Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Political news

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The decision by a St. Louis grand jury to indict Gov. Eric Greitens for felony invasion of privacy has raised a number of legal issues.

We’ve looked at what it means politically, and what happens next in the court process. We’ve also tried to answer some of what you want to know. Here, we try to explain some of the legalese.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans are split over what to do about Gov. Eric Greitens, a fellow Republican who’s been indicted for felony invasion of privacy after allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman without her consent.

The state Republican Party contends that the indictment is “a political hit job’’ engineered by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat.

But there are increasing calls from GOP lawmakers, especially in the state Senate, for Greitens to at least consider stepping down.

A volunteer with Coalition for Life St. Louis, an anti-abortion group, waves as a car exits the Planned Parenthood parking lot on Forest Park Avenue. Volunteers hand out anti-abortion pamphlets to passers-by.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It soon could be harder for opponents of Planned Parenthood to get their message to people going to the St. Louis Central West End clinic.

On a 15-13 vote, St. Louis Aldermen gave the measure, sponsored by Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, D-6th Ward, first-round approval on Friday. It sets up an 8-foot buffer zone around health care facilities.

This segment will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Monday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens sits  for an interview with St. Louis Public Radio in downtown St. Louis on July 17, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday, a St. Louis grand jury indicted Gov. Eric Greitens for felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman without her permission. Greitens was arrested Thursday afternoon, but was released without having to post bond.

Here’s a roundup of what’s happened so far and what’s ahead:

Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis-based Centene Corporation found itself in a precarious situation this week when a BuzzFeed News investigation uncovered that a troubled compounding pharmacy the company now owns sold drugs used in executions to the state of Missouri.

Jamaiyah Redmond and Chloé Guerin, both Clayton High School juniors, while listening to classmates call for school safety improvements Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

High school students in St. Louis are lending their voice to the national debate about making schools safer.

On Friday morning, a few dozen student from Clayton High School trudged across a soggy field in front of their school and called for an assault-weapons ban in Missouri and money for security upgrades to schools.

Gov. Eric Greitens greets guests at his residence after being sworn in on Jan. 9, 2017.
File Photo |Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s indictment of Gov. Eric Greitens for one count of felony invasion of privacy raises lots of questions. St. Louis Public Radio asked our social media followers on Twitter and Facebook to send their questions to us.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was indicted Thursday evening on a charge of felony invasion of privacy. But what does that mean, and how will it affect Missouri politics?

What is an indictment?

An indictment is a legal process where a grand jury decides that the attorney prosecuting a case has enough evidence to begin basic criminal proceedings.

(L-R) Paul Crane, Irene Augustin and Cynthia Duffe talked about the issue of homelessness in St. Louis and the new local film "Living in Tents" portrayal of it.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Filmmaker Paul Crane didn’t know much about homelessness until he happened across a tent city while walking around taking pictures in downtown St. Louis.

The blue tarps set up along the Mississippi riverfront sparked Crane’s curiosity and eventually led him to direct the documentary, "Living in Tents.”

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the new documentary film, which features the stories of homeless people in St. Louis and more broadly, the issue of homelessness in St. Louis.

Gov. Greitens' booking photo from Feb. 22, 2018
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

Updated Feb. 23 at 9:10 a.m. with  additional comments from Kim Gardner — A St. Louis grand jury has indicted Gov. Eric Greitens for felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman without her permission. Greitens was arrested Thursday afternoon, but was released without having to post bond. 

One of his attorneys, Edward Dowd, said in a statement that he plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges.

“In forty years of public and private practice, I have never seen anything like this. The charges against my client are baseless and unfounded. My client is absolutely innocent,” he said.

The Missouri Capitol building.
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the potential impact of House Bill 2179. It would prohibit Missouri from entering into contracts over $10,000 with companies that engage in the boycott of, divestment from and sanctioning of Israel, an ally of the United States.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers and agricultural groups have joined with Americans for Farmers & Families to urge President Donald Trump and Congress to not withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump has criticized NAFTA as not being in the best interest of the U.S.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis aldermen will wait a few months before voting on a bill that would change the city’s residency requirement.

A committee heard public testimony on Alderwoman Carol Howard’s bill earlier this month but did not take a vote. The current session of the board essentially ends in March, and Howard, D-14th Ward, now says she will wait until lawmakers come back after the break for a new session in April to get a different version approved.

Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri.
File photo | Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Feb. 21 with St. Louis on the Air conversation with reporter Chris McDaniel

Original story from Feb. 20 — A BuzzFeed News investigation has found that a St. Louis-area compounding pharmacy with a troubled safety history has provided execution drugs to the state of Missouri for the last four years.

Sources told BuzzFeed News reporter Chris McDaniel that Foundation Care, based in Earth City, supplied the drugs for 17 executions since February 2014. Foundation Care denied its participation in executions to McDaniel, and did not respond to requests for comment from St. Louis Public Radio.

The Movement for Black Lives hopes to increase voter turnout among African-Americans across the country by texting "WAKANDA" to 91990.
The Movement for Black Lives

Civil rights activists are tapping into the success of the "Black Panther" film to encourage blacks and other minorities to register to vote before the 2018 midterm elections.

#Wakandathevote is a national campaign created by the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 50 organizations around the country dedicated to social activism. The campaign was organized by Rukia Lumumba, Jessica Byrd and St. Louis activist Kayla Reed.

U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, greets teens at the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment in downtown St. Louis on Feb. 9, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For Missouri Democrats, success or failure this fall will likely hinge on whether they can persuade about 300,000 area voters to drop their habit of skipping mid-term elections.

Most of those infrequent voters are believed to be  urban and suburban Democrats. And their absence at the polls in 2010 and 2014 are among the reasons why the state’s Democrats have found themselves seriously outnumbered in the Missouri Capitol.

Which helps explain why the state party set up an unusual schedule for Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, who’s vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, when he flew into St. Louis earlier this month.

Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

About 300 people poured into the hallways of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to avoid creating new laws that would loosen existing gun regulations.

Kim Westerman, who lives in St. Louis and volunteers with the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they’re concerned that pro-gun lawmakers in Missouri remain unmoved by the recent mass shooting at a high school in Florida that claimed 17 lives.

(L-R) Nicole Roach, Catrina Salama and Kenneth Pruitt talked about recognizing unconscious bias, how to manage it and how that can help further understanding and inclusion.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Workplaces and institutions are implementing un-bias trainings to promote inclusivity. According to Kenneth Pruitt, director of diversity training at Diversity Awareness Partnership (DAP), training without follow-ups or contextualization can backfire.

#MeToo founder Tarana Burke talks about the evolution of the movement that aims to help sexual harassment survivors.  She spoke at Webster University on Feb. 19. 2018.
Ashley Lisenby | St. Louis Public Radio

The #MeToo movement isn’t about what you think it’s about, founder Tarana Burke told an audience at Webster University’s Loretto-Hilton Center on Monday.

Burke dispelled three common misconceptions she believes have overshadowed the message of #MeToo, including who the movement is for and what it’s supposed to accomplish.

“This is not about taking down powerful men,” Burke said. “That was a corporate response. The women who stood up have just wanted to be heard and believed.”

Painter Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856 / via Wikimedia Commons

Encore Presentation: This program's original broadcast was on March 19, 2013.

Having existed and endured for nearly 230 years, the U.S. Constitution and the intent of those who created it continues to be a hotly contested topic.

On Monday's St. Louis on the Air during President's Day, host Don Marsh revisited his 2013 discussion with David Robertson, author of the book "The Original Compromise: What the Constitution's Framers Were Really Thinking." Robertson is a Curators' Teaching Professor of Political Science at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 31, 2008 - Three veteran Springfield political observers, men who know Roland Burris personally or have worked for him professionally, think highly of the man who may -- or may not -- inherit the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

RISE Community Development's Stephen Acree stands in one of his organization's apartments in Forest Park Southeast. His group used low-income housing and historic tax credits to redevelop a slew of buildings in the central corridor neighborhood.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A question and answer panel with four Republican statewide officials was meant to showcase the party’s unprecedented consolidation of power within Missouri’s government. Instead, the Lincoln Days event pointed to a major policy division among the GOP.

That’s because Gov. Eric Greitens touted how he engineered a halt to state low-income housing tax credits in late December. He called the incentive a “scam” that had been “ripping off” Missourians for years, and received a round of applause from the audience when mentioning how he “zeroed out” the program.

Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby
Erin Achenbach I 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 Sen. Dan Hegeman to the program for the first time.

The Cosby Republican represents most of northwest Missouri in the Missouri Senate. The 12th Senatorial District has the largest geographic area of any House or Senate seat.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters in his office at the state Capitol in Jefferson City on January 22, 2018.
FIle photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has hired a new lawyer – former St. Louis Judge Jack Garvey – to represent him in the investigation underway by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

Gardner is looking into whether Greitens broke any laws during his admitted extramarital affair, which took place in 2015, more than a year before the governor was elected.

Garvey, who also is a former St. Louis alderman, confirmed Sunday to St. Louis Public Radio that he now represented the governor. Garvey said he was hired “late last week.” Garvey said he was not representing any members of the governor’s staff, some of whom apparently have been subpoenaed by Gardner’s office.

A fire rages out of control in a warehouse after walls collapsed during a five-alarm fire in St. Louis last Wednesday. Nearly 200 St. Louis firefighters battled the warehouse containing numerous paper products and nearly 200,000 candles.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis voters will decide this summer whether the city should borrow about $50 million to buy new fire equipment, upgrade electrical panels at City Hall, install permanent air conditioning at the city jail known as the Workhouse, and other projects.

Aldermen sent the bond issue to Mayor Lyda Krewson on Friday. Her signature will place the borrowing on the August ballot, when it will require a two-thirds majority to pass. The bond issue will not increase taxes.

File photo | Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House sent several bills to the Senate this week, while the upper chamber virtually shut down at times while sending a bill over to the House considered friendly to investor-owned utilities.

That particular bill would allow Kansas City Power and Light and St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri to recover more of the cost of upgrading their infrastructure from their customers. Backers say it will improve Missouri’s power grid and spur job growth, while opponents say it will lead to higher electric bills.

Alderwoman-elect Rice and Vivian Eveloff, director of the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life at the University of Missouri-St. Louis discussed the increase in the number of women in elected offices.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the special election to replace the St. Louis 8th ward alderman. Joining him for the discussion were St. Louis Public Radio reporters Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 8, 2012 - Various iterations of "Falling Man" and other works by Ernest Trova will soon land at Washington University's Modern Graphic History Library. The Trova family collection will include sketches, models, photographs, casting molds, blueprints and correspondence.

Trova, a self-trained St. Louis sculptor, died in 2009. During the 1960s and 1970s, his "Falling Man" series catapulted him to international fame. Works from the series are displayed at such institutions as MoMA and the Guggenheim in New York City, the Tate Modern in London and in several St. Louis locations including Laumeier Sculpture Park and at Brentwood and Maryland Boulevards in Clayton.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 7, 2012 - The state Democratic Party is intervening in St. Louis' increasingly combative -- and crowded -- battle for city treasurer by making sure that each candidate has access to the party's highly sought-after voter list.

One candidate, St. Louis Alderman Fred Wessels, had been concerned because initially it appeared that access to the list might be controlled by one of his rivals: St. Louis Democratic Party chairman Brian Wahby.

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