Based on a three-hour stint at a “NO on Proposition A” phone bank last night, I’m not claiming to have a real read on the pulse of Missouri, but I did pick up a few impressions…
1. More people than I would have anticipated have the Prop A [to effectively repeal the 1% earnings tax in St. Louis and Kansas City] scam figured out and say that they’re voting NO.
2. As with so many ballot issues, the meaning of “YES” vs. “NO” is confusing. Several voters said that they were against repealing the tax, so they were planning to vote YES. I had to explain that, if they wanted to keep things as they are, they would have to vote NO.
2. Prejudice is a two-way street: One man I spoke with, from a rural zip code, favored Prop A because [paraphrased] “Those people in the cities should just pay their taxes and not collect them from the rest of us who don’t live in their cities.” A woman with an urban zip code said [paraphrasing] she’s voting NO on A because the cities need money because everybody flocks to the cities for welfare.
Another urban zip coder said she’s voting NO on A because she doesn’t want “all those country bumpkins and hicks telling me how to pay my taxes.”
3. Only a few of the folks I spoke with knew that one wealthy man [Sinquefield] is behind Prop A. That bit of news seemed to be of interest to them, and helped convince them to vote NO, I think.
4. Several people I talked to said that they “knew” about Prop A because they’d “seen the ads on tv.” I haven’t seen much NO advertising here in St. Louis, but there’s certainly been a lot of YES on A on the air around here. The story may be different in KC. In any case, St. Louis-area folks are getting only one side of the story via tv ads, as far as I can observe. I’m not faulting Say No on A for not advertising, just noting how influential those YES ads seem to be.