As the Supreme Court considers a challenge to a state law banning those convicted of federal crimes from running for public office in Missouri, the man at the center of the case maintains his claim that he has been unfairly targeted by a State Senator. Jackson County Legislator Henry Rizzo had pleaded guilty to a federal misdemeanor in 1991. An amendment to a 2005 law passed by the General Assembly would prohibit him from running for reelection this Fall. Rizzo says this is all the work of Senator Victor Callahan of Independence – whom he calls a political foe. Senator Callahan rejects the suggestion he was being mean-spirited when he pushed legislation to ban those convicted of federal crimes from running for elective office. A Cole County Court heard the initial challenge to the ban and tossed it on constitutional grounds. That action prompted an appeal to the State Supreme Court. A ruling is expected in time for the August 8th primary elections, in whcih Rizzo is running.
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