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Missouri Government News for Week of Oct. 26, 1998

State accepts bids for new auto-inspection stations

Beginning in 2000, drivers in St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties will have to take their cars in for an emissions test every two years.

The state has begun accepting bids from companies to build the inspection stations that will conduct the tests. These check-ups will be in addition to the annual safety inspections already required for every car.

GOP sets up election-day investigation effort.

The state GOP chairman announced a $10,000 reward for tips on voter fraud that lead to prosecution. And the party chairman also announced they will be video taping voters entering polling places in selected areas.

The video-taping plans immediately were denounced by Secretary of State Bekkie Cook who said the GOP effort would intimidate people from voting.

Boats in moats becomes a multi-million dollar campaign.

The gambling industry's ballot campaign to legalize boats in moats has cost $8 million already and there's another $2 million in the bank for the last week of the campaign, according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The opposition group reported raising only about $140,000.

In the State Auditor's race, Democrat Clair McCaskill reported nearly a two-to-one spending advantage over Republican Chuck Peirce -- $923,000 to $447,000.

Carnahan calls meth an "extremely dangerous" enemy at meth summit

At the second annual "Meth Summit" in Jefferson City, Governor Carnahan praised law enforcement officials for their work combating methamphetamine.

The purchase of three mobile command units and 20 explosion-proof containers to store confiscated chemicals should help the fight, Carnahan said. He also announced that nearly 500 people have called the state's meth hotline (1-888-523-METH) to report suspected methamphetimine production.

See our package of radio stories for details.

The Jackson County prosecutor launches an investigation of a Kansas City riverboat gambling operation.

The Kansas City Star reported Tuesday that the Jackson County prosecutor confirmed an investigation is underway into the Hilton riverboat in Kansas City.

According to the newspaper's story, the prosecutor is investigating the relationship between the riverboat operation and the chairman of the local port authority.

The prosecutor, Clair McCaskill, was quoted as saying that the investigation was requested by the state's Gaming Commission.

See the Star's story for details.

Democrats file federal complaint against the GOP state auditor candidate's campaign.

The State Democratic Chairman charged the GOP candidate for State Auditor has violated federal law by allowing GOP Congressional candidates to use TV ad time purchased in the name of the auditor's campaign.

At issue are TV ads purchased in the name of the GOP campaign for auditor. The Democratic Party chair charges some of that time actually is used for Congressional candidate ads.

Joe Carmichael says federal law prohibits advancing to federal candidates the kind of money involved.

The GOP auditor candidate, Chuck Pierce, denied any illegality. But he refused repeated questions by reporters to explain the financial details of ads.

See our newspaper story for details.