Vote August 6th, 2024

Issues

Issues

Education

Our public schools should never have dropped to 49th in state funding and 50th in starting teacher pay! 

81% of MO wants to see starting teacher pay increase. More schools are being forced into four day school weeks. 

Most students will attend public schools. We need them to succeed.

Instead of helping, the legislature attacks schools for political reasons. They threaten teachers and school boards with jail. They criticize, but offer no solutions. They only want to shovel money to private interests. They simply oppose our schools!

Jeff supports public schools. He comes from a family of teachers and his daughter attends Columbia public schools. Local public schools are every community's accountable schools. They are vital to preparing our children for their lives as adults. 

In January 2023, Attorney General Bailey and others made national news by attacking our schools and threatening our unpaid school board members. You can read about how Jeff spoke up at the next school board meeting. He called for CPS accountability, while condemning the divisive, hateful, political rhetoric designed to discredit schools. 

Jeff will continue to stand strong for public schools.

Reproductive Rights

Only about 22% of Missouri supports the draconian trigger laws. MO's abortion ban does not even have rape and incest exceptions.

I believe MO will vote to restore rights. Since Roe was overturned, no state has voted against protecting abortion rights.

I have always fought for women to have their rights restored:

1. After the draft Dobbs Opinion, I wrote how Alito's entire argument is based on a false historical premise. He incorrectly claims the USA has a longstanding history of criminalizing abortion. There is no such history.

You can read what Jeff wrote:

Women always had the freedom to terminate their pregnancy.

The USA was not criminally convicting women. In 1868, when the 14th Amendment was passed, no woman had even been charged with terminating her own pregnancy.

2. On 8/1/22, I filed the first MO ballot initiative petition to restore rights in MO. 

However, Jay Ashcroft refused to allow my sample petition to be filed. I filed suit. 

I wanted everyone to know the ballot initiative would be the solution. I wanted people to get organized. I got press coverage, so I hope I helped some.

3. Basinger v. Ashcroft. I litigated with Secretary of State Ashcroft and Attorney General Andrew Bailey in the appellate courts for over a year. I tried to get the MO Supreme Court to interpret the Constitution regarding when the ballot initiative process starts.

The sample petition process is statutory- it is not found anywhere in the MO Constitution. Ashcroft's interpretation is wrong. Yet, the MO Supreme Court sidestepped my case, instead of interpreting the MO Constitution. People say the Court was never going to give me a chance to be heard. I don't regret trying. 

4. During the long process of having a pro-choice petition approved, I helped criticize Ashcroft and Bailey's willfully illegal actions. They unconstitutionally delayed approval of the current proposal by many months.

Bailey claimed he had the authority to change the Auditor's financial estimate, and then made up his own absurd numbers. Ashcroft drafted a wildly, intentionally biased ballot title. They abused their offices and made a mockery of the law.

I continue to review updates, correspond with experts and contribute my own thoughts on the next issues: such as interstate travel, IVF and TRAP laws. The extremists will continue to try to restrict Missouri's rights. 

The legislature took women's bodily autonomy and their ability to control the direction of their own lives. The laws take medical decisions away  from women. 

Never before have freedoms been taken from Americans in this manner. I have been there from the beginning, trying to restore rights. I will continue to fight.

Gerrymandering Columbia Right Down Broadway

Gerrymandering predetermines election winners. It takes away Missourians' voting power. It gives power to politicians. It makes government less accountable and responsive. 

MO's legislature infamously grabbed more power by dividing Columbia right down Broadway. The goal of redistricting is to keep communities together. They divided our community in half.

I am in House District 3. I call my odd-shaped U.S. Congress District "The Gator." One look at the map shows politicians were unfairly tilting the playing field. Representatives should pass legislation that helps people, instead of finding sneaky ways to avoid what people want.

As Jeff wrote:They even tricked voters into legalizing gerrymandering

In 2020, the ballot title informed voters that they were voting on a proposed constitutional amendment to limit money in politics. The courts said the proposal permitted "uncommonly severe gerrymandering".

Yet, the voters were not told about gerrymandering! They should have been told they were voting to reduce their own voting power. The legislature tricked voters.

We can and should mathematically ban gerrymandering. The 2020 trick raised the "wasted vote" level to be 15%. We can lower it to 3%, or otherwise use a mathematical formula to make Missouri's vote count fairly!

Protect Missouri's Ballot Initiative

MO's treasured ballot initiative process has lasted for over 100 years. It is our constitutional method for using direct democracy. It is our way to get things done, when our representatives refuse.

The ballot initiative has always been 1 person, 1 vote. However, now politicians want more power.

They want voters to discard the protections provided by generations of Missourians. They are telling us to use the ballot to vote against ourselves. 

They are trying to change the ballot initiative process so that as few as 23% of Missouri voters could decide whether a proposal passes.

If we give this power away, we may never get it back. Politicians will have more power and less accountability. 

Politicians already ignore what MO voters want on reproductive rights, Medicaid expansion, right to work, marijuana, reasonable guns laws, teacher pay, school funding and many other issues. Plus, The People's representation is already skewed, due to gerrymandering.

What have they done to earn our trust? How will we accomplish anything productive without the ballot initiative?

I fought in Court against Jay Ashcroft and Andrew Bailey for over a year to protect our ballot initiative rights. We cannot let politicians change the rules of the game, so that they can grab more power from voters.

Common Sense Gun Laws

MO voters should know that the Legislature is blocking debate on the floor for any type of reasonable gun law. Missouri has some of the nation's laxest guns laws and highest rates of gun violence.

Democrats are fighting to get bills heard, but without greater representation, it seems progress is not possible.

Many reasonable measures have overwhelming public support:

-Local control of laws

-Concealed carry permits

-Closing background check loopholes

-Safe storage laws

-Minimum ages for possession/purchase

-Red flag laws

-Prohibiting possession by those with violent convictions

We watch tragedies and take no action. Instead, the legislature fights to make our laws worse.

Last year, the legislature rejected a proposal to require supervision of children open-carrying in public. This year, they create hurdles for a gun buy back program. Our state even passed a law to prevent law enforcement officers from helping to enforce federal gun laws.

Voters simply want some common sense improvements to the law. Their representatives are ignoring them. Until they are voted out, things will not change.

Economy

The economy needs to provide Missourians with strong jobs, so our families can earn a good living. We need to make sure Missourians want to work and study here. We can help develop businesses, while fairly compensating workers.

Our economy has room for improvement. Missourians feel it every day.

Our growth lags behind the vast majority of states. As small business owner, it’s frustrating to see that MO’s businesses fail at a higher rate than any other state

We can do better.

Protecting the Local Economy

We need to help protect and develop our local businesses.

The fastest way to crush our economy would be to harm our biggest employers. Columbia is a college town. From the politically-based funding fights starting in 2016 through COVID, our colleges had hard times. Extremist politicians should not use a campus protest or a professor’s statement as grounds to hurt colleges.

The GOP cheers our universities during games. They shouldn’t attack college resources as soon as the 4th quarter ends. We need make sure all our local businesses are not subject to unfair political attacks.

Financial Relief for Workers

Business development needs to help everyone. It needs to pay to work.

Wages: MO has a chance to use the ballot initiative to increase minimum wage and give workers 5-7 days of earned time-off. We should do so.

Taxes: All Missourians need fair tax treatment. We need to prioritize tax cuts that help everyone, like elimination of the grocery tax. Everyone agrees food is expensive! Tax cuts should not overwhelmingly favor Missourians who are already doing well.

Business Development

As a small business owner, I’m frustrated to see that MO has the highest failure rate for small businesses of any state – both last year and over the past five years.

Infrastructure: Primarily thanks to federal funding, we made some investments in roads, bridges, utilities, airports and broadband internet access. We need to continue to prioritize infrastructure, so that businesses have a reliable supply chain.

Political extremism: We can better recruit companies by making sure MO is not a political Extremist Island. A business owner does not want to risk cuts to infrastructure, medical services, or other essential supply chain services due to extreme politics. No one wants their business to be attacked like how DeSantis attacked Disney. We want MO to be a safe, stable, reliable environment for businesses.

Workforce Development

Political extremism: We want young workers and professionals to study, train and work here. We will lose the competition for many workers if we have the nation’s most extreme abortion laws, poorly funded schools and attacks on the ballot initiative. Political extremism drives many talented people away.

Training: Targeted job training can push the economy forward by helping prepare our workforce for careers in demand.

Basic needs: Providing workers with basic needs helps develop our workforce.

I advocated for the child tax credit throughout last year’s session, but politics bogged it down. Hopefully, it passes this year. Child care is expensive and hard to come by sometimes. Missourians need to be able to have both a family and career.

Expanding access to health care, such as the Medicaid expansion, also helps. Workers sometimes need to switch jobs to get health coverage for themselves or families. Employers sometimes have to cut staff due to not having revenue for health coverage.

Providing basic needs helps create stable jobs.

Pro-Union

Our families need an economy with jobs that provide a decent living. We need a strong middle class.

When unions advocate for fair compensation, all workers benefit. Workers need to maintain their collective bargaining rights. They need laws that provide healthy prevailing wages.

I've always been pro-union. My first lawyer job was representing policemen’s and firemen’s unions. During my last two years of law school, my clerkships involved labor law- including my unpaid internship with the U.S. Department of Labor.

I hope to see Missouri workers continue to be revitalized. There's great support for the ballot initiative petition to: 1) increase minimum wage and 2) give 5-7 days of earned sick leave to fulltime workers.

Joe Biden became the first sitting President to join a picket line. Columbia now has the first library in Missouri that unionized.

Even Josh Hawley is giving the appearance of being pro-union. He thinks all of Missouri does not remember him supporting so-called "right to work" laws. A huge majority of Missouri (and I) oppose right to work laws.

Unions want families to have good jobs. I support unions.