Merry Christmas From the Freedom Center of Missouri
|Dear Friend of the Freedom Center,
Christmas is just days away, and here at the Freedom Center we are eager to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the promise of love, peace, and redemption that He brought into the world. We hope that this season will find you and your family happy, healthy, and hopeful about the potential for the coming New Year!
We are also celebrating an early Christmas gift from St. Louis media in the form of excellent coverage of our constitutional challenge to the Turf Grass Mandate in St. Peters.
The first couple of rounds of this legal battle kind of flew under the media radar, but thanks to the immense goodwill we built with St. Louis news outlets this summer, round three of this case is making a huge splash. Two days ago KSDK made the filing of this federal lawsuit its lead story on the 5:00 news, and today the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran its own story about our case on the front page. This kind of coverage is invaluable in helping to show people why it is so important to keep the government within constitutional boundaries.
As we noted in last month’s email, the Freedom Center is once again a 501(c)(3) organization; donations to support our work are tax-exempt. There has never been a better time to give, and I want to lay out, specifically, the value the Freedom Center offers.
We are currently litigating eight cases – two property rights cases and a free speech case in federal courts, and one economic liberty case and four government transparency cases in state courts. This does not include the four election-related cases (three victories, one 4-3 loss in the Missouri Supreme Court) and the Right of Self-Defense case (a 5-2 loss in the Missouri Supreme Court) that we wrapped up earlier this year. I am not exaggerating when I say that no other similar organization – even one double or triple our size – could dream of doing so much, even with a budget ten times larger than ours.
Every dollar you give to the Freedom Center goes directly to support our efforts at the state capital, in the courts, and in the court of public opinion. No one else in Missouri is doing the kind of work we do, nor advancing liberty in such a concrete way. For people who love liberty, there simply is no bigger bang for your buck. If you would like to support us, please go to mofreedom.org/donate – which, I believe, is finally working the way it should. And perhaps as importantly, please pass this message to your freedom-minded friends and encourage them to give as well. With your support, we will continue to do work you can be proud of.
Wishing a Very Merry Christmas and a Free and Prosperous New Year to All,
Director of Litigation
Freedom Center of Missouri
Invest in Liberty!
P.O. Box 693
Mexico, Missouri 65265
Phone: (573) 567-0307
New Cases to Report!
Several months ago the Freedom Center expanded its mission to include “government transparency.” We did this because a self-governing people must be able to inform themselves as to what their officials are doing with the power they have been given. We have now adopted four Sunshine Law cases.
Three of these cases involve drug task forces that, despite having been given millions of dollars of taxpayer funding and extraordinary, statewide powers of arrest, assert that they are completely exempt from Missouri’s Sunshine Law.
The St. Louis City task force for months denied its own existence… until our client, Aaron Malin, found out that the person issuing those denials was actually responsible for signing contracts on behalf of the task force.
The MUSTANG Task Force initially produced documents, but they unlawfully redacted them and then, even after being informed of their legal obligations and the potential consequences, simply stopped responding to open records requests.
The St. Louis County task force did not announce its meetings and did not keep minutes of those meetings, despite statutes explicitly imposing these requirements, then tried to cover-up its violations by fabricating “minutes” after Malin requested them, trying to pass the fabricated documents as legitimate.
In the fourth case, Cole County Prosecuting Attorney, Mark Richardson, could not argue that the Sunshine Law did not apply to his office. But even so, he responded to every request for records with a form letter stating that his office did not “categorize” its records and that, therefore, he considered any public records request too burdensome for him to make any effort to locate the requested records.
The Freedom Center is fighting to ensure that those responsible for enforcing our state’s laws do so with the transparency that the Sunshine Law demands, and that they will be held accountable when they, themselves, break the law.