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State Libertarian Party endorses Proposition C

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 20, 2010 - The Missouri Libertarian Party is joining the state GOP in supporting Proposition C (officially known as the "Healthcare Freedom Act"), a proposal on the Aug. 3 ballot that calls for Missouri to opt out of some of the new federal health-care mandates.

The state Democratic Party is officially taking no position on Proposition C, although some of its activists oppose the measure. Most Democrats and other critics say the proposition is not enforceable because federal law pre-empts state law.

On Friday, a Cole County judge tossed out a lawsuit seeking to keep Proposition C off the primary ballot. The plaintiffs now say they won't appeal the judge's ruling, ending any court battle.

Legal questions aside, Libertarian leaders say the Aug. 3 vote offers "a first in the nation opportunity for Missouri voters to push back against some of the blatantly unconstitutional provisions of the Obamacare legislation."

Adds Cisse Spragins, state chair of the Libertarian Party: "Besides being unconstitutional, the mammoth 2000-plus page bill was rammed through despite the fact that a majority of Americans opposed it. Even those who were initially in favor of the legislation are beginning to understand its negative ramifications, and the fact that it is in many respects corporate welfare for insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

The Libertarian Party has some competitive primaries on the Aug. 3 ballot, in part to encourage members to show up at the polls. Presumably, as leaders see it, the party's endorsement of Proposition C might influence those who take the Libertarian ballot to do the same.

Because primaries often attract mainly the most politically active voters, those who support Proposition C believe that its placement on the Aug. 3 ballot offers its best chance of passage.

The ballot measure's key provision, say Libertarian advocates, would "exempt Missourians from being fined by the IRS for opting not to purchase the mandated minimum health-insurance coverage."

"The Obamacare legislation sets a new precedent for the ongoing destruction of our liberties. Never has the government required a person to purchase a product simply by virtue of the fact they exist," Spragins noted. "The Missouri LP is proud to endorse Proposition C."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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