The Buzz

TheChat: Barry Grissom challenges Kris Kobach on voter fraud prosecutions


Here we go:

▪ “Going forward, if your office determines there has been an act of voter fraud please forward the matter to me for investigation and prosecution.” — Barry Grissom, the U.S. attorney for Kansas, in a letter to Secretary of State Kris Kobach, urging Kobach to refer cases of voter fraud to his office.

The AP reports that last year Kobach told WIBW that he had referred cases to Grissom, which the U.S. attorney denies. The disagreement is important because Kobach is asking state lawmakers to give him the power to pursue voter fraud charges because prosecutors in the state aren’t doing the job. Now, Kobach is admitting to the AP that his office never referred cases to Grissom citing inaction by Grissom’s predecessor.

▪ “Fifty years after Selma, we need the federal government to step in and protect the rights of all Americans.” — the message that Missouri Congressman William Lacy Clay said he gave President Barack Obama Tuesday in a closed-door meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House. (link courtesy of

Clay was saying that more federal government intervention is needed when it comes to local policing. Clay told the Post-Dispatch that the president “was all for it. It was a very positive response.”

▪ “As they decline…workers lose that sort of voice.” — Marion Crain, the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law at Washington University-St. Louis and vice provost, on the drop in Missouri union membership, which has reached its lowest level in decades. Crain said unions continue to be the voice for working people in the Legislature and in politics.

The numbers in 2014: 2.6 million employed people in Missouri, 214,000 union members, or 8.4 percent. The numbers in 2005: 2.5 million employed, and 290,000 union members, or 11.5 percent.

▪ “I’m not too blunt and too direct to be in Iowa or any place else in this country. I know there are times you may see or read something that I’ve said and say, ‘Oh my gosh, I cannot believe he said that out loud.’ ” — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in a trip to Iowa where he displayed a decidedly lower-key demeanor.

Christie is trying a different approach as he begins his 2016 presidential bid. Will it work? Some Iowans said they found Christie to be a little “flat” during his recent visit.