Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

American Royals Breaks Off Kemper Arena Talks With City
November 24, 2014

The American Royals says it will no longer participate in City Hall talks over the future of Kemper Arena and other city-owner buildings in the West Bottoms.
“We don’t think our further participation in a public debate regarding these facilities is healthy for our organization,
Lawyers for the group sent a letter to City Councilman Ed Ford. He is leading a joint committee trying to figure out the future of the 40 year old structure.
Earlier this month, the Royal’s call for $30 in city money for demolition, and a $1 million/year of city money for utilities ran into opposition.
The Royla says it’s an would save the city $100 million over the remaining 30 years of the lease between City Hall and the Royal.
The Royal
Proposal is the only one on the table now.
An alternative offered by the Foutch Brothers development firm to convert the old arena into a youth sports complex was withdrawn, supposedly under pressure from the Royal.
The American Royal also thinks the dispute over Kemper Arena is translating into a debate over the future of the American Royal.
“The current debate and negative dialogue have become a detriment to the American Royal brand and its core mission.
Fird says a hearing planned for early next month on Kemper’s future is now pointless.

Ferguson Grand Jury Announcement: 7pm
November 24, 2014

Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump says the ferguson grand jury announcement will happen at 7pm Monday night.
He says Muchael Brown’s family was told the grand jury had finished its work.

At 2pm a spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Executive’s office says the grand jury has finished its work.

The Associated Press was not able to immediately confirm the reports, which included national and local news outlets citing unnamed law enforcement officials and other sources as saying the St. Louis County prosecutor would announce as early as Monday evening whether there would be charges against Darren Wilson, the white suburban St. Louis officer who fatally shot the black 18-year-old after a confrontation in August.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was traveling to St. Louis from the Capitol on Monday afternoon, spokesman Scott Holste told the AP, but did not say why.

Speculation about the timing of an announcement swirled and largely peaceful protests took place during the weekend after the grand jury met Friday but apparently did not reach a decision.

Reggie Cunningham was among Sunday night’s protesters. He said he doubted Wilson would be indicted and felt like authorities were delaying an announcement “to spin this in the most positive way possible.”

“The more that they drag this out, the angrier people are going to be,” said Cunningham, 30, of St. Louis. The shooting triggered riots and looting during the summer, and police responded with armored vehicles and tear gas.

Many had thought a grand jury decision would be announced Sunday, based partly on a stepped-up police presence in the preceding days.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s office had said he expected a decision by mid-to-late November, but it was not ultimately not in his control. The 12-person grand jury deliberates in secret and sets its own schedule depending upon when the members are available.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Brown’s family, said Sunday that they were frustrated the prosecutor did not charge Wilson himself or suggest a charge to grand jurors.

As it is, “you don’t have any direction, you’re just putting all the evidence out there and you’re going to let them figure it out and they can make up their own minds,” Crump said. “You know, it just boggles the mind why he thinks this is fair.”

It’s not uncommon for deliberations to take a while in complex cases when self-defense is alleged or when there are two widely conflicting versions, according to Cole County Prosecutor Mark Richardson, who is not involved in the Ferguson case.

Sunday would have been an opportune time to minimize disruptions from protests, since schools and governments are planning on only a partial holiday workweek, Washington University law professor Peter Joy said, but that Monday or Tuesday still would make sense.

During Sunday’s church services, some pastors encouraged their flocks not to fret. The Rev. Freddy Clark of Shalom Church in Florissant told the mostly black interdenominational congregation that “justice will be served” no matter the decision goes, because God will take care of it.

Meanwhile, daily protests continued.

“People feel like it’s been engineered, so that the results wouldn’t come out until after the election and until the weather got cold, and it would be more difficult to protest,” said Susan McGraugh, supervisor of the Criminal Defense Clinic at the Saint Louis University School of Law. “It’s really adding fuel to the fire.”

Hancock & Martin Clash Over Missouri GOP Leadership & Money
November 21, 2014

(AP) – A battle is brewing over the leadership of the Missouri Republican Party as it looks toward a 2016 election in which nearly all of the state’s offices will be on the ballot.

Republican consultant John Hancock says he plans to challenge state party Chairman Ed Martin in a leadership election that will occur within the next couple of months. Hancock cites concerns about the party’s finances.

There have been times during the past year when the state party had just a few thousand dollars in the bank. Party Treasurer Dick Peerson says the finances are the worst he’s seen in 10 years in the job.

Martin says the party’s finances are fine. He notes Republicans gained seats in both the state House and Senate in 2014 elections.

Kobach Expects to Push for Tougher Voter Fraud Laws in 2nd Term
November 21, 2014

(AP) – Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says that next year he’ll revive a proposal to give his office the power to prosecute election fraud cases.

Kobach pushed the idea after taking office in 2011, but his efforts to win legislative approval of the idea fell just short of passage two years later, even though fellow Republicans control the Legislature.

Kobach won re-election this month with 59 percent of the vote.

He persuaded legislators to enact a 2012 law requiring all voters to show photo identification at the polls, and a 2013 statute requiring new voters to provide proof of their U.S. citizenship to register.

But the secretary of state’s office can’t initiate election fraud prosecutions on its own. Such decisions are left to county or federal prosecutors.

Immigration Speech Doesn’t Sell Well in Region
November 21, 2014

Here’s more reaction of members of the Kansas and Missouri Congressional delegations to the President’s speech:
“The very first action the President has taken, following the historic rejection of his policies, is to slap the face of every immigrant that went through the legal process to become American citizens.

“I have all confidence that the Republican Congress will fight to uphold the Constitution.”
Ed Martin
Missouri GOP Chairman

“Amnesty rewards those who have cheated the system and punishes those who played by the rules and went through the legal immigration process. I strongly oppose this amnesty order and the President’s attempt to not only bypass the legislative process, but the American people,” he continued.
“We are a nation of laws and no one is above the rule of law – not this President or any President,”
Mo. Rep. Same Graves

“I am disappointed that President Obama has chosen to bypass Congress in his rush to implement immigration reform. Our Constitution requires that Congress write the laws and the President execute those laws. Americans are divided on how to address immigration reform. President Obama’s action can only harm efforts to bring Americans together to reach consensus on this important matter.”
Rep. Vicky Hartzler

“President Obama’s Executive Order is a clear overreach of his authority and sets a dangerous precedent by placing politics ahead of the rule of law. Instead of working with Congress to craft a true solution to the immigration crisis, as required under the Constitution, the President’s action will only serve to exacerbate the underlying problem—border security.

“It is my hope that the legal challenges that are sure to follow are successful in overturning this unlawful executive order. Kansans deserve better from Washington and the President.”
Rep. Mike Pompeo

“Today’s action by the president to unilaterally grant amnesty to millions of undocumented illegal immigrants in the United States is not only unconstitutional but also a complete overreach by this administration. The president has completely circumvented Congress with this executive action. Just last year, the president was quoted saying, “I’m not the emperor of the United States. My job is to execute laws that are passed.” He should follow his own words and realize that immigration reform is much too complex and too important to not properly go through the legislative process. Rather than issuing these lawless executive actions, the president should complete the border fence that Congress previously passed into law, increase enforcement against tax and welfare fraud by illegal immigrants, and actually follow through with existing law instead of a “catch-and-release” approach. House Republicans have been holding discussions regarding how to address this issue and I am confident that action will be taken soon.”
Mo. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer

“This election the American people sent a clear message to Washington that they do not want repeats of failed past policies, they want President Obama to work with Congress to solve problems. The President’s unilateral action blatantly disregards this message and the separation of powers set forth by the Constitution. Even President Obama himself has admitted over 20 times that this executive action exceeds constitutional authority. Furthermore, as the White House has rightly pointed out, executive amnesty has been tried in the past and that it is even being discussed again is proof positive that it is a failed policy. Repeating a past mistake will only make things worse and will destroy any progress Congress has made toward real immigration reform.
Ks. Rep. Lynn Jenkins

“Our immigration system is broken, and I support a comprehensive plan to fix it, but executive orders aren’t the way to do it. The system can only be truly fixed through legislation by Congress. The Senate’s comprehensive plan got overwhelming bipartisan approval, and Republicans in the U.S. House have sat on their hands for a year-and-a-half, refusing to even consider that bill. They should quit stalling, get to work, and do their jobs—debate the comprehensive plan that passed the Senate with a two-thirds margin.”
Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill

“The President’s plan to grant amnesty to those who have entered this country illegally is unconstitutional. I strongly oppose his unilateral efforts to ignore federal law and will support any legislative means possible to stop these actions including using the power of the purse to defund these unprecedented measures.

“If there was any question about the unlawful nature of this plan, we need only to look back to President Obama’s own words: ‘there are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system. That for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as President.’
Ks. Rep. Kevin Yoder

The Kansas City Star quotes U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, “Our immigration system is broken and the American people overwhelmingly support reform,” Cleaver said in Washington, “but our partisan politics have precluded progress in Congress.”

In a written statement, Cleaver defended the executive action. “There is precedent of previous presidents acting alone on immigration,” he wrote, “but some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are threatening a shutdown now that President Obama is taking action.”

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article4039832.html#storylink=cpy

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