Boom And Bust

In Missouri, an expensive proposition that didn’t make it to the finish line

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 Updated:

Proponents of California’s Proposition 90 have poured more than $3.7 million into the campaign to pass it — far surpassing the amounts raised to put takings initiatives on the ballots in other states this November. But the second-best-financed such campaign — the $2.3 million-plus drive to put a takings initiative on the ballot in Missouri — never made it to the finish line.

Missourians in Charge filed its proposed constitutional amendment, the Protect Our Homes Initiative, with the state on February 8. The proposal addressed both eminent-domain and regulatory-takings issues.

Reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission show that the organization spent more than $2.3 million to push its Protect Our Homes Initiative and another proposed constitutional amendment aimed at limiting state spending.

On May 26, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced that the petitions for both measures failed to “meet certain statutory requirements necessary for processing and placement on the November 2006 ballot.”

After a circuit court judge rejected a challenge to Carnahan’s ruling and the Missouri Supreme Court sent the case to an appellate court, Missourians in Charge dropped its appeals.

The Missouri effort was bankrolled almost entirely by organizations run by or connected to Howard Rich, a wealthy New York real estate investor and libertarian activist.

Rich has not responded to the Center for Public Integrity’s requests for an interview.

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