Jason Kander

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

Although candidate filing is about six weeks away, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and his Democratic opponent, Secretary of State Jason Kander, are already weathering repeated political attacks.

Rather than focus on their campaigns, many of the criticisms are aimed at damaging their character by challenging how they are handling their offices. 

Republicans are faulting Kander for some of the findings in a recent state audit, which questions how he had handled staff raises and how his office had misfiled $120,000. Meanwhile, Democrats continue to jab at Blunt’s apparent increased use of charter planes, which cost taxpayers more than if he traveled by car.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The past year was full of watershed political moments in St. Louis and the state of Missouri, but what will have the greatest implications for 2016? On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh picked the brains of two people who know best: St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum, political reporters and hosts of the podcast Politically Speaking

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

The Senate Majority PAC, the national Democratic Party’s chief group charged with recapturing the U.S. Senate, is offering at least lip service on behalf of Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, in his quest to oust U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

(Updated Thursday, Oct. 22 with a link to the ad)

A tax exempt group with ties to Bush adviser Karl Rove plans to launch a major TV and radio ad blitz in Missouri this week on behalf of U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.

The group is called One Nation and is assisting Republican senators around the country who are up for re-election next year.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

The latest campaign-finance reports show that U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has almost three times as much money in the bank as his Democratic rival, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, as the two prepare to face off next year.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, left foreground, and attorney Frankie Freeman, second from right, were featured at the Democrats' Truman Dinner.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Reflecting party leaders’ desire to change things up, the Missouri Democratic Party chose an unusual venue for Saturday night’s renamed Truman Dinner: the field of Busch Stadium.

The “unusual” extended to the evening’s highlight – a surprise video by Hillary Clinton, displayed on the “jumbo-tron” – and the closing: fireworks.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

Fifteen months before the 2016 election, Missouri’s major candidates for the U.S. Senate – Republican incumbent Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander – are ensnared in two familiar issues:

  • The use of private planes;
  • Accusations that each is too tied to special interests.

A key difference is that, for the most part, the attacks aren’t coming from the candidates or their campaigns. Rather, they’re being launched by party surrogates on their behalf.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., continues to hold a comfortable finance lead over his chief Democratic rival in 2016, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.

But there are signs that Kander’s campaign is attracting Republican concern.

Both candidates provided St. Louis Public Radio with early copies of the official summary sheets for their reports, due Wednesday.

Jason Kander
Missouri secretary of state website

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, a Democrat running for the U.S. Senate, has adopted one of the GOP’s favorite words – “overreach” – as he attacks President Barack Obama’s habit of using executive orders and rule changes to implement his policies.

Kander’s  prime pitch Thursday to the St. Louis Regional Chamber was that the White House was too dependent, in his view, on using executive orders and rule changes to circumvent the Republicans who control Congress.

Attorney General Chris Koster parts ways with the Missouri Democratic Party on the issue of campaign donation limits. His position on the issue may make already difficult road to capping donations impossible if he becomes governor.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Rob Schaaf probably wouldn’t be classified as bleeding heart liberal.

Throughout his tenure in the Missouri General Assembly, the St. Joseph Republican took sometimes-provocative conservative positions in battles over Medicaid expansion and unemployment benefits. He's encountered rightward plaudits and gubernatorial jeers for his latest stance against a St. Louis stadium funding plan.

But Schaaf parts ways with his party on campaign donation limits.

Jason Kander
Missouri secretary of state website

HANNIBAL, Mo.—Two weeks after his verbal hammering by Republicans, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander -- now a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate – was in GOP-held territory presenting his case.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles reads from a prepared text reacting to a Department of Justice report on his city. Knowles did not answer questions from the media.
Bill Greenblatt, UPI

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles provided little indication how his city would respond to a scathing Department of Justice report documenting pervasive racial bias in the city’s police department and municipal court system. But he listed several steps the city was already taking to deal with allegations of bias.

Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Thursday he will run for the U.S. Senate. It sets up a collision course with U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Thursday he will run for the U.S. Senate next year.

It’s a move that ensures U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., will have competition in 2016 – and opens up a down-ballot statewide contest for both parties.

(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.

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