I want to encourage everyone to support Amendment 3 appearing on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 3.
It eliminates all lobbyist gifts to legislators and limits campaign contributions.
More importantly, it corrects some very important misconceptions included in the original Clean Missouri initiative. In many ways, these initial efforts were nothing more than a smokescreen to hide the real purpose of the amendment.
To meet the principal "competitive" requirements of the measure passed last year, many legislative districts will have to be drawn in such a contorted, twisted, bizarre fashion as to fracture the proper intention of these boundaries — that is, for all citizens to have a voice in the legislature reflecting the nature and values of the community where they live.
There are a number of districts, especially in the suburban and exurban areas, which already meet the "competitive" requirements of Clean Missouri. But, for many rural and urban districts, the boundaries will have to be a hub-and-spoke shape extending far into areas bearing little commonality.
Worse, Clean Missouri replaced a bipartisan process, with courts as a secondary mechanism (in case a consensus cannot be reached) with a single, so called nonpartisan demographer appointed — not by the state's election official — by the state auditor (currently a gubernatorial candidate). It is my firm, and I believe accurate belief, voters were told they were reforming campaign financing with little or no concept of what distortions they were making to the redistricting process.
Amendment 3 is an opportunity for voters to take a second, hopefully clearer consideration.
I encourage everyone to support Amendment 3 on Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Rep. Mike Stephens