To help you learn more about the issues that will appear on the November 6th ballot, I will endeavor to summarize each issue and, where applicable, give you my thoughts on them.
One constitutional amendment, Amendment 3, will be on the ballot. This measure will help ensure more public accountability over judicial selection at the appellate level by making the following changes to the Missouri Plan:
- adding an additional gubernatorial appointee to the Appellate Judicial Commission, bringing the total number to four members of the seven member commission
- removing the sitting judge from the commission and replacing them with a retired judge, ensuring that judges will not be able to pick their co-workers
- requiring the commission to present the governor with one more nominee for each judicial vacancy, bringing the total to four
- re-staggering commission appointments to allow the Governor to appoint two members during the first year of their term and two during the third year
The amendment only deals with judicial selection for the Supreme Court and appellate courts - local and circuit level judicial selection will not be impacted.
Unfortunately, Secretary of State Carnahan chose to put her political agenda ahead of the responsibilities of her position when writing the ballot summary and produced clearly biased, misleading ballot language for Amendment 3, completely misrepresenting the purpose of the amendment.
There are also three propositions on the ballot - Proposition A, Proposition B, and Proposition E.
Proposition A is a measure to allow the City of St. Louis to control the city's police force. Currently, the St. Louis Police force is managed by the St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners. The Board consists of four members appointed by the Governor and the Mayor of St. Louis. Proposition A would eliminate the St. Louis City Board of Police Commissioners and set up a municipal board responsible for managing the police force.
Proposition B would raise the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products - the amount would be 3.65 cents and 25 percent of the invoice price on cigarettes and 15 percent on other tobacco products, a drastic increase over current prices.
This proposition is nothing more than an interest-group backed effort to use taxation to dictate personal behavior, and I do not support it. Government should not use such tactics to interfere in personal choices. I do not smoke, but that is my individual choice so I will not use taxes to impose my beliefs on others or penalize them for making a different choice.
Proposition E is a legislature-passed measure (originally SB464), that I fully endorsed and supported, which will prohibit the Governor or a state agency from setting up a health insurance exchange unless authorized by the people or the legislature. Health insurance exchanges are a key part of Obamacare, and preventing one from being created without the permission of the public will be yet another way to protect our state from this massive expansion of federal government power.
If you would like to view what your local ballot will look like or find your polling place, you can do so using the following directions. First, visit the Secretary of State's "Find a Polling Place" page and put in your address information. Once your address is entered, just click "Lookup" and you will be brought to a page with information on your polling location. On this page, you can click a link labeled "View Sample Ballot" and you can see a sample copy of the ballot you will get on Election Day.
I hope that this information will be helpful as you head to the polls on Tuesday, November 6th. If you have any further questions or would like any additional information as to any of these matters or any other issues as we head to one of the most important elections in our nation's history, truly "A Time of Choosing", please do not hesitate to contact me.