In Missouri, Voters Passed Ethics Reform. Now GOP Lawmakers Wish To Overturn It

Missouri House Rep. Dean Plocher at a St. Louis Young Republicans Meeting in March 2017.Screengrab / St. Louis Young Republicans / Youtube

Missouri Republicans are trying to reverse a law passed in Nov. that ensures fairness in the political mapping process.

Republican lawmakers in Missouri are trying to reverse a plan to employ a nonpartisan state demographer to remap Senate and House districts that voters approved in November, regional newspaper St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

The pushback is led by Republican state Representative Dean Plocher and was introduced to the Republican-led Missouri Legislature on Tuesday evening. A proposed bill that initially focused on banning lobbyists from bribing lawmakers has been changed to include modifications to how the state's political map is drawn.

Instead of using a nonpartisan state demographer, which was a controversial portion of the Clean Missouri law that was approved in a 62 percent to 38 percent vote in November, GOP lawmakers want a panel of legislative-approved residents to have full control of the redistricting process, which will have a major impact on the party breakdown of the State House and Senate.

The first hearing of Plocher's lobbyist gift ban took place in March, gathering protesters who argued that his simple proposal was a "Trojan horse" to disguise Republican efforts to block the effects of the Clean Missouri law.

Conservative lawmakers worked throughout a hearing on Tuesday night to overturn sections of the Clean Missouri law. They argue that Clean Missouri was an attempt by Democrat activists to amend the map-making process to their own advantage: reversing the Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate.

The law supported by a majority of voters stipulates that Missouri will use an objective mathematical formula to maximize "partisan fairness" and "competitiveness" in each district.

Read the full story here.

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