Editorial: The Maneater Editorial Board’s 2020 ballot

Maneater Editorial Board created a list of endorsements for Missouri’s 2020 election.
Graphic by Jacob LaGesse

The Maneater Editorial Board has developed a fully researched, comprehensive guide to the 2020 ballot for the state of Missouri, accompanied by our endorsements on proposed initiatives and candidates.

Given the tumultuousness of this election year and the permanent change it’s prompted, we feel it’s imperative that Missourians understand what they’re voting for.

MEASURES

STATE OF MISSOURI CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT NO. 3

Proposed by the 100th General Assembly (Second Regular Session) (SS 3 SJR 38)

Vote “No” on Amendment 3 to encourage uncorrupt, competitive races in the state of Missouri.

Amendment 3 has been a focal point for controversy in the Missouri general election. To revert the district-drawing process to its pre-2018 structure, this measure veils passing a pro-gerrymandering initiative behind legislative donation limits. The amendment can be read in full on the official 2020 sample ballot.

This amendment aims to repeal Clean Missouri’s 2018 plan to alter the way congressional districts are drawn in Missouri.

The Clean Missouri initiative, named Amendment 1 in the 2018 general election, moved the responsibility of redrawing districts following the 2020 Census from the state legislature to a nonpartisan demographer. Its ultimate goal was to limit gerrymandering, when districts are drawn to unfairly advantage or disadvantage political parties or voting blocs.

Amendment 3 will return the responsibility of redistricting to the state legislature under the claim that Clean Missouri gives an unfair advantage to Missouri Democrats in future elections.

Major supporting organizations like the Missouri Farm Bureau argue that Amendment No. 3, not the Clean Missouri Amendment, will protect Missouri elections from gerrymandering. It’s worth noting that the Bureau website does not list any actual solution, aside from maintaining the basic legal criteria for district drawing.

What this means for Missouri if passed

  1. Legislation intended to maintain fairness in elections and foster representative congressional districts will be repealed in the state of Missouri.

  2. The potential for political gerrymandering in Missouri will increase, and there will be no nonpartisan presence to prevent this from happening.

    Removing partisanship from the redistricting process is the only way to truly ensure districts are fair.

CANDIDATES

STATE OF MISSOURI For Governor

  1. Mike Parson, Republican Party
  2. Nicole Galloway, Democratic Party

As MU students bear the brunt of Mike Parson’s nearly nonexistent COVID-19 response and cuts to higher education funding, The Maneater endorses Nicole Galloway for governor.

Missouri’s race for governor is gaining national attention as one of the more competitive governor’s races, as national groups like the Democratic Governors’ Association and the Republican Governors’ Association have both spent upward of $10 million on ads in the state.

Incumbent Governor Mike Parson was sworn into office in June 2018 after the resignation of then-Governor Eric Greitens.

Parson’s blatant disregard for science in his handling of the coronavirus pandemic is cause enough to not re-elect him.

Parson appeared at multiple events over the summer without a mask and has refused to institute a state-wide mask order — one of the most basic actions he could take to curb the spread of COVID-19. His dismissive comments about students going back to school showed a disregard for Missouri’s students and continued a troubling narrative of individual responsibility surrounding the coronavirus.

Even Parson himself contracting the coronavirus wasn’t enough for him to change his tone regarding the state’s mishandling of the virus.

Beyond his overt lack of a response to the coronavirus, Parson also opposes Medicaid expansion and is against abortion. When pandemic budget cuts came around, Parson hit education the hardest. He cut $123 million from K-12 education funding and $27.9 million from higher education funding. UM System President and MU Chancellor Mun Choi has frequently scapegoated the state’s budget cuts for the university’s lack of mass testing.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway was appointed in 2015 and re-elected in 2018 to a second term. Galloway is the only elected Democrat in the state. During her time as state auditor, Galloway was commended for applying high ethical standards to elected officials across party lines. She has also said that, if elected, she would implement a much-needed statewide mask ordinance and work to expand Medicaid and education funding.

It is clear that Galloway cares about the issues affecting both Missourians and MU students the most: education funding, healthcare and coronavirus response, among others.

For United States Representative District 4

  1. Vicky Hartzler, Republican Party
  2. Lindsey Simmons, Democratic Party

Following years of outdated policy, we at The Maneater endorse Lindsey Simmons to replace Vicky Hartzler as District 4’s congressional representative.

Simmons, an attorney from Hallsville, Missouri, is a first-time candidate who can bring an outside perspective to Congress as representative.

When asked in an interview with KSHB-TV what role the federal government should play in COVID-19 relief, Simmons stressed the importance of government financial support and increased contact tracing. Hartzler declined to respond.

This year, Hartzler voted against a stimulus intended to give Missouri constituents additional financial aid amid struggles from COVID-19 closures. However, Hartzler personally applied for and received a federally funded PPP loan to support her own small business to recover from COVID-19, according to The Kansas City Star.

Hartzler has no trouble accepting federal funding herself but won’t allow it to help those in desperate need of financial aid or healthcare.

Hartzler has represented Missouri Congressional District 4 since 2011. In her time of service, Hartzler has been active in passing legislation, such as the annual National Defense Authorization Act, which she lists as one of her major accomplishments on her website.

In 2017, Hartzler proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that blocks military funding for service member hormone therapy and gender reassignment services. Hartzler argued that funding transgender healthcare was costly and shouldn’t come out of the military budget. Luckily, the proposal was denied in the House of Representatives.

“We should treat all people with respect and dignity. Transgender troops should not be forbidden from military service,” Simmons said in the KSHB-TV interview when asked about protecting the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination regarding healthcare.

An extremely outdated and exclusive mindset is dangerous for an influential politician such as Hartzler to have and is a direct threat to transgender rights.

It’s time for a change of mindset and representation in District 4. Lindsey Simmons can give this to the state of Missouri.

For State Senator District 19

  1. Caleb Rowden, Republican Party
  2. Judy Baker, Democratic Party

The race between former state representative Judy Baker and current state Senate majority leader Caleb Rowden has been contentious, at least in advertising. “Rowden Lies” signs have popped up around Columbia, and advertisements questioning Baker’s healthcare-focused political record and ethics have hit the airwaves.

Rowden has dominated fundraising, raising and spending more than twice as much as his opponent as of Oct. 15. Much of his funding, however, comes from larger PAC donations while Baker’s comes from individual donors.

Baker has made health care and Missouri’s COVID-19 response priorities, cost-free vaccinations and treatment, advocating for additional unemployment solutions and Medicaid expansion — which voters supported on the August ballot.

Rowden has praised Missouri’s COVID-19 response and opposed both Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act. He has, however, established a record of funding MU and pledged to continue that trend.

Baker has not made education funding a campaign priority, and Rowden’s campaign has used her voting record against education funding bills in advertisements.

As MU continues to receive less money from the state, Rowden’s promises of funding are an undeniable positive for students. Baker’s health care plan, however, constitutes a greater benefit.

The Maneater endorses Baker but hopes she will consider her opponent’s stance on higher education funding and supports MU’s endeavors in academia and the community.

VOTE

Voting is a vital part of our civic duty. We encourage our community and those beyond it to make informed decisions when selecting officeholders and to challenge the corrupt actions or ideologies of those in power.

_As part of its commitment to highlighting organizations fighting for racial justice, the Maneater encourages readers to donate to Black Youth Project, an organization that works to uplift the voices of Black Millennials. Donate at: https://giving.uchicago.edu/site/Donation2?df_id=1714&mfc_pref=T&1714.donation=form1 _

Edited by Hope Davis | hdavis@themaneater.com

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