KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Smart Decision Smart Decision en-us Copyright 2016, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sun, 24 Jul 2016 18:07:45 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 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/ Smart Decision 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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Voters react to what they heard at gubernatorial debate http://www.komu.com/news/voters-react-to-what-they-heard-at-gubernatorial-debate/ http://www.komu.com/news/voters-react-to-what-they-heard-at-gubernatorial-debate/ Smart Decision Thu, 17 Mar 2016 9:53:18 PM Michael Lindquist, KOMU 8 Reporter Voters react to what they heard at gubernatorial debate

COLUMBIA - The Republican candidates for governor debated Thursday night about why each of them should be the next Missouri governor.

Jay Shelton attended the debate and said they covered everything he was interested in.

"It seems to me like they were all very similar in their opinions on conservative values and that sort of thing," Shelton said. "Their approach was a little different, but overall I was impressed."

Chris Scott also saw the debate and said they talked about some really relevant topics that matter a lot to Missouri, but focused a little too much on themselves.

"They all said good things about themselves, building themselves up," Scott said.

The gubernatorial election will be held on November 8.

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Candidates spar during GOP governor debate http://www.komu.com/news/candidates-spar-during-gop-governor-debate/ http://www.komu.com/news/candidates-spar-during-gop-governor-debate/ Smart Decision Thu, 17 Mar 2016 6:32:42 PM Taylor Stevens, KOMU 8 Reporter Candidates spar during GOP governor debate

COLUMBIA - A debate between Republican candidates for governor grew contentious at times Thursday night. (Watch the complete debate and post-debate analysis below.)

Candidates strayed away from topics several times while answering questions on topics such as bringing jobs to Missouri, funding state roads, race relations, university funding, term limits and campaign reform.

Candidates included St. Louis businessman John Brunner, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and former Missouri Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway.

When asked a viewer question about minimum wage, Hanaway quickly swerved to the topic of one of Greitens's campaign donors who was accused of sexual assault in Silicon Valley. She said Greitens should have to give that money to abuse shelters for women.

In response, Greitens said Hanaway's actions were "desperate." He said decisions should be made only when the facts of the case are determined. He then went on to question Hanaway's support for concealed carry.

"She was against concealed carry in 2002. She was against concealed carry in 1999," Greitens said. "Her record on protecting your Second Amendment rights was so bad that the NRA gave her a D - a rating lower than Chris Koster."

Hanaway said the NRA endorsed her as the "best choice" last time she ran for office, and she said the concealed carry law wouldn't have happened without her. She then returned to Greitens's donor case.

"Nice diversionary tactic, Eric," Hanaway said. "But I don’t want to walk away from this issue of an abused woman that you won’t take her word for it."

Later in the debate, when asked a viewer question about marijuana legalization, Kinder returned to the accusations of Greitens's donor.

Greitens responded by bringing up Kinder's previous involvement in a strip club scandal, and said Kinder had no room to discuss "tabloid" sexual accusations.

Here are the candidates' responses to other topics throughout the debate:

Missouri jobs

Candidates first discussed their plans for bringing high-paying jobs to Missouri. Although the unemployment rate was at its lowest since June, 2001, the state's poverty level was above 15 percent. 

"We need strong leadership to take Missouri on a U-turn from the course we're on," Kinder said. "We are surrounded by tax-cutting states, and we need to get with the program."

Brunner highlighted his history with job creation in his response.

"As a CEO in Missouri to other CEO's, I gotta bring business back to this state," Brunner said. 

Hanaway and Greitens instead said it's not up to the government to create jobs.

Hanaway said "hard-working Missourians" create jobs and government regulations were "crushing" small businesses. She also said Right-to-Work would benefit Missourian workers because it would increase wages and job positions faster.

Greitens added the government must create the conditions for job growth.

"We need to simplify the tax code and make it fair for people around Missouri," Greitens said.

Missouri highways

Another topic for debate was the state of Missouri's highway system. A 17-cent-per-gallon gas tax helps fund the transportation system, but it hasn't increased in 20 years. 

Brunner said he didn't intend to increase taxes or tolls to help increase road funding, but he said Missouri roads are "so far behind," they need to be a top priority for lawmakers.

Hanaway said Missourians don't trust MoDOT to spend their tax dollars efficiently. She recommended a three-part plan for highway funding that would track spending. The measures would include MoDOT is spending the money efficiently, making sure dollars collected in the gas tax are spent on roads and bridges, and possibly shifting the taxing priorities and increasing the gas tax.

Greitens said he wouldn't raise taxes for Missourians, but the solution to highway funds wasn't "magic." 

"We have a major problem with roads and bridges here in Missouri," Greitens said. "This requires a leader who will change business as usual in Jefferson City."

Kinder said he was in favor of regional transportation districts in the state.

Race relations

Another area addressed by candidates was race relations in Missouri. The topic gained national attention after the events in both Ferguson and the November protests on the University of Missouri's campus. 

Greitens said his history as a Navy SEAL and his support of law enforcement officers could've prevented some of the results of the Fergsuon protests.

"I went out to Ferguson," Greitens said. "The great tragedy of Ferguson was having a leader who didn’t address it with calm and clarity...we could've had peace by the second night."

Kinder said the actions of Gov. Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster in Ferguson was “the worst betrayal of leadership” and a reason for failed race relations. He said unification starts with supporting law enforcement.

Hanaway also questioned the governor's leadership. 

"Nixon gave an open invitation for rioters from all over the country to come to Ferguson," Hanaway said. "Part of the problem is that he didn't have relations with that community."

Brunner said he didn't need to visit Ferguson to see what was happening.

"It’s been happening for 30 years," Brunner said. "Dealing with racism is about being engaged and caring."

Greitens, who had previously been silent on the University of Missouri protests, said the actions were a result of failed leadership. 

He said what happened on campus was about a small number of people on campus saying “today, life on campus is too tough."

"If you’re concerned with social justice then go out a do something about it," Greitens said.

UM System funding

On a similar note, candidates discussed how they would address funding for the University of Missouri if elected as governor. Lawmakers have been considering a $7.6 million cut to the university's system.

Brunner said cuts would be justified. He said taxpayers want to see more students learning and less protesting.

Hanaway said it would be difficult to rebuild the state's flagship institution until leadership was accountable to donors and taxpayers. She said she would ensure that, "teachers will teach, scholarship athletes will play and students will attend class without 'muscle' being called in.'”

Hanaway previously said scholarship students or athletes shouldn't have the right to boycott their responsibilities if they disagree with campus policy. This was a contested topic in November when a number of the university's football players boycotted activities during the protests on campus. 

Kinder said he would fight for the university's budget. 

Term limits

The candidates also touched on term limits in the legislature. Some lawmakers had recently proposed the idea of adjusting the limits so legislators could serve longer for more continuity. The candidates all said they disagreed to a certain extent.

Kinder said he had supported term limits for Missouri government officials for decades, but he doesn't support implementing limits on officials who don't currently have them. 

Hanaway and Greitens said they support term limits for all officials.

"Diapers and politicians should be changed frequently and for the same reason," Greitens said, quoting Mark Twain.


When addressed with the question of campaign reform and political gifts, Hanaway said she "absolutely supports" a ban on all gifts from lobbyists. She received $750,000 from a single donor in her campaign, but she said she was transparent about it. She said she wanted to expose what happens behind closed doors. 

"Sunlight and transparency will clean the system," Hanaway said.

Greitens has received a large amount of his campaign funds from resources outside of Missouri. When asked how that plays into representing Missourians in his campaign, he said strong conservatives want to invest in a campaign like his, and he said he was able to make those connections within the state, as well.

Brunner was asked about his alignment with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. He said no matter how he answered, he would upset half the room.

Kinder has been criticized for hotel bills in the past. When asked about limiting the use of taxpayer money for travel expenses, he said he wrote the biggest personal check he had ever written, $53,000, to remove any taint from the scandal. 




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Missouri GOP candidates answer viewer questions in debate http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-gop-candidates-answer-viewer-questions-in-debate/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-gop-candidates-answer-viewer-questions-in-debate/ Smart Decision Thu, 17 Mar 2016 6:49:54 PM Amber Smith, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Missouri GOP candidates answer viewer questions in debate

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News asked you what questions you would like to ask gubernatorial candidates. We also collected questions you shared with us during Facebook Live conversation. 

During the responses to a few of our viewer questions, candidates got off topic and attacked each other. Those attacks and responses are included under the candidate's answers to viewer questions.

Our first viewer-generated question to candidates was about minimum wage.

The question: "When we asked viewers what they wanted to hear about from you, minimum wage came up more than any other topic. Michelle Reed said, “The minimum wage should be a living wage.” Where do you stand on raising the minimum wage and what do you think it should be?"

Catherine Hanaway said the worst thing Missouri can do is to have different minimum wages throughout the state. She said what Missouri has to do is win the competition to have better jobs than other states.

Hanaway and Grietens squabble off-topic. 

At the end of Hanaway's answer, she changed topics to  criticize one of Eric Greitens's donors, who has been the subject of a sexual abuse scandal. Hanaway claimed a million-dollar contributor to Greitens's campaign faces allegation of sexual assault and called on Greitens to return the money. 

Eric Greitens responded to Hannawy's comments without responding to the minimum wage question and instead calling her 'desperate' and untrustworthy. Greitens then questioned her support of concealed carry saying she voted against concealed carry multiple times. 

"Her record on protecting your second amendment rights was so bad that the NRA gave her a D, a rating lower than Chris Koster," Greitens said. "Now look, we need to have strong leaders who are willing to step forward, and unfortunately Catherine is just another career politician who is desperate for office and willing to convict people in the court of public opinion."

Hanaway responded by noting the NRA's endorsement of her as the 'best choice.' She also said the sponsor of the bill said it "would not have happened without her."

Candidates returned to the topic of minimum wage. 

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said he supports the current minimum wage law in Missouri, which voters wanted. He said he likes that the Missouri's minimum wage is indexed to the inflation rate. He said, ‘it is the wrong message for government to send” to artificially raise minimum wage.

John Brunner said it is about a living wage, but said, "you get a living wage by growing the economy." He said you need a business man to get the job done.

(This video has excerpts from the question and responses.)

The second viewer-generated question was about the legalization of marijuana. 

The question: "Many of our viewers want to know where you stand on the legalization of marijuana, either for recreational use or medical use. On our Facebook page, Mike N Opal Wilson asked, 'Why is alcohol and packing firearms legal when recreational marijuana is not,'  given the potential for medical benefits and tax revenues. Tell us your view."

Brunner was the first to answer, saying he is against the legalization of marijuana. He said he is open to more research about potential medical benefits. He also said he thinks there are other ways to grow the economy that do not involve the possible tax revenues generated legalizing marijuana.

Kinder said supports legalizing medical marijuana when it is under a doctor's order for terminally ill patients. He said he is not for legalization for recreation uses. However, before his time was up, Kinder also brought up the Greitens donor mentioned during the last viewer-generated question.

Greitens responded by saying Kinder is the last person who should be talking about men in strip clubs, a reference to Kinder's admitted visits to such clubs.

Kinder answered Greitens by saying Greitens used to be a Democrat. Greitens said he grew up as a Democrat. He said he is a Republican because of his experiences running a business and serving the country.

After that exchange candidates got back to answering the viewer-generated question about marijuana. 

Hanaway said, when she was a prosecutor, she saw how drug addiction can ruin families. She said she opposed the legalization of marijuana for both recreational and medical uses. However, she said she is open to learning more about it for medical purposes.  

Greitens said, “It is simple, there is no stoned path to prosperity.”

On medical marijuana he said Missouri must be a compassionate state and help children with epilepsy. 

(This video has excerpts from the question and responses.)

Another viewer-generated question was about divisive politics.

The question: "Our viewers shared many concerns about the divisive state of politics. One of the people taking our survey asked, how will you try to get Democrats and Republicans to work together?"

Greitens said leaders need to bring people together to work together. He said he has done that through humanitarian work overseas and while working as a Navy Seal.

Brunner said, at the end of the day, it starts with mutual respect. He said cooperation is about less talking and more listening.

Kinder said he has a track record of showing up in minority communities. He said he is willing to work with anyone of good will.

Hanaway said she has worked with Democrats before. She said she persuaded Democrats to back conceal-and-carry legislation. She said she created an Urban Affairs Committee and put a Democrat as the head of the committee, even though Republicans were the majority. 

(This video has excerpts from the question and responses.)

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#CoMoGovDebate Live Blog http://www.komu.com/news/comogovdebate-live-blog/ http://www.komu.com/news/comogovdebate-live-blog/ Smart Decision Thu, 17 Mar 2016 6:34:30 PM Katie Grunik and Tyler Hastedt, KOMU 8 Digital Producers #CoMoGovDebate Live Blog

COLUMBIA - Four Missouri GOP candidates for governor gathered at the Missouri Theatre Thursday for the #CoMoGovDebate to discuss topics like Missouri jobs, highways, race relations, UM System funding, term limits and campaigning. 

Candidates included St. Louis businessman John Brunner, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and former Speaker of the House Catherine Hannaway.

Let us know what your thoughts throughout the debate by using #CoMoGovDebate. Be sure to join us live on Facebook starting at 8:30 p.m. for a post-debate live session where you can weigh in on what you'd like us to fact check.

Below is a live-blog of the #CoMoGovDebate. All tweet appear in reverse chronological order.





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KOMU 8 News viewers weigh in on marijuana, wages, taxes, roads and more http://www.komu.com/news/komu-8-news-viewers-weigh-in-on-marijuana-wages-taxes-roads-and-more/ http://www.komu.com/news/komu-8-news-viewers-weigh-in-on-marijuana-wages-taxes-roads-and-more/ Smart Decision Mon, 29 Feb 2016 7:54:07 PM Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer KOMU 8 News viewers weigh in on marijuana, wages, taxes, roads and more

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News asked you to tell us your thoughts on key local and state election issues, as well as what questions you would like to ask the gubernatorial candidates. 

We've also hosted Facebook Live conversations where you've shared more opinions with us. We've collected the results and comments.

Legalization of marijuana for medical and personal use

Almost 60 percent of survey responders agreed in some capacity that marijuana should be legalized for personal use, with sales being taxed. The number was slightly higher for medical use, at about 68 percent, with taxes specifically going toward care of military veterans.

Quite a few Facebook commenters advocated for the legalization of marijuana.

"Missourians deserve a choice on how to legalize cannabis in 2016. The MCRPA 2016-013 is common sense, evidence-based policy that will bring healing to millions of people and an industrial revolution thru hemp to our economy," Laura Harrison commented, referring to the Missouri Cannabis Restoration and Protection Act.

The results show about 26 percent disagree with marijuana legalization for personal use, but only 15 percent disagree with legalization for medical use.

Twelve people told us they wanted candidates to address the legalization of marijuana during the election cycle.

Facebook user Mike N Opal Wilson said he would ask the candidates, "Why is alcohol and packing firearms legal ..when recreational marijuana is not legal?"

Minimum wage increase

Of those surveyed, 47 percent believed the minimum wage should go up to $9 now and $15 by 2023.

"I also agree minimum wage should be more, i payed $475 for a very tiny 2 bedroom house and we never had enough for other expenses," Facebook user Sarah Jane Schudel said.

Forty-two percent of the survey respondents disagreed in some capcity with raising the minimum wage.

Facebook user Benjamin Thomas said minimum wage should not be raised because it would lead to other prices rising. 

"What needs to be focused on is making our dollar worth something again. It's the result of inflation, the reason why everything is so expensive is because our dollar isn't worth as much as it once was. There isn't enough gold backing it, and way too many bills in circulation," Thomas commented.

When asked what questions viewers would like to ask candidates, one man who works full time and identifies as a Democrat said, "Why are you all so corrupted by money and why do you work so little, yet make more than many, yet wont raise the minimum wage , yet you raise your own pay?"

Voter ID

Nearly a quarter of our survey respondents listed Voter ID as their number one concern. 57 percent said they think a voter should have to show a government-approved photo ID to vote in an election.

About 29 percent disagreed with the statement.

One man who identified as 60 or older said he wanted to see voter ID brought up in the election cycle, and a woman in her 50s said she wanted local and statewide candidates to focus on "the protection of rights of voters."

Cigarette tax for road repairs

The viewer survey asked whether people agreed or disagreed with the statement "Cigarette smokers should pay more state tax to fund road repairs."

Forty-seven percent disagreed, while 38 percent agreed.

More than 20 survey respondents wanted candidates to address road or bridge repair, or infrastructure of some kind. Some specifically mentioned infrastructure on Interstate 70.

If given the chance to ask candidates questions, one woman who identifies as Republican said she would ask, "What adjustments would you suggest be made to the budget to ensure the inspection and safety modifications to Missouri's infrastructure?"
A Democratic woman said she would ask, "Why, when it is so obvious that we need funding for education and infrastructure are legislatures continuing to cut taxes?"

Campaign contributions
Thirty percent of survey takers listed campaign contrubutions as their top priority, more than any other issue. About 83 percent said they agreed in some capacity that campaign contributions should be limited.

Seven percent disagreed.

One employed woman in her 50s who identifies as an Independent said, given the opportunity, she would ask the candidates, "Who has given you the most in campaign contributions and why do you think they gave you that much?"

Another survey respondent would want to ask gubernatorial candidates, "How do you justify all that's spent on political campaigns that could go directly to helping the poor?"

Other issues

Another hot-button issue for survey respondents was refugees or illegal immigrants in the state.

A woman in her 50s who identifies as a Republican said she would like to ask the gubernatorial candidates, "How are you going to keep Syrian refugees out of the US? They don't want to assimilate to obey our laws."

Education was an issue twelve respondents said they wanted candidates to address during the 2016 election: particularly regarding increased funding for education.
Facebook user Judy Cain said she'd like to see lawmakers address bullying. 
"We are just not protecting our kids enough. The schools are just not doing enough or some don't care.," Cain commented.
A survey respondent in her 40s who works full time and identifies as an Independent would like to ask candidates, "How are you going to make college (and tech schools, or basically any post-high school programs) more affordable for people?"
A man 60 or older wanted to know, "How are tax dollars spent in public school systems?"
Other issues that received notable attention from respondents were problems with the University of Missouri, health care, funding for Planned Parenthood, women's rights and gender issues, the environment, public safety, gun laws, veterans' care, welfare, and ethics reform.

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Viewer survey: Share your thoughts on key election issues http://www.komu.com/news/viewer-survey-share-your-thoughts-on-key-election-issues/ http://www.komu.com/news/viewer-survey-share-your-thoughts-on-key-election-issues/ Smart Decision Mon, 15 Feb 2016 10:37:27 PM Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Viewer survey: Share your thoughts on key election issues

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News wants to know what matters to you most this election season. Are the candidates talking about issues you care about? How do you feel about proposed laws on everything from marijuana legalization and the minimum wage to cigarete taxes and voter ID?

Our next Town Square segment will share your views with our audience. And some of your remarks may be used in the KOMU 8/Chamber of Commerce gubernatorial debates.

Please take our brief and anonymous survey. You will have the option to leave your contact information if you want to be interviewed by one of our reporters.

Create your own user feedback survey


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KOMU 8, MU, and Chamber of Commerce to host gubernatorial debates http://www.komu.com/news/komu-8-mu-and-chamber-of-commerce-to-host-gubernatorial-debates/ http://www.komu.com/news/komu-8-mu-and-chamber-of-commerce-to-host-gubernatorial-debates/ Smart Decision Thu, 28 Jan 2016 11:52:40 AM Katie Pylipow and Yili Liu, KOMU 8 Digital Producers KOMU 8, MU, and Chamber of Commerce to host gubernatorial debates

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 will host a collaborative effort with the Columbia Chamber of Commerce and the University of Missouri to produce a series of gubernatorial debates.

The first debate will be 90 minutes starting at 7 p.m., March 17 at the Missouri Theatre. Republican candidates John Brunner, Eric Greitens, Catherine Hanaway and Peter Kinder are all scheduled to participate.

The debate is free and open to the public, but tickets are required.

KOMU 8 News anchors Brittany Pieper and Jim Riek will moderate the times debate. It will be aired live on KOMU 8 News.

KOMU 8 General Manager Marty Siddall said:

“KOMU 8 is honored to host the debate and broadcast it statewide as part of our Smart Decision 2016 coverage. This debate will spark meaningful conversations and provide lively discussions important to all Missourians as they consider who will be their next Governor.”

The second debate will be a general election debate and will be scheduled in either September or October. That debate will feature both the Democrat and Republican nominees.

Students from the MU School of Journalism and the Truman School of Public Affairs will also be involved in the debate.

MU Interim Chancellor Hank Foley said:

“We are proud to host these important debates at the state’s flagship institution, and we look forward to providing valuable experiences for our students. This opportunity will allow our students to have direct involvement in the democratic process."

If you have questions you'd like us to ask the candidates, leave them in the comments below or post them to our Facebook page.

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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/ Smart Decision 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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LIVE BLOG: First 2012 Presidential Debate http://www.komu.com/news/live-blog-first-2012-presidential-debate-35937/ http://www.komu.com/news/live-blog-first-2012-presidential-debate-35937/ Smart Decision Wed, 3 Oct 2012 7:01:56 PM KOMU 8 Staff LIVE BLOG: First 2012 Presidential Debate

MID-MISSOURI - During the first 2012 presidential debate, you have a chance to share your thoughts. KOMU.com has collected a list of different ways to be a part of the debate. 

NBC is following the debate closely online. You can join this online debate and share your thoughts on Twitter using the #midmovotes hashtag or the national #debates converation.

Here are details of the debate and feel free to join in at any point.


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How to Participate in the 2012 First Presidential Debate http://www.komu.com/news/how-to-participate-in-the-2012-first-presidential-debate/ http://www.komu.com/news/how-to-participate-in-the-2012-first-presidential-debate/ Smart Decision Wed, 3 Oct 2012 2:44:09 PM KOMU Staff How to Participate in the 2012 First Presidential Debate

COLUMBIA - Wednesday, the 2012 presidential canidates will faceoff in the first presidential debate and there are ways for you to get involved from home.

First, visit KOMU.com starting at 8:00pm to participate in a live blog and conversation. KOMU will also follow the hashtag #midmovotes on Twitter. Twitter will be running it's own hashtags which will be #debates.

There are many other ways to keep track of the debate. USA Today will use a Twitter Election Meter to track exactly what people are saying during the debate.

Live streaming will be availble on USTREAM through the PBS News Hour.

WYNC will hosts a live 2012 Presidential Debate Bingo game. The official hashtag is #debatebingo and their chat will start at 8:00pm.

And on HuffingtonPost.com, they will share the latest general election polls via HuffPost Pollster.

Here's more on what people are saying on social media about tonight's debate.



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Missouri Senator McCaskill Defends Self as Polite, Calm http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senator-mccaskill-defends-self-as-polite-calm/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senator-mccaskill-defends-self-as-polite-calm/ Smart Decision Fri, 28 Sep 2012 11:21:23 AM Associated Press Missouri Senator McCaskill Defends Self as Polite, Calm

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill is defending herself as "polite and calm" in response to accusations from Republican challenger Todd Akin that she wasn't very "ladylike" in a debate.

McCaskill told The Associated Press on Friday that Akin's remark left her "a little speechless." Akin said Thursday that McCaskill "came out swinging" in their Sept. 21 debate. He said that contrasted with her 2006 debates against then-Sen. Jim Talent, when Akin said, quote: "she had a confidence and was very much more sort of ladylike and all."

McCaskill was frequently critical of Akin's policies in the debate.

But the Democratic senator said Friday that she hopes people "defend me that I was polite and calm." She added, quote: "This wildcat, you know, furious and unladylike, is kind of a head-scratcher."

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Campaign Trail to Bring Hartzler, Schaefer to Barbecue http://www.komu.com/news/campaign-trail-to-bring-hartzler-schaefer-to-barbecue/ http://www.komu.com/news/campaign-trail-to-bring-hartzler-schaefer-to-barbecue/ Smart Decision Fri, 28 Sep 2012 4:56:10 AM Cody LaGrow Campaign Trail to Bring Hartzler, Schaefer to Barbecue

COLUMBIA - Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler will take the stand as the keynote speaker at the Boone County Republican Fall Barbecue this evening.

Hartzler is up for reelection in the fourth congressional district and will face Democrat Teresa Hensley.

Hensley has attacked Hartzler's stance on Medicare. Hartzler fired back saying a vote for a democrat is a vote for the failed policies of the Obama administration.

Republican State Senator of the 19th District Kurt Schaefer will also make an appearance at the barbecue. Schaefer faces Democrat Mary Still in November.

The barbecue will start at 5:30pm at the Knights of Columbus in Columbia. The event will feature food provided by Buckingham's and a live and silent auction.

Tickets are $15 for ages 14 and up and can be purchased at campaign headquarters at the Parkade Center.


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Akin Bus Tour Stops in Jefferson City and Columbia http://www.komu.com/news/akin-bus-tour-stops-in-jefferson-city-and-columbia/ http://www.komu.com/news/akin-bus-tour-stops-in-jefferson-city-and-columbia/ Smart Decision Thu, 27 Sep 2012 12:54:29 PM Morgan Stephens Akin Bus Tour Stops in Jefferson City and Columbia

JEFFERSON CITY - Senate candidate Todd Akin spoke to media and supporters at the state capital building Thursday morning and then made the trip to Columbia in the afternoon to speak at the Boone County Republican headquarters.   

This was Akin's eighth and ninth stop in three days with the Missouri Common Sense Bus Tour, which will make a total of 14 stops in Missouri Cities by Friday.  

About 25 people showed up to hear Akin in Jefferson City, with close to that amount in Columbia.  He spoke to the media for 20 minutes about earmarks, Senator Claire McCaskill's stances on popular Missouri issues and his own position in the Senate Race.   Akin said McCaskill is "totally out of step with where the people of Missouri are."  He supported this by discussing her stance on "Obamacare" and NRA ratings. 

Protestors from Planned Parenthood and the National Organization for Women (NOW) greeted Akin from the third floor of the capital rotunda and the sidewalk on Business Loop 70 in Columbia.  

At the capitol building, the protestors were originally waiting on the first floor, but Capital Police told them to move to the third floor because their permit was only valid there.  Mike O'Connell, communications director for the Missouri Department for Public Safety, referenced the Missouri Code of State and said that the Capital Police were just making sure that permit was followed.  

Michelle Trupiano, Missouri lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, said that Akin is not in line with what Missourians want. "We know it's important for us to get the word out that he is just too farm extreme for the people of Missouri," Trupiano said.  "That he does not care about women's health.  He wants to roll back our rights decades, and we need to actually stand up, take a stand and make sure people know how extreme Todd Akin actually is."  

But one Akin supporter thinks that Akin is exactly what woman in Missouri need.  "He has stood his ground against his own party, against the other party, against big business, against popularity, against fame, because he does the right thing," Julie Thomas, a member of "Women for Akin" said. 

Akin will wrap up the bus tour on Friday.  

Created with flickr slideshow.


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Mo. Democratic Party Files FEC and Ethics Complaints Against Akin http://www.komu.com/news/mo-democratic-party-files-fec-and-ethics-complaints-against-akin/ http://www.komu.com/news/mo-democratic-party-files-fec-and-ethics-complaints-against-akin/ Smart Decision Wed, 26 Sep 2012 2:19:19 PM Meghann Mollerus Mo. Democratic Party Files FEC and Ethics Complaints Against Akin

ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Democratic Party filed both an FEC and an Ethics complaint against Congressman (R-MO) and Senate candidate Todd Akin Wednesday, shortly after Akin received a joint endorsement from former GOP candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC).   

Both complaints allege Akin engaged in "illegal coordination efforts with a SuperPAC called Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF), headed by DeMint, by "soliciting the support of the SCF in exchange for supporting a ban on earmarks."  The complaints also claim Akin "has long championed earmarks," but the SCF endorses only candidates who support a ban on earmarks.

Akin campaign spokesperson Rick Tyler countered the complaints, telling KOMU 8, "Todd's position on earmarks has been clear and consistent, and it doesn't represent a change of position.  The fact is, Claire McCaskill's campaign is using this as a tactic to divert Missouri voters' attention away from her liberal voting record."

But, Mo. Democratic Party Chair Mike Sanders told KOMU 8, "Up until today, there was no denial that [Akin and the SCF] had conversations. That, in and of itself, is extremely troubling.  [In the complaints,] we cited federal bribery statutes and gift statues that preclude members of Congress or Senate from doing, performing an official act...or taking a position...based upon anything they've received. The clear intent of federal law is to preclude exactly this type of stuff from happening.  Someone gets campaign cash, and they vote in a particular way."  

University of Missouri Political Science Professor Marvin Overby explained that even if the complaint allegations are true, the premise of "coordination" isn't clearly defined.

Overby said these complaints "might give the FEC a chance to determine or to provide better guidance as to exactly what sort of collaboration or coordination can occur between campaigns and these SuperPACs.  A SuperPAC can give money in support of a candidate or a cause, but they can't coordinate with that candidate.  So the question is going to be whether there was a 'quid pro quo exchange' here in which there was a collaboration or coordination that would violate the spirit of the FEC regulations on this." 

The complaint filed with the FEC, Overby explained, will be reviewed by FEC investigators who could come down with rulings or levy fines against the campaign.  The House of Representatives Standards of Official Conduct Committee, the only committee in the House that has equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats, will investigate the complaint filed with the House Ethics committee.  Neither committee is likely to make rulings on the complaints before Election Day.

Despite the controversy that stemmed from Akin's "legitimate rape" comment last month, his campaign said the latest attacks on Akin will not hinder the campaign's momentum.  "I've worked in campaigns many, many times, and when people are desperate, and when people see they're losing...they throw out baseless charges.  These are really baseless and laughable charges and really sad," Tyler said.

He added, "The Senatorial Committee is now reconsidering its position of supporting Todd, so all the Republicans are coming back to Todd because they know [he] can win this race, beat Claire McCaskill and deliver a Republican majority in the Senate in Washington."

Overby said he isn't so certain.  "My guess is that the Akin campaign is going to try to pivot on this and try to indicate that McCaskill also has problems with earmarks or whatever, but right now, he's in a difficult position, and it just got worse today."

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MU Professors Discuss Election at Edward Jones Headquarters http://www.komu.com/news/mu-professors-discuss-election-at-edward-jones-headquarters/ http://www.komu.com/news/mu-professors-discuss-election-at-edward-jones-headquarters/ Smart Decision Wed, 26 Sep 2012 11:41:53 AM KOMU 8 Staff MU Professors Discuss Election at Edward Jones Headquarters

COLUMBIA - Three MU political scientists will discuss 2012 election predictions and views at the Edward Jones Headquarters next month.

The professors discussing general election patterns and their potential outcome and consequences include John Petrocik, political science chair and professor, Marvin Overby, political science professor and Peverill Squire, the Hicks and Martha Griffiths Chair in American Political Institutions.

The presentation will occur at the Edward Jones Headquarters in Des Peres, Mo. on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The event is open to the public from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a reception to follow. 


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Santorum, DeMint Endorse Akin in Mo. Senate Race http://www.komu.com/news/santorum-demint-endorse-akin-in-mo-senate-race/ http://www.komu.com/news/santorum-demint-endorse-akin-in-mo-senate-race/ Smart Decision Wed, 26 Sep 2012 10:04:14 AM Associated Press Santorum, DeMint Endorse Akin in Mo. Senate Race

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin has won two high-profile Republican endorsements a day after guaranteeing his candidacy would continue.

On Wednesday, former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum and Sen. Jim DeMint, a tea party star, announced support for Akin. They called Akin a "principled conservative" who is committed to fighting for freedom. Santorum easily won Missouri's nonbinding Republican residential primary in February.

Akin had faced pressure to quit the campaign against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill after his televised comments that women's bodies have a natural defense against pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."

Tuesday was the final deadline to withdraw. Akin repeatedly has apologized for the comment, but he lost financial support from top national Republicans, including presidential nominee Mitt Romney. 

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Akin Still in After Dropout Deadline Passes http://www.komu.com/news/akin-still-in-after-dropout-deadline-passes/ http://www.komu.com/news/akin-still-in-after-dropout-deadline-passes/ Smart Decision Wed, 26 Sep 2012 8:36:56 AM Associated Press Akin Still in After Dropout Deadline Passes

JEFFERSON CITY - Republican congressman Todd Akin has made good on his promise to stay in the Missouri Senate race against Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill.

Tuesday's final deadline for Missouri candidates to remove their names from the ballot came and went at 5 p.m. as Akin continued a bus tour across the state. It's a final confirmation that he's resisting calls from within his own party to drop his bid.

Many Republicans -- including presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan -- distanced themselves from Akin after his comments in August about what he called "legitimate rape."

But on Monday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich appeared with Akin at a fundraiser. Gingrich predicted Republicans would return to Akin's side in the coming weeks. 

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McCaskill Launches Ad Mentioning Akin's Rape Remark http://www.komu.com/news/mccaskill-launches-ad-mentioning-akin-s-rape-remark/ http://www.komu.com/news/mccaskill-launches-ad-mentioning-akin-s-rape-remark/ Smart Decision Tue, 25 Sep 2012 11:05:16 PM Veronica Polivanaya McCaskill Launches Ad Mentioning Akin's Rape Remark

COLUMBIA - With six weeks remaining until the November election, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill launched a new ad attacking Akin's campaign Tuesday. The ad marked the first time McCaskill has addressed Akin's remark about "legitimate rape" in an ad. McCaskill has cited his comments about other issues in the past. The ad shows a calendar and lists dates for Akin's comments on social security, medicare, minimum wage and student loans. It ends with the narrator saying "And, on August 19, Todd Akin said only some rapes are legitimate. What will he say next?"

Tuesday was the final day for Senate candidates to drop out of the race. Despite talk of Akin leaving, the representative held a press conference in St. Louis Tuesday to stamp his name on the ballot. Press Secretary of the Akin campaign Ryan Hite said, "As he has said the past several days and today, he does not expect to step out of the race. He will see this though to November."

Akin has repeatedly apologized and rejected calls from top Republicans asking him to quit the senate race. Akin now has the support of former presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Akin's campaign office says Akin's montery support will continue to increase.

However, Senator Claire McCaskill's campaign spokesperson said, "We have no control over the money that could or could not come back in to Akin's campaign, but we are confident that Claire is going to have the opportunity to make the case to Missouri of why she is the senator on their side."

During a news conference in St. Louis today, he said "I have one purpose going into November, and that's replacing Claire McCaskill."

Hite said Akin will make stops in Joplin and Springfield later this week.


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Akin Pushes Forward on the Last Day to Withdrawal from Senate Race http://www.komu.com/news/akin-pushes-forward-on-the-last-day-to-withdrawal-from-senate-race/ http://www.komu.com/news/akin-pushes-forward-on-the-last-day-to-withdrawal-from-senate-race/ Smart Decision Tue, 25 Sep 2012 1:09:11 PM Amy Fenton Akin Pushes Forward on the Last Day to Withdrawal from Senate Race

COLUMBIA - Tuesday is the final day for Senate candidates to drop out of the race.  Although there has been talk of Akin leaving, the Representative held a press confrence Tuesday in St. Louis to stamp his name on the ballot.

Press Secretary of the Akin campaign Ryan Hite said, "As he has said the past several days and today, he does not expect to step out of the race.  He will see this though to November."

Akin's press confrence Tuesday also was the start of his "Missouri Common Sense Bus Tour."  He plans to be in Gape Girardeau and Sikeston on Tuesday and will make stops in Joplin and Springfield later this week.

Akin also has more monetary support coming in since confirming his place in the race.  The campaign office believes this will increase even more now that the bus tour is underway.

However, Senator Clair McCaskill's campaign spokesperson said, "We have no control over the money that could or could not come back in to Akin's campaign, but we are confident that Claire is going to have the opprotunity to make the case to Missouri of why she is the senator on their side."


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