Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Update on AG Race

The only state wide primary on the D side will be for Attorney General, and thank God. This one is going to be a mess.

Missouri Political News, like many Democratic groups, is blasting away at Chris Koster. There's the post about Koster giving money to Ashcroft and Bush and Graves. There's the post about Koster taking money from a pro school choice supporter. There's the post about current Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley supporting Jeff Harris (instead of Koster).

Chris Koster continues to rack up labor endorsements, according to the Post Dispatch. "State Sen. Chris Koster, D-Harrisonville, may be in hot water with activists in both major parties, but he’s still collecting more union endorsements in his as-yet-unannounced-but-expected bid for Missouri attorney general."

Jeff Harris has recently announced some A list staffers, including Roy Temple, Julie Gibson and Vince Currao. There is no disputing that these three have long been in the Democratic trenches and will have many friends to call upon.

Margaret Donnelly had a good quarter, including loaning herself $70,000. Rumor, gossip, word is that she will put in up to $250,000 of her own cash.

Here are some numbers to think about, all from the secretary of state's web page. In 2004, Claire McCaskill beat Bob Holden for the Democratic nomination for Governor. There were 838,275 Democratic primary votes (although I doubt that many show up for the AG race).

Greene County - 30K votes.
Jackson County - 56K votes.
KC Election Board- 68K votes.
Boone Coonty - 26K votes.
St. Charles County - 39K votes.
St. Louis City - 61K votes.
St. Louis County - 157 K votes
Total - 437K votes (majority of D primary votes) in 6 urban counties. The other half are rural dems (can you say CAFO)

The three candidates have to be looking at getting 40% of the vote (or 335 K). Well, how do they do it?


Anonymous said...

Margaret gets 200,000 votes out of St. Louis area (City, County & St. Charles) and then she only has to pick up about 20% of the rest of the state to get your 40% figure.

Anonymous said...

How about the 12,000 Democratic votes from Cass County?

the nitwit said...

Anonymous, if you think Donnelly is going to get 80% of the vote out of the St. Louis metro, you're sorely delusional. Both Koster and Harris are tapping into her so-called base, and there are plenty of St. Louis Democrats who believe Donnelly can't win the general election and will be looking elsewhere. I'd still tap her to "win" St. Louis, but she's going to be a tough sell to out-state voters, nevermind those of us in Jackson County and KC who would sooner voter for the Cardinals than vote for a candidate from the Arch City.

whistleblower said...

Why did the idiots in the General Assembly ever decide that the AG should be elected?

I guess that's what happens when the framers of the Missouri Constitution forgot to consider the position when they wrote the new constitution.

The duties of the AG are non-partisan.

The offices of AG and Secretary of State should be non-partisan. Any appearance of partisanship should be grounds for impeachment.

Anonymous said...

Even if Margret puts in 250k that still leaves her 500k behind Koster. I'm going out on a limb, but 500k buys quite a few commercials in tv land. How do you think Blunt beat McCaskill in 2004? The 650,000 voters who will decide this race haven't heard of any of the three.

Koster has the most experience. Like it or not, he has 20 murder convictions and was the assistant AG. Let me say that five hundred thousand times.

The only thing Harris has to run on is Koster is bad. Donnely a little more substance but being $700k behind doesn't keep your name in lights.

My prediction - the unions turn out, Koster carries KC, splits STL and wins outstate because of the money advantage (No one cares about CAFO unless the other two candidates want to spend their money talking about it).

Koster - %41, Donnely - %35, Harris - %24

I also wouldn't be surprised if a fourth candidate gets in, or Harris drops out to run for Senate if Graham doesn't run.

Anonymous said...

Money doesn't mean everything. Ask Brian May or Scott Lakin or Mark Able or Jason Klumb. In these racea and in a number of races the candidate with the least money won. Koster is the one candidate who simply cannot win because he has voted with the Republicans on everything.

Anonymous said...

He was the assistant AG for a few months before Jay Nixon fired him.

Whoever said that being a county prosecutor has anything to do with being attorney general has no idea how the office works. Zero. The office has two attorneys who do criminal employees and around 250 that do other things like consumer protection and governmental affairs. As a former employee of the office if Koster actually thinks that is experience that qualifies him to be AG he has a fundamental mistake about what the office does. I am not supporting anyone in this race but at least Jeff Harris was in a management position in the office, is well liked by employees there, and has an understanding of how the office works.

whistleblower said...

All of those that are running will be partisan hacks, in a non-partisan position.

Who cares if the AG is Democrat or Republican. If they perform their job, their political, religious, or personal views should not influence their position.

Anonymous said...

Five Questions for Chris Koster

Columbia, Missouri – With the news that Sen. Chris Koster will soon announce for Attorney General, the Harris for Missouri campaign issued the following five questions for reporters to ask to Sen. Koster.

1. What message does it send when a candidate for Attorney General knowingly skirts the campaign finance law by accepting contributions from a single donor like "Right Wing Rex" Sinquefield in excess of the contribution limits put in place by Missouri voters? Why did you take this laundered money from Sinquefield and when do you plan to give this money back?

2. Why should Democrats trust that you share their values when you helped champion Matt Blunt's agenda in the Senate, including his cuts to Medicaid and the unconstitutional voter ID bill that would have hampered the voting rights of seniors and poor Missourians?

3. You claim to be a champion of working families, who are struggling to finance higher education, and yet you conspired to help Matt Blunt's pork-barrel agenda on MOHELA, taking money that could have gone toward lowering the rates on student loans and instead putting it toward photo-op groundbreaking ceremonies to boost Blunt's re-election. How do you reconcile that?

4. Why haven't you joined Jeff Harris and Margaret Donnelly in returning your over-the-limit contributions? Do you disagree with Missouri voters who overwhelmingly approved the campaign finance limits? And as Attorney General, will you be similarly reluctant to comply with rulings from the Supreme Court?

5. Again, you claim to be on the side of working families, yet as a state Senator you received a perfect 100% score from the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and a 0% score from ProVote. How do you explain the discrepancy between your actual record and your rhetoric today? Do you know of any other "champions of working families" with 100% voting records from the Chamber of Commerce?

Anonymous said...

How about this - Harris gets 41%. He does it by picking up the rural dems. He does it because the voters in the KCEB don't like Cass County or Hallbrook. Harris picks up 30% in St. Louis and St. Charles, Koster gets 30% and Donnelly gets 40%. Farm Bureau has already told every rural Missourian about CAFO, Harris doesn't have to.

Anonymous said...

No one has claimed Donnelley wins becuase of the woman vote?!?!

whistleblower said...

I think I can answer #1 and #4 for Chris, as well as for the many Republicans that have retained over-the-limit donations.

On 7/21/07, The Missouri Ethics Commission issued an advisory statement to the members. This statement informed members that donations received after the 7/19/07 ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court cannot be retained. However, those donations received prior to the ruling can be retained.

Many Democrats are returning donations that were received prior to the ruling, but this is more of a political statement than it is a current requirement.

Could Chris actually be a wolf in sheep’s clothing? As the AG really should not be an entity without political power, I don’t care.

Most of the public would never think to look at the MEC's instruction.

Anonymous said...

What if Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley reminds voters that Chris Koster supported John Ashcroft over Mel Carnahan? I don't think Democratic primary voters will care about TV as much as some may think.

whistleblower said...

Second to last sentence of my last post should read -As the AG really should be an entity without political power, I don’t care.

Anonymous said...

“For the past 30 years, I have stood up for Missouri families by championing Democratic values such as voters rights, access to healthcare, support for public education, affordable student loans and protecting the environment. Time after time, Chris Koster has sided with the Republican Party on these issues that are in direct contrast to the party ideals he now claims to hold,” said Rep. Margaret Donnelly, D-Richmond Heights.

whistleblower said...


How do you propose the AG constitutionally inject his or her politcal beliefs into that office?

Do you just want a win for the D's?

Anonymous said...

Koster wins in a walk - it won't even be close.

all of this inside baseball stuff 9 months before the election won't make a hill of beans.

once the candidates start to campaign and everyone gets to hear them communicate - Koster wins easily

The voters are not that sophisticated, 59 million voted for Bush for crying out loud over a nobel peace prize winner

do this. walk up to each candidate, shake their hands, listen to them talk, watch them give a speech, work the room and then you tell me whose going to win. Voters want to be impressed and Koster is an impressive guy, period.

Anonymous said...

what are donnely and harris going to run on once the "Koster is bad" campaign stops working?

harris needs to let go of the obsession, he's embarrassing himself

Anonymous said...

If the Jolie Justus v. Jason Klumb senate election teaches us anything it is that 1) KCEB voters will educate themselves and 2) the most liberal candidate wins.

The Pitch article on Klumb was the kiss of death.

roger said...

Looks like Anonymous 1:18 is saying exactly what Koster thinks of Missourians: "The voters are not that sophisticated."

Koster and his supporters actually believe voters won't see past the (D) that follows his name. Too bad the word is getting out about Koster. He's now damaged goods in the primary, and he's going to need a lot more money than he's got to fool enough Democrats to win.

It's not a question of Koster being bad, it's that we can't trust him and can't take him at his word on where he stands. That's something Democrats don't want in their attorney general.

No matter how stupid Koster and his gang think the voters are, he'll never be able to fool enough to win.

whistleblower said...


What does it matter "where he stands"?

Do you think the AG's office is supposed to have some sort of political influence?

From what I have read on this blog, nobody knows what the AG's job is.

roger said...

whistleblower, just like different judges interpret the law differently, so too do AGs. Furthermore, the priorities that each candidate will bring to the office matters a lot.

Will we have an AG who will work to protect consumers like Eliot Spitzer did in New York? That's something Democrats would probably rather see, and that's probably not going to be someone who got a 100% rating from the Chamber of Commerce.

And I'm not sure how anyone can just look past an AG candidate who has taken to skirting the law as Koster has on campaign finance. The actual spirit of the law does matter, doesn't it? Or do we want an AG who tries to find loopholes on behalf of the powerful and at the expense of the rest of us?

So yeah, whistleblower, where an AG "stands" does matter a hell of lot.

Anonymous said...

The guy had a change of heart. The Democrat arguments have won. Someone actually listened and said you know what, your right and I'm wrong. We want more people to do that right? Isn't that called a majority? The Democrat party is waisting a huge chance to capitalize on this bravery.

Isn't America about second chances and redemption? It is possible that people change their mind. Instead of attack attack attack, why don't you wait and see if the party couldn't benefit from the deffection of one of the Republicans top talents.

Stop talking about yesterday and figure out what's happening tomorrow.

whistleblower said...


As Gibbons is the Republican candidate, you don't need to worry. My vote will not go to Gibbons.

I never vote a straight ticket. I vote for the candidate that I think has the best problem solving skills, combined with the ability to communicate them to others.

The AG's job is to defend the laws of this State. He should do so in the same manner in which he or she would defend a client accused of any crime. The AG doesn't get to decide whether or not the law is a good law.

As far as Koster and campaign finance, I think you have come to a conclusion based on information provided by liberal blogs, rather than on fact.

The MEC has issued an advisory opinion to the candidates that instructs them to return any donations above the cap, that they received after the 7/19 decision of the SC. Donations received prior to the decision date are not required to be returned.

I have posted the information from the MEC in this blog.

I know how the AG's office is currently being run. If I hadn't heard it with my own ears, I would not have believed it. I reported a guy that is running sort of a "shell game". He has established different business names, and when a contractor finishes the job that he hires him to do, he says it was the other company that hired him, and then he makes sure the company that he has identified has not assets. This guy is not big money, nor does he do a lot of business. He and his companies have been named as defendants 61 times. The AG's office told me that if someone goes after him in civil court, that they won't pursue it because that would be double jeopardy. I'm serious. I heard it with my own ears.

I don’t put all of the blame on Jay Nixon, after all, it was his employee that made the statement, but the AG must be responsible for the actions of his employees.

roger said...

whistleblower, you're the one who needs to check the facts here. Koster took $100,000 from about 75 PACs after the Supreme Court and MEC rulings. Koster exploited a loophole in the law -- a loophole that flies in the face of the campaign finace law approved by voters in this state.

As far as the AG's job, different AGs absolutely HAVE approached that job differently. Yes, the AG represents the state and state laws in court, but the AG also oversees a fair amount of enforcement and does have discretion over when to go after businesses and others that are hurting the taxpayers.

In just this one area, voters have strong reason to be worry that Koster will look out for big business instead of consumers -- he's got that 100% rating from the Chamber of Commerce.

Anonymous, as far as your point goes, the key word in there is "redemption." And so far, Koster hasn't redeemed himself at all. Instead, he's expecting us to trust him, while all the while he continues to act like a Republican. The money from Sinquefield undercuts any trust Democrats could have in him. If he really wants to redeem himself and help our party, then he needs to give back the money and run for re-election.

America is about second chances, but you have to earn that second chance. We don't just give it away to the highest bidder. Koster has a lot of promise, but Democrats are not going to follow him into battle unless we actually believe he shares our principles.

whistleblower said...

As far as I know a loophole allows you to comply with the law. Until that loophole is removed, it may be frustrating but, it is not illegal.

I'm not a Koster supporter. As I have stated, I think he is a wolf in sheep's clothing. I think he only switched parties because the majority of voters are not, and will not be informed voters. All many voters will see is a “D” next to a name that they recognize.

Many times voters tend to rely more on name recognition than candidate qualifications. The more Koster's name stays on the front page, the more he will become a recognized name.

Finally, and I'm not trying to "bait" you. What "principles" of the Democratic Party do you want the next AG to present from his position?

whistleblower said...

Sorry..should have said "his or her" position.

Anonymous said...

No problem, Whistle. Everyone's ignoring you anyhow.

whistleblower said...

Apparently - not you! :>)

Anonymous said...

From the Tiger Board

Here is what you are saying
1) It doesn’t matter if you voted to kick 100,000 plus Missourians off health care cuts, photo id, MOHELA, the removal of campaign contributions limits, Blunt’s foundation formula which magically said schools are no longer underfunded, banning teaching sex education in the schools, and limiting a women’s right to choose because where the attorney general stands on partisan issues doesn’t matter.

2) It doesn’t matter that you sponsored the polluter protection act which was Republican Farm Bureau’s top legislative priority in the 2007 session because that is a partisan issue and you are a law and order Democrat.

3) It doesn’t matter that you not only voted for previous question motions to shut off debate on a numbers of these issues or that he was one of five signatories on a number of these issues because as we know the attorney general office is not a partisan office and it doesn’t matter where he stands on legislative issues.

4) It doesn’t matter that you sponsored legislation to give 100 million dollars to a wealthy supporter of Matt Blunt named Paul McKee and then subsequently raised ten of thousands of dollars from him because it doesn’t matter who you raise money from. -mckee-and-stone.html

5) It doesn’t matter that federal election commissions records show that you donated to Blunt, Graves and Ashcroft because that is a political issue and the attorney general doesn’t do that.

6) Is doesn’t matter that you were against stem cell research before you were for it because that is a political issue and being a good attorney general has nothing to do with politics.
(SB 160, February 14, 2005, passed by a 7-2 vote. You voted yes and Wheeler and Graham voting no.)

7) It doesn’t matter that you ran around the state and told the trial attorneys that you were against the wrong doer protection act (tort reform) when you actually voted for it because that is a political issue which has nothing to do with being a good attorney general

HB 393, March 16, 2005 journal

8) It doesn’t matter that you voted with the democrats in the senate less than Matt Bartle or Jason Crowell (who as we all know are moderates) because that is a political issue and has nothing to do with being a good attorney general

9) It doesn’t matter that you had a zero voting record on progressive issue. That’s goose egg, naught, zilch, nothing, zip.

10) It doesn’t matter if you take money from the most right wing of Republicans because any money is good money and we know you are an honorable guy that cannot possibly be influenced by receiving $100,000 from Sinquefield.

11) It doesn’t matter that every education group in the state has called on you to return the money because to paraphrase Jesse Unruh if you can’t take their money and blank their women you aren’t doing your job.

12) It doesn’t matter that you hired nasty, nasty republican political consultant Jeff Roe because being a good attorney general has nothing to do with politics

I forgot why was it again that you switched parties because as you know being an attorney general has nothing to do with politics and none of your legislative or fundraising actions. I guess the Republican party didn’t have enough law order Republicans. Please explain it to little ole me. Just bat your eyes at me like you do. Maybe Jay Nixon or Jack Danforth can help you out because as you know none of their positions on the issues matters only that they were “law and order” attorney generals.

Oops I forgot what does matter is that we need to erase the last four years of public opportunism oops service and remember that what matters is that you were a great prosecutor, great public speaker, all around awesome looking guy, and now a “law and order” Republican oops Democrat.

I guess it doesn’t matter that the attorney general himself never prosecutes cases and the vast majority of people in the office don’t work on criminal prosecutions. Maybe you should take a look at the website. It might really help give you an idea of what the attorney general does. . But despite that, I am sure happy that you are a “law and order” Republican oops Democrat.

I guess it doesn’t matter that the attorney general skirts around the campaign finance laws and refuses to return over the limit contributions because we know you are a “law and order” Democrat.

I guess it doesn’t matter that your successor as prosecutor has endorsed one of the two well qualified opponents running against you because you are a “law and order” Republican oops Democrat.

Maybe it would help us if you had some families of murder victims with you at your press conference. It would really highlight why you are a “law and order” Republican oops Democrat.

I guess what matters is that you are going to spend the next 10 months tricking the media and a few democrats like you have tricked your friends in the past. Just use those eyes and give a great speech. There’s a sucker born every day.

But if you really cared you could do this . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Put the pictures of Dick Cheney and Sam Graves back on your website and run against your cohort in previous question motions and in the Republican leadership Gibbons.
Since Hanaway left the primary (too bad you left the party when everyone thought she was running for attorney general and had the nomination locked up) you have a better chance over there.

I know you are a good listener with a big heart. So thanks for listening to me and have a blessed day.

Comment by Beth — October 25, 2007 @ 11:55 am

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