Politics & Issues

Politics
10:11 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Former Ill. Congressman LaHood To Leave White House Post

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (L) looks on as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood explains plans for changes to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial where the Gateway Arch sits, during a press conference in East St. Louis in Dec. 2010.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still left in President Barack Obama's first-term Cabinet, says he plans to leave the Obama administration.

The former congressman from Illinois says in an interview with The Associated Press that he intends to remain at the department until his successor is confirmed.

LaHood's departure from the post was expected. Back in October, a spokeswoman said that LaHood would leave the post at the end of Obama's first term.

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State of the State Address
11:39 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Gov. Nixon Delivers 2013 'State Of The State' Address

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon smiles as he prepares to deliver the State of the State address in the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. on Jan. 28, 2013.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

 

Updated at 5:45 a.m. to include feature story on the Governor's State of the State Address by Marshall Griffin.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) pitched a $25.7 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address.  It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, Higher Education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the Governor’s speech and his proposed spending plan for next year:

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State of the State Address
1:00 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Gov. Jay Nixon To Deliver Mo. State Of The State Address Tonight

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon at the 2011 State of the State address. He will deliver this year's address tonight.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) will lay out his proposed budget tonight (Monday) when he delivers his annual State of the State Address.

The Governor’s address will include his call for expanding Medicaid coverage, which GOP leaders in both chambers have already said won’t happen.  He will also call for more education funding from Kindergarten through college – that would mark an about-face for Higher Education, which has undergone budget cuts for the past three years, including a $9 million cut last year.  Nixon is also expected to ask lawmakers to lengthen the state's school year and to spend money on mental health training as a means of improving school safety.

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Rev. Stan Archie
6:16 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Stan Archie Resigns From Mo. State Board Of Education Following 2nd Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit

Rev. Stan Archie of Kansas City announced his resignation today from the Mo. State Board of Education, following the filing of a second sexual misconduct lawsuit against him.
(via dese.mo.gov press release)

The man who recently took over as President of the Missouri State Board of Education resigned today from the board.


Rev. Stan Archie submitted his resignation to Governor Jay Nixon (D) two days after Archie was hit by a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual misconduct.  It’s the second such lawsuit filed against the long-time Kansas City pastor and State Education board member.  It accuses him of having sexually inappropriate conversations with a female minor whom he was counseling, giving her money and gifts, and later harassing her after she ended their relationship.

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Initiative Petitions
5:46 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Kander To Post Initiative Petitions To Mo. Sec. Of State Website BEFORE Writing Ballot Language

The Mo. Secretary of State's office in Jefferson City.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D) has made changes to the initiative petition process.


Effective immediately, the Secretary of State’s office will begin posting initiative petitions to its website before the summary language is written.  Kander has also authorized 5-day comment periods that will begin the same day the initiative petitions are posted.

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Campaign Finance
9:35 am
Fri January 25, 2013

Reed Faces Steep Fundraising Disadvantage In Mayoral Race

(via City of St. Louis websites)

Updated 3:43 with Mayor Slay's more recent ad (that is televised).

A little more than a month away from the Democratic primary, challenger Lewis Reed is losing the fundraising battle miserably.

According to Tuesday's campaign finance filings, incumbent Mayor Francis Slay spent nearly a million dollars in the month of January in his campaign to be re-elected.

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MSHP airplane
6:43 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Mo. Senate Delays Confirmation Of Nixon's O.A. Chief Over Airplane Purchase

An example of a King Air 250 airplane -- the same type of aircraft purchased by the MSHP in December.
(Courtesy Hawker Beechcraft)

Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) choice to head up his Office of Administration will have to wait a bit longer before permanently taking over.


Acting Commissioner Doug Nelson’s confirmation is being delayed in the Missouri Senate after news broke that the State Highway Patrol spent around $5.6 million on a new airplane, which has been designated for use by the Governor and other statewide officials.  State Senator Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia), who sponsored Nelson’s nomination, first wants to know who made the decision to buy the plane, and why.

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Politically Speaking
6:29 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

This Week's Politically Speaking Podcast

Alex Heuer

Jason Rosenbaum is out this week, so we have St. Louis Public Radio's Marshall Griffin filling in. Marshall joins Jo Mannies of the St. Louis Beacon and Chris McDaniel of St. Louis Public Radio to discuss the week in politics.

On this week's show: the special elections bill that's speeding through the statehouse, the early morning voter ID committee and the $6 million plane.

Editor's note: after the recording, the voter ID committee was pushed back to 8 a.m.

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Armed Services
6:04 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Blunt: Women On Front Lines "Inevitable"

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
(via Flickr/ Senator Blunt)

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri praised the Pentagon’s decision to lift the ban on women serving in combat.

The changes, announced Thursday, will not happen overnight. All services branches are supposed to come up with plans by mid-May for integrating women into combat positions.

Blunt, a Republican, called the decision “inevitable.”

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Politics
5:49 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

McCaskill, Blunt Call On President To Approve Keystone Pipeline Expansion

via flickr/shannonpatrick17

One of the major holdups in the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline was Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s apprehension. But after Nebraska state officials approved a revised route this week, both of Missouri’s U.S. Senators are calling on the president to sign off on the expansion.

The Keystone Pipeline already runs through Missouri. What the Keystone Pipeline XL would do is expand the pipeline – adding routes from Alberta to Kansas and Oklahoma to Texas.

It would also enlarge the size of the pipes’ diameter by 6 inches.

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