[announce] Anti Eminent Domain Abuse Group Reaches Major Funding Goal
Official Missouri Libertarian Party Announcements
announce at lpmo.org
Sun Feb 17 08:37:01 CST 2008
Missouri Citizens for Property Rights Secures
Funding Needed to Collect Signatures for Ballot Access
Jefferson City, MO - February 12, 2008: The grassroots effort to
abolish eminent domain abuse in Missouri got a major boost on Tuesday
as Missouri Citizens for Property Rights announced it has begun paid
signature gathering for two constitutional amendments that will
prohibit the use of eminent domain for private profit.
MO-CPR has contracted with National Ballot Access, a leading
petitioning firm, to coordinate the professional signature-gathering
effort. The paid circulators will work alongside the scores of
volunteers who have been collecting signatures since last year. Two
separate petitions are being circulated, one to amend Article I of the
Missouri Constitution, and the other to amend Article VI. They are
seeking to collect 215,000 signatures for each petition by the May 4
deadline to achieve ballot access.
Volunteers have already collected thousands of signatures, but experts
say it's almost never possible to achieve ballot access using only
volunteers. MO-CPR has budgeted almost $900,000 to ensure it will have
the resources needed to complete the job. Ron Calzone, chairman of the
campaign committee, said they have already raised half that amount, and
are working hard to raise the rest. "Our effort, and the broader issue
of eminent domain abuse, has been getting unprecedented media attention
in recent weeks. It's becoming more and more evident that we still have
a problem to solve.", he said. "Donors and volunteers have responded to
the news stories out of St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, and Kansas
City. We're still beating the bushes for more help, but we expect
fundraising to get easier as our accomplishments continue to gain
recognition around the state."
Calzone noted that the broad popularity of the eminent domain reform
issue has made signature-gathering relatively easy. "Voters love these
amendments," he said. When our volunteers go out wearing our white 'No
Eminent Domain Abuse' T-shirts, people spot them from across the
street, come over, and line up for the opportunity to sign."
Edee Bagget, president of National Ballot Access, agreed. "I don't
think I've ever worked on an issue that was more well received!. Voters
love signing this petition because they understand it on an intuitive
level. Our circulators report that people track them down to sign this
petition. Once the people understand what the two petitions are about,
they readily sign."
Calzone stressed that volunteers will continue to be indispensable. Not
only are volunteer circulators saving tens of thousands of dollars in
fees to professional circulators, but they have also been crucial to
building word-of-mouth support.
"When ordinary Missourians see their friends and neighbors pounding the
pavement to end eminent domain abuse, they get excited too." he said.
"Unlike some initiatives that are organized by out-of-state lobbyists
and consultants, this has been an entirely home-grown, grass-roots
effort. Nobody in this organization is collecting a paycheck, and we
wouldn't have gotten as far as we have without the support of hundreds
of ordinary Missourians who are fired up about this issue."
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
ron at mo-cpr.org
More information about the announce