Becker Files Lawsuit to Protect Citizens Who Were Disenfranchised

Nov 22, 2011

Brian Becker, owner of, filed a lawsuit in Butler County on Friday asking the courts to uphold the rights of 1193 Poplar Bluff citizens who signed the petition but had their names invalidated by the City Clerk and CIty Attorney.

The City Attorney wrote in a letter dated November 17, that the City Clerk had invalidated over signatures because the full text of the ordinance was not on every page of signatures.

The suit alleges that the state statues “requires that signature pages be attached to such a copy of the full correct text of the petition. Mr. Becker complied with this requirement as indicated by staple holes in the various pages. They were separated only for the purposed of copying and filing. Consequently the 1,107 signatures rejected because they allegedly were not affixed to a petition containing the full text of the proposal should have been certified.”

Becker said, “The city has violated the rights of their own citizens. It is on behalf of those 1,100 citizens that I bring this to a higher authority to weigh in on this travesty.”

Becker continued “Although I did file a lawsuit, that doesn’t mean we are not working to comply with the City’s outrageous demands. Every step of the way, the City has made a more outlandish request than the day before. Both paid and volunteer staff are working every waking hour to correct 1100 signatures the city has invalidated.”

The group is taking a petition back to each of the invalidated voters and asking them to re-sign the petition. The group reports that they have gathered above and beyond the one hundred signatures each day needed to correct this in the 10 days the city required.

Becker stated, “We expect to turn in all 3,136 signatures the City now requires to place this on the ballot on Monday, Nov 28th.”

  1. Larry Hawkins

    As some others have stated, I am on-board with the movement but unfortunately I live outside the city limits so I am unable to sign the petition given the Zionist stipulations produced by the city government. It is extremely disheartening to see how the level of corruption extends from our US Government all the way down to our cities. Just the fact that the city refuses to to have a ‘level’ playing field for all of the constituents involved shows that it is all about the money and that PB is being run by a ‘Gestapo’ style ‘Big-Brother’ bunch of oppressors. They don’t care about you or the city, only what lines their pocket, even at the expense of the city’s citizens. the entire city, including us here on the outskirts of town, need to stand up to them!! I mean come on people, they threatened our city workers and establishments with repercussion if they signed the petition. Tyranny at it’s finest and we just keep letting it happen. DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION or suffer the consequences. People like this HAVE TO BE STOPPED and made example of. Brian, keep up the fight and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you abolish this tyranny and oppression that is right in our back yard. I am only one voice but there are many thousands that hold the same view.

  2. Lester

    I wonder why out of city limits residents doesn’t count. City cable / internet is in the county too. I bet if it was in their favor, we would count!

  3. Debra McCoin

    I live in Dunklin county and have been following this situation since the beginning. I to wish I could have have signed the petition. I believe in the right to choose. That is a major part of what our country is built upon. I wish you all the luck in the world to get this on the ballot.

  4. Chris Montgomery

    Brian, if this lawsuit is successful, but beyond the established deadlines, will the success be retroactive, the petition successful, and the city required to put the matter on the February ballot?

    1. Brian Becker

      Though we still have hope of the February ballot, if they successfully delay this past the 29 of Nov, it becomes less likely. But if it has to be April, then, so be it.

  5. Kathryn Puckett

    I know this is very frustrating to all of you. I live outside of Poplar Bluff city limits, so I could not sign a petition. If the city required you to get 2900 signatures, and you have well over that, what is their problem? You have the required amount, and though they have thrown out over a thousand, there is still the 2900. I understand you wanting to get all the signatures re-validated, but with the 2900 valid ones you have, it seems to me the city does not have a leg to stand on to block this issue. It just seems like common sense to me, but then, we are dealing with the city council.

    1. Brian Becker

      Hi Kathryn. We turned in 3400 signatures, 200 were in the county so they didn’t count which dropped us to 3200. They then threw out 1193 which dropped us to 1800 “city verified” addresses.

  6. Timothy C. Schenks

    That’s amazing that the City of Poplar Bluff will refuse the signatures of that many registered voters. I doubt there are that many people who bother to show up to vote at most city elections…

    1. Brian Becker

      Our last city election had 2433 voters show up to the polls. The election before that, in 2010, had two council seats. One council seat was won with 80 votes, the other council seat was won with 61 votes. Yes, a total voter turnout of 201 voters.