The House version of Sen. Gary Nodler's bill to make it more difficult than it already is for independent candidates to mount a challenge to incumbents received a "Do pass" designation from the House Financial, Governmental Organizations, and Elections Committee today.
It should be mentioned the committee chairman is Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, who faced a stiff challenge from indepdendent Michael Holzknecht in 2006.
HB 894, sponsored by Rep. Ted Hoskins, D-St. Louis, requires independent candidates to have to file at the same time as candidates of Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties, even though these candidates do not have to go through primaries (the main reason for the early filing date) and already have the added burden of having to gather signatures just to get on the ballot.
The bill is essentially the same as SB 409, proposed by Gary Nodler, R-Joplin, who ended up having to spend a considerable amount of his campaign warchest when he was challenged by independent Kim Wright of Joplin last year. Nodler's bill was co-sponsored by Scott and was placed in Scott's committee, where, of course, it received a "do pass" recommendation.
When there is so many important items that our state legislators need to be working on, it seems almost beyond belief that they are spending time with this spiteful bill, which is just designed to make things easier for the Democrats and Republicans, who already have access to more money and organization than independents.