Missouri State Rep. Mike ParsonMike Parson hates voters, that is the only thing we can conclude. Why else would he try year after year to gut Missouri voters’ ballot initiative process?

Philanthropist and retired investment fund manager Rex Sinquefield has formed a new political committee that will push to eliminate St. Louis City’s 1 percent earnings tax. Sinquefield, president of the public policy research organization Show-Me Institute, gave $500,000 this week to start up the new committee, called Let Voters Decide, according to documents filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

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A new state ballot initiative committee wants stricter regulations for commercial dog breeding operations in Missouri. Representatives of several animal protection agencies held a forum that drew about 100 people last night to the Columbia Public Library to gather support for an initiative they call Missourians for the Protection of Dogs.

Read the story from the Columbia Daily Tribune

Citizens for a Smoke-free Nodaway County have given up their attempt to get a workplace smoking ban petition referendum before Maryville voters during the April 6 election. But organizers of the effort to prohibit smoking inside all places of employment inside the city limits, including private clubs, say they will soldier on and have set their sights on the following election date of June 8. Teri Harr, a spokesperson for the smoke-free coalition and the health education coordinator at St.

A plan to seek a statewide referendum on repealing the earnings tax in Kansas City and St. Louis might actually skip Kansas City, organizer Marc Ellinger said Tuesday. Just before Christmas, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan approved the circulation of five initiative petitions which would put the earnings tax in both cities on the statewide ballot in November, assuming sufficient signatures. (For those keeping score, the petitions are numbers 1,3,5,7 and 9).

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MO: Dog breeding initiative possible

Thu, Dec 31 2009 — Source: News-Leader

The ballot initiative that would require dog-breeding facilities to provide dogs with basic necessities such as food, water, protection from extreme temperatures, and room to stand up and turn around is well within reason and long overdue (“Ballot initiative would force better living conditions for dogs in Missouri kennels,” Dec. 20).

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The Christian County Library board voted Friday to send a proposed property tax increase back to voters in April. The ballot measure, which failed by 52 percent in November, would once again ask voters to increase the library’s collected tax levy from 8.7 cents to 25 cents per $100 assess valuation.

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A Missouri group backing ballot initiatives limiting the use of eminent domain claimed yesterday to have recorded evidence that opponents are using the courts to try to delay its petition drive. Missouri Citizens for Property Rights has proposed a pair of constitutional amendments for 2010 that seek to prevent a person’s home, business or other property from being condemned for private development, such as a shopping center.

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Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, a new political action committee, has launched a statewide signature-gathering campaign to get a constitution amendment on the ballot to protect the lives of man’s best friend.

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A Springfield-based grassroots movement to let patients choose their own doctors is gaining steam, but its efforts are not without opposition. At issue, according to organizers of Missourians United for Choice in Healthcare, is the unique relationship between doctors and patients. It’s a relationship that is based on trust, developing over time and steeped in issues of everyday living as well as life and death.

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A bid to put Paul McKee’s NorthSide redevelopment plan on the February ballot has come up short. Thursday was the deadline for signatures on a referendum challenging an agreement signed last month by St.Louis Mayor Francis Slay to give McKee the right to move forward with his $8.1 billion plan, and nearly $400 million in tax-backed financing.

Read the story from Saint Louis Today

Free Speech Writ LargeLast week, as I was writing about some of the ways the peoples’ voice is silenced, the St. Louis, Missouri police were busy silencing Gustavo Rendon by taking away his first amendment right to free speech.

Gustavo Rendon is angry that City Hall is helping developer Paul McKee’s plan to rebuild 2 square miles of north St. Louis, and scared that he will lose his home. He set out Sunday to put leaflets on windshields in his neighborhood, urging his neighbors to fight the project. And then he was arrested. Two police officers handcuffed Rendon in front of his children and put him in jail for about nine hours on suspicion of “affixing an advertisement on public or private property.”

Overview of smoking ban results

Thu, Nov 12 2009 — Source: Kansas City Star

In mid-2003 Kansas City Health Director Rex Archer began promoting a smoking ban for city restaurants. It was a great idea, and it helped lead to a campaign on my part and many others for a regional smoke-free law for all public places. Not everyone agreed, led by restaurant and bar owners, plus others who didn’t want to lose their “right” to blow smoke where they wanted.

Read the story from the Kansas City Star