Chris Koster

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Updated 5:12 p.m. with comment from Walgreens.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is accusing Walgreens of engaging in false and deceptive pricing schemes, that he said amounts to stealing. In St. Louis Tuesday, Koster announced a lawsuit against the company.

Koster had investigators go to stores across the state, and said they found display tags were often inaccurate, and that membership rewards didn’t always deliver on the price reduction.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Attorney General Koster was the lead-off signature on a bipartisan letter sent today by most of the nation’s state attorneys general that calls on Congress “to amend the law to help fight prostitution and child sex trafficking.”

Sent to top legislative leaders, the letter advocates that Congress “amend the Communications Decency Act to provide criminal jurisdiction to state and local prosecutors.”

At issue, wrote Koster and others, was the fact that the act was drafted in the mid-1990s before the internet became such a dominant force.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is keeping up his financial momentum for his acknowledged bid for governor in 2016. His latest campaign-finance report shows that he already has banked $781,410 – with two-thirds of it raised just since April 1.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Attorney General Chris Koster says Missouri may have to resort to using the gas chamber to carry out death sentences as an "unintended consequence" of the state Supreme Court's refusal to set execution dates.

Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the state Supreme Court has declined to set execution dates. The court says execution dates would be "premature" until a federal legal challenge is resolved regarding the use of the drug propofol as Missouri's new execution method.

File photo

Former Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley, a Republican, donated $7,500 to Democrat Chris Koster last night. Koster has made very clear his interest in the Governor's office.

What's more, the donation comes just a few days after Koster pledged to give $400,000 to Democrats running for legislative seats in the next four years.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Casting their Republican counterparts as ineffectual extremists, some of Missouri’s top Democratic officials provided a blueprint of sorts at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to gain even more ground in the Show Me State.

And Attorney General Chris Koster, a former Republican, pledged to put up a substantial amount of campaign money to help the cause.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: African-American drivers in Missouri are more likely to be pulled over by police although subsequent vehicle searches show that white drivers are more likely to be carrying something illegal.

And Hispanic drivers -- while the least likely to be pulled over -- are the most likely of the three groups to be searched. While they were the least likely to be carrying anything illegal, Hispanic drivers were the most likely to get arrested.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Wednesday, May 22, 5:30 p.m.: The Department of Health & Senior Services is also posting its evaluations of the air monitoring data here. The regulatory standards that DHSS is using to estimate the health risks from landfill fumes are here.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In a move years in the making, the Missouri House has sent to Gov. Jay Nixon a bill to revamp the state’s workers compensation system and repair Missouri’s financially troubled Second Injury Fund.

The House voted 135-23 this morning to pass SB1, which House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, called “one of the crowning successes of this legislative session,” although he acknowledged that the bill wasn’t perfect.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced a preliminary agreement on Tuesday with the owner of the Bridgeton Landfill.

Koster filed a lawsuit against Republic Services six weeks ago, alleging violations of state environmental laws. A fire has been smoldering underground at the landfill for two and half years.

Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 1:02 p.m. May 10 to reflect missing data has now been posted.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has released more air sampling results for the Bridgeton Landfill.

According to a written summary on the DNR's website, the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services analyzed the data collected from mid-March through April 23 and found unhealthy levels of sulfur dioxide at two sites near the landfill.

(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says he is making preparations to run for governor in 2016.

Koster, a Democrat, has served as attorney general since 2009 and previously was a state senator and local prosecutor.  He has the potential to move up because Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is prohibited by term limits from seeking re-election again.

Asked Tuesday by The Associated Press whether he will run for governor in 2016, Koster replied: "We are making the necessary preparations and building consensus around the state toward that end."

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio’s Chris McDaniel joins the St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about the week’s politics.

On this week's episode: The results from the mayoral primary are in. Why did Reed lose? Did Slay win by as much as he had hoped? Then Jo shares some stories from Democrat Days and we close it out with Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's lawsuit.

Mo. Gov. Nixon Spent $15.5M On Re-Election

Dec 7, 2012
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon spent $15.5 million on his re-election campaign and still has hundreds of thousands of dollars left over.

Campaign finance reports released Thursday show Nixon's fundraising committee had a balance of nearly $414,000 at the start of December.

Nixon has changed his committee to indicate that he now is seeking an unspecified statewide office in 2016 and has given it a new name - "A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon."

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A University City man who’s spent 30 years behind bars has been set free by a Cole County judge after his murder conviction was vacated.

(EdMartinForCongress.com screen capture/St. Louis Public Radio)

The next Attorney General of Missouri will be one of three men: Democratic incumbent Chris Koster, Libertarian Dave Browning, or Republican Ed Martin.  Host Don Marsh talks with Ed Martin.  He is an attorney and former Chief of Staff to Governor Matt Blunt.

Prior to running for Attorney General, Martin was vying for the U.S. Senate and the Second Congressional District.

Libertarian candidate Dave Browning was also a guest on this program.

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

Host Don Marsh talks with the Libertarian candidate for Missouri Attorney General Dave Browning.

Dave Browning said incumbent Chris Koster has done a decent job “but is an unrepentant liberal.”  He said Republican challenger Ed Martin doesn’t know what he’s doing.  “I think the voters of Missouri need to have a chance to vote for someone who is conservative but not insane,” said Browning.

(via Koster and Martin campaign ads)

In the race for Missouri Attorney General, the two front runners, Democratic incumbent Chris Koster and Republican Ed Martin, agree on few issues. In fact, the two have very different visions of what the Attorney General’s office actually does.

In campaign ads, Koster holds a shotgun to show he’s tough on crime. And in interviews, Koster often refers to the office as “Missouri’s top law enforcement job.”

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Bar has canceled its planned debate for the state Attorney General’s race.

The debate had been planned for Friday, October 19th, in St. Louis at the Missouri Bar’s annual meeting.  Spokeswoman Farrah Fite says they canceled the debate because Republican nominee Ed Martin did not RSVP by Thursday’s deadline.  She added that incumbent Democrat Chris Koster and Libertarian nominee Dave Browning had accepted the invitation.

(photo courtesy of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis)

Attorney General Chris Koster has sued a well-known St. Louis developer and his former business partner in an effort to recover tax credits that Koster says were fraudulently obtained.

In the suit filed today in Cole County, Koster alleges that in 2010 and 2011, the state Department of Economic Development awarded developers Kevin McGowan and Nathaniel Walsh nearly $2.4 million in brownfield credits to clean up lead paint at the Cupples 9 building in downtown St. Louis.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Isaac heads to St. Louis

Drought-stricken Missouri is preparing for what has been an unusual occurrence this summer - a couple of rainy days. Forecasters expect remnants of tropical storm Isaac to reach Missouri on Friday, with rain spreading over southern, central and eastern portions.

The National Weather Service says the St. Louis region could get 3 to 5 inches. Soaking rains are expected to help alleviate Missouri's drought but not break it. More than 97 percent of the state is now listed in the two most severe categories of drought.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

There will be no challenge to the new language inserted onto a ballot initiative by a Cole County judge regarding health insurance exchanges.

The version initially approved by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) had asked if state law should, “deny individuals, families and small businesses the ability to access affordable health care,” unless the people or the legislature created an exchange.  In a statement, Carnahan says Attorney General Chris Koster (D) refused to file an appeal on her office’s behalf.  Lt. Governor Peter Kinder (R) filed suit against Carnahan over that language.  He applauded the Democratic Attorney General’s move.

(via Flickr/jmerelo)

The Missouri Attorney General’s office has announced the state will get a share of multi-million dollar settlements from lawsuits against drug makers and book publishers.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Ameren monitoring Isaac

Officials with Ameren say they are closely monitoring Hurricane Isaac's progress now that it has made land fall. Projections from the National Weather Service indicate the remnants of the storm could pass over Missouri and Illinois this weekend.

Kevin Anders, Ameren Missouri's manager of distribution services, says that could mean a lot of rain and - potentially - some high winds or tornadoes.

(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Late personal property tax payments have emerged in another Missouri political campaign.

County tax records show Attorney General Chris Koster paid late three times, most recently in 2009. Personal property taxes typically are due at the end of the calendar year. In each instance, Koster paid the tax bill for his vehicle in January.

The total for the late tax charges was less than $200. In addition, Koster was charged $70 for a late personal property assessment from 2008 while paying the tax timely that year.

Mo. Atty. Gen. office

The latest scam designed to separate Missouri residents from their money involves phony letters from the State Attorney General’s office, the IRS and other government agencies.

The letters include a fake government letterhead, and state that the recipient has won a million dollars or more in prize money.  Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says the intended victims are then informed that they owe thousands of dollars in taxes and fees on the winnings and are instructed to pay them via Western Union.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Illinois to offer programs for those affected by drought

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois will offer an array of debt restructuring and loan programs to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought. He visited a family farm in the southern Illinois area Monday, where much of the corn crop is wilting.

Quinn says the state has also launched a website to help.

(Propofol: Wikimedia commons, Gurney: via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis, Needle: Flickr via prashant_zi)

Missouri is the first state in the nation to change its protocol for executing prisoners from a three-drug cocktail to the single drug Propofol. The switch is due to a shortage of a key drug, which has stalled lethal injections across the country.

Other states may eventually follow Missouri’s lead, but as St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, the drug known recently for killing pop star Michael Jackson is no silver bullet either.

"I just thought it was a good idea"

(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Will be updated.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning the process for awarding contracts to private attorneys representing the state in lawsuits.

The attorney general's office can award contingency fee contracts by requesting bids or asking the state Office of Administration to request bids and establish an independent panel to choose the winner.

(via Flickr/denharsh)

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is warning the public of a new scam that’s targeting smartphone and cellphone users.

The scam is known as "smishing," and it involves text messages telling recipients that they’ve won prizes or gift cards from big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart or Costco and instructs them to claim them by clicking on a link.  Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says clicking the link will infect phones with malware that gives identity thieves access to personal information.

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