This is the last in a series of stories examining key issues addressed by the candidates for governor. Material for these stories comes from comments during the candidates’ only debate and follow-up interviews with Missourian reporters.
Today’s topic: Amendment 3
The key disagreements among the candidates center on lawmakers’ efforts to overturn ballot initiatives.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson believes Missouri voters did not fully understand Clean Missouri when they approved it overwhelmingly in 2018.
“I don’t know what everybody understood or didn’t understand,” Parson said.
Clean Missouri had multiple components, but at its heart it imposed a new process for redistricting, which sought to minimize partisan gerrymandering. Amendment 3 would undo that.
Parson said Clean Missouri had too much in it, and he questioned whether voters approved of some parts of the initiative — such as lobbying limits — but not others, like the redistricting changes.
“To go back to voters and ask them, to say, ‘Hey is this really what you want?’ I don’t think is bad,” Parson said.
“People are going to get to vote on it and see, and we’re going to live with whatever they vote with.”
Rik Combs, the Libertarian candidate, said he is undecided on Amendment 3, but he leans toward supporting it.
Like Parson, Combs doesn’t believe voters fully understood what they were voting for when they approved Clean Missouri.
“You have Clean Missouri, which I thought was wrong to begin with because it merged a whole bunch of issues together in one ballot initiative, and I didn’t think that was right to do to the voters.”
Despite his displeasure with Clean Missouri, Combs admits he is somewhat reluctant to overturn the will of the people, saying he could be compelled to vote no.
Democratic challenger Nicole Galloway supports Clean Missouri and does not agree with Amendment 3.
“In November of 2018, over 60% of voters said they wanted a fair, transparent government,” she said. “and they wanted to get rid of gerrymandering. I support the voters in their decision to support Clean Missouri.”
Galloway cited a December 2018 article in which Parson wanted to implement a “repeal-and-replace effort” in regard to Clean Missouri.
She said Parson was essentially telling voters they got it wrong and didn’t know what they were doing.
Galloway said Parson doesn’t trust the voters. “He doesn’t respect their voice,” she said. “I do.”
Bauers also is against Amendment 3.
“Let’s implement Clean Missouri, and then, if there are issues with it, there could be other valid initiatives with a lot of discussion, and we can tweak it to make it work,” he said.
Adam Jackson wrote this story with contributions from Jose Luis Adriano, Ian Laird, Hannah Norton and Wicker Perlis.