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Politics & Issues

Angela Lewis, left, listens while realtor Gail Brown explains how she arrived at a list price for the Lewis property in north St. Louis, in April 2018.
Holly Edgell / St. Louis Public Radio

Advocates concerned about persistent housing segregation in the region might question why promotional materials for the 2018 Fair Housing Conference use the word "celebrate" in reference to the Fair Housing Act.

"The reality is the racial segregation that we see everywhere in this country is the product of very explicit design by the federal state and local governments, intended to segregate the nation by race," said Richard Rothstein, ahead of Wednesday's meeting.

Rothstein, the keynote speaker, is the author of "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America."

File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is still getting support from some legislators, despite being charged on Friday with illegally obtaining a list of donors from a charity he founded years ago.

Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, who represents portions of Fort Leonard Wood and the Lake of the Ozarks area, said the people she’s talked to in her district think Greitens is doing a good job as governor.

The homicide rate in Missouri from 1999- 2016 continues to rank higher than in surrounding states.
Richard Rosenfeld | University of Missouri-St. Louis

Missouri has the highest black homicide rate in the United States, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center.

The study, called the Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data, examined federal data from 2015. It found that the homicide rates for blacks in Missouri is 46.24 per 100,000, more than double the national black homicide rate of 18.67 per 100,000. (The national white homicide victimization rate of 2.67 per 100,000.)

Local residents (from left) Heather Silverman, Jami Dolby and Kara Wurtz recently ran for city council seats in Creve Coeur, Chesterfield and Kirkwood, respectively.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

“Last year I marched, but this year I run,” Kara Wurtz told her friends and family this past January 21, the day she launched her campaign as a city council candidate in Kirkwood, Missouri. She’s among an increasing number of women getting involved in politics all across the country and the region.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Wurtz and two other women who recently ran for their respective city councils in Chesterfield, Creve Coeur and Kirkwood, Missouri, about what prompted their candidacies and how they hope to engage in their local communities going forward.

Gov. Eric Greitens' defense team outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis following a hearing. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

An investigator who interviewed several witnesses in Gov. Eric Greitens' invasion of privacy case will have to show up to be re-deposed on Thursday.

A judge also ruled that an attorney who represents a key figure in the case can't also be that investigator's attorney.

Mary Hansen / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

U. S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth made history last week by being the first to bring her infant to the Senate floor while she voted. In Springfield, both chambers have been open to mothers and children.

File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the constitutionality of a 241-year prison sentence given to a St. Louis man more than two decades ago.

The high court on Monday announced it would not hear the case of Bobby Bostic. The justices gave no reason for their decision.

Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The latest edition of Politically Speaking takes a bit of a break from the frenetic discussion of Missouri politics by welcoming conservative writers Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham onto the show.

Benson and Ham are co-authors of the book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun). They were in St. Louis last week to speak at a Show Me Institute event on free speech at the Chess Hall of Fame.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A non-profit civil rights law firm wants to help people help themselves when they’re in legal trouble.

ArchCity Defenders created the guide known as Pro Se STL. The guide’s namesake, pro se, comes from the Latin term that means “for oneself.” It's aimed at helping people advocate and protect themselves when they have interactions with law enforcement, go to jail or in the courtroom.

Executive director Blake Strode said the guide is particularly helpful for those who don’t have representation, because they can’t afford the standard legal fees.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio I File photo

Members of the Missouri House delivered a big blow to Gov. Eric Greitens this month when they released a startling report on the GOP chief executive’s conduct. The details prompted some on both sides of the aisle to call on Greitens to resign, a demand the governor resisted.

Then came the following week, which featured a full collapse of Greitens’ political support and darkening cloud of legal developments.

State Rep. Bob Burns' legislation would make it easier to hold disincorporation elections in St. Louis County.
File photo I Tim Bommel I House Communications

Updated at 10 p.m. April 23 with Burns saying he won't resign—The top leaders of the Missouri Democratic Party are calling for a south St. Louis County lawmaker to resign after he praised a radio host who commonly makes racist and misogynist remarks.

At issue are state Rep. Bob Burns’ calls into a radio show hosted by Bob Romanik, a Metro East political figure. He’s often said things on his show that are derogatory to African-Americans and women.

Attorney Ed Dowd walks out of a St. Louis courthouse on Thursday, April 19, 2018. A judge ruled that Greitens' felony invasion of privacy trial would continue.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. after St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony  On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann break down all the developments in the ongoing saga around Gov. Eric Greitens.

This week was particularly newsworthy. After last week’s release of an explosive House report that led to widespread calls for Greitens to resign, at least four events ended up placing Greitens’ political career on virtual life support. (We uploaded a new version of the show after Greitens was indicted last Friday for felony computer data tampering.)

Gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens looks at his ballot before sitting down to vote at the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 20 at 7 p.m. with statements from Gov. Greitens and his attorney  St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony related to illegally taking a fundraising list from a veterans charity he co-founded. The charge, a class D felony, is for tampering with computer data. 

It’s the latest legal malady for the GOP governor, who is also facing a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a revealing photo of a woman without her consent. 

vinwim | Flickr

With four weeks left in the legislative session, Missouri lawmakers are running out of time to pass bills while keeping an eye on the legal battles involving Gov. Eric Greitens.

MetroBus at North Hanley Transit Center on April 3, 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Metro Transit's plan to overhaul bus service would make it difficult for people with disabilities and those with limited mobility to catch the bus, residents from throughout the St. Louis region told officials this week.

Under the agency's plan, less-traveled routes would lose stops, while more popular routes would come more frequently.

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

(Updated at 12:30 p.m. April 19 with Hawley's campaign-finance numbers)  U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has  widened her financial lead over her best-known GOP opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, which likely will prompt more allied Republican groups to spend money on his behalf.

The Senate candidates’ latest campaign-finance filings, which were due at midnight Sunday, show that McCaskill has just over $11.5 million in the bank. That compares to $2.13 million for  Hawley.  In both cases, the candidates' totals include aid from other political-party committees, as well as individual donations.

Hawley’s money also includes his share of the donations collected during President Donald Trump’s visit to the St. Louis area in March.

As the midterm election draws near, some state lawmakers want to change the way Illinois’ political districts are drawn. They want to do that by giving voters a chance to change the constitution.
 

Defense attorney Jim Bennett leaves the Carnahan Courthouse after a judge ruled he will not dismiss the case against Gov. Eric Greitens. April 19, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 19 at 12 p.m. with comments from circuit attorney's office — A St. Louis judge is allowing the criminal case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens to move forward, rejecting a move by the governor's lawyers to dismiss it.

Circuit Judge Rex Burlison on Thursday disagreed with defense attorneys that the conduct by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner and an investigator she hired was so bad that the only way to protect Greitens’ rights to a fair trial was to dismiss the felony invasion of privacy charge. 

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is the best-known Republican candidate to take on McCaskill.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 18 at 5:38 p.m. with governor's effort to block Hawley from further investigation — Attorney General Josh Hawley is asking the St. Louis circuit attorney to file criminal charges against Gov. Eric Greitens for allegedly illegally obtaining a fundraising list from a charity he founded for political purposes.

It marks the latest legal blow for the GOP chief executive, who is also facing felony invasion of privacy charges for allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman with whom he had an affair.

Where they stand: What Missouri lawmakers are saying about Gov. Eric Greitens

Apr 18, 2018
House Republicans talk during the last day of the legislative session. May 17, 2017
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens is facing unprecedented bipartisan calls for his resignation or impeachment after a series of unfolding political and legal scandals.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, and Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, on Tuesday became among the latest to join the dozens of lawmakers already calling for the governor to step down. See below how each member of the General Assembly has weighed in on the matter:

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