ST. LOUIS - The initiative known as ‘Clean Missouri’ or Amendment 1 seeks to clean up Missouri politics by stopping expensive lobbyist gifts.
“We have legislators taking nearly $900,000 a year in lobbyist gifts ignoring voters back home,” said Benjamin Singer, spokesman for Clean Missouri.
Singer says Amendment 1 would stop lobbyists from interfering with lawmakers. He says it's backed by former US Senator Jack Danforth, the AARP, and the League of Women Voters.
“Over 300,000 Missourians in every county in the state signed petitions to put Amendment 1 on (the) ballot,” he said.
However, State Rep. Shamed Dogan (R-Ballwin) calls Amendment 1 a "trojan horse" with ethics reforms that almost nobody is opposed to but then adds a radical redistricting process to increase Democratic representation in the legislature at the expense of African-American representation.
“It’s all a front, talking about ethics reform and not talking about redistricting, which is a radical proposal,” Dogan said.
US Congressman Lacy Clay and State Senator Kiki Curls (D-Kansas City) are also opposed. Dogan says if passed, Amendment 1 would drastically change districts for the worse.
“The idea you might have someone from Warren County or Jefferson County representing someone in St. Louis City, that's just absurd,” he said.
Singer said Amendment 1 would require fairness and competitiveness in maps by adding clear transparent criteria. Dogan counters by saying maps would be redrawn by a demographer appointed by the Missouri state auditor, who just happens to be the only Democratic statewide elected official.