Friday, July 25, 2008

Barb Shelly Hits Koster Out of the Park

Barb Shelly has always been one of my favorite writers with the Star. This piece on Koster is a great summary on Chris Koster's political career.

Is Koster ambitious for himself or for the people?
By BARBARA SHELLY
The Kansas City Star

Chris Koster is visible in Missouri these days as a lavishly financed Democrat vying for the party’s nomination in the attorney general’s race. But he started his political life as a prosecutor who managed to make a name for himself in the mostly rural environs of Cass County. Next he was a freshman Republican senator who spoke out in opposition to restraints on stem-cell research and immersed himself in the complexities of Medicaid fraud.

Koster gained a reputation as a talented legislator unafraid to take on the special interests and socially conservative core of his own party. But those credentials don’t win Republican primaries in Missouri, and Koster, from the start, had his sights set on being the state’s attorney general. He tried tacking to the right, sponsoring bills that would crack down hard on illegal immigrants and protect large hog-raising operations from regulation by county and city governments. But those efforts drew him deeper into a political wilderness.

Though neither made it into law, the immigration and hog-farm bills damaged his standing with people who’d seen him as a refreshingly moderate lawmaker in a conservative Republican delegation.

And his defense of stem-cell research had placed him permanently on the outs with groups like Missouri Right to Life, which often call the shots in Republican primaries. So Koster decided to remake himself. Last summer he announced his incarnation as a newly minted Democrat. “I think it’s been good for my internal soul,” he told a group of editorial writers a few months later.

But has it been good for his political career? Koster may have resolved his identity crisis in his own mind, but not in the public’s. Many Democrats, it turned out, liked him better and found him more useful when he was a maverick Republican.

His opponents in the Aug. 5 primary election, dyed-in-the-wool Democratic legislators Margaret Donnelly and Jeff Harris, point out Koster’s many votes that advanced Republican causes. At the top of the list are his support for cuts in Medicaid benefits and a photo ID requirement for voters. Koster’s oversized war chest — it easily tops $1 million — is an issue with Democrats who had sought to limit campaign contributions.

His money comes mostly from political party committees and political action committees set up to avoid limits on contributions from individuals. At least $100,000 is from Rex Sinquefield, a semiretired millionaire who favors eliminating the state income tax and offering tax credits to families who send their children to private and religious schools — causes supported more frequently by Republicans than Democrats.

The one constant in Koster’s political wanderings — prosecutor to lawmaker, Republican to Democrat, maverick to suspected imposter — has been his towering ambition. About this he is upfront. It’s “up or out,” Koster says. If he can’t ascend to statewide office, he’ll move on to a prosperous law practice. Ambition is the engine that powers all political careers. But it’s pertinent to ask what candidates are ambitious for.

Donnelly wants to use the attorney general’s post to continue her work of advocating for vulnerable populations and underserved groups. She is convincing when she says that office is the height of her ambition. Harris, the leader of the House Democrats, seems driven by a combination of personal ambitions, issues he wants to pursue and aspirations for his party. And Koster? Hard to tell.

He speaks passionately about certain issues, but he has not yet articulated that his ambition extends to a higher call beyond moving to the next rung on the political ladder. Perhaps that’s what happens when you spend too much time in the wilderness. You forget to talk about the mountaintop.

Barbara Shelly is a member of the Editorial Board. She can be reached at 816-234-4594 or at bshelly@kcstar.com. She blogs at voices.kansascity.com.

12 comments:

PJ said...

I think the Star is going to endorse Donnelly.

Anonymous said...

Shelly is a complete joke. It is so nice that we have Barb Shelly to look into the souls of people and tell us why they do what they do.

I guess we should listen to shelly and ignore that Harris spent a day or two in the AG's office and acts like he has more experience then everyone else, Donnelly spent 20 years as a divorce lawyer and lastly that Koster has spent his entire career serving the citizens of Missouri.

Ignore reality and let's listen to what Barb thinks about what is in each candidate's soul. Please.

Koster is the only one with the experience to be AG. Forgive me but I will look at Koster's experience and not Ms Shelly's insight as to what is in his soul.

Anonymous said...

"Koster has spent his entire career serving the citizens of Missouri."

Really? Didn't he practice at Husch Blackwell Sanders and isn't he an attorney at the Dollar Law firm now?

Can the Koster campaign please, please go home already.

Anonymous said...

tibia money tibia gold tibia item runescape money runescape gold tibia money tibia gold runescape gold runescape accounts tibia gold tibia money runescape money runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia item buy runescape money runescape gold runescape items tibia money tibia gold

allen said...

buyWOW Gold andWOW Gold
buyEVE ISK
EVE Online ISKcheap
sellCheap EVE ISK
buyAO Creditssell
Archlord Goldcheap
Age of Conan Goldbuy
City of Heroes Influencecheap
COV Infamybuy
Dofus Kamasand cheap
Dofus moneybuy
Gaia Online Goldcheap
Gaia Goldbuy cheap
RF Online CP, Dalant, Disenasell
COH Influencebuy
AoC Goldnice
age of conan power levelingbset
EQ2 Goldcheap
Cheap EQ2 Goldbuy
EQ2 platsell
everquest 2 goldbuy
FFXI Gilbest
Cheap FFXI Gilcheap
Guild Wars Goldbuy
Cheap Guild Wars Goldbuy
Lineage 2 Adenasell
L2 Adenasell
Cheap Adenabuy
MapleStory Mesosnice
Cheap Mesoscheap
Runescape Moneybuy
Runescape Moneybest
Runescape Goldwant
runescape itemsneed
runescape accountsbuy
SilkRoad Goldcheap
world of warcraft goldbest
world of warcraft goldand
LOTRO Goldgood
Cheap LOTRO Goldnice
wow power levelingcheap
wow power levelingbest
world of warcraft power levelingsell
wow power levelingservice
wow power levelingsell
Final Fantasy XI Gilnice
lotro power levelingsell
swg creditscheap
Warhammer Goldbuy
Cheap Warhammer Goldnew
eq2 Goldhot
lotro Goldcheap
ffxi gilfast
cheap wow goldbuyrohan cronewow honor leveling

lijialefw said...

There are two wow gold very good games Web site, the site wow power leveling of a high degree of credibility, good power leveling quality and have a good trading platform, we can wow powerleveling have time to look at.

Anonymous said...

I alwasys want to have a lot of aion gold and then i will give my friends some aion online gold to make them strong. I like the aion money very much and i go to buy aion gold often, i can get some cheap aion gold from the game.

Anonymous said...

cheap eve isk
Here is the eve isk,
eve online isk is the regular site.
buy isk we supply the regular service.
I like to buy eve online isk here.

Anonymous said...

I knew the 2moons dil so I always try my best to earn them more and more to make myself strong. I have never played the game before, at the beginning I did not know what is so I went to kill the monsters with the 2moons gold that I earned with myself in the game. I will duty bound to a friend to help brush the 2moon dil together with my friends. I spend a good relationship is then fly to tears. If my levels are very high, I can go to buy 2moons dil more and more and I will not depend on my friends to help me to earn them. I get some cheap 2moons gold as the gifts to encourage me.

Anonymous said...

The Requiem shows up so many cool pictures that got me thinking a lot. And I really mean that a lot of requiem gold is very important and required. First off if the name is not taken the name and some requiem lant of book Requiem I do not if it is allowed to name a book. Some requiem money will well enough chatting better go and write this book. Comment on this please should I write this book or not. See you. In Requiem, there is blood. Monsters, blood, bigger monsters, and yes, more blood and need cheap requiem lant. You know what that requiem online gold means; there are factions, races changing sides, and all out war.

Anonymous said...

In Mabinogi, players like to trade with mabinogi gold at Dunbarton. I still can remember lots of people gathered in front of the bank chatting, trading, playing to exchange cheap mabinogi or doing something funny. But if you wanted to buy mabinogi gold, you should keep a good relationship with her. We can buy mabinogi online gold and team mission scroll here and learn arrow revolver by a certain title. We can find lost property here and buy team mission scroll and mabinogi money, Aeira says she is a cold woman.

Anonymous said...

TheWorld of Kung fu Gold seems also important. His only since ancient immutable law. WoKf gold in the game is just like the money in the life. It is different of the buy World of Kung fu Gold online in the game world. You can have cheap World of Kung fu Gold to update your weapons. And the World of Kung fu money should be more and more.