Government

Kansas City, MO – In this edition of Up to Date, political pundits analyze the results of the primary elections, and what impact it could have on this year's presidential contest.

In the Democratic race for Missouri Attorney General, State Senator Chris Koster squeaked by State Representative Margaret Donnelly with a margin of less than a thousand votes. Donnelly's campaign is considering calling for a recount. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross was at Koster victory party in the Teamsters Hall on the east side of Kansas City.

Missouri State Senator Chris Koster declared a victory in the Democratic attorney general primary on Tuesday. His opponent state Rep. Margaret Donnelly may ask for a recount.

Koster leads by 854 votes out of 345,972 votes cast.

Phill Kline lost the Johnson County district attorney's office in the Republican primary Tuesday night. Kline's prosecution of abortion clinics proved to be a key issue in the race.

Challenger Steve Howe, a former assistant district attorney received 60 percent of the vote. In the general election in November, Howe will face Democrat Rick Guinn, also a former district attorney who works in the attorney general's office.

Why Non-Voters Skip The Polls

Aug 5, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Even with a historic November election staring them in the face, there are citizens who will not be casting a ballot this year because they choose not to vote.

On the August 5 edition of Up to Date, we examined non-voters, the reasons they forego going to the polls and what effect their decision not to participate has on the direction elected officials take on issues and policies.

Nixon Wins Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

Aug 5, 2008

Democrat Jay Nixon handily won his party's gubernatorial nomination Tuesday and starts his campaign with millions to spend.

With token opposition Nixon took 85 percent of the vote and had to spend around a million dollars to do it. He took the Uptown Theater microphone after U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill: "I don't know about you, but I like the idea of the next president of the United States Barack Obama, campaigning in Missouri with the next governor of the state of Missouri, Jay Nixon."

Social conservatives and moderates are competing again this year for control of the Kansas State Board of Education. Voters will go to the polls in primary elections on Tuesday to nominate candidates in the five seats that are up for election this year. One of the most closely-watched races is in District 2, which covers parts of Johnson and Wyandotte counties. More from Kansas statehouse reporter Peter Hancock.

What If You Held An Election.......?

Aug 3, 2008

For all the talk of interest in this primary election, voting- trend watchers in and around Kansas City say the general populace doesn't seem too "fired up."

Rarely, does a race for the Kansas legislature generate much interest outside that district's boundaries, but that's just what's happening this year, all due to an online comic strip. A campaign in the Kansas City suburb of Olathe is drawing attention and money from around the globe. Maria Carter of member station KCUR reports.

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University of Missouri Photo

Like about 25 percent of major American cities, Kansas City and St. Louis have their own income tax - the Earnings Tax. The state legislature passed the law allowing the cities to tax income in the late 1940's.

Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts is running for re-election to a third term in a state long viewed as a Republican stronghold yet, the Democrats have found some people willing to take on the challenge to unseat Roberts.

Light Rail Plan Expands To 63rd & Prospect

Aug 1, 2008

Freedom, Inc., the Urban League, the NAACP and civic leaders were on hand Thursday to advocate for adding two miles of track, but ended up praising rather than cajoling. Councilman Russ Johnson opened hearing with by announcing that the route had been altered.

Not all the testimony at the hearing was positive. Residents of the Main Street corridor and Bill Bates of American Century Investments expressed concerns about parking, effects on traffic and property access. Attorney Clinton Adams, Jr. responded with an invitation that drew laughter:

Trolling For Votes. How Many Are Employed?

Jul 31, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

There's four lawyers competing to be the Democratic candidate for Missouri's Attorney General in next week's primary. They have similar ideas on how to protect Missourians from crime and consumer fraud. But the candidates are coming at the race from very different perspectives. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross reports.

Kansas City, MO – Steve Howe worked for 15 years in the Johnson County District Attorneys office as a prosecutor. Now, Howe is running against Phill Kline in the Republican primary for the top job in the office.

(courtesty of Johnson County District Attorney's office)>

Kansas City, MO – Phill Kline is currently the Johnson County District Attorney and formerly Kansas Attorney General. He's running to keep his job against Steve Howe in the Republican Primary.

Kansas City, MO – Steve Howe worked for 15 years in the Johnson County District Attorneys office as a prosecutor. Now, Howe is running against Phill Kline in the Republican primary for the top job in the office.

Kansas City, MO – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is making big efforts to win over traditional Republicans in Missouri, but he must fight to make conservative voters feel comfortable with his non-traditional background, said political commentators speaking with Steve Kraske on KCUR's Up to Date

Verbal Guns Loaded For Aerial Dogfight: KCI

Jul 29, 2008

Johnson County, Kansas – There haven't been many yard signs. You may have read an editorial or two in the newspaper. But the effort to renew a quarter-cent sales tax for public safety in Johnson County has been pretty low- profile so far. KCUR's Laura Ziegler reports on some of the arguments pro and con as the August 5th election draws near.

People spilled out of the courtroom door of Edwin Hall's dramatic hearing. Kelsey Smith's murderer was pleading his case the same day I was touring the Johnson County jail.

KC Light Rail Will Carry Heavier Burden

Jul 25, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

KCK Raises Minimum Wage

Jul 24, 2008

Kansas City, KS – Many employees in Kansas City, Kansas can expect an increase in their paychecks next week. Wyandotte County Commissioners unanimously approved a citywide minimum wage hike at a board meeting last night.

Light Rail Transit Plan Swirls Around Overseers

Jul 24, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – Moving to instill his philosophy into more machinery of Kansas City government, Mayor Mark Funkhouser has exerted control over the powerful Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA).

The agency has power to give tax abatements to developers. Eight of the fifteen members, including the chairman, are now hand picked by the mayor. Funkhouser has complained that city agencies have directed too much development money to wealthier parts of the city and vowed to change that.

Not Your Same Old Ways: Boosters Plot Blight Fight

Jul 21, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Civic, government and business leaders have tentatively forged stimuli to turn around distressed parts of Kansas City. Member of the loosely formed think tank intend to create a private investment fund as an umbrella under which to maneuver.

McCain Rouses Union Station Crowd

Jul 18, 2008

Kansas City, MO –
Missouri is a state where votes may count more. It's a fact recognized by the campaign of Republican Senator John McCain in his quest for the White House. KCUR'S Dan Verbeck followed a McCain appearance at Union Station.


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Picture courtesy of kansascitylightrail.org

Kansas City, MO – The light rail starter route before the Kansas City council had its debut on the committee floor Thursday and met mixed reaction.

The ordinance proposed by Councilman Russ Johnson features 12 miles of track from Vivion Road through downtown to Cleaver Boulevard and East to Prospect. Johnson told the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee the public will vote for it and i eager for the chance to do so.

Kansas City, MO – With a cluster of Obama supporters gathered on the Liberty Memorial hillside across the street, Union Station packed in some 800 people to hear Senator John McCain in Kansas City, Missouri. Dan Verbeck was there.

Entry to the station was open to all. There were no hostile questions for the Senator. Some from the floor dealt with gas prices, gasoline taxes and drilling offshore.

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