Missouri’s Amendment 1: Missouri’s sucker bet

$3, 173.70.

That’s the amount that Missouri tax payers have paid between March 3, 2014 and May 30, 2014 for Chris Koster’s lawsuit on behalf of large egg producers against California’s egg laws. It doesn’t sound like a lot of money until you realize that this just covers the fees paid to the California legal team representing Koster (and supposedly, Missouri). It doesn’t cover the time that J. Andrew Hirth, our Assistant State Attorney General, has put into the case, or any of the other members of the AG office staff. It also represents only about 6% of the likely cost, overall, for the lawsuit if it manages to survive the California Motion to Dismiss. If the case goes to trial, the cost will easily exceed $55,000 in legal fees.

This, just to defend a couple of larger egg producing companies in Missouri.

Doesn’t sound like a good use for tax payer money, does it? After all, wouldn’t we expect the companies to defend themselves, rather than take a ride on the tax payer dollar? In fact, this is one of the arguments California gives in the motion to dismiss: stripping aside the legalese, why on earth is Missouri suing another state on behalf of a tiny, miniscule group, when typically states only sue on behalf of a significant number of citizens?

Well, the reason why Koster and Missouri are seemingly fighting this lawsuit is because in Missouri, large agricultural concerns take precedence over the average citizen. In fact, if we look more closely at Mr. Koster’s recent actions, large agricultural concerns are the only interests that he seems to think are worth defending. Because not only did he file this lawsuit that benefits so few, he’s also campaigning across the state for Amendment 1, the so-called Right to Farm Constitutional amendment up for a vote on August 5th.

Right to farm? More like, right to undermine existing animal welfare laws, right to allow Chinese owned large animal operations (CAFOs) to disregard state water and air laws in order to minimize costs, and right to undermine this state’s initiative process by putting one industry, just one, outside the rule of law

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