Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.

Marijuana, utility contracts: Records shows continued FBI interest in Independence deals

By: and - January 18, 2022

Federal law enforcement was still seeking information as recently as last summer about medical marijuana licensing in Missouri and utility contracts in Independence that have attracted FBI scrutiny for years.  That’s according to sworn deposition testimony from a Kansas City-area businessman that surfaced publicly last week. The deposition of Joseph Campbell, owner of the real […]

GOP leaders, Democrats agree to make it harder to stop a filibuster in Missouri Senate

By: - January 11, 2022

Republican leaders in the Missouri Senate took a step Monday night towards healing lingering tension with the chamber’s Democratic minority. But in doing so, they also likely exacerbated the festering intra-party divide that has plagued Senate Republicans for most of the last year.  On a 22-11 vote, all 10 Senate Democrats and 12 of the […]

Missouri House

Missouri redistricting begins with divide over tilting map more heavily in GOP’s favor

By: - January 10, 2022

As lawmakers officially kicked off the process of redrawing the state’s congressional districts on Monday, the continued divide among Republicans over whether to go after Kansas City’s Democratic seat was on display. GOP legislative leadership has proposed a map that preserves the congressional delegation’s current partisan breakdown, with two Democratic seats — centered on Kansas […]

Jay Ashcroft pushes for governor to call special elections for vacant Missouri House seats

By: - January 6, 2022

Gov. Mike Parson’s refusal to call special elections for six vacancies in the Missouri House is drawing criticism from the state’s top election official. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, who like Parson is a Republican, sent a letter to the governor Wednesday pointing to a state law requiring special elections be called “without delay” when […]

After quiet year, Rex Sinquefield donations start flowing in Missouri again

By: - January 5, 2022

With the 2022 statewide elections just around the corner, Missouri’s most prolific political donor is breaking out his checkbook once again.  Rex Sinquefield, a retired investor from St. Louis, didn’t make a single political contribution in 2021 until Dec. 11 Since then, he has donated $675,000.  Most of that comes from two $250,000 checks — […]

Missouri legislature set to convene with packed agenda — and continued GOP infighting

By: - January 4, 2022

Missouri lawmakers will return to the Capitol at noon on Wednesday faced with a lengthy to-do list and still simmering dysfunction. And while most legislative sessions ease slowly into gear, that won’t be the case in 2022. Or rather, it can’t be the case.  Lawmakers face fast-approaching deadlines to pass a supplemental budget and work […]

A year after Jan. 6 Capitol riot, a key purveyor of the ‘big lie’ is heading to Missouri

By: - January 3, 2022

The night before the anniversary of a mob incited by false claims of a stolen election storming the U.S. Capitol, one of the main peddlers of the so-called “big lie” is scheduled to be in Missouri.  Rep. Ann Kelley, R-Lamar, sent out invitations late last month for a dinner in Jefferson City with Douglas Frank, […]

Rex Sinquefield drops $250K into GOP primary for Missouri auditor

By: - December 17, 2021

Republican Scott Fitzpatrick’s campaign for Missouri auditor got a big boost Thursday, with megadonor Rex Sinquefield cutting a $250,000 check to a political action committee supporting him in the GOP primary. Sinquefield, a retired investor from St. Louis, is by far the most prolific donor in recent Missouri political history. Over the last decade, he’s […]

Missouri GOP political consultant gets probation in felony tax fraud case

By: - December 2, 2021

David Barklage, a veteran lobbyist and political consultant in Missouri, was granted probation by a federal judge Thursday for failing to pay more than $150,000 in taxes over the course of a three-year period. He was also ordered to pay restitution and perform 120 hours of community service. Federal sentencing guidelines called for him to […]

After being booted from Missouri Capitol, LGBTQ history exhibit headed to St. Louis

By: - November 30, 2021

Nearly three months after being removed from the Missouri Capitol by Gov. Mike Parson’s administration, an exhibit on the history of the LGTBQ movement will now be on display in several St. Louis locations.  Called “Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights,” the exhibit documents the early days of LGBTQ activism in […]

Group hopes to amend Missouri constitution to enact ranked-choice voting

By: - November 29, 2021

An effort to do away with partisan primaries in Missouri and replace them with a “ranked choice” method got a big boost last week, receiving roughly $670,000 from a Virginia-based nonprofit hoping to put the idea on the 2022 statewide ballot. A group called Better Elections is pushing an initiative petition that would amend Missouri’s […]

Missouri judge strikes down local health officials’ power to impose COVID-19 orders

By: - November 23, 2021

Cole County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green on Tuesday ruled that health orders designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 that were issued by local health departments violated the Missouri Constitution. At issue in the case were regulations issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services allowing directors of local health agencies to issue […]