Richard Weiss

Richard Weiss

Ways to Connect

Provided by Missouri History Museum

It takes a great character to make a good story. That’s what I was once told.

But what makes a great character?

My muses have always told me to find someone who is both extraordinary and ordinary.

Extraordinary in that the individual has lived a life like no one else. Fascinating.

Ordinary in that the individual is imperfect, just like us. He or she shares the same foibles and fears, hopes and aspirations that we have. We can see ourselves in that person. Compelling.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Father’s day is just around the corner, and the anticipation in my home is palpable. Today I received an e-mail from the best mother in the world that said: “You need to be concerned.”

Below it was a forwarded press release, with the headline: Survey Reveals Dad Loses out to Mom. Two-thirds would move Mom in over Dad.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Missouri Democratic statewide candidates cruised to victory statewide on Nov. 6, but the party’s standard-bearer, Barack Obama lost the state by nearly 10 percent. Why? Ray Hartmann says the answer is race. Here’s how Democrat Gwen Reed and Republican Paul Zemitzsch responded.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When it comes to politics, Art Perry leans to the left; Emory Kesteloot to the right. The two are neighbors and friends in St. Louis’s Central West End and started our series of Back Fence columns in which  friends, relatives and neighbors disagree agreeably about issues in the 2012 campaign. Recently they exchanged e-mails about America’s debt problems.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Gabe Fleisher, the 11-year-old blogger and pundit from University City, attended the McCaskill-Akin debate on Thursday. Here are his impressions.

Much to my chagrin, the 2012 election season is coming to a close. As I look back at the past 18 months I have had the honor of reporting on the elections, there is one big surprise that I can think of: the U.S. Senate right here in Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name: Roy Temple

Party:  Democrat

Age: 48

Education:  Southeast Missouri State University, University of Missouri-Columbia Law SchoolJob: Partner, Midwest Advocacy Group and Groundswell Creative, Des Moines-based political consulting firms.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name:  John Hancock

Party:  Republican

Age:  48

Job: Founder, president John Hancock Associates, a political consulting firm, and its sister firm, Public Pulse Research.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name: Franc Flotron

Party: Republican

Age:  57

Education:  Washington University

Job:  Founding partner, Flotron & McIntosh, a lobbying firm.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name:  Don Calloway

Party:  Democrat

Age:  33

Education:  Alabama A&M University, Boston University School of Law

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name:  Jeff Roe

Party: Republican

Age: 42

Job: Founder, principal, Axiom Strategies, a Kansas City-based political consulting firm.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name: Jane E. Dueker

Party: Democrat

Age: 46

Job: Partner, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLC, a law firm in Clayton.  Dueker specializes in government and media law, helping individuals and corporations to navigate government regulations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name: Catherine Hanaway

Party: Republican

Age: 48

Job: Attorney, Ashcroft, Hanaway LLC

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name:  Paul Zemitzsch

Party: Republican

Age: 56

Job:  President, Sequel LLC, a St. Louis public relations, marketing and governmental relations firm;  president, founder Explore Green, which represents scientists and explorers around the world.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name: Richard Callow

Party: Democratic

Age: 59

Education: University of Dallas, Boston College, Tufts University

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Mary Otto is a housewife and mother who lives in Clayton. She has always had an interest in news and current events. But after passage of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, she began hosting discussion groups, and organizing and motivating others to fight against what she saw as the government’s intrusion into the private lives of ordinary citizens. A lifelong Republican, Mary leans toward the conservative end of the spectrum. 

Christine Luhnow is a mother and former television journalist. Recently she created an online blog to add a moderate Republican female voice to public debate — ModerateMoms.com. She says she is as far to the left as you can be while still being on the right. Her goal is to get public servants working together again and to get moms to buy in to what’s going on.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Pam and Craig Niehaus grew up in north St. Louis County with two other siblings. Craig claims to be truly bipartisan, having spent half his adult life as a liberal and half as a conservative.  A Glendale resident, he sells real estate, writes letters to editors, and visits area bakeries. Pam retired several years ago as communications director for St.Louis Community College. After renovating two houses in Webster Groves, she hopes Craig will find her the perfect condo. The two have very different views of Paul Ryan, who could be the nation’s next vice president.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name:  John Combest

Party:  Republican

Role: Blogger/news aggregator

His Clout:  For more than a decade, Combest has been posting a daily list of links to news stories about Missouri politics from around the state and nation. His site is a daily must-visit for political staffers, candidates and reporters. Although he’s firmly in the Republican camp, Combest’s news list isn’t – it includes stories critical of both parties, making it valuable for readers of all political stripes.

Age: 34

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Larry Levin and Steve Pick got to know each other through a fantasy baseball league. Larry is publisher of the Jewish Light. Steve is a long-time music critic, host of Sound Salvation on KDHX 88.1 FM, and the tallest employee at Euclid Records. Larry and Steve see eye-to-eye on many things, but not when it comes to the controversy involving Chick-fil-A.

Missouri History Museum

Chances are most St. Louisans will neither notice nor show much appreciation for a 133-year-old gentleman who is returning to our town for a visit on Saturday.

He is the Veiled Prophet from the Kingdom of Khorassan. Insiders call him the Grand Oracle or G.O., for short. He used to be quite well known. Now not so much.

But for many years he was a symbol of St. Louis.

Scott McClellan's new book is interesting and makes a useful contribution toward documenting what went on at the Bush White House. But that hardly makes him an admirable figure, media critic and Beacon contributing editor Dick Weiss tells McGraw Milhaven on the McGraw Show on KTRS (550-AM).

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Are we bringing everyone together?  

When candidates talk about uniting our country, they frequently mention blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians, Christians and Jews. They almost never mention the nation's 5 million Muslims. What's up with that? Dick Weiss and McGraw Milhaven discuss this on the McGraw Show on KTRS-550 AM.      

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