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. () () Tue, 9 Feb 2016 01:02:23 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 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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Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profile: John Brunner (R), U.S. Senate Candidate http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profile-john-brunner-r-u-s-senate-candidate/ http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profile-john-brunner-r-u-s-senate-candidate/ Elections Mon, 6 Aug 2012 7:16:44 PM Joe Chiodo Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profile: John Brunner (R), U.S. Senate Candidate

JAMESTOWN, Mo - KOMU 8 News spoke with John Brunner as part of our Smart Decision 2012 election series. Brunner is a republican candidate vying to defeat U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in the November election. Brunner is one of 8 republicans eligible for vote in Tuesday's primary election.

Brunner is a native of St. Louis and focuses on supporting small businesses across Missouri. Up until 2009, Brunner served as CEO of Vi-Jon, a private-label personal care products manufacturing company founded in 1908 by his grandparents, Viola and John B. Brunner. John got his feet wet in nearly all of the company's operations, from operating forklifts, loading trailers, repairing production lines, mixing millions of gallons of raw materials, and traveling the country selling Vi-Jon's products. The company is best known for manufacturing Germ-X.

Brunner also served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps. He completed his service as a Captain. Before that he held positions including Platoon Commander, Executive Officer, and Adjutant. His experience in the service includes joint operations with many of the NATO allies as part of the armed forces' "contingency reaction force".

Brunner's campaign slogan is "Get America Working Again." Brunner told KOMU 8 News he is running on a platform of "Citizen Government."

Brunner received his M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.


What makes you the best candidate qualified to be senator?

"I'm the only candidate either the Republican or Democrat side that has three decades of experience in the private sector. I've been part of the school manufacturing business for over 33 years, a business today that's very very successful. They've hired more people than anytime in it's history here. I've took a small business from 40 individuals to over 1,400 individuals serving retail customers all across the country. It's all about jobs--we're hurting on our jobs, and if we're going to get jobs back in Missouri and in America we've gotta get somebody who has experience doing that. These career politicians have experience on 30 second sound bites and running for re-election and publicity and all these issues that we don't need at this time. They're more interested in their career, their jobs, and their pensions, all these issues that are going to do nothing to get jobs back in Missouri. That's where the big difference is--I'm running as a citizen senator and not a career politician."

"What do you want America to understand by Citizen Government?"

"What we need is what our founding fathers was striving for and expected--is that people with decades of experience -- whether medicine, agriculture, ranchers, educators, manufactures, that'll take those decades of experience to Washington D.C. serve two terms or a term and get home. Get there, get the job done, and get home. Not to continue to make a lifetime on a career as a politician. That's why citizens working people understand what the problems are--we're the ones who can solve them."

How would you work with Congress to accomplish your agenda?

"Far too many are operating in their own cubicle -- silence-- a good team or organization operates as a team. I learned that as a marine infantry. Pull together a team as a small manufacturing business--we pull together as a team we share ideas, communicate. All with clear objectives--what's the mission? What's the definition of victory? How are we going to get that order? How are we going to get that new customer?"

"On top of all that we don't have an energy program. We don't know what the price of energy's going to be they could wipe out our profits for the next year. Same thing with ranchers and farmers we have American energy but we're not using it"

What do you think is the biggest issue facing Missouri right now?

"The number one issue facing Missouri -- already a tough economic time -- all the government regulations, high energy costs, and high taxes. We have a tsunami coming in which is called 'Obama Care', I call it 'Obama Claire', because she was the deciding vote on that program. Claire Mccaskill said 'well try it out you might like it.' The hypocracy of the situation is that senators and congress people are excluded from that care. They get their own special form of out care and yet they want us to do something that's going ot destroy medicine, destroy healthcare as we know it."

As President Obama's healthcare reforms begin to go into effect, how should Missouri react?

"Missouri should react by, first of all, electing a citizen's senator someone who's actually been there and understands the ramifications of these issues. I know first hand what its like with increasing regulations and I know first hand talking to manufacturers, ranchers, people all across the state -- worried that their businesses, their farms, and ranches are going to shut down with this Obama Care. "We need to...break down the regulations, make it more affordable, especially engage the doctors and nurses. The Affordable Care Act, first of all, is not affordable. "It's now approaching 2 trillion dollars in terms of our economy. "People are asking for exclusions--it is a disaster. We have to stop this as best we can. And it can be done by electing good people to the U.S. senate who understand these issues because they've been in the real world.

How would you put more Missourians back to work?

"Get people working again has been my whole life, my whole passion. We have a family history of what kind of environment we need to succeed in. Get big government off our backs. Clear the track of regulations, dependence on foreign oil, of the highest tax rates in the world. Americans love to work, to produce, to add acreage to our farms, we love to add new equipment to our factories. And just as important...or even the most important...is the folks that are graduating from college. 53% of the college graduates are unemployed or underemployed. Where's their hope at the American Dream? These graduates are looking to be a part of industry, a part of education, a part of medicine but jobs are shutting down because of regulations. American's know what we have to do...the Federal Government does not."

The nation faces many budget challenges in the coming years. How would you work to meet those challenges?

"In the last 11 years our expenditures in the fed have doubled.. we cannot continue on this trujectory."

"Alot of our debt is owned by foreigners...we do not want foreigners to se the terms of these debt repayments."

"When you owe a lot of money to people you put yourself in the situation that limits a lot of other options. So we have to stop the spending. And there's a big political problem about cutting spending because all of these politicians want to continue to promise the same things over and over again to get re-elected. It takes somebody with some guts and some courage to say we have to stop some spending."

"Just get these burdens off the back of farmers, get the regulatory costs off, they're going to start hiring again. we're going to find this economy booming again--if we just get the big government regulations off our backs."

How would you bring Missouri to D.C.?

"If you haven't been living in Missouri for a few decades... if you've been in government offices, or you've been in Washington D.C., or Jefferson city...you've lost touch with the real world. This is what will happen...all these folks start with good intentions but they lose their edge. That's why they have term limits on all these people. When you're closer to the folks and the people and where the real work is getting done. You can do a better job.

"I've spent a lot of time in Missouri, I understand what the issues are. Get me to DC for one term or two terms, I'll get the job done and get home."

Can you describe the nation's economic focus for the future and how you would take us there?

"Our country's economic focus should be getting the jobs back."

"Where did we go the wrong direction? What happened to this vibrant economy? This growth of economy where college grads, high school grads, could have great jobs? What's happened to the factories? What's happened to the farming, the ranching? You go back and you look very carefully and you can see that there's a direct correlation of government intrusion, government regulation, government taxes suppressing free enterprise. Americans love to win we love to produce. All we have to do is get big government off our backs."

"We can restore the 'American Dream,' we can restore economic prosperity, and we can be the leaders in the world again."

"Get citizens elected in there to get the job done with the right motivations, that's going to be the answer."

What will be different once you've served another term in this office?

"Hopefully we'll have 51 republican senators there because Harry Reid has failed to have a budget. We need a budget--an economic one--last May he said it'd be foolish for us to have a budget. So we can take control of the Senate and take control of his committees, and get good business, people, ranchers, farmers, people with medical backgrounds, citizens...more citizens in there. And take ownership of the Senate so we can get the agenda back on.

"For the democratic party to enter into our Republican Primary and attack me as a candidate Why is he [Harry Reid] attacking me and my other two opponents? Because he realizes Calire McCaskill has a cahnce at winning if the other two individuals win. If I win this primary, Claire McCaskill is going to be defeated."


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Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profile: US Senator Claire McCaskill http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profile-us-senator-claire-mccaskill/ http://www.komu.com/news/smart-decision-2012-candidate-profile-us-senator-claire-mccaskill/ Elections Sun, 5 Aug 2012 1:02:04 AM Stacey Welsh Smart Decision 2012 Candidate Profile: US Senator Claire McCaskill

WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. - KOMU 8 News spoke with U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, as part of our Smart Decision 2012 election series Saturday afternoon. McCaskill is the incumbent senator and faces no opposition in Tuesday's primary.

McCaskill defeated a Republican for the United States Senate seat in 2006. She was born in Rolla and lived in Houston, Lebanon and Columbia. She graduated from the University of Missouri and University of Missouri Law School and started her career as a research attorney for the Court of Appeals in Kansas City. McCaskill served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 1983 to 1988. She was the first woman elected Jackson County Prosecutor in 1992 and was elected Missouri state auditor in 1999. McCaskill was the first Missourian to defeat a sitting governor in a primary election in 2004, and she is Missouri's first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.

Interview trasnscript:

What makes you the best candidate qualified to be senator?

"I'm a good, old fashioned moderate Missourian. I believe the middle is really important in the United States Senate right now. We have way to many people on the far right and the far left that are playing political games and not enough people that are willing to compromise. There is a stark difference between me and my opponents as to how they view the art of compromising in the United States Senate. I think our country should be very proud of our ability to compromise in the Senate over many years, and I want to be part of that middle that finds those compromises that make policies happen, instead of just throwing political grenades."

What do you think is the biggest issue facing Missouri right now?

"I think the biggest issue facing Missouri and facing our country is obviously this very different economic climate that we are really trying to make progress on. It is really hard. We fell into a huge, huge canyon. When President Obama took office we were losing six hundred, seven hundred thousand jobs a month. We've now created millions of jobs, and we have created private sector jobs every month for 28 months in a row. We are making progress, but we have to make sure that we continue to support the middle class, not the super wealthy in this country... but the middle class... middle class families... kids who want to go to college. We need to focus our priorities there, not on protecting big oil companies and the mega-wealthy in this country. That really is what the differences are right now. Are we going to have a balanced approach where we cut spending and we focus on small businesses and middle class families, or are we going to continue to embrace the polices that the Republicans want to embrace, which is taking care of those that have so much and taking care of those that have all the power."

How would you put more Missourians back to work?

"It's difficult for government to put people back to work because we need our government to be smaller. We need to spend less. I've been a co-sponsor of spending caps along with one of the most conservative Republicans in the Senate. I led the fight against earmarks. I've used my auditing skills to find billions of dollars of waste and abuse in the Pentagon and in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I believe it's really important that we get our fiscal house in order. We can't do that by just the government spending a lot of money creating jobs. We need to do it by creating a climate that favors small businesses, making sure regulations are not too aggressive and making sure the tax code is fair. We've got huge companies in this country that pay no taxes, and then you've got a family that owns a dry cleaning shop that pays a lot of taxes. That's not fair. That is not supporting and promoting the middle class and small businesses. That's the best way for us to get at economic recovery is to make sure we're focusing on how we can help them."

Can you describe the nation's economic focus for the future and how you would take us there?

"I think that we need to have a balanced approach. I think we have to get our fiscal house in order, but we can't just turn out the lights on the government. We can't just say we're not going to pass a highway bill like the Tea Party tried to do, or we're not going to pass a farm bill like the Tea Party is doing right now, or we're going to shut down the post offices like the Tea Party wants to do. We need to get on a glide path to lower spending, but we need to cut spending. We also need to make sure that our tax code is fair, which means maybe we're not going to have an interest deduction on people's second home... no more interest deductions on yachts. Some of the things that are in the tax code now that favor people that, frankly, they don't really create a lot of jobs and it just makes the tax code unfair... having the very wealthy pay a little more. Go back to the tax rate that the very wealthy had in the Clinton years when we were creating millions and millions of jobs and balancing the budget. If creating a little more tax liability for the wealthy and working toward a balanced budget is a good way to kill jobs, how come we created so many when we did that during the presidency of Bill Clinton. I think this balanced approach where we can bring down our deficit and bring down our debt over time... I'd like to see us reduce our debt by four to five trillion dollars over the next 10 years, and that is very doable if people will compromise and come to the middle."

The nation faces many budget challenges in the coming years. How would you work to meet those challenges?

"We have to cut spending. We have to collect a little more revenue. We have to look at our entitlement programs. I don't think we need to by buying prescription drugs for Donald Trump. Right now, the federal government is buying prescription drugs for even the very wealthiest in our country. We don't need to be doing that. So this balanced approach of doing all three legs of the stool. Work on entitlements, cut spending, and make the tax code fair, flatter but realize some more revenue. That is the right way to go forward. At the same time, we can't do what the Tea Party wants us to do and what my opponents want to do. We can't give up investing on our infrastructure. In Missouri we have water projects that need to be done. We've got roads and bridges that need to be built. We can't give up on investing in higher education. My opponents want to do away with student loans in terms of the federal government helping. That's a huge number of kids in America that won't go to college if we do that. We have to keep investing in education and research. We have to keep our Pell Grants in place. Investing in research, investing in education and investing in our infrastructure... we can't quit doing that. That is why we are the strongest country in the... world. But we do need to cut spending, and we can do that if we have a balanced approach."

How would you work with Congress to accomplish your agenda?

"I'm really proud of the fact that the far left and the far right have both been mad at me. I'm proud of the fact that so many of my Republican colleagues have spoken out and talked about how hard I've worked on reform and bringing down spending. A very conservative senator from Alabama, Jeff Sessions and I, long before people were talking about capping federal spending, we were trying to cap federal spending and we came very close to getting it passed. We need to cap federal spending. We also need to make sure that we don't go back to earmarking. I led the fight, and people laughed at me in my party when I said that we needed to stop earmarks. But, you know, we got it done. This is where I would compliment some people in the Tea Party because I think their very loud voices on earmarks certainly helped. I've worked in a bi-partisan way. I've been working on a bill to make sure the U.N. doesn't regulate the Internet with Marco Rubio. I'm working on a bill to make tariffs more fair for businesses with Republican Senator Rob Portman. I'm working on legislation with Senator Kelly Ayotte to deal with some of the waste and abuse that's gone on at the G.S.A. I think those three people are being talked about for being vice presidential candidates for the Republican nominee. So, clearly my Republican colleagues want to and have worked with me, and we've worked together effectively. I think that's what most Missourians want. I don't think they want us on opposite ends of the room yelling at each other. I think they want us to get something done and quit worrying so much about winning elections and worry more about them."

As President Obama's healthcare reforms begin to go into effect, how should Missouri react?

"I think they should give them a chance. There is so much misinformation out there. People tell me all the time things about the healthcare bill that just aren't true. I think it's been used as a political two-by-four. I think people don't realize that if you have your insurance, you get to keep it... that it's going to be private insurance not government insurance... that people will have the ability to access this insurance on an exchange. We can go across state lines. States can join together. If you can't get insurance now because you're just one person working for yourself, you've got a place where you can pool the risk so your costs are going to go down. You get the same risks as somebody who works at a great big company where they've got lots of people where they can share that risk. We're actually bringing insurance companies to heel by telling them you can't spend fifty cents of every dollar on hiring more people to deny claims. They now have to spend eighty cents of every dollar they collect on healthcare, and if they don't, they have to send the money back to the policy holders. You'll be able to get insurance if you've had pre-existing conditions. I know people don't like the mandate, but think about this for a minute: If we're going to let people get insurance that have had the nerve to be sick before, who's going to buy insurance before they get sick if there is no mandate? Who is going to say ‘oh I'll go get insurance' if they know they can wait until they're sick to get it? We have a mandate now. It's called the emergency room, and people are choosing sometimes to not buy insurance because they know they can get free healthcare at the emergency room because ultimately at the end of the day the hospital doesn't collect on most of those bills. Who is paying for that now? We are. If we can provide a place where people can get accessible and affordable health insurance, that's going to bring down all of our rates. It does not bust the budget because it actually reduces the deficit because of the way the program is designed. I think people have a lot of strong opinions about this legislation. I know how unpopular it is. I know I could go home over it, but I know if Missourians would give it a chance, they're going to be pleasantly surprised it's not what they think it is. I'm hoping that will come to pass. I'm hoping people will have a chance to actually see how it works because at the end of the day people need to realize this was a Republican idea. This came from a Republican think tank. That's why Governor Romney put it in in Massachusetts because it was a Republican idea. The only reason it has become so unpopular is because it's become politically easy to use it to try to win elections. I'm hoping Missourians see through that and give it a chance."

What will be different once you've served another term in this office?

"I think I will just have a chance to do more of the work. I've done an awful lot of work helping veterans, cleaning up veteran's healthcare, getting more benefits for veterans, getting college benefits for modern-day veterans who fought courageously in Iraq and Afghanistan. I've worked hard on reforming contracting in the Pentagon and in war. I'd like to see some of those efforts through. There is contracting waste all over government. It's one of the places we could really cut the budget seriously by getting a handle. What George Bush did, he said he wanted a smaller government; so what he started doing was contracting. Government exploded because of contracting, and nobody was even tracking those costs. There's real money that can be saved if we keep turning the screws on contracting. I was able to get a subcommittee created, that I chair. I also look forward to continuing to chair the subcommittee on military readiness for the armed services committee. We have many challenges across the world and we have to make sure our military reigns strongest in the nation. There's just more work that needs to be done. I think, maybe most importantly, I'd like to remain part of that moderate middle. I'd like to remain part of the Senate where both Democrats and Republicans come together, ones that don't always agree with their party and forge those compromises. I've been honored to be a part of that middle that has forged compromises. We have been able to get things done because people were willing to compromise. I'd like to go back and be part of that because, if my opponents were elected, they're going to be part of a caucus that wants to shut it all down... just shut it down. I don't think that's what Missourians want. This is a pretty clear choice between 'it's my way or the highway' and 'why don't we figure out how we can build some more highways.'"

Is there anything else you would like to add?

"Between my husband and I, we have seven kids. I have five grandchildren. I do think it's important that Missourians know I think about those kids. I think about what our country is going to be. Are we still going to have a middle class? Are we still going to be a country that the rest of the world admires? ...because we are inclusive and tolerant and we're free and we let all opinions be heard and we let everyone speak their mind, but at the end of the day, we know how to compromise. That's what I hope we can hold onto, and I think it's important for my grandchildren and I think it's important for all Missourians' grandchildren that we realize that just yelling at each other from opposite ends of the spectrum, we're holding onto an idea and saying ‘I refuse to compromise,' That's not always the best way. There are principles that you've got to hold onto... that you don't compromise, but there are so many things that are really capable of great compromise. I'm hoping that's the United States Senate that survives, and I hope that's the United States Senate that my children and grandchildren also can look to in the future."


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