An interview with the political correspondent at NPR. How did her conservative Christian background and growing up in KC help her connect with people on the campaign trail?

Plus, Question Quest looks into a mysterious octagon in Belton.


First, Ambassador Allan Katz examines the diminishing role of civility in politics, and what might be done to reverse it. Then, the story of Forsyth County, Georgia, which became a "white county" in 1912, after a campaign of violence and intimidation against its black inhabitants. This week's Local Listen features Brody Buster's One Man Band.

Debunking The Voter Fraud Myth

Sep 29, 2016

In an effort to protect against voter fraud, new and stricter voter I.D. laws have proliferated. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach now requires proof of citizenship when registering to vote. We take a look at how claims of ballot-rigging are not as accurate as once thought.


Campaign season's in full swing. But in many districts across Missouri and Kansas this year, there are no vicious ads, no hot controversies — because there's only one candidate. What's it like to run unopposed, and what effect does that have on our communities?


Democratic strategist and pollster Celinda Lake says Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both know women will play an important role in the 2016 election, and they need to win them over by November. Lake says women and men look for different things, so the candidates will need a multifaceted approach to win.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Hillary Clinton brought her campaign for president to the National Baptist Convention USA in Kansas City, Missouri, on Thursday. The Democratic nominee used gospel verses and personal stories to distinguish herself from Donald Trump.

People attending the convention are almost entirely African-American, conservative, middle-aged and dressed to the nines. In her address, Clinton, a life-long Methodist, quoted scripture to knowing smiles and nods. Some audience members even recited lines along with her. 

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's time in office ends in a few months, but forthcoming attempts in the Statehouse to override his vetoes of bills proposing tighter voter ID rules, looser concealed carry regulations, and an increased price-tag for a driver's license are keeping him plenty busy.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Speaking at a campaign stop in Lee’s Summit Friday, Missouri Republican gubernatorial hopeful Eric Greitens tried to position himself as more qualified than his Democratic opponent to lead on race relations.

“If you’re happy with Ferguson, you can vote for Chris Koster,” Greitens told the packed room. “If you’re happy with what you’re seeing at the University of Missouri, you can vote for Chris Koster.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon won’t be defending anyone.

Michael Barrett, the state’s public defender, earlier this month tried to assign the governor a case, citing an overburdened system and budget cuts from the state. Though Barrett argued he had the authority to do so under Missouri law, a Cole County judge on Thursday disagreed.

Why are so many teachers running for political office? We talk with local educators who want to be local legislators.


Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The postmortem on the primary election in Kansas is still going on. How did moderates oust so many incumbent conservatives?

One big reason is the unexpected emergence of a couple of grassroots education groups in Johnson County, especially one that sprang up just a few months ago.

On primary election night, Johnson County Republicans were gathered at the Marriott, their traditional place.

One by one, moderates picked off conservative seats in the Kansas House and Senate.

And in one corner, a group of moms was a little giddy.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Congress is in recess until September but the upcoming general election, ongoing data breaches, and sustained congressional unpopularity means our elected officials won't get much time to relax. While they sit on opposing sides of the aisle, Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, and Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, agree there's plenty of work left to be done.

It's hard to remember a time when voters were more frustrated with the Democratic and Republican options on offer. With the possibility of a banner year for the Greens and Libertarians, we look at the role and influence of third parties.


White Christians set the tone for this country, dating back to its founding. But that’s changing in some profound ways. For one thing, white Christians no longer comprise a majority of the nation. As the cultural and religious ground shifts under them we’ll see how their influence is changing.


Are you tired of politics yet? Neither are we! On this Audiophiles episode, we take a dive into some of the best political podcasts.


  • Matt Staub
  • Kyle J. Smith

Last night's primary election was an exciting one on both sides of the state line. In Kansas, losses by several conservative Republicans caused a surprising swing to center. In Missouri, a bruising primary campaign for governor ended with Eric Greitens as the Republican nominee.




Jerry Litton, a congressman from northern Missouri, died in 1976 … on the same night that he won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.  His death was an unspeakable tragedy for a man many thought would one day occupy the White House.


Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

To say they know a little something about national politics would be an understatement: David Von Drehle, editor-at-large for TIME, and Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for POLITICO, share their insights on the presidential race so far and what to expect from the rest of the election season.

These days, politicians who change their policy positions are called flip-floppers, but that epithet could easily apply to some of this country's most celebrated leaders. Journalist Larry Tye's book, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon, illustrates the political evolution of Robert Kennedy.

What does the milestone of having a woman running for president in the U.S. say about our country now? Why did it take so long, and what does it mean for women moving forward?


  • Rebecca Richardson is president of the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus.
  • Elizabeth Vonnahme  is Associate Professor of Political Science at UMKC.
  • Jean Peters-Baker is the District Attorney of Jackson County, Missouri.

She was born on August 18, 1920, the very day that women were guaranteed the right to vote in America. And she died a few hours after Hillary Clinton became the first woman nominated by a major party for the presidency. We remember the life of Hila "Dutch" Newman, a longtime Missouri Democratic party activist.


The 'Grand Narrative' Of The Cuban Revolution

Jul 26, 2016

In late 1950s, Fidel Castro and his rebellion overthrew an authoritarian, American-backed government, and the Castro government claimed to have unflinching support from the Cubans since then. We talk with historian Lillian Guerra who discovered, through her research over the span of 18 years, that dissents have prevailed despite government dictatorship.


Before he was a senator, Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine was governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but his rise to power began years ago, at a place called Rockhurst High School, where he was president of the student body.


  • Steve Miller, Jay Reardon and Keith Connor were Tim Kaine's classmates at Rockhurst High School. 

You think this Republican National Convention is full of drama? The 1976 convention at Kemper Arena was the last contested party convention. It pitted President Gerald Ford, who rose to the presidency after Richard Nixon resigned, against Ronald Reagan, who was becoming the darling of conservatives.


The Comedy Trio Behind "Drunk Trump" Videos

Jul 20, 2016

The first "Drunk Trump" video has captured over 1.2 million views since it was posted to YouTube last October. We talk with the comedy trio behind its creation and learn what the inspiration was for that and the other videos they create through their Friend Dog Studios.


Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton may be claiming most of the headlines, but they aren't the only names on Missouri ballots. Guest host Kyle Palmer leads a look at the races for Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General in the Show Me State.


  In this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors, joined by Angie Blumel of the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault, wade through the controversy surrounding an editorial in The Kansas City Star that encouraged rape victims to "accept [their] role in what happened." We also look at the impact violent images in the media have, and whether or not the political process is "rigged" to exclude the wishes of regular voters.


These days, political discourse may feature the occasional soaring oratory, but more often, it comes down to talking heads yelling at each other. Maybe what the world needs now is the kind of politics found only in books. As we approach the 2016 presidential election, we take a moment to explore the best books about politics with KCUR's Bibliofiles.


The Role Of Populism In 2016 Politics

Jun 30, 2016

Between Donald Trump and the Brexit, there is a wave of populism sweeping Western democracies this year. We explore what's behind it and who it represents. 


  • Burdett Loomis is a political science professor at the University of Kansas. 
  • Patrick Miller is an assistant professor in political science at the University of Kansas. 

For years, political polling told us who was  likely to vote and how, but the cell phone complicated all that. With fewer people answering — or even owning — land-line numbers, polls became less reliable. A Chicago start-up is changing that tradition, and finding success.