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11/27/23 Missouri Mondays - Another busy week of events and actions protecting our rights --

and freedoms from MO GOP attacks! Join allies making a difference this week!

Welcome to another Missouri Mondays.

Last week lawyers for Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and Missouri ACLU were in court challenging Missouri's Strict Photo ID requirements as a burden to our fundamental right to vote. “The 2022 law being challenged is yet another effort by Missouri Republicans to impose strict ID requirements for voting — the Missouri Supreme Court has struck down the General Assembly’s two previous attempts.” Democracy Docket Nov 17

As reported in Democracy Docket, the “effects of the strict photo ID requirement disproportionately harm young and marginalized voters. Hundreds of thousands of Missourians are impacted by the restrictions, the plaintiffs argue, pointing in part to an analysis requested by Ashcroft himself that found that more than 277,000 registered voters lacked a valid Department of Revenue ID (e.g. a driver’s license or instruction permit). Strict photo ID laws are especially burdensome for minority and low income communities, a fact highlighted in the lawsuit by a study showing the laws have a “differentially negative impact on the turnout of Hispanics, Blacks and mixed-race Americans.”

While we are grateful for the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition and Missouri ACLU voting rights champions defending our rights in court, we must ALL do our part to fight for our rights under threat by the Missouri GOP.

Thanks for staying informed and taking action with us to help protect and defend our democracy and our fundamental 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





Join the MOVPC weekly online meeting MONDAYS at 10 AM

Text “MOVPC” to 66866 or register HERE:

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!


State Rep. Patty Lewis Holiday Fundraiser

Tuesday, November 28

5:30PM - 7:30PM

The Classic Cup Cafe

301 W 47th St

Kansas City, MO

Save the date for the upcoming Holiday Fundraiser at the Classic Cup on Tuesday, November 28th 5:30-7:30pm. You can enjoy spectacular, private views of the Plaza lights while supporting my re-election campaign. In the spirit of Giving Tuesday, we will be collecting gloves, hats, and socks for those in need in our community.

Can’t attend in person? Make an online donation here:

Missouri Independent #GivingNewsday November 28

🗞️ You've likely heard of Giving Tuesday. Well, at The Independent we celebrate an important variation: #GivingNewsday! On Nov. 28, we hope you will choose to support the largest newsroom in Missouri that's focused exclusively on covering state government, politics and policy.

Missouri Independent is a nonprofit news operation that depends on support from people like you to produce high-quality journalism without advertising, subscription fees or paywalls.

Please help us with this public service. Your donations allow us to expand our coverage, purchase equipment and fight for open records.

Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Visit for more information.


Lee’s Summit Democrats

December Meeting

Saturday, December 2



318 SW Main Street

Lee’s Summit, MO

Join us on Saturday, December 2 at 2:00 pm at Flavor in downtown Lee’s Summit to celebrate the holidays and support small business in our community. Come for lunch and conversation with fellow members at our December meeting. Please bring your donations for Hope House, and we will deliver them for you. See the Hope House website for current urgent needs–


End of the Year Fundraiser for Aaron Crossley for State Rep. District 29

Tuesday, December 5


Ophelia’s Restaurant and Inn

201 N Main St.

Independence, MO

Please join us for the last fundraiser of 2023 in support of Aaron Crossley, hosted by Ken and Cindy McClain. Your support is crucial in making a positive impact in Independence in 2024. Gather for a night of community, conversation, and shared vision. Donations can be made online at


South Kansas City Democrats

Bingo Fundraiser

Wednesday, December 6

6:00 - 7:30 PM

Lew’s Grill and Bar

7539 Wornall

Kansas City, MO

Join the South Kansas City Democrats for a night of fun and bingo. Help support our efforts to elect more Democrats! Check here for more details coming soon:



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 other disturbing actions. Tell your state representative to support the House Ethics investigation into Dean Plocher!

Search for your representative and contact information here:


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:

The Heartland Pod Interview with Rep. Crystal Quade



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

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail

In 1838, the United States government forcibly removed more than 16,000 Cherokee Indian people from their homelands in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia, and sent them to Indian Territory (today known as Oklahoma). The impact to the Cherokee was devastating. Hundreds of Cherokee died during their trip west, and thousands more perished from the consequences of relocation. This tragic chapter in American and Cherokee history became known as the Trail of Tears, and culminated the implementation of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which mandated the removal of all American Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River to lands in the West.

The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that 17 Cherokee detachments followed westward. Today the trail encompasses about 2,200 miles of land and water routes, and traverses portions of nine states.

The National Park Service, in partnership with other federal agencies, state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, and private landowners, administers the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Participating national historic trail sites display the official trail logo. The Trail passes through the present-day states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Due to the trail's length, you may decide to travel its entirety or just a few sites.

More information:



Missouri in the News

“Missouri voter ID trial digs into purpose, results of strict 2022 law –

The NAACP and the League of Women Voters are challenging the law, the third time since 2006 when Republican lawmakers passed a photo ID law”

“Almost one out of every 10 voters who cast ballots in Missouri’s two largest jurisdictions during recent elections lacked the identification now required at polls in the state, an expert testified Monday at a trial over the voter ID requirement.

Kenneth Mayer, a political scientist from the University of Wisconsin, estimated that about 175,000 votes cast in St. Louis County – or 8.4% of the total – between 2018 and 2022 were cast by people who did not have a Missouri-issued drivers license, nondriver identification or a federally issued ID with their birth date. The numbers were a little higher in Jackson County, he said, and nearly double that in Boone County, home of the University of Missouri’s flagship campus.

Before the November 2022 election, acceptable identification at the polls included a voter registration card, a student identification card, a bank statement or utility bill or even an out-of-state drivers license if it had not expired.

Now anyone without the required state- or federally issued identification is given a provisional ballot. For it to be counted, the voter must return to the polling station and show the correct identification or count on the local election authority matching their signature to the one on file.

Overall turnout for 2022 was about 20% lower than the presidential election of 2020, Mayer testified, but the number of provisional ballots cast was four times higher than two years earlier.

Many people worried whether their identification would count likely didn’t vote, Mayer said. “Voters frequently misunderstand the kind of ID that is required,” he said. “Half the people who don’t vote and say they didn’t vote because they lack ID actually had the proper ID.”

Mayer is an expert witness for the Missouri NAACP and the League of Women Voters, who are challenging the voter ID law as unconstitutional. He testified on the second day of a trial before Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem.

The trial is expected to last through Wednesday.

The NAACP and the league argue the law imposes unconstitutional burdens on the right to vote without actually achieving the state goal of reducing fraud in elections. The current law is the third since 2006 seeking to require a photo ID to vote. The previous two versions have been struck down by the courts.

At a news conference during a mid-day break on Monday, Nimrod Chapel, president of the Missouri NAACP, blamed Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft for pushing the new law as a political measure to suppress turnout.

Passing a photo ID law to vote has been a Republican priority since 2006. Most Democrats have been opposed to the idea.

“Jay Ashcroft, with this ridiculous measure, has worked hard to ensure that African-Americans and other voters throughout the state would be disenfranchised, understanding that the burden would be borne harder and most upon us,” Chapel said.”

Additional reporting here:


“Missouri Supreme Court won’t hear Jay Ashcroft’s appeal of abortion ballot summaries”

“The Missouri Supreme Court has denied Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s atrempt to appeal rulings against his ballot summary for initiative petitions seeking to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution.

The court also rejected an appeal seeking to reject cost estimates crafted by Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick.

The decisions came down Monday evening, less than a week after Ashcroft asked the state’s highest court to take up the case.

Ashcroft is attempting to keep the wording of a ballot summary he crafted for several abortion-rights initiative petitions stating they would “allow for dangerous, unregulated, and unrestricted abortions.”

The ballot initiatives were filed in March by St. Louis physician Anna Fitz-James, who proposed 11 different wordings for possible constitutional amendments to legalize abortion in Missouri. Fitz-James filed the proposals on behalf of Missourians for Constitutional Freedom, a political action committee.

As secretary of state, Ashcroft was required to write short neutral summaries for each of the 11 ballot proposals to appear on the ballot before voters on Election Day.

Fitz-James, supported by the ACLU of Missouri, challenged Ashcroft’s language on six of the 11 ballot initiatives. Those who support the initiatives have not yet announced which version they will move forward with in collecting signatures, but each version includes language saying there must be a “compelling government interest” for abortion restrictions to be in place.

Some versions would make abortion legal up until 24 weeks gestation; others would legalize abortion until “fetal viability.”

Ashcroft wrote summaries declaring that the amendments would “nullify longstanding Missouri law protecting the right to life, including but not limited to partial-birth abortion.”

On Oct. 31, a state appeals court called Ashcroft’s summaries “replete with politically partisan language.”

“The use of the term ‘right to life’ is simply not an impartial term,” Judge Thomas Chapman wrote in the court’s unanimous opinion upholding a Cole County judge’s initial decision in favor of the ACLU and Fitz-James.

Ashcroft has said he stands by his summary language, which he argues “fairly and accurately reflects the scope and magnitude of each petition.”

A separate attempt to get abortion on the 2024 ballot has also been filed by longtime GOP operative Jamie Corey. On Friday, her group, called the Missouri Women and Family Research Fund, launched a political action committee and started collecting signatures for an initiative petition that would add some exceptions to the state’s abortion ban, including in cases or rape or incest. It would also legalize abortion prior to 12 weeks gestation.

Corley also sued Ashcroft over the ballot summary he wrote for her original initiative petitions. That lawsuit is ongoing.

In order for any of the abortion amendments to end up on the 2024 ballot, proponents must collect more than 170,000 signatures from registered voters by May.

Abortion has been illegal in Missouri since June 2022. A trigger law went into effect immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that recognized abortion as a constitutional right.

Right now, abortion is only legal in Missouri in emergencies where it is necessary to save the mother’s life or when there is “a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”


“Missouri pension board rejects push by state Treasurer Vivek Malek for China divestment – Economic headwinds, political actions of Chinese government make the country a bad investment, Malek contends”

“The board overseeing Missouri’s state employee pension plan voted down a proposal by state Treasurer Vivek Malek to sell off any investments in Chinese stocks and other securities.

On a voice vote last week, the 11-member board of the Missouri State Employees Retirement System rejected Malek’s call to punish the Asian economic powerhouse for COVID-19, spy balloons and the fentanyl crisis by pulling its pension investments in the Asian economic powerhouse.

China has become a bad investment in recent years as its economy suffers from deflation, low population growth and an overbuilt housing market, Malek said in a Friday interview with The Independent. He also said China’s threatening posture towards Taiwan, and friendship with Russia, make investments there a bad choice.

“Given the economic decisions, and the economic projections, it is very clear that we should not be investing in China,” Malek said.

Doing business with China has become a political sore spot in the past few years. It was one of the first issues raised in the 2022 Republican Senate primary in Missouri and this year, the Missouri House passed a bill to limit the sale of farmland to investors from China and a handful of other countries. The bill died in the state Senate.

And the U.S. Senate in July voted to prohibit China, Iran, North Korea and Russia from purchasing U.S. farmland.

MOSERS provides pensions to most of the state government workforce. It is supported by contributions from the state treasury, employee payroll deductions and investment income. In recent years, returns on the system’s portfolio, valued at $8.8 billion in June 2022, have not kept pace with growing liabilities.

In 2001, Missouri contributed 12.3% of the state’s covered payroll to MOSERS. The state contribution rate for fiscal 2022 was 23.51% and the trustees have asked that it be set at 28.75% for the coming fiscal year.

Investments in China represent about $200 million of MOSERS’s investment portfolio, Malek said.”


“A jailed ex-KC cop is a problem for Mike Parson. Blaming the prosecutor won’t solve it – Missouri’s governor is sounding desperate with his talk of a pardon for Kansas City cop convicted of killing a Black man”

“Missouri Gov. Mike Parson clearly doesn’t know what to do about Eric DeValkenaere, the former Kansas City police officer convicted of killing a 26-year-old Black man, Cameron Lamb.

Parson, forever a county sheriff at heart, hates the thought of a cop sitting in prison and he’s under pressure from the extended brotherhood of law enforcement to bring DeValkenaere home.

He also knows that commuting DeValkenaere’s sentence will enrage many people in Kansas City and beyond. And if Parson has studied the case — as he claims to have done — he surely knows that the facts support the second-degree manslaughter conviction that has earned DeValkenaere six years in prison.

So what is a governor to do?

If you’re Mike Parson, you create a diversion. Find someone to blame. Not DeValkenaere, who rushed into Lamb’s backyard without cause or a warrant and shot Lamb as he was backing his pickup into a garage. Not the KCPD leadership of 2021, which tacitly encouraged officers to push the limits.

No. You blame Jean Peters Baker, the Jackson County prosecutor who did her job and brought the charges against DeValkenaere.

“The one thing that bothered me more than anything else was the way the prosecutor handled this in Kansas City,” Parson told radio talk show host Pete Mundo last week.

“She’s done a poor example of setting the stage and making this more of a political issue,” he went on, “when she should have been doing what’s right by the law.”

I wish Mundo had asked the governor exactly how Baker has not done right by the law, when her case has been validated by a grand jury, a circuit court judge in Jackson County and three Missouri appeals judges. He did not.

Another great question would be what Parson thinks Baker has to gain politically. Because here’s what he’s missing: No prosecutor in their right mind wants to charge a cop with anything, least of all murder.

A prosecutor’s success in bringing successful cases and getting criminals off the streets depends on a healthy working relationship with everyone from the police chief to detectives and crime scene investigators.

Why would Baker endanger that relationship? Why would she invite the wrath of the police union, the anonymous threats linked to this case and the endless condemnation of conservative talk show hosts and pundits?

There is only one answer: Because Baker swore an oath to uphold the law, and prosecuting DeValkenaere was the right thing to do.

Baker has been Jackson County’s prosecutor for 12 eventful years. In that time she successfully prosecuted a Catholic bishop for failing to report suspected child abuse by a priest and she passed on charging former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with invasion of privacy, saying she couldn’t prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. She sent scores of people to prison for life terms when evidence showed they were guilty and she helped free Kevin Strickland from that fate after 43 years in prison because the evidence showed he was innocent.

She prosecuted police officers for assault and other crimes, and in other cases she declined to prosecute officers even when the community was calling for her to do so. Baker has built a trove of credibility in Kansas City and Jackson County by meticulously gathering facts and applying the law without regard to race, status or position.

Facts and the rule of law matter much less to Parson and his appointed attorney general, Andrew Bailey. The only law they want applied in the DeValkenaere case is the unwritten one that says a cop in uniform can never be wrong. And so the prosecutor seeking justice in the death of a young Black man must be the one in error.

The problem for them is that, when Bailey took the preposterous step of appealing the guilty verdict handed down by a Missouri circuit court judge, another set of judges reiterated that Baker had been right. DeValkenaere broke the law when he fatally shot Lamb.

In Kansas City, which has been on edge for months about the possibility of the governor pardoning DeValkenaere or commuting his sentence, Parson’s remarks on the radio show were interpreted as a sign that he’s getting ready to do just that — free DeValkenaere and attempt to pin the inevitable fallout on Baker and her office.

But Parson said something else in that interview that makes me think that outcome is not inevitable. He said he had supported Bailey’s move to appeal the circuit court’s verdict, rather than defend it as is usually the attorney general’s role. But two of the three appeals judges who slapped down Bailey’s request to reverse the verdict were Parson’s own appointees.

“Those were some of the judges that I actually put in place,” the governor told Mundo. “I just don’t have a quick answer for you.”

Baker has announced that she’s not running for reelection and will leave office in January 2025 — the same time Parson will be moving out of the governor’s mansion. Baker can return to private life knowing that she’s done the right thing. Will Parson be able to say the same?”

Missouri Independent Nov 21


National News

“Israel-Hamas War - Hamas and Israel Complete 3rd Exchange of Hostages for Prisoners”

“Hamas released 17 more hostages on Sunday, including one American — Avigail Idan, who turned 4 on Friday — and said it would seek to extend a temporary cease-fire with Israel after the current four-day pause is over.

Under the deal reached last week, the cease-fire began on Friday and is slated to continue into Monday. It is the longest break in fighting in Gaza since Oct. 7, when gunmen from Hamas and other militant groups launched a deadly attack on southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, according to Israeli officials.”

“Hamas released another 14 Israeli hostages on Sunday during the four-day pause in fighting with Israel, according to the Israeli government. The move came after an initial release of 13 Israelis on Friday followed by 13 additional Israelis late on Saturday.”

“The Palestinian armed group Hamas said Sunday it was willing to extend a temporary cease-fire with Israel after the current four-day pause is over.

The pause in fighting began on Friday and was slated to continue into Monday. Under the terms of the deal, Hamas agreed to free at least 50 hostages, all women and children, while Israel would release from its prisons 150 Palestinian women and minors, some of whom were detained for violent crimes. (Hamas has separately released other foreign nationals, including 13 Thai citizens.)”

New York Times Nov 26


With so much important news each week we don’t want you to miss a thing! Check out our MISSOURI MONDAYS NEWS SUPPLEMENT here:



THANK YOU! for staying informed and taking action to make a difference!

Invite your friends and neighbors to join us and sign up for Missouri Action Alliance and this Missouri Mondays weekly email at

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