By Mitchell Rice
This week, I saw an ad in my Facebook newsfeed from an organization called “Missouri Rural Crisis Center” asking for my opinion on the state’s minimum wage laws.
I had heard of the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) before. They are active in my part of the state, telling farmers how they should operate their business and pushing for a return to one cow, one sow and one plow types of operations. They’re mostly progressive activists partnering with people with a farming background that didn’t make it through the tough times of the 1980’s. Their policies are mostly driven by the bitterness of the progressive left.
The ad was paid for by the Missouri Organizing and Voter Engagement Collaborative, or “MOVE.” This organization is housed on Paseo in Kansas City. According to their website, the organization “… exists to empower ordinary people to reclaim democracy in the state of Missouri. MOVE’s role is behind-the-scenes, supporting existing grassroots movement organizations in developing and executing strategic integrated voter engagement plans.”
The Missouri Rural Crisis Center’s connection to progressive groups is not surprising. They’re often pushing for Medicaid Expansion through Obamacare and have many ties to groups like the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) and the ACLU. To say that MRCC does not represent our rural values would be an understatement.
Is it any wonder, then, when Missouri Rural Crisis Center comes knocking on the door of our rural legislators or our county commissions throughout rural Missouri, they are met with opposition? This organization does not promote the values and conservative principles that we hold so dear in places like Chariton County.
However, the Rural Crisis Center has access to big money grants coming from folks like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, the socialists that own Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and even the Missouri Foundation for Health and the Greater Kanas City Community Foundation. Several of the largest grants they receive are from organizations receiving millions of dollars from George Soros. These are not organizations or people popular here in rural Missouri.
Earlier this year, the Missouri Ethics Commission investigated the Missouri Rural Crisis Center. Rep. Jay Houghton alleged the organization was perhaps trying to circumvent the disclosure of their lobbying activities for tax purposes. Brian Smith with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center then finally registered to lobby after years of performing that type of work for MRCC. Often, progressives think they are above the law.
For this reason, I am starting a letter writing campaign, and I hope you will join me, too. I am going to write to any one that I know is supporting the Missouri Rural Crisis Center and ask them to defund MRCC. They do not represent our rural Missouri values and only exist to threaten them. Perhaps these organizations will listen to my plea or maybe they will ignore me. However, as a farmer – it is too important for me to not try to stop and organization that threatens my way of life.
Mitchell Rice is a row crop and cattle farmer in Chariton and Randolph County.