Defending traditional families

Posts in category E-alert

Missouri’s 6 Statewide Ballot Question Recommendations from Missouri Family Network & November 8, 2016 General Election

Next week’s General Elections have more people frustrated than any I have ever seen in my lifetime. Remember – you are voting for the future of our beloved country! Not voting is a way of casting a ballot for the worse candidates!

It’s not always about “voting for the lesser of two evils” – sometimes it’s about “voting against the most evil of two candidates.”

(I, like so many others, went through my season of discontent many years ago. What I found was that voting for a minor-party or a non-party candidate was worse than not showing up. The contest is really only between the “viable” candidates. And even when neither of them share my values, I must fight evil with a smart vote – not a rhetorical symbolic vote against both viable candidates!)

We all have to wrestle with every vote. So please earnestly pray for God’s wisdom! And may The Lord bless our efforts to preserve our Constitutional Republic for our children and our children’s children with wise selections! After working 32 years with lawmakers in the State Capitol, I can guarantee you that party platforms truly do make a difference most of the time, even when individuals fail us. And don’t ever forget – our next Governor and President will appoint the Judges that fill our highest Courts, as well as all 93 federal prosecutors who in turn will decide which laws to enforce!

So – PLEASE PRAY!!!

Now – Here are MFN’s recommendations on the 6 statewide ballot questions for Missouri voters:

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Constitutional Amendment 1 – MFN Recommends a “YES” vote
[Proposed by Article IV, Section 47(c), Missouri Constitution (SJR 1, 2005)]

Shall Missouri continue for 10 years the one-tenth of one percent sales/use tax that is used for soil and water conservation and for state parks and historic sites, and resubmit this tax to the voters for approval in 10 years?
MFN Perspective: Missouri’s Soil & Water program fits the elements of a proper use of tax dollars as it has built and maintains a quality agricultural infrastructure. Through this program we all enjoy a higher quality of life from a higher abundance of food production, availability, and distribution. Thanks to the successful programs of our county Soil & Water Boards (locally elected) our foods get to us at a lower cost. And in the process these Boards are helping Missouri farmers adopt best practices for producing better products at lower costs, in higher volumes, and with better profits for our farmers.
The overall success of this dedicated funding underscores the value of continuing this program and further strengthening our agricultural infrastructure for another ten years.

Vote YES.

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Constitutional Amendment 2 – MFN Recommends a “NO” vote
[Proposed by Initiative Petition]

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?
MFN Perspective: Under current laws any and all campaign contributions must be reported and are made public. This proposal does not create any better public accountability than is already required. However, it does limit financial contributions – but – under this proposal, if a wealthy individual or organization wants to give a large donation, they would just spread the money around and have it reported as coming from several sources and the public would never know if the same large donors are laundering their financial influence.

The idea of limiting campaign contributions sounds good on the surface, but such laws only make it harder to expose the influence peddling of wealthy political players.

Vote NO.

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Constitutional Amendment 3 – MFN Recommends a “NO” vote
[Proposed by Initiative Petition] (Big Tobacco proposal to hurt smaller competitors that do not market cigars, chewing, or pipe tobacco products, which are not impacted by the measure.)

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?

MFN Perspective: There are three grave concerns – (1) Revenues are promised to fund education just like the lottery and casinos were, but no net increase in overall funding ever happens as the new taxes only free up other general revenues which are then diverted to other budget items. Meanwhile, these new revenues cannot be used for the most important focus of a tobacco tax – smoking cessation efforts! (2) MFN opposes any vice tax (sin tax) on the grounds that they cloud judgments and make it harder to get lawmakers to understand future efforts to expose the damages caused by the vice. (3) Ten years ago Missourians were led to believe they were banning human cloning when the narrowly passed an amendment that actually wrote human cloning rights into our State Constitution. Now – this proposal adds “limited’ abortion rights (including tax funding) into the Constitution for the first time ever!

Our State legislature has laws in our State Statutes restricting abortions and all public funding waiting for the day the courts overturn Roe v. Wade. If this amendment passes, those laws will be jeopardized!

Vote NO.

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Constitutional Amendment 4 – MFN Recommends a “YES” vote
[Proposed by Initiative Petition]

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prohibit a new state or local sales/use or other similar tax on any service or transaction that was not subject to a sales/use or similar tax as of January 1, 2015?

MFN Perspective: Several conservative leaders and groups are divided on this question – here is why. Most all advocates for smaller and less restrictive government agree we need a remodeled tax code that is streamlined, easier to understand, and more equitable for all. The various “fair tax” and “flat tax” proposals would shift income and property taxes to a “consumer” base of taxation. Raising sales taxes to replace the current complicated tax codes levels the playing field for everyone regardless of income. But to keep the sticker shock low with better messaging, those sales taxes would include various services that are not now taxed. This prohibition on service taxes would require alternative tax code debates to adjust to a higher sales tax percentage on goods only. Concern that a higher proposed sales tax rate could make alternative plans harder to advocate causes some to oppose this measure.

Failure to pass this amendment means the lobby groups for various service industries that have stood in the way of a “flat” or “fair” tax , will continue fighting against a more just tax code.

Vote Yes.

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Constitutional Amendment 6 – MFN Recommends a “YES” vote
[Proposed by 98th General Assembly (Second Regular Session) SS HJR 53]

Shall the Constitution of Missouri be amended to state that voters may be required by law, which may be subject to exception, to verify one’s identity, citizenship, and residence by presenting identification that may include valid government-issued photo identification?
MFN Perspective: Despite the often repeated rhetoric form the opposition to photo IDs for voting, voter fraud does in fact occur more often that anyone knows. But without effective required proofs, no one really knows how bad the problems are. Major media quotes the oppositions’ false claims, but downplay the number of well documented crimes that have been proven to have changed election outcomes!

Photo IDs are required for welfare/entitlement programs yet opposition says this measure hurts poor people. Meanwhile everyone else that pays taxes must prove who they are.

Vote YES

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Proposition A – MFN Recommends a “NO” vote
[Proposed by Initiative Petition]

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?
MFN Perspective: Similar to Amendment #3, please refer to previous commentary.

Vote NO

E-alert: Religious Liberties, SJR 39 and SB 916

Starting today (Monday, February 29, 2016) and following, the Missouri State Senate could be debating two of the most important bills related to Religious Liberty in Missouri history!

SJR 39 Is a proposed Missouri State Constitutional amendment which would supersede and prohibit any sanctions or penalties against any church, minister, businessman, or other(s) who chose not to participate in a same-sex marriage ceremony. This is in response to the US Supreme Court’s decision last year to legalize same-sex marriages in all fifty states (including Missouri, despite our 71% statewide vote to prohibit such marriages).

While Missouri cannot refuse to grant or recognize same-sex marriages, our religious liberties should not be trampled under the foot of men in order to force everyone to support such ‘marriages’ in violation of their core values and beliefs!

If SJR 39 can pass the Senate without being thwarted by a filibuster, MFN expects to see it clear the House and go to the voters for ballot approval this coming fall.

SB 916 Seeks to restore the Religious Liberty of church institutions and religious order operations which were taken away by the Missouri State Supreme Court recently. The Missouri State Human Rights Act is a State Statute which creates penalties for businesses and property owners who violate anti-discrimination laws. This State Law was created for businesses and those engaged in economic activities. Churches and religious institutions were exempt from the law when it was created. This exemption was to guarantee that religious organizations can continue to make decisions based upon their religious convictions without having the State interfere by placing forms of affirmative action in front of religious preferences as these institutions make policy and employment decisions.

Recently the Missouri Supreme Court restricted and limited the religious exemption to the State’s Human Rights law to apply only to churches which hold worship services. Thus all ancillary programs and institutions must now fall under the control of the Human Rights Act and the State’s activist Human Rights Commission which reviews complaints and levies determinations based on their progressive opinions! This means all adoption agencies, administrative organizations, colleges and universities, publications departments, financial and pension agencies, etc., etc., etc… will all be forced to hire personnel and set policies based on fears of avoiding politically correct discrimination laws rather than religious convictions!

SB 916 upgrades the Human Rights Act statutory language to clarify the long-standing religious exemption for all religious entities. If passed, it will go to the Governor for approval or veto. If vetoed it will face an override vote in September of this year. If approved by the Governor it becomes effective in late August, if a veto override is needed in mid-September, it would be effective immediately.

Sadly, both bills are expected to come down to party line votes as the opposition is being led by progressive liberal groups who wield undue influence over the Missouri Democrat Party. This means contacts with democrat members of the Senate should be brief and to the point – asking them to please allow these bills to pass so Missouri citizens can live by their deeply held religious convictions. Republican members need to be encouraged to spend as much time debating these bills as it takes to break through any filibusters that are engaged by the small handful of liberal members who may try anything to undermine Religious Liberties!

Both SJR 39 and SB 916 have strong support and backing from the vast majority of House and Senate members. If either bill (preferably both) can come to their final votes in the two chambers, MFN expects they will receive overwhelming approval. The biggest issue at stake in passing these bills are the potential for a knock-down-drag-out-filibuster.

ACTION NEEDED: Please call and/or email your Missouri State Senator and kindly ask them to please actively support SJR 39 and SB 916. Encourage them to take an unwavering stand for Religious Liberties! Ask them to commit to fight for these bills no matter how long it may take to break any potential filibusters that may be engaged by those who prefer political correctness over Religious Liberty!

Home School Rally

Home School Rally

Parental Rights & Home Education

Missouri State Capitol

Jefferson City

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 – 2:30 pm

Sponsored by:

Families for Home Education

In our generation Parental Right have come under attack like never before in America and Missouri!  Various levels of the federal government and even many influential activists in State government have been working to label you and I as suspect, even a threat to national security, just because we home school our children!

 Just as the Missouri Department of Revenue has (secretly) begun compiling a massive database of citizens and your source documents, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has conspired to begin a massive data collection on children and families through local schools.  By adopting the Common Core Standards initiative DESE has demonstrated the plan for Missouri to join with other States to provide as much detailed information as possible with the federal government.  How long do you think home schoolers can stay free?

 Home Education is a foundational rights that stems from the natural rights of the Family! Those who seek to undermine this right also work to fracture Parental Rights.  Here in our Great State of Missouri the fundamental principles of Parental Rights are not recognized even in State Statutes, much less in the Constitution!  It’s no wonder everyone lives in the fear of government coming to take away your children.

 Worst of all, the vast majority of child abuse accusations are treated under the law as “civil” violations rather than “criminal”.  As a result parents have NO Constitutional Rights that would help protect against false accusations.  Under most child protections accused parents are NOT assumed innocent until the government prove that you are guilty.  Instead, you are assumed to be guilty until YOU prove that you are innocent.  The State Children’s Division treats all such cases without affording you the basic rights respected of outright criminals!

 Parental Rights are too important to leave unprotected.  Please come to the Missouri State Capitol for this important rally.  With almost half of the 163 House members being new to the Legislature, and the remaining members serving only a few years (thanks to the impact of “term limits”) they must see and hear from you!  Of the 34 Senators and House members (197 in all) only a small fraction have ever seen a large organized group of Home Schoolers.

In 2009 3,000 home schoolers packed out the Capitol, but since then 80% of the General Assembly has been replaced and only a few have seen more than a tenth of these numbers at any given time.

Go to:

http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills131/biltxt/intro/HB0513I.htm

and check out HB 513, Sponsored by Representative Kurt Bahr, and

http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills131/biltxt/intro/HJR0026I.htm

to see HJR 26, Sponsored by Representative Todd Richardson

Come thank these men and the many co-sponsors of these important bills.

Come and visit with your Representative and Senator to ask for their support also!

 Without your involvement Parental Rights will continue to be eroded until your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will no longer have the home schooling rights you enjoy today.

Judges on your 2012 General Election Ballot

It is Time to Vote NO on Unknown Judges!

Why should politically produced, politically perpetuated, and politically protected political positions be so insulated from public scrutiny?

NOTE:  The following message focuses on judges on your November 6, 2012 General Election ballot.  Those judges running as partisan candidates should have campaign web sites and other information available.  However, there are 51 “non-partisan” judge retention votes on the various State ballots across Missouri.

Our MFN recommendations on many of these “non-partisan” judges are only subjective recommendations.  Objective performance reviews of the vast majority of Missouri’s “non-partisan” judges is simply not available.  In some cases we have records on a particular judge and thus recommend a Yes or a NO vote to retain.  But for those we know nothing about, we acknowledge that any NO recommendation is only a subjective “protest” vote.  For the most part 99.9% of the general public knows NOTHING about these judges.  The costs of obtaining such research is simply unaffordable as qualified attorneys would have to work full time to monitor the hundreds of courtrooms in the State.  No organization exists with available resources to monitor these hundreds of judges and tens of thousands of cases.

The reason for such continued and widespread confusion over the men and women in these important positions is that the Non-Partisan Court Plan does NOT work for Missourians!  It works great for those who get appointed to these judgeships, but fails the citizens of the State by perpetuating such systemic ignorance of who our judges are and/or what has been their performance on the job.  Meanwhile it is the progressive liberal political establishment and the self-appointed political elite that stand guard to protect the Non-Partisan Court Plan as one of the most ‘holy cows’ that cannot be questioned much less changed.  Unelected “commissioners” interview potential judges and propose a slate of three for the Governor to appoint.  Eventually voters are asked to “retain” these judges – but the Plan has absolutely no provision for informing voters anything about them!!!

For this reason Missouri Family Network believes it is completely legitimate for voters to cast a “protest vote” when left totally in the dark about powerful judges that we are expected to approve!  This provides voters an opportunity to send a message to both the court and Missouri’s current and future Governors that citizens expect our courts to be responsible to the rule of law, resist judicial activism and discipline themselves to be judicially restrained!

Yes this is subjective.  But why should we continue, election after election, to accept such unresponsive politics just because criticisms of judges are just as hard to find as their merits?  Why should politically produced, politically perpetuated, and politically protected political positions be so insulated from public scrutiny?  We believe it is time to tell the progressive liberals and political elite that the Non-Partisan Court Plan is broken and must be fixed.  After years of rejected efforts to reform the Plan, it is time for voters to speak the only language these folks understand.  It is time to ask your fellow citizens to vote NO on unknown judges.

Constitutional Amendment 3 offers voters the first opportunity to alter the Non-Partisan Court Plan.  Constitutional Amendment 3 is worded on your ballot to look bad.  This politically biased ballot question was written by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan and approved by Attorney General Chris Koster.  Together they are protecting the Trial Lawyers group which controls the process and puts their friend on these courts.

Please vote “YES” on Constitutional Amendment 3.

 

 Missouri Judges

 2012 General Election – November 6th

 107 Names are on Missouri Ballots Related to Missouri’s Courts

Plus many more local court judges throughout the State’s hundreds of local municipalities.

Retention & Election of Missouri’s

Statewide & Local Judges

 

Missouri State Supreme Court

One Judge Will Appear On Every Ballot For A Statewide Retention Vote

 

Court of Appeals Judges

8 Total Judges from Missouri’s Three Appellate Districts Face Retention Votes

Voters in the Eastern District of the Court of Appeals will see 4 judges.

Voters in the Southern District of the Court of Appeals will only see 1 judge.

Voters in the Western District Court of Appeals will see 3 judges for retention.

 

State Circuit Courts

98 Individuals Are On the Ballot Around the State

(However, voters will only see a handful of names and courts appearing on their local ballot.)

42 Non-Partisan Circuit Court Judges Face Retention Votes

(31 Circuit Judges and 11 Associate Circuit Judges face “yes” or “no” retention votes as part of the nonpartisan plan.)

56 Partisan Candidates Seeking Circuit Court Judgeship Elections

(49 partisan judgeship elections that are not under the nonpartisan plan jurisdiction will face voters throughout Missouri’s 45 circuit courts.)

However, only seven of these judicial seats are contested as 18 democrat and 24 republican Circuit Judges have no challengers!

 

Municipal Court Judges

There are many more local judges that will be on ballots all across Missouri that are not under the state elections oversight.  These are placed on the ballot by your local county election authorities.  Please consult your local sample ballot in the newspaper printed prior to the November 6th election for a complete listing of ALL ballot measures, candidates, and questions.  If your county has voluntarily submitted your local sample ballot to the Missouri Secretary of State, Elections Division website, you may see a sample ballot online at: http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/countylinks.asp?eid=336

NOTE: MFN has an outline for reviewing local judges below.

 

Any additional local municipal judicial elections which may appear on your ballot are NOT part of the Nonpartisan Court Plan and are NOT covered under any assessment by Missouri Family Network.  Later in this discussion you will find evaluation tips that apply to your local courts and candidates.


   Missouri Non-Partisan Judge Retention Votes

2012 General Election Ballot

 

There is only one State Supreme Court Judge facing a statewide “retention” vote November 6, 2012.

The eight Appellate Judges (4-Eastern, 1-Southern, and 3-Western Districts) only appear on the ballots in their respective districts.

(See the Appellate Court map below to clarify which district you live in.)

 

The nature of the judicial system in Missouri shrouds judges from effective performance review by voters.  In the absence of high-profile cases, the only barometer of a judge’s performance prior to their facing a “retention” vote from citizens requires constant monitoring of their cases and the judgments they hand down.  Each case demands a complete understanding of the laws related to the case.  No judge should engage in any “judicial activism” (fanciful interpretations of law to fit personal whims) but must adhere to the ‘rule of law’ and “judicial restraint” (based on the legislated law) leaving the policy debates of law to the Legislature.  

Due to the fact that a “Judicial Commission” takes applications, interviews, and actually selects “finalists”, limits the Governor from selecting judges in a true publicly accountable manner. 

Who knows the personalities and politics of these Commission members?

The Governor may only select one of three names handed to him!

 

Even the pro-life stance of an appointing Governor may not reflect accurately on a given Judge’s performance.

Listed below are the pro-life or pro-abortion positions of those Governors who appointed these Judges.

 

However, the true test is if the Judge is pro-life and ”judicially restrained”!

 

Missouri State

Supreme Court

Eastern District Appellate Court

Southern District Appellate Court

Western District

Appellate Court

Retention Question on

All ballots statewide.

Retention Questions in

Eastern areas only.

Retention Questions in

Southern areas only.

Retention Questions in

Western areas only.

George W. Draper III

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Robert Clayton

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Also well known progressive liberal

William Francis

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Cynthia Lynette Martin

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

 

Gary M. Gaertner

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

 

Thomas H. Newton

Mel Carnahan – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

 

  

Lawrence E. Mooney

Mel Carnahan – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Gary D. Witt

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Also well known progressive liberal

 

Sherri B. Sullivan

Mel Carnahan – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO” 

 

 

 

Missouri Court of Appeals Districts

 

 

  Appellate Judge Information 

Eight out of the thirty-two Judges of the Missouri Court of Appeals are on the November 2nd ballot for retention.

4 – Eastern District

1 – Southern District

3 – Western District

 Democrat Governors Carnahan and Holden maintained a mandatory “pro-abortion” litmus test for all their judicial nominees over their twelve years of administrations!  Most of these judges need to be replaced.   Gov. Matt Blunt maintained a strict standard that judges MUST be restrained on law and supportive of the sanctity of life, but could only pick from the three “finalists’ presented to him by the judicial commission.  Current Governor Jay Nixon has a mixed review from his first term as he strives to distance himself from the extremity of his democrat party’s pro-abortion demands, even though he is pro-abortion himself.

 Any time three finalists are placed before the Governor for him to make a choice, there is a very, very high political probability that at least one will be pro-abortion.  On the other hand, those finalists who would have been set before former governors may have provided slim pickin’s for pro-life administrations.

John Ashcroft appointed judges based on judicial restraint and are generally okay but may not have turned out as good as he would have liked.  Appointments Governor Ashcroft made in his later years administrations were more seriously screened but he could only pick from the three candidates placed before him for each appointment.

Appointments made going back to Governors Bond and Teasdale (yes they still face retention every twelve years and not all have retired yet) were picked before the contemporary focus on judicial activism and pro-life/pro-abortion debates had become major political issues. 

 Former Governor Mat Blunt had little opportunity to appoint Judges except from limited names handed to him from the Judicial Commissions.  Under the non-partisan court plan Gov. Blunt could only choose between the three finalists placed before him in making these appointments.  Even though he has repeatedly stressed concern over “judicial activism” Gov. Blunt could not place a pro-life judge on the court unless one survived the process to be submitted among the three finalists placed before him!

Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer did survive that process and has earned support from pro-life voters in his 2010 retention vote!

 Supreme Court Judge Patricia Breckenridge promised to behave on the court when selected by Gov. Blunt, and he offered her praise (over the other finalists) however, the Governor also stated in the same press release that he did not have faith in the Judicial Commission to put forward any candidates that could be completely trusted at that time.  (see Gov. Blunt’s press release dated 9-7-07)


 Missouri Family Network acknowledges that there has only been limited information and research on the 2012 Non-Partisan Judges.

Therefore:  Missouri Family Network expresses the following qualifications related to our voter recommendations.

MFN is 95% confident that any judge appointed by Governors Nixon, Carnahan, or Holden are pro-abortion and prone to activism on life issues, or other such political subjects.

MFN is 80-90%, or more in some cases, sure that those judges we recommend a YES vote to retain are pro-life and practice judicial restraint, according to what we have seen.

MFN openly solicits any qualified information from citizens which could assist us in building our confidence – or demonstrating any errors in our MFN recommendations.


Judges of the Missouri Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal and Circuit Courts in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions are appointed under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan. 

These judges are not elected to office, are not ‘officially’ aligned with any political party and do not campaign as other “candidates”.  They are not “elected” to office in the traditional sense.

 Retention questions related to these judgeships are nonpartisan ballot questions.  When voters go to the polls they will be asked to vote YES, or NO, to retain them or not to retain them.

 Non-profit organizations and churches are at complete liberty to speak to these retention questions just as they are regarding any other non-partisan ballot question.

Judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri, along with all of the Missouri Court of Appeals (all three districts) and the circuit courts in Clay County, Jackson County, Platte County, the City of St. Louis and St. Louis Co. (Kansas City & St. Louis areas) are all appointed through what is called the Nonpartisan Court Plan.  The procedures for these various appointments and any opportunity for voters to retain these judges are outlined in the Missouri State Constitution which operates as follows:

Those seeking to be appointed to fill a vacancy in the Appellate or Supreme Court bench apply to an Appellate Judicial Commission, which is comprised of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, three citizens appointed by the governor and three attorneys selected by The Missouri Bar.  The Commission will review all the submitted applications and conducts interviews before it selects a panel of three finalists to nominate to the governor.  The governor must select from one of those three individuals sometime within 60 days to fill the judicial vacancy.  Failure of the governor to make the final appointment would shift the responsibility back to the Commission itself.

Once an appointment is made, that new judge takes office.  The new judge then must sit for a retention vote at the next general election after he or she has been in office for at least one year.  If at least 50 percent of the voters in that election agree to retain the judge on the ballot, they would then serve a full term on the bench.  For all appellate judges, including the Supreme Court, the term would be for 12 years. (For circuit judges, the term is six years, and for associate circuit judges, the term is four years.)  This applies despite to the length of time remaining in the term of the judge that for whatever reason has vacated the bench and is being replaced.  

The Missouri State Constitution requires that Judges appointed to either the Supreme Court or the Missouri Court of Appeals to be at least 30 years old (may serve until 70), licensed to practice law in the state, citizen of the United States for at least 15 years, and also qualified to vote in Missouri for at least nine years prior to their appointment.


Divided among the state’s 45 Circuit Courts are a total of 98 Circuit and Associate Circuit Judges on the November 6th ballot. 

Some (42) are ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to “retain” appointed judges – others (56) are competing in open contests as partisan candidates.

Know Your Circuit Courts!

Please be sure to research your local circuit and state appellate division judges that will appear on the ballot in your local area!

All judges appearing on your sample ballot that will be in your local polling booth on election day are highlighted in the online Official State Manuel (otherwise commonly known as the “Blue Book“) at: http://www.sos.mo.gov/bluebook/

A simple review of each judge will tell you which Governor appointed them or if they are Democrat or Republican judges (remember party platforms matter).  Admittedly it is overly simplistic to rate judges by mere party affiliation or Gubernatorial appointments, however this is the only viable tool available to average voters to rate the value of our judges.  Any notorious or noteworthy cases along with any other viable information on your local judges should be taken into consideration. 

 Each County in Missouri is in charge of the ballots printed for their citizens.  On a county by county bases some, but not all, counties have provided sample ballots to the Secretary of State, Elections Division. 

These sample ballots are available at:  http://www.sos.mo.gov/enrweb/countylinks.asp?eid=336

 To look up your local ballot judges, who appointed them (Pro-Life or Pro-Abortion governors) or if they are politically affiliated with the pro-abortion planks of the Democrat Party or the pro-life planks of the Republican Party, visit the online version of the “Blue Book” at:  http://www.sos.mo.gov/BlueBook/  

 It is very important that citizens understand the state’s court system and investigate the judges who are either running for judgeships or (for those who were appointed to the bench as described earlier) are facing retention votes.

 Some of the better sources of information are to contact a variety of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and trustworthy attorneys to ask about a sitting judge’s “law & order” attitudes.  It is important to note that many of these folks may not be willing to openly criticize a sitting judge but may be very willing to dialogue with you about a judge’s character and/or other qualifications.  (See questions below.)

Missouri’s 45 Circuit Court Districts

Missouri’s State Court System Is Broken Down Into:

 

        1 State Supreme Court                                                    7 Supreme Court Judges

 

       1 Court of Appeals in 3 Districts:

                                   Eastern District,                                  14 Appellate Judges

                                    Southern District,                                 7 Appellate Judges

                                    Western District,                                 11 Appellate Judges

        45 Circuit Court Districts with various Divisions      136 Circuit Judges

        114 County Courts serving their given Circuits        186 Associate Judges

Note:  All Drug, Family, Juvenile, or other Probate Commissioners

are employed by and accountable to those Judges listed above.

 

In the Missouri Legislature it would take a minimum of 82 members of the House agreeing with 18 or more Senators (a majority of both bodies), agreeing together and successfully navigating the parliamentary procedures of the Missouri General Assembly to advance liberal social policies, such as homosexual marriage, in our state.  In the state court system only one out of 322 judges is needed to do the same thing.  An activist court decision would have to go through at least one, or more, Appellate Judges whose decision either way would then go to the State Supreme Court.  The pivotal question hinges on who sits on these courts?  What would 4 out of 7 members of the high court do?  Since its establishment in 1820, Missouri’s Supreme Court had been both politically and socially conservative – until 2004!  For over 180 years our state had maintained a judicially restrained court – up until just a few years ago! 

With the appointment of Judge Richard B. Teitelman to the Supreme Court by Governor Bob Holden (his second appointee) the court swung to a liberal domination for the first time in Missouri’s history.  Twelve years of liberal antics from the Carnahan & Holden administrations has changed Missouri for generations to come!

The responsibility of voting for Missouri judges is more compelling than ever!


As far as your Circuit Judges are concerned:

You will have to research them for your own area. 

There are 45 Circuit Districts with hundreds of judges.
 
MFN recommends you call local law enforcement – sheriff deputies, prosecutor(s), and any trustworthy attorneys 
(lawyers from your area churches who have a reputation of maintaining a consistent Biblical worldview).

 Ask these people who interact with the circuit judges about their experiences and knowledge.

– Ask about how a judge either helps or hinders law enforcement?
– Do they help in the fight against meth or are they part of the problem?
– Do they treat people differently depending on which side of town they come from?
– Do they tend to protect certain popular family names, or otherwise treat them with kit gloves?
– Do they get up in the middle of the night to sign search warrants, or give a sheriff grief over being troubled?

 
Law enforcement will not openly campaign for or against the judges they are going to be standing in front of. 

But after going through these kinds of questions you will be able to discern any significant problems or outstanding

traits that will help guide you and your friends in voting in an intelligent manner that is pleasing to the Lord.


All Non-Partisan Judges Facing Retention Votes In This Election

Missouri Supreme Court     

George W. Draper III

Court of Appeals – Eastern District           

Gary M. Gaertner, Jr.

Sherri B. Sullivan

Robert Clayton   –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  Former Pro-Abortion Member of the Missouri House of Representatives, very bad pro-abortion and progressive liberal voting record

Lawrence E. Mooney

Court of Appeals – Southern District        

William Francis

Court of Appeals – Western District          

Cynthia Lynette Martin

Thomas H. Newton

Gary D. Witt   –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  Former Pro-Abortion Member of the Missouri House of Representatives, very bad pro-abortion and progressive liberal voting record

Circuit 6 – Circuit Judge     

Abe Shafer – Div 1

Lee Hull – Div 2

Circuit 6 – Associate Circuit Judge

Thomas C. Fincham – Div 3

Dennis C. Eckohld – Div 5

Circuit 7 –Circuit Judge      

Anthony Rex Gabbert – Div 2

Larry D. Harman – Div 4

Circuit 7 – Associate Circuit Judge

Janet L. Sutton – Div 7

Circuit 16 – Circuit Judge   

Justine E. Del Muro – Div 4

James F. Kanatzar – Div 5

Charles H. McKenzie – Div 13

Marco A. Roldan – Div 16

Jack Grate – Div 17

Circuit 16 – Associate Circuit Judge          

Kenneth R. Garrett – Div 26

Vernon E. Scoville – Div 28   –  –  –  –  Former Pro-Life Member of the Missouri House of Representatives

Robert L. Trout – Div 32

Circuit 21 – Circuit Judge   

Thea A. Sherry – Div 5

Douglas R. Beach – Div 6

David L. Vincent – Div 9

Michael T. Jamison – Div 10

Michael D. Burton – Div 16

Joseph L. Walsh – Div 17

Richard C. Bresnahan – Div 18

Colleen Dolan – Div 20

Circuit 21 – Associate Circuit Judge          

Mary Bruntrager Schroeder – Div 32

Dale W. Hood – Div 34

John N. Borbonus – Div 35

John R. Essner – Div 37

Sandra Farragut-Hemphill – Div 42

Joseph S. Dueker – Div 43

Circuit 22 – Circuit Judge   

Michael P. David – Div 6   –  –  –  –  –  Former Pro-Life Member of the Missouri House of Representatives

Margaret M. Neill – Div 9

Rex M. Burlison – Div 10

Edward Sweeney  Div 13

Robert H. Dierker – Div 18  – – – – – –  reported to be a strong conservative

John F. Garvey – Div 19

Jimmie M. Edwards – Div 30

Circuit 22 – Associate Circuit Judge          

Calea Stovall-Reid – Div 27

Thomas C. Clark, II – Div 29

Circuit 31      

Michael J. Cordonnier – Div 1

Calvin R. Holden – Div 5  – – – – – – –  Gov. Holden’s brother

Tom Mountjoy – Div 4

 


 Many contemporary politicians and political activists in the media are seeking to confuse voters.  In order to advance a liberal agenda, these activists support using the judicial court system to create laws and standards that are supposed to be set by the legislative branches of government.  One of the more common false claims they make is to redefine “judicial activism”.  As our culture reels from the onslaught of attacks against traditional/conservative social standards, courts are continually pressured to abandon the “judicial restraint” of applying the rule of law.   Instead, more and more they are creating new laws on their own through “judicial activism”.  Those who would seek to defend this offensive and unconstitutional activism tell citizens that conservatives who cry “foul” are creating a ‘straw man’ argument.  They deliberately work to advance the false idea that accusations of “judicial activism” are merely thrown out because conservatives don’t like a judge’s ruling and that it has nothing to do with the facts of the court case.

This is simply not true.  Please review the following descriptions of these key terms.  A “judicial activist” judge is just as wrong if they attempt to rewrite the law to the left or the right!  Voters must discern when a judge is true to the rule of law and work to change the laws they dislike, not the judge.  Likewise, being happy or disgruntled with a judge’s ruling that steps out from under the rule of law must be addressed according to the standards of the law, not the feelings of anyone affected.

“JUDICIAL ACTIVISM”

An “activist” judge is one who makes political decisions – not legal judgments.

When a Judge steps outside the parameters of the laws he is to maintain, he assumes the role of a legislator making law rather than a judge who determines if or how a law has been violated.  Legislators debate and deliberate as a body of several elected representatives charged with making the law.  Judges are only supposed to enforce those laws and no more.  Thus, any judge who, for any reason, ignores a law he disagrees with or abuses his authority by imposing the power of his position to enforce legal frameworks that do not otherwise exist in duly adopted laws and ordinances, is acting outside the “rule-of-law” – he is an “activist”, not a judge.

“JUDICIAL RESTRAINT”

A “restrained” judge is one who discerns legal judgments from within the “rule-of-law”.

Whenever a judge restrains himself from acting on his own personal preferences and applies only the “rule-of-law” in discerning legal judgments, he allows those properly elected to legislate the parameters of the law.  Public policy remains within the domain of those public bodies open to public discourse and influence.  The role of a Judge is not to make law but to enforce those laws properly deliberated before various bodies of duly elected representatives charged with the role of lawmakers.  These Judges set aside their personal preferences in order to enforce the “rule-of-law”.  Such restraint qualifies one as a trustworthy Judge.

Judicial Discernment

Voters are asked to elect or retain judges in every election cycle.  These are elections, complete with all the high rhetoric surrounding every other political contest.  Some have tried to redefine inappropriate judicial activism as mere disgruntlement with a particular judge of the judicial system. Falsely claiming that ‘activism’ is a “straw man” that doesn’t truly exist in Missouri courts as “spin” turns the table on the critics.  Anyone who raises questions about judges who step out of their bounds of authority is accused of being the bad guy.

The goal of this “spin” is to make the critic look like a fool who is unwilling to accept the authority of the court only because they are unhappy with the outcome of a case.  (Equally erroneous are charges of activism from folks who really are just unhappy with the outcome of a court case(s).)

 Citizens must be cautious to understand the parameters of the various laws related to cases they are concerned about.  A conservative Judge who engages in activism is just as wrong as a liberal who would do the same thing.  The performance of a Judge is not to be evaluated by the popularity of the outcomes of a given court.  Whether you like and support – or dislike and oppose – the outcome of a court ruling has nothing to do with declaring a Judge to be a liberal “activist” or a “restrained” conservative.  Discerning a Judge’s “judicial activism” or “judicial restraint” depends on his adhering to the “rule-of-law”,  or if he is taking the law into his own hand to remold it with political decisions according to his personal preference.

   Remember – Voting is:

a Blessing rather than a Burden

& a Responsibility, not a Right!

Four Statewide Ballot Questions – General Election, Nov 6

NOTE:  The following information is the same as the attached PDF which is ready to print for your convenience.   

Missouri’s Statewide Ballot Questions – November 6th, 2012

Analysis and Recommendations from Missouri Family Network

Here in Missouri registered voters often have the opportunity to vote on statewide ballot measures which are proposed to change State Statutes (Propositions) or the Missouri State Constitution (Constitutional Amendments).  These ballot measures come from two sources, either the State Legislature or citizen initiatives.  The citizen’s initiative process is regulated by the State Constitution and they are always designated to appear on the next General Election ballot following their successful completion of the signature gathering process.  Those statewide ballot questions put forward by the Legislature may have a designated election date embedded in the proposal, otherwise such issues default to the next General Election date, or another election as directed by the Governor.

On November 6, 2012 Missouri voters will see four statewide ballot questions.  Two have come from the General Assembly of the Legislature, and two have come to the ballot through citizen initiative efforts.  Of the four, one is a Constitutional Amendment and three are Propositions seeking to change State statutes.

The purpose of this article is to help provide voters with some additional information on each of these four ballot questions so you can make a more informed vote.  Here at Missouri Family Network we provide our recommendations of “YES” or “NO” votes so voters understand the perspective of our analysis up front.  All voters are challenged to take the time to seek out opposing information and vote your convictions with clarity.

Missouri’s Four Statewide Ballot Questions

Constitutional Amendment 3Accountability for Nonpartisan Judges – Vote YES

Proposition AReturning Control of St. Louis Police to Local Citizens – Vote YES

Proposition BMassive 500%+ Tax Increase on All Tobacco Products – Vote NO

Proposition ELimits to Creating ObamaCare Healthcare Exchanges – Vote YES

 

Constitutional Amendment 3   –   Vote YES   (Proposed by the General Assembly, SJR 51)

Official Ballot Title:  (what voters will see in the voting booth)

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change the current nonpartisan selection of supreme court and court of appeals judges to a process that gives the governor increased authority to:

  • appoint a majority of the commission that selects these court nominees; and
  • appoint all lawyers to the commission by removing the requirement that the governor’s appointees be nonlawyers?

There are no estimated costs or savings expected if this proposal is approved by voters.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to change the current nonpartisan selection of supreme court and court of appeals judges to a process that gives the governor increased authority to appoint a majority of the commission that selects these court nominees. This measure also allows the governor to appoint all lawyers to the commission by removing the requirement that the governor’s appointees be nonlawyers.

A “no” vote will not change the current constitutional provisions for the nonpartisan selection of supreme court and court of appeals judges.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Analysis:   Constitutional Amendment 3 addresses the infamous Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.  Falsely reported to be of such popularity that several States have used it as a pattern for their own applications, the truth is that no State has duplicated it without first making significant alterations!  Now, for the first time, Missouri voters have an opportunity to address some of the faults of this constitutional provision that have led our State into judicial darkness.

Under the current nonpartisan court plan, all higher court judges (State Supreme Court and Appeals Court judges) and certain specified Circuit Court judges are appointed rather than elected.  This has led to widespread confusion and frustration among voters, and insulation from accountability for the judges.

Currently these judges are pre-selected by a non-elected judicial commission.  When a vacancy occurs on these courts a judicial commission fields applications from interested individuals.  A slate of potential finalists are presented to the sitting Governor, who in turn makes the final appointment from the slate.  Once appointed judges serve on the bench, they face an initial retention vote on the ballots of voters from the appropriate jurisdictions, and repeated retention votes thereafter.  However, due to the nature of the process there are no campaigns or advertising related to these retention votes resulting in voters having no idea how to discern anything about such judges.  Human nature leads the majority of voters to support status quo and 99% of judges never lose their retention.  To make matters worse these retention votes can take as long as twelve years (Supreme Court members) to recycle!

It is all too common for voters to go to the polls on election day and see judge retention questions for the very first time, not knowing they were even going to be on the ballot.  When anything questionable regarding a judge comes up, there is no one to hold accountable.  The appointing Governor points to the judicial commission for not advancing better finalists to pick from.  The commission members wash their hands saying it was the Governor who appointed a judge.  No lawmaker had anything to do with the appointment.  Voters end up with no way to hold anyone accountable.

To make matters worse, the Missouri Bar Association, and the trial lawyers in particular, control the process behind the scenes to elevate their own selections without approval from or accountability to the voters.  Only until recent months, and following years of high profile criticism, has the judicial commission process even allowed public access to the interviews conducted with applicants for vacant judgeships.

Constitutional Amendment 3 realigns the appointments and tenure of members of the judicial commission to coincide with the sitting Governor.  This creates a political environment that removes the excuses used to avoid accountability.  While the commissioners never have to face voters, at least the Governor cannot pass blame if voters can tie the commission’s slate of finalists to the Governor.  This provides some degree of accountability, and possible recourse for voters.

Other changes include expanding the number of finalists presented to the Governor to appoint from.  The current three finalists would grow to four.  This increases the possibility of a pro-life applicant to survive the process during years in which a pro-life Governor is in office.

The end result of Constitutional Amendment 3 is that a poor quality Governor will continue to appoint judges which voters would never elect.  But voters would have opportunities to hold a Governor accountable for doing so.  However, a pro-life Governor would be in a much better position to bring pro-life judges forward by appointing conscientious commission members.

Missouri Family Network recommends a “YES” vote for constitutional Amendment 3 as a vote for accountability.  It is not a magic pill to fix everything wrong with Missouri’s judiciary, but at least it is a step in the right direction.

 

Proposition A   –   Vote YES   (Proposed by a citizen’s initiative petition.)

Official Ballot Title:  (what voters will see in the voting booth)

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

  • allow any city not within a county (the City of St. Louis) the option of transferring certain obligations and control of the city’s police force from the board of police commissioners currently appointed by the governor to the city and establishing a municipal police force;
  • establish certain procedures and requirements for governing such a municipal police force including residency, rank, salary, benefits, insurance, and pension; and
  • prohibit retaliation against any employee of such municipal police force who reports conduct believed to be illegal to a superior, government agency, or the press?

State governmental entities estimated savings will eventually be up to $500,000 annually. Local governmental entities estimated annual potential savings of $3.5 million; however, consolidation decisions with an unknown outcome may result in the savings being more or less than estimated.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to allow any city not within a county (the City of St. Louis) the option of establishing a municipal police force by transferring certain obligations and control of the city’s police force from the board of police commissioners currently appointed by the governor to the city. This amendment also establishes certain procedures and requirements for governing such a municipal police force including residency, rank, salary, benefits, insurance, and pension.  The amendment further prohibits retaliation against any employee of such municipal police force who reports conduct believed to be illegal to a superior, government agency, or the press.

A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding St. Louis City’s police force.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Analysis:   Proponents of Prop. A primarily argue from a “local control” perspective, as well as outlining the history of the current law.  Supporters include a long list of leaders and organizations across the state.  Opponents focus on the concern of mismanagement and/or possible corruption at risk from placing the St. Louis Police board under the control of the City.  Opposition includes the NAACP, the ACLU, a narrow list of activists and some disgruntled over a complicated history with City leaders.

MFN rejects the bulk of both positions and makes our final recommendation of a “YES” vote based on citizen’s control.  Allow me to explain:

Let’s first look at “local Control.”  This is not a fully valid reason for changing current policies and practices.  The principles of local control come from the historic debates surrounding education.  At the base of these education debates are divided philosophies regarding any government’s jurisdiction over education in the first place.  While government may provide a free system of public education, it certainly has no moral authority to dictate education policy to those not interested in government schools.  In fact many effectively argue the State has no compelling purpose for being involved.  (This is an ongoing debate.)  Because education ultimately resides with the will of parents alone, local control principles play an incredibly important role.

However, law enforcement is in fact one of the basic purposes of government.  Thus the local control argument in this case does not fit well.  To make the case stronger is the fact that while the State of Missouri should rightfully be seen as a sovereign State (in relationship to other States, nations, and even our own Country, the United States of America), it is also THE sovereign political/civil entity.  All cities, towns, villages, counties, townships, precincts, etc. are subservient to the State as the sovereign authority which allows all the others to exist, and in what form.  In all matters of political sub-divisions within the State, the authority of the State ultimately trumps local control.  The single legitimate use of this argument resides in the values of locally directed and customized control that is often only realized at the local level and bearing the benefits of efficiency not otherwise recognized or appreciated from a central planning bigger government.

Secondly we reject opponents’ concerns over possible mismanagement and/or corruption.  If the City of St. Louis is this untrustworthy we should be hearing ongoing cries for disbandment of the City’s charter, or a state take-over of City management.  (Stick with me a moment longer please.)  No one claims the City does not have significant political problems.  However, among the hundreds of thousands of residents, there are many fine citizens who work tirelessly to improve the City and support efforts to hold people accountable.  And amazingly, there is no hue and cry for the City to be dissolved.  Yet this writer has seen several towns and villages come and go in less than 50 years, including urban, suburban, and rural communities!

Facts:  Over 150 years ago the State’s population distribution was weighted within the City of St. Louis by staggering proportions.  With the Civil War bearing down the Governor and State leaders realized that the St. Louis Police Department was by far the largest para-military force both in Missouri as well as west of the Mississippi River!  To risk divided factions targeting control of this force was a major concern for the State and the safety of thousands.  As a result of these developing political/military dynamics, the State asserted its Sovereignty and took over control of the police department.

So here we are over 150 years later and the State has never restored Control of the St. Louis Police Department back to the citizens of the City!  What if this were your local police, fire department, or other service providers or local infrastructure?  In fact the citizens of every other community in the state regulates its own services through the constitutional republic methods of civil structure.  As a result people can hold local politicians accountable for any mismanagement and/or questions of corruption.

It has proven to be inefficient and costly to Missouri taxpayers to have the members of our State Legislature micro-manage the policies of the local police in St. Louis City.  To save Missouri taxpayers money and to treat St. Louis City citizens with proper respect, it is incumbent upon Missouri voters to say “YES” to Proposition A.

 

Proposition B   –   Vote “NO”   (Proposed by a citizen’s initiative petition.)

Official Ballot Title:  (what voters will see in the voting booth)

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

  • create the Health and Education Trust Fund with proceeds of a tax of $0.0365 per cigarette and 25% of the manufacturer’s invoice price for roll-your-own tobacco and 15% for other tobacco products;
  • use Fund proceeds to reduce and prevent tobacco use and for elementary, secondary, college, and university public school funding; and
  • increase the amount that certain tobacco product manufacturers must maintain in their escrow accounts, to pay judgments or settlements, before any funds in escrow can be refunded to the tobacco product manufacturer and create bonding requirements for these manufacturers?

Estimated additional revenue to state government is $283 million to $423 million annually with limited estimated implementation costs or savings. The revenue will fund only programs and services allowed by the proposal. The fiscal impact to local governmental entities is unknown. Escrow fund changes may result in an unknown increase in future state revenue.

Fair Ballot Language:

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to create the Health and Education Trust Fund with proceeds from a tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products.  The amount of the tax is $0.0365 per cigarette and 25% of the manufacturer’s invoice price for roll-your-own tobacco and 15% for other tobacco products.  The Fund proceeds will be used to reduce and prevent tobacco use and for elementary, secondary, college, and university public school funding.  This amendment also increases the amount that certain tobacco product manufacturers must maintain in their escrow accounts, to pay judgments or settlements, before any funds in escrow can be refunded to the tobacco product manufacturer and creates bonding requirements for these manufacturers.

A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products or the escrow account and bonding requirements for certain tobacco product manufacturers.

If passed, this measure will increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Analysis:   Proposition B is a massive tax increase at best, which should be rejected.  At its worse, it is a politically correct attack on the tobacco industry and an attempt at social engineering that must be rejected.  Giving proponents the benefit of the doubt, let’s simply evaluate the tax perspective.

Just a few years ago Missouri shared in the “tobacco settlement agreement” brought about by the 1990’s politically motivated attacks and resulting litigations created by a democrat congress angry over tobacco industry support of republican candidates over democrats.   Hundreds of billions of dollars were distributed to the States, including Missouri, with little going to cessation programs or assistance for those harmed by tobacco.  Basically the money was absorbed by the State to prop up its 1990’s government growth spurt (a time in which state government doubled in size and costs).

Now we are being asked to accept a tobacco tax increase for the purpose of funding tobacco related medical services and education.  (What supporters of Prop B need to do is go back to the Legislature and ask them to reallocate current state revenues to make up for the funds already spent that should have provided these programs.)

There are two groups of voters facing this tax increase:

First are consumers who would face a significant tax jump on their tobacco products.  For these folks a “NO” vote is easy.  However, they may find it more difficult to sway their friends – so take a puff, or bite off a chaw and read on about the second group, the non-tobacco users who pitch their tents in two different camps.

The first camp of non-tobacco users see tobacco use as a personal choice.  These campers believe smokers have been warned for decades that tobacco use is harmful and that more taxes will not create any resolve for the problems associated with tobacco use.  For these folks let us consider the implications of such a new tax within the context of a politically correct culture.  Governments today believe they can dictate such things as the size of your soft drinks?  (You get the picture.)  What may be the next target of politically motivated taxes?  Fast food?  Non-eco friendly products?  ???

The second camp of non-tobacco users see tobacco as a vice, or a sin.  For these folks let’s consult Scripture.  Let’s see, how many times does the Bible point to civil government leaders being blinded to the victims of vice because of tax revenues received?  (Check out the minor prophets and the teachings of Proverbs, as well as other precepts.)  This is exactly why the State cannot bring itself to stop casinos or alcohol abuse.  There is just too much money coming into State coffers while the social costs (which are higher) gush out through multiple agencies and services.

So for tobacco users and non-users, a huge tobacco tax increase is not an attractive proposal.  Missouri Family Network recommends a “NO” vote for all citizens heading to the polls on November 6th, no matter which group or camp they reside in.

 

Proposition E   –   Vote YES   (Proposed by the General Assembly SB 464)

For your understanding of the issue we have provided both the original version of the ballot question (which was rejected by the court as misleading) as well as the replacement question which will appear on your ballot as written by the court.  Our analysis will follow.

Official Ballot Title:  (Original Version)(what voters would have seen in the voting booth)

 

Shall Missouri law be amended to deny individuals, families, and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum or through an exchange operated by the federal government as required by the federal health care act?

 

No direct costs or savings for state and local governmental entities are expected from this proposal. Indirect costs or savings related to enforcement actions, missed federal funding, avoided implementation costs, and other issues

are unknown.

 

Fair Ballot Language:

 

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to deny individuals, families, and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange unless authorized by statute, initiative or referendum or through an exchange operated by the federal government as required by the federal health care act.

 

A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding access to affordable health care plans through a state-based health benefit exchange.

 

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

 

Official Ballot Title:  (NEW Version)(what voters will see in the voting booth)

 

Shall Missouri Law be amended to prohibit the Governor or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote of the people or by the legislature?

 

No direct costs or savings for state and local governmental entities are expected from this proposal. Indirect costs or savings related to enforcement actions, missed federal funding, avoided implementation costs, and other issues

are unknown.

 

Fair Ballot Language:

 

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to prohibit the Governor or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote

of the people or by the legislature.

 

A “no” vote will not amend Missouri law to prohibit the Governor or any state agency, from establishing or operating state-based health insurance exchanges unless authorized by a vote

of the people or by the legislature.

 

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

 

Analysis:   Proposition E simply asserts that without voter approval, or that of the citizen’s duly elected members of the State House and Senate, the Governor nor his agencies shall enable ObamaCare on his own.

Last year a group of Missouri State Senators and the Lt. Governor’s office discovered and diverted plans by certain members of Governor Nixon’s administration to create the health care exchanges for implementing ObamaCare in Missouri.  These healthcare exchanges provide the administrative framework for enabling the federal government’s healthcare takeover and is opposed by a supermajority of Missouri citizens.  (See Prop. C, 71% adoption vote, August 3, 2010)

Following the revelations of what many citizens consider a “scandal” the State Legislature passed SB 464 which seeks to prohibit the Governor, or any state bureaucracies from establishing such exchanges without voter approval or that of the voter’s elected members of the General Assembly.

After passage of the legislation proposing this constitutional amendment, the Secretary of State (Robin Carnahan) in tandem with the Attorney General (Chris Koster) drafted the summary ballot question for voters to read in the polling booth.  But because their ballot question was so misleading and designed to taint the election, Lt. Governor Peter Kinder and a large host of republican members of the Legislature filed suit challenging the legality of the ballot title.

Implementation of the “Affordable Care Act” requires a new healthcare exchange system which carries a price tag of upwards to fifty million tax dollars ($50,000,000.00).  However the federal government is willing to provide the money (which still comes out of our pockets) if Missouri‘s Governor or another state agency agrees to accept it.  Thus it is important to expressly prohibit such a move through the executive orders of the Governor or other actions by unelected bureaucrats.

Missouri Family Network recommends that citizens concerned about the various implications of ObamaCare should cast a “YES” vote for Constitutional Amendment 3 in order to reserve such a move to themselves.  As a constitutional republic it is wholly appropriate to restrict such authority to voter approval or that of the 197 member Legislature.

Vote “YES” on Constitutional Amendment 2

All concerned citizens – Wednesday, July 11, 2012 is the last day to register to vote, in order to be eligible to vote in the August 7th Primary Election.

Vote “YES” on Constitutional Amendment 2

The Missouri Prayer Amendment

www.PrayerAmendment.org

ATTENTION:  Churches and Citizens of Springfield, Missouri

During this Independence Day season we are celebrating the 236th birthday of the greatest nation on the face of the earth. But among the distractions of this national birthday the homosexual activists (which includes political activists representing every kind of sexual deviancy) are planning their own celebration of another major political victory!  This time they are on the verge of implanting themselves as a special protected class status throughout the full scope of policies within Missouri’s third largest city.

Their proposal not only includes “sexual orientation” but “sexual identity” as well, which is a huge increase in the scope of the proposal!

See the proposed expanded new law here:  http://www.news-leader.com/assets/pdf/DO191405630.pdf

The Springfield City Council will post their July 16th meeting agenda, either on Wednesday afternoon, July 11, or on Thursday morning, July 12.    Their website is: http://www.springfieldmo.gov/citycouncil/

 

We are encouraging Springfield churches and citizens to contact the Springfield City Council Members urgently as they are trying to pass this in July.
Email addresses of Council Members:
city@springfieldmo.gov
rstephens@springfieldmo.gov
crushefsky@springfieldmo.gov
sbails@springfieldmo.gov
dburlison@springfieldmo.gov
jseifried@springfieldmo.gov
jcompton@springfieldmo.gov
jrush@springfieldmo.gov
tbieker@springfieldmo.gov

 

E@lert: Pro-Family Missouri Lawmakers Targeted by Homosexual Community Needs to Know That You Will Support Them!

State Representative Steve Cookson (R-Poplar Bluff) has introduced HB 2051.

This bill simply states that public schools cannot sponsor programs or teach your

children and grandchildren “sexual orientation”.  Note this is not a prohibition

on the instruction in human reproduction or basic sex education – it’s only focus

is to prohibit advocacy or promotion of WHO people have sex with!  This is the

domain of the family and church, not public schools!

 

Through the discussion of “sexual orientation” (which is now in every Missouri

public school as far as we know of) our students are being taught about all kinds

of sexual fetishes as though they are normal, acceptable, and even desired.  It is

through programs related to “sexual education” that students are taught to be so

‘tolerant’ that they can no longer distinguish between “tolerance” and personal

acceptance, even to the point of encouraged experimentation!

 

Good parents encourage children to respect and honor their teachers.  The better

a good parent is in supporting their local school, the more confused a child can get

when those they have been taught to respect allow indoctrinations related to social

engineering in the area of human sexuality.

 

For years our culture has fought a losing battle over HOW sex education is done

in our schools.  HB 2051 takes the social engineering out of the equation and the

legitimate portions of sex education are still allowed.  Many folks may want to

make the case for removing all sex education altogether, and MFN would agree

that this would be best.  However this is not a practical move in light of today’s

political climate.

 

Right now HB 2051 has sparked a vicious campaign against Rep. Steve Cookson

and the other nineteen (19) co-sponsors of the bill.  They are being swamped with

hateful emails, letters and calls from throughout the state and beyond.  This effort

is being coordinated by PROMO, (advocacy organization leading the Homosexual

lobby, including transgender and every other ‘minority’ group based on “sexual

orientation”).

 

PLEASE take time to write a message of support and send it to Rep. Steve Cookson

and the others listed below.  Then contact your own House and Senate member to

ask them to also sponsor or co-sponsor this legislation next year.  And finally, please

forward this MFN E@lert to your network of friends asking that they also respond

to the need to round up support for these twenty brave lawmakers.

 

By The Way:  Over the past 28 years I have seen almost 50,000 bills presented

in the Missouri House and Senate.  Until now I have NEVER seen a group of

close minded lawmakers publicly challenge another group of lawmakers to not

sign onto bills they believe in.  In response to HB 2051, a large group of House

members have sent letters to every one of these twenty statesmen calling on them

to drop their support for HB 2051.  This is the single most narrow-minded and

bigoted act I have ever seen under the dome of your state capitol – and they call

themselves the “Progressive Caucus”! 

I want to know what’s so “progressive” about such hypocrisy?

 

 

Starting with the lead sponsor, here are all of the twenty

sponsors of HB 2051 in the order they appear on the bill:

(Please send them a note of appreciationYou can

draft one note and send it to all 20 at the same time. )

 

Steve Cookson  153 Republican  573-751-1066                    steve.cookson@house.mo.gov

Dwight Scharnhorst  93 Republican  573-751-4392             dwight.scharnhorst@house.mo.gov

Andrew Koenig  88 Republican  573-751-5568                     andrew.koening@house.mo.gov

Timothy Jones  89 Republican  573-751-0562                       timothy.jones@house.mo.gov

Kurt Bahr  19 Republican  573-751-9768                              kurt.bahr@house.mo.gov

Steven Tilley  106 Republican  573-751-1488                        steven.tilley@house.mo.gov

Lindell Shumake  006 Republican  573-751-3613                 lindell.shumake@house.mo.gov

Lyle Rowland  143 Republican  573-751-2042                      lyle.rowland@house.mo.gov

Charlie Denison  135 Republican  573-751-2210                   charlie.denison@house.mo.gov

Don Wells  147 Republican  573-751-1490                            don.wells@house.mo.gov

Dave Schatz  111 Republican  573-751-6668                        dave.schatz@house.mo.gov

Eric Burlison  136 Republican  573-751-0136                        eric.burlison@house.mo.gov

Doug Funderburk  012 Republican  573-751-2176                doug.funderburk@house.mo.gov

John Diehl  87 Republican  573-751-1544                             john.diehl@house.mo.gov

Jeff Grisamore  47 Republican  573-751-1456                       jeff.grisamore@house.mo.gov

Mark Parkinson  16 Republican  573-751-2949                     mark.parkinson@house.mo.gov

Paul Fitzwater  152 Republican  573-751-2112                     paul.fitzwater@house.mo.gov

Bill Lant  131 Republican  573-751-9801                              bill.lant@house.mo.gov

Mike McGhee  122 Republican  573-751-1462                      mike.mcghee@house.mo.gov

Jay Houghton  10 Republican  573-751-3649                        jay.houghton@house.mo.gov

 

After sending a note of encouragement to these 20 House members who have

sponsored HB 2051 – send an additional note to your own House and Senate

members, asking them to defend our children/grandchildren from offensive

promotions of “sexual orientation” education and advocacy in Missouri’s

public schools.  (Even if you use private and/or home school options, your

children/grandchildren must live in the culture created by the 80% population

that comes through public education!) 

 

Also note that HB 2051 was filed late in the Session and many lawmakers did

not have the opportunity to sign onto it.  Your House and Senate members may

already be supportive or opposed – you will not know until you contact them.

 

Go to this web site to find your House and Senate members, and contact info:

http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookup/leg_lookup.aspx

 

Additional web sites that may help you:

www.house.mo.gov     &    www.senate.mo.gov

 

Missouri Judges: 2010 General Election – November 2nd

The Retention & Election of Missouri’s Judges, Statewide & Local.

Missouri State Supreme Court
One Judge up for statewide retention

Court of Appeals Judges
Eight total Judges from Missouri’s three appellate districts facing retention votes.  Voters in the Eastern District of the Court of Appeals will see only one judge, voters in the Southern District of the Court of Appeals will see two judges, voters in the Western District Court of Appeals will see five judges for retention.

State Circuit Courts
28 Circuit Judges and 25 Associate Circuit Judges face “yes” or “no” retention votes as part of the nonpartisan plan.  15 partisan judgeship elections that are not under the nonpartisan plan jurisdiction will face voters throughout Missouri’s 45 local circuit courts.  However, only three of these judicial seats are contested as seven democrat and five republican Circuit Judges have no challengers!

Municipal Court Judges
There are many more local judges that will be on ballots all across Missouri that are not under the state elections oversight.  These are placed on the ballot by your local county election authorities.  Please consult your local sample ballot in the newspaper printed prior to the November 2, 2010 election for a complete listing of ALL ballot measures, candidates, and questions.  If your county has voluntarily submitted your local sample ballot to the Missouri secretary of State, Elections Division website, you may see that full sample ballot online at: https://mcvr.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup/

NOTE: MFN has an outline for reviewing local judges below.


General Election Retention Votes

Apply to the State’s Non-Partisan Court Plan

(Appointed by a Governor and later retained by citizen vote.)

All other Judges are elected just like any public service office.


Judge Zel Fischer

“YES”

Appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court towards the end of Matt Blunt’s Governorship faces his first retention vote.

A Yes vote leaves him on the bench for another 12 years when voters must review and reapprove his performance.

Previous court appointments during the Carnahan and Holden administrations radically changed the nature of Missouri’s seven member Supreme Court.

While no organization exists in the state with the resources to fully monitor the hundreds of judges and tens of thousands of cases throughout our court system, judicial

branch observers, critics and supporters all agree that Matt Blunt’s appointment of Zel Fischer makes him the most conservative member of the State Supreme Court.

Voters have the opportunity to send a message to both the court and Missouri’s current and future Governors that we the citizens expect our courts to be responsible to the rule of law, resist judicial activism and discipline themselves to be judicially restrained – by voting “YES” to retain Judge Zel Fischer!

The Eastern, Southern and Western District Appellate Courts have a total of eight Appellate Judges also facing retention on their respective 2010 election ballots.

One is a member of the Eastern District, two are from the Southern District, and five Western District Appellate Judges will appear on the ballot in these areas of the state.

(See the Appellate Court map below to clarify which district you live in.)

53 Circuit and Associate Circuit Judges within the Constitution’s Nonpartisan Court Plan will be seen throughout local circuits across the state.

(25 Circuit Judges and 28 Associate Circuit Judges facing ‘yes’ or ‘no’ retention votes.)

15 more Circuit Courts with 18 candidates for Judgeships are on the ballot in various “partisan” Circuits around the state.

These candidates are running with partisan associations as Democrat or Republican.  (No third party candidates filed in these contests.)

(Ironically only three of these positions are being challenged, while seven democrats and five republicans have no opposition.)

All total, there are 80 total candidates seeking retention or contested judgeships, that are part of the Missouri Judicial branch of government, printed on ballots around the state.  However, voters will only see a handful of names and courts appearing on their local ballot.

Only Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer will appear on every ballot throughout Missouri – and your “YES” vote is important!

Any additional local municipal judicial elections which may appear on your ballot are NOT part of the Nonpartisan Court Plan and are NOT covered under any assessment by Missouri Family Network.

Later in this discussion you will find evaluation tips that apply to your local courts and candidates.


Missouri Non-Partisan Judge Retention Votes

2008 General Election Ballot

There is only one State Supreme Court Judge facing a statewide “retention” vote November 2, 2010.

The eight Appellate Judges only appear on the ballots in their respective districts.

The nature of the judicial system in Missouri shrouds judges from effective performance review by voters.

In the absence of high-profile cases, the only barometer of a judge’s performance prior to their facing a

“retention” vote from citizens requires constant monitoring of their cases and the judgments they hand down.

Each case demands a complete understanding of the laws related to the case.  No judge should engage in any “judicial activism” (making up fanciful interpretations of law to fit their personal whims) but must adhere to the ‘rule of law’ and “judicial restraint” (judging according to the legislated law) leaving the policy debates of law to the Legislature.

Due to the fact that a “Judicial Commission” takes applications, interviews, and actually selects

“finalists”, limits the Governor from selecting judges in a true publicly accountable manner.

Who knows the personalities and politics of these Commissions?

The Governor may only select one of three names handed to him!

Even the pro-life stance of an appointing Governor may not reflect accurately on a given Judge’s performance.

Listed below are the pro-life or pro-abortion positions of those Governors who appointed these Judges.

However, the true test is if the Judge is pro-life and ”judicially restrained”!

Missouri State

Supreme Court

Eastern District Appellate Court Southern District Appellate Court Western District

Appellate Court

Retention Questions on

All ballots statewide.

Retention Questions in

Eastern areas only.

Retention Questions in

Southern areas only.

Retention Questions in

Western areas only.

Zel Fischer

Matt Blunt – Pro-Life

Vote “YES”

Mary Kathryn Hoff

Mel Carnahan – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Robert S. Barney

Mel Carnahan – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Alok Ahula

Matt Blunt – Pro-Life

Vote “NO”

(based on case studies)

Don E. Burrell

Matt Blunt – Pro-Life

Vote “YES”

Victor C. Howard

Mel Carnahan – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Karen King Mitchell

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

Mark D. Pfeiffer

Jay Nixon – Pro-Abortion

Vote “NO”

James Edward Welsh

Matt Blunt – Pro-Life

Vote “YES”

Missouri Court of Appeals Districts

Appellate Judge Information

Eight out of the thirty-two Judges of the Missouri Court of Appeals are on the November 2nd ballot for retention.

1 – Eastern District

2 – Southern District

5 – Western District

Democrat Governors Carnahan and Holden maintained a mandatory “pro-abortion” litmus test for all their judicial nominees over their twelve years of administrations!  Most of these judges need to be replaced.

Governor Matt Blunt maintained a strict standard that judges MUST be restrained on law and supportive of the sanctity of life.

Governor Jay Nixon has a mixed review as he strives to distance himself from the extremity of his democrat party’s pro-abortion demands.

Any time three finalists are placed before the Governor for him to make a choice, there is a very, very high political probability that at least one will be pro-abortion.

On the other hand, those finalists who would have been set before former governors may have provided slim pickin’s for pro-life administrations.

John Ashcroft appointed judges based on judicial restraint and are generally okay but may not have turned out as good as he would have liked.  Appointments Governor

Ashcroft made in his later years administrations were more seriously screened but he could only pick from the three candidates placed before him for each appointment.

Appointments made going back to Governors Bond and Teasdale (yes they still face retention every twelve years and not all have retired yet) were picked before the contemporary focus on judicial activism and pro-life/pro-abortion debates had become major political issues.

Former Governor Mat Blunt had little opportunity to appoint Judges except from limited names handed to him from the Judicial Commissions.

Under the non-partisan court plan Gov. Blunt could only choose between the three finalists placed before him in making these appointments.

Even though he has repeatedly stressed concern over “judicial activism” Gov. Blunt could not place a pro-life judge on the court unless one survived the process to be submitted among the three finalists placed before him!

Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer did survive that process and has earned support from pro-life voters!

Supreme Court Judge Patricia Breckenridge promised to behave on the court when selected by Gov. Blunt, and he offered her praise (over the other finalists) however, the Governor also stated in the same press release that he did not have faith in the Judicial Commission to put forward any candidates that could be completely trusted at that time.  (see Gov. Blunt’s press release dated 9-7-07)


Unlike our confidence in recommending a “NO” vote on Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman, (2004 election)

(based on a high level of research and documentation)

Missouri Family Network acknowledges that there has only been limited information and research on the 2010 Appellate Judges.

Therefore:  Missouri Family Network expresses the following qualifications related to our voter recommendations.

MFN is 95% confident that any judge appointed by Governors Carnahan or Holden are pro-abortion and is prone to engage in activism on life issues, or other such political subjects.

MFN is 80-90%, or more in some cases, sure that those we otherwise recommend a yes vote to retain are pro-life and practice judicial restraint, according to what we have seen.

MFN openly solicits any qualified information from citizens which could assist us in building our confidence – or demonstrating any errors in our recommendations.


Judges of the Missouri Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal and Circuit Courts in the St. Louis and Kansas City regions are appointed under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.

These judges are not elected to office, are not ‘officially’ aligned with any political party and do not campaign as other “candidates”.  They are not “elected” to office in the traditional sense.

Retention questions related to these judgeships are nonpartisan ballot questions.  When voters go to the polls they will be asked to vote YES, or NO, to retain them or not to retain them.

Non-profit organizations and churches are at complete liberty to speak to these retention questions just as they are regarding any other non-partisan ballot question.

Judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri, along with all of the Missouri Court of Appeals (all three districts) and the circuit courts in Clay County, Jackson County, Platte County, the City of St. Louis and St. Louis Co. (Kansas City & St. Louis areas) are all appointed through what is called the Nonpartisan Court Plan.  The procedures for these various appointments and any opportunity for voters to retain these judges are outlined in the Missouri State Constitution which operates as follows:

Those seeking to be appointed to fill a vacancy in the appellate or Supreme Court bench apply to an Appellate Judicial Commission, which is comprised of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, three citizens appointed by the governor and three attorneys selected by The Missouri Bar.  The Commission will review all the submitted applications and conducts interviews before it selects a panel of three finalists to nominate to the governor.  The governor must select from one of those three individuals sometime within 60 days to fill the judicial vacancy.  Failure of the governor to make the final appointment would shift the responsibility back to the Commission itself.

Once an appointment is made, that new judge takes office.  The new judge then must sit for a retention vote at the next general election after he or she has been in office for at least one year.  If at least 50 percent of the voters in that election agree to retain the judge on the ballot, they would then serve a full term on the bench.  For all appellate judges, including the Supreme Court, the term would be for 12 years. (For circuit judges, the term is six years, and for associate circuit judges, the term is four years.)  This applies despite to the length of time remaining in the term of the judge that for whatever reason has vacated the bench and is being replaced.

The Missouri State Constitution requires that Judges appointed to either the Supreme Court or the Missouri Court of Appeals to be at least 30 years old (may serve until 70), licensed to practice law in the state, citizen of the United States for at least 15 years, and also qualified to vote in Missouri for at least nine years prior to their appointment.


Divided among the state’s 45 Circuit Courts are a total of 71 Circuit and Associate Circuit Judges on the November 2nd ballot.

Some (53) are ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions to “retain” appointed judges – others (18) are competing in open contests as partisan candidates.

Know Your Circuit Courts!

Please be sure to research your local circuit and state appellate division judges that will appear on the ballot in your local area!

All judges appearing on your sample ballot that will be in your local polling booth next Tuesday are highlighted in the Official State Manuel (otherwise commonly known as the “Blue Book“)

A simple review of each judge will tell you which Governor appointed them or if they are Democrat or Republican judges (remember party platforms matter).  Admittedly it is overly simplistic to rate judges by mere party affiliation or Gubernatorial appointments, however this is the only viable tool available to average voters to rate the value of our judges.  Any notorious or noteworthy cases along with any other viable information on your local judges should be taken into consideration.

Each County in Missouri is in charge of the ballots printed for their citizens.  On a county by county bases some, but not all, counties have provided sample ballots to the Secretary of State, Elections Division.

These sample ballots are available at: https://mcvr.mo.gov/elections/voterlookup/

To look up your local ballot judges, who appointed them (Pro-Life or Pro-Abortion governors) or if they are politically affiliated with the pro-abortion planks of the Democrat Party or the pro-life planks of the Republican Party, visit the online version of the “Blue Book” at:  http://www.sos.mo.gov/BlueBook/2009-2010/default.asp or go directly to Chapter 5 – Judicial Branch at:  http://www.sos.mo.gov/BlueBook/2009-2010/5_Jud.pdf#p225

It is very important that citizens understand the state’s court system and investigate the judges who are either running for judgeships or (for those who were appointed to the bench as described earlier) are facing retention votes.

These men & women will be on your local ballot in the General Election, November 2, 2010.

Some of the better sources of information are to contact a variety of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and trustworthy attorneys to ask about a sitting judge’s “law & order” attitudes.

It is important to note that many of these folks may not be willing to openly criticize a sitting judge but may be very willing to dialogue with you about a judge’s character and/or other qualifications.

(See questions below.)

Missouri’s 45 Circuit Court Districts

Missouri’s State Court System Is Broken Down Into:

1 State Supreme Court                                                 7 Supreme Court Judges

1 Court of Appeals in 3 Districts:

Eastern District,                                                       14 Appellate Judges

Southern District,                                           7 Appellate Judges

Western District,                                                      11 Appellate Judges

45 Circuit Court Districts with various Divisions                     136 Circuit Judges

114 County Courts serving their given Circuits                        186 Associate Judges

Note: All Drug, Family, Juvenile, or other Probate Commissioners are employed by and accountable to those Judges listed above.

In the Missouri Legislature it would take a minimum of 82 members of the House agreeing with 18 or more Senators, who together could successfully navigate the parliamentary procedures of the Missouri General Assembly to advance liberal social policies, such as homosexual marriage, in our state.  (A majority of both bodies.)

In the state court system only one out of 322 judges is needed to do the same thing.  An activist court decision would have to go through at least one, or more, Appellate Judges whose decision either way would then go to the State Supreme Court.  The pivotal question hinges on who sits on these courts?  What would 4 out of 7 members of the high court do?  Since its establishment in 1820, Missouri’s Supreme Court had been both politically and socially conservative – until 2004!  For over 180 years our state had maintained a judicially restrained court – up until just a few years ago!

With the appointment of Judge Richard B. Teitelman to the Supreme Court by Governor Bob Holden (his second appointee) the court swung to a liberal domination for the first time in Missouri’s history.  Twelve years of liberal antics from the Carnahan & Holden administrations has changed Missouri for generations to come!

The responsibility of voting for Missouri judges is more compelling than ever!


As far as your Circuit Judges are concerned:

You will have to research them for your own area.

There are 45 Circuit Districts with hundreds of judges.
MFN recommends you call local law enforcement – sheriff deputies, prosecutor(s), and any trustworthy attorneys (lawyers from your area churches who have a reputation of maintaining a consistent Biblical worldview).

Ask these people who interact with the circuit judges about their experiences and knowledge.

– Ask about how a judge either helps or hinders law enforcement?
– Are they willing to get up in the middle of the night to sign search warrants, or do they give the sheriff grief over being troubled?
– Do they help in the fight against meth or are they part of the problem?
– Do they treat people differently depending on which side of town they come from?
– Do they tend to protect certain popular family names, or otherwise treat them with kid gloves?

Law enforcement will not openly campaign for or against the judges they are going to be standing in front of.

But after going through these kinds of questions you will be able to discern any significant problems or outstanding traits that will help guide you and your friends in voting in an intelligent manner that is pleasing to the Lord.


“JUDICIAL ACTIVISM”

An “activist” judge is one who makes political decisions – not legal judgments.

When a Judge steps outside the parameters of the laws he is to maintain, he assumes the role of a legislator making law rather than a judge who determines if or how a law has been violated.  Legislators debate and deliberate as a body of several elected representatives charged with making the law.  Judges are only supposed to enforce those laws and no more.  Thus, any judge who, for any reason, ignores a law he disagrees with or abuses his authority by imposing the power of his position to enforce legal frameworks that do not otherwise exist in duly adopted laws and ordinances, is acting outside the “rule-of-law” – he is an “activist”, not a judge.

“JUDICIAL RESTRAINT”

A “restrained” judge is one who discerns legal judgments from within the “rule-of-law”.

Whenever a judge restrains himself from acting on his own personal preferences and applies only the “rule-of-law” in discerning legal judgments, he allows those properly elected to legislate the parameters of the law.  Public policy remains within the domain of those public bodies open to public discourse and influence.  The role of a Judge is not to make law but to enforce those laws properly deliberated before various bodies of duly elected representatives charged with the role of lawmakers.  These Judges set aside their personal preferences in order to enforce the “rule-of-law.”  Such restraint qualifies one as a trustworthy Judge.

Judicial Discernment

Voters are asked to elect or retain judges in every election cycle.  These are elections, complete with all the high rhetoric surrounding every other political contest.  Some have tried to redefine inappropriate judicial activism as mere disgruntlement with a particular judge of the judicial system.

Falsely claiming that ‘activism’ is a “straw man” that doesn’t truly exist in Missouri courts, this “spin” turns the table on the critics.

Anyone who raises questions about judges who step out of their bounds of authority is accused of being the bad guy.

The goal of this “spin” is to make the critic look like a fool who is unwilling to accept the authority of the court only because they are unhappy with the outcome of a case.  (Equally erroneous are charges of activism from folks who really are just unhappy with the outcome of a court case(s).)

Citizens must be cautious to understand the parameters of the various laws related to cases they are concerned about.  A conservative Judge who engages in activism is just as wrong as a liberal who would do the same thing.  The performance of a Judge is not to be evaluated by the popularity of the outcomes of a given court.  Whether you like and support – or dislike and oppose – the outcome of a court ruling has nothing to do with declaring a Judge to be a liberal “activist” or a “restrained” conservative.  Discerning a Judge’s “judicial activism” or “judicial restraint” depends on his adhering to the “rule-of-law,” or if he is taking the law into his own hand to remold it with political decisions according to his personal preference.

MFN E-alert: Constitutional Amendment 3, 2010 General Election

Constitutional Amendment 3
Vote “YES”
To prohibit sales taxes on your home!

Proposed by a Citizens’ Initiative Petition.  Go to http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010petitions/2010-046.asp in order to read the full text of this proposed

Missouri Constitutional Amendment.

Official Ballot Title:  (The summary question you will see in the voting booth)

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including

a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?

It is estimated this proposal will have no costs or savings to state or local governmental entities.

Fair Ballot Language:  (Additional clarification required by law, provided by Secretary of State’s office.)

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including

a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate.

A “no” vote will not change the Missouri Constitution to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing a new tax on the sale

or transfer of homes or any other real estate.

If passed, this measure will have no impact on taxes.

Analysis: Contemporary debates over tax policy continues to evolve as the economy and government continues to diversify and complicate.  A more recent proposal that is garnering supporter is that known as the “fair tax”.  This idea proposes to eliminate the conglomerate tax system that has become so disjointed and over complicated as it has developed through generations of piecemeal policies.  Discussions of this idea focused on streamlining the entire tax code by creating a flat sales tax on all goods and services.  Some currently untaxed goods and services would be included in the new flat tax.

An unintended result of these debates have been new ideas for more piecemeal taxes on the part of those who oppose a “fair tax.”

While real estate owners face annual tax bills based on valuation schedules, there is no current sales tax on the sale or transfer of a home or real estate property in Missouri.  Due to the concerns that such a new tax could develop either as a direct result of a future “fair tax” or implemented sooner as a standalone ‘fee’ from tax happy politicians, this citizen’s initiative was born.

With the discussion of a new sales tax hitting the public square for debate, as unpopular as it has been, many Missouri citizens agreed that it would be better to create a protection now than later.  Seeing how many automobiles are on the road today with temporary tags is troubling enough.  (How many of those new car owners made financial plans to purchase that vehicle only to discover there was not enough left over to pay the taxes in order to get a license plate?)  What a disincentive it would create if new home owners, farmers, entrepreneurs, or manufacturers had to fork out tens of thousands of tax dollars before being able to take possession of their newly acquired properties?

Property ownership is much more than a bedrock icon of Americanism.  It is embedded in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  The third principle our forefathers understood as foundational to good government comes straight from Scripture.  God’s Word teaches that all men are created equal and have certain basic liberties that should never be prohibited by government.  The “pursuit of happiness” is a broad reference to property ownership as part of the complete meaning within the principle for each person being allowed to keep and enjoy the fruits of their own labor.

In defense of home and property ownership – please vote “YES” to prohibit sales taxes on your home!

MFN E-alert: Constitutional Amendment 2, 2010 General Election

Constitutional Amendment 2
Vote “YES”
To support disabled former POW veterans!

Proposed by the 95th Missouri General Assembly (First Regular Session 2009) House Joint Resolution 15.  Go to http://www.house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills091/biltxt/truly/HJR0015T.HTM to read the full text of this proposed Missouri Constitutional Amendment.

Official Ballot Title:  (The summary question you will see in the voting booth)

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens who are former prisoners

of war and have a total service-connected disability be exempt from property taxes?

The number of qualified former prisoners of war and the amount of each exemption are unknown, however, because the number who meet the

qualifications is expected to be small, the cost to local governmental entities should be minimal.  Revenue to the state blind pension fund may be

reduced by $1,200.

Fair Ballot Language:  (Additional ‘clarification’ required by state law to be provided to voters by the Secretary of State’s office.)

A “yes” vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to exempt from property taxes all real property used as a homestead by any Missouri citizen who is a former prisoner of war with a total service-connected disability.

A “no” vote will not add this exemption to the Missouri Constitution.

If passed, this measure will decrease property taxes for qualified citizens.

Analysis: Missouri is home to many veterans of our United States Military.  Those who have served in any of the various branches of military have done so at the risk of going to war and/or direct combat to defend your freedom to read this article.  Over the years many men and women have faced tremendous horrors and/or shed their blood while a great many have died in defense of the freedoms that come from our constitutional republic and the Godly heritage on which it is built.

The false slogan ‘Peace is Patriotic’ is a lie.  Peace is only the fruit of true patriotism.  The real essence of true patriotism is Commitment and Sacrifice.  Those who have made and kept that commitment deserve our praise and support.  Those who have paid the cost of sacrifice have certainly earned more.

If “the labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7), then one who submits 24/7, gives up personal gain, keeps the commitment that is demanded of a soldier, and pays the sacrifice resulting in their becoming a prisoner of war and a total personal disability – is worthy of their hire also!  And WE are the employer who benefits from their patriotism!

There are relatively few veterans in Missouri that fit this narrow definition that are alive to benefit from this exemption from paying property taxes.  However, no matter how many or how few, we the free men and women of Missouri should be more than willing to corporately pick up the minor cost of supporting these heroes.  We should, and I for one, are proud to invite all such heroes to come and live in our state.  What a small cost to share in exchange for having these patriots to live in our neighborhoods and available to our children and grandchildren as living examples of the costs of freedom!

Please vote “YES” to support disabled former POW veterans!