11/13/23 Missouri Mondays - Abortion rights win against GOP extremes! MO is next!
Abortion rights win against GOP extremes! MO is next! ndidates! Take action to protect rights and freedoms!
Welcome to another Missouri Mondays!
Last week’s election results show once again that abortion rights win over GOP extremes. Examples include Ohio voters who enshrined their right to abortion in the state constitution, rejecting the GOP majority’s six-week abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest currently blocked and under review in the courts. In Kentucky, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won re-election over his anti-abortion Republican challenger. Democrats won both state houses in Virginia which means Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is unlikely to push through the extreme 15-week abortion ban he championed.
“No matter how you apply abortion as an issue, in elections, it’s successful because people understand exactly what’s at stake – your ability to live in a place where it’s safe to become pregnant. It’s a pretty big deal,” Angela Vasquez-Giroux, vice president of communications and research of Reproductive Freedom for All said. “Folks understand that it means that you have to protect it at every opportunity. … I think we can expect to see repeats of last night and 2022 in 2024.” Missouri Independent Nov 9
For several months, Secretary of State and Republican gubernatorial candidate Jay Ashcroft, has kept abortion and reproductive rights initiative petitions tied up in the courts. He understands his legal obstruction and delays will make it harder for citizens to collect enough signatures to put abortion rights on the ballot. Ashcroft knows Missourians will vote for reproductive rights and reject his party’s extreme abortion ban with no exceptions for rape or incest if given the chance at the ballot box.
Jay Ashcroft and his fellow anti-abortion GOP extremists can’t win unless we let them. This week show your support for pro-abortion candidates and take action with allies across the state fighting to defend our rights and freedoms. Together we make a difference! Help us spread the word and share this link to sign up for Missouri Mondays weekly email https://bit.ly/3pF99Uw.
UPCOMING EVENTS - ACTIONS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
TAKE ACTION WITH THE MISSOURI VOTER PROTECTION COALITION (MOVPC)
TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE
Join the MOVPC weekly online meeting MONDAYS at 10 AM
Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE: bit.ly/protectmovoters
Our work to protect the vote requires our continued attention! So we hope you'll join our next MOVPC call where we will discuss the necessary steps in our fight to protect the right to vote in Missouri. MOVPC is a nonpartisan statewide network promoting access to the ballot and working to remove barriers to voting in Missouri!
Maggie for MO
Fundraiser in support of Maggie Nurrenbern
Candidate for MO Senate District 17
TONIGHT Monday, November 13th
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM
A Little BBQ Joint
1101 W US Hwy 24
Independence, MO 64050
Please join Kansas City Labor Leaders for a fundraiser in support of Maggie Nurrenbern, Candidate for MO Senate District 17. Can't make it? That's ok, you can still help Maggie reach the Senate! Donate now and help us reach our goal for this event!
Make your donation here: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/maggieformosenate
Senator Greg Razer for Missouri
2024 Re-Election Kickoff
Thursday, Nov 16
5:30PM - 7 PM
Casual Animal Brewing
Kansas City, MO
RSVP today at bit.ly/razer2024
Join Senator Greg Razer and guests as we launch his 2024 re-election campaign at Casual Animal Brewing in the Crossroads!
South Kansas City Democrats
November Membership Meeting
Saturday, November 18
Mid-Continent Public Library
453 E Red Bridge Rd
Kansas City, MO
Join South Kansas City Democrats for our monthly membership meeting. Note: We are starting at noon this month only.
TELL YOUR MO STATE REPRESENTATIVE TO SUPPORT THE HOUSE ETHICS INVESTIGATION INTO SPEAKER DEAN PLOCHER!
As reported October 23 by the Missouri Independent, on at least nine occasions since 2018, Rep. Dean Plocher spent campaign money on travel and conference expenses. THEN, Plocher sought reimbursement from the legislature despite declaring he had used personal funds to pay for the trips. Seeking double reimbursement could violate state and federal law and shows Plocher has a pattern of unethical behavior. This coupled with earlier reporting that House Speaker Plocher threatened a state worker who sounded the alarm on his relentless push for a prohibitively expensive constituent communications software – garnering attention from the FBI – reveals a disturbing pattern of Plocher’s disregard for the law.
The Missouri House Ethics Committee began an inquiry into Speaker Plocher’s personnel moves and held a second hearing last week.
Tell your state representative to support the House Ethics investigation into Dean Plocher!
Search for your representative and contact information here: https://www.senate.mo.gov/LegisLookup/Default
Meet Crystal Quade Democratic Candidate for Missouri Governor
“Growing up in rural Missouri, young Crystal Quade made the trek before daylight every morning to help her mom prepare the diner where she worked double or triple shifts waitressing.
They lived in a small house on a gravel road, and Crystal was the first in her family to graduate from high school. She worked her way through Missouri State, began her own family – and then became the Democratic Leader of the Missouri House of Representatives.
Crystal is leading our most important fights to restore our abortion rights, standing up to the biggest corporate special interests, and stopping China and Russia from buying up our farmland and squeezing Missouri farmers out.
Crystal will take on extremist Jay Ashcroft, who says he will ban abortion forever, and give more tax breaks to the wealthiest and most privileged families like the one he grew up in.
If you are looking for a new kind of leader, who will stand up for our working and farming families – meet Crystal Quade.”
Support Crystal's Campaign for Missouri's Future: https://crystalquade.com/
The Heartland Pod Interview with Rep. Crystal Quade https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJwbn8m4_q8
NOVEMBER IS NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH!
What started at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S., has resulted in a whole month being designated for that purpose.
Find Native American Heritage Month events, exhibits, performances and more celebrating the rich traditions, languages, and contributions of Indigenous people
FIND EVENTS AND MORE WAYS TO GET INVOLVED HERE: https://docs.google.com/document/d/19AZUdtRH5WXefOC4Q5D9u-HyuzhBEL8rYX9Ospn3n18/edit?usp=sharing
Missouri in the News
“Missouri voters could see abortion question on ballot next year”
“After a victory for abortion rights in Ohio earlier this week, supporters in Missouri are hopeful voters will have the chance to overturn the state’s ban next year.
Just like the Show Me State, Ohio is a Republican-controlled state. Following the win in Ohio, many Missouri abortion rights supporters are energized about the possible vote. But a handful of the proposed ballot measures continue to be held up in intense court battles surrounding the language voters would see on the ballot and how much it would cost the state if approved.”
Supporters of the referendum accuse MO Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft of writing misleading ballot summary language, which is why the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Missouri filed the lawsuit, leading a Cole County judge in Jefferson City to write the summaries himself.
In the ballot summary the ACLU is calling misleading, Ashcroft asks voters whether to “allow for dangerous, unregulated and unrestricted abortions, from contraception to live birth, without requiring a medical license or potentially being subject to medical malpractice.” His summary would also ask voters to “nullify longstanding Missouri law protecting the right to life, including but not limited to partial-birth abortion.”
“The appeals court rewrote the language, asking voters if they want to amend the constitution to “establish a right to make decisions about reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, with any government interference of that right presumed invalid; and to remove Missouri’s ban on abortion.”
On Tuesday night, Ohio voters passed similar language, allowing the state to restrict abortion after fetal viability or 24 weeks of pregnancy.
“It makes me really hopeful for the entire country that there will soon be a time when you don’t cross state lines and have more rights in neighboring states than what you do here at home,” president and CEO of Planned Parenthood West Plains Emily Wales said Wednesday, following a Supreme Court hearing over Medicaid reimbursements.
Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Missouri became the first state in the country to ban abortion except for medical emergencies.
“We see patients who are coming across state lines desperate for care, many of them from Missouri,” Wales said. “I think again and again, what we’ve seen in state after state is that abortion is a winning issue. Making private medical decisions without government overreach and interference is a winning issue.”
“Secretary of State Ashcroft filed an appeal following the Western District’s ruling and asked for the case to be transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court, but the request was denied.
Supporters have until May to gather the signatures needed to put the proposed measure on the ballot next year.”
“Missouri Supreme Court weighs state’s push to defund Planned Parenthood
For the second time in three years, the issue is in the hands of the state’s highest court”
“The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments over whether the state’s move to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements was constitutional — the second time in three years the issue has reached the state’s highest court.
After the state legislature voted to block Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid reimbursements last year, the organization sued. In December, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem concluded the state couldn’t deny access to funds available to other health care providers.”
“Planned Parenthood argued that the appropriations bill conflicts with statute, so the state would only be constitutionally permitted to zero out the funding if they changed the statute.
“The $0 appropriation is an appropriation bill that changes the substantive law to deny an eligible provider with a contract access to Medicaid funding,” said attorney Chuck Hatfield, representing Planned Parenthood, “and that you cannot do.”
In a similar case in 2020, the Supreme Court struck down language in a budget bill that excluded abortion providers or their affiliates from receiving Medicaid reimbursements, calling it a “naked attempt” to legislate through a budget bill.
“Here we go again,” Hatfield said, “with a long line of cases where this court has met its responsibility…to advise the legislature on the limits of its authority when it comes to appropriation.”
“The issue itself has been around for decades: Missouri lawmakers have been attempting to restrict public funds from going to Planned Parenthood since the mid-90s.”
“Missouri House ethics panel to hold further hearings in Plocher investigation –
House Speaker accused of pressuring staff to buy expensive software, seeking reimbursement of campaign-paid expenses”
“The Missouri House Ethics Committee appears to be prepared to advance an investigation over House Speaker Dean Plocher’s personnel actions and expense reimbursement requests.
The panel met behind closed doors for more than two hours on Wednesday. The discussion is confidential, but afterward Chair Hannah Kelly told assembled reporters that another hearing would be scheduled, suggesting that the committee is preparing the next step, to examine the substance of the allegations against Plocher.
Plocher is the subject of an inquiry into House personnel matters and a complaint about “unethical conduct” in office.
When the committee was finished for the day, Kelly, R-Mountain Grove, declined to comment on the questions considered.
“We have a job to do here in this committee and due to the House rules, as has been previously mentioned, I cannot comment,” Kelly said. “I can assure you as chairman that due process will be followed and confidentiality is of the utmost importance, for the integrity of the committee as well as the House.”
Plocher has been under fire since September, when he was accused of threatening to fire nonpartisan legislative staff as part of a push to get the House to award a lucrative contract to a private company to manage constituent information.
Records obtained by The Independent through the Missouri Sunshine Law document allegations that Plocher connected the success of the contract to the 2024 campaign — in which he is running for lieutenant governor — and engaged in “unethical and perhaps unlawful conduct.”
On Oct. 17, Plocher fired his chief of staff Kenny Ross, giving no explanation for the change. Ross was hired a few hours later by Senate President Pro Tem Caleb Rowden.
A few days later, The Independent reported that Plocher filed false expense reports with the legislature going back to 2018 seeking reimbursement for costs already paid for by his campaign.”
“Plocher has flatly denied any wrongdoing, chalking up the contract issue to a misunderstanding and the false expense reports to a “checkbook error.” He started paying back the illegal reimbursements, saying that he and his wife — who is also his campaign treasurer — caught the mistakes and self-reported them.
But though the false reports went back years, Plocher didn’t begin making repayments until two weeks after The Independent submitted a Sunshine request on Oct. 5 seeking his expense reports.
While the committee process will be time-consuming, Plocher’s ability to remain in office while waiting for the results is in doubt. House Republicans will caucus Thursday in Jefferson City and are likely to discuss whether he should remain in his office or step aside, several GOP members said.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2023/11/08/missouri-house-ethics-panel-to-hold-further-hearings-in-plocher-investigation/ Missouri Independent Nov 8
“Missouri House GOP caucus sticks with Plocher as speaker – for now
After 5 hours in a closed-door meeting, members say they accept Dean Plocher’s explanation of reimbursement, personnel issues and await House Ethics Committee report”
“Missouri House Speaker Dean Plocher scurried away from waiting reporters Thursday rather than answer questions about the events that have launched an ethics inquiry and caused some members of his party to ask for him to step down from his powerful post.
Plocher spent most of the afternoon in a closed-door Republican caucus meeting at the Missouri Farm Bureau headquarters in Jefferson City. During the meeting, members said, he gave his defense of seeking personal reimbursement for expenses originally covered by his campaign fund and his decision to fire chief of staff Kenny Ross.
Most of the members who spoke to reporters said the final verdict on Plocher will come after the House Ethics Committee concludes its investigation.”
“Plocher’s troubles began in September when The Independent reported allegations he threatened to terminate the employment of a nonpartisan legislative staffer who resisted his monthslong push to hire a private company to manage constituent information.
An FBI agent attended a legislative hearing where the idea of paying $800,000 for a two-year contract for the constituent services was discussed.
Then, a few weeks later, Plocher fired Kenny Ross as his chief of staff. Ross served as chief of staff to the last three Republican speakers — Todd Richardson, Elijah Haahr and Rob Vescovo. Plocher told the caucus during its meeting Thursday that he has hired former House Speaker Rod Jetton to replace Ross.
The decision to fire Ross became the subject of a “personnel inquiry” by the ethics committee. House Chief Clerk Dana Miller said Thursday that Ross remains on the House payroll pending the outcome of that inquiry.
Just days after Ross was fired, The Independent reported that Plocher, on at least nine occasions since 2018, had requested the House to reimburse him for conference registration, airfare, hotels and other travel expenses already covered by his campaign funds.
The Independent reviewed 300 pages of Plocher’s expense reimbursements that it obtained through Missouri’s Sunshine Law on Oct. 11.
In each instance, Plocher was required to sign a sworn statement declaring that the payments were made with “personal funds, for which I have not been reimbursed.”
The treasurer for his campaign committee is Plocher’s wife.”
“The ethics committee probe grew from a personnel inquiry to a complaint investigation this week. The panel met Wednesday for its first look at the complaint – which is confidential – and voted to hold additional hearings later this year.”
Full story here: https://missouriindependent.com/2023/11/09/missouri-house-gop-caucus-sticks-with-plocher-as-speaker-for-now/ Missouri Independent Nov 9
“Abortion-rights victories cement 2024 playbook while opponents scramble for new strategy”
“Anti-abortion leaders woke up Wednesday to the sobering reality that abortion rights remain the nation’s predominant political issue. Decisive wins in swing and red states in two national election cycles since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year have given momentum to reproductive rights groups, who aggressively campaigned and fundraised in key states across the country, and intend to triple down for 2024.”
“A sample of reproductive rights wins from Tuesday night:
Kentucky: Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won re-election; challenger Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron had also made abortion a huge focus of his campaign and gave voters varying answers on whether he would support exceptions to Kentucky’s near-total abortion ban in cases of incest and rape.
New Jersey: With every legislative seat up for grabs Tuesday, Democrats retained control of both houses, after Republicans had dismissed their strategy to focus on reproductive rights over issues like state spending and crime rates.
Ohio: A win for Issue 1 means the state’s constitution will now guarantee the right to abortion through viability (and beyond for medical emergencies), as well as the right to birth control, childbirth, fertility treatment and miscarriage management. The win means a blocked six-week abortion ban currently under review by the courts will likely be struck down. And it marks the seventh state to affirm reproductive rights on the ballot since Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Pennsylvania: Democrat Daniel McCaffery won his seat on the liberal-leaning Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and marked the second time that Reproductive Freedom for All endorsed in a judicial race.
Virginia: Democrats winning both state houses means Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin is unlikely to push through the abortion ban he championed this election cycle. For now the state remains one of the few abortion access points in the South.
Vasquez-Giroux said Reproductive Freedom for All will continue to support local reproductive-rights groups with their ballot measures and state and local elections, and will help to coordinate strategy at the national level.
“No matter how you apply abortion as an issue, in elections, it’s successful because people understand exactly what’s at stake – your ability to live in a place where it’s safe to become pregnant. It’s a pretty big deal,” Vasquez-Giroux said. “Folks understand that it means that you have to protect it at every opportunity. … I think we can expect to see repeats of last night and 2022 in 2024.”
“House Republicans unveil their plan to avert a government shutdown next week
Congress has until Friday night to keep the government funded. The House plans to vote on its short-term funding bill as early as Tuesday.”
“House Republicans on Saturday unveiled their stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown set to begin next weekend. But with just five legislative days left until the deadline, Congress has little room for error.
Just two and a half weeks into the job, Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., opted to go with a two-step continuing resolution, or CR, over a more typical funding extension covering the entire federal government. The untested funding approach is aimed at appeasing far-right agitators in his GOP conference who despise CRs.
The House is expected to vote as early as Tuesday to give members 72 hours to read the text of the bill, according to two people familiar with matter. The plan does not include budget cuts or aid for Israel.
Under the two-step strategy — which Johnson and others have dubbed a “laddered CR” but which others have likened to a step stool — several spending bills needed to keep the government open would be extended until Jan. 19, while the remaining bills would go on a CR until Feb. 2.”
Full story here: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/house-republicans-unveil-plan-avert-government-shutdown-week-rcna124629 NBC News Nov 11
MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT!
With so much important news each week we don’t want you to miss a thing! Check out our MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13cokjWlCh2EkY5K6bM357rjVPizZDzxlMqjAuoBQfoI/edit?usp=sharing
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