FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MO-CPR Criticizes Municipal League's Intervention In Court Case
ST. LOUIS, MO – August 19, 2008: The Missouri Municipal League filed papers Monday seeking to deprive Missouri voters of the opportunity to vote on a pair of constitutional amendments sponsored by Missouri Citizens for Property Rights. The amendments would end the abuse of eminent domain for private profit while allowing it for traditional uses like roads and utilities. They would also leave elected officials with other powers to clean up problem properties.
The Missouri Secretary of State ruled on August 5 that MO-CPR had turned in insufficient signatures in Congressional District 2 to qualify for the ballot. MO-CPR filed a lawsuit last week challenging the decision. The Missouri Municipal League, which represents 658 Missouri Cities, filed papers on Monday seeking to keep the MO-CPR amendments off the ballot.
The Municipal League’s filing prompted a rebuke from MO-CPR Chairman Ron Calzone. “It’s bad enough that some city officials have repeatedly trampled on their own constituents’ property rights for the benefit of politically connected private developers,” Calzone said. “Now they’re spending tax payer's money to go to court to deprive voters of the chance to vote on the practice. It’s despicable.”
“Nothing the Municipal League can add will change the fact that more than 200,000 Missouri voters have signed petitions asking to vote on this issue," Calzone added. "The Municipal League claims that eminent domain for private profit is good for the state’s economy, but we think that respect for property rights, the bulwark of all of our freedoms, is what's really good for Missouri. We just ask that the voters have a chance to choose.”
Bevis Schock, a member of the board of MO-CPR and a St. Louis civil rights attorney said he found the proposed intervention comical. "I wonder if the politicians who approved this legal action have considered how many residents of their cities signed our Petition?" he asked. "It is a sad day when government officials are so out of touch with the right of the people to own their property in peace, and so enamored with their own wisdom to decide which developers should run rough shod over people's homes and businesses, that they would take an action like this."
"The Municipal League should have entered this case on our side and encouraged the judge to grant the people a right to vote on this issue," Schock suggested.
"Voters should remember this when they go into the ballot box in November," Calzone added. "In addition to approving our amendments, voters should throw out the city officials who lack respect not only for their property rights, but for their right to vote as well."
Go to http://www.mo-cpr.org for this release and other information about the project.
Ron Calzone, chairman
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights
33867 Highway E
Dixon, MO 65459