Vote No On Prop A Body Cam Scam

PropAballot2Proposition A is Rex Sinquefield’s unconstitutional proposal to abolish the Recorder of Deeds and spend alleged cost savings on police body cameras. Proponents contend that monies mandated by state law for records preservation at the Recorder’s Office will be available for body cams. It won’t. Proponents contend that monies mandated for technology services and hardware for the Recorder’s office will be available for body cams. It won’t. Proponents contend that a sitting elected official can be transferred to a civil service position under the Assessor and her duties transferred to the Assessor without giving the Assessor the title of Recorder. It cannot happen. This ballot issue is a wet hot mess that needs to be defeated.

More on Prop A
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— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

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Vote No on Amendment 3 and Prop A Tobacco Taxes

voteboxMissouri has the lowest state tobacco tax in the United States: $0.17 per pack of cigarettes. The average state tobacco tax is $1.65.

Before us Tuesday in Missouri are two competing tobacco tax increase proposals. Constitutional Amendment 3 is sponsored by Big Tobacco and Proposition A is sponsored by Little Tobacco and the Missouri Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores.

Both proposals are opposed by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association. 

Constitutional Amendment 3 Full Text

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • increase taxes on cigarettes each year through 2020, at which point this additional tax will total 60 cents per pack of 20;
  • create a fee paid by cigarette wholesalers of 67 cents per pack of 20 on certain cigarettes, which fee shall increase annually; and
  • deposit funds generated by these taxes and fees into a newly established Early Childhood Health and Education Trust Fund?”

Constitutional Amendment 3 Opponent Website

St. Louis Public Radio story on Amendment 3

Amendment 3 is deceptive, using children to write into the Missouri Constitution protections for Big Tobacco and more:

  • Public health agencies that receive money from the tax would be prohibited from advocating for tougher laws against tobacco.
  • Big Tobacco gets $9 Million a year for collecting the tax.
  • The funds would be spent by an unelected board.
  • The funds could be spent on private schools.
  • And there is some way off topic language relating to stem cell research and abortion.

Proposition A Full Text

“Shall Missouri law be amended to:

  • increase taxes on cigarettes in 2017, 2019, and 2021, at which point this additional tax will total 23 cents per pack of 20;
  • increase the tax paid by sellers on other tobacco products by 5 percent of manufacturer’s invoice price;
  • use funds generated by these taxes exclusively to fund transportation infrastructure projects; and
  • repeal these taxes if a measure to increase any tax or fee on cigarettes or other tobacco products is certified to appear on any local or statewide ballot?”

St. Louis Public Radio story on Proposition A

Proposition A is nearly as bad as Amendment 3.

  • Proposition A would fund transportation projects because proponents- convenience stores and gas stations- make big money selling gasoline and don’t want higher gas taxes.
  • Proposition A, if passed, and another tobacco tax increase is certified for a ballot later on, statewide or local, the increase from Proposition A is repealed. That’s right. Not if another tax increase passes, but if merely approved for a ballot.

Personally, it seems to me that if we are going to raise tobacco taxes, the money should go to county and city health departments and fire departments/districts across the state. It should not go to state at all. It should stay local.

Vote No on both Pro-Tobacco Industry Cigarette Taxes.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Vote Yes on Amendment 2 for Campaign Contribution Limits

voteboxConstitutional Amendment 2 would re-establish campaign contribution limits in Missouri on state (statewide and Missouri Senate and House) and judicial candidates.

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

  • establish limits on campaign contributions by individuals or entities to political parties, political committees, or committees to elect candidates for state or judicial office;
  • prohibit individuals and entities from intentionally concealing the source of such contributions;
  • require corporations or labor organizations to meet certain requirements in order to make such contributions; and
  • provide a complaint process and penalties for any violations of this amendment?”

Full Constitutional Amendment Text

Proponent Website

In 1994, voters of Missouri approved Proposition A to establish campaign contribution limits as a statute, not constitutional amendment. It passed by 74%. In 2008, however, the Missouri General Assembly voted to repeal contribution limits and Governor Matt Blunt signed the repeal into law. Missouri has been a leader in low ethics and campaign finance standards ever since.

  • Amendment 2 would place a @2,600 limit on contributions to to statewide, state legislative, and judicial candidates and a $25,000 limit on contributions by persons or other committee to political party committees (state party and county central committees). Contributions to federal candidates, city or county candidates, and political action committees (including party ward accounts), would continue to be unlimited.
  • Amendment 2 would ban labor unions and corporations from making direct campaign contributions. Union and Corporation PACs, however, would could continue to make contributions.
  • Amendment 2 would stop committee-to-committee transfers of money, PAC A would no longer be able to contribute to PAC B, what many people consider to be money laundering.
  • Amendment 2 would prohibit candidates from accepting contributions from out-of-state committees unless they file with Missouri Ethics Commission.

Amendment 2 does not go far enough and certainly there is reason to distrust Fred Sauer, the anti-stem cell activist who has personally funded this ballot initiative. But Missouri’s reputation for unlimited money in elections, dark money from front organizations, and growing influence of campaign consultants means we are for sale to the highest bidder and this is the greatest threat to democracy of our times.

A Vote for Amendment 2 is how we start taking back our elections from wealthy interests and persons.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman