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. () () Sat, 13 Feb 2016 10:02:27 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 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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Absentee Ballots Available for Missouri Election http://www.komu.com/news/absentee-ballots-available-for-missouri-election/ http://www.komu.com/news/absentee-ballots-available-for-missouri-election/ Smart Decision Tue, 25 Sep 2012 10:01:35 AM Associated Press Absentee Ballots Available for Missouri Election

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missourians who are unable to make it to the polls next month can begin voting by absentee ballot.

Absentee ballots are available to voters who expect to be out of town on Election Day or if illness, disability or religious beliefs prevent them from going to the polls on Nov. 6.

Absentee ballots can be requested by mail or fax until 5 p.m. on Oct. 31. Completed ballots must be returned to local election officials by 7 p.m. on Nov. 6.

Voters also can vote in person by absentee ballot at their local election authority through Nov. 5.

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On Decision Day, Akin Committed to Missouri Senate Bid http://www.komu.com/news/on-decision-day-akin-committed-to-missouri-senate-bid/ http://www.komu.com/news/on-decision-day-akin-committed-to-missouri-senate-bid/ Smart Decision Tue, 25 Sep 2012 6:07:03 AM Associated Press On Decision Day, Akin Committed to Missouri Senate Bid

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - It's decision day for Missouri Congressman Todd Akin.

The embattled Republican says he will not seek a court order to drop out of Missouri's Senate race by the Tuesday deadline to do so. Instead, Akin is planning to rev up his campaign with a new statewide bus tour departing from St. Louis.

Akin has repeatedly apologized and reaffirmed his commitment to the Senate race since top Republicans called on him to quit because of remarks he made last month about pregnancy and rape. Yet some people have doubted his resolve.

Akin hopes he can regain support and donations from Republicans and conservatives who have been waiting until Tuesday's deadline to see if he really would press ahead with his challenge of Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.


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Gingrich Endorses Akin, Calls on GOP Leaders http://www.komu.com/news/gingrich-endorses-akin-calls-on-gop-leaders/ http://www.komu.com/news/gingrich-endorses-akin-calls-on-gop-leaders/ Smart Decision Mon, 24 Sep 2012 8:30:53 PM Elizabeth Hagedorn Gingrich Endorses Akin, Calls on GOP Leaders

ST. LOUIS - One time Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich threw his support behind Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin at a campaign event Monday.

Speaking at a news conference in Akin's district, Gingrich called on Republican leaders to show their support of Akin.

"I don't see how any national Republican in good conscience after tomorrow has any choice except to say if the choice is the Republican nominee or Senator McCaskill, I am for the nominee," said Gingrich.

Ever since Akin made the now infamous remarks regarding rape and pregnancy last month, the fallout has lingered over his campaign, and Republican party leadership has continued to call on him to withdraw. On Sunday, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Preibus told ABC's "This Week" he had doubts that Akin would be the nominee.

"The underlying reality is, the people of Missouri in every survey in the past two years have said they do not want a left-wing senator who ignores and runs over the people of Missouri," said Gingrich.

Tuesday is the last day Akin could withdraw from the race, but the candidate told reporters he has no intentions of quitting.

"We are going to be totally focused on winning that seat from Claire McCaskill because that's what I was told to do by the Republican voters, and I plan to get that job done," Akin said.

Following the news conference, Akin addressed supporters at a $500 a plate luncheon held at an Italian restaurant in Kirkwood.

Akin is set to begin a statewide bus tour with other Republicans on Tuesday.

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Conservative Fund Considers Backing Mo. Rep. Akin http://www.komu.com/news/conservative-fund-considers-backing-mo-rep-akin/ http://www.komu.com/news/conservative-fund-considers-backing-mo-rep-akin/ Smart Decision Mon, 24 Sep 2012 10:53:16 AM Associated Press Conservative Fund Considers Backing Mo. Rep. Akin

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A group that supports conservative Senate candidates is considering whether to toss a last-minute life preserver to Missouri congressman Todd Akin.

The Senate Conservatives Fund had shied away from Akin and remained neutral in last month's Republican Senate primary.

But executive director Matt Hoskins said Monday that the group is seriously considering supporting Akin. He says it appears unlikely Akin will drop out by Tuesday's deadline and could still beat Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. Hoskins also says he believes that Akin supports the group's call for an earmark ban.

Some other national groups that typically back Republicans dropped their support of Akin after remarks he made last month about women's bodies being able to thwart pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape." Akin has apologized repeatedly.


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Missouri Senate Candidates' Positions On The Economy http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-candidates-positions-on-the-economy/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-senate-candidates-positions-on-the-economy/ Smart Decision Sun, 23 Sep 2012 11:27:19 AM Associated Press Missouri Senate Candidates' Positions On The Economy

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- The economy has been a predominant theme of the 2012 campaigns. And Missouri's U.S. Senate candidates have some different views about how to improve it.

For example, they contrast on tax policy. Republican Rep. Todd Akin would like to renew all of the income tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill wants to extend them only for families earning less than $250,000 annually.

McCaskill says the 2009 stimulus act was critical to stopping an economic free-fall. Akin says it failed.

McCaskill says she supports raising both the federal minimum wage and Missouri's lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax. Akin opposes increasing either one.


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McCaskill Votes to Protect, Expand Hunting and Fishing Rights http://www.komu.com/news/mccaskill-votes-to-protect-expand-hunting-and-fishing-rights-35435/ http://www.komu.com/news/mccaskill-votes-to-protect-expand-hunting-and-fishing-rights-35435/ Smart Decision Sat, 22 Sep 2012 10:21:05 AM McCaskill Votes to Protect, Expand Hunting and Fishing Rights

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill voted in support of the Sportsmen's Act of 2012 early this morning. This legislation consists of 20 different measures that will be used to protect hunting and fishing rights as well as open more public lands to outdoor recreation. Senator McCaskill released this statement following the vote:

"This bill takes big steps to preserve our rural values and traditions for future generations of Missourians. Our kids and grandkids should have the same opportunities that Missourians today have, to hunt in places like the Mark Twain National Forest, and fish in spots like the Big Piney River."

This legislation is aimed at opening more of the over 35 million acres of existing public land that either cannot be accessed or has restricted access for sportsmen. The Sportsmen's Act of 2012 also includes two measures that McCaskill has supported in the past. One measure is to permanently prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating hunting ammo and fishing tackle, and the other is to aid the development of new shooting ranges on public land.

This legislation is endorsed by more than 50 large groups including the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.


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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/ Smart Decision 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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