Jason Kander

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

Over the past 10 years since it faced two federal lawsuits, the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners has quietly cut 75,000 people off of its voter rolls.

That represents more than a quarter of the 281, 316 voters on the city's rolls in 2004. St. Louis' voter list now totals 206,349, according to state election records.

Mo. Secretary of State's office

The fight against sex trafficking is being waged in Jefferson City -- and Washington, D.C. Closer to home, the Missouri legislature is considering bills to allow victims of human trafficking to shield their home addresses from the public. And, in the nation's capital, the U.S. House passed several bills targeting human trafficking.

Missouri legislation to help human trafficking survivors

Jerome Jenkins business, Ferguson
Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio

A private relief fund for businesses affected by the looting and violence in Ferguson will be announced Thursday.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander will be in Ferguson Thursday morning for the announcement of #FergusonRebuild. The initiative is in partnership with the Regional Business Council and North County Incorporated.

The non-governmental grants will help businesses in Ferguson, Dellwood and Jennings.

peter.a photography | Flickr

Missouri advocates for legalizing marijuana are hoping to capitalize on momentum after several Election Day wins across the country.

The organization Show-Me Cannabis filed a petition Wednesday to amend the state's constitution to allow the recreational use, possession and regulation of marijuana for adults over 21. The group would have to get about 165,000 signatures in order for an amendment initiative to be put on the 2016 statewide ballot, according to executive director John Payne.

Payne said he is confident Show-Me Cannabis can get the needed signatures.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Business was brisk Friday afternoon at the St. Louis County Election Board, where lines of people – most of them elderly --  were waiting to cast an absentee ballot for Tuesday’s primaries.

The line of people waiting to sign in stretched across the lobby of the board’s headquarters in Maplewood, and the parking lot directly outside was full much of the time. Some motorists had to wait for an open space.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Secretary of State Jason Kander is throwing his supporting behind the so-called “right to farm” amendment. 

Friday afternoon Kander’s office sent out a statement indicating that he will vote for Amendment 1. Supporters say that it enshrines the right to farm within the state constitution, but opponents say it would make it harder to stop industrial farms from polluting. (Read more about the debate over the amendment here.)

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

The group backing the proposed transportation sales tax is the biggest money-raising operation in the state – but it has yet to air a single TV ad.

Missourians for Safe Transportation and New Jobs, the campaign committee for the sales tax known as Amendment 7, appears to be entering the final weeks of the campaign with more than $2.5 million to spend.

Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

Story hour at Kirkwood Public Library had a guest reader on Thursday. Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander stopped by as part of a tour spotlighting the early literacy initiative "Racing to Read."

Earlier this year, public libraries throughout Missouri were invited to apply for a portion of the $300,000 in federal funds set aside by the Secretary of State’s office to help children enter Kindergarten ready to learn to read.

voxefxtm | Flickr

Missourians living overseas – including those in the military – can now register to vote and get their absentee ballots online through a new secure website set up by the secretary of state’s office.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

In many ways, breaking ground on St. Louis's first Ikea store is a lot easier than putting together the Swedish furniture maker's latest bookshelf. For Mayor Francis Slay, he just needed a shovel and speech. 

“Fortunately for a groundbreaking, you don’t need an Allen wrench or instructions,” Slay quipped. 

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking continues its interviews with Missouri’s most prominent behind-the-scenes players. St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies speak this week with “the pride of St. James,” aka political consultant Jack Cardetti. 

Note: You can subscribe to us on iTunes now.

Money gift
Flickr

The Missouri House could debate a bill this week that would enact some changes to how lobbying is conducted and disclosed in Jefferson City.

Currently, there are no limits on how much a lawmaker can receive in gifts from lobbyists. The gifts from lobbyists can include anything from food and drinks to expensive travel to sports tickets. Altogether, lobbyists spend about $1 million each year on the gifts.

A bill by state Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, would make some changes to lobbying practices, but it wouldn't be the sweeping ethics reform that many have called for.

/ File photo

In the midst of his second term, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to travel the state to promote his agenda for the state. He has heightened his profile even more in recent days, as he has blasted a tax-cut proposal that the General Assembly has landed on his desk.

But Nixon has effectively dropped one activity that used to take up a lot of his time: campaign fundraising.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander unveiled on Tuesday a wide-ranging ethics proposal he wants lawmakers to take up and pass this year.  It includes:

  • restoring campaign contribution limits,
  • banning gifts from lobbyists to all state elected officials,
  • requiring a three-year waiting period before ex-lawmakers can work as lobbyists. 

Kander, a Democrat, says if adopted, Missouri can go from having the worst ethics system in the country to the best.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

This week the Politically Speaking crew welcomes Secretary of State Jason Kander to the podcast. Kander, a Democrat from Kansas City, narrowly captured the statewide office in 2012 after a hard-fought contest with Republican Shane Schoeller.

(Mo. Sec. Of State website)

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander reports that 193 people had signed up in the first 24 hours after his office launched a new online voter-registration service.

The online tool, unveiled Thursday, allows Missouri residents to fill out a voter registration form online at the secretary of state’s website,  www.sos.mo.gov/votemissouri.

Tim Bommel/Mo. House Communications

Updated 7:19 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is once again pressing for ethics reform in state government, and for the resurrection of campaign donation limits. But this time, Nixon may be hoping for stronger interest in the Republican-controlled General Assembly, where some GOP legislators now share some of his views.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, an Army veteran, says he’s resuming two political battles close to his heart.

One would make it easier for Missouri voters to cast early ballots – an unsuccessful quest by several of Kander’s predecessors – while the second would reinstate ethics and campaign restrictions to curb the power of lobbyists and special interests.

Office of TX Gov. Rick Perry

Missouri's Democratic Secretary of State is criticizing the Republican Governor of Texas for an ad campaign encouraging Missouri-based companies to relocate to the Lone Star State.

In one ad, Governor Rick Perry criticizes Missouri Democratic Governor Jay Nixon's veto of House Bill 253, that would've cut income tax rates for individuals and businesses.

(via Flickr/Tax Credits)

Nice restaurants in Jefferson City should be sad to see the Missouri Legislative session end. They’ve received tens of thousands of dollars worth of business from lobbyists courting Missouri’s legislators over dinners and drinks.

Who were the legislators taken out for expensive meals? Well, in many cases, we don’t really know.

(Mo. Sec. Of State website)

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is taking action against a financial management company connected to the failed Mamtek artificial sweetener plant in mid-Missouri.

In his role as Secretary of State Jason Kander also serves as Missouri’s chief securities regulator.

He’s accusing Morgan Keegan, a Memphis-based firm of helping defraud Missourians based on a list of falsehoods, including the claim the Mamtek held several production patents.  

(via Flickr/hjl)

Missouri Secretary of State  Jason Kander is urging House Speaker Tim Jones to take up early voting initiatives.

Kander wrote a letter today in response to an interview Jones gave earlier this month in which Jones questioned the importance of early voting.

Kander asked Jones to assign a Republican early voting bill to a committee, saying the issue has had bipartisan support over the years.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) has made changes to the initiative petition process.

Effective immediately, the Secretary of State’s office will begin posting initiative petitions to its website before the summary language is written.  Kander has also authorized 5-day comment periods that will begin the same day the initiative petitions are posted.

Courtesy of Jason Kander

Democrats held onto the Missouri Secretary of State’s office last month, although it will be occupied by a different Democrat.  State Representative Jason Kander will take over for Robin Carnahan, who chose not to seek a third term.  The lawmaker and Army veteran sat down recently with St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin and talked about the road that took him from Kansas City, through Afghanistan and eventually to Jefferson City.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Mo. GOP Candidates Rally Around Voter I.D.

Oct 24, 2012
Tina Eaton

Voter I.D. laws have been a contentious issue nationwide, with conservatives in many states pushing through legislation to require a form of photo identification to vote.

You can currently vote in Missouri by showing a utility bill or bank statement, but Republican secretary of state candidate Shane Schoeller wants to change that.

At a rally of about 50 conservatives in Fenton, Schoeller held up his photo I.D.

Tim Bommel / House Communications Office

Democratic candidate for Secretary of State Jason Kander is rolling out his plan to make the office more helpful for Missouri entrepreneurs.

Kander is a State Representative from Jackson County.  If elected he says he would reform the Business Services Division to connect aspiring business owners with local non-profits and state programs designed to help entrepreneurs.

(via Friends of Shane Schoeller)

Agricultural interests are being highlighted in the Missouri Secretary of State’s race this week.

Republican nominee Shane Schoeller is conducting a “Farm Values Tour” across the state, in which he’s reviving memories of the recent battle over dog breeding regulations.  He says his Democratic opponent, Jason Kander, would follow in Robin Carnahan’s footsteps in writing ballot summaries that could greatly harm farmers who also breed dogs.

Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Missouri House members have chosen Tim Jones (R, Eureka) as their speaker for the next few months.

Jones had served as the chamber's majority leader for the past two years. His selection Wednesday fills the vacancy created when former Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) resigned from the House in August to work as a paid consultant.  House members will decide in January whether to keep Jones for two more years as Speaker, assuming that he is re-elected in November and the GOP holds onto the Missouri House as expected.  Jones said Wednesday he wants to encourage job creation by streamlining government, offering tax relief and paring back government regulations. He also wants to focus on energy independence and education policy.

(via Friends of Shane Schoeller)

It took about 18 hours to tally the results, but Shane Schoeller (R, Willard) appears to have won the Republican primary for Missouri Secretary of State.

It was a close race the whole night, with fellow GOP contenders Scott Rupp (R, Wentzville) and Bill Stouffer (R, Napton) occasionally grabbing the lead – but in the end Schoeller came in first with 35.3 percent of the vote.  The Secretary of State's office confirmed the unofficial results shortly after 1:00 p.m. today.

“We sensed that we had the number of votes we needed, but we didn’t want to declare victory until the final results came in and we were confident that they would trend our way, and we’re just grateful that they did," Schoeller said.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

House Democrats are backing legislation they say would toughen Missouri’s ethics standards.

The bill would restore many provisions recently struck down by the State Supreme Court:  They include banning committee-to-committee money transfers and giving the Missouri Ethics Commission the authority to launch its own investigations.  The High Court struck them down because they were tacked onto another bill that had nothing to do with ethics.  State Rep. Tishaura Jones (D, St. Louis) says she’s filing a new bill because GOP leaders have so far done nothing following the Supreme Court ruling.

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