KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Smart Decision Smart Decision en-us Copyright 2017, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 25 Jul 2017 12:07:31 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Eric Greitens sworn in as Missouri's 56th Governor http://www.komu.com/news/eric-greitens-sworn-in-as-missouri-s-56th-governor/ http://www.komu.com/news/eric-greitens-sworn-in-as-missouri-s-56th-governor/ Smart Decision Mon, 9 Jan 2017 2:08:05 PM Landon Burke, KOMU 8 Reporter Eric Greitens sworn in as Missouri's 56th Governor

JEFFERSON CITY - Eric Greitens is now officially Missouri's Governor. Greitens, along with four other statewide elected officials, took their oaths of office on the steps of the Capitol Monday.

Before Greitens took to the podium, Josh Hawley was sworn in as the Attorney General, Eric Schmitt as State Treasurer, Jay Ashcroft as Secretary of State and Mike Parson as Lieutenant Governor.

After the stroke of noon, Greitens took his oath of office.

In his acceptance speech, the governor began by expressing appreciation for the sacrifice and dedication of veterans and their families. Greitens said as a former Navy SEAL, he understands that "so many have given so much for this state."

The governor promised he would fight for change in his term ahead. 

"The people have spoken, and a new direction has been decided," the Governor said. "For decades, Missourians have talked about change. Now, it's time to fight for that change."

The governor went on to say, "I answer to the people. And I come as an outsider, to do the people's work."

Greitens admitted there are trying times ahead.

"There are big fights ahead for big things," he said. "Our new administration won't back down, because of political pressure, or political correctness. Yet even as we fight for our convictions, we resolve that our greatest conviction is to love our neighbors as ourselves."

He encouraged the people of Missouri to be patient, and hold fast.

"No one imagines that all of these battles will be won overnight, over 4 years, or even 8," he said. "But we begin today."

Greitens took a strong stance against crime, issuing a solemn warning to criminals in the state.

He said, "to those who would commit violence against a fellow citizen, to those who would abuse a child, to those who would assault a member of law enforcement, to those who would steal from the needy, I assure them this: they will feel the might, strength, and resolution, of the firm fist of justice."

After the ceremony was over, Greitens completed his first act as Governor by signing Executive Order 17-02, to ban gifts from lobbyists to state employees in the executive branch.

“We promised in the campaign that we were going to do different," Greitens said. "We promised that we were going to clean up the culture of corruption in Jefferson City." 

Eric Greitens succeeds Democrat Jay Nixon as Missouri's Governor. For the first time in Missouri's history, the state will have a Republican majority in both chambers of the legislature, and a Republican in the governor's mansion.

After the 2017 legislative session, Speaker of the House Todd Richardson shared a message of optimism from the Republicans.

"As a caucus we have a laid out an aggressive agenda," he said. "You're going to see a lot of common ground between where the senate is, and where, the house is, and the governor."

The House Democrats shared a message of "cautious" optimism.

Representative Kip Kendrick said he hoped the governor will make good on his promise to fight government corruption.

"There is a clear mandate from the people of Missouri that we end business as usual," Kendrick said.

Kendrick said the House Minority has adopted Greiten's "seven campaign promises" as their own party platform for the 2017 legislative session.


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Amendment 3 on tobacco tax fails http://www.komu.com/news/amendment-3-on-tobacco-tax-fails/ http://www.komu.com/news/amendment-3-on-tobacco-tax-fails/ Smart Decision Wed, 9 Nov 2016 2:17:52 AM Laura Barczewski, KOMU 8 Reporter Amendment 3 on tobacco tax fails

KANSAS CITY — Missouri Constitutional Amendment 3 will not become law in the year 2017.

It would have increased the tax on cigarettes by 60 cents by the year 2020 and cigarette wholesalers would have had to pay a 67 fee per pack, increasing annually. 

Raise Your Hand for Kids, which supported the measure, held a watch party in Kansas City at The Grand Hall at Power and Light.

Member Linda Rallo said, no matter the outcome, she was proud of everything the group did. 

“Our team is so excited, I mean we were really underdogs from the very beginning. I’m a mother. I believe in this just because it was very powerful for my family and my children,” Rallo said. 

Early in the night, Torree Pederson said she was hopeful Amendment 3 would pass and saw the event as a celebration of the group's work.

Ron Leone the Executive Director of the Missouri Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, who opposes the amendment said, “We trust common sense, conservative Missouri voters to make the right choice and thus we are cautiously optimistic.”


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Greitens rides late momentum to unexpected victory http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-rides-late-momentum-to-unexpected-victory/ http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-rides-late-momentum-to-unexpected-victory/ Smart Decision Tue, 8 Nov 2016 6:18:00 PM Tyler Emery, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter Greitens rides late momentum to unexpected victory

CHESTERFIELD — Behind a strong grassroots campaign, Republican nominee for governor Eric Greitens rode a late wave of momentum to victory Tuesday night in a race he was not predicted to win.

The energy in the room was high as a large crowd of supporters waited all night to find out the results.

Greitens spoke after the announcement was made.

"We knew what was at stake and how many people were counting on us to win this election," Greitens said. "We did more than win this election. We restored power to the people and we took our state back."

Greitens also reached out to Koster's supporters in his speech.

"We want to let everyone with Chris Koster know, we're here to serve them as well," Greitens said.

Crowds frequently erupted in cheers throughout the speech.

"Tonight begins a new generation of conservative leadership in Missouri," Greitens said.

Bob Tomlinson is one Greitens supporter at the watch party who said he supports Greitens because he's a veteran like himself. Tomlinson served in the Vietnam War.

"The guy wants to do so much for the state of Missouri right here. Besides that he is a brother in arms. We both shed blood in wars. He is going to fight for the state of Missouri, I guarantee that," Tomlinson said.

Greitens' campaign manager Austin Chambers said in the days leading up to the election, all of the momentum had shifted to their side.

Chambers said the campaign "built it's own ground game" and that it's been a "grass roots movement through the entirety of the campaign."

This race for governor was unique.

Greitens is a former Democrat who ran in this race as a Republican and Koster was a former Republican running as a Democrat.

Greitens promoted himself as an outsider - lacking in political experience, but heavy in military saviness and leadership skills. Koster was recently quoted saying that the governor's office, "is not an entry level job."

Donald Trump endorsed Greitens the day before the election on Twitter, saying "Hey Missouri let's defeat Crooked Hillary & @koster4missouri! Koster supports Obamacare & amnesty! Vote outsider Navy SEAL @EricGreitens!"

Koster, Missouri's current attorney general, emphasized conservative values throughout his campaign, a rarity for democratic nominees. Koster was also the first democratic candidate for governor to receive the endorsements of the National Rifle Association (NRA) as well as the Missouri Farm Bureau. 

Gov. Jay Nixon will be finished with his time in office after two terms, leaving the spot open for Greitens to fill.

He will take office in January 2017.

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Republicans win big in Missouri, national elections http://www.komu.com/news/republicans-win-big-in-missouri-national-elections/ http://www.komu.com/news/republicans-win-big-in-missouri-national-elections/ Smart Decision Mon, 7 Nov 2016 4:24:49 PM Taylor Stevens, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Republicans win big in Missouri, national elections

COLUMBIA - Voters in Missouri took to the polls Tuesday, electing a Republican for governor and sending 10 electoral votes to Republican President-Elect Donald Trump. Republicans won in most of the other local and state races, as well.

Voters cast their ballots for the highly-publicized U.S. Senate race and a number of ballot initiatives, including a controversial voter ID proposition and two competing cigarette tax increase proposals. 

Missouri Governor:

The gubernatorial race favored Republican Eric Greitens Tuesday over Democratic opponent Chris Koster. Greitens swept nearly all local counties, including Cole, Cooper, Camden, Miller, Audrain and Monroe, among others.

Greitens, who said Koster offered him his congratulations, thanked his supporters for all of their work along his campaign.

"We thank all of you for your faith and your hard work, your service, your sacrifice, your courage, and the fact that all of you have had our back," Greitens said. 

The former Navy SEAL also addressed the crowd about his plans for his upcoming term as governor. 

"We're going to take on the special interests, and we're going to clean up Jefferson City," Greitens said. "We're going to build a thriving economy here in the state of Missouri rooted in the core values of hard work and personal responsibility."

In his concession speech, Koster thanked all of his supporters for sticking by him throughout his career.

"I want to thank my campaign team for presenting a vision of unity and progress for my fellow citizens," Koster said. "You've earned my undying respect and gratitude. To my fellow citizens, it has been an honor to be considered by you to this important job."

U.S. Senate:

The race for a U.S. Senate seat between Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander also favored the Republicans. Kander's campaign did not concede until almost 90 percent of the ballots were reported, but he congratulated his opponent on the win. 

While addressing his supporters, Kander touched on the importance of not settling with the current political climate.

"This country is a place that you've got to stay invested in. You don't get to decide that you're going to be ok with the politics, that you're going to believe in the politics of this country when it goes your way," Kander said. "You've got to pick yourselves up. That's what I'm going to do."

At his rally, Blunt commented on the significance of the multiple wins for Republicans in the state election.

"What a great night for this state," Blunt said. "The opportunity to move forward in our state just multiplied by a significant number of times."

Attorney General:

Republican Josh Hawley took the race for Attorney General over Democrat Teresa Hensley. The first-time candidate and MU law school associate professor beat out the former county prosecutor for the state's top law enforcement position. Hawley will take the position from current Attorney General Chris Koster in January. 

Secretary of State

Republican John (Jay) Ashcroft won the race for Secretary of State over Democratic opponent Robin Smith.

State Treasurer:

Republican Eric Schmitt won the race for State Treasurer over Democratic opponent Judy Baker.

Missouri Senate:

Republican Caleb Rowden took the race for the District 19 Missouri Senate seat over Democrat Stephen Webber in one of the tightest races in the state. 

In his victory speech, Rowden touched on the other Republican wins across the state and country.

"I am absolutely honored for the chance to represent mid-Missouri in the Senate," Rowden said. "This is an incredible night for Republicans." 

Ballot Initiatives:

Proposition A, a proposed tax increase on cigarettes, failed to pass in the polls. The proposition would have increased taxes on cigarettes three times until 2021, totaling an additional tax of 23 cents per pack of 20 cigarettes. Money generated from the tax, which was estimated to total anywhere from $95 million to $103 million would have funded state infrastructure projects. Instead, the lowest cigarette tax in the nation will remain at 17 cents per pack.

A majority of voters also chose to turn down Constitutional Amendment 3, another proposed tax on cigarettes. The proposition would have raised taxes on cigarettes each year until 2020. The total additional tax would have amounted to 60 cents per pack of 20 cigarettes. The proposition would have also created a fee for cigarette wholesalers of 67 cents per pack of 20 and would have increased annually. Funds generated from the tax would have gone toward establishing a new Early Childhood Health and Education Fund. Anticipated funds totaled anywhere from $262 million to $374 million. 

Constitutional Amendment 6, a controversial voter ID proposition, passed. The proposition will require voters to verify their identity, citizenship and residence through government-issued photo identification. 

Voters also chose to implement Constitutional Amendment 2, which will establish limits and regulations on campaign contributions to political parties or committees. The proposition will also prohibit candidates from concealing the source of their contributions. The contributions will not be able to exceed $2,600 per election for candidates and $25,000 for political parties. The proposition does not limit self-funding from candidates. 

Constitutional Amendment 1, a proposed continuance of a sales tax for state parks, also passed. The proposal will continue the existing 0.1 percent sales tax for 10 years. Voters first approved the tax in 1984. The tax funds go toward soil and water conservation and state parks and historic sites in the state. 

Voters also voted in support of Constitutional Amendment 4. The proposed amendment would prohibit new sales taxes "on any service or transaction that was not subject to a sales/use or similar tax as of January 1, 2015." 

U.S. President:

Republican Donald Trump won Missouri's 10 electoral votes in the presidential election, winning more than 60 percent of votes over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with most precincts reported. This election marked the fifth straight presidential election the GOP candidate won the state.

(Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include the latest results and quotations.)

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Live blog: Real time coverage of Election 2016 http://www.komu.com/news/live-blog-real-time-coverage-of-election-2016/ http://www.komu.com/news/live-blog-real-time-coverage-of-election-2016/ Smart Decision Mon, 7 Nov 2016 4:13:23 PM KOMU Digital Staff Live blog: Real time coverage of Election 2016

COLUMBIA - Voters cast their ballots Tuesday to determine the next political leaders in the state and nation. Aside from the race for the presidency between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, voters selected from candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and Missouri Senate, among others.

See the latest poll numbers on our election results page. 

Campaign advertising set local races apart from other states this election year. The face-off between Republican incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt and Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander for the U.S. Senate seat drew national attention for its advertising; and gubernatorial candidates Republican Eric Greitens and Democrat Chris Koster collectively spent more money on advertising in their campaigns than any other gubernatorial race in the country. 

Other races included that for Missouri State Senator between Republican Caleb Rowden and Stephen Webber, and the race for Attorney General between Republican Josh Hawley and Democrat Teresa Hensley. Additionally, the Missouri ballot included two competing cigarette tax propositions (Proposition A and Constitutional Amendment 3) and a voter ID proposition (Consitutional Amendment 6).

All tweets below appear in reverse chronological order with the newest tweets appearing at the top. 



Former Attorney General John Ashcroft showcasing man's best friend at the election night watch party #Missouri #GOP #election2016

A photo posted by Daniel Willingham (@dcwillingham) on