KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Smart Decision Smart Decision en-us Copyright 2020, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 17 Feb 2020 HH:02:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Mid-Missouri 2019 Election Results https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-2019-election-results/ https://www.komu.com/news/mid-missouri-2019-election-results/ Smart Decision Tue, 5 Nov 2019 9:51:17 PM Caroline Dade & Skylar Webb, KOMU 8 Reporters & Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Mid-Missouri 2019 Election Results

MID-MISSOURI - Voters across mid-Missouri headed to the polls Tuesday to decide whether several communities would increase taxes. 

Callaway County voters approved two propositions on the ballot involving sales taxes. These means the sales tax will increase in order to fund improvements to police facilities and increase police salaries. The passed propositions will also pay for a new justice center, renovations of the existing courthouse and expanding law enforcement.

Gary Jungermann, the presiding commissioner, said he's happy with the results. 

"We have needs, and the way we're going to fix them is to get these two taxes passed. So, I think it was exciting, yet now we know we have a lot of work to do," Jungermann said.

Callaway County Sheriff Clay Chism echoed that sentiment. 

“I was just proud,” Chism said. “I was proud of the confidence the voters of Callaway County had in those elected officials, including myself, that were involved.”

Proposition 1 and 2 were the only issues on the ballot, and just more than 4,300 people came out to the polls to cast their vote. 

Proposition 1 will implement a permanent 0.5 percent sales tax increase. The Callaway County Sheriff’s Department will use the money to hire more deputies and give pay raises to current employees. 

Chism said it’s been a long road to get to Tuesday, but the work is just starting. 

“Putting a tax on the ballot is not the easiest decision in the world,” he said. “However, we knew that this community had some serious criminal justice needs. These propositions were specifically designed to enhance all areas of the criminal justice system in Callaway County.”

Chism told KOMU in September the raise will make the county’s compensation competitive with other counties in the area. 

Proposition 2 will add an additional 0.5 percent sales tax increase, but it will expire in 2041. The additional money will fund an expansion of the Callaway County jail and the construction of a new justice center. 

Callaway County currently has a sales tax of 5.735 percent. That will increase to 6.735 percent when these new measures go into effect. 

Jungermann said there isn’t an exact date for collection to begin yet, but he expects it will happen around April 1, 2020. 

At the Lake of the Ozarks area, voters decided not to pass a proposed lodging tax increase for Camden, Miller and Morgan counties. It failed in all three counties.

The tax increase would have paid for a proposed soccer complex aimed at increasing tourism during the lake area's off-season.

The vote was the only one to appear on Tuesday’s ballot. The tax increase would have raised lodging tax from 3% to 6% in all three counties.

"I'm not sure that this evening is a reflection of what the business community wants to happen at Lake of the Ozarks as oppose to what the residents have been informed through propaganda to conclude what happened this evening in the vote," Tim Jacobsen said, the executive director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The soccer complex website said the development would bring 12 to 14 tournaments a year with between 50 to 300 teams each weekend in the spring and fall as a way to boost tourism. The website said this could bring about $75 million in economic impact to the lake area. 

KOMU 8 spoke with lodge owners who said they not only felt out of the loop in the decision-making process, but are left to decide whether to take the money from their own accounts or pass the cost along to their guests.

Several lodge owners said the tax could likely scare away many of their regular customers who come back to visit every year.

After results were finalized and released, Jacobsen addressed what’s to come post-election.

"It's very unfortunate that the citizens of the three counties have felt that this is not an economic initiative that they would like to pursue," Jacobsen said. "At this point we would like to look to the leaders of this community and decide how we'll move forward."

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MIDTERM ELECTION: Track results for candidates and ballot measures https://www.komu.com/news/midterm-election-track-results-for-candidates-and-ballot-measures/ https://www.komu.com/news/midterm-election-track-results-for-candidates-and-ballot-measures/ Smart Decision Tue, 6 Nov 2018 7:13:43 PM KOMU Digital Staff MIDTERM ELECTION: Track results for candidates and ballot measures

COLUMBIA - It's easy to see which candidates are leading and how various issues are faring on the KOMU 8 News Election Results page.

Polls closed at 7 p.m. after a day of turnout that was unusually large for a midterm election.

We'll be updating results continuously throughout the night until the precincts report in.

Be sure to check out our live blog, which has been capturing the day in photos and video, and our Facebook page, where we've been going live regularly.

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LIVE BLOG: Hawley wins, fuel tax fails, marijuana measures pass https://www.komu.com/news/live-blog-hawley-wins-fuel-tax-fails-marijuana-measures-pass/ https://www.komu.com/news/live-blog-hawley-wins-fuel-tax-fails-marijuana-measures-pass/ Smart Decision Tue, 6 Nov 2018 3:15:49 PM KOMU Digital Staff LIVE BLOG: Hawley wins, fuel tax fails, marijuana measures pass

COLUMBIA - Republicans fared well throughout Missouri Tuesday. State Attorney General Josh Hawley defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskill.

The national picture was murkier, with Democratics winning control of the House but Republicans cementing their hold on the Senate.

Missourians said no to a new fuel tax but yes to medical marijuana and a higher minimum wage.

You can see the numbers on our results page.

Political observers said turnout for the midterm election was similar to that of a presidential election, which is highly unusual.

Democrats had been pushing for a "blue wave" to repudiate the policies of President Donald Trump; but his base was as enthusiastic as ever.

This live blog captured photos and videos throughout the day and night as results came in. We've included tweets from our reporters, voters, campaigns and parties. You'll also see the numerous Facebook Live feeds we did from the Hawley and McCaskill watch parties and on issues ranging from the minimum wage to political reform.

Hawley Blunt Serrin

Prop B Mackay


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State auditor race calls attention to candidates' credentials https://www.komu.com/news/state-auditor-race-calls-attention-to-candidates-credentials/ https://www.komu.com/news/state-auditor-race-calls-attention-to-candidates-credentials/ Smart Decision Wed, 26 Sep 2018 12:32:48 PM Stephanie Hamann, KOMU 8 Reporter State auditor race calls attention to candidates' credentials

COLUMBIA - Missourians will choose a state auditor in the Nov. 6 elections. The five candidates include incumbent Democrat Nicole Galloway and Republican Saundra McDowell.

Galloway and McDowell have disputed each other’s credentials and abilities throughout the race, such as during a Missouri Press Association forum.

A common topic in the race has been McDowell’s residency in Missouri. On election day, McDowell will have lived in Missouri for fewer than 10 years. However, the Missouri Constitution says an auditor must be a resident of the state for at least 10 years at the time of the election. Law experts have disagreed on whether McDowell could still qualify. McDowell touched on her residency in a statement on social media.

“My husband and I established intent for residency more than ten years ago, and any attempts to mischaracterize that as inadequate are ridiculous,” McDowell said.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch accessed lawsuit records from 2013 that showed McDowell as having a Kansas address. The newspaper also found that McDowell's husband, Jonathan, owed $1,484 in taxes on personal property.

In the statement, McDowell also talked about her past financial debts. Court records show McDowell and her husband Jonathan owed a landlord $32,658.50 in 2015, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

“We have made every effort possible to pay off the debts that we owe, and we will continue to do so.”

Galloway was the defendant in a trial in August against Missouri Alliance for Freedom. The nonprofit said Galloway violated the Sunshine Law by failing to preserve text messages. There is currently no ruling. In a February report, the Attorney General’s Office said the State Auditor’s Office did not violate the Sunshine Law.

Galloway faced a lawsuit from Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott in January. Arnott maintained that Galloway needed to release complaint records from whistleblowers in Greene County under open records laws. However, Galloway said doing so would risk the whistleblowers' identities.

The next state auditor could have a new responsibility if Amendment 1 passes. Amendment 1, the Clean Missouri Initiative, includes several legislative goals. Clean Missouri said one goal is to “ensure that neither political party is given an unfair advantage when new maps are drawn after the next census.” The auditor would help choose a demographer to make the maps.

Galloway has repeatedly discussed dark money during the campaign.

“I think that the office of state auditor is the most important platform to call out public corruption, and as dark money has gotten worse in Jefferson City and in our politics, I have been taking a stand for that over and over again,” Galloway said. “I think we absolutely need to get the dark money out of our decision making in Jefferson City.”

Galloway said she believes dark money is a critical issue in the government. At one event, she talked about calling out dark money in relation to former governor Eric Greitens.

“While I called it out, my opponent was silent,” Galloway said. “If you are not willing to take a stand against corruption and against secrecy, even when it means criticizing members of your own party, then you should not be seeking the job of state auditor.”

McDowell has said she believes Galloway lacks transparency.

“Transparency to me is really the essence of the office,” McDowell said. “And currently we can see that our current auditor has been dragged into court twice because of transparency issues.” 

If elected, McDowell said she will implement a five-part plan called Every Dollar Works. The plan includes auditing the auditor’s office and training the office for “an eye towards litigation,” McDowell said. It would also involve auditing certain funds, McDowell said.

“There are a lot of funds sets up across the state that are under elected officials, they’re under state agencies, and to my knowledge those funds have never been audited by the state auditor or anyone else,” McDowell said.

Galloway took office as state auditor in April 2015. She was also the Boone County Treasurer. She is a certified fraud examiner and certified public accountant.

McDowell worked in the Secretary of State’s office as Director of Enforcement for the Securities Division. McDowell was also an Assistant Attorney General. McDowell is a U.S. Air Force veteran and worked as an attorney.

The other three candidates are Don Fitz for the Green Party, Jacob Luetkemeyer for the Constitution Party and Sean O’Toole for the Libertarian Party.




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Eric Greitens sworn in as Missouri's 56th Governor https://www.komu.com/news/eric-greitens-sworn-in-as-missouri-s-56th-governor/ https://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 https://www.komu.com/news/amendment-3-on-tobacco-tax-fails/ https://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 https://www.komu.com/news/greitens-rides-late-momentum-to-unexpected-victory/ https://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 https://www.komu.com/news/republicans-win-big-in-missouri-national-elections/ https://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 https://www.komu.com/news/live-blog-real-time-coverage-of-election-2016/ https://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

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Political party headquarters buzzing the weekend before the election https://www.komu.com/news/political-party-headquarters-buzzing-the-weekend-before-the-election/ https://www.komu.com/news/political-party-headquarters-buzzing-the-weekend-before-the-election/ Smart Decision Sun, 6 Nov 2016 8:49:18 PM Laura Barczewski, KOMU 8 Reporter Political party headquarters buzzing the weekend before the election

COLUMBIA — Election day is approaching and both political party offices are buzzing with activity.

Volunteers were shuffling in and out of the Boone County Democratic Party headquarters, picking up signs and flyers to go door-to-door.

"The whole idea of it is to pass out all 10,000 of these flyers which we are almost done doing. It's amazing that we have been able to get as many volunteers as we have," democratic volunteer Eva Petakovic said.

Volunteers at the Boone County Republican Party headquarters were also busy preparing for election day.

"We've been putting together signs today for the polling places and we've been going door to door talking to people getting people ready to vote on Tuesday," Boone County Republican Central Committee Chair Mike Zweifel said.

Volunteers from both parties said they are trying to make a last minute push to motivate people to get out to the polls and vote on Tuesday.

"Our next effort is to flyer the polls with our amendment stances, which are yes on one and no on the rest. So we'll be out at the polls handing those out to people," Petakovic said.

"We are getting signs together and making phone calls now, but we are also holding a rally at the airport on Monday for statewide candidates," Zweifel said.

On Tuesday, the Boone County Democratic Party is hosting a watch party at The Blue Note at 7 p.m. and the Boone County Republican Party is hosting a watch party at The Holiday Inn Executive Center at 7 p.m.


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How to vote for a write-in candidate in Missouri https://www.komu.com/news/how-to-vote-for-a-write-in-candidate-in-missouri/ https://www.komu.com/news/how-to-vote-for-a-write-in-candidate-in-missouri/ Smart Decision Fri, 4 Nov 2016 2:57:28 PM The Associated Press How to vote for a write-in candidate in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri voters who don't want to cast their ballots for major party candidates can vote for write-ins during Tuesday's election.

But there are rules to follow in order for those votes to count.

Secretary of State Jason Kander's spokeswoman Stephanie Fleming said votes only count for write-in candidates who filed in advance with election authorities.

She said the candidate's name should be spelled "substantially similar" to its correct spelling. Local election authorities determine whether to count votes for misspelled write-in candidates.

Votes for write-in candidates that include a party name won't be counted. Fleming said voters should list which office the candidate is seeking.

Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those in line when polls close still can vote.

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Joe Biden joins Jason Kander on the campaign trail https://www.komu.com/news/joe-biden-joins-jason-kander-on-the-campaign-trail/ https://www.komu.com/news/joe-biden-joins-jason-kander-on-the-campaign-trail/ Smart Decision Fri, 28 Oct 2016 10:32:10 PM Rose Schmidt and Meg Hilling, KOMU 8 Reporters Joe Biden joins Jason Kander on the campaign trail

ST. LOUIS – Vice President Joe Biden joined Jason Kander, the Missouri Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, on the campaign trail Friday.

Kander is challenging incumbent Roy Blunt in a race that has gathered national attention due to the recent increase in voters’ support for Kander. He also gained national media attention after a TV ad showed Kander assembling an assault rifle blindfolded.

At the event Friday, Kander touched on a variety of topics, including the needs of veterans, the importance of making college affordable for everyone and addressing the needs of the middle class.

"It is the single most important responsibility we have as a nation," Biden said in reference to the middle class.

"There is a new generation stepping forward in this country right now," Kander said.

Kander and Biden highlighted similarities they see in each other's backgrounds and stances on issues.

"Vice President Biden is somebody who is proof that just because you go to Washington doesn't mean you become Washington," Kander said.

Biden also stressed a need for keeping taxes low and defended the Affordable Care Act.

The event originally started at 3:30 p.m. Friday at The Pageant. It kicked off with a speech from Reverend Starsky Wilson of Saint John's Church. Wilson told the crowd he supports Kander because he is able "to respond when the community has needs and concerns."

"If, no, when Jason is elected, he will be the first millennial in the United States Senate," Wilson finished, to cheers from the crowd.

The crowd also heard from a registered nurse and veteran, a retired teacher, the mayor of St. Louis and several other Kander supporters.


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Amid expensive governor's race, voters weigh donation limits https://www.komu.com/news/amid-expensive-governor-s-race-voters-weigh-donation-limits/ https://www.komu.com/news/amid-expensive-governor-s-race-voters-weigh-donation-limits/ Smart Decision Sun, 23 Oct 2016 10:33:57 AM The Associated Press Amid expensive governor's race, voters weigh donation limits

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Most of the millions of dollars raised in the Missouri governor's race would be banned under proposed campaign contribution limits.

A measure on the Nov. 8 ballot would limit donations to candidates to $2,600 per person, per election.

An Associated Press analysis found close to $16.5 million of Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens' fundraising, or about 95 percent, was in donations of more than $2,600.

Democratic candidate Attorney General Chris Koster received $17.8 million worth of checks of more than $2,600. That's about 80 percent of what he's raised this election.

Missouri's previous campaign contribution limits were repealed in 2008. Since then, some donors have routinely given five-and six-figure checks.

Under the proposed constitutional amendment, donors also couldn't give more than $25,000 to political parties each primary and general election.

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Latest candidate committee funds released https://www.komu.com/news/latest-candidate-committee-funds-released/ https://www.komu.com/news/latest-candidate-committee-funds-released/ Smart Decision Tue, 18 Oct 2016 4:36:13 PM Zack Newman, KOMU 8 Reporter Latest candidate committee funds released

COLUMBIA — Details on the amount of money committees have raised funds for candidates across the ballot have been released. 

The October Quarter report is produced by the Missouri Ethics Commission and outlines most of the funds received and spent from July 1 to Sept. 30. 

Candidate nameCommittee nameReceived in this period (July 1st- September 30th)Spent in periodMoney on hand
KosterKoster for Missouri3,475,738.926,168,307.976,586,042.48
GreitensGreitens for Missouri4,172,318.004,699,141.042,716,601.34
STATE SENATE 19th District    
RowdenFriends of Caleb Rowden300,234.00267,644.69392,960.34
WebberCitizens for Stephen Webber396,543.00437,941.40849,030.30
Republican Josh HawleyHawley for Missouri3,279,965.81100,871.464,323,648.11
Democrat Teresa HensleyTeresa Hensley for Missouri1,105,496.76400,928.971,148,376.41
Jason KanderUnavailable, report filed with the Federal Election Commission   
Roy BluntUnavailable, report filed with the Federal Election Commission   

Money can be spent on methods to garner name recognition like TV ads, social media campaigns or billboards. However, the victorious candidate is not always the one that raised the most money. 

"You really want to see is how much money a challenger facing an incumbent might have, because it's the challenger who really has to introduce himself or herself to the voters,"said Peverill Squire, a political science professor at MU. "The incumbent is usually well enough known, so if the challenger can raise enough money to run a competitive race, then you expect a close contest."

Terry Smith, a professor of political science at Columbia College, said the destination of the money will be telling of the campaign strategy. A social media campaign could be an indicator of targeting young voters.

"This is a candidates' dream. There's usually not new money this late in the campaign," Smith said. 

Funds have been pouring in since the filing deadline. On Tuesday, the Koster for Missouri Committee received $175,000 from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. On Monday, the committee supporting gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens got a $2.5 million dollar donation from the Republican Governors Association.

Smith said the increases at the state level can lead to decreases in funding for local elections. 

"Somebody who works in one of those campaigns is pulling his hair out because these high profile races are just taking all of the oxygen out of the fundraising for the state," he said.  

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TARGET 8 fact checks Koster's attack of Greitens' nonprofit money https://www.komu.com/news/target-8-fact-checks-koster-s-attack-of-greitens-nonprofit-money/ https://www.komu.com/news/target-8-fact-checks-koster-s-attack-of-greitens-nonprofit-money/ Smart Decision Mon, 10 Oct 2016 9:15:15 PM Christina Salonikas, KOMU 8 Reporter TARGET 8 fact checks Koster's attack of Greitens' nonprofit money

COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 News's investigative team is fact checking politicans' political ad campaigns in preparation for the upcoming November 8 election. 

Target 8 looked into claims made by Chris Koster's campaign attacking Eric Greitens.

The ads attack Greitens veteran's nonprofit called The Mission Continues. It claims Greitens used money for veterans for his own political gain. The group's website states the nonprofit "empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact."

Koster is the Democratic nominee for Missouri governor, while Greitens is the Republican nominee.

Koster's campaign provided the sources for each statement referenced in multiple attack ads, and Target 8 independently checked all of the claims in the ads. Greitens' campaign declined to give an interview or comment on claims made in the ads titled "Divert" and "Money".

'Greitens used money from his veteran's charity to pay himself over $700,000': TRUE

Greitens' nonprofit The Mission Continues started in 2007.

CPA Lynn J. Graves has more than 40 years of public, corporate and governmental accounting experience, specializing in audits of public subdivisions and not-for-profit organizations.

Graves said the purpose of a 990 tax form is to give the IRS an information return about annual activities and information of a particular tax-exempt organization. 

"A tax-exempt for an organization goes through an application process at the time they are being organized. The IRS will approve or disapprove that application. And so, once that has been accepted by the IRS, the 990 is really continuing to inform the government of the activities for the year to substantiate what they originally approved in the taxes in the organization for," Graves said.

KOMU 8 analyzed The Mission Continues 990 tax forms and found salaries of administrators.

Greitens did not have an income in 2008 and 2015.

His salary from the organization varied between 2009-2013. 

According to the nonprofit's 990 tax forms, Greitens made:

  • 2009: $101,500 in compensation from the organization
  • 2010: $50,000 in compensation from the organization
  • 2011: $200,000 in compensation from the organization and an additional $3,801 in benefits, retirement and other compensation.
  • 2012: $175,000 in compensation from the organization and an additional $11,142 in benefits, retirement and other compensation.
  • 2013: $175,000 in compensation from the organization and an additional $11,507 in benefits, retirement and other compensation.
  • 2014: $24 in compensation from the organization and an additional $15,981 in benefits, retirement and other compensation.

      Total = $743,955 

Nonprofit Missouri board member Stephen Jeanetta said CEO salaries for nonprofits vary depending on the success of an organization.

"They don’t want organizations using their nonprofits to give salaries to big people. And so, the IRS typically encourages nonprofits to keep their salaries within a certain range," Jeanetta said. 

Graves said by law every exempt organization is required to disclose why administrators get paid what they do.

According to the 990 tax form from 2013, "The process for determining compensation of the organization's CEO included a review and approval by independent persons, compatibility data from various national veterans organizations, other Midwest social service organizations, and the CEO's salary history, and contemporaneous substantiation of the deliberation and decision."

Greitens not the only administrator paid by the charity

One thing the ad does not mention is in addition to Greitens getting paid, there were other people paid by the nonprofit as well.

President Spencer Kympton made $195,699 in 2013, which is $9,192 more than what Greitens made that year.

In 2014, when Greitens made $16,005, Kympton made $199,330.

Graves also said it is important to consider salaries in relation to the value of the nonprofit. After reviewing the tax forms, he estimated The Mission Continues to be worth around $19 million. 

"With 6 million dollars spent in salaries and compensation they generated 19 million dollars in gross revenue for the organization. So those are pretty big numbers. That’s a large organization," Grave said.

Eric Greitens' charity 'spent another $600,000 of the charity's money on image consultants': TRUE

According to IRS records, The Mission Continues hired an independent contractor, Fleishman Hillard, Inc., for PR consulting.

  • 2013: $305,382
  • 2014: $314,217

      Total = $619,599

There is nothing on the publicly available tax forms to show exactly what that money went toward. The website for Fleishman Hillard, Inc. shows it is a public relations and marketing agency that offers services including reputation management, brand marketing, and media relations. 

Jeanetta said you don't see much work with image consultants in nonprofits because "Most nonprofits are trying to make sure most of their resources they take in are being used for what people are giving them the resources to do."

KOMU 8 News asked Graves if something like this was odd to see in the tax form.

"It just depends on what they are trying to accomplish, and again they have generated a lot of contributions, so they have got to get their name out there in front of the public. They have got to get their message out, you gotta get it disseminated to the right people who are going to send you money for each charitable cause."

KOMU 8 News reached out to Greitens' campaign asking what that money was used for and never received a comment back.

'Eric used [the money] to start his political career': INCOMPLETE

KOMU 8 News reviewed Greitens' campaign contribution records and found he gave himself $50,000 to his own campaign in 2015, but KOMU 8 News cannot definitively say where that money came from. 

According to RealClearPolitics the most recent poll shows that Koster is currently leading by five points in the polls. 


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Republicans and Democrats hold debate watch parties in Columbia https://www.komu.com/news/republicans-and-democrats-hold-debate-watch-parties-in-columbia/ https://www.komu.com/news/republicans-and-democrats-hold-debate-watch-parties-in-columbia/ Smart Decision Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:36:42 PM Marissa Rubino and Amanda Henderson, KOMU 8 Reporters Republicans and Democrats hold debate watch parties in Columbia

COLUMBIA - Republicans and Democrats both held watch parties in Columbia Monday night for the first presidential debate of 2016.

Boone County Republican Watch Party

The Boone County Republican Central Committee reserved a room at D. Rowe’s Restaurant in south Columbia for their members to gather to watch the debate.

Besides plenty of Trump decorations, people brought signs supporting Roy Blunt, Fred Parry and Caleb Rowden. Rowden joined the watch party with some others from his camp.

Steve Spellman, treasurer of the Committee, said prior to the debate that he has been excited recently to see Trump acting more presidential.

"I think people are really watching that as an example to see what he would really look like if he were elected," Spellman said. 

Sara Walsh, 19th District Senate Committeewoman, was excited to see so many people come out to support Trump and the party.

"Trump is solid on our constitution and our principles," Walsh said. 

The committee has an election headquarters on North Providence Road, and was urging people on their way out to start volunteering more with the committee's office. 

Hillary Clinton Campaign Watch Party

Supporters of the Hillary Clinton campaign watched the debate in a reserved room at Shakespeare’s South. By the beginning of the debate, the room was full and people were quiet, waiting for the candidates to take the stage.

Some of the viewers went into the debate hoping to hear more about certain topics.

“I’m really hoping we get into some substance and some policy issues. Especially on foreign policy because I think that’s Hillary’s strength,” said Patricia Doss, a Hillary Clinton campaign volunteer.

There were several signs in support for Clinton throughout the room. Before the official debate began, there was chatter among those present. Once the debate started, there were cheers for Clinton and laughs for Trump.

Among the supporters was Johanna Cox. Cox brought her family with her to the debate so they could learn more about politics. The night was also an emotional one for her as she believes that she could see history in the making.

“I think this is the first time in my life where I’ve seen that a woman really can do everything. I’ve always believed it but I’ve never seen it happen. And for my daughter to grow up in this day and age, to be able to see a woman this close and hopefully become our next president, it’s amazing,” said Cox.

Many viewers stayed throughout the entire debate, eating pizza and making remarks on the comments made by both candidates.

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Hanaway concedes Republican governor race to Greitens https://www.komu.com/news/hanaway-concedes-republican-governor-race-to-greitens/ https://www.komu.com/news/hanaway-concedes-republican-governor-race-to-greitens/ Smart Decision Wed, 3 Aug 2016 1:47:21 AM Adam Pressler, KOMU 8 Reporter Hanaway concedes Republican governor race to Greitens

BRENTWOOD - Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Catherine Hanaway conceded the race to fellow Republican candidate Eric Greitens during her watch party following Tuesday's primary election in Missouri.

Supporters anxiously awaited Hanaway's arrival at her watch party. When she took the stage to speak, she conceded the race. Hanaway thanked her supporters and team members for their loyalty.

One of Hanaway's supporters was optimistic going into the watch party.

"I feel great, it's going to be a tight race but I think this party will make the right choice and pick Hanaway," Mark Nuelle said.

Nuelle said he believes Hanaway could have gotten the state back on track.

Others at the watch party said they are sad to hear the results but are still optimistic about supporting the Republican Party.

Greitens will advance to the November ballot in the general election.

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Schaefer upbeat despite Attorney General GOP loss https://www.komu.com/news/schaefer-upbeat-despite-attorney-general-gop-loss/ https://www.komu.com/news/schaefer-upbeat-despite-attorney-general-gop-loss/ Smart Decision Wed, 3 Aug 2016 1:27:25 AM Austin Hough, KOMU 8 Reporter Schaefer upbeat despite Attorney General GOP loss

FOREST PARK - GOP attorney general candidate Kurt Schaefer remained positive after losing the primary race to Josh Hawley Tuesday night.

Hawley won in convincing fashion, bringing in 64 percent of the vote. 

Schaefer credited Hawley campaign's financial advantage as a key to why he lost the race by such a wide margin.

"I think any time you get two lawyers, things get heated," Schaefer said. "I think the other thing, too, is we got outspent by about three to one, and when that happens, you get attacked on a lot of fronts. It's hard to respond to all of those things."

Despite the loss, Schaefer said he feels proud of the work he and his team has done.

"I'm proud of the race we race and proud of all of the people that worked hard on this campaign," Schaefer said. "I had a great time traveling the state, meeting folks, hearing their concerns and doing what I can about it. And I'll continue to do that."

Hawley will challenge Democratic nominee Teresa Hensley in the general election Nov. 8.

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Election results: Koster, Greitens win primaries, hotel tax passes https://www.komu.com/news/election-results-koster-greitens-win-primaries-hotel-tax-passes/ https://www.komu.com/news/election-results-koster-greitens-win-primaries-hotel-tax-passes/ Smart Decision Tue, 2 Aug 2016 9:58:12 PM Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director Election results: Koster, Greitens win primaries, hotel tax passes

COLUMBIA - Democrat Chris Koster and Republican Eric Greitens won their respective primaries for governor Tuesday night. (See our elections page for complete results.)

In the primaries for U.S. Senate, Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander won by large margins.

Columbia's Proposition 1 was approved by a two-thirds margin. It will raise the local hotel tax from 4 to 5 percent to help fund a multi-million dollar expansion of Columbia Regional Airport.

Voters also gave the green light to Boone County's Proposition F, which will extend out-of-state sales taxes on vehicle and boat purchases.

The following candidates won in other statewide primary races.

Lieutenant Governor

  • Democrat Russ Carnahan
  • Republican Mike Parsons

Attorney General

  • Democrat Jake Zimmerman
  • Republican Josh Hawley

Secretary of State

  • Democrat Robin Smith
  • Republican John (Jay) Ashcroft

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Koster declares victory in Democratic primary for governor https://www.komu.com/news/koster-declares-victory-in-democratic-primary-for-governor/ https://www.komu.com/news/koster-declares-victory-in-democratic-primary-for-governor/ Smart Decision Tue, 2 Aug 2016 9:12:00 PM Annie Hammock, KOMU 8 Interactive Director Koster declares victory in Democratic primary for governor

COLUMBIA - Chris Koster handily won the Democratic primary for governor Tuesday night.

"Tonight’s victory begins our general election campaign," he said in prepared remarks. "We move beyond a discussion between Democrats and begin a new discussion that welcomes all Missourians, including Independents and Republicans to this table.

Koster spoke to supporters at a watch party in Kansas City. He harshly criticized the campaigns run by various Republican candidates, calling it the "most disturbing political campaign in 50 years." He said voters should reject "the childish behavior and extreme language we have seen this campaign season."

"To everyone who is fed up with the insanity, I ask you to join me the next 100 days, and the next 4 years, to build a Missouri that will make us proud," he said.

Koster will run in the general election against the winner of the Republican primary, either Eric Greitens, John Brunner, Catherine Hanaway or Peter Kinder. He said he expects the negative ads to start right away.

"Tomorrow morning, you will see the ads against me begin, telling you what a horrible person I am," he said in his prepared remarks.

Koster suggested some of his key issues will be poor road conditions, the state of health care, school funding, discrimination against the LGBTQ community, pay equity and relations between law enforcement officers and their communities.




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