Thursday, November 7, 2013

State senators Kiki Curls and Ryan Silvey are the top lobbyist schmoozers in all of Missouri

Posted by on Thu, Nov 7, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Kiki is cozy.
  • Kiki is cozy.
Kansas is a pretty fucked-up state. But Missouri isn't exactly a model of good government. One major problem in the Show-Me State is that it's one of the few remaining in the nation where there are no caps on the amount of gifts or campaign contributions that politicians can accept from lobbyists.

In addition to allowing rich guys like Rex Sinquefield, who wants to abolish local and state taxes, to cut disproportionately fat checks to statewide candidates who support his extreme views, this corrupting law permits politicians to party as much as they please on the dime of corporations and organizations looking to influence votes.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Who is the mystery committee opposing the Jackson County research tax and where does their money come from?

Posted by on Wed, Oct 23, 2013 at 4:04 PM

A newly formed and shadowy campaign committee popped up on Wednesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission. It purports to oppose the November 5 ballot measure in Jackson County to increase sales taxes by a half-cent for medical research.

But information about the committee is not readily available.

Citizens For Fairness registered with the Missouri Ethics Commission on Wednesday, two days after it received its first major campaign contribution. That money came from an equally mysterious and also newly formed entity called the Government Policies Foundation.

The Government Policies Foundation registered with the Missouri Secretary of State's office on September 17 as a nonprofit. It cut a $196,000 check to the Citizens For Fairness committee on October 21. The Government Policies Foundation is registered by Doug Patterson of the Property Law Firm LLC in Leawood, Kansas. Patterson, previously a Leawood City Council member and Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives, was not immediately available for comment.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tim Huelskamp, Kansas congressman, doesn't like this talk of a deal to end government shutdown

Posted by on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Tim Huelskamp doesn't mind a government shutdown
  • Tim Huelskamp doesn't mind a government shutdown
Late last week, word started emerging that Senate Republicans were talking with Democrats and the White House in order to craft a spending bill that would end the ongoing government shutdown.

Those rumors sent Tim Huelskamp, a Kansas GOP congressman hellbent on sideswiping Obamacare, to his computer to write a passage for his website titled, "Will the GOP stand firm?"

Huelskamp was one of the prime movers in organizing a recalcitrant gang of House Republicans refusing to pass a spending bill unless it strips funding for Obamacare, a law that went into effect two weeks ago.

With Senate Republicans reportedly nearing a deal to end the shutdown crisis before October 17, the date in which the U.S. Treasury would default on its obligations and send the worldwide economy into convulsions, Huelskamp is stepping up the rhetoric against his own party.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lynn Jenkins, Kansas Congresswoman, thinks Americans should not "pay the price for political brinksmanship" the GOP created

Posted by on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Kansas Republican Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins will go to the White House this afternoon with fellow GOPers to resume discussions about ending the government shutdown.

The shutdown is in its 10th day and is happening because ardent conservative Republicans refuse to pass a spending bill that doesn't strip funding for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. President Barack Obama says he won't negotiate on defunding his health-care law.

Jenkins spent part of her Thursday morning at a press conference put on by the No Labels Problem Solvers, a bipartisan group of lawmakers who think their colleagues should work together to find a solution.

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Friday, September 20, 2013

President Obama scolds Congress, praises the Chiefs in Kansas City

Posted by on Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 3:12 PM

President Barack Obama arrived at the Ford Stamping Plant in Liberty carrying with him a page from the Republican Party's annoying and specious rhetoric playbook.

In order to explain the complexities of the economy to a crowd of regulars, Obama decided to compare personal finances with federal budget, even though it's well-established that neither is related in any functional way.

Obama whipped the crowd into a lather with a forceful denunciation of Congress in his visit to the Kansas City area Friday, an arrival to the Plains around noon that was just preceded by the House passing a spending bill that would defund Obamacare.

If the middle class has problems, Obama implied, then look no further than the do-nothings in Congress, particularly those lawmakers from the Far Right.

"They're not focused on you, they're focused on politics," Obama said over the din of a roaring crowd of about 1,000. "They're focused on messing with me, but they're not focused on you."

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Paul Davis makes it official: He's running for Kansas governor

Posted by on Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Paul Davis: next Kansas governor? - PAUL DAVIS' FACEBOOK
  • Paul Davis' Facebook
  • Paul Davis: next Kansas governor?

Lawrence Democrat Paul Davis made his candidacy for Kansas governor official today in a YouTube video (watch it after the jump) called "Restore Kansas." 

The Pitch reported in August that Davis, the House Minority Leader, had plans to run for governor in 2014, and the candidate had launched a campaign website. In the video, Davis says the only label he's interested in is "problem solver."

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Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ann Murguia's shoving case finally comes to an end

Posted by on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Justice finally arrived for Murguia.
  • Justice finally arrived for Murguia.
After 17 months, the case of who shoved Wyandotte County commissioner, executive director of the Argentine Neighborhood Development Association and failed mayoral candidate Ann Murguia in the back has finally ended. The nearly year-and-a-half-long saga began in March 2012 during a community meeting at the Argentine Civic Center. Murguia claimed that somebody shoved her in the back, and when she turned around, she saw Diana Aguirre, a member of the United Government's Ethics Commission.

Murguia ran for Wyandotte County CEO/mayor against fellow commissioner Mark Holland. Holland won handily 56 percent to 43 percent. Aguirre was found guilty of battery in municipal court and appealed. This week, she was found guilty in district court. She will pay court costs and a $150 fine.

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Friday, June 28, 2013

J.J. Rizzo's aunt and uncle plead guilty to voter fraud charges

Posted by on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 2:01 PM

J.J. Rizzo remains in office.
  • J.J. Rizzo remains in office.
John and Clara Moretina, the uncle and aunt of Missouri state Rep. J.J. Rizzo, pleaded guilty to voter fraud charges Friday. The two were given a fine of $250 and are barred from ever voting again. In May, John Moretina pleaded guilty to voter fraud in federal court. The couple lived in Gladstone but voted in the 40th District in the August 2010 Democratic primary.

Rizzo won the primary by a single vote over Will Royster, 664 to 663. Royster cried foul immediately after the primary, initially questioning Rizzo's support from Somali-Americans. An appeals court denied Royster a new election. Rizzo was re-elected last year and remains in office. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement announcing the pleas, "Justice was done. These two will never vote again."

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Sen. Claire McCaskill blocks promotion of Air Force general over military sexual-assault case

Posted by on Fri, Jun 7, 2013 at 10:25 AM

A one-on-one meeting with an angry McCaskill must be rough.
  • A one-on-one meeting with an angry McCaskill must be rough.

If there was any doubt about how focused Sen. Claire McCaskill is on changing the way the military handles sexual-assault cases, take a look at Air Force Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms' résumé. The Obama administration nominated Helms to be promoted to the position of vice commander of the Air Force's Space Command. But in April, McCaskill put a temporary hold on Helms' nomination citing a sexual-assault case Helms ruled on. This week, McCaskill made her hold on the nomination permanent.

The Washington Post reports that last year, Helms granted clemency to an Air Force captain at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California who had been convicted of sexual assault. Helms didn't attend the captain's trial and ignored the advice of her legal adviser in granting clemency. She never publicly explained her decision. McCaskill and Helms had a meeting last month. Looks like their chat didn't go so well for Helms.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Kansas City, Missouri, City Council looking at extending Plaza curfew year-round

The City Council considers a year-round curfew in entertainment districts.

Posted by on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Jan Marcason is thinking about a bill to extend a youth curfew
  • The Pitch
  • Jan Marcason is thinking about a bill to extend a youth curfew

Hey, kids, you're looking at a yearlong grounding by the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council.

That 9 p.m. curfew on places like the Country Club Plaza and Westport may go from a summer thing to a year-round rule.

The Kansas City Public Safety & Emergency Services Committee this week is expected to take up a proposed ordinance that would make last year's summer curfew at entertainment districts good for any time of year.

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  • The City Council considers a year-round curfew in entertainment districts.

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