Thursday, February 21, 2008

AG Race Heats Up - "Koster Sides with His No. 1 Donor’s Pro-Voucher Stand"

The Democratic Primary for AG continues to heat up. Here's a recent press release from Jeff Harris.

Koster Sides with His No. 1 Donor’s Pro-Voucher Stand; Ducks Committee Vote on Voucher Issue After Taking $100,000 from Rex Sinquefield

Columbia, MO – Yesterday Senator Chris Koster, a candidate for Attorney General, skipped out of a committee hearing to avoid casting a vote on the issue of school vouchers (SCS/SBs 993 & 770), which was before the Pensions, Veterans’ Affairs and General Laws Committee early yesterday afternoon.

Koster is clearly finding it difficult to shed his long-held Republican positions – like his strong support of vouchers. Rather than let voters know exactly where he stands on this pivotal issue involving funding for our schools, Koster ducked.

Representative Jeff Harris, who is challenging Koster in the Democratic Attorney General’s race, issued the following statement:

“Chris Koster can try to duck tough votes, but he can’t cover up the fact that he took almost $100,000 from a single Republican donor who strongly supports school vouchers. As Attorney General, would Koster also dodge taking on tough cases when they conflict with what his wealthy campaign contributors support? Democratic voters should make no mistake. Chris Koster’s no-show on yesterday’s voucher vote is no different than a vote against Missouri’s public schools. Instead of taking the heat, Chris Koster got out of the kitchen. I have always been 100% against vouchers and will hold the line against them in my capacity as Attorney General.”

Koster’s campaign accepted nearly $100,000 in funneled cash from billionaire Republican Rex Sinquefield, who has spent vast sums of his fortune to promote vouchers and to attack Missouri’s public schools. Despite calls from Jeff Harris and Missouri educators, Koster has refused to return the money to Sinquefield.

Every Missouri-based educational group opposes SCS/SBs 993 & 770, while Koster’s No. 1 donor, Rex Sinquefield is pushing for its passage.


Pro-Public Schools said...

Let's see - which folks in the Democratic primary are pushing for school vouchers? None.

Which teacher's group is supporting vouchers? None.

How does Chris "I endorsed Ashcroft" ever think he is going to win a democratic primary?

Guy Roth said...

There has been no democrat in Missouri that his been more of a supporter of public schools than Jeff Harris. I was proud to see him fight against vouchers in the House while people like Chris Koster were out trying to move things along without any debate. No one has mastered the art of PQ better than Chris Koster.

Mr. Bullyard said...

You know Sinquefeld and his network are only trying to do what's in our best interest.

Why don't we just take his money, like I did, and relax.

The music is sooo relaxing....

Anonymous said...

Why can the owners of this web site put up with this? There is no way that John Bullard is connected to this guy. Please delete the post about Singuefeld and "bullyard." This is unfair.

the nitwit said...

I certainly hope the CCP will ask Koster about his non-vote when they screen the AG candidates. What a gutless weasel.

If he's pro-vouchers then tell us. If he's not, then let Rex Sinquefield know it.

Hopefully the press and the CCP are going to be keeping an eye on Koster's votes and non-votes for the rest of the session, because it looks like he's going to to continue playing games.

I also saw he voted to lift the campaign limits. Why not. It'll make even it easier for Sinquefield to bankroll his campaign.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Ah! Vouchers! RUN!!!!!!!

Seriously. I'm not a big Koster fan because of his spinelessness on this issue, whichever way the cookie is crumbling, but - wait for the next cliche - let's call a spade a spade. Tuition Tax Credits, people. Not "vouchers". Totally different animal. 993--the bill in question--is about tax relief for special needs parents who need more than what they get at public schools but can't afford it. Vouchers is a really conveniently scary word, but we're talking about little kids with special needs, and the best any of our AG candidates can do is politicize it?! You've got to be kidding me.

the nitwit said...

I wouldn't say Harris is the one politicizing the issue by criticizing one of his opponents for refusing to take a position on a controversial bill. I'd say Koster's the one playing politics -- hiding his position from voters and not voting against his biggest donor.

Good for Harris for ripping on Koster on this one. It's one more example of how Koster is a Democrat out of convenience, not out of principle. If he was principled, he would have voted.

I only wonder why I'm reading about this on a blog instead of my daily paper. Oh yeah, that's right. The Star sucks.

Anonymous said...

Great points, everyone - because the AG is the head of public education in Missouri. Oh, wait, maybe the AG position has nothing to do with public education.

But, the AG position does require prosecutorial experience (and litigation experience generally) Koster is the only one in the race who has prosecutorial experience. I find this amazing - neither Donnelly nor Harris has ever tried a case!

the nitwit said...

Actually, the AGs office requires very little prosecutorial experience, but rather managerial experience and a vision for how one wants the office to move forward. Koster's running for Attorney General, not prosecutor. That entire argument is a joke.

And guess what, whoever the next AG is, he or she will more than likely have to deal with at least one case regarding vouchers. And if it's not vouchers, there will be plenty of other controversial issues facing the next AG.

So, do you want someone who runs and hides when it's time to take a tough stand? Or do you want to know where the candidates stand on big issues?

Seriously, if you want to vote for a pro-voucher Republican vote for Gibbons. If you want to vote for a Democrat who stand with the public schools, vote for Harris or Donnelly. At least with those three you know exactly where they stand. Can't say the same for Koster, and THAT is why Koster's position on vouchers matters.

Anonymous said...

The AG is supposed to be the top litigator in the state. Harris and Donnelly have never stepped foot in a courtroom. It takes backbone to argue in court; it takes backbone to be AG.

What kind of a shallow legal career have Harris and Donnelly had? Writing legal memos does not make a legal career.

the nitwit said...

Um, Anonymous, in addition to being a practicing attorney, Harris is the only candidate to serve under a Democratic Attorney General. None other than the current Attorney General, Jay Nixon, said Harris would make a great Attorney General.

And just as importantly, the Attorney General needs to be someone who doesn't sell out to special interests and fat cat donors. And it appears painfully obvious that Koster is a man for sale. Why don't you try answering that question with something other than "Koster is a prosecutor"? Or dont' you have an answer?