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Deceptive or fair? TWMP hosts Amendment 3 debate


With Election Day upon us, one of the most divisive topics in Missouri politics is Amendment 3

Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst and state Rep. Tracy McCreery appeared on Sunday’s episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” to debate the controversial ballot measure that would upend 2018’s Clean Missouri amendment. 

The amendment seeks to alter Clean Missouri by prohibiting lobbyist gifts to lawmakers and reducing caps on state Senate race contributions by $100. The measure would also replace the nonpartisan state demographer position, created by voter-approved Clean Missouri, with a pair of bipartisan commissions tasked with redrawing the state’s legislative districts. 

Hurst said the amendment would revert the process to the way it was previously done. 

“What Amendment 3 will do is restore the way we’ve done redistricting for many years in Missouri,” Hurst said. “We’ve had supermajorities of Democrats in the state legislature, we’ve had supermajorities of Republicans, and it’s a pretty good system. When you look at Missouri compared to other states across the nation, we’re in the middle of the measure political scientists use — it’s served us well, and we’d like to see it restored.”

“In 2018, Missouri voters of all political stripes overwhelmingly supported Clean Missouri,” McCreery said. “What Amendment 3 is going to do if it would pass is undo all of the things that Missourians share as Missouri values. Missouri values support fairness, competitiveness, and transparency, and that’s what Clean Missouri did.”

Hurst said the measure would create fair districts and preserve communities. 

“It keeps their communities together,” he said. “It pays attention to city limits, to county borders, it doesn’t stretch districts to the breaking point. It lets you vote with your neighbors and be represented by your neighbor, and that’s a Missouri value I think is worth keeping.”

McCreery argued the language was designed to distract voters and trick them into voting yes. Specifically, she said the first two provisions — reducing the cap on lobbyist gifts and contributions to state Senate races — were a distraction from the redistricting portion of the amendment.

“Amendment 3 is very deceptive,” McCreery said. “It’s over 5,000 words, and there are these little things that are attempting to trick voters at the very beginning.” 

Election Day predictions 

David Barklage of the Barklage Company, Jeff Rainford of Rainford and Associates, and state Reps. LaKeySha Bosley and Mary Elizabeth Coleman joined this week’s panel to discuss the general election, starting with the presidential race. 

“No one who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 in Jefferson County isn’t thrilled to turn out for him in 2020,” Coleman said. “I think the president outperforms what the polls say — you see multiple paths to victory. He just has to win two of those five swing states, and we’re gonna see him back.”

The discussion also covered Missouri elections, including House and Senate races and the contest for Missouri governor.

“I think Nicole [Galloway] can pull it off with this last push,” said Bosley. “If we get more turnout in Kansas City and St. Louis and have that message of unity that she’s been advocating for across the state, I think that she’ll be able to pull it off.”

Watch the full episode of “This Week in Missouri Politics” below.