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Blue Notes, end of January

well, at least the government is open again

Republican Representatives Begin to Reverse Vote of the People

(via Rep. Judy Morgan)

As you may recall, last November voters in our state approved an ethics reform initiative, referred to as Clean Missouri, by a whopping 62 percent margin.  One of the provisions in Clean Missouri  mandated that the Sunshine Law apply to MO legislators which means that our legislative records would be transparent and open to public scrutiny.   (The Sunshine Law does allow records to be withheld under certain specific circumstances - for example, constituent privacy is protected.)
 
Since Clean Missouri is a constitutional amendment,  it's  set in stone unless the people vote to change it.  Of course, that didn't stop the Missouri House from voting to overturn the will of the people.   Regrettably,  the legislature has ignored a vote of the people before on issues like conceal and carry and  regulations on puppy mills.
 
Rule 127 of the House Rules governing our proceedings states that the correspondence of MO Reps. with constituents, either written or electronic, and any records dealing with caucus strategy may be kept confidential.  And individual Reps. get to determine what's confidential.   Well, that pretty much guts what the citizens wanted in regard to  transparent and open records of legislators.
 
Like Tony Messenger of the St. Louis Post Dispatch said in an editorial (1/20/19): ". . .the Missouri House, controlled by a veto-proof Republican majority, voted to establish a new rule that would allow elected representatives to keep their records shielded from prying eyes. In effect, House Republicans raised their collective middle fingers and pointed them at voters. 'You want us to Show You our work?. . .No thank you.'"  
 

In his editorial,  Messenger quoted a  tweet  from lawyer Mark Pedroll: "Missouri elected representatives are not high priests entitled to privileged communications with constituents. . .They don't want you to see their emails/texts with their donors, maybe even dark money donors demanding favors."  FYI -  Pedroll is the guy involved in the ongoing lawsuit against former Gov. Greitens over his  use of Confide, the app. that lets you destroy text messages.

 

 

House Refuses to Extend Discrimination Protections Again

For many years, a growing number of Missouri lawmakers have noted that the state lacks adequate protection for members of the LGBT community.  In fact, Missouri remains one of the few states where you can be fired from your job strictly for your sexual orientation.

While the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act (known as MONA) has been filed and failed to pass for 21 consecutive years, even less expansive measures that would extend protections fail to gain support from Republicans in the legislature. Representative Greg Razer of Kansas City wrote an op ed for the KC Star discussing the issue which can be read here.  In 2019, there is no reason why Missouri has to be uniquely wrong on an issue like protecting our own citizens.

 

Fundraising for Staff: Keep Jackson County Democrats Strong

More than ten years ago, the Democratic Committee made a bold decision to hire a full-time Executive Director, setting Jackson County apart from other counties and allowing for year-round development and more long-term goal setting.  Funding the Executive Director position comes through many small donations from engaged voters across the region. The county committee invested heavily in our candidates in 2018 so our funds are very low.  To keep our county party working, we need to keep our staff funded.  Please donate now to keep us as the leading county committee in Missouri.

2019 Truman Gala is Scheduled

Save the date for the 32nd annual Truman Gala: June 1, 2019 at Arrowhead Stadium. A line-up of speakers including a nationally prominent name will be announced closer to the event. Tickets will go in sale in March.

Upcoming Club Meetings and Events:

  • Heartland Alliance for Progress: Mayoral candidate forum, "Leveling the Playing Field in Kansas City." Monday January 28th 5:15pm at Californos (4124 Pennsylvania KCMO).
  • JCDC Quarterly Meeting: Regular business meeting. January 31, Jackson County Courthouse, 308 W. Kansas Ave. Independence. 7pm.
  • Moms Demand Action Advocacy Day: February 19, 10am at 422 Monroe St. Jefferson City, MO.  Their biggest advocacy event of the year and the best chance to fight two expansive "guns everywhere" bills that have been introduced this year. Keep up with more information on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MomsDemandActionMO/