Deceit Claims Lodged Against Missouri Democrat in Key Senate Race

Missouri’s Democratic U.S. Senate nominee has orchestrated deceptive campaign finance and organizational practices, according to allegations filed anonymously before seven federal and state oversight bodies.

Jason KanderMissouri’s Secretary of State Jason Kander is the Senate nominee shown in an official photo at left. He and his allies allegedly devised a secret agenda behind a state referendum plan ostensibly to help children with increased tax on tobacco products, for example.

But the “Raise Your Hands 4 Kids” ballot referendum was concocted as a sweetheart deal for the tobacco companies, according to the 127-page memo, and also as an organizing tool in Republican-dominated rural Missouri for what pollsters say is surprisingly strong Senate race by Kander. Alleged manipulation of the New York Times best-seller list and crowd-funding for charitable purposes are among the other allegations.

A Kander victory in the Missouri Senate race over incumbent first-term Republican Sen. Roy Blunt (shown at right in an official photo) has the potential to help deliver Senate control to Democrats, who now trail Republicans 46-54 (counting independents Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine, who support the Democratic caucus).

Roy BluntTherefore, the many serious new allegations against Kander and his wife — motivational speaker, lawyer and investment counselor Diana Kagan Kander — have both state and national importance.

Update 1: In a potential major development, the Legal Schnauzer blog published by Roger Shuler drew on a St. Louis Post-Dispatch report for a column headlined on Oct. 26:, Prosecutor declines to bring rape charges in case with apparent ties to Jason Kander scandal surrounding Missouri U.S. Senate race against Roy Blunt. Details are via the link, and are excerpted below.

Update 2: The allegations in the memo are "shocking" and untrue said RYH4K Executive Director Linda Rallo in a phone interview Nov. 2. "It find it highly offensive," continued Rallo, who assumed her post last fall. "This campaign has nothing to do with Jason Kander." She said RYH4K has complied with state filing requirements, and she was too busy in a meeting and preparing for the Nov. 8 balloting to describe more specifically her complaints about the memo.

Inquiries failed to bring a response to the memo from Kander, his campaign, his wife, or the Secretary of State’s communications office campaign. The memo had been filed by anonymous “US investigative and Independent Journalists” with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), a half dozen other bodies, and at least three journalists.

Investigative reporter and author Wayne Madsen broke the story on the Wayne Madsen Report this week under the headline, No Candor in Kander campaign for Senate. The story included links to the 11-page cover letter sent with the full memo to government agencies. The full-127 page memo is here.

Today’s column provides an overview of the allegations, which allege misconduct also against Kander’s wife. She, like her husband, is a lawyer age 35 reared in Johnson County, Kansas. They each received a law degree from Georgetown University’s Law Center in 2005. After working for a year at a major Missouri-based law firm, according to the memo, her work now focuses on motivational speaking and investment counseling.

The core of the letter to government agencies and the documentary memo is the following:

Highly summarized, since 2014, the Kanders have perpetrated at least two ostensibly criminal schemes. First, in Spring 2014, compelling evidence shows that the Kanders operated a fraudulent Internet "crowdfunding" scheme to raise and collect online public charitable donations, money which the Kanders then used in an insider scheme to help buy new-author Diana Kander's way onto The New York Times bestseller list — so future U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander would look good if his wife was (supposedly) "a New York Times Bestselling Author."

Secondly, since at least November 2014, compelling evidence suggests that Jason Kander has exercised actual and demonstrable behind-the-scenes control of a Missouri nonprofit "public benefit" (charitable) corporation, called "Raise Your Hand For Kids" ("RYH4K'J. Kander and close accomplices then directed this charitable "Kids" corporation to serve as an advocacy group to promote a ballot initiative campaign in Missouri called "Raise Your Hands For Kids" ("RYH4K").

Then, U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander and close accomplices collected, on behalf of RYH4K, more than $5 million in corporate and individual contributions — including $2 million-plus in individual public donations from Missourians who were solicited to donate money to help the "Kids."

Then, because RYH4K is in fact a "candidate controlled" ballot measure committee ("CCBMC'J, controlled by U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander, this allowed U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander, and accomplices, to treat RYH4K's $5 million-plus in corporate contributions and individual donations as candidate Kander's $5 million political "slush fund" to use as Kander deems best to further his political candidacy, and personal ambition, to win election and capture a U.S. Senate seat.

The letter to oversight agencies continues:

By controlling RYH4K, candidate Kander has contrived a scheme to solicit and collect corporate and individual donations for RYH4K, a Missouri "public service" organization. Kander then converts those charitable RYH4K donations into money used to help him win a U.S. Senate election — in essence, transforming those charitable RYH4K donations into political donations to help candidate Kander capture a U.S. Senate seat.

This confirms the worst fears of several nonprofit experts who have, for two decades now, warned that political candidates have increasingly used, abused, and exploited nonprofit and charitable organizations for their own personal and political benefits.

This letter and memo are being submitted to the Secretary of the U.S. Senate for filing in the U.S. Senate's Office of Public Records (QPR). This is because, certain activities by U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander (D-Mo.}, described in The Kander Memo, directly implicate the Federal Election Campaign Act.

U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander's use of a public benefit organization, and its advocacy of a Missouri ballot measure, contrived for the purpose of raising and collecting unlimited corporate contributions and public donations, has now emasculated and effectively gutted the Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C., Sections 30101 et seq. (amended 1974 and 1976).


Among additional allegations, the memo alleges that Diana Kander (shown in a file photo with her husband) achieved her status as a “best-selling author” and paid speaker in part by raising funds in a deceptive manner in part via crowd-funding Jason and Diana KanderIndiegogo, and then paying experts to game the best-seller system.

Those methods have long raised concerns elsewhere, as indicated by such 2013 stories as The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike: How Are Some Authors Landing On Best-Seller Lists? They’re Buying Their Way by Wall Street Journal reporter Jeffrey Trachtenberg and “Here’s How You Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List” by Forbes writer Jeff Bercovici.

We attempted to contact her for comment via three listed emails that each bounced back as undeliverable. Also, we asked her husband, the candidate, to pass on our request for comment to his wife. He has failed to respond. We shall update this column with any response.

There are many ancillary aspects of the allegations beyond the outcome of the Senate race. The plan to raise a tax on tobacco companies and redirect money for "Raise Your Hands 4 Kids" in a referendum has become controversial before the courts and on editorial pages of Missouri newspapers. Cora Walker, one of the three directors and officers of the non-profit "Raise Your Hand For Kids" leveraged that leadership into election as a state legislator, and last month created news with a rape allegation against a fellow legislator.

Additionally, the anonymous authors of "The Kander Memo" have called on authorities and lawyers nationwide to investigate lawbreaking — and file class action lawsuits to reimburse alleged fraud victims in every state from the actions described in the documents. 

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Kander Memo Coverage

Wayne Madsen Report, No Candor in Kander campaign for Senate, Wayne Madsen, Oct. 10, 2016. Wayne Madsen, shown below at left, is a former Navy intelligence officer and NSA analyst. He has written 15 books and is a widely published op-ed and broadcast political commentator. His most recent book, published last week, is a 350-page encyclopedia The Almost Classified Guide To CIA Front Companies and Proprietaries.

WMR is exclusively reporting on a copy of a document called the "Kander Memo," written by a group of Jason KanderMissouri voters who are concerned about the fraudulent activities of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander and his wife Diana Kagan Kander. Kander (shown at right), the current Missouri Secretary of State, is running for the Senate against Republican incumbent Roy Blunt.

The Kander Memo, dated September 20, 2016, was sent to a number of federal and state agencies and offices, including the U.S. Senate, Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, the Missouri Ethics Commission, and the Internal Revenue Service.

The Missouri voters contend that Kander, an up-and-coming star in national Democratic Party politics, and his wife engaged in massive campaign funding fraud since 2014. The fraud included operating a fraudulent crowdfunding charity scheme that was actually intended to promote Diana Kagan's book to the New York Times bestseller list.

The campaign fraud also included the use of Jason Kander's non-profit "Raise Your Hands for Kids" (RYH4K) to create a $5 million political slush fund to be used for Kander's Senate campaign. Three of the five million dollars in donations to the "kids" charity came from corporate donors, particularly tobacco companies, while the remainder came from individual donors who were scammed by Kander into believing their donations were helping Missouri's children. Use of such non-profit funds by candidates in federal election campaigns is strictly forbidden by federal election and tax laws.

The scandal involving Kander, a trial lawyer, and his wife may throw a monkey wrench into the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee's decision to invest $3.5 million in the Missouri Democrat's campaign. The Blunt-Kander race is seen as one of the closest in the country and one in which the Democrats hope could be pivotal in returning to them control of the Senate.

Justice Integrity Project, Deceit Claims Lodged Against Missouri Democrat in Key Senate Race, Andrew Kreig, Oct. 13, 2016 (This story). Missouri’s Democratic U.S. Senate nominee has orchestrated deceptive campaign finance and organizational practices, according to allegations filed anonymously before seven federal and state oversight bodies. Missouri’s Secretary of State Jason Kander is the Senate nominee. He and his allies allegedly devised a secret agenda behind a state referendum plan ostensibly to help children with increased tax on tobacco products.

Legal Schnauzer, Missouri Democrat Jason Kander has violated multiple laws while taking lead over Roy Blunt in key race to control U.S. Senate, newly released documents show, Roger Shuler, Oct. 19, 2016. A candidate in one of the nation's most-watched 2016 U.S. Senate races engaged in fund-raising fraud, theft by deceit of more than $2 million, and other campaign violations, according to documents that an anonymous citizens' group has compiled.

Democrat Jason Kander is on the verge of what one newspaper calls an "astonishing upset" of Republican incumbent Roy Blunt in the race for a U.S. Senate seat from Missouri. The outcome of the race could help decide which party controls the Senate, beginning in January 2017.

A 127-page document called The Kander Memo, dated September 20 and distributed by a group of Missouri citizens to at least seven government oversight bodies, provides extensive evidence that Kander and his wife, Diana Kagan Kander, have violated multiple federal and state criminal laws.

Less than one week ago, Kansas City Star columnist Steve Kraske, wrote that Kander stood "on the brink of an astonishing upset" of Blunt, who has held the Senate seat for six years and represented Missouri's 7th Congressional District for 14 years prior to that. Nate Silver, of, now projects Kander to win the race, with an almost 60 percent likelihood of victory.

Legal Schnauzer, Prosecutor declines to bring rape charges in case with apparent ties to Jason Kander scandal surrounding Missouri U.S. Senate race against Roy Blunt, Roger Shuler, Oct. 26, 2016. A Missouri special prosecutor yesterday declined to bring criminal charges in the case of an incoming state representative who claimed one of her future colleagues raped her. Evidence suggests the rape allegations are connected to an evolving scandal surrounding Democrat Jason Kander (shown in a file photo), who is attempting to unseat GOP incumbent Roy Blunt in one of the nation's most closely watched U.S. Senate races.

We reported last week on The Kander Memo, which outlines a number of campaign-finance irregularities -- plus possible criminal acts such as theft by deceit and fraud -- against the candidate and his wife, Diana Kagan Kander. How explosive could The Kander Memo become? The rape allegations involving two up-and-coming politicians from the St. Louis area seem to provide insight.

Cora Faith Walker via Facebook photoCora Faith Walker, 31 (and shown in her featured Facebook photo), won the Democratic primary and is running unopposed in the general election for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives from the Ferguson area. Steven Roberts Jr. also is running unopposed to become a Democratic representative from a metro St. Louis district. Both are expected to take office in January 2017.

But their relationship already has become the subject of national news. In a letter dated September 30 to Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson (R-Poplar Bluff) and other legislative leaders, Walker accused Roberts of raping her. She said in the letter that she had filed a police report earlier that week against Roberts.

The story generated headlines well beyond Missouri over the past three weeks or so (as indicated in the Washington Post's story In ‘serious and disturbing’ letter, incoming Missouri lawmaker accuses another of raping her), but prosecutor Tim Lohmar announced yesterday that he could find no grounds to bring a case against Roberts. From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar, who serves as a special prosecutor in the case, said, “We’re not going to file charges against Mr. Roberts. There simply wasn’t enough credible evidence that sexual relations between these two people were anything but consensual.”

How does the Kander scandal enter the picture? Walker is one of three officers in Raise Your Hands for Kids (RYH4K), a Missouri nonprofit that Kander controls. It has raised approximately $5 million to, it appears, push for a ballot initiative and constitutional amendment that would raise tobacco taxes to help boost early-childhood education in Missouri. That sounds like a noble cause. But Big Tobacco, specifically RJ Reynolds, has contributed $3 million, and fine print in the ballot measure shows it would protect and likely increase Big Tobacco's market share, in part by imposing a particularly heavy tax on Reynolds' chief competitors -- cheap "discount brand" cigarettes.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, No charges after incoming Missouri representative accused St. Louis colleague of rape, Staff report, Oct. 26, 2016. No charges will be filed after a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives said she was sexually assaulted by a fellow candidate, a special prosecutor said Tuesday.

Cora Faith Walker, 31, Ferguson, a Democrat running unopposed in a district in north St. Louis County, outlined her claim in a letter she sent Sept. 30 to Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, and other legislative leaders. She made her accusation against Steven Roberts Jr., of St. Louis, who also is unopposed in his bid to become a Democratic representative for a city district.

Stephen Roberts Jr.But on Tuesday, St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar, who serves as a special prosecutor in the case, said, “We’re not going to file charges against Mr. Roberts (shown at right in a file photo). There simply wasn’t enough credible evidence that sexual relations between these two people were anything but consensual.”

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce asked Lohmar to investigate the allegation because Roberts once worked in her office. Roberts previously denied the charges, calling them “completely and unequivocally false” and adding that he and Walker formerly had a consensual relationship.

Scott Rosenblum, attorney for Roberts, said his client was “thrilled” with Lohmar’s decision. “We believed from the beginning that her allegation was completely unfounded, and we have evidence to conclusively contradict her,” he said. “We submitted that to [Lohmar]. Having done so, I’m not surprised by his decision.”

Walker said she was “disappointed” by Lohmar’s decision, adding, “I didn’t come forward expecting justice. I know that few sexual assault cases are ever prosecuted. … I am angry and terrified that [Roberts] is free,” she said.

Walker said she once considered Roberts “a colleague and a friend” but never had an intimate relationship with him. Roberts and Walker are on the Nov. 8 ballot and would serve together in the House beginning in January.

Riverfront Times, Steven Roberts Jr. Sues Cora Faith Walker, Alleging Defamation and Malicious Prosecution, Sarah Fenske, Oct. 27, 2016. Roberts has filed a bombshell lawsuit against his fellow Democrat — accusing her of making up the case against him and saying that they had multiple consensual encounters. Walker has told the media that the two had no prior romantic relationship. But in his lawsuit, Roberts alleges that they actually fooled around in his hotel room the very night before — and that he snapped a nude photo of her to prove it. He also says their encounters on the night in question weren't just consensual, but that they planned to hook up by purchasing wine, pizza and condoms together.

He's now suing for defamation, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Scott Rosenblum, the Clayton criminal defense attorney who represented Roberts in the police investigation, says the photo, as well as a receipt showing the grocery store purchases, were the "conclusive evidence" he referenced in arguing his client's innocence. He said the photo taken by Roberts in his hotel room the morning before the alleged assault clearly shows Walker. "There is no question," he tells the RFT. In his lawsuit, filed by Jeremy D. Hollingshead of Hollingshead, Paulus, Eccher, and Fry, Roberts tells a much different story — with receipts and text messages attached as exhibits.

Roberts said the two had a sexual relationship eight years ago, and rekindled it after each won their respective primaries this August.

In a press release, Roberts' attorneys said he would not be available for comment this week. They provided this written statement from Roberts: "What is most egregious is that Mrs. Walker has falsely positioned herself as an advocate for sexual assault victims. Victims do not lie. By making these false allegations, Mrs. Walker has undermined the true victims of sexual assault who deserve to be heard and believed."

As a newly elected representative for the citizens of St. Louis, Mrs. Walker's false allegations of rape are, to say the least, disturbing. In an attempt to advance her own political career, Mrs. Walker has severely damaged the rights of the many actual victims of sexual assault. As a representative of the people, Mrs. Walker should know better.

Legal Schnauzer, Missouri politico sues future colleague who accused him of rape, possibly shining light on scandal involving Jason Kander and U.S. Senate race against Roy Blunt, Roger Shuler, Oct. 28, 2016. An incoming Missouri legislator has filed a defamation lawsuit against a future colleague who accused him of rape. The civil case could unlock secrets about the evolving scandal surrounding Jason Kander, the Democrat who is trying to unseat GOP incumbent Roy Blunt in one of the nation's most closely watched U.S. Senate races. Excerpts:

Stephen Roberts Jr.Steven Roberts Jr. (shown in a file photo) yesterday filed a lawsuit against Cora Faith Walker, accusing her of defamation, malicious prosecution, and infliction of emotional distress. The lawsuit comes two days after a special prosecutor announced he would not bring criminal charges against Roberts, based on Walker's rape complaint.

Walker serves as one of three officers for Raise Your Hands for Kids (RYH4K), a Kander-controlled nonprofit that has raised about $5 million for a ballot initiative and constitutional amendment that would raise tobacco taxes supposedly to boost early-childhood education in Missouri. According to a document called The Kander Memo, filed anonymously with authorities and available here), however, $3 million for RYH4K came from RJ Reynolds, the tobacco conglomerate that likely would benefit from enhanced market share and increased taxes on products from its discount competitors.

Jason KanderAs an officer of RYH4K, Walker holds a fiduciary duty to ensure that $5 million in donations, $2 million of which came from individual contributors, is handled lawfully and actually goes to programs for children. The anonymous authors of The Kander Memo say the funds have been tainted with fraud and theft by deceit, serving partly as a political slush fund for Kander (shown at right in a file photo).

Walker, a lawyer, brought her rape allegations against Roberts less than 10 days after The Kander Memo was released to seven government oversight bodies. The 127-page memo repeatedly points to irregularities and alleged criminal conduct that could threaten Walker's legal and political careers. Evidence suggests she might have developed the rape allegations against Roberts as a way to deflect attention from The Kander Memo.

Could discovery in the Roberts lawsuit reveal information about Walker's motivations and her connections to RYH4K and the Kander campaign? The answer appears to be yes. The Walker-Roberts story already has made national headlines, and the lawsuit figures to grab even more attention. Meanwhile, the Kander-Blunt race could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate beginning in 2017.

The Walker-Roberts story already has made national headlines, and the lawsuit figures to grab even more attention. Meanwhile, the Kander-Blunt race could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate beginning in 2017.

The lawsuit and The Kander Memo, combined, might eventually expose a side of politics that is as ugly as it gets.

Justice Integrity Project, Missouri Rape Claim Prompts Political Explosion, Andrew Kreig, Oct. 29, 2016. A Missouri candidate’s disputed rape claim is opening a Pandora’s box of sexual, financial and partisan secrecy that could affect which party wins control of the U.S. Senate on Nov. 8.

On Oct. 26, a St. Charles County prosecutor declined to press charges for a complaint brought nearly a month previously by Democratic legislative nominee Cora Faith Walker against fellow Democratic nominee Steven Roberts Jr. — a bachelor shown below left who filed a defamation suit Oct. 27 against the married Walker. He said they had a consensual affair eight years ago, which rekindled at political functions after they became nominees in August.

Aside from the raw issues typically involved in rape allegations, the dispute between two candidates running unopposed Nov. 8 raises questions also about Walker's ties to a controversial tax referendum and the candidacy of a key backer Jason Kander, the Democratic nominee for a Missouri seat in the U.S. Senate.

Tony's Kansas City, Show-Me Republican Hacks Pushing Kander Missouri Senate Run Hater Links, Tony Botello, Nov. 2, 2016. This blog was started for a lot of reasons but mostly because very smart people are often pushed out of the Kansas City political discourse in order to accommodate paid consultant hacks, insufferable politicos and newsies who are desperately trying to get out of this town. But, despite the claims of trolls who never found an audience, here's what Kander haters are pushing: "Deceit Claims Lodged Against Missouri Democrat in Key Senate Race" and "The Kander Memo."


Sample Blunt-Kander Senate Race Coverage (Reverse chronological order)


McClatchy, President Jason Kander? He’s making all the early moves, Lindsay Wise, Alex Roarty and Bryan Lowry, June 26, 2017. Missouri Democrat Jason Kander spent this week knocking on voters’ doors, shaking hands, giving speeches and snapping selfies with eager young campaign volunteers. In Georgia. He was in Atlanta on the last leg of a cross-country tour, the sort that tells the political cognoscenti that this is an up-and-comer to be watched closely.

But this is a guy who’s never held an office higher than secretary of state in Missouri. He narrowly lost a winnable Senate campaign last year. He currently holds no political office, and the Kander Political Action Committee is dormant. He says he’s dedicated to his current job advocating for voters’ rights as the head of Let America Vote, a nonprofit he founded that primarily helps Democrats. In the past month, Kander has spoken to Democrats in New Hampshire, visited with the party faithful in Iowa, and canvassed for Georgia House candidate Jon Ossoff. He also made appearances in Massachusetts, Arizona, Kentucky and Utah.

What is Jason Kander up to? The telltale signs of national ambition are hardly subtle. Kander’s Twitter feed — followed by more than 162,000 people — blasts out videos and photos of the lanky Army veteran, 36, his shirt sleeves rolled up, looking every bit the part of a political candidate. He has a contributor contract with CNN, and the Beltway-based Politico recently called him the “hottest star in Democratic politics.”

Roll Call, Jason Kander May Have Made a Big Mistake, , Nathan L. Gonzales, Feb. 14, 2017. Missouri Democrat hits national stage with potential long-term consequences.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Challenger Kander concedes to Blunt in Missouri Senate race, Jim Salter, Nov. 9, 2016. Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander conceded early Wednesday, ending his spirited bid to unseat incumbent Republican Roy Blunt in a race both parties had eyed in the battle over control of the chamber.

Blunt, 66, served seven terms in the House before winning election to the Senate in 2010. He'd never faced a close race before, but polls showed this election was tight from the outset as Kander, Missouri's 35-year-old secretary of state and a former Army intelligence officer who served in Afghanistan, emerged as one of the surprise candidates in any Senate race.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri cigarette taxes fail, voters support campaign contribution limits and voter ID requirements, Mark Schlinkmann, Nov. 9, 2016. Missourians on Tuesday appear to have overwhelmingly voted to reinstate campaign donation limits and to require photo identification for future elections but snuffed out two proposed cigarette tax increases. One unsuccessful tobacco proposal — Constitutional Amendment 3 —would have gradually raised the tax on cigarettes by 60 cents a pack, with the extra revenue earmarked for early childhood education.

That measure also would have created a 67-cents-per-pack fee for wholesalers on some discount-brand cigarettes. The other cigarette tax plan — Proposition A — would have phased in a 23-cent-per-pack increase over five years, with the proceeds used to repair roads and bridges.

Associated Press via McClatchy DC, Greitens defeats Koster to win Missouri governor's race, Summer Ballentine, Nov. 9, 2016. Republican former Navy SEAL officer Eric Greitens defeated Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster Tuesday in the Missouri governor's race, as voters opted for the promise of a fresh start under the first-time candidate rather than his opponent's lengthy resume as a public servant.

The first-time candidate had touted himself as an outsider and pledged to tackle corruption in the state Capitol. Koster took the opposite approach, emphasizing that his nearly 22 years in elected office make him qualified to run state government.

Tony's Kansas City, Not Even Close, Tony Botello, Nov. 9, 2016. There's a lot of things to learn from Missouri SecState Jason Kander's defeat at the hands of incumbent Senator Roy Blunt but the most important thing might be the viral videos are neat but don't influence voters. In the aftermath of his sound defeat, Kander's gun trick was celebrated throughout the nation but amounted to little more than preaching to the choir and quick entertainment for Youtubers who didn't vote anyhow.

Jason Kander GOP Ad

Missouri's Republican Party Creates Ad (above)To Smear Kander

Roll Call, The Surprise Senate Race: How Missouri Became a Key Battleground, Alex Roarty, Oct. 26, 2016. Last year, long before even most Democrats thought he could win, Jason Kander explained why he deserved to unseat Republican Sen. Roy Blunt. His message, delivered in a succinct video announcing his campaign, was blunt and personal. Whether he knew it or not, he had found a catchphrase that would — 20 months later — come to explain how he now appears on the brink of an improbable upset.

KSMU, Ozarks Public Radio, On the Trail: Why Kander's rise in the polls shouldn't be that shocking, Jason Rosenbaum, Oct. 17, 2016. In the humble opinions of national pundits that monitor congressional races, Jason Kander pretty much came out nowhere to get on their national radar.

The Washington Post, Roll Call and Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball recently declared that Missouri’s U.S. Senate race was a “toss-up.” And these prognosticators, in general, are very surprised that Kander made the race close. For instance: When Roll Call ranked Kander as the best Senate challenger of the 2016 cycle, the publication called the development “remarkable” for a race “that most analysts considered a second-tier contest when the summer began.”

While this reporter never thought that Kander was a shoo-in, I never bought into the idea that Missouri’s Senate race was “safe” for the Republicans. And that’s no disrespect for U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who is one of Missouri’s shrewdest political figures. It’s more about how Missouri is structured politically.

Talking Points Memo, Why Roy Blunt's Donald Trump Problem Ain't Like Other Republicans', Tierney Sneed, Oct. 13, 2016. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO, shown in an official photo) was having a good day on the roy blunt official Smallcampaign trail, when yet another Donald Trump controversy popped up. The biggest one yet. The outrage over the Trump video presented a nightmare for every Republican in a tough re-election.

But for Blunt, who has patrician manners and a country-club-dad look, the Trump calculus is particularly complicated. The senator is actually lagging behind Trump in Missouri polling, and in Blunt's southwest Missouri base, Trump is king. So while other vulnerable GOPers chose the moment to finally cut bait with Trump, Blunt stood by the Republican nominee Saturday, when he was ready to weigh in on Trump's remarks.

Columbia Tribune, Amendment 3 is a scam, Ronald J. Leone, Oct. 9, 2016. Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or independent, there is something for everyone and every group not to like in Amendment 3. Here are the top six reasons to vote “no” on Amendment 3 on Nov. 8.

1. It’s about Big Tobacco’s profits, not kids. Amendment 3 is a scam. The major firms are funding Amendment 3 ($5.3 million and counting) because it increases their profits and market share by massively and unfairly taxing their competition. It’s not about helping kids.

It’s like Coke asking Missouri voters to pass a special tax on Pepsi, or McDonald’s wanting to tax Burger King. It’s just not right.

2. Don’t put Big Tobacco’s schemes in our constitution. Amendment 3 would change our constitution and enshrine Big Tobacco’s secret schemes forever unless changed by a vote of the people. For example:

    Funds can’t be used for “tobacco-related research of any kind.”    Funds can’t be used to lobby for any tobacco tax increase or any prohibition or limit on the sales or use of tobacco products.    Does not increase the tax on Big Tobacco’s top sellers including cigars, chewing tobacco and pipe tobacco.    A special, targeted 394 percent tax increase that applies only to Big Tobacco’s competition helps to settle old scores and automatically increases at least 3 percent every year forever without a vote of the people.

3. It’s a slush fund for greedy political insiders with no “lock box.” Amendment 3 creates a commission of 13 unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats who control hundreds of millions of dollars per year. There is no such thing as a “lock box” that guarantees the money will go to early childhood education. Remember the broken funding promises that came with the lottery and casinos? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

4. It is opposed by a diverse array of liberal and conservative groups including: Health care. The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids oppose Amendment 3 because, according to a joint statement Aug. 9 on Facebook:

“Reynolds, best known for their infamous Joe Camel cartoon, is notorious for its aggressive efforts to lure kids into smoking. Missouri voters shouldn’t let the tobacco industry write policies that ultimately keep our state’s youth hooked on these deadly products.” Anti-abortion and pro-choice groups. Concerned Women for America, Missouri Alliance for Freedom and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri oppose Amendment 3 because for the first time it puts the terms “abortion” and “abortion services” in the Missouri Constitution.    Educators. The Missouri National Education Association, Missouri Retired Teachers Association and Missouri Association of Rural Education oppose Amendment 3 because it allows 13 unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats to give public tax dollars to private and religious schools.  Elected officials. Rival gubernatorial candidates Chris Koster and Eric Greitens, plus a bipartisan group of 110-plus state legislators, all oppose Amendment 3. Medical research. The Stowers Institute, Washington University, BioSTL, We Deserve Better, MOBIO and Missouri Cures oppose Amendment 3 because it restricts promising stem cell medical research, treatment and cures.

5. It’s an outrageous and unfair 747 percent tax increase! Amendment 3 puts a huge tax increase into the constitution, including automatic tax increases every year forever without a vote of the people.

6. Don’t mess with the constitution. Amendment 3 does not belong in the Missouri Constitution alongside our cherished rights of religious freedom, freedom of speech and due process of law.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch, In first debate, Blunt and Kander spar over guns, college funding and the U.S. Supreme Court, Celeste Bott, Oct. 1, 2016. In a tightening and increasingly expensive race for a U.S. Senate seat, candidates kept to familiar topics during their first debate Friday, butting heads over guns, higher education and the future of the U.S. Supreme Court.


At a candidate forum in Branson, Mo., incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt largely tried to highlight his Washington track record. Democratic challenger Jason Kander, meanwhile, argued Blunt was too entrenched and promised to head a new generation of leadership.

Kander isn’t a political outsider by any means, having served in the Missouri Legislature and as Missouri’s Secretary of State, a position Blunt himself once held. But so far in the race, Kander has presented himself as an alternative who is not beholden to lobbyists or special interests. “Washington is broken. And we’re not going to change Washington until we change the people that we send there,” Kander said Friday.

USA TODAY via Springfield News-Leader, Blunt vs. Kander: What you need to know ahead of Friday's debate, Deirdre Shesgreen, Sept. 30, 2016. Missouri’s Senate race between Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander has gone from snoozer to sizzling in recent weeks, and it’s about to crank up another notch. On Friday afternoon, Blunt, Kander, and three third-party Senate candidates will face off in their first, and perhaps only, debate in the campaign. The candidates will answer questions in a candidate forum during the Missouri Press Association's convention at Chateau on the Lake in Branson. With 41 days to go before the election, here’s what you need to know about the state of the race and Friday’s debate.
Why is the Missouri race attracting so much national attention?

Kander began the race as a dark horse, but he has inched up on Blunt in the polls, and Missouri’s secretary of state is now essentially tied with the Republican incumbent. That has unleashed a tidal wave of political money on Missouri, with outside groups in both parties flooding the airwaves with ads aimed at influencing the election. The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm plans to spend $3.5 million on the Missouri contest, and two Republican groups have responded with a combined $4.5 million-plus TV blitz.

That has unleashed a tidal wave of political money on Missouri, with outside groups in both parties flooding the airwaves with ads aimed at influencing the election. The Senate Democrats’ campaign arm plans to spend $3.5 million on the Missouri contest, and two Republican groups have responded with a combined $4.5 million-plus TV blitz. “We are in that race till the very end,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which launched its first ad in Missouri last week. “We’re not going to let up. We’re taking it serious because it is serious.” It’s serious because the Missouri contest is one of a handful that could determine which party controls the Senate come January. Democrats need a net gain of five seats to take the majority, or four seats if Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wins the White House.

Missouri Times, Americans for Prosperity working against Kander, Tim Curtis, Sept. 26, 2016. Americans for Prosperity has been busy trying to keep U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt from being defeated in November. The group announced Monday that they had contacted more than 700,000 Missouri voters by knocking on doors and phone banking. They say Blunt’s opponent, Secretary of State Jason Kander, should not be elected because of his support for the Affordable Care Act, energy taxes, and a vote against tax cuts.

“Americans for Prosperity is on a mission to stop Jason Kander from taking more money out of the pockets of hardworking Missourians,” said Jeremy Cady, state director for AFP-MO. “In the past month alone our dedicated team of staff and volunteers have contacted over half a million voters either by phone or at the door to highlight how Kander’s agenda will cost Missouri families more.”

The group also sent out a mailer highlighting Kander’s links to President Barack Obama. It also highlights Kander’s support of the Affordable Care Act, energy taxes and the vote against tax cuts. “Remember when you had money left at the end of the month?” the mailer reads. “We can’t afford Jason Kander’s agenda.”   

Ozark Radio News, Kander announces grant funding for election purposes, Ed Button, Sept. 27, 2016. Secretary of State Jason Kander has announced his office will make $1 million in grant funding available for increasing election efficiency throughout Missouri. Kander has directed his office to offer state funds of $1 million for improvements such as maintaining Internet service, voter registration list maintenance, training, voting equipment or maintenance and polling place accessibility. Kander’s office made the announcement during the Missouri Association of County Clerks and Election Authorities annual conference.

Roll Call, Senate Rating Change: Blunt on the Bubble in Missouri, Nathan L. Gonzales, Sept. 15, 2016. Polls in Missouri consistently show GOP Sen. Roy Blunt with an advantage over Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander, but some Republicans are concerned that the race could get tighter.

 Jason KanderAnd the race could be bellwether for whether Republicans have a bad night or a terrible one. Democrats remain confident in the bio of their candidate, a young attorney who served a tour in Afghanistan with the Army National Guard, in contrast to a longtime politician. Democrats have also been critical of Blunt’s connections to lobbyists, including family members. But Kander’s wife once listed “assisting in lobbying efforts” on her professional biography. Democrats noted that she has never been a registered lobbyist but awkwardly called it an “aspirational bio.”

Kander (shown in an official photo) stands to benefit from less of a focus on defeating Rob Portman in Ohio or Marco Rubio in Florida because it would free up party funds to be spent elsewhere, including Missouri. Politico first announced the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee independent expenditure arm’s $1.5 million ad buy against Blunt. Democratic strategists are more excited about defeating Blunt than John McCain in Arizona.

The Hill, Ad shows Dem candidate building rifle blindfolded, Ben Kamisar, Sept. 15, 2016. Democratic Senate hopeful Jason Kander is fighting back against criticism of his loyalty to the Second Amendment with a new ad depicting him assembling a rifle blindfolded. Wearing a black sleeping mask, the Missouri secretary of state notes his service as an Army captain and pushes back on the barbs from Republicans on behalf of his opponent, Sen. Roy Blunt.

"Sen. Blunt has been attacking me on guns. Well, in the Army, I learned how to use and respect my rifle. In Afghanistan, I volunteered to be an extra gun in a convoy of unarmored SUVs," Kander says.  
"And in the State Legislature, I supported Second Amendment rights. I also believe in background checks, so the terrorists can't get their hands on one of these," he adds, holding the just-assembled rifle.
The Democrat closes with a flourish on the generic campaign ad tagline: "I approve this message, because I would like to see Sen. Blunt do this," he says, displaying the rifle and removing his blindfold.

Missouri Times, 'Aspirational biography' raises questions about Diana Kander's desire to lobby in increasingly personal U.S. Senate race, Rachael Herndon, Sept. 11, 2016. Jason Kander’s campaign for U.S. Senate against incumbent U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt has plastered the airwaves with ads attacking Blunt over his family’s work in lobbying. However, Jason Kander’s wife Diana’s biography provided by her then-employer Lathrop & Gage reads that she was assisting in lobbying efforts herself before Kander was in public office.

Abigail Blunt and Diana KanderThe candidates both present impressive resumes to Missouri voters. Kander has served in the Missouri House and is currently Missouri’s Secretary of State. While Blunt is one of only two people in the history of the country to serve in both house and senate leadership. However, as impressive as their resumes are, their wives’ accomplishments are perhaps more impressive. Blunt’s wife Abigail, shown at left of Kander in the file photos at right, is a high ranking executive with the Kraft Heinz corporation, while Diana Kander (featured, right) is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, and public speaker.

“I’m running to be Missouri’s senator because it is time we had someone who stood up for the middle class, not millionaires, corporations, and lobbyists,” Jason Kander said at the Boone County Democrats Chili Dinner in February 23, 2015.

While Kander has spent millions of dollars attacking Blunt for his wife’s occupation, new facts are coming to light that suggest that the Kanders haven’t always had such a pessimistic view of the lobbying profession. Diana Kander worked for Lathrop & Gage from 2005 to 2006, following a law school internship in Washington with the prestigious firm, which features a large government relations practice. During her time at the firm, Mrs. Kander’s biography, listed on the Lathrop & Gage website, stated that she assisted in lobbying efforts before Congress.

“She has also spent time working with the Washington D.C. affiliate of Lathrop & Gage by assisting in the lobbying efforts of major Midwest companies before the U.S. Congress,” reads her biography. “This work includes finding and advocating for new funding opportunities for special projects and monitoring critical developments in specific areas of the law.”

While Kander has spent millions of dollars attacking Blunt for his wife’s occupation, new facts are coming to light that suggest that the Kanders haven’t always had such a pessimistic view of the lobbying profession.


Sample 'Raise Your Hand 4 Kids' Referendum Coverage of Issue, Advocates (Reverse chronological order)

Missouri Times, Clashes over Amendment 3 continue as questions arise over appropriation of funds, Tim Curtis, Oct. 26, 2016. As polling shows Amendment 3 falling behind, a group supporting the amendment announced a new national endorsement while a group of educators called the amendment a potential slush fund for politicians and private schools. Missouri Times polling showed Wednesday that more Missourians favor a “no” on the Early Childhood Health and Education Amendment by a 53-40, but with two weeks before election day, both campaigns remain active.

The amendment would raise the cigarette tax by 60 cents over a period of several years and add another 67 cent tax on small cigarette manufacturers to raise funds for early childhood health and education. Yes on 3 for Kids announced Wednesday that the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives has endorsed the amendment.

“Amendment 3 could not be more important for the future of Missouri’s kids, and for the future of the state as a whole. Study after study shows that children with access to early education programs are more likely to finish school and less likely to turn to crime or end up incarcerated,” said Perry Tarrant, president of the organization. “We should be educating and helping children as early as possible to create better citizens and ensure that every child has the opportunity to meet his or her potential.”

But the amendment has also received opposition from several education groups, including the Missouri National Education Association. MNEA president Charles E. Smith on Wednesday criticized claims that that funds raised by amendment would be protected by a ‘lock box.’  “As educators, we are committed to the success of every student,” he said. “Amendment 3 supporters are not leveling with voters. The funds are at the mercy of politicians and their hand-picked political appointees. There is no recourse to prevent Amendment 3 funds from being spent on politicians pet projects or elite parochial schools.”

Smith said that while most educators support early learning, the amendment has too many faults for MNEA to support.

Washington Post, In ‘serious and disturbing’ letter, incoming Missouri lawmaker accuses another of raping her, Amy B Wang, Oct. 2, 2016. The Ferguson, Mo., attorney opened by introducing herself to her soon-to-be colleagues. "My name is Cora Faith Walker," she wrote in a letter to Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson and two other House leaders. "I will be in the Capitol in January as the Representative of the 74th District."

Cora Faith Walker via Facebook photoBut it was the next two sentences 31-year-old Walker (shown via her Facebook photo) penned that would upend a lawmaking body already embroiled in controversy. "Earlier this week, I reported a sexual assault to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department," Walker wrote. "I named my rapist as Steven Roberts, Jr., who hopes to be in the Capitol next year as the Representative of the 77th District."

The single-page letter, sent by email to Missouri House leadership on Friday and first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, again pointed the spotlight at a Missouri state house previously accused of having a "sexist culture." (A PDF and text of the full letter is available in the Post story via the link above) Both Walker and Roberts are Democrats who are running unopposed for their seats and are expected to be sworn in in January.

The day after Walker sent the letter, she told Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger that the alleged assault occurred sometime between the night of Aug. 26 and the morning of Aug. 27 after she met Roberts at a St. Louis apartment around 9:30 p.m.

The two of them would soon be the only black lawyers in the Missouri legislature, Walker told Messenger, and they had set up the meeting to discuss how they might work together.

They reportedly had two glasses of wine, Walker told the paper, and she woke up the next morning in a bed at the same apartment, with no memory of what happened after drinking the second glass of wine. "I had no recollection of why I was still there," she told Messenger. The following day, she informed her husband, Tim Walker, about the incident, but it took them several weeks to decide to go to police.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Incoming Missouri rep accuses St. Louis colleague of rape, Tony Messenger, Oct. 2, 2016. Four sentences in a letter to Speaker of the House Todd Richardson are about to turn the Missouri political world upside down. “My name is Cora Faith Walker. I will be in the Capitol in January as the Representative of the 74th District. Earlier this week, I reported a sexual assault to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. I named my rapist as Steven Roberts, Jr., who hopes to be in the Capitol in January as the Representative of the 77th District.”

On Friday night, Walker, 31, a Ferguson attorney who won the Democratic primary for her seat in August, sent the letter containing those four sentences and more to Richardson, Minority Floor Leader Jake Hummel and assistant minority floor leader Gail McCann-Beatty. “I felt a moral responsibility to speak out,” Walker said. “The idea or the thought of me trying to just bury it is one I could not live with.”

AP via McClatchy DC, Missouri tobacco tax hike proposal survives court challenge, Summer Ballentine, Aug. 23, 2016. A Missouri proposal to raise cigarette taxes to benefit early childhood programs can stay on the Nov. 8 ballot, a judge ruled Tuesday. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem dismissed efforts to remove the measure. His ruling, which opponents vowed to appeal, came the same day critics of another proposal that would reinstate campaign contribution limits in the state asked a different Cole County judge to take it off the ballot.

The cigarette proposal would phase in a 60-cent-per-pack increase between 2017 to 2020 and impose a 67-cent-a-pack fee, adjusted annually with inflation, on cigarettes sold by smaller companies that did not participate in a 1998 settlement between big tobacco companies and states. Missouri's cigarette tax is currently the lowest in the nation.

The issue went to Beetem after an appeals court decision earlier this summer that changed the wording of the proposal summary that voters will see on the ballot. Opponents — who include a group backing a competing ballot proposal to raise a 23-cent-a-pack cigarette tax that would fund transportation infrastructure — argued that petition signatures gathered under the original summary should be tossed out, a move that would have knocked the measure off the ballot.

But Beetem ruled that those signatures were valid and that Secretary of State Jason Kander (shown in file photo) followed the law when he put the measure on the ballot, despite the changed summary.

Fulton Sun, 'Raise Your Hand 4 Kids' tobacco tax at center of legal battle, Bob Watson, Aug. 21, 2016. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem expects to decide within a few days whether Missouri voters will be asked this Nov. 8 to change the state Constitution so the state's taxes on tobacco can be increased and the additional money directed to early childhood and health education. Secretary of State Jason Kander said earlier this month the measure had received enough valid signatures to be placed on the statewide general election ballot, and he labeled it as Amendment 3.

But opponents of the proposed amendment urged Beetem during hearing Friday to remove the proposal from the November ballot, arguing it didn't meet the legal standards for Kander to certify its ballot placement. Kander's office initially approved its circulation in January, and supporters gathered signatures even as opponents challenged the ballot language required to be on each page where signatures are placed.

On May 19 — after the petitions had been turned in to Kander's office — Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green ruled the secretary of state's ballot language was "fair and sufficient," but the state auditor's fiscal note wasn't and needed to be redone.

On July 8, a three-judge panel of the Missouri court of appeals' Western District in Kansas City reversed Green's ruling, saying the auditor's fiscal note was OK, but the secretary of state's language in the second bullet point wasn't good enough.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Today, 4 petitions certified for Missouri ballot, including tobacco tax hikes, campaign donation cap, Celeste Bott, Aug. 10, 2016. Secretary of State Jason Kander has certified four ballot initiatives to go before voters in November, including two controversial tobacco tax hikes and a limit on campaign contributions, he announced Tuesday. Several of the proposals considered for the ballot this year have been outlined in legislation previously rejected by GOP supermajorities in the Legislature, including tax increases, caps on political donations and the legalization of medical marijuana. For issues that face a difficult time getting through the Legislature, a ballot initiative can serve as an end-around.

The growing popularity of government by referendum — or gathering a required number of signatures for a petition and allowing voters to weigh in on changes to the state constitution — has been attributed both to frustration with political leaders and as a last resort for those who back causes they can’t get lawmakers to support.

One such effort, to raise Missouri’s 17-cent-a-pack tax on cigarettes by 60 cents for early childhood programs, has been widely panned by education officials and politicians, including Chris Koster, the Democratic candidate for governor.

Koster told St. Louis Public Radio on Saturday that the measure would create a new education bureaucracy by setting up a fund for the revenue it would bring in. It’s rare area of agreement between Koster and his GOP challenger, Eric Greitens, who criticized the initiative during a primary debate in June.

Opposing groups slammed the certified petition Tuesday. We Deserve Better Missouri said a misleading ballot summary made it a “disservice” to voters, and Missouri Cures warned a provision in the measure that prohibits revenue being used for stem cell research could lead to “damaging consequences” for patients and medical researchers.

Other advocates praised the measure in St. Louis on Tuesday, including state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, and Ferguson Commission co-chair Starsky Wilson. “We recognize and know early intervention and support for children benefits not only those children and their well-being, but it pays off for the state with better economic outcomes,” Wilson said.'

Missouri Times, Kander finalizes RYH4K petition to be on ballot: Campaigns Featured Initiative Petitions, Travis Zimpfer, July 18, 2016. In a message to election authorities across Missouri, Secretary of State Jason Kander boldly stated he would certify the Early Childhood Education and Health Amendment is it attains the required number of signatures, despite its ordeal in the courts last week.

The Western District Court of Appeals determined in a court case that the summary statement of the initiative petition circulated to collect signatures was “unfair,” and the Supreme Court rejected calls by Kander and the petition’s sponsor, Raise Your Hands for Kids, to rehear the case.

Opponents of the initiative petition said that statute states that a petition that collected signatures found to have any kind of misleading language should have its signatures invalidated. However, Kander sided with calls for the petition to stay on the ballot, should the 300,000-plus signatures turned in by the organization be certified

“The intent of the law was not to disenfranchise Missourians after they have legally signed a petition,” Kander’s office wrote to election officials. “If this petition has enough valid signatures and meets the requirements for certification, the Secretary of State’s office will certify it for the ballot, just like every other petition.”

Supporters of the measure were understandably excited about Kander’s decision, especially given the uncertainty that surrounded the IP’s survival last week. Erin Brower, the board chair of RYH4K, thanked supporters and Kander in a statement.

“We owe our victories to the dedication of our supporters,” she said. “We look forward to passing the Early Childhood Health and Education Amendment and providing more than $300 million each year in dedicated funding to Missouri’s kids.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Editorial: Unacceptable poison pill in tobacco tax initiative, Editorial board, April 24, 2016. It pains us to reverse this newspaper’s support for what seemed like a worthy Missouri constitutional amendment, but we cannot advocate a clear attempt to deceive voters with what now appears to be a Trojan horse measure. We’re talking about a ballot initiative that aimed to raise $305 million a year for children’s health by hiking the state tobacco tax. Had the initiative’s language stopped there, we’d be 100 percent behind it today, as we were when we endorsed it in February. But the measure contains a clause with unacceptable long-term implications for important scientific research.

The group Raise Your Hands for Kids touted this initiative as a way to raise money for young children by increasing the state’s cigarette tax, the lowest in the nation, from 17 cents to 77 cents a pack. The poisonous part involves language stipulating the new tax revenue cannot be used for abortions, abortion services or for “human cloning or research, clinical trials, or therapies or cures using human embryonic stem-cells.”

The stem-cell language has sent Missouri Cures, a coalition that successfully campaigned for a constitutional amendment protecting stem-cell research in 2006, running from this initiative. Likewise, Washington University has withdrawn support and is now lobbying against it.

Linda Rallo, executive director of Raise Your Hands for Kids, says her group inserted the language because of a Washington University report in 2013 about why a campaign the year before to raise the state’s tobacco tax had failed. The report suggested care should be taken to mitigate opposition by anti-abortion groups.

But the university said in a statement that “inferring that strong anti-research language should be included in future initiatives is a complete overreach of the authors’ intentions.”
The real shame is that children and needy families could lose access to an estimated $28 million a year from the tax, which would have gone for screenings, preventive health care and other services. The sharply higher tax would be a big incentive for smokers to quit, and some of the money from it was slated for smoking cessation.

Rallo insists the stem-cell and abortion language was added only to make it “crystal clear” that the taxes raised could be used solely for children and smoking cessation. She says objections were raised too late for her to take the language out of the proposal.

She accused opponents of not wanting to help kids but did not acknowledge her own role in alienating them — and, unfortunately, this newspaper.

Raise Your Hands 4 Kids, Tobacco tax-hike idea designates money for kids, not abortions, Linda Rallo, Feb. 16, 2016. Linda Rallo is executive director of the group that is promoting a tax increase on a pack of cigarettes from 17 cents — lowest in the nation — to 77 cents. She says money from the tax will be used solely for early childhood education and programs to help smokers kick the habit. From the Editorial Board, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "A duplicitous effort is underway to mislead voters into thinking the Raise Your Hands for Kids campaign to boost the state sales tax on tobacco products would allow public funding for abortions."


Sample Coverage of 'Best-seller List' Manipulation (As Cited In 'The Kander Memo' and arranged by author's first name)

Allen Pierleoni, Best-Sellers Lists: How They Work And Who They (Mostly) Work For, Sacramento Bee, Jan. 22,  2012.

Carolyn Kellogg, Can Bestseller Lists Be Bought?  Los Angeles Times, March 6, 2014.

Chip MacGregor, What's Wrong With Buying Your Way Onto the Bestseller List?, March 14, 2014.

Dianna Booher, The Deception Of Bestseller Lists, Speaker Magazine, June 25, 2013.

Dennis  Abrams, How To  Buy A Top Spot On The New York Times Bestseller List,, March 10, 2014.

James Duncan, Mars Hill Responds To The Book Marketing Story, And I Respond To Their Response, Pajama Pages, March 7, 2014.

Jeff Bercovici, Here's How You Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List, Forbes, Feb. 22, 2013.

Jeff Bercovici, Firm That Helps Authors Buy Their Way Onto Bestseller Lists Goes Into Stealth Mode, Forbes, April 18, 2014.

Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg, The Mystery Of The Book Sales Spike: How Are Some Authors Landing On Best-Seller Lists? They're Buying Their Way, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 22, 2013.

Jeremy  Bums, Mark  Driscoll  Admits 'Manipulating'  Book  Best-Seller System, Christian Retailing, May 14, 2014.

Julia Fleischaker, Got $200,000? Congratulations, You're A  Bestselling Author, Melville House Publishing, March 7, 2014.

Lindsay Cohen, REPORT: Church Spent $200,000 To Put Pastor's  Book On Bestseller List, Komo News, March 7, 2014.

Lisa Williams, Here's How You Buy Your Way Onto The New York Times Bestsellers List, Media Authority Marketing (2014).

Lisa Williams et al., Get Published and Grow Your Business: How To Become The Hunted Not The Hunter (2014).

Megan Bannister, Diana Kander's 'All In Startup' Hits the NY Times, WSJ Best Sellers Lists, Heartland Development Conference, July 16, 2014.

Sandra Beckwith, Buying Your Way To A Best-Seller: Legit Or Scam? Build Book Buzz, Feb. 26, 2013.

Tim Grahl, The Truth About The New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists, Observer Business & Tech, Feb. 6, 2016.

Vincent Messina, Gaming The Best Seller Lists: How Business Book Authors Might Cheat The System -- And Why It Might Be Costing You Time And Money, The Beanstalk, Feb. 4, 2015.

Warren Cole Smith, Buying A Bestseller: Is David Jeremiah Another Gifted Pastor Who Has Used What Some Say Is An Ethically Dubious Method To Promote Books?,, Feb. 26, 2015.

Warren Throckmorton, Did David Jeremiah Use ResultSource To Make The New York Times Bestseller List? Patheos Press, Nov. 10,  2014.

Warren Throckmorton, False Witness: How The Religious Right Scams Its  Way Onto The New York Times Bestseller List, Daily Beast, Nov. 16, 2014.

Warren Throckmorton, Former Chief Financial Officer At Turning Point Claims David Jeremiah Used Questionable Methods To Secure A Spot On Best Seller Lists, Patheos Press, Jan. 14, 2015.

Warren Throckmorton, Where Did Result Source Go?  Patheos Press, March 18, 2014.

Warren Throckmorton, Why Did Result Source Need David Jeremiah's Ministry To Help Get Mark Driscoll on the New York Times Best Seller Lists?  Patheos Press, Nov. 16, 2014.

Wendy Russell, Evangelical Authors Buy Their Way Onto New York Times' Bestseller List, Giving Poorer Authors Moral High Ground, Patheos Press, Nov. 17, 2014.


Sample Coverage of 'Crowd-Funding' Stories (As Cited In 'The Kander Memo' and arranged by author's first name)

Andrea Noble, Crowdfunding  Websites Exploited By Scam Artists As Popularity Soars, Washington Times, Aug. 13,  2015.

Angie Welborn, Combating Charitable Fraud: An Overview Of State And Federal Law, Congressional Research Service.

Anne Flaherty, Federal Regulators Go After Crowdfunding Scams On Kickstarter And GoFundMe, Associated Press, June 11, 2015.

Catherine Fredman, Fund Me Or Fraud Me? Crowdfunding Scams Are On The Rise, Consumer Reports, Oct. 5,  2015.

David Pricco, Political Crowdfunding -- How Politicians Are Learning to Harness The Crowd,

Germano Silveria, How Political Crowdfunding Killed Traditional Campaign Financing,

Gordon Goodson, 7 Scam-tastic Crowdfunding Campaigns,, Aug. 3,  2015.

Rick Cohen, The Feds Take Action Against Crowdfunding Fraud, and It's About Time! Nonprofit Quarterly, July 2, 2015.

Sally Outlaw, Crowdfunding: 10 Top Crowdfunding Websites.