Morning headlines: Jim Talent will not challenge McCaskill in 2012, Bristol Palin will not speak at WUSTL, Coleman will try to keep video statements from jury

Jan 28, 2011
  • Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent has announced that he will not challenge Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in 2012. Instead he plans to continue his private-sector work on national security policies and hopes to aid former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney if he decides to run for president. Talent's decision opens the way for several other Republicans to throw their hat in the ring. Former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman has already announced that she will run. Other Republicans considering the race are U.S. Rep. Sam Graves of northwest Missouri, U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson of southeast Missouri, former Missouri Republican Party Chairwoman Ann Wagner and St. Louis attorney Ed Martin, who lost a close race for Congress last year.
  • In a statement released last night, Washington University in St. Louis said that Bristol Palin will not speaking at the university next month. The decision comes after some students expressed outrage over Palin being paid with student-generated funds. The daughter of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had been invited by the university's Student Health Advisory Committee to be part of a panel discussion on abstinence on Feb. 7. Bristol Palin became pregnant at the age of 17 and is a single mom to a 2 year-old son. It's not clear exactly how much she was to receive, but student leaders had approved spending $20,000 for the panel. The statement says the advisory committee and Palin decided "the message that they intended on sharing would be overshadowed by controversy."
  • A judge ruled yesterday that prosecutors can show sexually explicit homemade videos and images exchanged between murder suspect Christopher Coleman and his girlfriend in Florida. Meanwhile, Coleman's attorneys plan to ask a judge today to keep a jury from watching the videotaped statements he made to police the day his wife and sons were found strangled in the family home in Columbia, Ill. According to a document filed by defense attorney John O'Gara, Coleman wants to make that request today, and also plans to tell jurors at his trial that he was at a gym in St. Louis at the time of the murders. O'Gara tells the Belleville News-Democrat that Coleman was not properly read his rights during police questioning. Coleman faces three counts of first-degree murder in the May 2009 stranglings of his wife, Sheri, and his sons Garett and Gavin.