Nixon wants a incentive moratorium. Will Brownback agree?
Jay Nixon came to Kansas City on August 14, 2012, for one of those ceremonies that elected officials call "groundbreakings."
Groundbreakings are a way to trick media into regurgitating old news (usually for a real-estate development or infrastructure project) as though it were fresh. It's an opportunity for elected officials to gather in one place, slap each other on the back and ham for press photos when they drop a shovel in the ground to mark the "first step" in the construction project.
In the case of the August 14, 2012, event, Nixon was on hand to break ground on a new office building for Freightquote, an online shipping broker that moved barely over the state line into Kansas City, Missouri, from Lenexa, plied with a huge bucket of taxpayer incentives.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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 Pitchreported 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."
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.
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."
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.