Skip to comments.GOP state senator appears ready to switch parties (Chris Koster)
Posted on 08/01/2007 8:35:03 AM PDT by Optimist
JEFFERSON CITY Chris Koster, a Republican state senator and champion of stem cell research, is expected to announce today that he is switching to the Democratic Party.
Koster, a candidate for attorney general next year, will hold news conferences in Columbia, Harrisonville and St. Louis. In a news release, he promised "a speech that may transform the political landscape of Missouri."
Koster, of Harrisonville near Kansas City, resigned late Tuesday as chairman of the Senate Republican Caucus. His resignation letter, hand-delivered by Koster's secretary to the office of Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons, gave no explanation. < snip > If Koster becomes a Democrat, control of the Senate will not change. Republicans outnumber Democrats 20-13. There is one vacancy, a St. Charles County seat vacated this summer by Republican Chuck Gross. ...
(Excerpt) Read more at stltoday.com ...
Expect more fallout today, and probably for weeks to come, from State Sen. Chris Kosters decision to cross party lines.
As we mentioned already, the move has irked leadership in both the Democratic and Republican camps.
The latest Im hearing is that GOP officials will call for Koster to resign then, if he wants to keep the seat, to run as a Democrat.
That would be a page out of the Texas playbook. In 1981, Democratic Congressman Phil Gramm resigned his seat midterm, then won it back as a Republican. (He was fully devoted to his second party 15 years later, he ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination.)
Kosters concerns are more near-term: How will his party switch impact his bid for Attorney General?
If nothing else, it might embolden U.S. Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway long rumored to be running to finally enter the race. (As a Republican, of course.)
Well know more about the dynamics stemming from Kosters conversion after his flurry of announcements around the state today and how state leaders react.
URGENT MRP STATEMENT on Chris Koster
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Contact: Paul Sloca, 573-636-3146 or 573-301-0576
Following is a statement from Jared Craighead, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, on Sen. Chris Koster’s decision to abandon the Republican Party:
“Republicans are surprised that Senator Koster who has championed so many Republican causes, participated in leadership of the Senate Republican Caucus and served as a member of the Republican State Committee would decide suddenly that he is a Democrat. Chris is a personal friend of mine but I fear he has blinded himself with his desire for higher office and the hollow promises of Jay Nixon’s political machine rather than keeping his commitment to the constituents who elected him to represent them.
I expect that Chris will resign from the Senate immediately and stand for election as a Democrat in a special election so that the people of the 31st Senatorial District have an opportunity to decide whether they want him representing them now that he has totally reversed his positions on important issues like gay marriage, Second Amendment rights and Medicaid reform.
If I had to guess, Chris will likely quote Winston Churchill to describe his decision saying, `some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others change their principles for the sake of the party.’ But I would remind Chris that Churchill also remarked on the occasion of a party switch that it was the only instance he could recall of a rat swimming towards a sinking ship - that sentiment seems particularly applicable in this case.
Simply stated, Chris has done the political calculus and does not believe he can win a Republican primary and does not believe that Jeff Harris is a formidable opponent.”
So we've established that he is a humble man.
Fat chance of him resigning, he’s shown his true colors ala Jumping Jim Jeffords. He’ll hang on till he’s kicked out.
Koster switches to Democratic Party in likely bid for Missouri AG
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
By KELLY WIESE
Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Sen. Chris Koster announced Wednesday that he was switching from the Republican to the Democratic Party, as he prepares for a likely run for attorney general.
Koster said he has determined that he is more aligned with Democrats than Republicans on several issues, including stem cell research, workers’ rights, minimum wage and leaving intact Missouri’s current judiciary system.
``Today, Republican moderates are all but extinct. On so many of the critical issues of our day it has been Democrats and not Republicans who have stood by my side,’’ Koster said at a news conference at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he got his bachelor and law degrees.
He stopped short of declaring his intent to run for attorney general, but he has formed a campaign committee for an unspecified statewide office in 2008 and said he does not intend to seek re-election in the Senate.
Koster has angered some in the Republican Party for his ardent support of stem cell research. Some anti-abortion organizations believe a certain form of stem cell research destroys life at its earliest stages.
Jared Craighead, executive director of the Missouri Republican Party, said Koster’s decision to switch parties was a strategic move, made because Koster thinks it will be easier to win the Democratic primary in the attorney general’s race. The incumbent, Democrat Jay Nixon, plans to seek the governor’s office.
``Chris is a personal friend of mine, but I fear he has blinded himself with his desire for higher office and the hollow promises of Jay Nixon’s political machine rather than keeping his commitment to the constituents who elected him to represent them,’’ Craighead said in a written statement.
He also said Koster should resign from the Senate and run as a Democrat in a special election.
One of the state’s most prominent Democrats, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, signaled that her party is ready to embrace Koster.
``I welcome Chris Koster to the Democratic Party, where diversity of opinions is common and welcome,’’ McCaskill said.
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., who has known Koster for 15 years, said he was ``surprised but not shocked’’ by the move.
``Chris does what he has to do to get elected,’’ Graves said. ``I need to talk to him and find out what he’s thinking. Did I see him moving in that direction? No.’’
Koster also had stops planned later Wednesday in his hometown of Harrisonville and in St. Louis, where he went to high school.
In a letter late Tuesday, he told Republican Senate leaders that he was resigning his post as majority caucus chairman.
``Despite the circumstances surrounding this letter, it has been an honor to serve with you in this capacity,’’ he wrote.
Koster’s campaign finance reports show he has raised $713,262 for an unspecified statewide office.
Among his major contributions is $125,000 in January from James Stowers founder of the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in Kansas City. Stowers financed most of the $30 million campaign for last year’s narrowly approved constitutional amendment protecting the ability to conduct stem cell research.
A passionate speech by Koster two years ago helped stall a bill that would have banned a certain kind of embryonic stem cell research.
Associated Press Writer Sam Hananel in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
I guess he got tired of bathing and dressing. Now all he has to do is put on some raggety bibs, black out a front tooth and change his wifes first name to Wanda....instant Missouri Dem.
Obviously this man shares the same "principles" as the rest of the Democrat garbage.
This is a surprise because he had hired a strong conservative campaign firm and raised a lot of money from Republicans, despite his contrary positions on right wing issues such as embryonic stem cell research.
It is a calculated political move.
Yeah, yeah ... and I'm going to change the world from my cubicle today.
>>>Sounds like ambition is all that matters to this filthbag.
He’s a lawyer...
Could be that in some future time a Republican will come along with 125,000 and he’s want to switch back.
Or maybe a house of prostitution operator selling drugs will make a donation and he’s go that way.
Just shows where the persons moral and ethical convictions lay, lie, liar, lying.
He might want to note that Benedict Arnold was reviled by both Americans and British alike.
KS AG Paul Morrison’s twin in Missouri. A no-good, RINO apostate turned rodent who sold his soul on the altar of the unborn. Sick, twisted, and evil.
I see this a lot with politicians. When it appears that the ‘Pubbies are in control, suddenly die hard leftists wake up one morning to discover that they really are hardcore conservatives and members of the “religious right”.
Now that the ‘Pubbies appear to be on the ropes, a lot of ‘Pubbies will suddenly discover that they really aren’t conservatives, they are die hard leftists who want to increase the reach and power of Hillary and the loony left fringe.
Bottom line, these weenies see the potential for their jobs to go away if they remain with the perceived unpopular party so, to stay on the public payroll, they change teams. Principles, ethics and core beliefs have nothing to do with their decisions. This is why it is pretty pointless to examine whether or not someone has a “D” after their name or an “R”. They are all political whores who will do/say whatever it takes to keep them from having to get real jobs and work for a living!!
Make this twit think he outsmarted us - just before he gets voted out of elected office and politics. Maybe Hugo Chavez has a job for him!!
Burn their houses, salt their fields and leave not a stone lying upon a stone as a distiguished Roman Senator exhorted his colleagues just before the final destruction of Carthage.