Defending traditional families

Posts in category E-alert

MFN E-alert: Constitutional Amendment 1, 2010 General Election (updated)

Constitutional Amendment 1
Vote “YES”
To hold county assessors accountable!

Proposed by the 95th Missouri General Assembly (First Regular Session 2009) SJR 5.  Voters may go to www.senate.mo.gov/09info/pdf-bill/tat/SJR5.pdf to see the full text of this proposed Constitutional Amendment.

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

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the office of county assessor to be an elected position in all counties with a charter form of

government, except counties with a population between 600,001-699,999?

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 require that assessors in charter counties be elected officers.  This proposal will affect St. Louis County and any county that adopts a charter form of government.  The exception is for a county that has between 600,001-699,999 residents, which currently is only Jackson County.

A “no” vote will not change the current requirement for charter counties.

If passed, this measure will not have an impact on taxes.

Analysis: Missouri’s 114 counties, not including the City of St. Louis which is classified as a city not within a county and thus counted as a county unto itself, are classified under 5 distinct levels. Classes I-IV counties are classified based on overall valuations. All county assessors in these first four classified counties are publicly elected. Most counties are rated as Class III and those who reach Class IV have the option of reorganizing as a Charter Class County if approved by their voters. This approval includes the governing structures.

These Charter Class Counties have a greater detailed form of governance (which invokes much pro/con debate points). One of the negative issues related to Charter Class Counties is that under the state constitution they can allow the county assessor to be appointed rather than publicly elected. This has led to controversial property assessment methods being employed that many see as a direct result of a lack of public accountability. Const. Amend. #1 seeks to return these positions back to elected offices in order to enforce more accountability. Of the three counties with appointed assessors, St. Charles and St. Louis Counties have been in the center of this debate.

Currently there are only four Charter Class Counties in Missouri. These include Jefferson, St. Charles, and St. Louis Counties, each as a part of the greater St. Louis City region. Green County (Springfield area) and Boone County (Columbia area) are Class IV Counties which have discussed but not yet moved to become Charter Class Counties. Jackson County in the Kansas City area is the only remaining Charter Class County in the state, but is excluded from the proposed constitutional amendment. (Jefferson County chose to keep electing their assessor.)

County classifications are provided for under the Missouri State Constitution. Requiring that all county assessors are to be elected by constitutional mandate would protect this provision unless changed by a future statewide vote.

In summary, county assessors in three counties (Jackson, St. Charles, and St. Louis) are currently the only ones not currently elected or answerable directly to their voters. Constitutional Amendment #1 will only affect two of these counties as Kansas City politicians managed to get Jackson County exempted from the proposal. Passage of this measure will mean that all of Missouri’s county assessors except in Jackson County will be required to be publicly elected. (This also removes Jefferson County’s option to appoint their assessor in the future.)

Principles of good government which stem from our Judeo/Christian heritage supports high accountability in public affairs. Recognizing that man does not have a natural inclination towards righteousness (“As it is written, there is none righteous, no. not one:” Romans 3:10; “there is none that doeth good” v. 12) public service requires higher accountability than personal enterprise. Thus holding all county assessors directly answerable to citizens rather than allowing them to be politically insulated from straightforward voter accountability only makes sense.

Please vote “YES” to hold county assessors accountable!

MFN E-alert: Proposition B, 2010 General Election

Proposition B
“B is Bad
!”
Vote “NO” To defend Missouri against animal rights extremism!

Proposed by a citizens’ Initiative Petition.  (Go to http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010petitions/2010-085.asp to read the full text of this proposed Missouri state statutory provision.)

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

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary

veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles;

prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and

create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?

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

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles.  The amendment further prohibits any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets.  The amendment also creates a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations.

A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding dog breeders.

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

Analysis: Proposition B is Bad.  It is misleading and deceptive.  there is ample evidence that this is a big step as part of an extremist animal rights/liberation agenda that threatens all animal agriculture, here in Missouri, and it is sponsored by an overwhelmingly wealthy organization steeped in deception.

Missouri dog breeders are already highly regulated (see State Criminal Statues 578.009 RSMo. Animal Neglect and Abandonment, & 578.012 RSMo. Animal Abuse; and the Code of State Regulations, Rules of the Department of Agriculture, Division 30 Animal Health, Chapter 9 Animal Care Facilities)

Anyone operating a “puppy mill” in Missouri is already criminally guilty of these laws.  If you pause to think about it you have seen the occasional violation as the raids and seizures of animals are always highlighted on the evening newscasts.  Proposition B is deceptive in that it does not even define what constitutes a “puppy mill”!  The proposal duplicates some of the existing law and then creates a myriad of restrictive guidelines designed to harass and shut down reputable kennels.  These unrealistic guidelines are commonly believed to have been written as a basis for using state laws to attack normal and customary practices throughout Missouri’s various farm animal operations and agricultural industries.  In doing so the proposal even weakens some current animal welfare laws!

This citizens’ initiative and the misleading media campaign supporting it is sponsored by an extremist group well known for its radical agenda to eliminate ALL human/animal interactions.  A onetime legitimate animal welfare organization, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was targeted and taken over by a collaboration of radical animal liberation leaders already known for their extreme views and actions.  Today HSUS is the world’s wealthiest animal rights/liberation group warring against every animal industry known to modern man.

HSUS aggressively pushes for a vegan culture totally free of human contact with any animals for any purpose whatsoever.  No agriculture, no food, no pets, no zoos, no medical research, no social or patient therapy with animals, no aquariums, no animal by-products such as most plastics and rubber products or cosmetics and textiles.  This is why just about every major farm animal and crop commodity association in the state is opposing Proposition B.

While using highly emotional campaigns to prey on the hearts of voters and donors alike, HSUS gives less than one half of one percent of its funds to help provide relief for distressed animals.  They own absolutely no shelters or facilities and do not operate a single clinic or sanctuary for needy animals.  Almost their entire one hundred twenty million dollar annual budget ($120,000,000.) is spent on executive salaries/pensions, fund raising, and political activism!

Why then is HSUS targeting Missouri’s dog industry for the 2010 November election?  Wayne Pacelle, HSUS’ CEO, has clearly stated that ballot initiatives “pay dividends and serve as a training ground for activists” and “that ballot initiatives would be used for all manners of legislation in the future.”  HSUS ignores the fact that Missouri enacted the Animal Care Facilities Act in 1992, and the fact that Missouri has some of the most strictly regulated dog breeder laws in the nation.  (22 pages of detailed regulations)

The goal of Proposition B is to eliminate all legal, licensed pet breeders and to limit free enterprise.  If enacted, the ballot initiative will eliminate over 1460 licensed, professional agriculture operations in our state.  The costs will be enormous as feed stores, supply companies, veterinarians, groomers, and all businesses related to pet ownership will see a sharp decrease in business.  Professional breeders will be forced out of business due to unattainable requirements in Proposition B.  Many will lose their family farms and employment, resulting in decreased property values and lost taxes for local communities.

HSUS’s worldview is that ALL domestic animals should be returned to the wild.  But the Biblical worldview is that God created man to subdue and utilize the various elements of His creation, including a proper stewardship of His animals.  Abuse of that stewardship is clearly wrong.  However, abuse of our stewardship through omission (“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17) is just as sinful as abuse through commission.  God provided for proper animal husbandry as a legitimate/necessary human endeavor.  In turn mankind  is blessed with many benefits.

As state and national veterinary groups also oppose Proposition B consider this:  If you enjoy eating, realize the extent of animal agriculture’s contribution to your daily quality of life (other than food), appreciate advances in medical research, value the world class St. Louis Zoo, engage in hunting or fishing, enjoy horseback riding or support other animal related activities such as service animals for the handicapped or patient therapies, have or support others having pets or aquariums, please share this information with your family and friends and vote “NO” on Proposition B.

For more information on Proposition B see the special www.Metrovoice.net articles exposing HSUS. You may also visit The Alliance for Truth at www.thealliancefor truth.com and/or Missourians for Animal Care at www.missourifac.com.  But remember, B is Bad – please vote “NO”!

MFN E-alert: Proposition A, 2010 General Election

Proposition A
Vote “YES” to limit your local government from imposing income taxes!

Proposed by a citizens’ Initiative Petition.  Go to http://www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2010petitions/2010-077.asp to read the full text of this proposed Missouri state statutory provision.

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

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets;

require voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax to approve continuation of such tax at the next general

municipal election and at an election held every 5 years thereafter;

require any current earnings tax that is not approved by the voters to be phased out over a period of 10 years; and

prohibit any city from adding a new earnings tax to fund their budget?

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

A “yes” vote will amend Missouri law to repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets.  The amendment further requires voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax, St. Louis and Kansas City, to approve continuation of such tax at the next general municipal election and at an election held every five years or to phase out the tax over a period of ten years.

A “no” vote will not change the current Missouri law regarding earnings taxes.

If passed, this measure will impact taxes by removing the ability of cities to fund their budgets through earnings taxes.  The only exception is that voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax may vote to continue such taxes.

Analysis: A trend in local government tax schemes is to find new sources of taxation.  St. Louis City and Kansas City aggressively tax local payrolls through their municipal income tax.  (The public school lobby has been seeking authority to do the same at the local school district level.)  While this increases revenues for the local governing authorities, it also creates its own negative outcomes.  Meanwhile other local governments covet a local income tax too.

Local income taxes stifle job creation in much the same way as small business over taxation.  To avoid the tax businesses and employers establish their presence down the road outside the local taxing jurisdiction, or in a far away community.  Many established businesses close shop and relocate when these kind of new taxes become too oppressive.  Without effective job creation incentives most communities cannot grow or even hold their own.  When tax policies become too intrusive a community can begin to deteriorate further stressing the revenue base.

Just as businesses must compete to produce goods and services they must also strive to offer competitive jobs in order to maintain the ability to generate those products.  While employees feel the pinch of smaller paychecks due to local income taxes, employers struggling to maintain available jobs are also stressed by such taxes.  In the end, local income taxes are a regressive and harsh tool for raising revenue for any level of government.

An additional concern regarding income taxes is the rate.  As state and federal government income tax rates continue to climb, what can wage earners expect at the local level?  Prudence and experience grant no optimism regarding this concern.

God’s Word speaks against governments that oppress their citizens.  Our forefathers not only fought against such outward tyranny but they memorialized civil disobedience (appropriately applied) as a future defense against internal tyranny also.  Remember that the War of Independence was the result of a great theological struggle as the Tories argued for a Biblical submission to the King (Romans 13:1-7) and the Patriots argued from the motivation of demonstrating love for one’s neighbors whom the King was oppressing (Luke 10:25-29 & Acts 5:29).

Under Proposition A any existing income taxes imposed by a local government must be re-approved at the next municipal election.  If it is so re-approved it must continue to be reauthorized every five years.  If it fails to be supported by the voters within the local taxing jurisdiction, the tax would be phased out over a ten year period to avoid any harsh revenue crisis.  Those local governing authorities not currently enacting an income tax would be prohibited from ever imposing this particular type of taxation.  State and federal income taxes will not be impacted by Proposition A.

In order to promote equity in tax policy, help foster a healthy job market and economy, and to further protect your neighbor from burdensome and regressive taxation – please vote “YES” to limit local government income taxes!