Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander dropped out of the Kansas City, Missouri, mayoral race on Tuesday, saying in a post on his campaign website that he needs to focus on his mental health due to PTSD.

Robert Butler, candidate for 22nd District Senate seat Oct. 2018
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Democrat Robert Butler is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Abigail Censky to talk about his bid for the 22nd District Senate seat.

Butler is running against incumbent Sen. Paul Wieland, an Imperial Republican who first captured the Jefferson County-based district in 2014. Wieland’s episode of Politically Speaking was posted on Monday.

LA Johnson | NPR

A year after the Las Vegas shooting that left dozens dead and hundreds injured, Manchester United Methodist Church held its own public discussion on gun violence throughout the St. Louis region.

What some expected to be a heated debate turned out to be a peaceful discussion on how Moms Demand Action and the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Missouri are working to curb gun violence.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Proponents of Missouri’s voter photo ID law contend it has not restricted voting, while opponents argue it keeps people from the polls.

The two sides made their final arguments Monday in a lawsuit seeking to toss out the ID law.

Attorney General Josh Hawley speaks at a Missouri GOP office in south St. Louis County on Aug. 30, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is calling for a special counsel to investigate whether U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her staff improperly handled sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Hawley, Missouri’s GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, is joining a number of Republicans who are upset over how the letter from Christine Blasey Ford was leaked to the press several weeks ago.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway announces the findings of an audit of the state's sex offender registry on Oct. 1, 2018. Her review found nearly 8 percent of the offenders required to register were not compliant.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. with comments from the St. Louis Police Department — Police in Missouri do not know the whereabouts of nearly 1,200 sex offenders who are required by law to register with law enforcement — or nearly 8 percent of the total population who are supposed to be tracked.

An audit released Monday by state Auditor Nicole Galloway found that nearly 800 of those individuals have committed the most serious crimes, such as rape or child molestation in the first degree.

Missouri state Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Paul Wieland is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Abigail Censky about his re-election bid in Missouri’s 22nd District Senate seat.

The Imperial Republican represents a portion of Jefferson County. His race against Democrat Robert Butler is one of the most competitive Senate races in Missouri — and could give a sense of how other statewide campaigns shake out.

Volunteer carpenters from Builder's Bloc frame the new home in Wildwood on September 29, 2018.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

The tap of Mike Wheeler’s hammer echoes through the forest, as he helps frame the walls of a new home in Wildwood.

Wheeler is one of a dozen carpenters volunteering to build a home for a returning veteran and his family. The project, which began in August, is the culmination of a years-long effort to provide a mortgage-free home for U.S. Army veteran and St. Louis native Heath Howes, who was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley appeals to supporters Monday at a rally in Imperial, Mo., to promote his bid for the U.S. Senate.
Jo Mannies I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans gathered this weekend in Jefferson County to celebrate their statewide success in reaching 1 million potential voters, either in person or by phone.

And there’s at least one reason why the GOP is holding the event in Jefferson County:

“It’s pretty fair to say that so goes Jefferson County, so goes Missouri,’’ said Whitney Smith, Missouri communications director for the Republican National Committee.

Margaret Wolf Freivogel shared her impressions of the Supreme Court confirmation hearings she observed in 1991 and 2018.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with former St. Louis Public Radio executive editor Margaret Wolf Freivogel, who was a Washington reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1991.

During that period, Freivogel covered confirmation hearings involving then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, who was accused of sexual misconduct by Anita Hill. Freivogel published a column in the Post-Dispatch shortly after Hill’s testimony.

“You might think that the allegations against Clarence Thomas set off such a firestorm because they're about sex,” the piece, which appeared in the Oct. 14, 1991, edition of the paper, began. “But like almost everything that matters in politics and public policy, the real issue is power.”

Rosetta Watson was functionally evicted from the city after her former boyfriend attacked her.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this month, domestic violence survivor Rosetta Watson won a settlement in a lawsuit brought against the city of Maplewood, which had revoked Watson’s occupancy permit after she called the police to her home more than two times within six months. She spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s We Live Here team in recent days and is the focus of this week’s brand-new episode of the podcast.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with We Live Here co-host/producer Kameel Stanley, who gave listeners a quick update on Watson’s situation as well as the broader implications of the settlement in Maplewood and beyond.

“She got a chunk of money which she’s using to buy a home of her own that no one can ever kick her out of, so that’s good news,” Stanley said. “But part of her settlement also [involves] changing things a little bit in Maplewood.”

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley appeals to supporters Monday at a rally in Imperial, Mo., to promote his bid for the U.S. Senate.
Jo Mannies I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies look at the importance of Jefferson County in this year’s statewide election.

Whenever there’s a competitive statewide election, Jefferson County often gets a lot of attention. That’s because voters there almost always pick winners of statewide elections — as they did in 2016 and 2012.

Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley speaks on Sept. 27, 2018, in St. Charles. Hawley called the hearings around Brett Kavanaugh a 'circus.'
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Soon after beginning a stump speech to GOP volunteers in St. Charles County, Republican Senate hopeful Josh Hawley minced no words about what he thought about Thursday’s high-profile hearings of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

As Kavanaugh was speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hawley asked the Republican faithful if they were “watching this circus in Washington.”

Wesley Bell, who defeated the longtime St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch, addresses an exuberant crowd at La Mexicana in St. Ann on August 8, 2018.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the “Beyond the Ballot” project with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Ashley Lisenby and Harvest Public Media editor Erica Hunzinger.

The project is a collaborative effort among Missouri public radio stations KBIA, KCUR, KSMU and St. Louis Public Radio, and it explores Missouri voters’ aspirations for November's midterm elections.

Patrice Billings, the Democratic candidate for the 2nd District Senate seat.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Democrat Patrice Billings is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The St. Charles County resident talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies about her bid for Missouri’s 2nd Senatorial District seat.

Billings worked for nearly three decades as a helicopter pilot for the St. Louis County Police Department. She is squaring off against Sen. Bob Onder, a Lake Saint Louis Republican who recorded an episode of Politically Speaking earlier this month.

Liam James Doyle | NPR

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her in high school, Christine Blasey Ford, are testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Watch the proceeding live.

(L to R) Legal experts Bill Freivogel, Rebecca Hollander-Blumoff, and Mark Smith discuss the latest legal news.
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh and a panel of experts considered some of the numerous local and national legal stories unfolding this week.

In addition to offering analysis of the latest developments surrounding President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the ongoing investigation by Robert Mueller, they took a look at several key lawsuits and legal battles taking place closer to home.

This month’s Legal Roundtable panel included:

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about his re-election bid — and what he learned from his unsuccessful run for attorney general two years ago.

The Olivette Democrat has served as St. Louis County assessor since 2011. Before that, Zimmerman was a member of the Missouri House and a staffer for Democrats Jay Nixon and Bob Holden.

The St. Louis County Council approved three charter amendments earlier this month. One would provide the council with more authority over the county budget.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council has voted to temporarily withhold some of the county money that goes to the region’s Bi-State transit agency in a quest to improve security on the MetroLink light rail line.

The council’s action is in response to various violent incidents in recent months on or near the rail line, including one that resulted in the fatal shooting of a county health department employee.

All six council members present Tuesday night voted in favor of a bill withholding $5 million from the county’s funding for Metro security. That’s a fraction of the county’s overall scheduled spending of $157 million this year to help fund all Bi-State transit operations.

Alderwoman Megan Green, the sponsor of the St. Louis ordinance, said lawmakers in special session are spending "taxpayer money to do essentially nothing."
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman who was sprayed with tear-gas in 2017 while protesting the not-guilty verdict in an officer-involved shooting is suing the City of St. Louis over the incident.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Megan Green, D-15th Ward, is the 18th challenge to the way St. Louis police officers and city authorities responded to protests after the decision in the Jason Stockley case.

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