Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Ashcroft Says US Should Focus on Terrorists Not Syrian Refugees
November 20, 2015

Former US Attorney General John Ashcroft says the nation should keep its focus on the terrorist threat rather than the Syrian refugees.
“What’s important for us is to focus on terrorists, not to try and include broader groups who may or may not include individuals who may or may not be involved in the terrorist movements,” Ashcroft told KMBC TV Friday in Kansas City.
Ashcroft was the nation’s Attorney General when America was attacked on September 11, 2001.
During his time at the Justice Department, the former Missouri Governor supported passage of the US Patriot Act, which increased security after the deadly attacks in New York, the Pentagon.
Ashcroft said he did not think the entire terrorist threat was wrapped up in Syrian refugees.
“The threat is from terrorism. But many people from Syria need a place to go…but we (the US) also need a safe place in which to live and work.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has not tried to block refugees from coming to the state, as 31 other Governors have done.
That includes Kansas Governor Sam Brownback.
At the same event, Nixon says the state needs to keep its options open. He says Missouri can balance the need to keep citizens safe and still respect the tradition of accepting refugees.
Former US Senator Kit Bond, who also served in the Missouri Governor’s mansion, says the refugee problem was “a huge threat”.
Nixon and Ashcroft were at a rare event where all six living Missouri Governors appeared.
Governors Kit Bond, Ashcroft, Roger Wilson, Bob Holden, Matt Blunt and Nixon were guests of the Hawthorn Foundation.
That group was started by Bond in 1982. It helps governors fund overseas trade missions to attract business to Missouri

James Warns if ” Chilling Impact” if Hotel Deal Delayed by Vote
October 26, 2015

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says backing out of the current deal for a downtown convention hotel would have a “chilling impact” on future business deals in the city.

James made that comment as a Council committee voted 4-0 not to repeal convention hotel deals the city agreed to earlier this year.

A group of hotel deal critics have gathered enough signatures to force a city wide vote on the hotel project.

City Attorney Bill Geary, however says that hotel vote petition is not legal because it is trying to force the city to breach legal contracts it has signed with the developers.

“You do have the absolute right to push for legal vote. But you do not have the right to do it this way,” Geary told a Council committee.

Opponents were not surprised.

“About probably what we expected, Coffey said.
“But, you know, they’re going to push it,” he added.

Geary was asked what the city’s legal exposure might be if the city backed away from the deal it agreed to this city.

He said he figured it would be about $250,000 and no new hotel.

That’s when the mayor added it would have a long impact on future business deals.

The city has pledged about $40 million dollars to the project, estimated at around $311 million dollars.

The city says it included has strict limitation on its financial committment to the hotel project.

The Council has until November 30 to decide what to do with the petition calling for a city vote on the project.

Food and Baseball Jersys Top Series Bets by Politicians
October 26, 2015

(AP) – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon have made a friendly wager over the 2015 World Series matchup between the Mets and the Kansas City Royals.

If the Mets win, Gov. Jay Nixon will wear a Mets jersey to work for a full day. If the Royals win, Gov. Andrew Cuomo will do the same wearing a Royals jersey.

The bet also includes each governor sending to the other various home state-crafted food and spirits, including Kansas City ribs and hot Italian sausage from Central New York.

Also Today, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) and Congressman Joe Crowley (D-NY), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, announced they have placed a friendly wager on the World Series between the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals.

If the Royals win, Crowley, who represents Citi Field, will provide Cleaver with Italian ice from the Lemon Ice King of Corona and heroes from Mama’s of Corona. If the Mets win, Cleaver will provide Crowley with a President’s BBQ Platter from Kansas City’s own Gates Bar-B-Q.

The first game of the best-of-seven series will be played in Kansas City on Tuesday.

Missouri House Speaker Calls for Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training for Legislature
October 23, 2015

AP) – Missouri’s House speaker on Friday called for mandatory annual sexual-harassment training for members and staff after a state senator and the former speaker resigned amid allegations they harassed interns and exchanged sexual texts with them.
GOP Speaker Todd Richardson also wants to ban romantic relationships between House members, staff and interns. He recommends requiring an outside investigation for any sexual harassment complaints involving House members, and is proposing additional oversight for intern programs.
“These proposed policy changes are not a cure-all,” Richardson said in a statement, “but they do take significant, substantive steps toward improving the work environment in the Capitol so that interns, staff and members can have a workplace where they are treated with respect and free from harassment.”
Richardson has said review of current House policies would be a top priority since colleagues picked him to succeed Republican former House Speaker John Diehl of Town and Country, who resigned on the last day of the legislative session in May after admitting to exchanging sexually suggestive text messages with a Capitol intern.
Former Sen. Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat, resigned months later. One intern had accused him of sexual harassment, and the July release of a Senate investigation into that intern’s complaint led another intern to come forward and claim LeVota made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2010.
LeVota has denied the allegations

Campaign Starts to Raise Smoking Age to 21 in KCMO
October 23, 2015

(AP) – Leaders of a campaign to raise the age at which people can legally buy cigarettes from 18 to 21 in every municipality in the Kansas City metropolitan region say it would reduce teenage smoking and make it harder for students to take tobacco products into high schools.
The effort announced Thursday, called Tobacco 21/KC, is part of a national trend that began in the early 2000s. If the campaign is successful, Kansas City would become the second-largest metro area in the country to increase the minimum age, behind only New York City, The Kansas City Star reported ( ).
In December, Columbia became the first city in Missouri to raise the age. No cities in Kansas have done so.
Raising the age would reduce access to tobacco among teenagers, which is when most smokers become addicted, said Jessica Hembree of the Health Foundation of Greater Kansas City. High school seniors who are 18 are the “pipeline” for tobacco into schools, she said.
Changing the age would simply require rewriting municipal ordinances, which should be as easy as “literally one stroke of the pen,” said Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce President Jim Heeter. “I don’t see a downside. The evidence is so overwhelming to public health.


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