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Candidates argue over use of Joplin tornado in ads - KOAM TV 7

Candidates argue over use of Joplin tornado in ads

Updated:
JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Democratic Missouri gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster held a press conference in Joplin to try to clarify information shared in a recent ad by his opponent, Republican Eric Greitens.

The ad by Greitens campaign alleges that Koster was staying in "one of the swankiest hotels in the world" and "hung out for luxury for three days" upon hearing the news of the Joplin tornado. Koster serves as Missouri's attorney general.

"I have been attacked for trying to help the people of Joplin. He is trying to imply I was on some sort of vacation, when I was on a bi-partisan delegation to the state of Israel, meeting with the president of Israel for over an hour. My people were mobilized to help this community immediately," Koster said.

But Greitens' campaign manager says their ad is merely a response to an ad by Koster, depicting him talking to people in a war-torn tornado path.

"Chris Koster put that ad up, we believe people deserve to know the truth. The truth is when tragedy struck Joplin, Koster stayed overseas for a few more days. When he finally returned to Missouri he had the taxpayers of Missouri pay for a private plane for him to fly to Joplin. Because driving was just too tough," Greitens campaign manager Austin Chambers said over a Skype interview.

The use of the tornado in both ads has caused a stir in some residents.

Koster was outraged at Greitens claim of misuse of the tornado.

"I think it's outrageous to even try to claim that. That video symbolized what Joplin can be for our entire state. How when people come together, we can rebuild a city," Koster said.

Koster told a group at the press conference that his office prosecuted 13 individuals for trying to "scam" the residents of Joplin following the tornado.

"Chris Koster put up the first ad basically politicizing this tragedy and we were just setting the record straight so people would know the truth. Now he's got a second ad up," Chambers said, "He's trying to take credit for the recovery efforts that the community was responsible for there in Joplin and we think that people deserve to know the truth."
 

Below is a statement from Rep. Billy Long about his involvement, a press release from Greitens and below that, information provided to us by the Koster campaign about his whereabouts during and after the tornado.

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"Congressman Long arrived in Joplin around 5am the morning after the tornado. In boots and jeans the Congressman joined first responders and helped dig through rubble in search of survivors. He also was present that morning, to ensure the timely arrival of FEMA and act as a liaison for city and community leaders."

###

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Austin Chambers314-914-5454
October 17, 2016

Chris Koster's Response in Joplin is Part of a Disturbing Pattern

St. Louis, Missouri — After Chris Koster released a television ad politicizing the Joplin tornado, attempting to use photos of himself near the disaster site to get votes, the Greitens campaign responded with an ad correcting the record.

Now that the truth is coming out about his political opportunism, Koster is getting defensive. 

Greitens' campaign manager Austin Chambers released the following statement, "Career politician Chris Koster put up an ad politicizing and taking advantage of the tragedy in Joplin, but the people of Missouri deserve to know the truth about how Chris Koster treats his office."

When the tornado hit Joplin, Chris Koster was on his third trip to Israel paid for by outside interests. The Israel trip was just one of many lobbyist-funded trips and luxury hotels that Koster has enjoyed as a career politician. He also enjoyed the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia (Chris Koster, State Of Missouri Out Of State Travel Authorization, 4/22/09), the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs (Chris Koster & Joe Dandurand, State Of Missouri Out Of State Travel Authorization, 6/12/09), The Biltmore (Chris Koster, Arizona Biltmore Invoice, 12/3/09), The Hay Adams in Washington DC (Chris Koster, The Hay Adams Hotel Invoice, 10/31/11) and many others paid for by the taxpayers or outside interest groups. 

Some of these trips were covered by the New York Times in their report that exposed Koster as one of the most corrupt attorneys general in the country. The New York Times outlined Koster's pattern of dropping investigations after receiving campaign donations from corporations. 

Koster continued to enjoy his trip to Israel for three days following the tornado. Then he chose to have the taxpayers pay for a charter plane to Joplin so Koster could hold a press conference and get media attention. (Pam Coffery, Attorney General’s Office, “Use Of State Plane,” 6/1/11) 

This is just one of many times that Koster has had taxpayers pay for his plane travel around the state to promote himself. Koster has billed the taxpayers over $100,000 to fly around in luxury because driving was too inconvenient for him. Nearly every time the taxpayers paid for Koster's luxury travel it was to give a press conference or speech. That's the problem with corrupt career politicians. They think everything is about themselves and their promotion, even tax dollars and disasters. We will continue to let the people of Missouri know the truth about crooked career politician Chris Koster.

Here's the facts:

On May 22, 2011 one of the most destructive tornadoes in our history struck Joplin, Missouri. The tornado killed 161 people. (CNN)

On May 18, 2011, Koster Left For Israel On A NAAG Trip And Returned On May 25, 2011. (Chris Koster, State Of Missouri Monthly Expense Report, May 2011)

(Chris Koster, State Of Missouri Monthly Expense Report, May 2011)

NOTE: NAAG is the National Association of Attorneys General.

Chris Koster stated that his trip to Israel was part of his role as the national co-chairman of the Democratic Attorneys-General Association, a group that describes itself as "a political organization formed to support the election of Democrats to the office of Attorney General."

This was the same association that was the subject of a scathing New York Times investigation into luxury trips where Chris Koster and other politicians rubbed shoulders with lobbyists. It was revealed in the investigation that Koster dropped a series of investigations after interacting with lobbyists on these trips.

Excerpted from the New York Times:

"When the executives who distribute 5-Hour Energy, the popular caffeinated drinks, learned that attorneys general in more than 30 states were investigating allegations of deceptive advertising — a serious financial threat to the company — they moved quickly to shut the investigations down, one state at a time.

But success did not come in court or at a negotiating table.

Instead, it came at the opulent Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in California, with its panoramic ocean views, where more than a dozen state attorneys general had gathered last year for cocktails, dinners and fund-raisers organized by the Democratic Attorneys General Association. A lawyer for 5-Hour Energy roamed the event, setting her sights on Attorney General Chris Koster of Missouri, whose office was one of those investigating the company...

Ms. Kalani’s firm, Dickstein Shapiro, had courted the attorney general at dinners and conferences and with thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Mr. Koster told Ms. Kalani that he was unaware of the investigation, and he reached for his phone and called his office. By the end of the weekend, he had ordered his staff to pull out of the inquiry, a clear victory for 5-Hour Energy."

Chris Koster says that the press conference was justified because it helped call attention to his efforts to combat consumer fraud. Koster has previously taken heat for raiding money marked for consumer fraud investigation to redecorate his office.

Chris Koster's own press release describes Koster's sight-seeing while overseas and admits that the timeline of the ad is correct. Chris Koster spent three days in luxury instead of rushing back to assist the people of Joplin. When he did return to Missouri, he charged the taxpayers for a private plane to hold a press conference in Joplin in front of the press corps. Now that he's running for a higher office, he's trying to use the Joplin tornado to advance his political career. The people of Missouri deserve to know what he was really doing during that disaster and how it reflects his pattern of absenteeism, elite travel on the taxpayer dime, and penchant for political opportunism.

###


###

Background

  • Attorney General Koster sued 13 companies, recouping at least $167,786.12 for the residents of Joplin and sent scammers to jail.

  • Attorney General Koster held multiple public events, meeting with families, small business owners and community leaders to help bring back Joplin stronger than ever.

  • Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles asked “non-essential persons to stay away” unless they had residences in Joplin during the initial days after the tornado due to constant rain complicating efforts.

  • U.S. Representative Billy Long and U.S. Senator Roy Blunt did not tour Joplin until May 24, less than 36 hours before Attorney General Koster arrived.



 

Defendant

Outcome

Source

Clark Baxter, Sustainable Design, Inc.

$26,000

[AGO, 9/30/14]

[AGO, 5/16/13]

Alivio Foundation, Inc.

$8,980.74

[AGO, 10/19/11]

[AGO, 12/19/11]

Insurexx, Jeffrey Wolfson And Gloria Diane Schoeller

Schoeller Paid $24,000 and

Wolfson Sentenced 13 Years To Prison

[AGO, 6/27/14] [AGO, 6/20/13]

[AGO, 5/16/12] [AGO,11/17/14]

Charlies Eminger, Superior Construction

“Eminger will pay a $750 fine plus restitution to all of the victims.”

[AGO, 1/30/12]

[St. Louis Business Journal,1/30/12]

David Box Jr, Joplin Landlord

$5,000 civil penalty and all court costs

[AGO, 6/13/11]

[AGO, 10/11/11]

Georgia Triangle Broadcasting

$13,000 in civil penalties and

$10,400 attorneys’ costs

[AGO, 6/6/11]

Urban Metropolitan Development, LLC

“Five counts of violating the prevailing wage law and received the maximum fine of $500 for each count. In addition, UMD agreed to pay $2,500 in civil penalties to the State Schools Moneys Fund.”

[AGO, 4/9/13] [AGO, 12/18/12]

E. Brian Sides, ABP Quality Construction, Inc.

$28,955.38

[AGO, 2/2/12] [Circuit Court Of Jasper County, 10/3/12]

Four Seasons Roofing

[AGO, 7/27/12]

Northland Tow Service, LLC

Temporary restraining order

[AGO, 7/8/11]

Independence Tow & Recovery, Inc

Temporary restraining order

[AGO, 6/10/11]

Sidney Ray-Bazan, Relief Spark

$39,200

[AGO, 3/5/14]

William Pittman, Precision Contracting and Roofing and CWRP, LLC.

$4,500 in restitution to consumers who were harmed and a $2,000 penalty to the state

[AGO, 4/13/12]

KOSTER WAS UNABLE TO USE THE MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL PLANE, HIS USE OF THE JEFFERSON CITY FLYING SERVICE HAD BEEN APPROVED

Koster’s Use Of A Non-State Plane Had Been Approved Because The Highway Patrol Plane Was Being Used. “Use of a state plane was needed on May 26 for Attorney General Chris Koster, Matt Dameron, Rhonda Meyer, Nanci Gonder, And Joan Gummels for travel to Joplin to tour tornado damaged areas and talk to victims regarding consumer protection fraud and price gouging awareness. Due to the Highway Patrol King Air being unavailable, a King Air was secured from Jefferson Flying Service at a higher rate per hour.” [AGO Letter, 6/1/11]

JOPLIN FIRE HAD ASKED THAT “NON-ESSENTIAL PERSONS TO STAY AWAY UNLESS THEY HAD RESIDENCES” IN THE DISASTER AREA

Joplin Fire Had Requested That “Non-Essential Persons To Stay Away” So That First Responders Could Do Their Search And Rescue Work. “The damage area on Monday was clogged with tourists driving through to take pictures, and Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles asked non-essential persons to stay away unless they had residences there. ‘We need sightseers to stay out of town,’ Randles said. ‘If you don’t live here and aren’t going to your home, you need to stay away.’” [Daily Reporter, 5/24/11]

Daily Reporter: “Rohr Said Constant Rain Has Hindered Search And Rescue Operations, But That Crews Will Continue To Work Throughout The Night To Locate Survivors.” “There are at least 116 deaths related to the tornado that ripped through Joplin Sunday night, and search teams on Monday rescued and additional seven people who were buried in debris. Joplin City Manager R. Mark Rohr confirmed the deaths at a press conference with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and other officials Monday afternoon at the city’s National Guard armory. The tornado is the single deadliest in the United States since 1899, when a tornado in Flint, Mich., killed 117 people, and officials said they expect to find more bodies. The National Weather Service has given the twister a preliminary EF4 rating. Rohr said constant rain has hindered search and rescue operations, but that crews will continue to work throughout the night to locate survivors. So far, 48 different agencies and 450 personnel, including first responders, state police and National Guard troops have converged on the city. With severe weather predicted through Wednesday, Rohr said, rescue personnel were preparing for a difficult task. ‘We know our city is strong,’ Rohr said. ‘We’re a city of neighbors.’” [Daily Reporter, 5/24/11]

KOSTER WAS IN ISRAEL AS PART OF A BIPARTISAN GROUP OF ATTORNEYS GENERAL “AIMED TO FACILITATE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S UNDERSTANDING OF THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT STRUCTURE AND THE HISTORIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE US AND ISRAEL.”

Koster Was One Of Ten Attorneys Generals Who Took Trip To Israel  “Aimed To Facilitate The A-G’s Understanding Of The Israeli Government Structure And The Historic Relationship Between The US And Israel.” Attorneys Generals from 10 US States wrapped up a five-day visit to Israel on Tuesday. During their visit, the A-Gs of Missouri, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Rhode Island, New Mexico, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama and Wisconsin, toured the country and met with top-level officials from the political and legal sectors. The Jerusalem Post heard impressions from Missouri A-G Chris Koster and Colorado AG John W. Suthers. The visit, co-sponsored by the America-Israel Friendship League, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and the Foreign Ministry aimed to facilitate the A-G’s understanding of the Israeli government structure and the historic relationship between the US and Israel.” [Jerusalem Post, 5/26/11]

Jerusalem Post: “Koster Said That While He Enjoyed His Visit To Israel, He Was Eager To Return To Missouri To Help Tackle The Aftermath Of The Tragic Tornadoes That Hit The State.”[Jerusalem Post, 5/26/11]

MAY 22 - THE DAY OF THE TORNADO, KOSTER WAS IN ISRAEL MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL, SHIMON PERES

May 22 - Koster Met With Shimon Peres And The Deputy Director Of Israel. [Koster AGO Schedule, 5/22/11]

MAY 23 – KOSTER ISSUED WARNING ABOUT SCAMMERS AFTER TORNADO AND SENT INVESTIGATORS TO JOPLIN – PAID RESPECTS AT YAD VASHEM MEMORIAL AND MET WITH ISRAELI MINISTERS

Koster Paid His Respects At Yad Vashem, Had Meetings With Met With Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, And M.K David Rotem of the Knesset.[Koster AGO Schedule, 5/24/11]

VIDEO: The Day After The Tornado, From Israel, Koster Was Explaining What His Office Was Doing To Preemptively Prevent Scammers From Taking Advantage Of Victims Of The Joplin Tornado.

Reporter: And we are just getting word that the Missouri Attorney General's office is sending investigators to Joplin to check for price gouging for that tornado leveled part of that Missouri city. So we have the Attorney General on the phone with us, Chris Koster, to talk about what is happening and it's hard to believe, Chris, or actually maybe not that people are taking advantage of others during this time of need. Amazing.

CK: Well we don't have any information yet that this is occurring but with events such as this, it does tend to occur around the country and we want to be on top of this and in front of the situation, so we're doing two things. First, we're putting a warning of concern out into the public specifically to retailers, to make sure that nobody gets tempted to engage in this type of activity and second, we're sending investigators down to Joplin to be there to take in complaints and concerns firsthand and to investigate them immediately and on the spot.

Reporter: So the investigators have been sent not because complaints have come in. This is just precautionary, is that right- move?

CK: Right. Back- you know, the first time I saw this was back when I was Prosecutor in, in Cass County in the wake of 9/11 and gas prices, for example, shot up at- that afternoon to $5 1/2 a gallon, from $2 1/2 a gallon. These types of big instances- and create artificial price shocks where they are not merited. We want to make sure that on- for emergency goods, plywood, water, diapers, the types of things that people are going to need immediately for their families and the maintenance of their families that prices remain stable and that's why we're putting our folks on the ground.

Reporter: If folks down there in Joplin see price gouging, what should they do?

CK: If price- if people are concerned that price gouging is occurring, then they should call our office at 1-800-392-8222. Again, that's 1-800-392-8222. That's a Jefferson City number. We'll transmit the information to our investigators on the ground and begin to launch an inquiry immediately.

Reporter: And do you think that your guys', your investigators will come back with some reports of this happening?

CK: Our hope is not. Our hope is that by taking a preemptive step against this and warning retailers to make sure that, you know, everybody knows it's going to take everybody bonding together. Everybody's going to have to work together in order to get through the next several weeks and months down in the Joplin area. And there's no room for anybody to be taking advantage of folks in need, our neighbors in need down in Jasper County.

Reporter: Let's hope that that's the case, that people won't be taking advantage of the storm victims. Chris Koster, thank you so much, the Missouri Attorney General for us. And here's the number again if you know of anyone who may be price gouging. You can call this number. It is 1-800-392-8222. And, you know, the penalties there involved with price gouging could be a fine of $1,000 per violation. We'll be right back. [KSHB, 5/23/11]

AGO Press Release: AG Chris Koster Issues Warning On Price-Gouging -- AG's Office Ready To Investigate Any Price-Gouging Allegations; Consumers Can Call 1-800-392-8222 With Complaints.” “Attorney General Chris Koster today warned individuals and businesses against price-gouging following the devastating tornado in Joplin. ‘Missouri law is clear – price gouging is illegal and the Attorney General’s Office will investigate and prosecute instances of price-gouging to the full extent of the law,’ Koster said. ‘The unimaginable disaster in Joplin will take everyone working together to recover. There is no room for anyone to try to take advantage of tornado victims in need.’ Koster’s office is sending investigators to the area to monitor for price-gouging and to examine any allegations on-site. The Attorney General urged any person who believes a business has suddenly and artificially raised the prices on necessities including gas, food, diapers, clean-up equipment, etc., should contact his office at 1-800-392-8222 or online to file the complaint. Koster said those who violate price-gouging laws can face penalties of up to $1,000 per violation.” [AGO, 5/23/11]

AP: The Missouri Attorney General's Office Is Sending Investigators To Joplin To Check For Price-Gouging After A Tornado Leveled A Swath Of The Southwestern Missouri City.” “The Missouri attorney general's office is sending investigators to Joplin to check for price-gouging after a tornado leveled a swath of the southwestern Missouri city.  The attorney general's office said Monday that investigators were sent to Joplin to monitor any price gouging. People who believe a business has artificially raised the prices for necessities such as gas, food and diapers can contact the attorney general's office at 1-800-392-8222 or file a complaint at http://www.ago.mo.gov. The attorney general's office says people who violate price-gouging laws can face penalties of up to $1,000 per violation. Attorney General Chris Koster says recovering from the deadly tornado will require that everyone work together, and people should not try to take advantage of storm victims.” [AP, 5/23/11]

MAY 24th – KOSTER TOURED HOLY SITES OF ISRAEL AND ISSUED ANOTHER PRESS RELEASE URGING MISSOURIANS TO “GIVE WISELY IN WAKE OF TORNADO” -- KOSTER WAS IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH HIS STAFF ON THE GROUND

Koster Toured Holy Sites Of Israel. [AGO Schedule, 5/24/11]

Koster Issued Press Release Warning Missourians About Charity Scams In Response To Tornado’s. “Attorney General Chris Koster today warned Missourians to be aware of disaster-relief scams in the aftermath of the tornado that devastated Joplin on Sunday. ‘Unfortunately, there are people who see opportunity in disaster,’ Koster said. ‘Scam artists will show up, pose as charities, and fraudulently solicit donations from people who are anxious to help those in need.’ Koster advises Missourians to be cautious of anyone wanting on-the-spot donations or refusing to provide written, verifiable information about the charitable organization represented. He also said to use a credit card or check for donating so that you have a record of the expense. In addition, Koster urges Missourians to use Check-a-Charity on the Attorney General's website at http://www.ago.mo.gov/ to make sure the charity you are considering uses your generous donation wisely. The site lists viable charities and provides information about how much of a charity's donated money actually goes to the cause as opposed to administrative expenses. Koster said those wishing to make donations to help the Joplin relief effort can feel safe doing so through established charitable organizations that are already working on the ground in Joplin such as: American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/), Salvation Army (http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/www_usn_2.nsf) and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (http://www.namb.net/disaster-relief-donations/).” [AGO Press Release, 5/24/11]

MAY 25th – KOSTER FLEW BACK TO MISSOURI AND IMMEDIATELY TAPED PSA WARNING ABOUT TORNADO SCAMMERS

Koster Returned To Missouri On The May 25, Immediately did PSA For Tornado Scammers  [AGO Schedule, 5/25/11]

MAY 26th – KOSTER VISITED AND TOURED JOPLIN DISASTER

AP Headline: “Missouri Officials Offer State Help To Tornado Victims.” [AP, 5/26/11]

Koster Visited Joplin On The 26th, Saying He Was In Israel When The Tornado Hit And That, “The Whole World Is Behind Joplin.” “Attorney General Chris Koster says the whole world is behind Joplin. He was in Israel when the tornado hit, and an Israeli state official offered Koster his prayers of concern. Koster urged caution about scammers who might be going to door to door offering cleanup for an upfront fee. A memorial and prayer service is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday at an auditorium on the Missouri Southern campus.” [AP, 5/26/11Video Clip]

Koster Visited And Toured Joplin After Tornado. [AGO Consumer Alert Video, 5/26/11]

MAY 27TH: KOSTER ISSUED ANOTHER PRESS RELEASE WARNING MISSOURIANS ABOUT SCAMMERS AFTER TORNADO

AGO Press Release: “Attorney General Koster Reminds Missourians To Give Wisely Following Tornado In Sedalia.” “Attorney General Chris Koster today warned Missourians to be aware of disaster-relief scams in the aftermath of the tornado that hit Sedalia Wednesday.  Unfortunately, there are people who see opportunity in disaster, Koster said. Scam artists will show up, pose as charities, and fraudulently solicit donations from people who are anxious to help those in need. Koster advises Missourians to be cautious of anyone wanting on-the-spot donations or refusing to provide written, verifiable information about the charitable organization represented. He also said to use a credit card or check for donating so that you have a record of the expense. In addition, Koster urges Missourians to use Check-a-Charity on the Attorney Generals website at http://ago.mo.gov to make sure the charity you are considering uses your generous donation wisely. The site lists viable charities and provides information about how much of a charitys donated money actually goes to the cause as opposed to administrative expenses. Koster said those wishing to make donations to help the Joplin relief effort can feel safe doing so through established charitable organizations that are already working on the ground in Sedalia such as the American Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/).” [AGO Press Release, 5/27/11]

JUNE 1st – KOSTER OPENED UP A MOBILE OFFICE IN JOPLIN

Carthage Press Headline: “Missouri Attorney General To Open Joplin 'Mobile Office.’” [Carthage Press, 6/1/11]

Carthage Press: “Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster Said Today His Office Will Open A Joplin Site On Monday That Will Provide Mortgage-Counseling Assistance To Individuals, As Well As Monitor And Investigate Consumer Fraud. The Mobile Office Will Be Located At The Red Cross Shelter On The Missouri Southern State University Campus.” Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said today his office will open a Joplin site on Monday that will provide mortgage-counseling assistance to individuals, as well as monitor and investigate consumer fraud. The mobile office will be located at the Red Cross Shelter on the Missouri Southern State University campus. Koster said assistant attorneys general and investigators will staff the mobile office from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, so long as the need exists for information and assistance. The attorney general’s staff will be available to assist people who have suffered property losses associated with the Joplin catastrophe and needing help in communicating with banks in working through the crisis. Individuals can also receive the assistance through the attorney general’s consumer hotline at 800-392-8222. ‘Hundreds of Joplin homeowners have lost their homes. Many have lost their jobs. The attorney general’s office will be there to assist them in navigating through the territory of making mortgage payments while waiting on their insurance checks or waiting for their employer to be back in business,” Koster said. “My office will use our expertise in consumer and legal issues to help our neighbors, one-on-one.’ Koster said people with questions or concerns about other consumer issues, including price gouging, identity theft, and contractor or debris-removal scams also can get personal assistance through the mobile office or the hotline. The attorney general said his office has investigators in Joplin to monitor and investigate any allegations of scams. ‘The same devastation that brought out the best in people willing to do anything they can to help, also brings out people who will prey on victims,’ Koster said. ‘The attorney general’s office will be aggressive in monitoring for scams and price gouging, and in prosecuting those who engage in this illegal behavior.”” [Carthage Press, 6/1/11]

JUNE 6th – KOSTER MET WITH BANKERS ABOUT JOPLIN REBUILD

Koster Met With “Leaders Of Major Banks, Loan Servicers And Insurers Monday In Jefferson City To Discuss Ways To Help Joplin Consumers With Mortgage And Credit Issues Caused By The May 22 Tornado.” “Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster met with leaders of major banks, loan servicers and insurers Monday in Jefferson City to discuss ways to help Joplin consumers with mortgage and credit issues caused by the May 22 tornado.  ‘The next few months are going to be a critical time in the financial lives of many Joplin residents,’ Koster said in a statement. "The purpose of the meeting is to address possible solutions for helping these residents with the mortgage and credit issues that are sure to arise.’ Koster said he hopes the session will lead to some uniform solutions for Joplin residents who are mortgage customers of a variety of banks. Those in attendance at Monday's meeting included representatives from Citi, Bank of America, GMAC Mortgage, UMB, U.S. Bank, Commerce Bank, Missouri Bankers' Association, Central Mortgage, JPMorgan Chase, Arvest, Shelter Insurance, Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac.” [St. Louis Business Journal, 6/6/11]

LEADERS IN BOTH PARTIES WORKED TO HELP MISSOURIANS AFFECTED BY THE TORNADO, GARNERING BIPARTISAN PRAISE

Gov. Nixon And His Administration Had Drawn “Bipartisan Praise” For Joplin Response. “But overall, the administration’s record in responding to the Joplin tragedy and other emergencies has drawn bipartisan praise. As the Nov. 6 election nears, Nixon’s attention to stricken areas, along with his rural roots and fiscal conservative image, helps explain why the Democratic governor may defy the state’s strong Republican trend. Polls have shown Nixon consistently leading his challenger, Republican businessman Dave Spence of St. Louis. The disasters put Nixon center-stage in combat boots and a hard hat, showcasing his ‘We-can-get-this-done-together’ maxim that has become the underpinning of his re-election campaign and is the theme of one of his latest television ads. ‘We are the toughest people in God’s green earth,’ Nixon told a roomful of supporters gathered for a political pep rally this month in Cameron in northwestern Missouri.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/24/12]

US Sen. Claire Mccaskill (D): “Joplin ‘Showing Us What A Comeback Looks Like’” [Claire McCaskill, 5/21/12]

US Sen. Roy Blunt Had Praised Joplin Response And Rebuild. “U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement today marking the first anniversary of the devastating Joplin, Mo. tornado: ‘In the aftermath of this disaster, we've witnessed remarkable rebuilding and recovery efforts in Joplin thanks to the tireless work of local and federal officials as well as the generosity of countless volunteers. While there's still more work to be done, Missourians have always shown extraordinary resilience and fortitude in the face of a challenge. I continue to join the families, job creators, and community leaders who are working not only to restore what was lost in this region, but to create new opportunities that will resonate in the years to come." [Roy Blunt, 5/22/12]

US Rep. Billy Long (R): “I Was Humbled By The Outpouring Of Help Offered By Families In Our District, In Our State, And In Our Country. The Eyes Of The World Were Watching And We Showed What It Means To Help Your Neighbors In Their Greatest Time Of Need.” [Rep. Bill Long Statement, 5/30/12]

US Rep. Lacy Clay (D) Had Praised Rep. Billy Long (R) After Tornado Saying, “Delegation All Rallied Around Long After The Joplin Tornado Hit, And He Was Impressed With How Long Handled The Disaster.” “Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, said Long has also made a good impression within the Missouri delegation. ‘He's very open and speaks his mind,’ Clay said. ‘He's not a button-up kind of guy,’ he added, referring to Long's habit of leaving his ties loose at the neck, as well as his easy-going personality. Clay said the delegation all rallied around Long after the Joplin tornado hit, and he was impressed with how Long handled the disaster. ‘It was a lot heaped onto a freshman,’ Clay said. ‘But you could see him right before our eyes grow into his job and grow into his responsibility.’” [Gannett, 11/15/11]

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    A  dismal start to National Safe Boating week as a fatal boat crash kills three and injures at the Lake of the Ozarks.

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  • An inspiring athlete takes on the Joplin Memorial Run

    An inspiring athlete takes on the Joplin Memorial Run

    Saturday, May 19 2018 6:41 PM EDT2018-05-19 22:41:17 GMT
    You may recognize him from this billboard last year. And now, he's off, Richard Vaughn hits the pavement for his 200th race, the only Joplin Memorial run contestant in a wheelchair this year.  "I know there's a lot of wheel chair basketball teams around here and other wheelchair athletes. Where are they? I'm challenging them to come out next year and not run against me, but run with me" says Vaughn.  He races in a standard wheelchair, rather than a chair s...More >>
    You may recognize him from this billboard last year. And now, he's off, Richard Vaughn hits the pavement for his 200th race, the only Joplin Memorial run contestant in a wheelchair this year.  "I know there's a lot of wheel chair basketball teams around here and other wheelchair athletes. Where are they? I'm challenging them to come out next year and not run against me, but run with me" says Vaughn.  He races in a standard wheelchair, rather than a chair s...More >>
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