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Letters to the editor

Independents deserve same rights as others

Dear Editor,

The latest Gallup poll shows 42 percent of Americans consider themselves Independent.  Yet in most states, Independents are either barred from voting or face restriction on their full voting rights.
It seems participating in the electoral process has become a strain on the very duty that allows Americans to have a say in the way America is governed and the American people are responding by staying home … or by becoming Independent.
Independents are getting organized here in Missouri and elsewhere as part of the “Voting Rights are Primary” campaign that is being nationally coordinated by IndependentVoting.org.
Its aim is to bring attention to the election practices that continue to play into the political parties’ agendas and make Independents first-class taxpayers, but second-class voters.
Missouri Independents Standing Together (“MIST”), the Independent organization forming here in Kansas City, will be making itself visible on Primary Day, Aug. 5 in hopes of bringing more attention to the Independent movement in Missouri.
Standing up as an Independent – with other Independents – will not create another “political party.” We stand together in hopes of creating a non-partisan environment that allows the electoral process to give voice back to the American people

– Natesha Oliver
Kansas City, Mo.

Group applauds Nixon veto of e-cigarette bill

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network applauds Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to veto legislation which would exempt electronic cigarettes from Missouri’s tobacco laws. Stacy Reliford, Missouri government relations director for ACS CAN, released the following statement in reaction to the veto:
“Governor Nixon’s veto means Missouri will not fall victim to Big Tobacco’s trickery. While the bill passed by the Legislature ostensibly prohibits the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors, what it really does is create loopholes and exemptions to Missouri’s tobacco laws for these still unproven and potentially harmful devices.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already said it intends to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors; making it apparent that the real intent of this Big Tobacco bill was to skirt our state’s existing tobacco control laws.
“The long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are unknown. Until we understand more about the safety of e-cigarettes, we should regulate them like cigarettes to protect Missourians’ health.
“Tobacco industry-sponsored electronic cigarette bills like these distract us from the evidence-based tobacco control policies we know work: comprehensive smoke-free air laws, increasing the price of tobacco products and well-funded cessation programs. ACS CAN and its partners will continue to advocate for these effective policies to reduce the burden of tobacco in our state.”

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