8:08 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Kansas Supreme Court To Hear Senate Ballot Arguments

The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday on whether Democrat Chad Taylor should be removed from the ballot for a U.S. Senate seat.

Taylor dropped out of the Senate race recently and he's trying to get his name removed. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says Taylor's name should stay on the ballot. University of Kansas Political Science Professor Burdett Loomis calls the situation "extraordinarily unusual." He can't remember a legal battle with a high-profile candidate trying to be removed from the ballot in Kansas.

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Virginia Minor
1:33 pm
Sat September 13, 2014

Suffragette Pioneer Virginia Minor Inducted Into Hall Of Famous Missourians

Suffrage leader Virginia Minor is the newest addition to the Hall of Famous Missourians.
Credit Barbara Womack

There's a new member of the Hall of Famous Missourians at the State Capitol. But her story isn't as widely known to Missouri residents as other historical figures in the hall like Bob Barker, Ginger Rogers and Mark Twain.

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3:51 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

The New Justice In Kansas: Judicial Selection And The Governor’s Race

Justice Caleb Stegall

The candidates for governor in Kansas are sparring over taxes, health care and school funding. But in many ways there’s a more fundamental issue that separates  Gov. Sam Brownback from his Democratic challenger, Paul Davis. Both stand on opposing sides of a running battle over how state Supreme Court justices should be chosen.

Lots of people are influential in one way or another, of course, but Kansas Supreme Court justices really do make a difference, says Michael Kaye, a trial advocacy professor at Washburn University School of Law.

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11:54 am
Wed September 10, 2014

Kobach, Taylor Take Ballot Battle to High Court

An image from Chad Taylor's campaign website, which has been taken down.
Credit (taylorforussenate.com)

The battle over the U.S. Senate ballot was in full swing Wednesday, with the Republicans and Democrats duking it out in court even as national consultants and lawyers flew in to Kansas.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a supporter of GOP incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, attacked Democrat Chad Taylor in a filing to the Kansas Supreme Court, stopping short of calling Taylor a liar, but calling for "fact-finding."

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1:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Mayor, Prosecutor Say Proposed Gun Law Changes Bad For Kansas City

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James talks to gun control advocates before urging lawmakers to sustain Gov. Jay Nixon's veto on gun legislation.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James and other city officials gathered near 44th Street and Montgall Avenue Tuesday morning to blast gun legislation state lawmakers will consider in Jefferson City on Wednesday.

Missouri legislators already approved a package of gun law changes that would let 19-year-olds obtain concealed carry permits, bar cities from enacting open carry ordinances and allow school districts to arm designated classroom teachers.

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7:56 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Brownback, Davis Meet For Kansas State Fair Debate

Supporters of Gov. Sam Brownback and opponent Paul Davis gather at the state fair in Hutchinson, Kan.
Credit Stephen Koranda / KPR

Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic challenger Paul Davis traded blows at the Kansas State Fair over the weekend as they met for their first formal debate.

It was a packed house in Hutchinson, Kan., in the arena where the debate was held. Before it even started, an energized crowd chanted and cheered. When Davis and Brownback took the stage they hit on some common themes they’ve been repeating on the election trail.

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10:48 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Kansas Senate Race Is Battle Of the Ballot

Democrat Chad Taylor, who withdrew from the U.S. Senate race in Kansas.
Credit TaylorForSenate.com

Democrat Chad Taylor's name will stay on the ballot for the U.S. Senate from Kansas, despite his withdrawal from the race earlier this week.

Republicans, in the odd predicament of fighting to keep a Democrat on the November ballot on Thursday, won a legal challenge decided by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Kobach sided with his fellow Republicans, who argued that state law requires that anyone trying to withdraw from the ballot must state the reason why he or she couldn’t serve.

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8:35 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Nixon Renews His Push For Expanding Medicaid

Gov. Jay Nixon

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 11:57 am

As the state – and his reputation – seeks to move beyond Ferguson, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is rekindling his longstanding pitch in favor of expanding Medicaid.

And Nixon may be seeking to subtly link the expansion with Ferguson’s headline-grabbing racial and economic unrest, by emphasizing what the state has been giving up in federal money – and what he said has resulted in less help to those who need it.

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8:11 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Davis Focuses On Education In Campaign For Kansas Governor

Paul Davis, the Democratic candidate for Kansas governor, continues to push public schools as the cornerstone of his campaign.

At a stop in Topeka, Davis claimed a second term for Republican Gov. Sam Brownback could mean cuts to public schools.

Davis, speaking at an elementary school, pointed to a report from the non-partisan Kansas Legislative Research Department. It shows the state facing a more than $200 million budget deficit in 2016. Davis says the tax cuts pushed by Brownback will lead to the deficit, which will in turn, lead to funding cuts for education.

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Right To Farm
7:18 am
Mon September 1, 2014

'Right To Farm' Opponents Prepare For Recount

Wes Shoemyer says the Amendment 1 vote was close enough to warrant a recount.
Credit The HSUS

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander has granted opponents to the so-called “right to farm amendment” a recount, but those hoping to overturn the amendment have modest expectations.

Amendment 1 passed by just less than a quarter of one percent of the popular vote. Nearly a million votes cast. It enshrines the right to engage in agricultural endeavors in the state constitution.

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8:13 am
Thu August 28, 2014

Schodorf To Kobach: Release Tax Records

The Democrat running against Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach has released her tax records to the media, and she says Kobach should do the same.

Kobach is occasionally in national headlines for his legal work on immigration. At issue is how much time he spends on that work outside his job as secretary of state.

Former state Senator Jean Schodorf from Wichita, has questioned if Kobach spends too much time working on immigration issues. She wants Kobach to provide his tax documents because she says that would prove how he spends his time.

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8:14 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Brownback, Davis Clash Over Kansas Education Funding

Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has unveiled some education goals he'll push for if he's reelected to a second term in office. Brownback says he'll aim for 60 percent of Kansas adults to have a college degree or technical certificate.

At events in Topeka and the Kansas City area Brownback also hinted at a clash over education funding between himself and his Democratic challenger in the gubernatorial race, Rep. Paul Davis.

Brownback touted funding increases during his time in office, specifically money targeted at technical education programs.

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3:13 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Brownback Kicks Off Reelection Campaign With 'Road Map 2.0'

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback presents 'Road Map 2.0.'
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

Unveiling his reelection platform at an Overland Park rally Tuesday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said he would work to create 100,000 private sector jobs over the next four years.

Brownback, speaking at the engineering firm BHC Rhodes, told an audience of several dozen enthusiastic supporters that he would continue his policy of keeping tax rates low to attract businesses and boost the economy.

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7:58 am
Tue August 12, 2014

Poll: Pat Roberts Leads Challenger By Four Points

Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is only four points ahead of his Democratic challenger, a new Rasmussen poll says.

A new Rasmussen poll released Monday shows three-term Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is only four points ahead of his Democratic rival.

Roberts beat challenger Milton Wolf by seven points in the Republican primary, and the new poll of 750 voters shows Roberts leading Democratic challenger Chad Taylor 44 percent to 40.

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Up to Date
12:05 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

The Impact Of Failed Missouri Transportation Tax

Lawmakers are searching for new ideas to fund Missouri's roads and bridges.
Credit John Russell / Flickr-CC

Last week, Missouri voters solidly rejected Amendment 7, which would have increased the sales tax by three-quarters of a cent for 10 years to fund roads and bridges.

On Monday's Up to Date, we take a look at why voters reacted the way they did and what lawmakers might do to pay for those transportation items now.


  • Rep. Dave Schatz, Chair of the Missouri House Transportation Committee
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7:33 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Kansas GOP Wants To Mend Fences In The Party

Supporters of Senator Pat Roberts cheer after his victory in the primary.
Credit Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio

High-ranking Republicans in Kansas will be working to eliminate divisions between some GOP voters. That comes after this week's primary election, which featured some contentious races among Republicans.

There were Republican primaries in Kansas for offices including the U.S. Senate, the U.S House and the state Legislature. Some of them were tough fights, but the state Republican Party's executive director, Clay Barker, says they're going to be sending a simple message now to Kansas Republicans.

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Up to Date
4:43 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

Political Pundits: What Election Results Mean For Area Residents And Politicians

Credit Wikimedia Commons, user: Rama

Yesterday's voting results provided some interesting outcomes. A relatively-unknown challenger gave incumbent Sam Brownback a run for his money. The proposed expansion of the Kansas City streetcar tax district supported by Mayor Sly James was voted down.

Today on Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks with with Political Pundits Burdett Loomis and Dave Helling to divine the messages voters were sending about the candidates and issues on state and local ballots.  Then Mayor James joins Steve for his thoughts on the future of the streetcar in Kansas City.


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8:48 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Effort In Kansas To Unseat Moderate House Republicans Comes Up Short

Conservative groups failed Tuesday in a coordinated effort to unseat several moderate House Republicans.

The Kansas Chamber and Americans for Prosperity-Kansas funded direct-mail campaigns against Reps. Barbara Bollier, Mission Hills; Stephanie Clayton, Overland Park; Blaine Finch, Ottawa; Russ Jennings, Lakin; Tom Sloan, Lawrence; and Kent Thompson, Iola.

The fliers charged that the moderates had helped advance President Obama’s “radical agenda” by voting against measures to block parts of the Affordable Care Act and repeal the state’s renewable energy standards.

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5:55 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Unusual Challenger Cuts Brownback’s Margin In Kansas GOP Primary

Gov. Sam Brownback addressed supporters at a watch party on Tuesday night.
Credit Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback fended off a primary challenge Tuesday, but not by the margins his supporters would have liked.  

Brownback won 63 percent of the vote, but his opponent Jennifer Winn, a first-time politician running on a platform to legalize marijuana, inspired by a murder charge against her son. Her son was trafficking pot when he was killed.  

Winn took two rural counties. Some observers call that showing bad news for the tax-cutting Governor, but he says he’ll win the general election defining Democratic challenger Paul Davis with the ‘L’ word —both of them.

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10:43 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Kansas City Voters Reject Streetcar Expansion Proposal

Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James, right, thanked Councilman Jim Glover and other city officials for their support during the streetcar campaign. Voters rejected an expansion proposal Tuesday.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo., voters south of the river said no Tuesday to a plan that would have created a new taxing district to expand the city's streetcar line.

Only 40 percent of voters supported a plan that would have laid eight more miles of track to the east of the downtown starter line and added new bus service along Prospect.

"I think the public has spoken fairly distinctly," Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James told streetcar supporters Tuesday evening. "The loss tonight stings a little bit, but then again, this isn't the first time rail has lost in this city."

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7:52 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Missouri Primary Election Results

Missourian's votes are coming in the for the Aug. 5 primary election.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

Voters in Missouri went to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for the Nov. 4 general election and to decide on five ballot measures that would amend the state's Constitution. Kansas City voters south of the river voted to decide whether or not to create a tax district to fund the city's streetcar.

Below are results for a selection of those races and measures, you can see complete election results at the Secretary of State website.

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7:39 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Kansas Primary Election Results

The votes for Kansas' public offices are coming in for the Aug. 5 primary election.
Credit Jeremy Bernfeld / Harvest Public Media

Voters in Kansas went to the polls Tuesday to select candidates for the Nov. 4 general election. Below are results for a selection of those races, you can see complete election results at the Secretary of State website.

Unofficial election results will be updated below as precincts across the state report results. 

Updated: 6:05 a.m., Wednesday

Precincts reporting: 3,487 of 3,487

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8:46 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Lessons Learned In Missouri's Relatively Tranquil Primary Season

Councilman Steve Stenger and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley

Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 10:05 am

By any conceivable measure, Missouri doesn’t have a particularly robust election cycle this year. But that doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to learn.

Even though this year's primary season featured fewer contested races than usual, the past few months still produced twists, turns and surprises. That’s especially true because a number of ballot initiatives were placed on the August ballot, making up for a relative dearth of competitive legislative contests.

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Up To Date
7:14 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Q & A: Johnson County Commission Chair Candidates

Candidates for Chair of the Johnson Co., Kansas Board of Commissioners (left to right): Ed Eilert, Patricia Lightner, Ed Peterson.

The three candidates running for Johnson County Commission Chair in Tuesday's primary election appeared on Up To Date Friday. In a forum led by guest host Brian Ellison and covering taxes, growth, and the county’s purchase of the King Louie Bowling Alley, candidates Ed Eilert, Ed Peterson and Patricia Lightner fielded questions from listeners.

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Up To Date
12:17 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Panel Forum: Candidates For Johnson County, Kansas Commission Chair

Up to Date's Brian Ellison with (clockwise from left) Ed Peterson, Ed Eilert and Patricia Lightner.
Credit Hannah Copeland / KCUR

Next week voters will cast their votes for Chair of the Johnson County Board of Commissioners— the highest elected office in the county. They’ll narrow the field from three candidates down to the two who will be on the November ballot. All three joined Friday's Up to Date for a candidate forum, their last before Tuesday’s election.


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Up To Date
3:44 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

A Political Round-up Of Kansas And Missouri Issues And Races

Credit Theresa Thompson / Flickr-CC

On Thursday's Up to Date, guest host Brian Ellison covers primary ballot issues on both sides of the state line. In Kansas, KCUR has kept an eye on Milton Wolf and Sen. Pat Roberts as they battle to be the Republican nominee for the U.S.

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3:35 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Meet Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary And KC Native

Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native, with President Obama, courtesy of his Twitter account, @jearnest44.

Josh Earnest was named White House press secretary five weeks ago, after Jay Carney stepped down.

Earnest, 37, was born and raised in Kansas City and his parents still live here.

“His name describes his demeanor,” President Obama said of Earnest when he was named to the job. “Josh is an earnest guy and you can’t find just a nicer individual, even outside of Washington.”

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3:08 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

Kobach Predicts 22 Percent Voter Turnout In Kansas

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach predicts 22 percent of registered voters will cast a ballot in Tuesday's primary election. That's on par with the statewide turnout in the 2008 primary, which he says is most similar to this year's contest.

Higher turnout is expected this year in the Wichita area, where Kobach says 30 percent of registered voters might show up at the polls.

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10:42 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Voter Guide To Missouri Constitutional Amendment 5

Missouri Constitutional Amendment 5 would expand protections for gun owners in the state.
Credit Sean / Flickr--CC

When Missourians go to the polls Aug. 5 they will be asked to consider whether or not to amend the state constitution to strengthen the right to own and bear firearms.

Ballot language:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to include a declaration that the right to keep and bear arms is an unalienable right and that the state government is obligated to uphold that right?

What it means:

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1:30 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Obama Calls For 'Economic Patriotism' In Kansas City Speech

President Obama spoke to a packed Uptown Theatre on Thursday, touting his economic successes and calling for more help for the middle class.
Credit Peggy Lowe/KCUR

President Obama woke up in Kansas City on Wednesday, rallying support for a growing economy, dreaming of equal pay for his daughters and touting what he called “economic patriotism.”

With just four months before the mid-term elections, Obama called out Congress for fighting him on help for the middle class in a rousing appearance at the Uptown Theatre and later, in a walk down Parkville’s Main Street.

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