Politics
10:15 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Clay says he wasn’t behind consolidating congressional districts

Congressman Lacy Clay is asking fellow St. Louis Democrat Russ Carnahan to knock it off with claims that he was in cahoots with Republicans to consolidate St. Louis's two congressional districts

Both Clay and Carnahan are vying for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District.

The issue has become a bit of a he-said-he-said between the former congressional allies, and Clay says he's just trying to get the facts straight.

"I worked hand in hand with both he and Congressman Cleaver to actually keep two keep two congressional districts in the city of St. Louis, to keep three in the St. Louis region," Clay says. "The evidence speaks for itself that the congressman has been less than honest with the Democratic clubs and with the public."

But Carnahan's campaign begs to differ, and stands by its belief that Clay did in fact conspire to eliminate Carnahan's district.

The race could be getting tighter, too, Carnahan picked up a key endorsement this week from The Missouri Fraternal Order of Police.

Clay was in St. Louis on Tuesday for media event promoting a federal grant awarded to both the City of St. Louis and the St. Patrick Center.

The veteran job training grant totals a combined $600,000 and was awarded under the U.S. Department of Labor’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. 

This is the third year in a row both the City and the St. Patrick Center has received the grant.

Even though last year the program placed more than 100 veterans in jobs, Director of Human Services for the City of St. Louis, Bill Siedhoff, says there is still a stigma attached to hiring veterans.

“For some reason there’s this perception about veterans that has resulted in not the kind of willingness I would hope people would have in terms of hiring veterans,” Siedhoff says.    

The program falls under the City’s Continuum of Care, which coordinates homeless services with a network of community partners.