By: Representative Hannah Kelly
Petitions in Missouri are circulating an initiative called “Clean Missouri.” With a name that insinuates bipartisanship and pure intentions, the proposal has most everyone fooled. What lies beneath the public image of the Clean Missouri Initiative is an issue that, if passed, will be devastating to Missouri Republicans.
The initiative is advertised as ethics reform and includes changes to the state’s laws relating to lobbyists and campaign contribution limits. However, the main focus of the initiative is a radical change to the process of redistricting Missouri’s legislative districts. Clean Missouri would give the state auditor, the only statewide Democratic officeholder in Jefferson City, the power to appoint an unelected demographer to redraw Missouri’s Legislative Districts in the name of bipartisanship.
This might seem like a good idea at face value, however, the devil is in the details.
An unelected bureaucrat would be tasked with drawing districts as “fair” as possible, which means that no matter how red and conservative or how blue and liberal an area is, Clean Missouri would seek to make that district’s electorate a bipartisan split. This means that there could be non-contiguous districts, including state senate districts that stretch down long highways, such as Joplin connected to parts of Kansas City or Hannibal connected to Columbia. If redistricting were to take place in the way that Clean Missouri wants, districts would not represent Missourians’ values and would create a bevy of problems for lawmakers. It is also likely that the new maps, in the name of fairness, would lump multiple state representatives in the same districts in 2022.
Make no mistake about it — Clean Missouri’s real purpose is to decrease or even eliminate the Republican majority in Jefferson City and put Democrat elites in charge.
Pulling back the curtain on who is actually supporting this initiative reveals that Clean Missouri has been endorsed by the who’s who of Democrat elites. Planned Parenthood, The Sierra Club, NARAL Pro Choice, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, Teacher Unions, Empower Missouri, SEIU, and AFL-CIO, among others, have officially endorsed the measure. The Post Dispatch also reported that George Soros’ group, The Open Society Policy Center, donated $300,000 to the MOVE Ballot fund. The MOVE Ballot Fund, which had just $84 on hand at the time of the donation, then donated $250,000 to the Clean Missouri Initiative, effectively laundering a Soros donation to keep it under the radar.
The mission of Clean Missouri is clear: Democrat elites have been beaten at the ballot box, but have not given up on pushing their agenda. Rather, under the guise of ethics and lobbying reform, George Soros and other progressive groups are using the Clean Missouri Initiative as a way to draw districts that Democrats can win in order to get their agenda passed.
Missourians must stand together to oppose Clean Missouri. We have worked too hard and for too long to allow out-of-state billionaires and liberal special interest groups to alter the way we elect our representatives. Share, talk and spread the word, Clean Missouri will not pass on our watch.