KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Elections Elections en-us Copyright 2016, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sun, 23 Oct 2016 03:10:43 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Democratic VP pick Tim Kaine has deeper ties to Mizzou http://www.komu.com/news/democratic-vp-pick-tim-kaine-has-deeper-ties-to-mizzou/ http://www.komu.com/news/democratic-vp-pick-tim-kaine-has-deeper-ties-to-mizzou/ Elections Sun, 24 Jul 2016 1:37:17 PM Austin Hough, KOMU 8 Reporter Democratic VP pick Tim Kaine has deeper ties to Mizzou

COLUMBIA - Tim Kaine has always been a leader.

While as a student at the University of Missouri, he served as a Summer Welcome leader, helping the incoming freshman class learn the ins and outs of MU.

When Kaine was announced as Hillary Clinton's vice president pick Friday, one current Summer Welcome leader felt proud.

"I think regardless of what political party you're a part of, you should be happy for Tim Kaine because not only as a Summer Welcome alumni, but a Mizzou alumni in general, you should be proud," Summer Welcome student coordinator Darren Green said.

Since being a Summer Welcome leader, Kaine has been a mayor, governor, and senator in Virginia, going 8-0 in elections. Green said his Summer Welcome days may have served as a precursor to his political career.

"I think it helped Tim Kaine," Green said. "I don't know if this is the one thing that set him above everything else. But, I think the program did help."

Kaine graduated from Missouri with a bachelors degree in economics in 1979. He became the mayor of Richmond, Virginia in 1998, the governor of Virginia in 2006, and a U.S. senator in 2013. Kaine was rumored to be President Barack Obama's vice presidential pick in 2008, before Obama selected Joe Biden.

The Democratic National Convention starts Monday, July 25 in Philadelphia. Kaine is expected to speak and officially accept the nomination by Thursday.


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Missouri Republicans to select convention delegates http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-republicans-to-select-convention-delegates/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-republicans-to-select-convention-delegates/ Elections Sat, 30 Apr 2016 5:56:27 AM The Associated Press Missouri Republicans to select convention delegates

BALLWIN (AP) — Republicans are choosing 40 of the 57 Missouri delegates to their national convention and many may not be supporters of Donald Trump even though the businessman won the state's primary in March.

Trump won 37 of Missouri's 52 delegates in the primary and they are bound to vote for him on the first ballot at the GOP's national convention July 18-21 in Cleveland. But if Trump fails to capture the 1,237 votes needed for a first-ballot victory, the Missouri delegates to be chosen Saturday become uncommitted and are free to support another candidate.

In many states so far, supporters of Texas Sen. Ted Cruz have won spots in the national convention as Trump delegates, much to the ire of the New York businessman, who has complained of a "rigged" system.

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County officials say tight timetable led to ballot problems http://www.komu.com/news/county-officials-say-tight-timetable-led-to-ballot-problems/ http://www.komu.com/news/county-officials-say-tight-timetable-led-to-ballot-problems/ Elections Wed, 13 Apr 2016 4:43:41 PM The Associated Press County officials say tight timetable led to ballot problems

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Election officials say an overworked staff, a tight timetable and technical glitches are to blame for the ballot shortage in several St. Louis County precincts.

Directors of the St. Louis County Election Board Eric Fey and Gary Fuhr told lawmakers Wednesday two municipalities submitted their ballot information late, which led to problems when election officials changed the information in their databases.

The election directors said three teams of staff ordinarily check that enough of the county's 323 ballot styles are printed. But Fuhr said much of their staff was also working on March's primary election and only one team checked the final totals.

Fuhr said the county does not have the resources to manage two major elections less than two months apart.

Some lawmakers said the election directors should resign.

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Kansas City, St. Louis voters renew cities' earnings taxes http://www.komu.com/news/kansas-city-st-louis-voters-renew-cities-earnings-taxes/ http://www.komu.com/news/kansas-city-st-louis-voters-renew-cities-earnings-taxes/ Elections Tue, 5 Apr 2016 11:48:51 PM The Associated Press Kansas City, St. Louis voters renew cities' earnings taxes

KANSAS CITY (AP) — Voters in Missouri's two biggest cities again have overwhelmingly renewed the decades-old earnings tax.

The tax requires those who work in Kansas City or St. Louis to pay a 1 percent tax on their pay. Because nonresidents also must pay, thousands of commuters from the neighboring states of Kansas and Illinois are affected.

Kansas City voters signed off on the renewal Tuesday by roughly a 3-to-1 margin. Seventy-two percent of the ballots cast in St. Louis were in favor of the measure. Voters will revisit the matter in five years.

Supporters said losing the revenue would mean cuts in services. Opponents counter that the tax is unfair and drives businesses and workers to the suburbs, and that eliminating it would force the cities to weed out fraud and redundant services.

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Ferguson voters pass 1 tax hike, not the other http://www.komu.com/news/ferguson-voters-pass-1-tax-hike-not-the-other/ http://www.komu.com/news/ferguson-voters-pass-1-tax-hike-not-the-other/ Elections Tue, 5 Apr 2016 11:52:44 PM The Associated Press Ferguson voters pass 1 tax hike, not the other

FERGUSON (AP) — Ferguson voters have approved one tax increase but rejected another, creating uncertainty about whether the town where 18-year-old Michael Brown died in a 2014 police shooting will be able to afford changes required in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Complete, unofficial results show voters in the Missouri town approved a half-cent sales tax increase Tuesday. The tax passed with 69 percent of the vote.

But a property tax increase failed even though it received 57 percent approval. That vote required a two-thirds majority.

Ferguson has a $2.9 million budget deficit, and city leaders have said measures associated with the Justice Department agreement will cost an estimated $2.3 million over three years.

Mayor James Knowles III has said the passage of both taxes is crucial if Ferguson is going to pay for the reforms.

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Columbia voters choose Treece for mayor, Skala and Thomas for council http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-voters-choose-treece-for-mayor-skala-and-thomas-for-council/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-voters-choose-treece-for-mayor-skala-and-thomas-for-council/ Elections Tue, 5 Apr 2016 9:06:15 PM Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Columbia voters choose Treece for mayor, Skala and Thomas for council

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News has results from Tuesday's municipal election, in which residents voted on a new mayor and city council seats.

Brian Treece defeated Skip Walther by 773 votes to become Columbia's next mayor.

In the race for Columbia Third Ward council member, Karl Skala defeated Tom Leuther. Skala received 57 percent to Leuther's 43 percent. Skala told KOMU 8 News he is happy to keep his seat and get back to work. 

"Well now it's time to roll up out sleeves and get to work," Skala said. "There are a lot of challenges ahead obviously... the litany of campaign planks, public safety and infrastructure and economic development and this whole idea about social equity."

In the Fourth Ward, Ian Thomas won the city council seat, with 66 percent of the vote. Daryl Dudley, who withdrew from the race after failing to report campaign donations, still earned 34 percent of the vote.

Two financial measures were on the ballot for the Columbia School District.

Voters said yes to an operating tax levy increase of 65 cents on every 100,000 dollars of assessed valuation for "general school operating purposes, including maintaining current programs, providing support for an increasing student enrollment and assisting in recruiting high-quality faculty."

Voters also approved a $30 million bond for "acquiring, constructing, improving, extending, repairing, remodeling, renovating, furnishing and equipping new and existing school facilities."

Jan Mees and James A. Whitt won election to the Columbia School Board.


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Appeals court reopens some St. Louis County precincts http://www.komu.com/news/appeals-court-reopens-some-st-louis-county-precincts/ http://www.komu.com/news/appeals-court-reopens-some-st-louis-county-precincts/ Elections Tue, 5 Apr 2016 8:37:27 PM Jim Salter, Associated Press Appeals court reopens some St. Louis County precincts

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A half-hour after polls closed, the Missouri Court of Appeals overturned a judge's ruling and ordered some St. Louis County polling places to remain open until 9 p.m. due to ballot shortages for municipal elections.

The court ruling came about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, about 30 minutes after polls closed. The ruling applies only to the more than 60 polling places that lacked enough ballots.

County officials learned of the shortage soon after polls opened. Circuit Judge Maura McShane ruled Tuesday afternoon that polls would not remain open past 7 p.m.

The ballot shortage angered elected officials, including Gov. Jay Nixon, Secretary of State Jason Kander and County Executive Steve Stenger. Nixon called the problem "inexcusable," and called on the Board of Elections to rectify the mistakes and be held accountable.

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Columbia voters to decide mayor, school board, other issues Tuesday http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-voters-to-decide-mayor-school-board-other-issues-tuesday/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-voters-to-decide-mayor-school-board-other-issues-tuesday/ Elections Mon, 4 Apr 2016 7:14:43 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Columbia voters to decide mayor, school board, other issues Tuesday

COLUMBIA — A little more than three weeks after voting in the presidential primaries, Columbia voters will return to the polls Tuesday.

Most notably, voters will choose a new mayor. Incumbent Bob McDavid announced he would not seek a third term in September 2015.

Political advisor Brian Treece and attorney Skip Walther will face off for a three-year mayoral term.

Treece said he would have three main priorities as mayor:

  • Downtown Development
  • Public Safety
  • Jobs for underprivileged/underemployed workers

Treece is a self-described "fiscal conservative" who said he would be a drastically different mayor than Walther or outgoing Mayor Bob McDavid. He said he would work to change what he calls a "zoning loophole," that allows developers to build student housing projects without the city's approval.

If elected, Walther said he wants to focus on the following issues he thinks the city has not been able to focus enough on because of population growth:

  • Transportation 
  • Infrastructure 
  • Roads and sidewalks 
  • Outdated sewer systems

“My leadership style is to work with people cooperatively rather than antagonistically,” Walther said. “I’m not running for mayor because I have an agenda or intend to represent any special interest group or specific group of people."

Two city council seats will also be voted upon.

In the Third Ward, incumbent Karl Skala will go against challenger, pastor Tom Leuther.

Skala promises to deliver on issues facing public safety, economic development and infrastructure, especially in parts of the city he feels often get left out of discussions.

Leuther's platform is based on public safety funding, job creation and economic growth, especially downtown.

In the Fourth Ward, incumbent Ian Thomas is the only candidate actively campaigning. Challenger Daryl Dudley suspended his campaign on March 23 after he failed to correctly report large campaign contributions. Thomas previously unseated Dudley in 2013.

Voters will also decide a tax levy that would increase taxes by $0.65 per every $100. The ballot language says the money would go toward "general school operating purposes, including maintaining current programs, providing support for an increasing student enrollment and assisting in recruiting high-quality faculty."

If this proposition is approved, the district’s adjusted operating tax levy ceiling is estimated to be $5.1437 per $100.

Another education proposition, a bond sale, is also on the ballot. The Columbia Board of Education has already approved it. The bond is worth $30 million and would be used to build a new elementary school. 

The new school would address crowding in the district, especially at Cedar Ridge Elementary School. The new school will replace Cedar Ridge, which has more than 200 students and seven trailers.

The Columbia Board of Education has two vacancies and five candidates - Paul K. Rainsberger, James A. Whitt, Sarah Elizabeth Dubbert, Joseph Arthur Toepke, and Jan Mees. The top two vote getters will fill those seats. 

The polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Tuesday. To look up your polling place, click here.

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Missouri Republican gubernatorial hopefuls square off http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-republican-gubernatorial-hopefuls-square-off/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-republican-gubernatorial-hopefuls-square-off/ Elections Mon, 22 Feb 2016 9:28:33 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Missouri Republican gubernatorial hopefuls square off

JEFFERSON CITY - Three of the four Republican gubernatorial hopefuls faced each other for the first time Monday night in Jefferson City.

Businessman John Brunner, former Missouri House speaker Catherine Hanway and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder took the stage at the Revel building, formerly known as the Lohman Opera House in the debate.

According to his campaign, non-profit organizer Eric Greitens could not attend due to a scheduling conflict,.

The Missouri Times hosted the event, with publisher Scott Faughn handling host duties.

The event was sponsored by Missouri Right to Life, johncombest.com and the Missouri Alliance for Freedom.  

Discussion topics included repealing the Affordable Care Act, the recent MU protests and gun control.

"I don't know that any of the issues will completely convince anyone, but it gives folks a good opportunity to see how the candidate lands on their feet and responds to questions," lobbyist Sam Licklider said.

The Democratic Party is expected to be represented by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

KOMU 8 News will hold its own Republican gubernatorial debate on March 17.

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Sen. Roy Blunt visits Columbia to promote re-election campaign http://www.komu.com/news/sen-roy-blunt-visits-columbia-to-promote-re-election-campaign/ http://www.komu.com/news/sen-roy-blunt-visits-columbia-to-promote-re-election-campaign/ Elections Mon, 22 Feb 2016 4:43:01 PM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Sen. Roy Blunt visits Columbia to promote re-election campaign

COLUMBIA - U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, visited Dave Griggs' Flooring America Monday to promote his campaign for re-election to the U.S. Senate.

Blunt has served as U.S. senator since 2011. 

Blunt highlighted increases in health research funding for the first time since 2004 during his time in office, but cited President Obama's budgetary choices as a reason medical research is not receiving the funding he believes it deserves.

"So much of the problem is that no one is willing to say, 'Here are our priorities,' and make them our priorities," Blunt said. "When everything's a priority, nothing's a priority."

Blunt also touted his lifetime service award from the Missouri chapter of Veterans of Foreign War, despite facing scrutiny for allegedly hiding student deferments that prevented him from serving in the Vietnam War.

The Missouri Democratic Party announced ahead of Blunt's re-election campaign a new website which highlights his alleged draft deferments.

"For decades, Sen. Blunt has been in Washington, he has misled us about his draft status," said Vietnam veteran Richard Mendenhall of Columbia. "He voted against policies that would have helped veterans. I want a senator we can trust to do right by those who've served our country."

Political newcomer Christopher Batsche is also seeking the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is seeking the Democratic nomination.

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Missourians face voter registration deadline for primaries http://www.komu.com/news/missourians-face-voter-registration-deadline-for-primaries/ http://www.komu.com/news/missourians-face-voter-registration-deadline-for-primaries/ Elections Wed, 17 Feb 2016 5:46:19 AM Alex Dostaler, KOMU 8 Reporter Missourians face voter registration deadline for primaries

COLUMBIA - Residents of Missouri will have until 5:00 p.m. Wednesday night to register to vote in Missouri's presidential primary.

“The first step for eligible voters is to make sure they are registered to vote and that their registration address is up to date," Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, D-Kansas City, said.

Missouri will have an open primary, which means a voter does not have to be registered with a specific political party in order to vote in its primary. However, a voter cannot vote on the ballots of multiple parties.

Eligible Missourians may also register to vote in person at their local election authority’s office, any Department of Motor Vehicles office or state agency that provides services to the public.

Mailed voter registration forms must be post-marked by Wednesday, and submissions completed online at GoVoteMissouri.com must be received by 5 p.m. on Wednesday. TurboVote.org is also a popular website for registering to vote.

"If you're sitting at home and you're really rooting for someone, or hoping that they're their party's nominee, it's really important that you go out and vote," Tigers Advancing Political Participation vice president Christopher Dade said. "The primaries are really competitive, so voter turnout is really important for your candidate to get that nomination."

The Republican Party still has six candidates remaining in the race. Businessman Donald J. Trump of New York currently leads the candidates with 17 delegates and nearly 31% of the popular vote.

The Democratic Party is down to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Sanders currently leads with 36 delegates to Clinton's 32.

[Editor's note: This has been updated to include the newest name for TAPP - Tigers Advancing Political Participation. TAPP was formerly called Tigers Against Partisan Politics.]

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Rick Perry suspends 2016 presidential campaign in Missouri http://www.komu.com/news/rick-perry-suspends-2016-presidential-campaign-in-missouri/ http://www.komu.com/news/rick-perry-suspends-2016-presidential-campaign-in-missouri/ Elections Fri, 11 Sep 2015 4:25:58 PM Rose Schmidt & Andrea Gonzales, KOMU 8 Reporters Rick Perry suspends 2016 presidential campaign in Missouri

ST. LOUIS - Rick Perry suspended his 2016 presidential campaign at an event Friday, just days before the GOP debate.

"Some things have come and become very clear to me. That is why, today, I'm suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States," the former Texas governor said.


Two other Republican presidential candidates, Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee, also spoke at the Eagle Council Convention at the Marriott Hotel near the St. Louis Airport.


The most recent CNN/ORC poll released in late August puts Carson in second place, behind Donald Trump, with 19%. Huckabee came in at 5%, while Perry was at less than 3%, according to the poll. 

Huckabee said if elected president in 2016, he plans to give Perry a position.

Carson spoke first at the event. The former neurosurgeon said he was doing so well in the polls because the American people feel as though they can't with the direction America is going. 



An attendee of the event, Fred Boch, had a similar view about how the public feels about traditional candidates with political backgrounds.

"I'm not implying that non-politicians may be the end result, where we end up," Boch said. "But I think the public is fed up with establishment in terms of things being done the same way all the time."

Carson slammed the Affordable Care Act, suggesting it be replaced with a health savings account that starts when a person is born and ends when a person dies.

"We've got plenty of money to take care of the problems," Carson said.

Carson also talked about a high veteran suicide rate and said the VA system is "in chaos." Regarding immigration, Carson said the U.S. has an illegal immigration problem but proposed a solution.

"We have to seal our borders from the people," Carson said.

Regarding social issues, Carson said he wants to protect the rights of Americans who believe the same things as him.

"I believe in traditional marriage, and I don't believe in killing babies," Carson said.

Huckabee was the last to speak, talking about a variety of issues in his speech. But he first joked he would not be dropping out of the race like Perry did.



The former Arkansas governor said it is not the role of the Supreme Court of the United States to make laws, referencing the recent decisions to uphold the Affordable Care Act and legalize same-sex marriage.

Regarding Syrian refugees, Huckabee said it is the role of the U.S. to send assistance, but said Saudi Arabia should host the refugees.

In a statement from Homer Page, the chairperson for the Boone County Democratic Party, he says that in most cases, Carson, Perry and Huckabee are people who really do not understand the U.S. Constitution.

He added that all three candidates confused people about what it really means to live in a democracy by the constitution and not by religious ideology.

Organizers of the Eagle Council conference invited 12 political candidates; half of them confirmed they'd be there.

Boch said the number of candidates doesn't make him weary of the future election.

"I'm impressed by several," Boch said. "We have some good candidates in our party, so I'm looking forward to just learn more about them and hear from them."

Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Rick Santorum are slated to speak at the convention on Saturday. 

(Editor's Note: This story has been updated with the latest information.)


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KOMU Debuts New Election Night Web App http://www.komu.com/news/komu-debuts-new-election-night-web-app/ http://www.komu.com/news/komu-debuts-new-election-night-web-app/ Elections Tue, 6 Nov 2012 5:34:16 PM KOMU 8 News Staff KOMU Debuts New Election Night Web App

KOMU is debuting a new web app tonight, made specifically for election night! Take your pick from the Senate, House, or state office races. See who the candidates are and a live feed of what people are saying about them on Twitter.

As of now, only the Democratic and Republican candidates are featured.

Don't miss out on what's going on tonight! Check out the application by clicking on this link.


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HashTagMissouri http://www.komu.com/news/hashtagmissouri-37335/ http://www.komu.com/news/hashtagmissouri-37335/ Elections Tue, 6 Nov 2012 4:41:03 PM Alon Gilboa KOMU developed a new web app especially for this election day! Find the race you're interested in and see what people are saying about the candidates on Twitter.

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Missouri Voter Registration Deadline is Approaching http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-voter-registration-deadline-is-approaching/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-voter-registration-deadline-is-approaching/ Elections Mon, 8 Oct 2012 3:58:12 AM Associated Press Missouri Voter Registration Deadline is Approaching

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Time is running short for Missouri residents to register to vote in the November elections.

Wednesday is the deadline for people registering in Missouri for the first time and for those who have moved to another voting jurisdiction within Missouri since the last election.

Voters must be at least age 18 and a resident of both the U.S. and Missouri.

The Nov. 6 election will decide the presidency. Missouri's ballot also includes races for U.S. Senate, Congress, governor and other state executive, legislative and judicial offices.

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Gubernatorial Candidates Spar Over Jobs, Education http://www.komu.com/news/gubernatorial-candidates-spar-over-jobs-education-35418/ http://www.komu.com/news/gubernatorial-candidates-spar-over-jobs-education-35418/ Elections Fri, 21 Sep 2012 4:51:14 PM Garrett Bergquist Gubernatorial Candidates Spar Over Jobs, Education

COLUMBIA - Jobs and education took center stage at the Missouri Press Association's gubernatorial debate Friday morning.

Hundreds of journalists and campaign supporters looked on as Associated Press correspondent David Lieb moderated the debate among the candidates. Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon repeatedly mentioned Missouri's lower-than-average unemployment and consistent funding for public education. Missouri's unemployment rate in August was 7.2 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, versus 8.1 percent for the entire country. Republican candidate Dave Spence centered his arguments on jobs, saying Missouri would be able to fully address its problems once the state had consistent job growth. Libertarian candidate Jim Higgins said government in Missouri and the United States has gotten too large and that the state should turn some areas back over to the private sector.

Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday show Missouri added 17,900 jobs in August, behind only Texas and Florida. This represented a 0.7 percent increase in employment over the month, which tied Missouri for first in over-the-month job creation rate with Hawaii and Oklahoma.

Spence said the biggest obstacle to school funding is the state's unemployment rate, saying people on unemployment cannot contribute income tax revenue. Higgins said he would support the use of charter schools and school vouchers to allow parents to choose where their children go to school, measures he said would address both the achievement gap and school funding. Nixon and Spence both said they opposed vouchers.

"We shouldn't take public dollars and give them to private schools," Nixon said, while Spence said school vouchers would lead to "mass chaos."

Nixon said public schools have record levels of funding, while Spence said the state needs "more paychecks and fewer unemployment checks."

On the subject of transportation, Nixon said any discussions about new revenue for roads must involve members of the public. He said the gas tax is an increasingly untenable way to fund highways because cars are becoming more fuel efficient. U.S. Energy Information Administration data show motor fuel consumption declined by 7 percent between 2006 and 2011, the most recent year for which data are available. Missouri charges a 17 cent per gallon tax on motor fuel. Both Higgins and Spence said the state needs to use its existing funding more efficiently, with Higgins suggesting MoDOT contract out some types of work. Spence expressed caution on passenger rail, calling it a great concept but asking who would pay for it. On the same subject, Nixon said Missouri should first eliminate slowdowns before brining passenger rail lines through the state.

The candidates expressed concern over how to address Medicaid. Higgins said Missouri should not expand Medicaid and should resist any federal mandates. He said abuse on both the medical and patient side of Medicaid is a major cause of funding problems. Spence said the best way to reduce Medicaid costs is to enact tort reform legislation and use Medicaid money judiciously. Nixon said he would work with politicians in a bipartisan way to find the best way to match the state's needs with requirements under Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act.

All three candidates expressed strong support for the Second Amendment. Spence and Higgins both said people have a basic right to self-defense, while Nixon called hunting and fishing "a big part of who we are as Missourians." The candidates also criticized the Army Corps of Engineers' policies on the Missouri river, with Spence saying, "Everyone I talk to who lives along the river is fit to be tied" about existing policies.


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Missouri Senate Candidates Face Off in First Debate http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-candidates-face-off-in-first-debate/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-candidates-face-off-in-first-debate/ Elections Fri, 21 Sep 2012 1:42:50 PM Elizabeth Hagedorn Missouri Senate Candidates Face Off in First Debate

COLUMBIA - Missouri candidates for U.S. Senate squared off in their first debate Friday morning.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), Rep. Todd Akin (R), and Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine touted their sharply contrasting policies at a debate hosted by the Missouri Press Association.

The first question of the debate asked the candidates the extent to which Akin's remarks on rape and pregnancy mattered in the election.

In August, Akin sparked controversy when he told St. Louis television station KTVI that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely become pregnant since they bodies are programmed to "shut that whole thing down."

"I don't believe that this election overall is about talk, but it's really about two visions of what America is," Akin said at the debate.

McCaskill, on the other hand, said that Akin's beliefs are out of the mainstream for most Missourians.

"It's not what he said that is the problem. It's what he believes that was the problem," said McCaskill.

"I was astonished to find that Akin sits on the science committee yet he fails to understand basic eighth grade biology," said Dine.

Akin painted his Democratic challenger as one who "votes with Obama 90 percent of the time."

McCaskill described herself as someone who has reached across the aisle to work with Republicans in the Senate, and dismissed Akin as a candidate on "the fringe."

"I've worked across aisle to move forward with Thune, Blunt, Ayotte. Akin wants to go back to tax cuts for Tom Brady" said McCaskill.

In his closing comments, Dine drew the most laughs from the audience when he said "I promise to keep the Republicans out of your bedroom and the Democrats out of your wallet."

The candidates will share the stage again October 18 at a debate in St. Louis hosted by KSDK Newschannel 5, the St. Louis Business Journal, and KWMU-St. Louis Public Radio.


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Ryan: Romney Won't 'Duck Tough Issues' on Economy http://www.komu.com/news/ryan-romney-won-t-duck-tough-issues-on-economy/ http://www.komu.com/news/ryan-romney-won-t-duck-tough-issues-on-economy/ Elections Thu, 30 Aug 2012 10:39:34 PM Associated Press Ryan: Romney Won't 'Duck Tough Issues' on Economy

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Seizing the Republican National Convention spotlight, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan promised Wednesday night that Mitt Romney "will not duck the tough issues" if he wins the White House this fall and their party will move forcefully to solve the nation's economic woes.

"After four years of getting the runaround, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney," the Wisconsin lawmaker said in remarks prepared for delivery to a convention dogged by Tropical Storm Isaac. The storm, though downgraded from a hurricane, was still inflicting misery on millions along the nearby northern Gulf Coast.

Ryan's vice presidential acceptance speech marked not only his turn to address convention delegates but also a prime-time national debut by a 42-year-old lawmaker lauded by fellow Republicans for his understanding of the complexities of the nation's budget.

In a secondary role if only for a moment, Romney accused Democratic President Barack Obama of backing "reckless defense cuts" amounting to $1 trillion. "There are plenty of places to cut in a federal budget that now totals over $3 trillion. But defense is not one of them," Romney said in remarks that referred elliptically to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Romney spoke to the American Legion in Indianapolis as his aides in Florida scripted an economy-and-veterans-themed program in their own convention hall and kept a wary eye on Isaac. The storm was threatening levees in the New Orleans area almost exactly seven years after the calamitous Hurricane Katrina.

In excerpts released in advance of his speech, Ryan said, "The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation's economic problems.

"And I'm going to level with you: We don't have much time."

As chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan is the architect of a plan to curb long-term deficits by reducing taxes and making deep cuts in accounts ranging from farm programs to education. He also advocates saving billions from remaking Medicare and Medicaid, the government's health care programs for seniors and the poor.

The Medicare changes, in particular, are potentially incendiary in an election campaign. Democrats say that Romney, with his selection of Ryan, has accepted political ownership of a plan that would turn the program from one in which seniors' medical bills are automatically paid into one in which the government would give them checks to purchase coverage at costs that would require them to dip deeper into their pockets.

Romney delivers his own nationally televised acceptance speech Thursday night in the final act of his own convention. The political attention then shifts to the Democrats, who open their own convention on Tuesday to nominate Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden for a second term.

Deep into a two-week stretch of national gatherings, the race for the White House is in a sort of political black hole where the day-to-day polls matter little if at all as voters sort through their impressions.

Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on television commercials by the candidates, their parties and supporting groups, the race has appeared unusually close since Romney clinched his nomination last spring.

Only eight or so battleground states appear to be competitive, although Republicans say they hope to expand the campaign after Labor Day, particularly in industrial states struggling to recover from the worst economic recession since the Great Depression.
Yet for all of the attack ads and inflammatory rhetoric, the two campaigns tiptoed carefully around the storm ravaging the Gulf Coast, vying to demonstrate concern for the victims without looking like they were seeking political gain.

Obama told an audience in Virginia he had spoken on the phone with governors and mayors of the affected states and cities while aboard Air Force One earlier in the day. Romney's aides let it be known he might visit the region once the storm had passed.

Romney's reference to $1 trillion in defense cuts was a 10-year figure that combined reductions already enacted by Congress and reductions scheduled to begin next January as a result of Congress' failure to reach agreement on a broad plan to cut deficits.

He did not say so in his speech, but most Republicans, including Ryan, voted for the first installment as well as the second.

The reference to 9/11 was glancing in a speech that accused Obama of unwise defense cuts. Romney noted the economy is the top issue in the race, but he said, "Our debates can change suddenly, with a ringing phone in the dead of night ... or a plume of smoke on a clear blue morning.

"The first job of government is to keep the American people safe," he said, pledging to do so.

Democrats spent part of their time working to tarnish the Republican brand. They pointed to an ABC News report that said Romney's campaign had held a reception in Tampa Tuesday night aboard a yacht flying the flag of the Cayman Islands.

Romney has been criticized for having investments there by Democrats who say the effect is to reduce his taxes.

In an appearance before University of Virginia students, Obama said he understood Republicans didn't have much nice to say about his tenure in office. He told his listeners the GOP hoped to disparage him so much that they would either vote for Romney or sit out the election.

Romney had already returned to Florida aboard his chartered jet when Senate Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky began the convention's daily battering of Obama.

"America is suffering through an economic calamity of truly historic dimensions," he said in excerpts released in advance of his convention appearance.

"Some are calling it the slowest recovery in our nation's entire 236-year history. To call this a recovery is an insult to recoveries." He spoke a few hours after the government reported economic growth for the second quarter was 1.7 percent, sluggish but marginally better than earlier estimated.

As for his own party's nominee, McConnell said, "When Mitt Romney looks down the road, he sees a country that's ready for a comeback. I firmly believe he's the man to lead it."

McConnell had his eye on more than the presidential race. A gain of four seats in November would assure Republicans of control of the Senate and elevate him to the position of majority leader.

Republicans already control the House, and appear confident of maintaining their majority in November.

Romney tapped Ryan earlier this month as his running mate, a selection that cheered conservatives who have doubted the presidential candidate's own commitment to their cause.

If Ryan's selection was designed in part to appeal to conservatives, the convention was designed to strengthen the ticket's appeals among women, Hispanics and others who prefer Obama over the Republicans, as well as veterans who supported John McCain in 2008.

File photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore on Flickr Creative Commons.

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Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profiles: Republican Senate Candidate Review http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profiles-republican-senate-candidate-review/ http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profiles-republican-senate-candidate-review/ Elections Mon, 6 Aug 2012 8:41:47 PM KOMU 8 Staff Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profiles: Republican Senate Candidate Review

Voters will head to the polls on Tuesday for the primary election. KOMU 8 News spoke to three of the eight Republican Senate candidates vying to unseat U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri). Click the video tab for bios and interviews with Congressman Todd Akin, businessman John Brunner and former State Senator and Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

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Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profile: Bill Randles Gubernatorial Candidate http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profile-bill-randles-gubernatorial-candidate/ http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profile-bill-randles-gubernatorial-candidate/ Elections Mon, 6 Aug 2012 8:09:31 PM Stacey Kafka Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profile: Bill Randles Gubernatorial Candidate

KANSAS CITY - KOMU 8 News sat down with Republican gubernatorial candidate Monday as part of our Smart Decision 2012 election series.

Randles is currently a Kansas City resident who is new to state politics. 

Although he doesn't have political experience, Randles said he has a wide variety of skills and work experience, which make him qualified for governor. 

Interview Script:

What qualifications do you have for running for governor?

"You mean the standards for running, basically or just my standards?"

Your standards.

"I think it's important to have a person who's had a broad range of experience.  I grew up in a trailer park, I've been a pastor, an attorney, a businessman...and I think it's also really important to have a vision for where you want the state to go because if you don't have a vision, there's really nowhere to lead, and you need to have a contrast with the current governor and I think I do."

What would you say your vision for the state would be?

"My vision is... the problem we're facing in the state and the nation today is a loss of freedom. Government at every level is intruding into our business and crushing our ability to create. So I've outlined a plan for restoring individual freedom for folks and individual business owners, churches, the ordinary citizens."

What do you think the biggest problems are that Missouri is currently facing?

"I think that all the problems grow out of this overwhelming government wait.  But, we're rated one of the least friendly business states in the nation because the rules for doing business here are so oppressive.  Our labor rules, our litigation, our regulatory tax environment.  So we have to confront all of those to really turn the state around."

How would you plan on doing that? 

"Well, four key steps I think are important.  One, you have to become a right to work state.  Only the right to work states are growing in jobs.  You have to have comprehensive regulatory reform. You have to have comprehensive judicial reform including a loser pays tort system.  We have one of the most hostile to business judiciaries in the country, and it just got worse two weeks ago when they struck down the tort damage caps. Finally, we have to get rid of the income tax and go to a sales tax."

So get rid of all income tax?

"Yes, I think that the income tax is a great deterrence to business.  Jay Nixon has a policy of giving out tax credits to preferred businesses.  Well, it hasn't worked of course because when politicians pick winners and losers they always fail.  But, if tax breaks are important to some businesses coming to Missouri, why aren't they important to everybody?"

Living so close to Kansas, do some businesses end up going to Kansas instead on Missouri?

"Yes, we see a ton of businesses going to Kansas because they are so much more business friendly.  We see it in every area including medicine. A lot of doctors are relocating to Kansas because they have a much better litigation environment.  It's almost impossible to get punitive damages over there, the cost of insuring is so much lower there. So, the wounds we have to our economy in Missouri are self-inflicted through bad policy. We can fix them with good policy." 

Could you tell me a little bit about some of the other main points you're running on?

"I think it's important to restore to government some incentives to actually serve the public. I'm interested in putting government employees on deadlines, so if you have to file a form, they have to respond in a certain amount of time.  I'm interested in building in incentives in for government employees to save money, instead of spend more money.  I want to get rid of honorus business licensing requirements and barriers to entry.  I'm a big fan of choice in education.  I think our schools are the way we take care of the next generation and our current school systems, especially in the urban areas are a disaster.  I want to put power back in parent's hands."

As far as the schooling goes, how would you change the school system? 

"We currently have an education monopoly in Missouri, in particular in our two urban areas, it just doesn't work.  We throw money at it for decades and they just get worse.  What I want to do is put vouchers in parent's hands and let them decide where their kids should be educated. Whether public schools, private schools, religious schools, technical schools or homeschooling.  Once we put some competition in the market, the product will improve." 

As far as the other candidates, what do you think puts you apart from them?

"I think a clear vision for where we want to go and a plan to get there. You won't hear the breadth of these issues from any other candidate and you won't hear a clear commitment from them on these hard issues. You know, we're past the point where we can just do business as usual in Missouri, we need a really bold, fresh vision and I think that's what I offer."

You said you've been working on this campaign for 20 months, can you tell me a little about that?

"We started early on because I'm a political outsider, so you have to take the time to get to know folks. So, we've been going around the state for 20 months. We've done 408 campaign events, put more than 80,000 miles on my vehicle, spoken to thousands, tens of thousands of Missourians about these issues.  I think we've built up a tremendous grassroots network and a lot of excitement about our campaign."

Do you have anything else you'd like to add?

"I'd like to encourage all of your viewers to go out and vote tomorrow, August 7th. Ask for a Republican ballot and mark Bill Randles."

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