions. And in 2016, we overrode politicians and reformed pay-to-play corruption of money in politics. Legislation that seeks to weaken the initiative process and block citizens from using it to pass popular reforms like these is nothing more than a classic case of government overreach. Destroying our freedoms does not represent conservative values. I hope our State Senators will filibuster this legislation and defend the 116-year-old initiative process.”

Other members of the Conservatives Against Corruption Coalition have also spoken out against the assault on the ballot initiative.

“The initiative process is a power and freedom that We the People have reserved to ourselves as a check on and to be independent of the General Assembly,” said former Speaker Pro Tem of the Missouri House of Representatives Carl Bearden (R-St. Charles). “HJR 43, which seeks to gut this process that Missourians have had access to for over a century, directly infringes upon the Constitutional freedoms of Missouri citizens. It is not a conservative policy and does not represent conservative values. State legislators should defend the ballot initiative and reject this bill.”

“Our forebears very wisely gave the people the ability to place measures on the ballot,” said former Sen. Rob Schaaf (R-St. Joseph) to the Conservatives Against Corruption coalition last year. “The legislature should fiercely guard Missouri citizens’ constitutional right to take issues directly to the people and govern ourselves.”

“Making it harder for Missourians to use their Constitutional freedom of the citizen initiative does not represent traditional conservative values of limited government,” said Fred Steinbach, former Mayor of Chesterfield and Finance Director for former Governor John Ashcroft. “In 1992, my former boss John Ashcroft vetoed similar attacks on the process. These attacks were proposed by the then-Democratic majority who were upset that conservatives used the citizen initiative to pass the Hancock Amendment with only 55% of the vote. In his veto statement, Ashcroft said that ‘the General Assembly should be reluctant…to enact legislation which places any impediments on the initiative power which are inconsistent with the reservation found in the Constitution.’ This legislature should listen to the advice from our former Governor when considering further legislative action.”

“The will of the people and their right to self-determination is what all federal and state governments legitimately exist for,” said James Coyne of Columbia, President of Mid-Missouri Patriots and owner of Coyne Agency. “If we believe the people have the right to govern themselves, how can we hinder their ability to do so by voting on the laws they must live by? This is why the petition process exists. It is a fail safe against the Government when it has grown deaf to the people it serves. Our state legislators should reject HJR 43 and any other efforts intended to make the process more difficult to use.”


Developing . . .