Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016 Election Review

One of the most complete Voter's Guides I've found has been published by The Constitutional Coalition - Frontline. If you can't find the paper version you can find and download the online pdf at:


There are 48 judges in various districts and counties on some ballots. Frontline has an entire section dedicated to all of them under "Court Watch."

The only judge on the ballot in my district is for Missouri Supreme Court Judge, Richard B. Teitleman. Some highlights from the summary are:

Judge  Teitelman was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals in 1998 by Gov. Mel Carnahan. In February 2002 Gov. Bob Holden appointed him to the Supreme Court of Missouri.


In 2013, in a case that shows the significance of not only who is appointing judges, but in who those judges are and what political, moral and legal philosophy they bring to the court, Judge Teitelman took a distinctly liberal position on a case involving same-sex partners and benefits for a surviving partner. “By taking a narrow view of the law, the Missouri Supreme Court may have made the correct legal decision – and dodged political controversy – in denying survivor benefits to (a) same-sex partner of a fallen Missouri Highway Patrol trooper. But a powerful dissent by Judge Richard B. Teitelman points out (what he sees as) the real problem – Missouri’s constitutional prohibition on gay marriage.  His dissent served as a rallying cry to those who want the ban lifted.” In a 5-2 decision Tuesday, the Supreme Court found Mr. Glossip ineligible for pension benefits that normally go to the spouse of a trooper killed in the line of duty. The decision was based on the fact that Mr. Glossip and the trooper, Cpl. Dennis Englehard, were not married.

In 2015, the Supreme Court held in a 5-2 decision that Ameren Missouri was not liable for the deaths of two children electrocuted by faulty wiring on a dock located on a lake owned by Ameren. The court held that a dock fee charged by Ameren does not make them liable under the Missouri Recreational Use Act. This Act limits liability for companies that let the public use their property free of charge. The court agreed with the circuit court judge and against a broad reading of the law. Judge Teitelman dissented from the majority arguing that the dock fees amounted to a “charge” for the children to use the dock to access the lake and that the dock would not exist absent the fees charged by Ameren.


Thank you, Aaron Baker, for putting together a summary of the (always confusing) Amendments and Proposition on the 2016 ballot: 

A simple man’s view of the questions on our Missouri Ballot on 11/8/16. One suggestion - you can always vote "no" if you don't "know." Changing the state's constitution through amendments is a significant thing! 

Amendment 1 – This is a continuation of a Parks and Soils tax that works. Farm Bureau is for it. People that don’t like taxes of any kind are against it. I appreciate that this doesn’t renew automatically. This will pass. I’m voting “yes.”

Amendment 2 – This would return campaign contribution limits in Missouri. Money flows to politics no matter if there are limits or not. Without limits, there is more transparency and voters can tell where the funds are flowing from. With limits, dark money still flows to campaigns with no transparency. Some say limits also restrict free speech. Other say elections are decided by big money. This will pass. I’m voting “no.”

Amendment 3 – This is the most controversial of all the ballot measures. This tax increase is funded by the makers of Joe Camel. It raises taxes on all cigarettes by 60 cents and an additional 67 cents or $1.27 total if you aren’t Joe Camel or others considered “Big tobacco.” It also contains troubling provisions relating to abortion and stem cell research. The money goes “to the kids.” It is disgusting. It will not pass. I’m voting “no.”

Amendment 4 – This is the toughest question. Realtors have put this on the ballot to ensure we never have a sales tax on labor and services in this state. It solves a problem that does not currently exist. Some say that its passage will make it harder to not have an income tax in the state, which I support. However, I’d rather pay for that by raising the current sales tax, not by creating new ones. If you don’t ever want to pay a tax on a haircut, mowing or real estate transaction then vote “yes.” If it fails – nothing changes. It is so confusing that I don’t think this one will pass. I’m voting “yes.”

Sonja Legan adds:

#4 not just a Realtor thing! It is a concern for anyone that provides a service or is on receiving end of service! Just to name a few services that would be involved: Doctors, Therapists, Attorneys, Banking, Accountant, Financial planners, Counseling, Hair Stylist/ Barbers, Manicure or Pedicures, Janitorial services, Pet Grooming, Vet care, Pet boarding, moving or storage services, Day care, Preschool & babysitters, Home & Auto Repairs & Maintenance, real estate services! It will increase costs of these services thus affecting us all!
I agree the ballet wording is confusing and normally not for constitutional changes but a vote to stop new taxes is worth fighting for !

Amendment 6 – This amendment will require a photo ID when you vote. If voters are unable to present a photo ID, they can still cast a provisional ballot. In addition, a free photo ID can be provided to those that miraculously live in 2016 without one. This will pass. I’m voting “yes.”

Proposition A – This proposal raises taxes on cigarettes by 23 cents, ending Missouri’s “lowest in the nation” status. The money goes to roads. This will likely not pass. Vote your conscience.

I hope this helps encourage you to research and go to the polls educated.  I used to believe that EVERYbody needed to get to the polls and vote. After the last 8 years I now hope that the uneducated, main stream media fed stay away from the voting booth. 

- Sally
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