We knew Cierpiot's weighted voting bill wouldn't stay down for long and indeed, it is up for a hearing again next week.
Sorry, Senator Cierpiot, your tricky shenanigans aren't going work this time. Even those constituents who traveled in to Jefferson City last week to testify, only for it to be pulled at the last minute will be back and with even more determination this week. Good try.
Nothing about the bill has changed so although he may have hoped that pulling it from committee a couple weeks ago would mean we'd forget or not be willing to take up the fight again, that is certainly not the case at all.
This bill is important, so please take action and do whatever you are able.
call to action
If you aren't aware of the bill and the details, please read my previous post, Dictatorship Is Coming To Your County.
SB 16 is scheduled now to be heard in the Local Government & Elections Committee on Monday, February 6 at 2:00 pm.
1. PRAY! Please pray the committee would vote down this horrible piece of legislation. It needs to die in committee and not waste the time, effort and energy of our legislators or citizens.
2. Come testify in person. Plan to arrive at the hearing room approximately 1/2 hour early, around 1:30 pm. It will be located in Senate Committee Room 2. This is located in the back hallway (behind the rotunda) on the first floor. Walk behind the rotunda and turn right. The committee rooms are on the left.
2. Contact Your Central Committee Chair. Express to your county chair that you feel this bill is bad for Missouri and would request your central committee to write and submit a resolution to this effect. Click on the link to find your chairperson and their email address.
3. Email and Call Every Committee Member. Every senator on this committee is serving the entire state in their position on this issue. Contact each of them by phone & email to let them know your thoughts.
Senator Elaine Gannon, Chair - firstname.lastname@example.org 573.751.4008
Senator Sandy Crawford, Vice Chair - email@example.com. 573.751.8793
Senator Jill Carter - firstname.lastname@example.org. 573.751.2173
Senator Mary Elizabeth Coleman - email@example.com 573.751.1492
Senator Andrew Koenig - firstname.lastname@example.org. 573.751.5568
Senator John Rizzo - email@example.com. 573.751.3074
Senator Barbara Washington - firstname.lastname@example.org. 573.751.3158
Missouri's county central committees are being attacked by a bitter senator, Mike Cierpiot, who happens to be pretty angry that he had a primary opponent and ended up not being endorsed by his own committee. Frankly, I'm not at all sure what his problem is, because he won the race. But Joe Nicola sure did a great job and those constituents learned a lot of truth.
That, I think, might be Cierpiot's problem. Truth.
Cierpiot snuck in a 3rd candidate to split the opposing votes, which isn't really surprising. That strategy is used often and it definitely worked. Maybe Cierpiot didn't know, I guess. But considering the 3rd candidate (Rachl Aguirre) was talking, even sort of bragging about being good friends with Cierpiot and his wife, they've been seen out to dinner together and such...I'm pretty certain that it was a strategic move. But I digress.
The Bill, SB 16
Senator Cierpiot filed SB 16 which creates a weighted voting system for our central committees. It's a horrible system and in order to understand the implications you first need to know two things.
1. What's a central committee?
2. How does weighted voting work?
what's a central committee?
The Republican Party (GOP) is divided into several different committees. The Democrat Party has them, too. These committees actually ARE what make up the Republican and Democrat Party. These committees that make up each party are codified in Missouri statute. Both the Republicans and the Democrats have the same list of committees.
- State Committee
- Congressional Committee
- Judiciary Committee
- Senatorial Committee
- Legislative Committee
- County Central Committee
Each committee has different functions and contributions to our political system. For example, the county committees can write resolutions about specific issues which indicates their stance or opinion. The county committee generally endorses and financially supports the party candidate in the general election. They are supposed to remain neutral in the primaries, but they do have influence and can actually keep candidates from running on their party ticket. Frankly, I wish they'd do more of that with a pledge to the Republican Platform as the filter.
The county committees in question are actually elected positions. There's a good chance you didn't know that. If you haven't seen that on your primary ballot lately, it's because no one is filing to fill it or it's been filled and the seat holder continues to hold it until they are challenged on the ballot, which rarely happens. We'll talk more about that another day.
The county committees are made up of 1 man and 1 woman from each voting precinct or township. I.e., If your county has 10 voting precincts/townships then you have 20 central committee seats. That means YOU have a committee man and a committee woman on your county committee that is supposed to be representing you. If you don't know your committee people, please take time to reach out to your County Clerk and find out who they are.
Each county committee has its own set of bylaws. And it's interesting to note that the party itself via these bylaws can choose ANY process they want as far as how their committee functions, how they control their party ballot, etc. as long as nothing they do conflicts with Missouri statute.
Issues the county committee votes on:
- Candidates for special elections
- How they accept candidates onto their ballot (via bylaws)
- Amending the bylaws
- Fundraising events
- County seat replacements
- Other things that arise as necessary
The Chair & Vice-Chair of each county committee are automatically members of the higher level committees where they have a voice in higher level issues, including Presidential delegates and filling vacant seats in higher offices.
what's weighted voting?
Currently, the county committee votes are NOT weighted. Every committee person gets one vote. This means that every township/precinct has the same amount of representation - just like the senate. We like this system. It assures us that everyone is represented in an equal way regardless of the population of their voting precinct.
Cierpiot wants to weight the votes and worse than weighting the votes, he's created a ridiculous way to do it.
This means that every committee member would have a different number of votes and that amount would be determined according to the number of people who voted for the WINNER of the governor's or auditor's race in the last primary.
Here's a video that explains more about weighted voting. INTRODUCTION TO WEIGHTED VOTING.
example of cierpiot's weighting method
Numbers given are only for informational purposes and easy explanations.
This is a fictional example created based on Cierpiot's method of weighting in SB 16.
There are 6 townships in X County. 12 committee members.
Let's say Fitzpatrick got 1,000 votes total in the August 2022 primary broken down like this:
Township A - 100 = 10% of the 1,000
Township B - 300 = 30% of the 1,000
Township C - 200 = 20% of the 1,000
Township D - 50 = 5% of the 1,000
Township E - 100 = 10% of the 1,000
Township F - 250 = 25% of the 1,000
Weight Calculations. Based on Cierpiot's formula in SB 16. If I learn I'm incorrect, I will publish corrections but this is what we believe to be true. It's more than confusing so give me some grace if I'm wrong here. I've talked to several people and this is the best we can come up with following his language in the bill.
Township A 10 x 2 = 20 votes each member. (40 total votes for A)
Township B 30 x 2 = 60 votes each member. (120 total votes for B)
Township C 20 x 2 = 40 votes each member. (80 total votes for C)
Township D 5 x 2 = 10 votes each member. (20 total votes for D)
Township E 10 x 2 = 20 votes each member. (40 total votes for E)
Township F 25 x 2 = 50 votes each member. (100 total votes for F)
40 + 120 + 80 + 20 + 40 + 100 = 400 total votes
There would be 400 total committee votes every time the committee of 12 people vote on any issue other than county seat replacements.
In this example, both members from Township B & Township F are all that is needed for a majority of the 400 votes. That's a total of 4 individuals instead of 7, which would be required for majority if everyone got one vote each.
PLEASE NOTE: It is OFTEN the case that a husband and wife are the committee man & woman for their township!!
In this case, we end up with 4 dictators from 2 townships that control everything that happens on the committee. And it's based on votes for the winner of ONE executive level primary race. It's INSANITY.
Oh...but is it??
insanity or strategy?
If you were a power seeking politician, wouldn't you LOVE to have this much control over the committee, its bylaws, its endorsements, its selection for candidates?
Cierpiot isn't insane. He's actually very strategic and this is a great way to sneak tons of dictator type control in right under the rug hoping no one notices.
Creating a dictatorship on the committees would mean ...
- All you have to do is put the people in those seats you want.
- You'd never get censured or left behind in the endorsements.
- You could have them write bylaws any way they wanted
- Control who goes on the ballot & how that happens by way of bylaws
- Control who is on the ballot in special elections
- Control Control Control
- Zero grassroots candidates would have a chance which means your reputation wouldn't be tanked when those pesky opponents told the truth.
1. PLEASE PRAY this ends with the senate committee!! The public hearing is today. I'll be in attendance and I'll keep you posted. **UPDATE. They pulled the bill from the committee hearing. It will be heard in the future at an unknown time.
2. Please find out who your central committee members are (check with your county clerk) and then send them the link to this blog. They need to use their voices & power they have on their committee. The committee can pass a resolution to express their opposition to the bill. It's the most effective way to gain traction right now but we need to make sure our county committee members know what's happening.
3. Stay tuned. Your voice may be needed shortly!