Voter Thoughts On Missouri 08/05/14 Ballot Questions

From Missouri Voter Jason:

Here are my thoughts about the proposed constitutional amendments.

#1. “Right to Farm.”  The language is so broad that it is, to me, meaningless.  There are statutes on the books (Section 537.295 of the Missouri Revised Statutes) that address the issue of “nuisance suits” that seem to be the core argument in favor of the amendment.  I’m leaning against the amendment, but am open to argument in favor.

#5 “Unalienable Right to Keep and Bear Arms.”  While I think the language of this amendment has been poorly drafted, it aims to solidify the right to keep and bear arms and removes an impediment to concealed carry. I favor the amendment.

#7 “Increase Sales and Use Tax for Transportation.” I am opposed to this tax increase.  I’m taxed enough already.  More philosophically, I question whether sales tax should be used for transportation expenditures.  I generally prefer charging service users, and a fuel or tire or other ratable tax more directly associates the funding source with the expenditure purpose. (The advent of hybrid and electric vehicles, however, foils the purpose of the gasoline tax in making road users pay for roads; so, another (fair) way of apportioning the cost of roads to users needs to be developed.)  If more money is needed for roads (and I must be persuaded of the need), then a roads-related tax needs to be proposed.  I am opposed to using road-related funds for mass transit projects, aviation, ports, and the other transporation systems that would be funded by the proposed sales and use tax amendment. Again, philosophically, I would generate funding for these type projects from the users of those modes of transporation.

#8. “Veterans Lottery Ticket.”  I am opposed to the state operating a lottery, so the specification of a particular kind of lottery ticket to fund the state veterans homes, etc., is not something I support.  I believe these expenditures should be covered by everyone in the state (which means sales and/or income tax sources), not just those who gamble.

#9. “Security of Electronic Communications and Data.”  I support the amendment to include “electronic communications and data” in the list of protections against unreasonable search or seizure.  This amendment, incidentally, is consistent with the recent US Supreme Court ruling (Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie) that held a warrant was required before a cell phone could be searched by the authorities.  This ruling essentially extends Fourth Amendment (US Constitution) protections to at least some forms of electronic communications and data.  Amending the Missouri constitution to explicitly include electronic communications and data brings the state constitution into the modern world where we have not only papers and effects that are safe from warrantless search, but electronic information as well.



4 responses to “Voter Thoughts On Missouri 08/05/14 Ballot Questions”

  1. If you travel I-70 from eastern Illinois, through Missouri, and across Kansas, our section of this interstate is in as good, if not better, shape than either of the 2 other states. If we re-build I-70, expand to 6 lanes, new interchanges, new bridges, etc. we’ll spend billions of dollars so traffic can zip right across the state.
    Three years ago, then director of MoDOT, Kevin Keith made converting I-70 to a toll road a “top priority.” Now MoDOT has made sidewalks, greenways, corporate jet hangers, bus stops, bicycle paths, streetcars, and other un-necessary projects their new priorities. All the funding would come from the largest tax increase in the history of Missouri.
    The stated mission of the Missouri Department of Transportation is “to provide a world-class transportation experience that delights our customers and promotes a prosperous Missouri”. A mission that lofty and noble could never be satisfied or run out of ways to spend money. One can’t fault MoDOT for spending as much money as they can get their hands on in pursuit of its grand mission. That’s MoDOT’s role. Someone else has to take the responsibility for restraining MoDOT’s thirst for funding, and it shouldn’t be parties who feed at the MoDOT trough such as construction companies, labor unions, transportation engineering firms, etc. MoDOT should be restrained by the voters on August 5th.
    The obvious vote on Amendment 7 is NO.

  2. Frieda Keough Avatar
    Frieda Keough

    I listened to Jim Lembke talk about these amendments and here is his take:
    #1 Farm Bill – yes Despite what lots of people say a no vote would strengthen the case for HSUS
    #5 Keep & Bear Arms, yes
    #7 No and No – the legislature appropriates $600 Million in corporate givaways/stop those first
    #9 Right to Privacy – yes
    I trust Jim

  3. Nice ideas, i agree with most of them. My votes will be:

    #1. No, like you said, it is a waste of time and will be challenged successfully eventually costing Missouri millions in legal fees. Any moron knows you can’t indemnify one profession in the constitution. Where is my right to sell cars? Deliver mail? Drive a truck? This is just plain dumb, and like you said nuisance lawsuit laws are already on the books. This wreaks of corporate people in the background with ulterior motives, not protecting farming.

    #5. Yes, I don’t think this needs explanation.

    #7. Hell no. Our sales taxes are already high, and why should people who consume more be charged more than those that consume less or just drive through our state. It makes no sense. On a side note as a conservative who owns an EV because I got sick of oil price fixing/speculators and sending money to terrorist nations (yes, there are very conservative reasons to own an EV), we do pay an EV tax of $75/yr. Per mileage, I pay more in road use taxes for my EV than i do with my gas vehicles. I think this reality is lost on a lot of people who have never owned one. You would just need to adjust the EV/alternative fuel tax accordingly with the gas tax. Completely fair? No. Better than a sales tax hike? Much

    #8. Yes. As long as this is revenue neutral, i don’t see a problem with it. Gamblers would choose to take part, no one is forcing them. I don’t see a compelling argument to be made against it, the veterans need all the help they can get.

    #9. Yes. We need all of the protection for government overreach that we can get.

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