Today is Election Day. This quiet and sleepy dog day of summer election is normally reserved for just the partisans among the electorate. Normally, it is reserved in even number years for just primary elections. In our highly gerrymandered state topography this is normally just a rubber stamp exercise. This year though there is at least one primary election that is being actively contested. That would be the election for County Executive. Charlie Dooley (D) is the incumbent, but he is facing a serious challenge from within his party. He is being accused of corruption. I voted for him anyway, because he is the Democrat and I am a Democrat. Besides one of his chief accusers is the county prosecutor, Robert McCulloch (D) who I also voted for. I figure that if McCulloch had any meaningful evidence against Dooley he would have or will charge him. Because of demographics and not gerrymandering, the county lines were set over a hundred years ago, this is an election for the Democrats to lose; otherwise the Republicans don’t stand a chance. Saint Louis and KC have been and still are blue bookends in a red state. [Update: Dooley lost to the McCulloch backed challenger.]
The main event for this otherwise sleepy election are the five state constitutional amendments that the Republican’t state legislature has put forth. Here is the list:
- Amendment 1 Right to Farm – Billed as a family farmer’s rights amendment it sounds more like a shield law for giant Agra-business. I’m hoping that this one will fail, because I could then be arrested for taking photos of pretty rural countryside as I bike through it. [Passed]
- Amendment 5 Right to Bear Arms – This is a patently unconstitutional law that holds that state law holds sway over the likes of the ATF and the Feds. I expect this to pass, but not to be upheld. [Passed]
- Amendment 7 Transportation Sales Tax – The Repugs cut the state income tax this year, leaving a giant whole in the our state’s budget, which throughout the Great Recession has been one of the most solvent of state budgets. They proposed an increase in the state’s sales tax to make up for the shortfall, with the money supposed to be directed towards roads. The legislature never spends earmarked monies as they should. This is a regressive tax that I hope will fail. [Failed]
- Amendment 8 Veterans Lottery Ticket – This amendment earmarks money for the state’s veterans, but like education before it our vets will see their earmarked money robbed with counterbalancing reductions from the general fund. The lottery is a zero sum tax game. I hope that we won’t let ourselves be fooled again, but I expect that we will. [Failed]
- Amendment 9 Electronic Privacy – I’m actually in favor of this amendment, but because the Supreme Court just ruled the exact same thing this amendment is superfluous. I voted against it to help de-clutter the law, but I expect it to pass. [Passed]
In summary, I really only care about the farm and tax amendments. The rest will likely result in a sad, but mostly harmless reflection on Missouri. The rest of the country knows who we are now. I have not checked with my precinct captain, because she has been out-of-state for a month, but she did vote before she left. As I go to press, I’ve checked the latest election results and all my hopes and fears are in play. It is still to early to know for sure, but I am cautiously pessimistic. I still have hope though and in that vein, the photo with this post shows crocodile tears on an elephant’s ear.