Chris Koster: Wrong for Women
Chris Koster is always quick to tout his “experience.” But he is totally silent about his record on issues related to sex crimes and violence against women, probably because it is so bad.
Koster Failed to Stand Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse
In 2007, the Missouri General Assembly passed with overwhelming majorities a groundbreaking piece of legislation designed to protect the privacy of rape victims and properly punish those guilty of repeated domestic assaults.
The bill ended the practice of forcing rape victims to pay for their own “rape kit” medical exams, made repeated first degree domestic assault a Class A felony for the first time, and provided for the removal of victims’ names and addresses from records to keep them safe from their abusers, among other reforms.
The bill, HB 583, passed the House by a vote of 133 to 19. It passed the Senate by a vote of 29 to 4.
But Chris Koster was one of the only four senators to vote against the bill. He opposed protecting the women of Missouri.
Meanwhile, Governor Matt Blunt hailed the bill as “important bi-partisan legislation that toughens sentences, helps maintain victims’ dignity, and protects safe harbors designed to assist those in danger.”
Colleen Coble, the head of the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, praised the bill for ensuring “that women who have survived sexual and domestic violence will no longer face obstacles that compound the violence committed against them.”
Susan Kidder, Executive Director of Women’s Support and Community Services, stated that “This important legislation speaks to the fundamental right of all citizens to live in a world that is free from relationship violence.”
MaryAnne Metheny of Hope House said that the bill contained “significant protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.”
Pat Reiser of the Family Violence Center stated that the bill would allow “more victims [to] be secure enough to come forward for help.”
Koster Took Dirty Money From Sex Trafficking Lobbyists
From 2009 through 2011, Koster consistently attacked the website backpage.com for allowing listings and advertisements that promoted prostitution, sex trafficking, and sexual crimes against children. In August 2011, Koster joined other state Attorneys General in demanding information from backpage.com on what efforts it was taking to remove illegal advertisements.
Then suddenly he fell silent.
According to MEC campaign contribution records, beginning in September 2011 Koster received over $12,000 in campaign contributions from backpage.com’s lobbyist firm SNR Denton, including money directly from backpage.com counsel Samuel Fifer.
Apparently, campaign cash is worth more to Koster than protecting Missouri’s children.
Senator Claire McCaskill understands how serious an issue this is. Earlier this year, in a Senate hearing, she accused backpage.com of being responsible for the trafficking of “the majority of children who are sold for sex in the United States today.”