In the interest of full disclosure: I am chair of the 31st Senate District Democratic Committee. I communicate with Senator Koster in that capacity and as an individual party member who is pleased that he joined the Democratic Party.

Today’s Kansas City print edition of the Kansas City Star had a front page (below the fold) article on Chris Koster: After party switch, is Koster ‘a man without a country’?

The online title of the article?: Kosters party switch in Missouri leaves hard feelings on both sides of partisan fence

Hard feelings? They’ve got to be joking. As a Democrat what’s not to like? From my perspective all I had to do was show up to a press conference in Harrisonville at the beginning of August to find out that I didn’t have to help raise an ungodly amount of money to be represented in the Missouri General Assembly by a Democratic state senator.

We’re supposed to have a big tent in this party.

Let’s get some things out of the way. Several individuals who I greatly respect and who have worked with Chris Koster have spoken very highly of him over the years. Since August I have gotten to know Senator Koster. I’m no ingenue when it comes to politics – I’m as cynical as they come. Chris Koster is an intelligent public servant and a gifted politician. I like what I see.

I have met Margaret Donnelly on several occasions and recently had the opportunity to speak with her at a function. She is a formidable individual. I like what I see.

I have met Jeff Harris. I have heard him speak on several occasions. While I have not had the opportunity to speak with him, again, I like what I see.

The reality is we have three very impressive candidates running in the Democratic Party primary for Attorney General. My prediction: whoever wins the primary is going to be Missouri’s next Attorney General.

The Kansas City Star article:

…Now, many of his old Republican colleagues say Koster, who switched to the Democratic Party in August and officially launched his bid for attorney general in October, will don any uniform to advance his political career. That might be what you would expect a jilted party to say, but a number of Democrats resistant to Koster’s conversion say the same thing.

To critics in both parties, he’s now “Koster the Impostor…”

tiny URL

Okay folks, here are some cold, hard facts. All politicians are opportunists. And, Democrats should never take political advice or talking points from republicans.

As for the sincerity of Chris Koster’s switch? Anyone who doubts the present republican agenda on stem cells, their coming assault on labor and collective bargaining, and their attacks on the Missouri judiciary would probably like the idea of “opportunism” as the one and only motivating factor.

…To be sure, Koster has his supporters among Senate Democrats. Sens. Victor Callahan of Independence, Tim Green of St. Louis County and Jeff Smith of St. Louis all say Koster’s conversion was sincere…

Very interesting group of individuals, don’t you think?

There’s no waiting list to or loyalty oath in the Democratic Party. The only test you need to pass to become the party’s candidate in the general election is with the voters in the August primary. They’ll decide.

Meanwhile, our party’s strong group of candidates for Attorney General can chose to productively spend their time making their own case instead of complaining about the others around them. I’ll be waiting.