COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A group that supported a successful ballot measure in 2018 is back to oppose one this year.
A new ad from Clean Missouri takes aim at Amendment 3. The amendment would ban some lobbyist gifts, lower campaign contribution limits and change the process Missouri will use to redraw state and federal legislative districts next decade.
It was these very things Clean Missouri pushed for in 2018 with a ballot measure called Amendment 1. That measure put a $5 limit on lobbyist gifts, set individual campaign contribution limits for Missouri State Senate races at $2,500 and created the position of nonpartisan state demographer. That demographer is charged with drawing legislative districts. Those maps are reviewed and approved by committees appointed by the two major political parties.
Amendment 3 would make some slight changes to the first two points. It would ban entirely gifts from paid lobbyists and lower Senate contribution limits by $100. However, it would eliminate the state demographer position, and give the power of drawing district maps to those two committees.
Ad: "Amendment 3, 5,000 words of smoke and mirrors put on the ballot by politicians."
Republicans in the Missouri General Assembly have criticized Amendment 1, saying the changes made to the redistricting process may break up some voting districts. The legislature voted to put the changes on the ballot this year, with some Republicans breaking with the party to oppose it.
Clean Missouri said the minor changes made to the lobbyist gifts and campaign contributions are meant to distract voters from the big change - the redistricting process.
An ABC 17 News count of the resolution came out to 5,549 words.
Ad: "The truth – Amendment 3 has lobbyist gift loopholes,..."
Clean Missouri points to the elimination of only paid lobbyist gifts. If passed, unpaid lobbyists and even some relatives of lawmakers could still give lawmakers gifts. Missouri judges ordered Amendment 3's language be clarified on this point after Clean Missouri objected to it.
Ad: "...and lets insiders draw legislative districts that protect their favorite politicians."
The two committees Amendment 3 would give power to draw the legislative maps are picked by the two major parties and approved by the governor. The measure would expand those two groups from 16 people to 20 people.
It's not known that any map the committees draw would "protect" any politician, but it's a fear many opponents to Amendment 3 have. A group of bipartisan lawmakers, including former U.S. Sens. Jack Danforth and Claire McCaskill, wrote a brief to the court this year that getting rid of the state demographer "weakens a check on the legislative tendency toward protecting incumbents."