Author

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller

Rudi Keller covers the state budget, energy and the legislature. He’s spent 22 of his 30 years in journalism covering Missouri government and politics, most recently as the news editor of the Columbia Daily Tribune. Keller has won awards for spot news and investigative reporting.

Missouri governor calls tax cut plan a defense against ‘pet project’ spending by lawmakers

By: - August 26, 2022

COLUMBIA — To pass a $700 million tax cut plan in a short special session, an important consideration is to “keep it simple,” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday morning. That’s why Parson’s proposal accelerates income tax cuts already set to be phased in over several years rather than reduce other tax sources, he told […]

Lawsuit seeks to force Jay Ashcroft to begin review of 2024 Missouri initiative petitions

By: - August 24, 2022

A Columbia attorney hoping to enshrine abortion rights in the Missouri Constitution is suing Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft to force a review of his initiative petition prior to the November election. In the case filed Aug. 10, Jeff Basinger wrote that he submitted his proposal with all the required paperwork on July 29, only […]

Attorney sees victories in Missouri Sunshine Law cases over access to meetings, records

By: - August 11, 2022

In the tiny town of Edgar Springs, Rebecca Varney recently won a small victory in her fight to access city records, though a final resolution of the long-running dispute isn’t in sight. In another Sunshine Law dispute, the Southern District Missouri Court of Appeals recently ruled a public health emergency doesn’t suspend the requirement for […]

Josh Hawley help for Hartzler unable to overcome Trump attack in Missouri Senate primary

By: - August 4, 2022

In late January, a GOP strategist named Kyle Plotkin bragged on Twitter about how popular U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley was in Missouri and how valuable his endorsement would be in the state’s upcoming Republican U.S. Senate primary. Plotkin, who had previously been Hawley’s Senate chief of staff but had transitioned to working for his campaign,used […]

Missouri AG Eric Schmitt beats Hartzler, Greitens to claim GOP Senate nomination

By: , and - August 2, 2022

ST. LOUIS — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt beat back a crowded field of opponents Tuesday night to secure the Republican nomination for Missouri’s open U.S. Senate seat. With most precincts reporting, Schmitt led with 45% of the vote, compared to 22% for U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler and 19% for disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens. […]

Wood delivers petitions to secure a spot on Missouri ballot for independent Senate bid

By: - August 1, 2022

Independent U.S. Senate candidate John Wood said the results of Tuesday’s primaries won’t alter his campaign plan as he seeks to become the first person in modern Missouri history to win a statewide race without a Democratic or Republican label. On Monday, Wood delivered three boxes that he said had 22,000 signatures on his petition […]

Massive spending fuels contentious primaries in Missouri Congressional, auditor races

By: - August 1, 2022

The openings created by the ambitions of two Republican members of Congress are producing hot undercard primaries for GOP voters in central and southwest Missouri. And political action committees, some with known names and others created just for these races, are flooding the 4th and 7th Congressional Districts with attack ads that indicate who the […]

Lawsuit alleges Missouri Senate map hurt minority voters, splits too many counties

By: - July 29, 2022

A lawsuit challenging the state Senate redistricting map being used for Tuesday’s primaries alleges it violates the Missouri Constitution because it “packs” Black residents into two St. Louis area districts and splits Buchanan County without good cause. Filed by attorney Chuck Hatfield on behalf of three plaintiffs, the lawsuit names the Judicial Redistricting Commission and […]

After months of wavering, Schmitt comes out against McConnell days before Senate primary

By: - July 28, 2022

COLUMBIA — The final push to next week’s primary has Attorney General Eric Schmitt joining, for the first time, those hoping to oust Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican Leader and Lucas Kunce dismissing the importance of St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones’ endorsement in the Democratic race. Speaking to reporters after a campaign stop in a […]

Missouri senator faces attacks he says are payback for filibuster of Graves nomination

By: - July 28, 2022

The political enemies made in Jefferson City by a state senator seeking to continue his political career in county government followed him home. State Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial, must leave office in January because of term limits. He is running in the Republican primary for county executive in Jefferson County, challenging first-term incumbent Dennis Gannon. […]

Unofficial totals show Missouri marijuana legalization initiative short on signatures

By: - July 26, 2022

An initiative to legalize recreational marijuana use in Missouri will need help if it is going to be on the November ballot. Reports from every county in the state, delivered to Secretary of State John Ashcroft’s office, show the petition is short of its goal in two of the six congressional districts needed to qualify […]

Rick Brattin official postcards targeted Missouri voters likely to cast primary ballots

By: - July 26, 2022

When state Sen. Rick Brattin sent three large postcards to his constituents, his taxpayer-funded staff made sure they went to people most likely to vote in the Aug. 2 primary. Missouri Senate records obtained through a Sunshine Law request by Vernon County Republican Party Chairwoman Cyndia Haggard and provided to The Independent detail the development […]