Last night the essential and inimitable Rachel Maddow devoted half of her show to the cold-blooded murder of our already low-tax, low-services state with the push of a button by one turncoat Democrat who will no doubt be eating his lunches alone once the session is over and he is back at work as an IBEW Lineman.
Lord knows, I appreciate the attention someone of Rachel Maddow’s caliber brings to what happened here on Tuesday, but two things happened before the removal of all campaign contribution limits in 2008, and one thing is for sure….the bastards play a looonnnggg game.
The first thing that happened was the Hancock Amendment. On November 4, 1980, one month and one day before my 18th birthday, the day Missouri voted for Ronald Reagan for President, I fell into mourning and wore black for a month – not because Reagan won, but because the Hancock Amendment passed with 55% of the vote, and I knew what that meant…henceforth, all taxes would be raised via sales and property tax levies, and those who had the most would pay the least. I knew that although I was a tenth-generation Missourian, my future children probably wouldn’t be; that trying to start an adult life on an uneven footing with those who had a head start was going to be a mugs game.
The second thing that happened took place in 1992, when we were billeted elsewhere. Missouri voters were gulled, by a 3:1 margin, to enact term limits for state legislators…funny how that notion never came up or got discussed in Kansas or other republican-controlled states, isn’t it? Republicans couldn’t win fair-and-square, so they changed the rules. The term limits that were voted for in 1992 went into effect in 2000, and comity went out the window. Term limits going into effect was the thing that happened “ten or so years ago” that turned Missouri from a bellwether to a southern-style conservative state.
At first, the effect of term limits was muted, because the institutional memory still existed with the staffers. Now the staffers are gone, the legislators only have eight years in a chamber (and just ask any legislator – that’s about how long it takes to figure out how the place works) and all the institutional memory that still exists rests with lobbyists, and it’s Katy-bar-the-door.
That is what led to the 2008 removal of campaign contribution limits, and created the perfect storm that sank our ship of state on Tuesday.
Update – previously on SB 509:
Bill signing Kabuki (July 12, 2013)
Rep. Denny Hoskins (r): your constituents know what you’re doing to them (August 26, 2013)
HB 253: any way you slice it (September 11, 2013)
HB 253: Watch out – It’ll be baaaaaaaaaack (September 11, 2013)
SB 509: once more, with feeling (April 17, 2014)
SB 509: Governor Jay Nixon (D) strikes back (April 22, 2014)
SB 509: dueling on Twitter (April 22, 2014)
SB 509: Would you like some whine with your bill? (April 23, 2014)
SB 509: strange gyrations (April 23, 2014)
The Missouri GOP, Evel Knievel and political stuntsmanship (April 24, 2014)
SB 509: the folks back home ain’t buying what they’re selling (April 24, 2014)
SB 509: in a wingnutshell (April 28, 2014)
SB 509: veto it is (May 1, 2014)
SB 509: Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) Veto (May 2, 2014)
SB 509: “Brawndo! It’s got electrolytes!” (May 3, 2014)
SB 509: You were expecting anything else? (May 5, 2014)
SB 509: not so much these days (May 6, 2014)
The face of shame (May 6, 2014)
The day Missouri went down the toilet (May 7, 2014)