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Clean Missouri filibuster was ‘good opportunity’ for Dems, Williams says


Last week’s fight in the General Assembly over Clean Missouri was about “uphold[ing] the will of the people” for Democrats, Sen. Brian Williams said. 

Williams, a Democrat who participated in an overnight filibuster last week over a Republican-led effort to make changes to Clean Missouri, appeared on “This Week in Missouri Politics” Sunday to discuss his party’s opposition to the changes. Approved by voters in November 2018, Clean Missouri tackled a myriad of issues in state government, from establishing a new redistricting process to limiting lobbyist gifts to lawmakers and more. 

Last week, Republicans pushed a resolution that would enact greater ethics reforms but largely revert back to how the state has handled redistricting in previous years. Democrats launched a nearly 12-hour filibuster in response, delaying the bill. 

“It was a good opportunity for showing what eight members of the Missouri Democratic Caucus can do,” Williams said. 

Williams said he’s “optimistic” that leadership on both sides of the aisle will be able to come to an agreement over the resolution without resorting to a PQ

2020 gubernatorial race

Sunday’s panel of United for Missouri CEO Carl Bearden, Carpenters Union political director Mark Dalton, Winding Creek Strategies Partner Ryan Hawkins, and state Senate candidate Michelle Sherod discussed the 2020 gubernatorial race between Gov. Mike Parson and Auditor Nicole Galloway. 

Bearden said a recent poll showing Parson with a commanding lead over Galloway — as well as a sizable advantage over a potential primary challenger — wasn’t surprising because the Republican governor “hasn’t made too many mistakes” since he’s been in office. 

But Hawkins, a senior advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg, said the “bar was pretty low” when Parson took over as Missouri’s chief executive. 

“I think that most voters are going to look at this and remember Gov. Parson was on the same ballot as [former] Gov. Greitens. It is going to be one of these races that people are going to say, ‘Hey, what have you done for me lately,’ and they’re going to also remember that this is an accidental governor, and we’re going to find out if he can hold his chops in the general election,” Hawkins said. 

For more on Medicaid expansion and 2020 elections, check out the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” below.