Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Bid for Early Voting in Missouri Might Fall Short
August 1, 2014

A Missouri proposal to create one of the most expansive early voting periods in the nation appears to have fallen short of reaching the November ballot, according to an Associated Press analysis of initiative petition signatures.

The AP review of signature counts conducted by Missouri’s local election authorities found that the proposed constitutional amendment on early voting lacks enough valid signatures of registered voters in all but two of the state’s eight congressional districts.

To qualify for the ballot, initiatives must get signatures equal 8 percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election in at least six of the congressional districts.

Missouri currently allows absentee voting only in limited circumstances when people attest that they won’t be able to vote in person on Election Day. The initiative proposed a 42-day, no-excuse-needed early voting period that would have been one of the longest in the nation and also would have allowed votes to be cast on weekends.

If the early voting measure misses the ballot, it would mark a significant setback for Democratic-aligned groups that had spent about $700,000 on the initiative petition drive in hopes that the early voting period would win approval this year and be in place for the 2016 presidential and gubernatorial elections.

The AP analysis shows that a separate proposed constitutional amendment did appear to get enough valid signatures. That measure would limit teacher tenure protections and require public schools to make personnel decisions based largely on student performance data.

Secretary of State Jason Kander has until next Tuesday to officially certify — or reject — initiatives to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Those documents show that the early voting measure got well more than the needed signatures in Missouri’s two Democratic-leaning regions, the 1st District in St. Louis and the 5th District that extends eastward from Kansas City.

But the AP analysis shows that the initiative appears to be more than 1,300 signatures short in the 4th District, which includes Columbia and parts of west-central Missouri; more than 2,200 short in the 2nd District in suburban St. Louis; more than 2,600 short in southwest Missouri’s 7th District; and more than 5,800 short in northern Missouri’s 6th District. The petition drive did not aggressively target the state’s 3rd and 8th Congressional Districts.

Missouri Primary Turn Out call: 27%
August 1, 2014

(AP) — Missouri election authorities are predicting about one in four voters will cast ballots in next week’s primaries.

Statewide voter turnout on Tuesday is projected at nearly 1.1 million people – about 27 percent of the almost 4.1 million Missourians registered to vote.

The turnout projections are compiled from figures collected by the secretary of state’s office from each of Missouri’s 116 local election jurisdictions.

They range from a projected high of 69 percent in northeast Missouri’s Knox County to a low of 9 percent in southern Missouri’s Howell County.

The primaries include contested races for state and federal legislative seats as well as county offices.

The ballot also features five proposed constitutional amendments, including one imposing a sales tax for transportation.

Video: Wolf Confronts Roberts in Emporia Over Debates
July 30, 2014

Video from Emporia Gazette

Obama Asks for Slaw at Bryant’s, But They Were Out
July 29, 2014

White House Pool:
Pool was allowed into Arthur Bryant’s, a popular BBQ joint, as the president ordered at the back of the restaurant, looking up at the menu on a large placard as he asked for a half slab, a bottle of water, and a Bud Light — pooler got visual confirmation on the water but not the beer.

Mr. Obama also ordered coleslaw, only to be told they don’t have any.

“You’ve got to have some coleslaw around here, don’t you?” he said. “You’re out of it? You didn’t save any for me?”

“Come on, man, I thought you were going to hook me up,” he added, as the workers grinned.

At the cash register, he pulled out a wallet and some cash, with a $50 bill visible on top.

“I want to pay for everybody,” he told the woman at the register, likely referring to the guests who wrote him letters.

After ordering, he headed into another room with black-and-white photos of baseball players lining the walls, where he greeted smiling diners (and the pool tried not to fall into anyone’s laps in the slightly cramped quarters).

A fast-pitch softball team of 16-year-old girls called the Titans (hometown of Glenview, Illinois) sat in spots throughout the restaurant, finishing up their meals in navy blue uniforms. The president learned they are playing in the “World Series” (which is reportedly taking place in Independence, Missouri), and said he would cheer for them.

A woman with blonde hair and glasses rose to shake his hand from another table.

“He’s so handsome, oh my God!” she exclaimed.

“I’m paying for her food,” he said after hugging her.

“You’re so handsome,” she continued. “The First Lady is so lucky.”

She became choked up as she shook his hand a final time, and he continued, sitting down with the four letter-writers — see details in the last pool report — around a table in the corner by the front window with, at that point, only large cups set out. They began to talk, and the pool was ushered out.

Pool is now holding outside as a crowd gathers next to the restaurant.

Again, thanks to NPR’s Tamara Keith for many of the president’s quotes

WH Pool. AFB On Its Way
July 29, 2014

White House Pool:
Marine One touched down at Andrews and President Obama disembarked at 5:45 p.m. Eastern, a bit behind schedule for those keeping track.

Wheels up shortly as we head for Kansas City International Airport.


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