Defending traditional families

Posts tagged 2010 election

MFN Election Results Overview & What It Means

Tonight, Tuesday, November 2, 2010 – and well into the wee hours of Wednesday morning – candidates all across Missouri are biting nails as they watch some very dramatic election results.

First and foremost – THANK YOU TO ALL THE TEA PARTY PARTICIPANTS AND LIKE MINDED PATRIOTIC CITIZENS who have made this a “WOW” election!

Starting with the passage of Proposition C in the August Primary, liberals have been running scared and you are to be commended for staying in the race!

The overwhelming election of Roy Blunt to the U.S. Senate is a major victory over the socialists who want to dismantle America as we know it.

The loss of a sitting statewide official, democrat Susan Montee, to republican Tom Schweich, demonstrates how average citizens can overturn established incumbency.

The win of my friend Vicky Hartzler over lifelong powerful and deep seated politician Ike Skelton in the 4th U.S. Congressional District proves what conservatives CAN DO when we work together!

The narrow defeat of Ed Martin in his challenge to liberal pro-abortion Congressman Russ Carnahan reminds us that the defense of values comes at a high cost and that possible corruption still exist.

The wide passages of 4 conservative statewide ballot questions, and the retention of Zel Fischer with a 2/3 majority vote, showcases Missouri as the best place to live in America.

The very narrow passage of the deceptive Proposition B (which was supposed to pass with over 70%) proves that most Missourians still trust each other more than political bullies.  If opponents could have raised enough money for just one statewide counter TV add, Prop B would have been rightfully defeated.  But today, every dog breeder in Missouri have become criminals because the requirements in this new law are absolutely impossible to maintain!  The question now goes to the Legislature as to who they trust in repairing the damage?

The “reelections” of every known true conservative lawmaker throughout Missouri reminds the Nation that Missouri still has her traditional values – and they are strong and healthy!

NOW:  With term limits and other retirements, approximately one third (1/3) of the Missouri General Assembly has been turned over to freshmen legislators.

Your Missouri Senate profile has changed with three more traditional democrat seats going into republican hands.

There are, as of this morning, 26 republican state senators and only 8 democrats filling out the 34 member State Senate.

The magic number in the senate – known as the rule of 18 – means any 18 Senators voting together creates a constitutional majority in the Senate.  (Republicans have 26.)

(It takes 23 senators to override a Gubernatorial veto with a 2/3’s vote, and the republicans still have 26.)

Along with these changes is the fact that there are three of the remaining democrats who are pro-life and one of the new republican seats is now pro-life.

(Two of the democrats who lost to republicans were also pro-life votes.) This adds up to a 29-5 pro-life majority in the Missouri Senate!

The profile of your Missouri House of Representatives has changed similarly with republicans picking up 17 former democrat seats.

Of these 17 democrat losses, 10 were sitting democrats running for reelection while only 7 were ‘open’ seats!  This is amazing!

As of this morning there are now 106 republican representatives and 57 democrats filling out the 163 member House of Representatives.

The magic number in the House – known as the rule of 82 – means 82 Representatives voting together creates a constitutional majority in the House.  (Republicans have 106.)

(It takes 109 representatives to override a Gubernatorial veto and the republicans are short by 3.)

Five of the ten ousted House democrats were pro-abortion and are now pro-life seats.  Thus the addition of the remaining 20+ pro-life democrats along with the 106 republicans (all pro-life to our knowledge at this time) means the House has an approximately 126-130 pro-life majority, making Missouri a rock solid pro-life veto proof Legislature! )

What this means is:  Senate leadership will have to face the reality that the democrat party is now FORCED to engage every tactic possible to advance their agendas and/or stop conservative issues.

The filibuster is the ultimate tool in the Senate.  Senate tradition discourages the use of parliamentary procedures that can be used to break these filibusters.  Senate leadership in 2011-12 MUST understand the need to break filibusters on major policy fronts!  They cannot allow themselves to be shamed by emotionalism or intimidated by the misuse of filibusters!

What all this also means is that the republican party is still 3 members short of being able to TOTALLY dominate Missouri.  They must still work with the Governor and minority members of the House and Senate to find common ground.  This is what helps keep humility in the mixture of the ingredients we call politics and the development of public policy.  (Absolute power corrupts absolutely.)  As frustrating as it is to be shy of total control by only three seats, this just may turn out to be a blessing as political powers can be easily abused.  However, the fact that both the House and Senate has increased their pro-life majorities is an answer to prayer!

While there is so much more information to share & analyze, commentary could go on for far too long.  Allow me to stop at this point and ask that you finish reading the following items for now.

Please join Missouri Family Network in praying for each and every member of your State Legislature, their families, staff members, support staff, lobbyists, and the families of all of them. There are thousands of people that make your state capitol operate – and the single most common and universal prayer request heard in the halls and offices of our capitol building is related to the stresses of being separated from homes and families during the long hours and days in which they are dedicated to serving YOU.

As responsible Christian citizens; remain in prayer using whatever prayer reminders works best for you and your fellowship, communicate regularly with your lawmakers about what concerns you but do so in a respectful manner, and PLEASE discipline yourself to communicate your thanks when they do the right thing!

Missouri Family Network will be co-hosting our annual Legislative Academy the day before our new Legislature goes into session the first week in January.  Several experienced pro-family groups will be providing a full day of training that is not available anywhere else or at any other time in Missouri.  Watch for more details to come.

You are also encouraged to join with the many lawmakers who will participate in a special prayer and commissioning service the morning of the first day of session, that first week in January.  Watch for more information in the days ahead.

Most of all – thank you for all your labors and for voting (at every election).  But do not abandon your lawmakers to the capitol culture without regular communications, visits and prayers!

May the Lord lead Missouri through His wisdom and not leave us to our own devises.

Printable Election Guide

Please see this printable voter guide with recommendations from Missouri Family Network to help you in the booth this Tuesday. Please note you will need Adobe Reader to open this file.

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.

2010 General Election

Please see this PDF for information on the 2010 General Election Statewide Ballot Measures.

You will need Adobe Reader to open this file.

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!

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!