My opinions on the issues facing Missouri voters this November 2nd

Here is my opinion on the upcoming Missouri amendments and propositions.  You probably already know this, but an amendment changes the law of the land, and a propositions changes the legal code which tells government employees how to enforce the law.

Constitutional Amendment 1 (Proposed by legislation)

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the office of county assessor to be an elected position in all counties with a charter form of government, except counties with a population between 600,001-699,999?

YES I support this effort however I believe the exemption is unconstitutional so it probably will be challenged if it passes.

Constitutional Amendment 2 (Proposed by legislation) Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens who are former prisoners of war and have a total service-connected disability be exempt from property taxes?

NO I do not support this measure because it creates a special status situation.  The 4th amendment of the US Constitution explains the responsibility of American government to respect the rights of private property.  When you register and pay your government according to how much property you control, this basic right turns into a government granted prev ledge.  This should read “all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens shall be exempt from property taxes.”

Constitutional Amendment 3Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?
YES I support this because it uses the constitution to prevent government invasion into our lives and how we manage our private property.

Proposition A (Proposed by initiative petition) Earnings Taxes

“Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets;

• require voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax to approve continuation of such tax at the next general municipal election and at an election held every 5 years thereafter;

• require any current earnings tax that is not approved by the voters to be phased out over a period of 10 years; and,

• prohibit any city from adding a new earnings tax to fund their budget?”

YES I support this.  Government should be funded by consumption taxes collected by the merchants benefiting from the security and productivity increases allowed by the existence of government.  A free American should never be required to report his earnings to his government at any level.

Proposition B (Proposed by initiative petition) Dog Kennels & Owners – Agriculture

“Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles;

• prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and

• create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?”

NO I appose this for many reasons.  The most dominant is the fact that we already have good laws regarding this industry.  This law opens the door for government interference in the private business of the people living in Missouri.

October 26, 2010 Subscribe | Unsubscribe

Senator Luann Ridgeway – Serving Clay County
Website | Contact Me | Biography | Newsroom

 

Tuesday, November 2nd General Election Day 

Statewide Ballot Measures

On Tuesday, November 2nd, Missourians across the state will head to the polls to cast their vote in this year’s general election.  You will be voting on candidates for various offices, plus you have the opportunity to vote on several proposals that, if adopted, will change our state laws or Constitution. These ballot measures cover topics ranging from taxes to regulations on agriculture. I want to provide you with a brief outline of these proposals to help you make informed choices on election day.

Constitutional Amendment 1 (Proposed by legislation)

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require the office of county assessor to be an elected position in all counties with a charter form of government, except counties with a population between 600,001-699,999?

It is estimated this proposal will have no costs or savings to state or local governmental entities. (Estimate by State Auditor.) Of the two counties with a charter form of government and an appointed assessor, this proposal affects only St. Louis County (Jackson County is exempted). By 74-26%, St. Louis County voters passed a ballot proposal in August to elect their county assessor, which is also the intent of the proposed constitutional amendment.

Clay County voters currently elect our assessor.  However, there have been proposals to change Clay County to a charter form of government.  Depending on how the charter is drafted, it could remove the power of Clay County residents to elect our assessor. If you are okay with the possibility that our county assessor could be hired by other elected officials (and therefore not elected by the voters), you may choose to vote “no”. On the other hand, if you want to ensure that our county assessor is always elected and therefore directly accountable to the voters, you should vote “yes”.

Constitutional Amendment 2 (Proposed by legislation) Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to require that all real property used as a homestead by Missouri citizens who are former prisoners of war and have a total service-connected disability be exempt from property taxes?

The number of qualified former prisoners of war and the amount of each exemption are unknown, however, because the number who meet the qualifications is expected to be small, the cost to local governmental entities should be minimal. Revenue to the state blind pension fund may be reduced by $1,200. (Estimate by State Auditor.)  Most property taxes go to public schools and the estimated reduction to schools and all local governments is $186,717.

Constitutional Amendment 3Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to prevent the state, counties, and other political subdivisions from imposing any new tax, including a sales tax, on the sale or transfer of homes or any other real estate?

If approved, this proposed constitutional amendment would prohibit a new tax, including a sales tax, upon the sale or transfer of real estate.  Since these transactions are not currently taxed, the adoption of this amendment would have no impact on state or local tax revenues.  Opponents of this measure tend to be those who generally don’t like carving out more items for tax exemption, which further complicates our tax code.  Also, many people would like to see some form of “Fair Tax” imposed in Missouri, which would eliminate the state income tax and replace it with a broad-based sales tax, which may include some form of taxation on the sale of real estate.   If your views fall into either one of these categories, you may choose to vote “No”.  Supporters of this amendment want to ensure that real estate transactions continue to remain tax-free.  A “yes” vote supports this position.

Proposition A (Proposed by initiative petition) Earnings Taxes

“Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• repeal the authority of certain cities to use earnings taxes to fund their budgets;

• require voters in cities that currently have an earnings tax to approve continuation of such tax at the next general municipal election and at an election held every 5 years thereafter;

• require any current earnings tax that is not approved by the voters to be phased out over a period of 10 years; and,

• prohibit any city from adding a new earnings tax to fund their budget?”

The proposal could eliminate certain city earnings taxes. For 2010, Kansas City and the City of St. Louis budgeted earnings tax revenue of $199.2 million and $141.2 million, respectively. Reduced earnings tax deductions could increase state revenues by $4.8 million. The total cost or savings to state and local governmental entities is unknown. (Estimate by State Auditor.) St. Louis and Kansas City collect earnings tax from those who live in or work in these cities. This proposal would allow voters in these cities to decide whether to continue or phase out the earnings tax. Also, this proposal would prohibit any other cities from enacting an earnings tax.

If you support the ability of cities to tax your earnings, then you would vote “no” as this vote will continue to allow earnings taxes. If you want to eliminate the Kansas City Earnings Tax (which equals 1% of your wages) or at least want the chance to vote on whether this tax should be kept or repealed, you should vote “yes”.  Also, if you want to prevent other cities around the state (including Liberty, Smithville, Gladstone, etc.) from ever imposing an earnings tax on your income, you should also vote “yes”.

Proposition B (Proposed by initiative petition) Dog Kennels & Owners – Agriculture

“Shall Missouri law be amended to:

• require large-scale dog breeding operations to provide each dog under their care with sufficient food, clean water, housing and space; necessary veterinary care; regular exercise and adequate rest between breeding cycles;

• prohibit any breeder from having more than 50 breeding dogs for the purpose of selling their puppies as pets; and

• create a misdemeanor crime of “puppy mill cruelty” for any violations?”

It is estimated state governmental entities will incur costs of $654,768 (on-going costs of $521,356 and one-time costs of $133,412). Some local governmental entities may experience costs related to enforcement activities and savings related to reduced animal care activities. (Estimate by State Auditor.) This proposal is backed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which has become a very controversial organization.  It is also backed by local animal rights activists.  Interestingly, I received an e-mail from such an activist, who had this to say about the measure: “Admittedly there are both pros and cons to the intricacies of this particular proposition. It is not written as thoroughly and as perfectly as all animal welfare advocates would hope, and it IS another law in a pile of laws that have not been successfully enforced throughout our state. In addition, if all goes as planned, many mills will close due to not being willing or able to abide by the new regulations which will result in thousands of dogs being displaced and needing homes. Missouri shelters probably WILL see an increase in intake should this pass…. Are we certain that all puppy mills will be “cleaned up” and/or “wiped out” if Prop B passes? No, we’re not.”

According to the Missouri Farm Bureau (which generally supports all Missouri agriculture interests) this ballot proposal would impose “unaffordable and unnecessary regulations on reputable dog breeders. Moreover, breeders who are bad actors that do not comply with existing laws and regulations will not be affected by more regulations.” The Missourians for Animal Care Coalition (www.missourifac.com), including MFB, opposes Prop. B and supports the newly formed Alliance for Truth (www.alliancefortruth.com).

It is generally thought that this measure will pass, even though both proponents and opponents of the measure agree that this will be just another law that won’t be enforced.  Why?  Because the enforcement is mostly at the county or municipal level and, for whatever reason, current laws just aren’t enforced by many county prosecutors.  There are probably as many reasons for this as there are prosecutors (strained budgets require them to concentrate on crimes against persons is one I’ve heard).  Other opponents are concerned that this law is only the beginning of the HSUS agenda that they believe will lead to more laws preventing standard practices for dairy, beef, poultry and pork production.  This issue is very emotional as no one wants to see animals suffer.  However, both supporters and opponents of this measure seem to agree that the outcome won’t do much to stop “bad actors” involved in dog breeding or kenneling.

 

 

Contact Information
Capitol Office
State Capitol Building 

Room 221
Jefferson City, MO  65101

 

Website:
http://www.senate.mo.gov/ridgeway
Phone Number:
(toll-free) 866.875.8348  

573.751.2547

 

 

 

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Resist DC: A Step-by-Step Plan for Freedom

This article contains live links and may be accessed here:
http://www.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2009/11/29/resist-dc-a-step-by-…

29 Nov 2009

by State Rep. Matthew Shea (WA-4th)

This summer, legislators from several states met to discuss the steps needed to
restore our Constitutional Republic. The federal government has ignored the many
state sovereignty resolutions from 2009 notifying it to cease and desist its
current and continued overreach. The group decided it was time to actively
counter the tyranny emanating from Washington D.C.

From those discussions it became clear three things needed to happen.

1. State Legislatures need to pass 10 key pieces of legislation “with teeth” to
put the federal government back in its place.

2. The people must pass the legislation through the Initiative process if any
piece of the legislative agenda fails.

3. County Sheriffs must reaffirm and uphold their oaths to protect and defend
the Constitution of the United States.

With the advent of the Tea Party Movement, many people have been asking how
exactly we can make the above reality. What follows is Part I of the outline of
that plan regarding state legislation, the action steps any concerned citizen
can take to see this legislation to fruition, and the brief history and
justifications behind each.

Step 1: Reclaim State Sovereignty through Key Nullification Legislation
Our Constitutional Republic is founded on a system of checks and balances known
as the “separation of powers.” Rarely, however, are the states considered part
of this essential principle.

Enter the “doctrine of nullification.”

Nullification is based on the simple principle that the federal government
cannot be the final arbiter of the extent and boundaries of its own power. This
includes all branches of the federal government. In the law this is known as a
“conflict of interest.”

Additionally, since the states created the federal government the federal
government was an agent of the states; not the other way around. Thus, Thomas
Jefferson believed that, by extension, the states had a natural right to nullify
(render as of no effect) any laws they believed were unconstitutional.

In the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798 he wrote,

“co-States, recurring to their natural right…will concur in declaring these acts
void, and of no force, and will each take measures of its own for providing that
neither these acts, nor any others of the General Government not plainly and
intentionally authorized by the Constitution, shalt be exercised within their
respective territories.”1

Alexander Hamilton echoed this sentiment in Federalist #85 “We may safely rely
on the disposition of the state legislatures to erect barriers against the
encroachments of the national authority.” 2

It is clear then that State Legislatures can stop the unconstitutional overreach
of the Obama administration through nullification. Here is a list of proposed
nullification legislation to introduce in all 50 States.

1. Nullification of Socialized Health Care [current efforts] [example legislation]

2. Nullification of National Cap and Trade [example legislation]

3. Federal Enumerated Powers Requirement (Blanket Nullification) [details]

4. Establishment of a Federal Tax Escrow Account [example legislation]

If imposed, socialized health care and cap and trade will crush our economy.
These programs are both unconstitutional, creating government powers beyond
those enumerated by the Constitution. If those programs are nullified, it will
give the individual states a fighting chance to detach from a federal budget in
freefall and save the economies of the individual states.

Next, blanket nullification.

The Federal Government, particularly the House of Representatives, needs to
abide by its own rules. In particular, House Rule XIII 3(d) specifically states
that:

“Each report of a committee on a public bill or public joint resolution shall
contain the following: (1) A statement citing the specific powers granted to
Congress in the Constitution to enact the law proposed by the bill or resolution.” 3

Needless to say, this rule is generally ignored. The idea behind blanket
nullification is that if the Congress does not specify the enumerated power it
is using according to its own rules, or the power specified is not one of the
enumerated powers granted to Congress in the United States Constitution, then
the “law” is automatically null and void.

Lastly, the federal government cannot survive without money. I know that seems
obvious but many states are missing the opportunity to use money as an incentive
for the federal government to return to its proper role. Most visibly, states
help collect the federal portion of the gasoline tax. That money should be put
into an escrow account at the state level and held there. The Escrow Account
legislation includes a provision that all consumer, excise, and income taxes
payable to the federal government would go through this account first. This
would do two things. First, it would give states the ability to collect interest
on that money to help offset revenue shortfalls. Second, it would allow states
to hold that money as long as needed as an incentive for the federal government
to return within the enumerated boundaries of its power.

Step 2: Erect an impenetrable wall around the County Sheriff and the 2nd
Amendment.

As recently stated in the famous Heller opinion by the United States Supreme
Court, the right to bear arms “is an individual right protecting against both
public and private violence” and “when the able-bodied men of a nation are
trained in arms and organized they are better able to resist tyranny.” 4

Thus, it is clear that the 2nd Amendment not only protects the right to
self-defense but that right extends to defending oneself against tyranny. As
with any historical attempt to establish a dictatorship weapons must be seized
or severely regulated. 5

Here is a list of legislation to prevent this from happening, some of which has
already been introduced in states around the country:

• Sheriff First [model legislation]
• Extension of the Castle Doctrine (right to protection) [sample legislation]
• Prohibition of Gun and Ammunition Tracking [see above]
• Firearms Freedom Act [current efforts] [model legislation]

The county Sheriff is the senior law enforcement officer both in terms of rank
and legal authority in a county. This comes from a tradition of over 1000 years
of Anglo-Saxon common law. Anglo-Saxon communities were typically organized into
“shires” consisting of approximately 1000 people. 6

The chief law enforcement officer of the shire was the “reeve” or “reef.” Hence,
the modern combination of the two words, as we know them today, “shire reef” or
“Sheriff.” 7

Consequently, the Sheriff’s pre-eminent legal authority is well established.
This was confirmed in Printz v. United States. 7 Justice Scalia quotes James
Madison who wrote in Federalist 39:

“In the latter, the local or municipal authorities form distinct and independent
portions of the supremacy, no more subject, within their respective spheres, to
the general authority, than the general authority is subject to them, within its
own sphere.”9

Sheriff 1st legislation would formally declare that all federal agents and
officers must give notice of, and seek permission before, any arrest, search, or
seizure occurs. Thus, federal agents and officers seeking to enforce
unconstitutional laws must go through the county Sheriff first.

Extending the castle doctrine to one’s person would go a long way toward
eliminating the arbitrary “no carry” areas. Like Virginia Tech, it is these
areas where guns for self-defense are most needed.

Many gun and ammunition tracking schemes have been, and are still being,
attempted. The intended purpose of “reducing gun related” crime is never
realized. Instead, law-abiding citizens are punished with regulatory burdens and
fees. Quite simply we need transparency in government not in the people.
Montana started the firearms freedom act to rein in the federal government’s use
of the Commerce Clause to regulate everything within the stream of commerce. The
original intent of the Commerce Clause was to regulate commerce between states
not within states as Professor Rob Natelson points out in his 2007 Montana Law
Review article.10

The Montana FFA simply returns to that original understanding regarding firearms
made, sold, and kept within a state’s borders.

This list is by no means exhaustive. However, it does contain some immediate
steps that can be taken toward freedom and restoring our God honoring
Constitutional Republic. Hitler’s laws of January 30 and February 14, 1934,
should serve as a stark reminder of what happens when state sovereignty is
abolished.

In the coming few weeks I will publish the next part of the plan.

Matthew Shea [send him email] is a State Representative in Washington’s 4th
District. He’s the author of HJM4009 for State Sovereignty. Visit his website.
Copyright © 2009 by TenthAmendmentCenter.com. Permission to reprint in whole or
in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

NOTES:
• 1. Kentucky Resolution of 1798, Thomas Jefferson, Adopted by Kentucky
Legislature on November 10, 1798.
• 2. Federalist No. 85, Publius (Alexander Hamilton), August 13 and 16, 1788.
• 3. Rules of the House XIII 3(d), “Content of Reports,” Page 623, 110th Congress.
• 4. District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. ___ (Actual Pages 11, 13) (2008)
• 5. Id at (Actual Page 11).
• 6.
http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/history/ancient/1859-teutob…

• 7. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=sheriff&searchmode=none
• 8. Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898 (1997)
• 9. Federalist No. 39, Publius (James Madison), January 16, 1788
• 10. Tempering the Commerce Power, 68 Mont. L. Rev. 95 (2007).

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