Beware of Amendment 3. It sounds good on the surface, but it is an attempt to deceive the voters of Missouri.
Two years ago, with support from both Republicans and Democrats, an overwhelming majority of voters in Missouri approved Amendment 1, called Clean Missouri. This amendment limited lobbyist gifts and campaign contributions and crafted a procedure to draw up legislative maps for fair elections to make sure that one party could not have an advantage over the other party.
This amendment also included information available to the public on how these lines were drawn up, thereby ensuring transparency and preventing politicians from controlling the process to their advantage.
Under Amendment 3, all that has been changed. Amendment 3 presents itself as ethics reform. However, it only reduces gifts to lobbyists from the current $5 to zero and campaign contributions limits from $2,500 to $2,400. This is a way to deceive voters into approving the amendment while taking way the process for drawing up fair voting districts. To make matters worse, Amendment 3 contains language that would take away citizens’ rights to challenge unfair voting districts in court and will cause affected local governments a significant decrease in revenue.
Don’t be fooled. Vote “No” on Amendment 3.
Marion Mace Dickerson is a Columbia resident.