ELECTION 2016 Page 2
U. S. House of Representatives
|ANN WAGNER, Incubent|
Wagner, who is serving her second term, Wagner is the third Republican woman elected to Congress from Missouri and the second who was not elected as a stand-in for her husband, according to records.
She attended Cor Jesu Academy, a private Catholic all-girls school in South County, and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1984 with a BSBA from the business school with an emphasis in logistics. After college, she went to work in the private sector and held management positions at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and Ralston Purina in St. Louis
She has enjoyed an influential career in Republican Party politics at the local, state and national level without holding public office, until her election to Congress.
Under her leadership, participation in the party increased greatly in Missouri and she is credited with spearheading a change from Democratic to Republican control of the Missouri House of Representatives, Senate and Governor’s office – for the first time since 1921.
In 2001 she was chosen to represent the party as Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee and credited with effective influence on behalf of President George W. Bush.
In 2005 she was appointed by the United States Senate to serve as American Ambassador to Luxembourg and served until 2010 when she took over as chairman of Roy Blunt’s race for the U. S. Senate.
She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012
She is married to Ray Wagner, a former Missouri director of revenue, and has three children: Raymond III (married to Julia, nee: Grawe, of St. Louis. He is a recent West Point graduate stationed at Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne. Stephen graduated from Washington University and Mary Ruth is a junior at Miami University
In 2013 Congresswoman Wagner spoke at a Ripon Society forum and stated that it was the Administration's lack of oversight and connection to the issue that has caused these problems. [It is] "...a failure of leadership when you have a president who is so disconnected—not from our conference and our party, but from his own Democrat Party and other leadership here on the Hill. This is the trickledown effect of real arrogance here."
On September 30, 2013, after the beginning of the government shutdown, Wagner asked for her pay to be withheld
According to Congresswoman Wagner, “President Obama has not done enough to confront ISIS and as a result, American leadership has faltered on the global stage. The number one priority for Congress and the federal government must always be to ensure the safety of American families.”
She supports a robust and effective military that is empowered to protect the American people from radical Islamic terrorists in the Middle East. She has consistently supported funding for locally-manufactured fighter jets, the Growler and Super Hornet, so that our military men and women have sufficient tools to keep us safe.
Jobs and the Economy
Wagner believes the government ought not be in the way and on the backs of the American people. The bottom line: the federal government spends too much, taxes too much and regulates too much, and the resulting bureaucracy and red tape hurts job-creators and the middle class.
Reining in Government Spending
She strongly believes that America is never going to be able to tax, borrow and spend our way to economic prosperity. One of her top priorities in Congress has been to rein in Washington spending so that future generations are not forced to pick up the tab for Washington’s reckless spending binge.
Fighting Sex Trafficking
Wagner has led the fight against sex trafficking in the U.S. House of Representatives. “As a mother, I believe we have a moral obligation to stop the devastating consequences of sex trafficking, where innocent young men and women are dragged into the abyss of modern day slavery.”
Wagner fightst for conservative family values. During her time in Congress, she has consistently led the way on pro-life issues and sought to “give voice to the voiceless and protect the rights of all Missourians.”
Protecting Survivors of Sexual Assault
She believes that survivors of sexual assault deserve more protection from dangerous criminals and all levels of government must do more to protect innocent women during the difficult road to recovery.
“American families deserve better opportunities to save for their future” she says. ”I am proud to serve on the House Financial Services Committee and have worked to make sure that critical investment tools are accessible to Americans of all income levels. When it comes to investment advice, the priorities of Missouri families should always come first.”
Wagner is married to Ray Wagner, a former Missouri director of revenue, and has three children: Raymond III (Married to Julia, [nee: Grawe] of St. Louis, Missouri), a recent West Point graduate stationed at Fort Campbell with the 101st Airborne, Stephen, a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and Mary Ruth, a junior at Miami University.
Sears, 45, works in the biotech industry. He previously ran for state representative in New Hampshire, before returning to Missouri in 2014.
Sears contends that Wagner is not conservative enough, especially when it comes to spending, but, Sears on the other hand is very conservative as he is spending nothing on his campaign.
Bill Otto is a retired air traffic controller with a strong record of public and community service. Bill has been a Boy Scout leader, a Bible School teacher at Arlington Methodist Church, a youth coach at St. Lawrence Catholic Church and a house father in a boys’ home.
He was born on New Year’s Day in 1956. He has overcome many personal challenges, beginning at age 15 when his mother died and he was sent to a boys’ home. After being provided food and shelter until he was 17, state law forced him to leave the home. He was homeless at 17.
Otto says that he overcame these challenges with the help of teachers and mentors and went on to receive his GED, go to college and join the U.S. Navy. He credits the help he received from inspiring Navy officers who taught him how to be successful. In 1983, he received an honorable discharge from the Navy.
He and his wife Kathy have been married for over 20 years and raised two sons and three daughters in Bridgeton.
He has served as a City Council member in Bridgeton, then as a Representative to the Missouri State Legislature for a diverse area that includes portions of St. Louis and St. Charles counties.
The number of uninsured Americans has fallen dramatically, so we are clearly moving in the right direction. Affordable health care is essential to all of us and I will fight to keep improving our country’s health care system.
Financial subsidies now puts coverage within reach for many Americans by helping with costly premiums. Women can no longer be charged more for health insurance than men. And young adults can stay on their parent’s plans until age 26, so they can focus on college and starting out in the world.
“I will never stop fighting to make sure these crucial provisions of our health care law stay intact.”
Campaign Finance Reform
“When it comes to electing our leaders, Americans overwhelmingly believe in “one person, one vote,” yet a 2010 decision by the United States Supreme Court has turned elections into a system that can be bought by the wealthy and well-connected. The Court struck down the limits on independent spending by corporations and special interest groups in campaigns for federal offices that were established by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. This ruling allows unlimited and anonymous money to be poured into federal elections. We must restore the people’s trust in our election systems. This is why, as your U.S. Congressman, I will support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United.
I will always support legislation that brings transparency to our democracy, which is why I will co-sponsor the DISCLOSE Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. This legislation would begin to address the explosion of anonymous spending on federal campaigns by super PACs and other groups.”
“Climate change is real, and humans are contributing to it. That’s a fact backed by just about every scientist in the world. There should be no more arguing this fact. The real discussion begins on what we can do to protect our climate and planet for future generations.
Creating more sustainable energy solutions is a win-win solution. We can easily add thousands of jobs to the economy by investing in sustainable energy policies. In fact, the solar industry has already added tens-of-thousands of jobs in the past five years.
In Missouri, we are leading the way with the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program. This program allows Missourians to upgrade their homes and properties to make them more energy efficient and clean energy reliant.
These home improvements are paid for by using low-interest loans that are only given out if the energy savings are more than the cost of the loan, and the loan is then paid back by using the energy savings from the improvements to the home or property. Thus, these loans always pay for themselves and the improvements end up saving owners money. This is a program that creates jobs that cannot be shipped overseas, lowers energy bills, protects the climate and pays for itself.
In congress, I will be an advocate for our climate and will support sustainable energy policies that move us further away from our dependence on fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions. It is irresponsible to ignore scientific facts that tell us our planet is dramatically changing for the worse. Creating jobs and lowering energy bills by investing in sustainable energy policies and programs is a common sense solution and something I will work tirelessly for in Congress.”
“Earning a college degree has always been a pathway to grow the middle class and achieve the American Dream. It provides access to well-paying jobs and limitless possibilities. However, many young people and bright minds simply cannot afford to attend a four-year university. Students graduate college with so much debt that it can take decades to pay off. This not only limits the potential of many people, but it weakens America’s economy as a whole because our workforce will become less educated and less skilled.”
Otto thinks we need to make quality college education affordable and accessible to everyone.
“I will work to make this happen by expanding Pell grants and keeping interest on student loans low. No student should graduate college with crippling debt from loans.
We also need to be committed to strengthening two-year community and technical colleges. Many jobs require specialized training and education but not necessarily a four-year degree. Community and technical colleges provide job-specific training and education, are much less expensive than four-year universities and allow people to enter the workforce sooner. I will make investing in two-year colleges a core part of my higher education plan in Congress.
The bottom line is this: every student who is willing to work toward earning a college degree should have the opportunity to do so. I will work in Congress to ensure this happens.”
Medicare / Medicaid
Medicare provides health insurance for Americans aged 65 and older who have worked and paid into the system.
Medicaid is the largest source of funding for medical and health-related services for people with low income in the United States and “I will continue to fight for its expansion in Missouri. Both of these programs, as they always have, enjoy widespread public support today.
As your representative in Congress, I will always vote to support and properly fund these programs. Those that have paid into the Medicare system, as well as those currently paying into Medicare, should have a U.S. Representative who is committed to preserving this crucial program. This includes opposing any proposed age increases for Medicare beneficiaries.
Covering prescription drug costs is a key element to Medicare and I will always vote to allow our government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies.
The programs have evolved since their passage, shaping the way that states and the federal government provide health coverage to millions of citizens. Since the Affordable Care Act’s implementation, Medicaid enrollment has grown more than 20 percent, and Medicare has taken historic steps to lower costs and continue to improve the quality of care its participants receive. I will always fight to protect the benefits for those that need Medicare and Medicaid.
**But Medicaid expansion is an all-carrots approach. Missouri has nothing to lose and billions to gain in economic and health benefits.”
“Social Security is the cornerstone of retirement and was always intended to be a base of protection, supplemented by private pensions and savings. Today, nine out of ten people over age 65 receive Social Security. Nearly two out of every three Social Security beneficiaries receive over half of their income from Social Security, and it’s the only source of income for nearly one-in-five seniors.
The Republican Speaker of the House has proposed a plan that would offer a privatized Social Security option for workers under 55. This would divert payroll taxes out of Social Security into private accounts of investment funds and put additional strains on the system. Simply put, this would result in benefit reductions and I strongly oppose it.
Americans rejected a similar proposal by President George W. Bush in 2005 and I join them in again rejecting this proposal. Additionally, Social Security’s all important cost-of-living adjustments ensure that benefits are protected against inflation, a protection that would not be available with these risky private accounts.
I will always oppose raising the retirement age for Social Security. If these measures were enacted, future retirees would face benefit reductions. These benefit reductions would also grow larger with each generation. If anything, we should consider lowering the retirement age to improve the well-being of older Americans.”
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
“The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the latest in a long line of disastrous trade deals and I oppose it. This trade deal will only continue the decline of American’s manufacturing jobs by shipping jobs overseas. As your Congressman, I will not support trade deals that do not benefit the majority of Missouri workers and families.
Food Safety Standards
One of the more disturbing components of this deal is how it would impact our ability to inspect foreign foods and maintain high food safety standards in the United States. Not only would we be unable to adequately inspect imported food, we could be forced to get rid of our own food safety rules, entirely due to the threat of trade sanctions from international corporations and other countries. I have spent my career keeping people safe and I will continue to do so by opposing TPP.”
Cost of Medicine
“The TPP offers sweeping protections of drug companies as part of the agreement’s intellectual property chapter. The New England Journal of Medicine summarized concerns about TPP’s impact on healthcare in developed and less developed countries including potentially increased prices of pharmaceuticals due to patent extensions, which it claimed, could threaten millions of lives.
The TPP would also tie the hands of policymakers who wish to address the skyrocketing prices of drugs here in America. Once the TPP is ratified, the federal government will not be able to enact laws that are inconsistent with the TPP without violating the treaty.”
“The labor enforcement provisions are still inadequate to address the enormous challenges posed by this deal. Labor rights, as well as human rights, are in question in Mexico, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei, where the rights of workers are already routinely violated.”
Outsourcing American Jobs
“According to economists from John Hopkins University and Brandeis University, “over five years of implementation, the TPP will result in 40,000 to 50,000 American workers annually looking for new job in each of the first three years. That would rise to 100,000 annually in the final two years” [“The key thing to know about Obama’s big trade deal,” Quartz.com, 2015]. Countries like Vietnam and Brunei will surely receive production jobs which U.S. multinational corporations will shift more and more jobs to.”
“The investment rules provide expansive new legal rights and powers to foreign businesses to challenge legitimate government actions. Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich contends that the TPP is a “Trojan horse in a global race to the bottom, giving big corporations and Wall Street banks a way to eliminate any and all laws and regulations that get in the way of their profits.
The lack of enforceable currency rules subject to trade sanctions means that the promised new export markets may never materialize.”
Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) and Public Health
“Economists Joseph Stiglitz and Adam S. Hersh questioned the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) provisions of the TPP. They wrote that “the obligation to compensate investors for losses of expected profits can and has been applied even where rules are nondiscriminatory and profits are made from causing public harm. Imagine what would have happened if these provisions had been in place when the lethal effects of asbestos were discovered. Rather than shutting down manufacturers and forcing them to compensate those who had been harmed, under ISDS, governments would have had to pay the manufacturers not to kill their citizens. Taxpayers would have been hit twice — first to pay for the health damage caused by asbestos, and then to compensate manufacturers for their lost profits when the government stepped in to regulate a dangerous product.”
West Lake / Bridgeton Landfills
“We need a safe and permanent solution to this serious issue. I will work closely with Sen. McCaskill and the rest of the Missouri delegation to ensure passage and enforcement of the recently-introduced bipartisan legislation to appoint the Army Corps of Engineers as the lead jurisdictional agency to handle the cleanup efforts.
Once this legislation is passed, I will push for swift and complete implementation. The EPA has failed us and it’s time for FUSRAP to take over. Additionally, homeowners and business owners have been betrayed by the landfill owners – Republic Services. I will continue to work tirelessly to hold them accountable.”
Women’s Rights and Women’s Health Care
“I fully respect and support every woman’s choice to make informed and independent decisions about her health care and family planning.
Women in our country deserve the same quality health care as men – and they shouldn’t have to pay extra for it. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, only 12 percent of health care plans offered maternity coverage and now millions of women in our country have those benefits.
Currently, short-term health insurance plans are not required to carry birth control and I will work to change that stipulation.”
Jim Higgins graduated from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He worked as a civil engineer for 6 years before changing careers to Computer system analyst. Jim is currently retired and lives with his wife LaDonna in Creve Coeur, Missouri. They have two grown daughters.
Jim became active in the Ohio Libertarian party in 1974 and worked on the Kathleen Harroff campaign for US Senate. He participated in the 1976 petition drive to get Roger McBride on the ballot in Ohio for president on the Libertarian ticket. Jim moved to Missouri in 1985. In 1992 he collected signatures to help get the Missouri Libertarian Party on the ballot. That same year he ran for U.S. congress as a Libertarian in Missouri’s 2nd district. (The same seat he is now seeking).
He has since run for various offices including congress several times. In 2012 he was the Libertarian candidate for Missouri Governor.
As an ongoing spokesman for the Libertarian Party, Higgins has a lengthy platform. To see more details go to: http://www.jimhiggins4congress.comhttp
ON THE ISSUES
Promote solutions to maintain and improve our standard of living.
Jobs and Unemployment
The key to a prosperous economy is open and competitive markets that reward innovation, creativity and value and operate in an open, transparent and honest manner under the rule of law.
To achieve our goals, we need two types of broad-based reform:
First, we need to root out corporate welfare and insider favoritism. We must reaffirm the Rule of Law.
Second, we need to simplify the tax system. We propose:
End Wasteful Government Spending
Make Healthcare Accessible and Affordable
Federal laws increase many of the problems they were meant to fix, they produce a host of new problems, and they render states powerless to fix anything.
Return health-care regulation to the states.
Focus on catastrophic insurance/care.
Focus public spending on mental-health care. Such spending yields high returns.
Focus on cash subsidies. Bureaucrats should not decide what services should be available and at what cost. The truth is there are many examples of state laws and regulations that are designed to insulate market incumbents from competition and protect their profits.
Eliminate Social Security for those under 50
Politicians in Washington have stolen your future. Every year, they take 12.4% of your income to prop up a failed Social Security system – a system that is bankrupt.
You Must Control Your Own Money & Future
You should be able to opt out of Social Security and invest your money however you see fit. An account that you own and control – one that politicians can’t get their hands on.
Establish the current Minimum Wage as a baseline and eliminate the payroll tax. This is an important step toward mutual Agreements, Opportunity and Freewill
Promote and Protect Farmer's Freedom
Farmers should be allowed to sell their products on their own farms to willing customers without government interference.
Parents should be in charge of the education dollars spent on their children. Teachers need to be rewarded for the educational value (i.e., student learning) they create.
To accomplish these twin goals, I propose:
End Fixed Education Standards:
- Maximize School Choice:
- A universal system of school vouchers,
- Expansion of private and home school options.
Civil Liberties and Privacy
- Demand applied learning
- Reward quality instruction, not credentials or seniority
Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. Governments are forcing police to force people to make public choices the government deems “safe” or “prudent”. This is, beyond ensuring individual safety, the government enforcement arm is getting more militarized and more aggressive.
Support the Right to Self-Defense
Despite what the media attention to violent incidents would have you believe, gun violence and violent crimes have declined dramatically over the last two decades. Moreover, those involved in mass shootings have been found to have severe mental health issues.
End Interventionism - Mass media propaganda for an aggressive foreign policy is one important reason for an increase in mass shootings and violence.
End the War on Youth - To reduce gun violence and violent crime further, expand the list of legal drugs. The War on Drugs continues to produce well-financed, well-armed, violent gangs and organized criminal enterprises.
Environment is our collective responsibility.
We must ensure full liability for individuals and corporations.
Strict and strong liability rules and other market-based mechanisms for regulating broader environmental harms like water and air pollution. Business entities must be forced to take into account those harms when making business decisions.
Private property rights are a protector of the environment
Enforcing property rights will enable property-owners to recover from environmental harms to their lands by others.
Peaceful relations require clear boundaries and voluntary contracts between entities:
- Boundaries must be strong, clear and evidenced by physical and real time markers
- Relationships are governed by mutual agreement, contracts or treaties (formal or implied e.g. a mother or father are responsible for the well-being of a child)
Support Voluntary Contracts Between People
All couples deserve the same property rights. All people should have the same access to due process. Relationships of love should not be determined by the state nor should any state certified marriage be given more legal protection than another.
The government should no regulate or define marriage.
Lower the Drinking Age
Adults are considered to be 18 years of age. Turning 18 provides a person the rights and responsibilities of adulthood to vote, get married, enter into contracts, serve on juries, join the military and fight in wars-which includes taking on the responsibilities of life and death-and be prosecuted as adults.
Under the federal constitution, determining the legal drinking age is a state matter and Congress has no authority
GOVERNOR of MISSOURI
Greitens, who recently switched from being a Democrat to the Republican Party, is the author of three books and a former Navy SEAL. He participated in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Greitens graduated from Duke University and thereafter became a Rhodes Scholar. He has been a White House fellow.
He is the founder of a nonprofit group, The Mission Continues, which connects veterans with volunteer work to help them in their post-military transition has grown into one of the nation’s leading organizations, helping veterans to start their own businesses, find quality jobs, and serve their communities.
President Bush personally presented Eric with the President’s Volunteer Service Award for his inspiring national leadership working with wounded and disabled veterans.
ON THE ISSUES
We Must End The Culture Of Corruption.
I believe that career politicians have turned Jefferson City into a corrupt, do-nothing embarrassment. I will clean up the mess by banning gifts from lobbyists, closing the revolving door between legislators and lobbyists, and applying term limits to every statewide elected official.
The Middle Class Needs A Fighter.
I believe in the dignity of work. As Governor, my top priority will be jobs; to help build an economy that creates more private sector paychecks and bigger private sector paychecks.
I’ve seen veterans come home and get a quality job and it’s changed their lives, the lives of their families, and it’s strengthened our communities. There’s purpose and meaning and dignity in work, and as governor, I will build a prosperous state rooted in the values of hard work and personal responsibility.
We Deserve Excellent Government.
When government over-regulates, over taxes, over spends, overreaches—it hurts our businesses, damages our hospitals, injures our middle class, and holds back those struggling to make it into the middle class. It makes life difficult for our teachers, and it threatens our freedom and our prosperity. We must eliminate burdensome regulations that are destroying jobs right here at home.
Police Officers & Firefighters Need Our Support.
I believe police officers and firefighters should be honored for the hard work they do. They deserve to be led not by lawyers, but by leaders. I pledge to be strong for those who are always on call for us. As Governor, I’ll make sure that they have the training, the equipment, and the support that they need to do their job.
Spending Must Be Cut.
I believe in results and accountability. It’s not enough to talk about solving problems; I believe that if you care about people, then you have to care enough to get results. We must ask of every agency of government and every line item in the budget, a simple question: what is your mission. What results did you produce for the money that you’ve spent? I pledge to shrink government, to eliminate waste and fraud, and to act as a budget hawk, who looks after your every dollar.
Every Life Is Precious.
I am pro-life. As a father of two young children, I believe that every life is precious. I very strongly believe that we must protect and promote the life of every Missourian.
The Second Amendment Is Clear.
I believe we must always defend the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I am a life member of the NRA and a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.
People Of Faith Are Under Attack.
I believe we must protect the religious liberties and the beliefs of all Missourians.
Just after entering the race in late September 2015, Greitens was already the top fundraiser in the Republican primary. His exploratory campaign committee, formed in February 2015, had raised more than $1 million in the months leading up to his announcement, leading to a total of more than $2 million.
Consequently, the Democratic National Committee has committed almost a million dollars in attack ads against him in support of Chris Koster, the leading Democratic camdidate.
One of the top executives in the campaign of Republican opponent, John Bruenner, recently admitted that his team was responsible for an ad that questioned Greitens’ military service.
According to the Navy Times, the Afghanistan and Iraq War veteran’s accolades include a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and numerous leadership commendations earned during four tours of duty. In response to the ad, Grietens posted a video that includes a point-by-point rebuttal. He also released more than 100 pages of his military records and enlisted dozens of other veterans to vouch for his combat bona fides at a recent news conference.
According to the Post Dispatch, Paul Holzer, who for several months was John Bruenner’s campaign aide, went on a radio program to criticize Greitens for violating the Seals code of ethics by repeatedly referring to his time as a Navy Seal in justifying his ability to deal with terrorism.
During the interview, Holzer used his own history as a Seal to criticize Greitens, but he forgot to mention to his radio program host that he was connected to Bruenner.
“In the interview, Holzer presented himself as uninterested in the campaign itself, only in protecting the SEALs,” said the Post.
Greitens continued his military service in the reserves at Special Operations Command.
Some Don’t Trust Recent Switch from Democratic Party
A foxnews.com editorial published last year questioned Greitens’ party allegiance when he wrote, “I am a conservative Republican, but I didn’t start out that way. I was raised as a Democrat.”
In fact, Greitens was pretty deeply steeped in Democratic politics and was considering a run under the Democratic ticket at one time.
ProgressivesToday.com in a December 15th post about Greiten’s candidacy stated “from pushing the global warming agenda, praising the UN, meeting with the DCCC about running as a Democrat in 2010 and endorsing ultra-liberal Mayor Slay for St. Louis in 2013, some conservatives aren’t buying his recent political transformation into a ‘conservative outsider.’”
Greitens is one of several politicians who received donations from investor Michael Goguen from California. When it was discovered that he is the defendant in a $40 million civil lawsuit that was filed by plaintiff, Amber Baptiste, in March. Other candidates returned the money or gave it to charity, but Greitens, so far, has kept the $1 million he received..
Greitens is endorsed by Dr. Ben Carson saying, “President Obama and his allies are trying to hijack the Republican primary in Missouri by attacking my good friend Eric Greitens.
Like me, Eric is a conservative outsider, and that means the political establishment is terrified of him. Obama and his allies are now spending a million dollars falsely attacking Eric Greitens and trying to fool the people of Missouri. Don’t fall for it.”
Chris Koster (born August 31, 1964, in St. Louis, Missouri) is the current Democratic Attorney General of Missouri. He was first elected to the statewide executive position in 2008 and won re-election in 2012.
His father, Rich Koster, was a sports columnist for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. His mother, Patricia, was Director of Sales for Innsbrook Resort and Conference Center in Wright City, Missouri. He is a graduate of Saint Louis University High School, received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Missouri and his M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Two years following his graduation from law school, Koster served as an assistant to the Attorney General of Missouri. He remained in that position until 1993 when he joined the Kansas City-based private firm of Blackwell Sanders where he practiced law for nearly a year.
In 1994, Koster was elected as Prosecuting Attorney for Cass County, Missouri.
He was subsequently re-elected to the position in both 1998 and 2002. His main responsibility as the county's prosecutor was to supervise a staff of up to twenty individuals who served as the civil counsel for all non-criminal matters before the county government.
Missouri State Senate (2004-2008)
Prior to his election as Attorney General, he had served in the Missouri Senate since 2005 representing the 31st Senatorial District as a Republican until August 1, 2007 when he became the first high profile office holder to switch parties..
In the Senate, he introduced a measure which made it a crime to rent apartments to illegal aliens and voted in the Missouri General Assembly to cut Medicaid.
He was the first high-profile elected official in the state's history to do so. In his press conference speech, Koster called the far-right's influence on the Republican Party "toxic," earning accolades from Missouri Democrats.
At the same time, however, many saw this as political opportunism in the same spirit as Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter's and Joe Liebermkann’s party-switches..
Koster is serving his second term as Attorney General for the State of Missouri and says he has governed the way he promised: “delivering justice to those who break our laws, defending working families, and fighting against powerful interests that have done wrong to people of our state.”
ON THE ISSUES
On April 5, 2012, the Kansas City Star published an op-ed piece written by Koster in which he presented a case for raising Missouri's tax on cigarettes. He asserted that the amount of money collected by the state from its 17 cents/pack tax pales in comparison to the tax burden imposed on the public by aggregate Medicaid costs resulting from the treatment of cigarette related-health problems.
Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax among the 50 states, its rate when the op-ed appeared was established almost 20 years prior; Missouri also has the second highest smoking rate per capita in the country at the time.
He proposed hiking the tax from 17 to 73 cents per pack, which would raise revenue by $400 million. The extra revenue would allow the state to address its overwhelming smoking-incurred Medicaid costs ($532 million last year and climbing vis-a-vis inflation) as well as the state's higher-educational system, weakened from ten years of funding cuts, estimated at 34 percent.
Koster organized a task force to review the legal framework for handling domestic violence issues in a series of statewide meetings in September, 2010.
Identified challenges included: demand for shelter space far outstripping available resources, unwillingness by the Missouri General Assembly to adopt a federal law restricting the gun rights of convicted domestic violence offenders despite the state's status as a national leader in homicides associated with domestic violence, and the need for judges to address child welfare and custody issues concurrently with final orders of protection.
See also: State Attorneys General Against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010
Nearly three months after President Obama signed into law his health care reform bill, members of the Missouri House of Representatives, speaking at a hearing for the Special House Standing Committee on General Laws, discussed calling upon Koster "to sue the federal government for violating the constitution with its passage" of the insurance mandate.
Ward Franz, a Republican representative, argued against such action. He had been told by the state attorney general that he had no plans to follow through with such litigation even if requested by the general assembly to do so.
Beth Low, a Democratic representative from the 39th house district, also advised against such a course of action believing it to be waste of taxpayer resources and noting that Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder had already pledged to take up the issue himself.
Kinder, along with three state residents, filed suit in federal court measure in 2010. In challenging provisions of the federal legislation, Kinder argued that the cash-strapped state could not "afford the huge financial burden of this bill." Furthermore, he said, it would only serve to reduce state residential access to affordable health care options.
Four days later, however, Koster filed a motion in federal court to try and block Kinder from getting the state involved in the national healthcare debate.
On August 3, 2010, the voters of Missouri voted in favor of Proposition C, a measure that aimed to block the federal government from requiring people to buy health insurance and to ban punishment for those without health insurance. Over 71% of voters supported the referendum.
With this in mind, Koster "filed a notice of withdrawal of his motion to intervene in the lawsuit" headed by Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder. In a released statement, Kinder said that the state attorney general "has allowed the lieutenant governor to continue the lawsuit in his official and personal capacities."
Three out of the four candidates who challenged Koster in the bid for the State Attorney General's Office joined together and filed an ethics complaint against him in July 2008.
Supporters of Democratic candidates Jeff Harris and Margaret Donnelly as well as Republican Mike Gibbons accused Koster of violating state campaign finance laws following a story published by the Associated Press (AP) that alleged that Koster's campaign staff laundered money through various committees to evade campaign contribution limits.
State laws limited individual or business group contributions to $1,350 per election cycle.
E-mail messages obtained by the AP showed that members of Koster's personal campaign staff allegedly "helped direct donors wishing to give more than the state limit to the Economic Growth Council," a front organization, before coordinating the transfer of that money to both local Democratic Party committees as well as to Koster's own campaign.
Planting Fake Candidate
In April 2008, David Martin of The Pitch wrote that had planted Molly Korth Williams, a last-minute addition to the list of state attorney general contenders, as a means "to siphon votes from another woman in the primary, Margaret Donnelly.
Martin pointed to her lack of legal experience, absence of records that indicate her forming a campaign committee and to a close relationship between Williams and Judge Joseph Dandurand, Koster's political mentor.
While Williams denied the accusation, Koster's campaign office neither confirmed nor refuted Martin's claim. Others noted this should not have come as a surprise since "recruitment of primary challengers to weaken other candidates has been a hallmark of Cass County, Koster's home base) politics for years."
n that role he has personally prosecuted many high profile cases and arguing before the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Missouri. He has convicted some of our state’s most notorious murders and overseen more than 100 murder convictions during his career.
As Attorney General, he is also charged with supervising the state’s legal process surrounding the imposition of the death penalty.
In 2010, when Missouri ranked as one of the worst states for domestic violence, Koster convened a statewide task force that overhauled outdated domestic violence laws and added important legal protections for survivors.
According to his website, he has protected consumers from predatory and unethical businesses, and his investigations have led to more than $51 million in restitution for victims.
Koster is credited with rooting out fraud and abuse from Medicaid because his office has recouped more than $285 million for taxpayers.
Koster first worked at the Attorney General’s office to help pay for law school. “It was during this time he learned the positive impact that an efficient and accountable state government can have on people’s lives.
As part of his work, he often watched the legislative debate in the Missouri Senate. Chris was inspired by the way members of both parties sought to find bipartisan solutions that would benefit all Missourians, not just a select few.”
Upon graduating from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1991, he returned to the Missouri Attorney General’s office. After a year and a half as an Assistant Attorney General, he moved to Kansas City and entered private practice with the law firm Blackwell Sanders, focusing in litigation.
In 1994, he won his campaign to become Cass County prosecuting attorney. During his ten years in Harrisonville, he supervised litigation in thousands of cases, including many of western Missouri’s most heinous criminal cases, such as the investigation and prosecution of serial killer John E. Robinson. He was re-elected in 1998 and 2002.
In 2002, he was elected to the Missouri State Senate, representing the rural counties of Cass, Johnson, Bates and Vernon.
During his time in the General Assembly, Koster played key roles in the debates over stem cell research, tort reform, agricultural policy and Medicaid fraud. Additionally, in 2006 Koster successfully protected private property rights by reforming Missouri’s eminent domain laws.
Before his change of parties, Koster was Chairman of the Republican Caucus, the majority party's fourth-ranking position in the Missouri State Senate
Koster is an advocate of the death penalty, and as of July 2013, there were 21 inmates on death row in Missouri whose executions he was pressing the Supreme Court of Missouri to expedite.
After the 21 inmates filed suit before the state Supreme Court against the Missouri Department of Corrections over the use of the drug propofol used in lethal injections, concerning cruel and unusual punishment, the state Supreme Court temporarily halted the further use of the death penalty until the case had been ultimately decided.
With Missouri law allowing for the use of other forms of the death penalty in cases where lethal injection is not available, Koster has advocated the use of gas chambers to execute Missouri prisoners.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE
Koster supports same-sex marriage, but defends his state's constitutional ban on it because voters approved i.
- Member, Belton Chamber of Commerce
- Member, Belton-Raymore Rotary Club
- Board Member, Hope Haven Women's Shelter
- Board of Directors, Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
- Member, Anti-Terroism Task Force, United States Attorney Bioterrorism Task Force
- Board Member, Missouri Sentencing Advisory Commission
Early in his career he survived the disclosure that he played a supporting role in a plagiarism episode that damaged Attorney General William Webster’s campaign for governor in 1992.
Fresh out of law school, Koster worked for WilliambWebster, a Republican, as an assistant state attorney general. Webster’s political plans disintegrated, and he eventually ended up in prison after pleading guilty to charges unrelated to the original allegations.
A 2012 audit by state Auditor Tom Schweich criticized Koster for his practice of awarding contingency fee contracts to law firms that had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign. In 2014, Koster endorsed Missouri's contentious right-to-farm amendment, which passed.
In October 2014, a California judge dismissed a lawsuit which Koster had filed, rejecting the arguments of six states that challenged California's prohibition on the sale of eggs laid by caged hens kept in conditions more restrictive than those approved by California voters in a 2008 ballot initiative, Proposition 2.
Judge Kimberly Mueller ruled that the states lacked legal standing to sue on behalf of their residents and that Koster and other plaintiffs were representing only the interests of egg farmers, rather than "a substantial statement of their populations"
.According to the Kansas City Star. Koster's office spent more than $83,000 on the failed lawsuit.
In more than one instance, Koster has been criticized for favors to campaign contributor including Pfzier, that The Simmons Firm, 5-hour Energy and law firms that had donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign.
In this campaign, Koster has gathered almost $11 million into his war chest. Almost $3,000,000 is from labor unions and more than $1,000.000 from law firms.