For Immediate Release
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights to File Suit to Gain Ballot Access
Dixon, MO -- August 6, 2008: Missouri Citizens for Property Rights announced today that it intends to challenge the Missouri Secretary of State's Tuesday ruling that it has not submitted enough valid signatures for its two constitutional amendments to appear on the November ballot.
"We prepared for this possibility - we've already got a team in place to challenge the decision," said Ron Calzone, chairman of MO-CPR. "We're pleased that the Secretary of State confirmed that we had enough signatures in five of the six required congressional districts, and we intend to demonstrate that we cleared the hurdle in the sixth district as well."
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 the powers they need to clean up problem properties.
Under Missouri law, the signatures MO-CPR submitted were sent to county election officials for verification. Calzone noted that this year, county officials were asked to verify thousands of signatures for each of five separate petitions in just 13 weeks. They may have inadvertently rejected a significant number of valid signatures due to clerical errors.
Calzone said he is confident of success because his organization hired a private company to verify the signatures before submitting them. "Over 200,000 Missouri voters signed both of our petitions, but 50,000 of them were rejected -- we want to find out why. We intend to ensure that every valid signature is counted, and we believe that will be more than enough to put us on the ballot."
"Eminent domain for private profit is morally wrong, and it's bad for the state's economy," Calzone said. "This is the sort of thing a constitution is supposed to protect the people from. Three years after the Supreme Court said that the federal Constitution doesn't protect our property rights from private greed, the voters of Missouri deserve the chance to finally amend the state Constitution to restore property rights at the state level. We intend to show that we have earned a place on the ballot by collecting more than the required number of signatures."
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