Government | KCUR


Kansas City, MO – The outcome of the presidential election could come down to the vote in key parts of Missouri. The campaigns for Senator John McCain, the Republican, and Senator Barack Obama, the Democrat are both in high gear working here. As part of our ongoing election courage, KCUR's Frank Morris spoke with Senator Obama's campaign Chief of Staff , Jim Messina, about the ground war in Missouri.

Citadel Will Rise Renewed

Sep 25, 2008

Kansas City, Mo. – Waiting for the first shovelful of dirt to turn! The Kansas City City Council gives a long-awaited break to blighted parts of midtown, and an aging shopping center in the Northland.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City has done something perhaps no other city has. It passed an ordinance to keep the mayor's wife from volunteering in the mayor's office.

The mayor responded with the first veto in the city's history.

With mounting crime, crumbling sewers and a fiscal crisis looming, KCUR's Frank Morris reports on what brought Kansas City to its current impasse.

Mark Funkhouser is a serious, imposing guy, especially sitting on his front porch, talking about the role of his wife, Gloria Squitiro at City Hall.

Will Citadel-Antioch Languish? Council To Vote

Sep 24, 2008

Kansas City, Mo. – Gains are closer to overcoming risks and votes are stacking up in favor of redeveloping two aging shopping centers. The Kansas City council is to vote Thursday.

Citadel Plaza at 63rd and Prospect project is worth $90 million, Antioch center in the Northland,72 million dollars. After more than five years verbal battling, both get a nod from the council's Finance and Audit committee.

KC To Vote On Light Rail In November

Sep 23, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City voters will face another ballot question about light rail on November 4th, with the City Council this time asking residents for approval of a 14-mile starter line stretching from Kansas City's northland south to the city's east side.

One recent piece of legislation that was seen as a victory for Latino immigrants is the 2004 law allowing undocumented students who went to high school in Kansas to pay in-state tuition rates at local colleges. That law has been challenged each year since, in the statehouse and in federal court, and has been upheld in both places. But this week, an appeals court in California made a different decision - which could lead to the repeal of instate tuition benefits for illegal immigrants in that state.

Labor's Sweeney Thunders At Right, McCain

Sep 22, 2008

Riverside, Mo. – Labeling Senator John McCain a primary architect of failures in the economy, the president of the AFL-CIO let off a fusillade against Republicans at the Missouri labor consortium's convention in the Kansas City suburb of Riverside, Mo.

The head of the nation's largest labor organization bluntly spoke of what he called the crackpot right wing of the party leveraging failures on wall street, placing the GOP presidential candidate squarely in their midst. As John Sweeney put it,

Ewing Kauffman Legacy Leaves Relief For Non-Profits

Sep 22, 2008

Kansas City, Mo. – Awarding two and three-quarter million dollars in grants the Kauffman Foundation packed a meeting room with winners and well wishers. They were all adults. Except for one teenage boy.

Former Secretary of State Campaigns in KC for Obama

Sep 19, 2008

Kansas City, MO – On Thursday, Clinton-era Secretary of State Madeline Albright told a Kansas City audience the nation needs to shore-up relations with world powers that include India, Pakistan and Russia.

Kansas City – For months, members of the City Council, and others, have complained about the role Gloria Squitiro, Funkhouser's wife, plays in the mayor's office. Squitiro puts in upwards of 20 hours a week, making calls, following policy, and --apparently-
annoying people. Last week the council voted 12-1 (Funkhouser being the 1) passing an ordinance prohibiting family volunteers (i.e. Squitiro) from working in city offices. Last night, Funkhouser vetoed it.

Money Moves The Message: Rail Campaign Seeks Funds

Sep 17, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, Mo. – A vote on Kansas City light rail is less than two months away, but the campaign for it begins far short of its funding goal.

The mood was semi festive but serious at Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport as political and civic boosters launched the campaign for the three eighths cent sales tax for startup light rail.

Mo. Mayors Cooperate For Jeff City Clout

Sep 16, 2008
Photo Courtesy of Show-Me Missouri

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser first proposed the idea of combining the lobbying efforts of St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, St. Joseph, Joplin and Jefferson City. And he says yesterday's first meeting was an unquestionable success that resulted in a unified agenda.

Kansas City, MO – Voter confidence is prime and the Missouri Secretary of State issued orders Tuesday to hike security at the polls in November. KCUR's Dan Verbeck has more of the story.

Certain voting equipment is being double checked for accuracy. More than ever before.

Photo courtesy of Channel 2, KCCG.

Kansas City, MO – Today was showdown day on an ordinance regulating volunteers in city offices that would force Mayor Mark Funkhouser's wife, Gloria Squitiro, to vacate her desk at City Hall. The mayor's opening sentence was dramatic:"September 11th: it's a strange day to be talking about something so small and divisive, isn't it?"

Council, Casino At Odds Over Smoking Ban Change

Sep 11, 2008
Photo courtesy of Channel 2 - KCCG

Kansas City, MO – A Kansas City Council committee took testimony Wednesday on two proposed changes to no-smoking ordinance.

There was no opposition to allowing an exemption for the city's few cigar stores. But Troy Stremming of Ameristar Casino took exception to banning smoking in the concourses that lead to casino gaming rooms. Smoking is allowed there under a section of the lengthy smoking ban voters passed. So Stremming contends that voters intended to allow smoking in the concourses.

McCain-Palin Ticket Visits Lee's Summit

Sep 9, 2008

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City area has had its first "live" look and listen experience of the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket. Between 5 and 6 thousand people packed into and around a pavilion at John Knox Retirement Village in Lee's Summit yesterday. KCUR's Dan Verbeck was there.

Democratic VP Candidate Stops In Missouri

Sep 9, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Earlier this week, the campaign news in Missouri was McCain-Palin. On Tuesday, it was Joe Biden, but not in Kansas City.

The Democratic vice-presidential candidate made his first stop in Columbia this morning, where he talked up an Obama plan to end corporate tax deferrals and one to create five-million jobs focused on clean energy.

Lee's Summit, MO – In Lees Summit, the auditorium of John Knox Retirement Village wasn't big enough to hold the crowd intent on seeing GOP Presidential nominee John McCain and his running mate Governor Sarah Palin. It's no accident this state is an early stop on the final run for the White House.

"Thank you, Missouri. Thank you so much for being here," said McCain. "This state, we must win and we will, in order to win the presidency of the United States. And your enthusiasm, and your turnout today, I'm so encouraged by it."

McCain And Palin Deliver Message To Lee's Summit

Sep 8, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin brought the presidential race to Kansas City this morning with a rally in Lee's Summit. And by all appearances the messages delivered were the messages desired.

As many as 5,000 people overfilled a John Knox Village auditorium in Lee's Summit. Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was as much of interest as was the senator and energy was high on the topic list.

Kansas City, Missouri – A movie theater with red leather recliners is a good place to watch CNN - even if there are only a few of you. That's how many members of the Women's Political Caucus came out to watch Cindy and John McCain last night. President of the Caucus board Ina Montgomery says that while the Caucus is nonpartisan, it's endorsed mostly democrats. It hasn't always been like that, and she says last night's event was an effort to attract Republicans.

KC Delegates Cheer McCain's Speech

Sep 5, 2008

Kansas City delegates say John McCain's acceptance speech set the right tone for his campaign, one of integrity, strength and conservative themes. Melinda Wittstock has more from the Republican National Convention in St. Paul.

- - - - -

McCain promised to rid Washington of its constant partisan rancor, just one night after some partisan barbs from his number two on the ticket Sarah Palin. Kansas City delegate Rebecca Rooney says she could live with Democrats in a McCain administration, but she has some conditions.

Kansas Young Republicans Mobilize

Sep 4, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

Members of the Young Republicans organization of Johnson County, Kansas greeted the nomination of Senator John McCain as head of the party's national presidential ticket with businesslike fervor.

Some three dozen men and women, ages 18 to 40, met at a Shawnee restaurant banquet room and were stuffing campaign envelopes for a state senate candidate before turning attention to the big screen broadcast from Minnesota.

Vote On City Volunteers Ordinance Postponed

Sep 4, 2008
Photo by Dan Verbeck

Kansas City, MO – The ordinance setting a no family members in the office policy for volunteers made the council floor yesterday, but was delayed a week on technicalities raised by council member John Sharp.

St. Paul, MN – Alaska Governor Sarah Palin proved she could give as well as she gets - accepting the Republican nomination for Vice President with a feisty speech attacking Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama and the media. Melinda Wittstock has more from St. Paul.

- - - - -

PALIN: I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."

Topeka, KS – Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius says Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said nothing Wednesday night to attract women who used to support Hillary Clinton. During a telephone news conference Thursday morning, Sebelius said she thinks Palin is on the wrong side of most womens' issues.

Bond Says High Expectations For Palin's Speech

Sep 3, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Missouri Senator Kit Bond talked with Up To Date listeners from the Republican national Convention Wednesday and he says those who criticize vice-presidential nominee Sara Palin for lack of experience are mistaken.

Bond says,"You know when you're talking about experience. Her experience having run local government agencies, state agencies, having been governor for almost 2 years, and being a working mom with five kids, that's a whole lot more executive experience than Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined."

Former GOP Chair Looks Back To 1996 Convention

Sep 3, 2008
photo: courtesy of KCPT

Kansas City, MO – It was 1996 when Republicans convened at the convention in San Diego to nominate the favorite son of Kansas, Senator Bob Dole. John "Woody" Cozad led Missouri Republicans at that convention. KCUR's Dan Verbeck talked with him about the current convention and has an account.

The Platte County conservative chaired the state party from late 1995 to early '99. San Diego was his first and last convention.

Kansas City, MO – As the GOP National Convention gathers steam in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Republican Consultant David Kensinger of Topeka says the event is beginning to find its focus and an exciting one.

Kansas City, MO – Thirty-two years after taking a local host role at a GOP convention, Kansas Citian Jim Chappel is a voting delegate at the Republican national nominating process in St. Paul.

The 65-year old Northland restauranteur misses the vibrancy of that 1976 Kansas City convention when there was a fight for a nominee. Gerald Ford stayed at the Westin, Ronald Reagan at the then-Alameda hotel. It was a back and forth back battleground of words and tactics until Ford got the nod.