A group calling itself the Coalition for a Healthy Future wants to more than quintuple Missouri's cigarette excise tax, to 97 cents a pack, and use the proceeds to help finance Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor. The proposal, which the group hopes to put on the November 2006 ballot, is bad policy. It's regressive, and it's unfair to smokers. Voters should reject it, just as they rejected a similar tax hike in 2002.
Tuesday's recall of St. Louis Alderman Thomas Bauer puts all Missouri public officials on notice: voters won't put up with politicians who abuse the power of eminent domain for the benefit of well-connected private developers. Voters in the 24th Ward were outraged after Bauer attempted to seize several homes and businesses at the corner of Manchester and McCausland in order to make room for a QuikTrip gas station.