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Got Gape? | Missouri Political News Service

Got Gape?

September 6th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

From Live Journal:

RAYMORE, MO. — Talk about a nasty divorce. In an announcement last month that left Missouri politicos agape, state Sen. Chris Koster, a rising Republican star and chairman of the Senate’s GOP caucus, abruptly declared himself a Democrat.

Not only did Koster join the marginalized minority party in Missouri, but he did so with a thundering speech that lambasted his former colleagues as ignoring the needs of their constituents and slavishly following the dictates of “religious extremists.”

The former prosecutor denounced several Republican positions he had once supported, such as steep cuts in Medicaid coverage and subsidized family-planning programs.

Days later, one of his staffers updated his website — by deleting a photo of Koster shaking hands with Vice President Dick Cheney.

Koster’s decision stunned Republicans here in his district just south of Kansas City and across this quintessential swing state. “There’s no precedent for it in the state of Missouri,” said GOP consultant Paul Zemitzsch.

Skeptics — and there are plenty — point out that Koster voted for the abstinence-only provision that he now says is so troubling. (He says that’s because the bill included other programs he supports, such as funding to encourage pregnant women to consider adoption instead of abortion.)

These critics see Koster’s switch as opportunism, a way to bolster his expected candidacy for state attorney general in 2008 — a year many pundits expect will be good for Democrats across the board.

“Any time you jump to the other side of the ship to make a gain and leave your friends behind. . . it’s hard to respect someone like that,” said Tom Circo, 54. A Republican, Circo sells insurance here in Raymore, a town of 16,000 in Koster’s western Missouri district, which stretches from the suburbs of Kansas City into farmland. Read more…



Tags: Decision '08

0 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Roland Wetzel // Sep 7, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    By the time I got to the Koster story of Sept. 6, I can no longer access the full story. Would you be able to send it?
    Thanks, Roland

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