Meeting to be held in Moberly for controversial Amendment 1

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MOBERLY - Clean Missouri and the League of Women Voters in Randolph County are hosting an open meeting Tuesday to discuss Amendment 1. The meeting will take place at Moberly Area Community College at 7 p.m.

Amendment 1, more formally known as the Lobbying, Campaign Finance and Redistricting Initiative, limits campaign contributions and mandates that lawmakers wait two years after their term to become a lobbyist. The amendment, if passed, would also create a state demographer office to draw districts to be competitive between the two major parties.

Clean Missouri’s campaign manager Sean Nicholson is confident about their campaign.

"We feel really great about how the campaign is coming together. We feel really great about the broad bipartisan support from across the political spectrum," Nicholson said. "It's events like this one that we are doing in Moberly that gives us the confidence to know we are going to win on November 6th."

Nicholson went as far as to say the changes are “desperately needed reforms to clean up Jefferson City.”

Justin Arnold, who works for the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, strongly opposes the amendment and said passing the amendment would bring dangerous changes.

"The ethics reform is hiding the redistricting portions of the amendment that would totally fundamentally change the way maps are drawn and elections are run in Missouri," Arnold said. "I think it's incumbent upon us to make sure that voters know that they are actually voting on a radical change to elections which is not done in the rest of the country and it will be really bad in the long run for voters who want to have contact with their representatives in their areas that they live in."

Arnold argues that Missouri already has similar ethics laws in effect and that Amendment 1 is using ethics reforms to distract voters from the re-districting aspect of the measure.

"A lot of the ethics reforms they are touting, Missouri already has so we don't really have a problem with that. What we do have a problem with is trying to hide redistricting and a fundamental and radical change to the way maps are drawn inside of a package that they are calling ethics reform," Arnold said.

Nicholson called Arnold’s accusations of hiding “total nonsense.”

“We talk about the full Amendment 1 policy to everyone who will listen. That’s why we have earned support from across the political spectrum,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson said the event tonight is about “spreading the word to anyone who will listen.”

"We are going to talk policies. We are going to be talking about ways for folks to get involved. Answering questions that folks have about the policy and how we got to this spot."