Voters have big decisions to make when they cast their ballot on November 3rd. We hear the same thing every two or four years – that this year’s election is the most important one of our lives. A lot of people shrug it off as the same old election-year rhetoric and stay home or don’t take it seriously. I’m here to tell you folks, it’s true this year, for a lot of reasons.
One of those reasons is who represents you in Jefferson City. A few years ago, some well-funded national groups ran Amendment 1 on the ballot. It was marketed as ethics reform and dressed up with a lot of popular ideas that people across the political spectrum support like limits on lobbyist gifts and campaign contribution limits. But, the amendment’s real purpose was a cynical power grab to change the way Missouri draws legislative districts. Prior to Amendment 1, the redistricting process was in the hands of bipartisan commissions made up of private citizens. Amendment 1 turned all this on its head by putting near-total control in the hands of an unelected demographer picked by the only statewide elected Democrat. Instead of a bipartisan, transparent process with a cross-section of Missourians drawing the lines, Amendment 1 consolidated power in the hands of a few who will do their partisan masters’ bidding. What bidding, you might ask? To draw districts that satisfy an arbitrary 50/50 Republican/Democrat threshold. To do that, the demographer will draw long, skinny districts going from urban centers far out into rural Missouri. The goal is obvious, to silence rural voters and put the power in the hands of the cities.
Missourians have a choice, though. They can fight back against this partisan power grab and protect their communities and their representation in the State Capitol. Amendment 3 will make the process bipartisan again with geography as the most important factor in drawing districts, not gerrymandered districts where cities drown out rural votes. Amendment 3 also has true ethics reform by doing away with lobbyist gifts for good and goes even further in limiting campaign contributions.
If you need evidence of what is at stake, just look at who’s funding and pushing the campaign against Amendment 3. Groups like pro-abortion Planned Parenthood and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a group started by former Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, are trying to defeat Amendment 3. They want their party to control Missouri politics and they know the only way they can do that is to rewrite the rules in their favor.
We can’t let that happen. A vote for Amendment 3 is a vote against a Washington-style takeover of our redistricting process here. If you care about fairness and your community; if you care about pushing back against the Washington, D.C. elitists; and if you care about the future of our state – vote YES on Amendment 3.
Rick Brattin is a Republican running for Missouri’s 31st Senate District.