Friday, July 18, 2014

Southwest Missouri Democrats strongly oppose so-called Right to Farm Amendment

(From Southwest Missouri Democrats)

Southwest Missouri Democrats gathered Wednesday evening to debate Amendment One and held a vote on all August Primary Ballot Amendments.  Informational packets with arguments for and against each amendment were provided. 

Representative Bill Reiboldt (R), sponsor of Amendment One, spoke in favor, and Bob Glenn, candidate for Dade County Presiding Commissioner, spoke against.  After both gentlemen presented their arguments, questions from the audience were moderated by Quentin Cooper, Intern for the Southwest Missouri Democrats and President of the Carthage High School Young Democrat Chapter.  

Elliott Denniston, member of the SWMO Democrats, argues that “Representative Reiboldt admitted that the wording of the Amendment is purposely vague, but Bob Glenn and others pointed out how dangerous this is because it almost certainly will lead to expensive litigation for the state for many years to come. 

  Furthermore, I am astounded that Rep. Reiboldt stated repeatedly that Monsanto has not ‘given a penny’ to fund the effort to pass Amendment One, when the Secretary of State’s official website names Monsanto second only to Missouri Farmers Care on the list of supporting organizations.” 

 “When I began researching Amendment One, my mission was to provide unbiased information about both sides of the debate.  In my many phone conversations with Representative Reiboldt, I became convinced that as a farmer himself, he is well intentioned, but that even he does not understand the full ramifications of Amendment One”, Krista Stark Executive Director of the Southwest Missouri Democrats adds. In Bob Glenn’s rebuttal he focused on the rights this Amendment would bestow upon corporate agribusiness at the expense of small family farmers and Missouri citizens.  In addition, this Amendment could greatly expand the ownership of Missouri farmland by multinational corporations and foreign countries such as China.   

After the debate on Amendment One, the group chose to hold a ballot vote on all five August Primary Ballot Amendments.  When votes were counted Amendment One was defeated overwhelmingly.  A motion was made and approved to actively oppose Amendment One, deceptively called “Right to Farm”. 

Amendment 5 was also opposed overwhelmingly.  On Amendments 7, 8, and 9 the vote was much more closely divided. 

Many people emphasized the job losses and the poor conditions of the roads and highways if Amendment 7 (the “Transportation Tax)” does not pass, while other Democrats put more emphasis on the shift of cost from corporations to the middle class.

LIUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America),  the Missouri Chapter is endorsing the amendment, citing the exemption of essential items such as groceries, utilities, mortgages, car payments, healthcare, prescription drugs, education, and retirement savings to the sales tax, (meaning the sales tax will not apply to these items) and the necessary funding for city, county, and state transportation projects.

The vote on Amendment 8, “Veterans Lottery Ticket”, was also very close.  Southwest Missouri Democrats fully support our veterans, but many voters were concerned about pitting veterans affairs against education, and we do not want to leave the funding of our veterans affairs “to chance” by funding them though an uncertain source of revenue like a lottery ticket.  We want our Missouri Veterans funding to be firmly enshrined in our State budget.


Anonymous said...

I am not opposed to supporting farmers. Fewer and fewer Americans are willing to work that hard and get that dirty in a business that always has an uncertain outcome. And, with more and more land getting eaten up by "progress" every year, there must be more food raised on less land--hence CAFOs.

However, I cannot support this amendment until I am certain that it protects AMERICAN farmers, and not the foreign corporations that have taken over our food interests simply because they are the only ones who can afford to purchase and run farms these days. When this amendment clearly supports our own citizens, and makes it possible for our younger citizens to get their own farms, then I will support it. If the majority of Americans knew and understood how little of their food supply was grown by American farmers, they would be concerned, and they should be. It doesn't matter what kind of weapons you have in your arsenals if your people are hungry. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

There are always two sides of the coin. I would like the wordings to be a bit more specific to protect the small farmers or people who would like to try and return to farming if that is what the bill was intended to do.

As for China being singled out by people is unfair. Are we ok with companies like Danone, Yoplait, Nestle to be in the US? Or should other countries discriminate against US companies as well? Therefore, are we faulting others for playing the rules of our very own game?

At the end it boils down to the ulterior motive politicians have in crafting such a bill. Moreover, have we educated our own people about food and growing food? We are contented that we buy our food -- not grow our own food. Some times I wonder how many people know how pigs, chickens or cows look like. Just food for thought!