Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Jason Rosenbaum

Political Reporter

Since entering the world of professional journalism in 2006, Jason Rosenbaum dove head first into the world of politics, policy and even rock and roll music. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Rosenbaum spent more than four years in the Missouri State Capitol writing for the Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri Lawyers Media and the St. Louis Beacon. Since moving to St. Louis in 2010, Rosenbaum's work appeared in Missouri Lawyers Media, the St. Louis Business Journal and the Riverfront Times' music section. He also served on staff at the St. Louis Beacon as a politics reporter. Rosenbaum lives in Richmond Heights with with his wife Lauren Todd, an engineering librarian at Washington University. They have two sons, Brandon Todd Rosenbaum and Declan Todd Rosenbaum.

President Donald Trump arrives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport to attend a fundraiser for GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s Politically Speaking zeroes in on how President Donald Trump will affect Missouri’s election cycle — particularly U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid against Attorney General Josh Hawley.

On the surface, Trump should benefit Hawley — especially because the GOP chief executive won Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016. Missouri’s public opinion polls show his approval ratings hovering around 50 percent. But Trump has faced a torrent of controversy this week with the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen court proceedings.

Archbishop Robert Carlson speaks during a press conference on August 23, 2018. Carlson invited Attorney General Josh Hawley to review allegations of clergy sex abuse.
Ryan Delaney I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has accepted the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ invitation to review allegations of clergy sex abuse.

It comes after a grand jury in Pennsylvania issued a report detailing widespread child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in that state. Sex abuse victim advocates have been calling for Hawley to launch a similar investigation.

State Rep. Karla May, D-St. Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Karla May joins Politically Speaking to talk about her ouster of Sen. Jake Hummel in Missouri’s 4th Senate District.

May is a four-term Democratic lawmaker who represents a portion of western St. Louis in the Missouri House. Her roughly 5,000-vote victory — 20,204 to 15,137 — over Hummel was arguably the biggest statehouse surprise in the Aug. 7 primary. If May wins in November, she will represent St. Louis with Sen. Jamilah Nasheed. It would mark the first time that two African-American women have represented the city in the Missouri Senate. The 4th District also includes a small part of St. Louis County. 

Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, sponsored the municipal governance overhaul in the House.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is appointing three-term state Rep. Robert Cornejo to the state’s Labor and Industrial Relations Board.

Parson picked Cornejo to lead the board that, among other things, reviews workplace and labor disputes. the appointment marks an end of the St. Peters Republican’s legislative tenure, which featured chairmanships of several key committees.

The St. Louis County Council approved three charter amendments earlier this month. One would provide the council with more authority over the county budget.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is panning an effort to give the County Council more budgetary authority.

If Stenger vetoes the measure, the council is prepared to override the Democratic chief executive — setting up a showdown at the ballot box later this fall.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Politically Speaking to talk about her quest for a third term in one of the nation’s most closely watched Senate contests.

The Missouri Democrat was first elected to the Senate in 2006. Before that, McCaskill served as Missouri’s auditor, Jackson County prosecutor and a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday, August 17, 2018, in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Friday’s edition of Politically Speaking explores three different storylines to watch as candidates and campaigns ramp up for the November election.

The first one that St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies tackle is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s upcoming meeting with Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides of the political spectrum are pressuring McCaskill on how to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which comes as she runs against GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger confers with Councilman Pat Dolan at a Dec. 19, 2017, meeting of the St. Louis County Council.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council isn’t finished changing up the county’s charter.

Council members on Monday sent four charter amendments for voter approval. The measures stem from an increasingly adversarial relationship between the council and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. They’re slated for the Nov. 6 general election.

Paul Berry III
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

GOP St. Louis County executive nominee Paul Berry III joins the Politically Speaking podcast to discuss his campaign to be one of the region’s top elected officials.

Berry won a two-way GOP primary last week for the county executive’s office. He’ll square off against incumbent St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger in November, along with several third-party candidates.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger celebrated a narrow victory over Democrat Mark Mantovani.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

At the end of a primary campaign that featured pointed attacks and biting television ads, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger used his victory speech to emphasize a need to come together.

Stenger barely held off businessman Mark Mantovani, who has yet to concede the race after falling about 1,100 votes short in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. It was a contentious and expensive affair that put Stenger’s dismal relationship with the St. Louis County Council in greater focus. He alluded to that seemingly endless acrimony near the tail end of his address.

Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Former Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon returns to Politically Speaking to discuss a multitude of issues, including the state of St. Louis’ education system and the challenges of gubernatorial leadership.

Nixon served as governor from 2009 to 2017. He is one of four men (Mel Carnahan, John Ashcroft and Warren Hearnes) to be elected to two consecutive terms as Missouri’s chief executive. He also was elected to four terms as attorney general and to a Jefferson County-based Senate seat.

St. Louis County executive candidate Mark Mantovani was defeated by incumbent Steve Stenger on Tuesday by about 1,100 votes. Mantovani has not yet decided whether to seek a recount, Aug. 8, 2018
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrat Mark Mantovani is holding off on conceding the St. Louis County executive’s contest.

Mantovani is trailing St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger by less than 1 percentage point. While emphasizing that he’s not planning to contest the election, Mantovani says “uncounted and outstanding provisional ballots” exceed the difference between the two candidates. 

Wesley Bell, candidate for St. Louis County prosecutor, votes at First Presbyterian Church in Ferguson on Tuesday morning. Aug. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

If Missourians proved anything on Tuesday, it’s that they aren’t predictable when it comes to how they vote.

Less than two years removed from endorsing President Donald Trump and a slate of GOP statewide aspirants, voters overwhelmingly repealed the party’s signature policy, right to work, from the law books. But instead of backing candidates that won the blessing of organized labor groups, St. Louis and St. Louis County voters decided to go in very different directions.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley addresses the crowd in Springfield, Missouri, after winning the GOP primary for U.S. Senate on August 7, 2018. He will take on Claire McCaskill in November.
Jennifer Moore | KSMU

GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill easily won their respective Missouri primaries on Tuesday, setting up a Senate showdown in November that will gain national attention.

And voters in St. Louis-area congressional districts decided to keep U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay in office — and selected Cort VanOstran to square off against GOP Congresswoman Ann Wagner.

Hawley ended up defeating 10 other candidates in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. He’ll face McCaskill, a two-term senator who easily won her primary against six opponents.

Mike Louis, the president of the Missouri AFL-CIO, declares victory in defeating Proposition A on August 7, 2018 at Sheet Metal Workers Local 36.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri voters rejected the right-to-work measure on Tuesday, delivering a big blow to a priority of the GOP-controlled legislature and powerful business groups.

It’s the second time in the last 40 years that Missourians defeated the policy, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment.

In the other statewide contest on Tuesday’s ballot, Saundra McDowell bested three other Republicans to take on state Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Union members gathered at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Hall on Aug. 8, 2017, to notarize and turn in petitions to force a statewide vote over Missouri’s right-to-work law.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the surface, the purpose of Tuesday’s primary is only to select candidates who will run in the November general election. But in reality, the results could resonate for years to come.

That’s because Missouri voters will decide whether to retain the right-to-work law, which bars unions and employers from requiring workers to pay dues as a condition of employment. And in the St. Louis region, prevailing in the Democratic primary is often tantamount to election — especially in state legislative and local contests.

David Steelman
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

David Steelman joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about the health of the University of Missouri System, as well as the demise of former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Steelman is a veteran Republican public official who served as a state lawmaker in the 1980s. He’s currently the chairman of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators, which oversees campuses in Columbia, St. Louis, Rolla and Kansas City.

An analysis of states that decriminalized marijuana reported a steep drop in the number of related arrests and no increase in adolescent use.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians will get three different chances this fall to legalize medical marijuana — as well as potentially raise Missouri’s minimum wage and alter the process for state legislative redistricting.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A total of 18 Republicans and Democrats are running for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat.

But most of the attention is on two contenders: incumbent Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Those two candidates and their allies have been sparring for months, providing a prelude to what could be one of the most expensive and contentious national elections of the 2018 election cycle.

Attorney General Josh Hawley
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley joins Politically Speaking to talk about the nationally watched contest for the state’s United States Senate seat.

Hawley is the most well-known and well-funded Republican seeking to take on U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in the fall. He’s facing off against 10 GOP candidates in next month’s Aug. 7 primary, including two, Austin Petersen and Tony Monetti, that have been guests on Politically Speaking.

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