Wednesday, June 11, 2014

MO Transpo Tax Part 3: What's Its Chance?

Part 3 of 3; part 2 is here; part 1 is here.

Yesterday, the pro-Amendment 7 campaign committee, Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs, received donations totaling $97,500. That's yesterday alone. Since the committee's inception, it's raised $586,022. According to Scott Cannon of the Kansas City Star, financial support of the pro-Amendment 7 effort is expected to total "upward of $5 million."

Meanwhile, the anti-Amendment 7 campaign committee, Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions, "likely will rely on social media and public events."

The pro-Amendment 7 committee has Normington & Petts, a DC-based polling and strategy firm with a load of experience winning tough races. It also has valuable experience in statewide Missouri campaigns, as it polled and consulted for Jay Nixon's victorious 2008 campaign for governor.

That's not to say that the dramatic resource disparity of the pro- and anti-7 campaigns automatically makes passage a slam dunk. Conventional Missouri political wisdom holds that Missouri's August primary electorate has a generally anti-tax disposition. Nevertheless, the dramatic resource disparity very well could "level the playing field," if not tilt the playing field in the pro-7 forces' favor.

And a "level playing field" very well could be sufficient to pass Amendment 7. The pro-7 forces need for success but a bare majority: 50% of Missouri's August 5th voters plus one.

And that's the St. Louis regional transportation policy dice-roll. St. Louis' multi-modal transportation advocates have decided to put their public organization efforts seemingly entirely into defeating Amendment 7 on August 5th rather than recently-and-now organizing public pressure on the County Executive's Office for a more multi-modal County project list. St. Louis' multi-modal transportation advocates should hope that they've correctly assessed the potential outcomes and have strategized accordingly. The stakes in this dice-roll are the next ten years (at least) of St. Louis regional transportation policy.

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