The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Check the eligibility of candidates before putting them on the ballot

Jean Peters Baker’s decision to nudge Jackson County Legislator James Tindall out the door is another good example of the power that prosecutors hold in our justice system.

We’ve known for years that Tindall is a convicted felon, a status that means he can’t be a candidate under Missouri law. That hasn’t stopped him from appearing on past ballots, though, and didn’t stop voters from electing him twice after the conviction.

For reasons that remain murky, past prosecutors and political opponents never tried to legally bar Tindall from the ballot. For reasons that are equally murky now, the county prosecutor wanted not only to get him off the next ballot but to remove him from office immediately, presumably on the grounds that he has been illegally holding it.

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By DAVE HELLING. 1 hour ago

Missouri lawmakers cut taxes as they ponder raising them

Can Missouri cut taxes to keep pace with Kansas while it raises taxes to keep Interstate 70 from crumbling into ruin?

Passing the first decrease in Missouri’s income tax since 1921 while simultaneously signing off on the largest tax increase in state history has some lawmakers — including a few of the Republicans who control the General Assembly — questioning the logic.

On Wednesday, the Missouri General Assembly passed a bill incrementally cutting taxes by $620 million over at least five years. That sets up a showdown with Gov. Jay Nixon, who signaled he’ll likely veto it.

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By JASON HANCOCK. 19 hours ago

Koster still on a roll

Here’s the thing about running for governor in a swing state like Missouri:

It’s supposed to be hard.

But so far, Democrat Chris Koster is making it look easy. He’s worked his way out of a potentially contentious party primary against state treasurer Clint Zweifel. He’s watching from the sidelines as a potentially brutal three-way GOP primary stacks up between Catherine Hanaway, Tom Schweich and John Brunner.

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By STEVE KRASKE. 10 hours ago

Kansas Republicans can’t contain their glee over Sebelius Senate speculation

Good morning.

• “We will pay her bus fare.” — Kansas Republican Party Chair Kelly Arnold on the (highliy improbable) reports Wednesday that Kathleen Sebelius may return to Kansas to run for office.

Republicans were absolutely giddy at a story in The New York Times that the former Kansas governor might return home this year to run for the U.S. Senate. Let me state this clearly: NOT HAPPENING! With Obamacare wrapped around her neck, Sebelius wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance in a state where the health care law is as popular as droughts.

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By STEVE KRASKE. 11 hours ago

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About the Blog

Kansas City's best-known political reporters sort through the rumors and spin to bring readers facts, inside analysis, and a healthy dose of perspective to the issues and personalities of the local and state political scene. Who's up? Who's down? What are the major players thinking — and why? What's the strategy? The likely outcomes? And what are voters thinking about all of this?

We'll break news on the site, but we'll also provide insight and background — with a dash of spark and wit as well.

Contact Us

Dave Helling
Phone: 816-234-4656

Steve Kraske
Phone: 816-234-4312