Jefferson City Report -- Republicans Determined to Weaken Democracy
You probably know that the state legislature has been on break due to the COVID-19 crisis but what nobody was sure of was if they would come back before the scheduled closing in May or what would be debated. For weeks, the best guess was that a few days would be dedicated to finalizing the budget and adjourning. Once Republican leadership had some time at home to think about it, they decided to not waste an opportunity to pass the most radical part of their anti-voter agenda: repealing the will of the people and reversing the Clean Missouri act from 2018 so they can better gerrymander House and Senate districts. The budget could be potentially pushed off later on the calendar in a special session.
To make matters worse, unelected and generally do-nothing Governor Mike Parson has kept his interaction with the media to a minimum during this crisis but took some special time to tell the state he is not interested in making sure citizens get a safe and fair chance to vote in August or November:
Jason Hancock (KC Star): My question for Parson at today's briefing was if he believes the pandemic or abiding by a stay-at-home order is a valid excuse for Missourians to request and cast an absentee ballot?
Parson: I do not. The absentee ballot is more of a political issue than is anything. This is a Democrat-Republican issue and that's where this is all headed is to a political answer and what's driving behind this force.
This bizarre and concerning answer gained a lot of national attention as millions of potential voters worry about their own safety if they exercise their right to vote. Missouri has passed or strengthened some of the most restrictive voting laws in the nation. The issue here is with no-fault absentee voting or allowing citizens to receive a mail in ballot. MANY other states, both red and blue, already allow this but Missouri Republicans are doubling down on their voter suppression strategy, be it forcing you to risk your health or to reverse your previous vote from 2018.
Meanwhile, Galloway Questions Why Missouri Spent a Fortune on Recalled Chinese Safety Masks
State Auditor Nicole Galloway has raised questions regarding the state’s procurement of nearly 50,000 masks from Chinese factories that Missouri recalled earlier this week.
The 48,000 KN95 masks, given to first responders to aid with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on April 2 and April 8, failed to meet “standards” when tested by the state’s health department, Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Sandy Karsten first announced Monday. The equipment came from three factories in China, Karsten said.
Galloway, a Democrat, sent a letter to DPS Wednesday seeking additional information about the masks as part of her office’s fiscal review of Missouri’s COVID-19 response.
“As our state faces this unprecedented challenge, the safety of our first responders should be our first priority,” Galloway said in a statement. “I am committed to making certain those on the frontlines of this health emergency are protected while ensuring Missourians’ tax dollars are safeguarded.”
- Why does the Census matter? The Census determines how much voice Missourians have in the federal government, including in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Electoral College
- The Census helps identify health trends across the country (i.e. obesity, cancer, etc.) so public health officials can best address them
- The Census determines how much money the state receives from the Federal Government (almost $1,300 per person - you matter!). Filling out the Census ensures Missouri gets its fair share. This includes programs like SNAP, Head Start, Pell grants, Medicare, and more
- Kansas City 42.1%
- Indendpence 46.4
- Raytown 49.0%
Join us on Friday, April 17th from 1:00pm-2:00pm ET for a Virtual Live Training: How to Connect with Voters Through Personal Stories!
During this Virtual Live Training, you will learn the story of self framework and how to tailor your story around the salient political issues relevant to COVID-19.
The Truman Gala (originally scheduled for June 6th) has been postponed until further notice. We are looking at dates in the late summer or early fall while respecting the orders and suggestions of both local elected leaders and medical professionals. More information will be coming when it is available. Meanwhile, we still have ongoing expenses. If you can kick in a few dollars to the local party, we greatly appreciate it. Click HERE to donate what you can.