Chris McDaniel

Reporter

Chris McDaniel started at St. Louis Public Radio as a political reporter, predominantly covering the race between Senator Claire McCaskill and Congressman Todd Akin. Before coming to St. Louis, Chris worked at NPR stations in Louisville, Kentucky and Columbia, Missouri, and his work has been broadcast on NPR’s national newscasts. He is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri, where he studied journalism and political science. He is also the winner of the 2011 PAX East Super Smash Bros. Tournament. Chris enjoys dogs, anything by Cormac McCarthy, and listeners like you.

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On The Trail
5:16 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Remembering Highlights Of 2014 Politically Speaking Podcasts

Breaking new ground is one of the trademarks of the Politically Speaking podcast, and this year was no exception. 

After three years of podcasts, Politically Speaking changed its format and put the spotlight on guests. In all, 48 episodes featured federal, state and local officials from across Missouri and Illinois – as well as a few folks who aren’t in office.

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Politically Speaking
10:14 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Politically Speaking: Sen. Sifton On His Attorney General Run — And Fallout From Veto Session Clash

Credit Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking trio welcomes back state Sen. Scott Sifton. The Affton Democrat won election to the Missouri Senate in 2012 in a hard-fought race against then-Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay. 

Most recently, Sifton, an attorney with Husch Blackwell, made waves in the Missouri Senate with his filibuster during the fall veto session of legislation mandating a 72-hour waiting period for abortions. He’s also been part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling for curbs on meals, travel and entertainment paid by lobbyists.

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Administration appointments
3:43 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Slay Taps Roth As Head Of Human Services; Stenger Announces Appointments

Eddie Roth, the new director of Human Services.
Credit Office of Mayor Francis Slay

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay appointed his deputy chief of staff, Eddie Roth, as the next director of the Department of Human Services.

Roth will oversee five divisions: Homeless Services, the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging, Veterans Affairs, Youth and Family Services, and the Office on the Disabled.

His predecessor, Bill Siedhoff, retired last month after serving for more than 13 years as director.

"Bill Siedhoff is a giant," Roth said in an interview. "He was a leading figure in providing social services in Missouri, so I have immensely big shoes to fill."

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Politically Speaking
12:06 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Politically Speaking: As New Speaker, Diehl Is Big On Business, Not Keen On Tolls

Credit Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast team welcomes the man who may be the most powerful legislator in the Missouri Capitol for the next two years: House Speaker-elect John Diehl, R-Town and Country. 

On this, his third appearance on the show, Diehl once again was pithy and candid.

Diehl, 49, is a lawyer and graduate of DeSmet Jesuit High School. He has been in the state House since 2009.

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Death Penalty
2:53 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Missouri Sets Execution Record With 10 In One Year

Early Wednesday morning, Missouri set a record for its number of executions in a year.

Paul Goodwin was the 10th man executed, more than any other year since the death penalty was reinstated in the state.

Goodwin was put to death for sexually assaulting Joan Crotts, a 63-year-old widow, and then killing her with a hammer in 1998 in St. Louis County.

In denying clemency, Gov. Jay Nixon referred to the crime as "brutal" and "senseless."

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St. Louis
4:06 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Alderwoman Young Announces Resignation; Aldermen Declare 'Black Lives Matter'

Long-time St. Louis Alderwoman Phyllis Young announced Friday that she will be stepping down next week.

Young, a Democrat, has been the alderwoman for the 7th Ward for nearly 30 years, making her the longest serving alderman. Her ward encompasses parts of downtown and Soulard.

"After much soul searching and discussions with family and friends, I have decided that 29-plus years is enough," Young wrote to her colleagues.

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Politically Speaking
3:42 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Politically Speaking: Keaveny Lays Out State Senate Agenda, Criticizes Governor

Credit Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

After a Thanksgiving hiatus, the Politically Speaking podcast team is back in the saddle. And this week, we welcome state Sen. Joe Keaveny, D-St. Louis, who will be the new Senate minority leader when the General Assembly goes back into session in January. 

Keaveny – a lawyer and the 28th Ward Democratic committeeman -- also chairs the Senate’s Democratic campaign arm. He has been in the Missouri Senate since late 2009, when he won a special election to fill an unexpired term. He won re-election on Nov. 4.

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One Shot Or Two
7:20 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Eight Things That Stuck Out To Us In The Pile Of Grand Jury Evidence

A photo of Wilson's car door. You can see where a bullet has entered near the handle, as well as some blood nearby.
Credit Grand jury evidence

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch released more than 5,000 pages of testimony, forensic evidence and investigative reports after announcing that there would be no indictment of officer Darren Wilson.

We've spent the past few days combing through the documents and found several things that raised our eyebrows.

1. In the initial investigative report, Wilson said he only shot once in the car. He told the grand jury it was twice.

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Politically Speaking
10:52 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Politically Speaking: Rep.-Elect Lavender Discusses Long, Long Road To The Missouri House

Credit Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast crew this week welcomes a woman who’s literally one of a kind:  state Rep-elect Deb Lavender, D-Kirkwood.

A physical therapist, Lavender appears to have set a modern-day record in the state by running four consecutive times for the same legislative post before winning.  She lost bids in 2008, 2010 and 2012 to then-incumbent Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood.

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Death Penalty
1:37 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Missouri Executes Leon Taylor, 9th Inmate This Year

Early Wednesday morning, Missouri executed its 9th man this year.

In 1994, Leon Taylor killed 53-year-old Robert Newton, a clerk, as part of a gas station robbery.  Taylor then pointed the gun at Newton's 8-year-old daughter, who had just seen her stepfather killed, but the gun didn't fire.

In denying clemency, Nixon wrote:

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