Government | KCUR


KC Budget Crafting: Anything But Ho-Hum

Dec 23, 2008
kcur photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City's 2009 budget sweepstakes are underway. Dozens of community leaders are drawn in this time as the mayor looks for concensus.

This was all very representative of opinion. The city bought a consultant's report and the consultant asked everyone in the room to vote, electronically, on what are most important functions of the government.

KC Fishing For Federal Funds

Dec 16, 2008
kcur photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City Mayor, his advisers, members of the city council and civic forces are starting to plot the way out of a projected 80 to 90 million dollar short-fund next year.

It's clearly important to be close to the front of the line when cities start asking the Obama administration for funds. So, the plan is to find projects suitable for long term economic recovery.

Kansas City, MO – Former Mark Funkhouser aide Joe Miller says he may have violated state ethics and open records laws while working in the mayor's office. On KCUR's Up to Date, Miller said the mayor held back an e-mail from a Freedom of Information Request, and that as a mayor's office employee he should not have been a campaign event organizer in the Light Rail campaign. As a result of these assignments and policies of the mayor, Miller says he felt "afwfu," as though he was "headed down the wrong path."

Kansas City, MO – Missouri Transportation officials don't take a public stance on Santa Claus, but they're hoping an economic stimulus package being pushed by the President elect could be the next best thing.

RAHN: "Missouri has put together it's wish list and instead of sending it to the North Pole, we're sending it to Washington."

That's Missouri transportation director Pete Rahn. As KCUR's Maria Carter reports Missouri is hoping for an economic stimulus miracle after the holiday season.

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Council Rejects Funkhouser 'Mammygate' Solution

Dec 5, 2008
Video Frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – Fireworks erupted again in yesterday's city council meeting over the so-called "Mammygate" lawsuit filed by a city employee over alleged remarks by the mayor's wife.

Forty minutes into an otherwise routine council meeting, Mayor Funkhouser announced that outside attorneys hired to defend him and his wife had come up with a settlement of the suit against the city and the council. The council could pay the plaintiff $135,000... and approve about another $40,000 in attorney's fees.

Kansas City Shortfall Estimate Still Climbing

Dec 4, 2008
Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City, Missouri city council began to grapple with the city's projected revenue shortfall this week. Budget chair Deb Herman explained how serious the current forecast is.

Herman says of the $490 million that went into the general fund last year, $315 million went to the police and fire departments, leaving $175 million for everything else. She emphasized: "Everything that comes out of this building, really, comes out of $175 million," noting that the still growing shortfall presiction for next year is $89.3 million.

Kansas City, MO – It's been a tough couple of weeks for Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser. Bills are skyrocketing, while citizen satisfaction scores are dropping. The light rail proposal, which the mayor campaigned intensely for, failed at the ballot box. And, the Kansas City Star officially retracted its endorsement of the mayor last weekend. KC Currents' Susan Wilson caught up with the mayor , and asked him where he thinks the city is heading.

Jack Sprat Budget Trimmed Out For Jackson County

Nov 13, 2008
kcur photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – Without mention of job cuts, without a word of reduced services, the Jackson County Missouri Executive has presented his spending plan for 2009.

Right On The Mark:Missouri Record Vote

Nov 6, 2008
Photo by Dan Verbeck, KCUR news

Kansas City, Mo. – In post election decompression, Missouri's secretary of state confirms what was assumed on Tuesday: a record voter volume, and more. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports:

Kansas City, MO – Missouri 5th District Congressman Emanuel Cleaver gave a fiery, impromptu speech to the election night crowd at the Midland Theater in Kansas City as he announced Senator John McCain's concession.

Graves Retains Hold On Missouri Sixth

Nov 5, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – When more than half the vote was reported, Sam Graves declared victory over Democratic challenger Kay Barnes to hold Missouri's Sixth Congressional district seat. KCUR's Dan Verbeck reports.

Overland Park, Kansas – The third district encompasses Johnson County, Wyandotte County, and part of Douglas County. Dennis Moore easily slid to victory, in spite of a Republican majority there. He told supporters he was looking forward to working with the new Obama administration. He will be the lone Democrat in the Kansas delegation once again, but will have a larger Democratic majority to work with in Congress.

Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City voters weighed in against the most recent proposal for a light rail system yesterday. 56 percent turned the starter route, running from Vivion Road to east 63rd.

The verdict was consistent with seven previous elections in the past 11 year - the majority of Kansas Citians have not been interested in light rail. Two years ago, voters approved a plan for a starter route of 27 miles. But the city council repealed the measure, and crafted a 14-mile proposal for voters.

Kansas City, MO – There were several hundred hard core Democrats at the Midland Theater last night. Ecstatic, would be a pretty good word to describe them.

But heady as President Elect Obama's victory was and as much as they relished the gains in the Senate and House, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, fresh off his own very convincing win, says the Democratic government about to take over had better not get too cocky.

Exercise In Patience: Rough Edges To Voting

Nov 4, 2008

Platte City, MO – Voter confusion is more magnified in big cities, but just as perplexing in suburban Platte County. KCUR's Dan Verbeck was at the election commission office on Tuesday and filed this report.

On the phone, election staff members are directing callers, helping them to polls that are a mystery to them, when Julie Ash walks in. Ash has been driving poll to poll, where she can't vote,

Kansas City, MO – Federal officials are investigating text messages and robo calls encouraging Missouri voters to vote tomorrow.

Complaints started coming in from around the state this morning. They were short text messages and automated calls, some attributed to CNN, with the same message: "Because of delays, Obama supporters are advised to vote Wednesday."

Kansas City, MO – Lines at polling places on both sides of the state line formed well before dawn, with voters showing up in the dark with chairs, books and plenty of coffee.

Kansas City, MO – An election snafu stalled voting for hours in central Kansas City, Missouri this morning.

Thousands of voters in Kansas City lined up well before 6 this morning. But when the polls opened at several sites in the central part of the city, election workers had bad news: The wrong voter registration books had been delivered.

Jason Semour says he's voted at the same location for 12 years, and never seen delays. This morning, Semour says he waited, with about 200 others, for two hours until workers finally delivered the right voter registration book.

Johnson County, Kansas – So far in Johnson County things are running smoothly. KCUR's Laura Ziegler reports.

Kansas City, MO – If anything goes seriously wrong with the election in Kansas City, the 'fixers' are mostly all together in one place. KCUR's Dan Verbeck has been there and has a report.

It looks almost like a movie set. The election board, police, fire, ambulance services have a cavernous room on the old Northeast side, converted into the city's emergency operations center; the word emergency' is removed for now. It's normally reserved for tornado, flood and mass injury.

Kansas City, MO – The state of Missouri doesn't allow advance voting, like in Kansas. But election officials in Missouri this year are reporting a 40 percent increase in absentee voting. And hundreds lined up at absentee voting locations on Monday as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

Kansas City, MO – There were long lines at polling places throughout the Kansas City area Tuesday morning. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross stopped by a couple of precincts in midtown to hear what people were talking about as they waited.

photo: Frank Morris, KCUR

Lee's Summit, Missouri – Senator Joe Biden says the Republicans are out of touch, and waging a nasty campaign against Senator Obama. The Democratic Vice Presidential nominee was in Lee's Summit, Missouri on Monday morning.

Senator Biden needled Senator John McCain for supporting President Bush on taxes, regulation and other fiscal policy. He called McCain a sidekick, not a maverick. Biden then accused the McCain/Palin campaign of taking on an overly negative tone, that he says has undercut prospects to reunite the country after tomorrow.

Frank Morris

Lee's Summitt – Senator Biden needled Senator John McCain for supporting President Bush on taxes, regulation and other fiscal policy. He called McCain a sidekick, not a maverick. Biden then accused the McCain/Palin campaign of taking on an overly negative tone, that he says has undercut prospects to reunite the country after tomorrow.

Kansas City, MO – Pundits are saying turnout in the African American community will play a decisive factor in the presidential election, and will certainly influence state and local races here in Kansas and Missouri. One of the oldest black political clubs in the nation is here in Kansas City. That's Freedom Incorporated. Just this week, KCUR's Susan Wilson caught up with Freedom's president Craig Bland, who's also a state rep in Missouri. She asked Representative Bland how Freedom is gearing up for Tuesday's election.

Johnson County, Kansas – Should voters in Johnson County elect their judges, or keep a system by which a commission of seven lawyers and seven non-lawyers nominate judges for the Governor to appoint?Should voters approve a one-eighth cent sales tax for an "education and research triangle?" The projected 15 million dollars in annual revenue would fund three Johnson County facilities: the KU Edwards Campus, K-State's National Food Safety and Health Institute in Olathe, and the Cancer Clinical Research Center in Fairway.

Photo by Dan Verbeck / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – It's been an intense political season, enough to blow away some seasoned political reporters, like Up to Date's Steve Kraske, who last week declared, "I think this whole thing has been a dream." So the KC Currents team imagined what that dream might sound like . . .


Columbia, MO – As part of his final push, Barack Obama stopped in Columbia, Missouri on Thursday night. KBIA's Maureen McCollum has more.

McCain Econ Navigator Charts KC Home Waters

Oct 31, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck