Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Missouri state Rep. Gina Mitten
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri state Rep. Gina Mitten returns to the Politically Speaking podcast to talk about serving on the committee that investigated former Gov. Eric Greitens.

The Richmond Heights Democrat represents Missouri’s 83rd District, which includes portions of St. Louis and eastern St. Louis County. She is running unopposed in 2018 for what will be her last term in the Missouri House.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens walks out of the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis after his felony invasion of privacy charge was dropped. May14, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Republican chairman of the now-defunct House panel that investigated then-Gov. Eric Greitens has filed a formal complaint with the state Ethics Commission accusing Greitens of running an illegal shadow campaign operation to avoid the state’s campaign-donation laws.

“With the ethics complaint that has been filed based on the work of the House investigative committee, the Missouri Ethics Commission has overwhelming evidence to conclude that Eric Greitens, his campaign committee and affiliated dark-money organization broke state campaign-finance laws,” said Democratic committee members Gina Mitten and Tommie Pierson Jr.

Greg Magarian is a law professor at Washington University and previously clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

President Trump on Monday evening chose Brett Kavanaugh to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy left by retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh will now go before the U.S. Senate for confirmation.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Greg Magarian, J.D., professor of law at Washington University, about the nomination and its local implications. Magarian previously clerked for Justice John Paul Stevens.

Abortion opponents stand on a street median as Planned Parenthood supporters march past the organization's Central West End clinic February 11, 2017.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

President Donald Trump’s newest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court simply adds to the latest round of heightened political tensions in Missouri over reproductive rights and abortion.

And, as expected, it’s already become a key issue in the state’s closely watched U.S. Senate race. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is making the Supreme Court confirmation the centerpiece of the Republican U.S. Senate candidate’s first TV ad, which began airing Monday.

Maplewood city attorney Craig Biesterfeld and City Manager Marty Corcoran look through the city code during a meeting with a reporter at Maplewood City Hall.
Jenny Simeone-Cases | St. Louis Public Radio

Maplewood’s thriving business district and respected schools are attractive to potential residents. But, aspiring residents must first apply and be approved for an occupancy permit. Even after such a permit is granted, the city’s public nuisance ordinance allows it to be revoked under certain conditions.

The ACLU of Missouri and the St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council on Wednesday are co-hosting what they bill as a “community discussion” about Maplewood's public nuisance ordinance. The event is intended to help residents understand the ordinance and their rights when it comes to enforcement.

Attendees at Friday's "People's Ribbon Cutting" celebrate near the Gateway Arch grounds in St. Louis.
Wiley Price I St. Louis American

Darryl Gray made something abundantly clear at Friday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Arch grounds: The diverse gathering of elected officials, candidates and St. Louisans wasn’t a do-over.

After a group of white officials cut the ribbon in front of the Arch’s new visitors’ center and museum sparked public outcry Tuesday, Gray emphasized that Friday’s event was aimed at showcasing St. Louis’ diversity — and sending a message that racial and ethnic minorities need a place at the decision-making table.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill answers questions during a town hall at Harris-Stowe State University. Jan. 27, 2018
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies debut a new edition of the show — a weekly roundup of the big issues shaping Missouri’s election cycle.

The new St. Louis building codes go into effect in August and do not apply to current construction.
Wikimedia Commons

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday voted unanimously to approve several building codes for the city. The approved codes will establish standards for new homes.

The codes require St. Louis to adopt a number of national and international standards for energy use. These include new fuel and gas, electrical, and fire safety standards.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A Cole County judge heard arguments Thursday on whether Mike Kehoe can legally hold the office of Missouri lieutenant governor.

The Missouri Democratic Party filed suit along with Darrell Cope, 93, a World War II veteran from southern Missouri who said in a written statement that he wants the opportunity to vote for the state’s lieutenant governor, instead of having him picked “in backroom deals.”

Doris Fiddmont Frazier, center, and other parishioners worship at Union Baptist Church, a fixture in Westland Acres.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Those familiar with St. Louis neighborhoods are probably also familiar with the concept of gentrification. The latest episode of the We Live Here podcast, “Paved over Histories”, tackles this issue with its eye on the west St. Louis County community of Westland Acres.

Officials and National Parks Service staff cut the ribbon to the new Gateway Arch visitor center and museum Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The Arch grounds reopening is happening again after photos of the initial ribbon-cutting on Tuesday showed a lack of racial diversity.

As the common saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The photos showing city officials and guests cutting the ribbon at the ceremony organized by Gateway Arch Park Foundation were worth three: “Arch So White,” or #ArchSoWhite on social media.

St. Louis Alderman Shane Cohn, D-25th Ward, in a picture taken June 27, 2018
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, Rachel Lippmann and Jo Mannies talked with St. Louis Alderman Shane Cohn, D-25th Ward.

Cohn, who grew up in Clayton, represents the Dutchtown, Mount Pleasant and Carondelet neighborhoods in south St. Louis. He was first elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2009 and is in his third term in office.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A lawsuit has been filed in Jefferson City to stop Missouri voters from going to the polls in November to decide whether to raise the state’s fuel tax.

The proposal is part of a House bill passed on the final day of the 2018 regular session. It would gradually raise Missouri’s fuel tax from 17 cents a gallon to 27 cents by July of 2022.

Workhouse protest, July 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Activists will rally Wednesday outside the City Justice Center of St. Louis to launch an effort to shut down the city's Medium Security Institution, commonly known as the Workhouse.

The Close the Workhouse campaign comes as progressive politicians across the country look for ways to address criminal justice reform and large cities, such as Philadelphia and New York, take steps to reform their court systems. Close the Workhouse organizers hope their work can lead to change in St. Louis.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Although President Donald Trump isn’t expected to announce his Supreme Court nominee until next week, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and her best-known GOP rival are already gearing up for a major fight.

That’s particularly true for the Republican, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who’s contending that the future of the U.S. Supreme Court – and McCaskill’s past confirmation votes – should be the pivotal issue in their contest.

Ferguson-Florissant parent Redditt Hudson (left), attorney Dale Ho, and past school candidate Willis Johnson at a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the Ferguson-Florissant schools on December 18.
Diane Balogh | ACLU of Missouri

Updated at 2:25 p.m. July 3 with comments from the ACLU — A federal appeals court in St. Louis has ruled that the way the Ferguson-Florissant School District elects its board members violates the rights of black voters in the district.

A three-judge panel on Tuesday determined that Ferguson-Florissant’s at-large election means black voters have “less opportunity to elect their preferred candidate than other members of the electorate,” even though three-fourths of the district's students are black. The decision upholds a 2016 lower court ruling.

Executive director of Healing Action Katie Rhoades shared her own experience of human trafficking on Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air.”
Aaron Doerr | St. Louis Public Radio

Human trafficking remains a problem throughout the world, but it is closer to home than we often realize.

“It’s a tremendous issue here in Missouri,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Norman Murphy said regarding both sexual and labor exploitation.

A faded and tattered U.S. flag catches the breeze in the yard of a vacant property in the Gravois Park neighborhood on June 30, 2018.
Brian Heffernan | St. Louis Public Radio

Gravois Park has an unlikely advocate for inclusive development in a 12-year-old girl who wants to see the vacant buildings and lots on her block be transformed into safe, liveable places.

Deyon Ryan’s passion for the issue is partly influenced by her father, DeAndre Brown, who has been vocal on the issue. Deyon wrote about the vacancy problem in school and it caught the attention of local groups.

Protesters march down Market Street in downtown St. Louis with handmade signs while chanting "We care! We vote!" The “Families Belong Together” rally was one of hundreds nationally on June 6, 2018.
Brian Heffernan | St. Louis Public Radio

Demonstrators gathered in the shadow of the Gateway Arch Saturday to protest the separation of more than 2,300 migrant children from their parents at the U.S. southern border.

A brass band wove through the crowd as St. Louis-area residents chanted and waved handmade signs in Kiener Plaza. The Families Belong Together rally in St. Louis was one of hundreds of marches held nationwide on Saturday.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is joined by members of his staff Friday as he signs budget bills.
Governor's office

Less than a month after taking office, new Gov. Mike Parson is putting his stamp on Missouri’s budget priorities.

And he’s gotten some help from an unexpected flurry of new money into state coffers, says state budget director Dan Haug.

On Friday, Parson signed state budget bills that, among other things, call for $99 million in additional spending for public education compared to the current fiscal year. He also has approved more money for school transportation.

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