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Denver, CO – Hard core Democrats from Kansas and Missouri are gearing up this morning for the final night of what many of them view as a historic nominating convention. Frank Morris reports from Denver.

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Kansas and Missouri Democrats are squeezing in next to some 75,000 other spectators at Invesco Field in Denver, Colo. to see their freshly minted presidential nominee, Barack Obama. KCUR's Frank Morris is there too, and reports that many here are already looking past the speech to the general election.

Missouri Democrats meeting are mobilizing for the general election. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver, Colo.

Democrats here are excited about the big speech their presidential nominee, Barack Obama is going to give at the pro football stadium here. They've been showing up from across Missouri and Kansas, some without tickets. But the business at hand has to do with the 66 days between that speech and the general election.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius spoke about some of her humble roots and the touchy state of the US economy, before a TV audience of millions last night. KCUR's Frank Morris was at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colo., and has this report.

Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of Kansas, took on a role for which doubly well suited at the Democratic National Convention last night. KCUR's Frank Morris has more from Denver, Colo.

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius shared a little of her family history (her great-grandmother was Howard Taft's maid, before he became president) with millions of people on prime time TV. That's because Governor Sebelius is part of an elite club that Democrats would like to see get a little less so, successful red state Democrats.

KCUR's Frank Morris has this report from the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The delegates are counted in Denver, and the Democrats have officially nominated Senator Barack Obama for president.

Some feel the historic nature of the convention has been overshadowed by Senator Hillary Clinton's own history making presidential run. Though many members of the Missouri delegation feel the race issue has been handled perfectly. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver, Colo.

AMB: Nixon announcing the vote

Democrats have officially counting the delegates and nominated the first African American presidential candidate. That's a relief to delegates who have been torn by lingering resentment between Clinton and Obama supporters. KCUR's Frank Morris reports from Denver, Colo.

A lot of Clinton delegates out here were sensitive that the Senator, and her accomplishments would be short changed at this convention. For people like Jolie Justus, a Missouri State Senator, Clinton's speech last night changed everything.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama spoke to transport workers facing steep job cuts at Kansas City International airport yesterday. The town-hall meeting was part of his tour of tightly-contested states before he speaks at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross was there.

Denver, CO – People watching TV tonight will see something strange, a Kansas governor addressing the Democratic National Convention, in prime time. KCUR's Frank Morris is at the convention in Denver, and reports that Sebelius is in high demand there.

Denver, CO – Missouri native Leslie Spencer is in Denver this week as an enthusiastic "redneck" supporter of Barack Obama. The Kansas City-born Spencer stood near lines of anti-McCain and anti-Obama protestors wearing "Rednecks for Obama" gear and holding a sign with the same message.

Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City council passed a domestic violence ordinance Thursday that makes it a municipal crime to violate an order of protection... but not without a dissenting voice.

Will Missouri State lawmakers listen to tax innovation? Kansas City supporters of a sales-tax-free district will learn next year, now that Jackson County legislators have joined Kansas City Council counterparts signing off on the growth stimulus effort.

Missouri Factory Is Focus For Obama Camp

Aug 15, 2008

Claycomo, MO – A Democratic Senator from Michigan takes the Barack Obama message to autoworkers in the Kansas City Northland.

Senator Debbie Stabenow says many workers see the current administration as racing to the bottom:
loss of jobs, pensions, healthcare; And they want to race to the top, with free trade and investing in education.

She sees Senator John McCain in the "bottom race." At the Claycomo Ford Plant, Stabenow has this take on fuel efficient cars:

Obama Policy Director Leads Women's Health Forum

Aug 15, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Senator Barack Obama's domestic policy director, Neera Tanden, met with Kansas City supporters yesterday for a town hall on women's health. The former Hillary Clinton advisor says it's important these types of meetings take place.

Tanden: One of the critical issues in this election is ensuring that people understand what's at stake.

Council Presses For Squitiro Resignation

Aug 15, 2008
Photo from

There are 13 members of the city council, counting the mayor. And nine of them are sponsoring a policy resolution on volunteers at City Hall.

Mayor Pro-tem Bill Skaggs wasn't among them, but the significance of the "legal protection" measure was fairly clear to him. Skaggs says his fellow council members seem to be expressing their disapproval of the mayor's wife, Gloria Squitiro, serving as a volunteer worker in the mayor's office... and the city being sued over allegedly discriminatory remarks she made.

Veterans Lining Up For Top Campaign

Aug 12, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

In the building race for President of the United States, Senator Barack Obama's veterans affairs advisors in Missouri have been listening to former military personnel at meetings around the state, while his GOP opponent, Senator John McCain's counterparts call their candidate a 'tireless advocate for our troops.'

Veterans Address Needs With Obama Advisors

Aug 11, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Senator Barack Obama's veteran affairs advisors in Missouri have been listening to former military members at meetings around the state. Ten veterans and soldier's widow told their stories Monday at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City.

The soldiers wanted assurances that veterans' benefits will increase, starting with a GI bill of rights.

The widow of a Vietnam War medic, Kathleen Aylward, said that families must be more involved in veteran care.

Regional Rail Rout: Kansas City Is Not Unique

Aug 8, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

A bi-state light rail approach seems unattainable in the short term, so Kansas City's mayor has brought in colleagues from other states to coach.

Mayoral caucuses of the kind sought by Mayor Mark Funkhouser are in place in Colorado and Greater Chicagoland to lobby for state and federal backing on transit, air quality, water issues and crime. The transit issue got a lot of attention.

Kansas metro-suburban leaders aren't taken with Funkhouser's transit plan, and it was tough enough getting a lot of support on the Missouri side.

Rendering by BNM Architects.

Kansas Citians can look forward to a vote on light rail and some fancy new parking meters downtown.

Councilman Russ Johnson's compromise starter route won unanimous final approval yesterday, and the sales tax to support it will go to the voters in November. Johnson says though most voters want a more expansive plan, the majority polled endorse the northland to 63rd Street plan.

In HST's Shadow. Dems Launch Fall Fight

Aug 7, 2008
KCUR photo by Dan Verbeck

The Missouri Democratic Party picked a symbolic location to draw support for the Fall campaign.

Observers watched and listened by the statue of Harry Truman on the old Independence Square.

Congressman Kenny Hulshof defeated state Treasurer Sarah Steelman in the Missouri Republican gubernatorial primary.

With 98 percent of the precincts reporting results, Hulshof received about 49 percent of the vote, to Steelman's 45 percent.

Attorney General Jay Nixon won the Democratic nomination for governor with 85 percent of the vote.

In January, GOP Governor Matt Blunt announced he would not seek re-election.

photo: Steve Bell, KCUR

Phill Kline will have to leave the Johnson County District Attorney's office. Steve Howe, who billed himself as the "unity candidate" won Tuesday's Republican primary 60 percent to Kline's 40 percent.

Abortion, and Kline's efforts to fight it, were central issues in the campaign. And, though both Kline and Howe call themselves pro-life, Howe's convincing victory isn't likely to end the split in the Kansas Republican party...not by a long shot.

Voters Approve JoCo Public Safety Sales Tax

Aug 6, 2008
Photo by Steve Bell

Johnson County gave a 53 to 47 nod to extending its one-quarter-cent tax indefinitely. Previously the tax was devoted to the public schools. County legislative chair Annabeth Surbaugh said the majority recognized that the sales tax is the best way to finance expansions of the jail and juvenile facilities and programs... and build a new crime lab.

Kansas City, MO – In this edition of Up to Date, political pundits analyze the results of the primary elections, and what impact it could have on this year's presidential contest.

In the Democratic race for Missouri Attorney General, State Senator Chris Koster squeaked by State Representative Margaret Donnelly with a margin of less than a thousand votes. Donnelly's campaign is considering calling for a recount. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross was at Koster victory party in the Teamsters Hall on the east side of Kansas City.

Missouri State Senator Chris Koster declared a victory in the Democratic attorney general primary on Tuesday. His opponent state Rep. Margaret Donnelly may ask for a recount.

Koster leads by 854 votes out of 345,972 votes cast.

Phill Kline lost the Johnson County district attorney's office in the Republican primary Tuesday night. Kline's prosecution of abortion clinics proved to be a key issue in the race.

Challenger Steve Howe, a former assistant district attorney received 60 percent of the vote. In the general election in November, Howe will face Democrat Rick Guinn, also a former district attorney who works in the attorney general's office.

Why Non-Voters Skip The Polls

Aug 5, 2008

Kansas City, MO – Even with a historic November election staring them in the face, there are citizens who will not be casting a ballot this year because they choose not to vote.

On the August 5 edition of Up to Date, we examined non-voters, the reasons they forego going to the polls and what effect their decision not to participate has on the direction elected officials take on issues and policies.