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Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) was introduced by Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders at the dinner held at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center last night:

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders: …We always knew that Chris Koster was an extremely effective politician. And we really knew that was the case when he switched parties and joined the Democratic Party. [applause] We knew how smart and brilliant this man was. [applause] We knew he was a great politician in winning, obviously the race that he ran and the races that he’d run before, but what we’re also now discovering about Chris, things that we knew and many of the people in this room know, is that he is a great administrator, a great person, a great leader.

One example. Two thousand nine looks like it’s going to be a record year in the State of Missouri for recovery of money on Medicaid and Medicare fraud. [applause] [cheers] Fifty million dollars [applause] that through Chris’ leadership is going to be returned.

Mike Sanders and Chris Koster

Now these are all the things that we can talk about, we can read about in the paper, Chris is in the paper. We can see the great things that he is doing in the Attorney General’s office, but I wanted to just end with a little brief thing. And that is, in 1996 I left the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office, I was a criminal defense attorney, and one of the first, the first case I got hired on was a gentleman who was ultimately wrongly convicted out of Cass County, Missouri. Let me tell you this. The man that I called was this man right here. The thing that amazed me about Chris Koster was when I called him, as a defense attorney/prosecutor you expect an adversarial relationship, what stunned me, what amazed me about Chris Koster was he was as agressive towards finding the truth about that case as anyone that that gentleman could have hired. But for him, but for him a wrongly convicted man could still be in prison today in the State of Missouri. That’s a personal story. [applause]

Chris Koster is a man who doesn’t just talk the talk. He walks the walk. He’s a man of high integrity, high character, a great leader, and your Attorney General, the top law enforcement officer for this State of Missouri, Chris Koster. [applause] [cheers]

Attorney General Chris Koster: Thank you very much.

Thank you to the Jackson County Democratic Party, for all your support. Congratulations Steve [Bough] on hosting another great Truman Days event. And to all of you in this room for the chance, the chance that you have given me to serve. It’s good to be back in Kansas City and among friends.

Missouri Democrats had a banner year in two thousand and eight. And we’re going to have another banner year in two thousand and ten when we take back this Missouri House of Representatives [applause], when we re-elect Susan Montee [applause], and when we send my friend Robin Carnahan to Washington. [applause]

If you told me ten years ago that I would be here tonight [laughter] speaking at the Truman Days dinner [laughter] I might be a little surprised. [laughter] The path that I took and the path that led me here tonight reaffirms my belief in the openness of a great political party and in the power of change. In November we saw what the power of change could do for this entire nation.

We saw young standing up with the old. We saw the rich standing with the poor. And we saw Americans of every different race and creed standing behind a common desire for change. Right here in Missouri millions stood behind the call for change that was voiced by Jay Nixon and Democrats from St. Joseph to Cape Girardeau. And these Missouri Democrats will not let this state down.

We are seeing the kind of leadership in the first few months of the Obama-Biden administration that is finally reconnecting our government and our people, and our nation to the entire world. In Jefferson City Governor Nixon is offering a true breath of fresh air, honest leadership, and open government. [Dutch Newman: “Yes!] [applause] He’s a man of progress. [applause] He’s a man of progress and not partisanship. He’s as plain spoken as Harry Truman and leads with the same common sense Democrat values. It was an honor to stand on the steps of the state capitol with him last January to be sworn in as Attorney General. Jay Nixon left big shoes to fill. Every day when I walk in that office I sit behind his desk, sixteen years, and I recognize the responsibility that he has left to me. But it is my goal to make him proud.

I happen to think that I have the best job in state government. My job isn’t to be a show horse. We’ve got a lot of talented people in this party to showcase, and in our government. I recognize that I am the low man on the Democratic totem pole. And I tell you tonight that there is no place that I would rather be.

Law enforcement has been my life’s work. And I’m proud to serve the people of this state and of this party every day…