Deep Background

A news podcast by the Kansas City Star's political and news reporters, including in-depth commentary and analysis.. It's a deeper look at news and issues in Kansas and Missouri.
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Deep Background



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Now displaying: Category: politics
Sep 7, 2017

The Kansas City Star's Steve Vockrodt and Dave Helling of the Editorial Board discuss the recommendation of Edgemoor Infrastructure to design and build a new airport terminal.  A look back, and a look ahead.

Aug 30, 2017

Lindsay Wise of the McClatchy DC Bureau, Brian Lowry of the Kansas City Star, and Dave Helling of the Star's editorial board discuss the many issues Congress must confront in September -- with little time to do it.  A lively discussion.

Jun 14, 2017


Lawmakers in Kansas ground through another marathon session this year, ultimately upending the supply side tax cuts that have defined much of Sam Brownback’s time as governor.

They battled, as well, to sort out school financing, heading home still unsure whether they’ve got the distribution formula and the funding behind in a shape that the courts will let stand.

Legislators also imposed new regulations on amusement park rides after the death of one lawmaker’s son at the Schlitterbahn water park in Kansas City, Kan.



Hunter Woodall, the Star’s Topeka correspondent, and political writer Bryan Lowry sat in on the “Deep Background” podcast to unspool what happened in the Kansas capital this year, and what might yet come if Brownback vetoes key legislation.



Jun 7, 2017

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, dark money, presidential ambitions -- and the special session.  Join Jason Hancock and Dave Helling of The Kansas City Star as they discuss these topics and more on Deep Background.

Apr 26, 2017

TextEditorMembers of the Star’s editorial board, who’d argued for giving President Donald Trump, weigh in on his White House tenure as he nears 100 days in the Oval Office.

Mar 29, 2017

Kansas City voters will decide whether to spend $800 million in the coming decades to fix infrastructure, mitigate flooding, replace an animal shelter and comply with federal rules on disability accommodation. They'll also decide whether to eliminate potential jail sentences for municipal charges on marijuana possession.

Mar 22, 2017

Jason Hancock, Bryan Lowry, and Dave Helling dissect the first half of the Missouri legislative session and the first two months of Eric Greitens' term as governor.

Feb 8, 2017

Bryan Lowry, the new lead political reporter for the Star, joins the Deep Background podcast to talk about Gov. Sam Brownback and the Kansas Legislature's efforts to find a way out of a budget hole. Then the conversation turns to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and his unconventional approach to governing.

Feb 1, 2017

Dave Helling, Colleen McCain Nelson, and Melinda Hennenberger of The Kansas City Star's editorial board discuss the eventful first ten days of President Donald Trump's administration. It's time to take him literally.

Jan 25, 2017

The Kansas City Council is asking voters in an April election to raise property taxes for fixing streets, sidewalks and other infrastructure improvements. Voters will also consider a small hike in the sales tax to boost economic development on the city's east side. City Hall reporter Lynn Horsley explains what's going on.

Dec 28, 2016

Dave Helling and Scott Canon talk with the Star's new editorial page editor, Colleen Nelson, about 2016 campaign coverage.  Nelson covered the Clinton campaign and the Obama White House for the Wall Street Journal.

Dec 7, 2016

The Kansas City Star's Washington correspondent, Lindsay Wise, joins Dave Helling and Scott Canon to discuss the local impact of the Donald Trump transition.

Nov 9, 2016

What does the election of Donald Trump mean?  How will it work?  What just happened?  Dave Helling, Steve Kraske, and Scott Canon discuss the results of 2016 on Deep Background.

Nov 2, 2016

Who wins, who loses, and why? Kansas City Star reporters Dave Helling and Scott Canon and Steve Kraske of KCUR's Up to Date take a look at the races in the final hours.  Plus:  Hunter Woodall on the Kansas judges retention election.

Oct 19, 2016

With less than three weeks to go, Donald Trump is firing up fourth-quarter three-pointers, hoping for a win over Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton.  Dave Helling, Steve Kraske and Scott Canon talk about the last-minute strategies for the race, and what it might mean for candidates up and down the ballot.

Jul 12, 2016

Political reporters Dave Helling and Scott Canon of the Kansas City Star and Steve Kraske of KCUR's "Up to Date" discuss the unsettled Republican convention, which starts Monday in Cleveland.

Apr 13, 2016

Dave Helling and Scott Canon of the Kansas City Star discuss the fairness of the fight for delegates in the Republican and Democratic parties, and the potential for angry and alienated voters once the parties hold their conventions later this year.  And a bonus chat: Canon picks the winner of the NBA playoffs.

Apr 6, 2016

The Star's Dave Helling and Scott Canon review the results from Wisconsin, the path forward in both parties -- and whether money matters anymore.  And:  Are Kansas Citians anti-tax?

Mar 28, 2016

Lynn Horsley and Dave Helling of the Star, and Steve Kraske of KCUR's Up to Date and the Star, talk about the coming earnings tax election in Kansas City, the chances of a contested - and violent - GOP convention in July, Rex Sinquefield, and Sen. Jerry Moran's endorsements of hearings for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Music "Folk Round" by Kevin MacLeod

Mar 21, 2016

The Kansas City Star's Dave Helling and KCUR's Steve Kraske discuss the results of the Missouri presidential primary, the chances for a contested Republican convention, and Sen. Claire McCaskill's cancer diagnosis. Music “Folk Round” by Kevin MacLeod.

Mar 14, 2016

Dave Helling and Scott Canon of the Star discuss the Trump phenomenon, protests, and the Democratic race in Missouri as the state prepares to vote in the primary Tuesday.

Feb 29, 2016

The Kansas City Star's Dave Helling and KCUR's Steve Kraske discuss the upcoming Kansas caucuses, Gov. Sam Brownback's approval rating, Missouri politics a year after Tom Schweich - and the best movie of the year.