Kansas City Star editorial board member Barbara Shelly wrote an August 5 commentary on the "booming business" of petitions in Missouri. Read it here. Her criticism is directed not just at the large amounts spent in the attempt to qualify measures for the ballot, but also at initiative proponents who sue to ask the state to ignore its own laws when their petitions fail to qualify.
Among the 70 or so groups that filed with the state to circulate petitions this year, she singles out one in particular for its big spending: she says Rex Sinquefield, a wealthy St. Louis businessman, spent $6.8 million to qualify Proposition A, which would prevent cities from using an earnings tax to fund their budgets. It's worded so that it applies to just two cities in Missouri -- St. Louis and Kansas City.
In fact, a quick check of campaign finance records filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission reveals that Sinquefield has provided just over $7.8 million of the funds raised so far by "Let the Voters Decide," the committee formed to qualify Proposition A for the ballot. Just $400 has come from another source.