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.

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 […]

‘Exploiting a loophole’: PACs tied to Missouri lobbyist draw new criticism 

By: - November 23, 2021

One day earlier this month, a company called Phoenix Home Care cut $120,000 worth of checks to six different Missouri political action committees.  A few months earlier, a pair of companies suing the state to block a crackdown on unregulated slot machines combined to drop $350,000 into the same six PACs.  The companies and all […]

Jay Ashcroft touts integrity of Missouri’s 2020 election, but supports an audit

By: - November 22, 2021

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft is confident Missouri’s 2020 election was safe and secure.  And while he has concerns about things that transpired in other states last year, he dismisses the idea that fraud cost Donald Trump the presidential election.  “Under our Constitution, Joe Biden was duly elected by our presidential electors. End of story,” […]

Missouri has paid $30K to defend Eric Greitens in age discrimination lawsuit

By: - November 22, 2021

The state has paid private attorneys more than $30,000 since 2019 to defend former Gov. Eric Greitens from an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a former employee of the Missouri Department of Revenue.  Mark Ausmus filed a lawsuit in 2018 alleging he was fired from a senior counsel position during the early months of Greitens’ […]

Pro-Parson PAC fined by Missouri Ethics Commission for violation

By: - November 17, 2021

The political action committee created to advocate for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson accepted an illegal contribution of $150,000 last year from an out-of-state group. In a consent order filed this week, the Missouri Ethics Commission determined that there are reasonable grounds to believe the Oct. 2, 2020, donation to Uniting Missouri PAC from RAGA Action […]

Gov. Mike Parson is replacing leader of Missouri’s child advocacy agency

By: - November 17, 2021

After 10 years leading the state agency that investigates complaints against Missouri’s Children’s Division, Kelly Schultz’s final day on the job will be Nov. 30.  In an interview Wednesday morning, Schultz would not comment on the circumstances behind her sudden departure or on who Gov. Mike Parson has chosen to replace her as director of […]

Missouri legislative leader joins crowded U.S. Senate race

By: - November 16, 2021

One of the top Republican lawmakers in the Missouri General Assembly filed paperwork Monday declaring his intention to run for the U.S. Senate. Senate President Pro Tem David Schatz, a Franklin County Republican, told The Independent in April that he was considering running to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt. At the time, he said […]

GOP auditor hopeful scores endorsements from Missouri billionaire, legislative leader

By: - November 12, 2021

Republican state Rep. David Gregory’s campaign for state auditor has scored endorsements from St. Louis billionaire David Steward and a lawmaker set to become the next Missouri House speaker. Steward and Speaker-elect Dean Plocher are hosting a fundraiser for Gregory next week at a country club in Clayton. Among the guests mentioned on the invitation […]

PACs tied to controversial Missouri lobbyist scramble to account for missing cash

By: - November 10, 2021

A pair of political action committees connected to a Missouri lobbyist under FBI scrutiny have begun taking steps to account for nearly $170,000 in cash that went unreported on disclosures to the state ethics commission. The discrepancies with PACs connected to Steve Tilley, a former lawmaker and longtime adviser to Gov. Mike Parson, were first […]

Missouri Senate leader decides against run in 4th District Congressional primary

By: - November 8, 2021

Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, announced Monday morning he would not run for Congress. Instead, he said in a letter posted on Twitter that he will continue to serve in the Missouri Senate. “The question I have asked myself in the last few weeks is a simple one: Can I deliver more substantive conservative […]

Missouri Democrats back Biden agenda, tout path to victory in U.S. Senate debate

By: - November 4, 2021

Six Missouri Democrats running to be their party’s U.S. Senate nominee shared a debate stage for the first time Wednesday night, with each voicing support for the president’s stalled domestic agenda and laying out what they see as a path to victory in a state dominated by the GOP. The candidates  — Air Force veteran […]

Missouri Senate hopeful Mark McCloskey stokes fear over vaccine mandate at town hall

By: - November 4, 2021

Missouri GOP Senate candidate Mark McCloskey told a crowd in Osage Beach last month that vaccine mandates were an effort by the government to push “right-thinking, freethinking Americans” out of their jobs to leave only “the indoctrinated sheep.” And after that, McCloskey told the assembled crowd, those COVID vaccine resisters would get “their name on […]