Election 2016

Charlene Jones, a longtime political and education strategist who managed the Prop 1 campaign, speaks to a cheerful crowd at St. Louis Public Schools' downtown headquarters after watching election results come in.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis voters easily reaffirmed the city's earnings tax, a solid victory for city leaders and a stinging defeat for retired financier Rex Sinquefield.

And city residents also approved several other propositions, including a $25 million bond issue and a property tax increase for St. Louis Public Schools.

Staff, Flickr and Bill Greenblatt

Over the past 10 days, St. Louis Public Radio has presented articles on some of the issues before area voters this week. Most of the municipal elections were not reviewed. But we did look at county- and city-wide propositions, as well as tax issues within the city, some school districts and the municipal election in Ferguson.

Democratic National Convention 1876
Cornell University Collection of Political Americana

Donald Trump may have won Missouri’s Republican primary on March 15, but there’s no guarantee he’ll win the delegate war that’s about to get underway.

Later this week, both state parties will begin the three-tier caucus system that will be used to select most of the 84 Democratic delegates and 52 Republican delegates who will attend the parties’ presidential elections.

Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District | provided

Customers of the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District will see their bills go up after the election on Tuesday. By how much, and when, depends on the outcome of two ballot initiatives.

MSD is a wastewater and stormwater utility rolled into one. The services are funded through different revenue streams - hence the need for two different proposition.

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, guests discussed the contentious St. Louis earning tax (Prop E) that goes before city voters on April 5. Proposition E is a vote to either keep or phase out the city’s earning tax. If you are a wage earner and live or work in the city of St. Louis, you pay the city’s 1 percent earnings tax. More background on that here.

Thinking on whether the earnings tax is a boon or a bust for St. Louis city is sharply divided. 

It’s hard to tell how much impact St. Louis’ 1 percent earnings tax has on attracting businesses to the city. Arguments over the effects of the tax are largely anecdotal.

That’s in part because not much research has been done on the subject over the last 20 years, according to Sarah Coffin, a professor of Urban Planning and Development at Saint Louis University.

Aimee Clay of Sumner High School
Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Aimee Clay, a member of the Sumner High School ROTC Drill Team, began playing the national anthem on her violin at the start of the campaign kickoff for the St. Louis Public Schools 75-cent hike earlier this month.

Suddenly, clearly upset by an errant note, she stopped.

Campaign chairman Richard Gaines stepped up to put his arm around her shoulder. The crowd applauded encouragingly. Aimee regained her composure, started over and played the majestic tune flawlessly to the end.

A city tow truck brings a St. Louis Fire Department ambulance in for  repairs.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

For the second time in seven months, voters in the city of St. Louis are being asked to authorize borrowing for major capital needs.

Last August, voters rejected Proposition 1, which would have funded $180 million in borrowing with a property tax increase. On April 5, city residents will consider a smaller version of that proposal in Proposition F.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III listens to public comments on Saturday during a public hearing at the Ferguson Community Center.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson residents will consider raising taxes next week to fill a big budgetary gap, a potentially critical decision for the beleaguered city.

Before the city approved a consent decree with the federal government, members of the Ferguson City Council placed a sales tax increase and a property tax hike on the April 5 ballot. The sales tax proposal would boost the city’s sales tax rate by 0.5 percent. The property tax item would increase the city’s property tax rate by 40 cents per $100 assessed value.

car lot
Martin Kleppe | Flickr

On April 5, all St. Louis County voters, and residents of more than four dozen municipalities in St. Louis and St. Charles will see a variation of the following proposition, known as Proposition B  (A, V, or 1) on their ballot.

Both sides in the earnings-tax campaign are mailing fliers.
Scanned documents

If you are a wage earner and live or work in the city of St. Louis, you pay the city’s 1 percent earnings tax. No exceptions.

Ads and fliers that claim otherwise are “a big lie,’’ says Mary Ellen Ponder, chief of staff to Mayor Francis Slay. 

The ads and fliers come from the group, Vote No On The E-Tax. It is running a vigorous campaign to persuade St. Louis voters to decide on April 5 to phase out the city’s earnings tax, which has been in place since 1959.

State Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray, D-Black Jack, filed to run for the St. Louis County Council. She could pose a stiff challenge to incumbent Councilman Mike O'Mara.
Tim Bommel I House Communications | File photo

If St. Louis County Councilman Mike O’Mara wants to return to the council for another four years, he’ll have to ward off a potentially serious challenge from a fellow Democrat.

Both O’Mara, D-Florissant, and state Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray recently filed to run for the 4th District Council seat. That north St. Louis County-based district takes in portions of Florissant, Black Jack, Bellefontaine Neighbors, Riverview and unincorporated St. Louis County.

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton campaigned in St. Louis shortly before the Missouri primary.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

True to national predictions, Missouri’s presidential primaries ended up being Tuesday night’s nail-biters, with no clear winner declared as of dawn.  Although Democrat Bernie Sanders led the vote tallies most of the night, the late returns from the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County put Hillary Clinton on top – by just over 1,500 votes.

Republican Donald Trump appears to have defeated rival Ted Cruz  by less than 1,800 votes, but the results aren't conclusive.

Chelsea Clinton stumps for mother Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at a coffee shop in Clayton.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated 3 p.m. Tues, March 15)--On the eve of Tuesday’s crucial presidential primaries, some of the Democratic and Republican hopefuls are barnstorming Missouri and Illinois in a final quest for votes.

At this stage, the candidates are no longer seeking to woo new supporters. They are out to energize existing backers so they show up at the polls.

Bernie Sanders exhorts his supporters at a rally at Affton High School to get out the vote.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Democratic presidential Bernie Sanders is banking on Missouri primary backers to provide the campaign boost that he got last week by a surprise victory in Michigan.

Sanders’ stump speech makes a point of reaching out to all ages and all ethnicities. Still, it’s clear that his appeal is particularly strong among those of college-age, many of whom embrace his promise of tuition-free education at public universities and colleges.

Cruz told reporters he believed protesters used their right to free speech to infringe on other's right to free speech yesterday
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz held a rally at Parkway West High School one day after protests interrupted Donald Trump yesterday in St. Louis and caused the New York businessman to cancel a gathering in Chicago.

Before taking the stage Cruz blamed most of that disruption on forces outside the Republican Party.

Hillary Clinton at the St. Louis Carpenters Apprenticeship School in Affton.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Given what happened with the Trump campaign and protests, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to address the Republican frontrunner: “If you play with matches, you can start a fire you cannot control,’’ Clinton said. “That is not leadership. It’s political arson.”

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders tells supporters at Affton High School that he's hoping Missouri gives him a surprise victory in Tuesday's primary.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is banking on Missouri primary backers to provide the campaign boost that he got last week by a surprise victory in Michigan.

“I think we’re going to win a lot of states on Tuesday,’’ Sanders declared Sunday, touching off deafening cheers from the crowd packing the Affton High School gym.

Cruz told the crowd he thought the election would come down to issues of jobs, freedom, and security
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz held a rally at Parkway West High School one day after protests interrupted  Donald Trump yesterday in St. Louis and caused the New York businessman to cancel a gathering in Chicago.

Before taking the stage, Cruz blamed most of that disruption on forces outside the Republican Party.

Bill Greenblatt/UPI

Before renewing her promises to bolster the nation’s economy, Hillary Clinton first launched Saturday into a fiery condemnation of those she said were out to destroy it.

“The ugly, divisive rhetoric that we are hearing from Donald Trump and the encouragement that he has given to violence and aggressiveness is not only wrong, it’s dangerous, my friends,’’ declared the Democratic presidential contender, touching off deafening cheers from the crowd packing the Carpenters’ union training facility in Affton.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump points to protesters that he tells to "get out," during his speech at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis on March 11, 2016.
File photo, Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Donald Trump brought his wild Republican presidential campaign to St. Louis on Friday, attracting waves of fans – and some loud foes.

The billionaire businessman’s speech in the Peabody Opera House came as voters are focusing on next Tuesday’s primaries in Missouri and Illinois. The contests could solidify Trump’s spot as the unlikely GOP frontrunner for president – or throw the Republican scramble for the White House into more turmoil.

From left, Kathy Bernard, Lee Lyons, Jake Gray
Nathan Rubbelke |St. Louis Public Radio

Gene Hutchins is agitated. Alison Lamothe is concerned.

Ahead of Tuesday's Primary Elections in Illinois and Missouri, they represent just two of the many moods voters are expressing when it comes to the choices for president.

Former President Bill Clinton speaks in support of the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, his wife, at a rally in Bridgeton.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

For 40 minutes, Bill Clinton embraced his image as "explainer in chief" as he laid out a series of reasons he believed his wife is the most qualified and best candidate to be the next president.

His audience Tuesday consisted of several hundred Hillary Clinton supporters, many of them union members and party activists, packing the Machinists union hall in Bridgeton.

Heidi Cruz takes a picture with a supporter at Eckert's Restaurant in Belleville. Heidi Cruz is campaigning across Illinois for GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Inside a restaurant dining room that was packed to the gills, Heidi Cruz gave a promise to Republicans in the Metro East and around the country: Her husband, GOP presidential contender Ted Cruz, could unite a party that appears to be at war with itself.

And she added that the at-times contentious Texas senator can bridge divides without giving up his core beliefs.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders addresses nearly five thousand people on the campus of Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, Illinois on March 4, 2016.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Inside a packed basketball arena in southern Illinois, Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders’ made Weasel Forsythe’s day.

Forsythe was one of several thousand people who saw the Vermont senator speak Friday on the campus of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. When Sanders was through with a roughly 50-minute speech, he gave Forsythe a hug.

Eric Schmitt, left, a state senator from Glendale, will be opposed by Dan Brown, a state senator from Rolla, in the Republican primary for state treasurer.
File photos | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

(UPDATED 12:40 p.m. Thurs, Feb. 25) The biggest surprise of Missouri’s statewide candidate filings so far is that the GOP apparently will have a primary for state treasurer, despite expectations that state Sen. Eric Schmitt’s huge financial edge would give him a free ride.

And the Republican rival who filed against Schmitt, R-Glendale, had publicly endorsed him just three weeks ago.

Rep. Lacy Clay
St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 12:15 p.m., Feb. 1 with additional numbers - U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-University City, holds a huge financial lead over his Democratic challenger in next summer’s primary, state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

According to campaign finance reports filed this weekend, Clay has $423,250 in the bank. That compares to $25,186 for Chappelle-Nadal. 

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s “Morning Edition,” NPR’s Mara Liasson delved into why exactly voters are feeling so anxious about the 2016 election year. Economic uncertainty, terrorism, demographic change, immigration and dysfunctional politics were some of the key factors in that anxiety.

St. Louisans echoed that anxiety, and a general feeling of anger at the political process when we recently asked about political mood through our Public Insight Network.

Eric Greitens
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome GOP gubernatorial hopeful Eric Greitens to the program for the first time.

The Parkway North alum is one of four Republicans seeking to succeed Gov. Jay Nixon as governor. The other candidates are Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway and businessman John Brunner. (All three GOP contenders have been guests on Politically Speaking – click on each name to listen to their shows. We long have had an open invitation for the likely Democratic nominee -- Attorney General Chris Koster.)

presidential candidates 2016
Wikipedia

Ever hear of Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente?  How about Willie Wilson?

Both are Democrats running for president. And they’ll be on the March 15 presidential primary ballots in Missouri and Illinois.

Wednesday was the last day of the frenetic 72-hour period when presidential candidates could file in Illinois. Missouri’s 29-day window closed about two weeks ago.

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