Politics

Rodolfo Martinez\NBC

Seth Meyers joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss his work as a comedian, actor and television host, as well as his appearance Friday at the Peabody Opera House.

Meyers’ performance will include humorous puns on his personal life and political anecdotes about politicians, such as Texas governor Rick Perry.

“The more personalities in the presidential election, the easier and better it is for people like me,” Meyers joked.

Former East St. Louis mayor Alvin Parks, Jr. joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Alvin Parks, Jr. joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss his two terms as mayor of East St. Louis and his plans for the future.

Councilwoman Emeka Jackson-Hicks unseated Parks in the April 7 election. After a court order removed his name from the ballot, Parks was forced to wage a write-in campaign. Jackson-Hicks is the daughter of Democratic state Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson. She was sworn into office on Monday.

     

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Legislative session will end in two weeks and many issues remain unsolved. “St. Louis Public Radio” statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin is following the progress. He joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh Tuesday with updates.

Much of the session revolved around improving community policing.

Here is a list of legislative topics discussed during the interview:

Sen. McCaskill's Flickr Page

Clearer skies might hang on the political horizon with the swearing in of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, but matters are not all clear just yet between Republicans and Democrats.

On Monday, Mo. Senator Claire McCaskill told St. Louis on the Air host, Don Marsh, that in order to achieve more heights, both parties must be willing to compromise. With a number of politicians from the Republican Party running for president, McCaskill says that matters of the here-and-now may become distracted. Those matters include a highway bill and the debt ceiling, among others.

Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

During his first 100 days in office, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger  has attracted more attention for what he won’t do.

  • He won’t advocate for some sort of reunification of the city of St. Louis with St. Louis County.
  • The county won’t help bankroll some of the costs of a proposed new stadium.

As spring flowers push their way up at the site where Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, thoughts around the tragedy are also emerging as more pointed questions.

What institutionalized forces may have contributed to the shooting? How has it changed the St. Louis region? Will that continue? St. Louis Public would like to hear from you. (Scroll down to the end of this post to send us your questions.)

Gubernatorial hopful Henry Lee Neale  (Stephen Peirick) and his wife Elizabeth Neale (Maggie Conroy) are all smiles.
Provided by OnSite Theatre

Missouri’s next gubernatorial election is a year and a half away, but a St. Louis play gets a rolling jump-start on the campaign.

The OnSite Theatre comedy, called “Off the Record,” opens this Friday and runs for two weekends. The play by Alec Wild takes place aboard a moving school bus that delivers a fictitious candidate — and the audience — to a handful of local campaign stops.

Artistic director Ann Marie Mohr said that even the ticket-holders have an active part in the show.

Cornell University political science professor and author Suzanne Mettler talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on March 16, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Millions of students are enrolled in college, but graduation rates are uneven. Why? Author Suzanne Mettler says political squabbling is to blame.

Mettler, a political science professor at Cornell University, has written a book that lays out the problem and its solution: “Degrees of Inequality: The Demise of Opportunity in Higher Education and How to Restore the American Dream.”

John Hancock at 2015 Lincoln Days
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 9:30 p.m. Saturday)

Kansas City - St. Louis political consultant and radio host John Hancock promised to put the Missouri Republican Party on a stronger financial and organizational footing for 2016 after he handily won election Saturday as the new party chairman.

Hancock’s election was arguably the most important task for Missouri Republicans gathered in Kansas City this weekend for their annual Reagan-Lincoln Days festivities.

Sen. Roy Blunt at Lincoln Days 2015
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 10:30 p.m.  Saturday)

Kansas City - President Barack Obama has Democratic company – just-announced U.S. Senate hopeful Jason Kander – as Missouri Republicans’ favorite verbal punching bag.

That was evident throughout this weekend’s annual Reagan-Lincoln Days, held this year in Kansas City.

Ed Martin talks about his work as chairman of the Missouri Republican Party, and his new job as president of the Eagle Forum with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh  on Feb. 12, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Ed Martin may be leaving his position as Missouri Republican Party chairman, but he’s still toeing the party line. Martin is now the president of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum, a conservative interest group.

voxefxtm | Flickr

As the calendar turns to 2015, the national political scene is already focusing on 2016. As politicians set up strategies and start to explore their options the baseline concerns are who will vote and how will they cast their ballots? To answer these questions, one must look at patterns. Generally speaking, the party that does not hold the presidency scores some gains. This time the gains were substantial enough to turn the Senate over to the Republicans and to keep that party dominant in statehouses across the country.

John C. Danforth
Washington University

American politics is not working very well today, but religion can play a role in helping to move it away from partisanship and back to a spirit of compromise.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she learned a lot from her unsuccessful run for governor in 2004.
Sen. McCaskill's Flickr page

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., joined a handful of other centrists-Democrats in voting against Nevada Sen. Harry Reid to be the caucus’ minority leader for the 114th Congress beginning in January. McCaskill said she made her decision in the wake of last week's election, which she said showed that Missouri voters want change.

Wikipedia

Political dysfunction has been bandied about for several years, but its meaning remains unclear. That’s the first order of business Friday at the Political Ethics Conference at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“One of the reasons that we decided to do the conference was precisely because everyone complains about political dysfunction, but you ask five different people what it is and you’ll get five different answers,” Wally Siewert, director of UMSL’s Center for Ethics in Public Life, told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday.

St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger talks to St. Louis Public Radio reporters Nov. 5, 2014, during a recording of the 'Politically Speaking' podcast.
Chris McDaniel / St. Louis Public Radio

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.”

Former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine
Courtesy of Olympia Snowe

U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe cited partisanship when she announced her retirement in 2012.

John Britton
Provided by Jennifer Durham

In recent years, Missouri lobbyist John Britton, who single-handedly thwarted innumerable attempts to enact laws that would put additional limits on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages, made a late-in-life health concession: He went from smoking five packs a day to three.

In the early days, he was a Benson and Hedges man. He later switched to Camels, but recently he favored organic cigarettes and was smoking even less.

“He’d cut down to a pack and a half a day in the past six months,” laughed Jennifer Durham, his colleague for 46 years.

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

This story was updated following St. Louis on the Air.

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin is back, and he’s not sorry.

Two years after losing a contest for U.S. Senate and igniting a “war on women” debate with a comment about rape, Akin has written a book that offers behind-the-scenes details about how he, his campaign and his family coped.

In an August 2012 interview with Charles Jaco on KTVI (Channel 2), Akin was asked about abortion and rape. Akin, who is staunchly anti-abortion, said that a pregnancy from rape “is really rare.”

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

(Updated 10:50 p.m., Sat., June 7)

Seven years after leaving the Republican Party, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has in effect taken the reins of the Missouri Democratic Party. 

That point was underscored Saturday night when -- shortly before the Democrats' annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner --  Koster presented the state party chairman a check for $100,000.

That's the second such six-figure donation that Koster has given the state Democratic operation in the past year -- making him the largest single donor to the state party.

Sheila Lumpe
Family Photo

Former Missouri State Rep. Sheila Lumpe, who reluctantly entered statewide politics and became the first woman to lead the powerful House Budget Committee and came within a whisper of being the first speaker of the House, died on Wednesday.

When her husband began cajoling her to run for the office, she balked, siding with detractors who thought her “too soft” and subject to being “eaten alive” by big-time politics.

(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

With a little more than two weeks left in the current Missouri legislative session, the focus of the state legislature will be on two possible veto overrides, said St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies.

She and education reporter Dale Singer appeared on St. Louis on the Air today to give an update on key bills moving through the state legislature right now.

From left: Sarah Palin, Cindy and John McCain
Rachael Dickson | Wikipedia

Sarah Palin has profoundly influenced my view of politics. She persuaded me, for instance, to vote for Barack Obama in 2008.

Before her introduction as the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate, I’d thought the resume of the first-term, junior senator from Illinois was a bit thin for the Oval Office and his vision for the nation’s future seemed disturbingly vague. The prospect of Sarah sitting a heartbeat away from the nuclear launch codes, however, convinced me that it was indeed time for change…

wedding rings
Wikipedia

Same-sex couples in Missouri may not want to rush across the river to tie the knot.

Even though some counties in Illinois are beginning to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Jeffrey Mittman, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, says marriage licenses granted to two men or two women from Missouri may not prove valid.

(Courtesy Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest)

As the Consul General to the Midwest, Roey Gilad travels between 11 Midwest states representing Israeli interests. This week he visited St. Louis for the second time since becoming the consul general last February. 

“I’m there to build bridges,” said Gilad. “The bridge is already there, I’m there to make it stronger and wider between the Midwest and the state of Israel, between Missouri and the state of Israel and between St. Louis and the state of Israel."

jimbowen0306 / Flickr

A special session of the Missouri legislature will get underway this evening with the hopes of bringing thousands of new jobs to the state.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon will ask the GOP-controlled House and Senate to approve up to $150 million in annual tax breaks and economic incentives to lure Boeing into building its new 777X passenger plane in Missouri.

(Via Flickr/Richard O. Barry)

Should a journalist strive most to be fair and objective? Or should his or her primary goal be transparency? Can a content-producer be both an advocate and a journalist? What is the role of the press in the future of democracy and what should its journalistic ethics be?

These are questions news outlets and individual journalists alike must answer as they navigate the future of journalism in the United States, and the topic of discussion during the Second Annual Public Ethics Conference at the University of Missouri-St. Louis on Thursday, November 14.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - During almost two decades together in the Missouri General Assembly, Republican Mike Gibbons and Democrat Joan Bray agreed on little.

Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

To people who feel powerless in the face of today's political structure, Princeton University religion professor Jeffrey Stout has this advice: organize.  He delivers a lecture, "Struggle for a Just Society - Grassroots Democracy in America," as part of the Lee Institute's Speaker Series on Monday, October 28, 2013.

He points to the great social movements of the past two centuries as examples of grassroots organization that affected real change in America -  abolitionists, civil rights and women's suffrage.

Commentary: Will tea party end two-party system?

Oct 8, 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In November of last year I wrote a letter that appeared in this publication explaining my decision to abandon the Republican Party and suggested what it would take to get my vote in the future.

I cautioned that I was not alone, and that a number of other moderate Republicans shared my view. I specifically addressed my concerns to a number of Republicans leaders I had known for years. My premise was quite simple, the so-called tea party was ruining the moral compass of the GOP.

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