The Buzz

‘That escalated quickly’: MO-KAN races head to the wire, and so does Trailwatch

Ron Burgundy, an anchorman in full, from 2013
Ron Burgundy, an anchorman in full, from 2013 Invision/AP

We’re deep in the bunker with less than three weeks to go. Millions of dollars are moving from donors to stockholders in television companies, as ads swarm the airwaves (or cable connections.)

There will be more. And Trailwatch will get longer every week....

To the trail.


Incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt faced some uncomfortable headlines over the last seven days. McClatchy DC, The Star’s DC bureau, examined Blunt’s lobbyist connections here. USA Today looked at Blunt’s residency here.

The Hillary Clinton campaign said it would spend $500,000 in Missouri for Jason Kander and Chris Koster.

Americans for Prosperity is on the air for Blunt:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is spending for Kander:

Republicans accused Diana Kander of lobbying.

“Jason Kander’s wife, Diana, listed herself as a lobbyist in two biographies. Now the Kanders are claiming these official bios were ‘aspirational,’ which means either they were lying then or they are lying now,” they said in a news release.

Is this the best strategy? It keeps the focus on lobbying, which is probably a net-negative for Blunt. Some GOP operatives quietly agreed this week.

Democrats tried to link Blunt with Donald Trump, in a release: “Donald Trump unveiled a proposed ethics reform plan ‘to drain the swamp in Washington DC’ that includes asking Congress to implement a 5-year ban on lobbying by former members of Congress and their staff.

“What does Senator Blunt think about a 5-year ban on lobbying activities proposed by his presidential candidate? Let’s ask him!”

Republicans tried to link Kander with Clinton, in a news release: “Jason Kander refuses to answer the question if he believes Hillary Clinton is trustworthy. Now Hillary Clinton's campaign has viciously attacked Catholics and Evangelicals while politician Jason Kander remains silent.”


This race has “escalated quickly,” as Ron Burgundy might say.

One operative thinks Kevin Yoder vs. Jay Sidie could be a $5 million House race, unheard of in these parts.

Outside groups will spend at least $1.8 million in the race.

Here’s a Yoder ad:


Some folks chuckled at a Yoder ad with video from eastern Europe. A farmer may have noticed the boo-boo first.

Dennis Moore endorsed Sidie. No surprise there. “Jay brings a refreshing and independent perspective to solving the challenges facing hardworking Kansans,” Moore said in a statement.

Sidie’s folks again linked Yoder with Sam Brownback, also not a surprise.


Eric Greitens ran an ad accusing Chris Koster of being AWOL during the Joplin tornado (we can’t find the link, but the video is embedded in the story link below.)

The spot infuriated Koster. He rounded up Joplinians to defend his response. There’s this ad, too:

Democrats tried to link Greitens with Trump. “Where does Eric Greitens stand on Donald Trump’s refusal to abide by the results of the 2016 elections?” asked Kristin Sosanie, MDP spokesperson, in a statement.

For more on the Trump conun... oh, never mind.

Democrats also filed an ethics complaint in Missouri, alleging Greitens raised campaign funds from a donor list provided by his charity. The Dems say that’s an undisclosed in-kind contribution.

Republicans showed AG candidate Teresa Hensley denouncing federal candidate Koster:

“Before career politician Chris Koster and Teresa Henley were on the same Democratic statewide ticket, Henley was scathing in her assessment of Koster,” said campaign manager Austin Chambers in a statement.

Here’s a radio ad for Greitens.

Republicans hammered Koster for allegedly sponsoring legislation to help legal clients. Democrats hammered Greitens for hiding his tax returns.


Hensley and Josh Hawley debated in Springfield.


One-time Kansas Attorneys General (yes, we studied that plural in J-school) Bob Stephan and Steve Six urged the state to retain all five Supco judges on the ballot: Lawton Nuss, Marla Luckert, Carol Beier, Dan Biles and Caleb Stegall.

So did a group of JoCo and WyCo mayors and former mayors.


This, from Clay Chastain, pushing his light rail initiative on the November ballot:

“The private automobile’s hefty public subsidy does not even take into account the environmental costs of too many cars, or one's personal costs to own and operate the increasingly expensive automobile!!!!! When you consider all that...light rail is a bargain for Kansas City.”


Apparently some of the video in this ad came from other states:

Remember, though, that happens a lot.