Throughout this election season, KCUR will bring you AdWatch, a series evaluating the words and images filling the airwaves aimed at Missouri and Kansas voters.
The hotly contested Republican race for U.S. Senator from Kansas, where incumbent Pat Roberts and challenger Milton Wolf have turned their sights squarely on one another, has brought a slew of ads to the Kansas airwaves.
Primary elections typically struggle to draw crowds at the polls.
For instance, 23 percent of voters cast ballots in Kansas’ 2012 primary election, compared with 67 percent voter turnout for that year’s general election, according to the Kansas secretary of state office.
With primary elections coming up in both Missouri and Kansas next month, there are hotly contested races and key issues to be decided. We want to know more about your upcoming voting intentions.
The group backing the proposed transportation sales tax is the biggest money-raising operation in the state – but it has yet to air a single TV ad.
Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs, the campaign committee for the sales tax known as Amendment 7, appears to be entering the final weeks of the campaign with more than $2.5 million to spend.
Wint Winter, a former state senator from Douglas County, and more than 100 other current and former elected officials who are Republicans endorsed Paul Davis and Jill Docking, the Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, at an event Tuesday in Topeka.
More than 100 current and former Republican officials formally endorsed Democrat Paul Davis for governor on Tuesday at a Topeka event that organizers said was unprecedented in Kansas politics.
Speaking for the newly formed group, Republicans for Kansas Values, former Sen. Wint Winter of Lawrence said the mass endorsement was prompted by growing concerns among moderate Republicans about the effect of Brownback’s tax and budget policies on public schools, highways, universities, social services and the Kansas economy.
Sen. Pat Roberts has represented Kansas in the U.S. Senate since 1997, but one man is trying to end that reign. Dr. Milton Wolf is one of four contenders in the Kansas Republican primary for U.S. Senate. A Tea Party darling, Wolf has taken a hard line against tax increases, government spending and says he would adhere to a strict two term limit.
And he's also President Obama's second cousin, once removed.
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum stopped in Kansas to campaign for Gov. Sam Brownback Monday in Olathe, Kan., where Santorum called Brownback a "warrior" for conservative principles.
Santorum and Brownback served in the U.S. Senate together. Santorum says Brownback takes on the big issues, and he isn't surprised Brownback has ruffled some feathers with his tax-cutting, small-government policies. Santorum said Kansas could be a leader for other states.
Tuesday is the final day for Kansans to register to vote or update their address before the Kansas primary election on August 5. There's also still time to provide missing citizenship documents that are keeping voter registrations from being processed.
Anyone who's registering to vote for the first time in Kansas needs to provide a document proving that they're a U.S. citizen.
So far 2014 has been a banner year for the GOP in both Missouri and Kansas. The Missouri General Assembly passed a major tax cut and expanded gun holders' rights despite opposition from state Democrats.
Meanwhile, the Kansas legislature increased public school spending to the tune of $129 million.
On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske sits down with lawmakers from both states to discuss what they did, and didn't do, during the 2014 legislative sessions.
Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer officially have started their campaign for a second term.
The two were joined Thursday at a kickoff event in Topeka by their campaign co-chairs, former Sen. Bob Dole and Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower.
During the event, Brownback touted his economic policies and tax cuts he helped pass. He credits them with promoting job growth and helping to build a significant financial cushion in the state budget.
Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 12:09 pm
Missouri’s Democratic and Republican parties have revamped their campaign operations, and installed new executive directors, just seven months before this fall’s elections.
The Missouri Democratic Party – which is fielding no candidate for state auditor -- also has taken the unusual step of dissolving the party’s state Senate and House campaign committees, folding control of those operations, and their money, into the state party’s coffers.
Originally published on Sun April 20, 2014 10:03 pm
In the midst of his second term, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to travel the state to promote his agenda for the state. He has heightened his profile even more in recent days, as he has blasted a tax-cut proposal that the General Assembly has landed on his desk.
But Nixon has effectively dropped one activity that used to take up a lot of his time: campaign fundraising.
Voters on Tuesday approved all of the ballot measures supported by many Kansas City, Mo., city council members.
Top among the issues was approval to issue $500 million in water bonds.
Supporters of the ballot measure say the funding is sorely needed for the city to repair its deteriorating water infrastructure. In 2013 alone, the water department dealt with about 1200 water main breaks.
“The citizens of Kansas City fully and completely understand the need for us to continue to work on our infrastructure,” said Mayor Sly James shortly before 9 p.m.
Clay County voters have rejected a change in their governance structure. It was the third failed attempt to take much of the politics out of county government.
The Clay County Election Commission reports a 16 percent voter turnout, with the measure being defeated by some 6,200 votes. There were 15,200 'no' votes from Clay County residents. Nine thousand voted 'yes.'
Voters earlier approved creating a panel of seven Republicans and seven Democrats to design a constitutional form of governing.
The ballot issues Tuesday were on the Missouri side of the Kansas City area, including the largest tax increase in Jackson County in more than two decades. Voter turnout was, as expected, light.
The results below are unofficial until certified.
Here are the latest numbers:
Blue Springs, Mo. Parks Sales Tax: In Blue Springs, voters defeated a permanent half-cent sales tax that would have raised $3 million a year for parks-related projects, including community recreation centers.
A proposed half-cent sales tax would raise $800 million over the next 20 years to be divided among Children’s Mercy Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.
In June, a Kansas City couple pleaded guilty to voter fraud in the 2010 Democratic primary. Even in a low-turnout primary for a state legislature seat, two votes would normally be a drop in a bucket. But in this race, John Joseph Rizzo defeated Will Royster by a margin of one vote. Rizzo went on to win the election and was re-elected to the seat in 2012. The couple voted in a district where they didn’t live and are Rizzo’s aunt and uncle, which further complicated the situation.
The campaign money's flowing in Missouri. Or could you say "gushing?"
On Thursday June 27, Attorney General Chris Koster, an early favorite to become the next governor of Missouri, picked up $25,000 from a Kansas City law firm and $12,500 more from an eastern Missouri labor union.
The day before, state Auditor Tom Schweich picked up $10,000 from a St. Louis area business owner.
Victories for the Republican Party in the 2010 midterm elections seemed to block President Obama at every turn and the GOP appeared to have a clear shot at controlling all three branches of government.
Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, struck down a measure in Tuesday's election that would have prohibited the city from giving incentives to companies that make parts for nuclear weapons. Voters lent their support, on the other hand, to renewing a property tax that funds neighborhood health clinics, ambulance services and Truman Medical Center. Voters also favored a ballot measure requiring that most nonprofits pay an existing city hotel convention tax.
Question 3 on Kansas City, Missouri’s ballot tomorrow, deals with an issue that’s generated heated discussion in City Hall over the past few years. It’s about Kansas City’s future in nuclear weapons manufacturing.
Wyandotte County voters on Tuesday will decide who holds the reins as Mayor/CEO of Unified Government.
KCUR’s Dan Verbeck has background on two candidates who bring distinctly different approaches to operating the post.
Each serves as a member of the local governing commission, survivors of a spirited primary campaign and election. The candidates appeared to answer questions posed by a panel in a forum at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Appearing in alphabetical order:
Join Up to Dateat 11 a.m. on Monday, April 1, at the Kansas City, Kan., Main Library, 625 Minnesota Ave., for the final debate of the Kansas City, Kan., mayoral race. Candidates Mark Holland and Ann Murguia will discuss the hot issues of the campaign in a debate moderated by Steve Kraske.
Northland Health Care Access is one of several health clinics that receives funding through the temporary health levy. The levy, up for a renewal vote on Tuesday, also funds ambulance services and care for the uninsured at Truman Medical Centers.
Kansas City has long supported health services for people without insurance or a means to pay. This is primarily done through a health levy, or property tax, that brings in about $50 million annually. A portion of that tax will soon expire. Renewing it is now up for a popular vote this Tuesday. It’s Question 1 on the ballot. Despite all the contention around health policies and spending right now, there doesn’t appear to be much opposition to the local measure.