Wednesday on “St. Louis on the Air,” we gathered our political reporters to recap Tuesday’s election. The consensus: Republicans ruled the night.
“It was a Republican bloodbath, nationally and regionally,” said Jo Mannies, St. Louis Public Radio political reporter. “But it also shows that St. Louis County is definitely Democratic turf because the only two Democratic candidates — big names — who remained standing were Steve Stenger and Jill Schupp.”
Roughly a dozen conservative activists are calling on Missouri legislators to select someone other than state Rep. John Diehl as the next House speaker, contending that he hasn’t been conservative enough.
Diehl, R-Town and Country, currently the House majority leader, was chosen by the House Republican caucus more than a year ago to be the next speaker. (That, of course, assumes he wins re-election in November, and Republicans remain in power.)
Soon-to-be Missouri House Speaker John Diehl, R-Town and Country, has donated $200,000 over the weekend to the state House Republican Campaign Committee -- in what appears to be a move to bolster his standing in party decision-making.
But Diehl’s dollars made up less than a quarter of the amount that the campaign committee collected on Saturday from dozens of donors. The tally, reported Monday to the Missouri Ethics Commission, amounted to at least $832,000 in large donations of more than $5,000 apiece.
When it comes to a proposal to raise the state’s sales tax to pay for transportation projects, two of Missouri’s top Democratic officials appear to be on opposing sides of the fence.
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill favors the proposal, which – if approved by voters in August – would enact a 10-year, 0.75 percent sales tax for transportation projects. And even though he’s sent signals that he opposes the proposal, Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding statements about the tax increase for now.
The Politically Speaking crew this week returns to a “split show” format. On the first part of the show, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies discuss the expectations for the General Assembly’s home stretch.
In the final weeks of the legislative session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has made a last-ditch effort to resurrect a push to expand Missouri’s Medicaid program and accept roughly $2 billion a year in federal money.
The governor, a Democrat, unveiled his “Missouri Health Works’’ program before business leaders Monday in Cape Girardeau. By coincidence or design, state House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka and an opponent of Medicaid expansion, was also in Cape on Monday with conservative low-tax icon Grover Norquist to highlight a different issue.
After two weeks of vigorous lobbying, Republican leaders in the Missouri House acknowledge that they have yet to obtain the extra four votes needed to send to the state Senate a measure to put a "right-to-work" proposal on the August ballot.
“I’m not in the habit of bringing up votes unless the votes are secured,’’ said House Majority Leader John Diehl, R-Town and Country, in an interview late last week.