Sunday, April 05, 2009

Your help is needed in Jefferson City tomorrow

Your help is needed in Jefferson City tomorrow (Monday)!

Missouri Constitution: Article III, Section 49: The people reserve power to proposeand enact or reject laws and amendments to the constitution by the initiative, independent of the general assembly, and also reserve power to approve or reject byreferendum any act of the general assembly, except as hereinafter provided.

The initiative petition process is the people's "check" on an oppressive or unresponsive government. It must be preserved!

Senator Jim Lembke's SB 569 will have a public hearing at 2:00 p.m. in the Senate Lounge on April 6th (Monday). This bill fixes several inequities in the petition process.

Currently there are several ways in which the will of the voter goes unheededbecause of actions of monied interests or government officials, like the Secretaryof State. If the Secretary of State writes a good Ballot Title, the monied interests challenge the ballot title and tie it up in court so long that there is no timeallowed to collect signatures. If the SOS writes a bad ballot title, the proponentsof the petition may be forced to challenge it and also end up tied up in court with similar results. This problem is exasperated when other parties intervene andconflate the legal process.

SB 569 fixes this problem by limiting the amount of time a court challenge can take.

The bill also protects the will of the voter by making it illegal to cause a voterto sign a petition they don't like by "bait and switching" a petition sheet. Votersare also protected by making it illegal to obstruct a voter from signing a petitionthey do like.

Another element of the bill prevents the voter's signature from being ignored justbecause someone else make a clerical error. For an executive summary of the bill, please go to

In the mean time, plan to attend the hearing. Whether you testify or not, your presence will be helpful! If you can't attend, please call the senators on the Financial and Governmental Organizations and Elections and ask them to support Sb569. Please do it tomorrow (Monday). Justice for All!-

Ron Calzone