Politics & Issues

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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Transportation
5:01 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

MHTC Chairman Proposes 1-Cent Sales Tax To Fund Mo.'s Transportation Needs

Two trucks travel in the east-bound lanes of I-70 between Columbia and Boonville, Mo.
(MoDOT)

The head of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission has unveiled a plan for funding the state’s aging highways and bridges.

The centerpiece would be a new one-cent sales tax.  It would expire after 10 years, and would need approval from both lawmakers and Missouri voters.  Transportation Commission Chairman Rudy Farber says the tax would not be collected on medicine, groceries or gasoline purchases.

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Education funding
2:28 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

Nixon Pledges To Boost Funding For All Levels Of Education

Gov. Jay Nixon meets with Parkway School District preschool teacher Maggie Velicer. Nixon says his proposed budget will boost funding for early education.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

If today's press conference at Oak Brook Elementary in the Parkway School District is any indication, Gov. Jay Nixon hopes to make investment in education a focal point as he starts his second term.

Details - including exact dollar amounts - will have to wait for Monday's State of the State address. But the Democrat Nixon says the new money will span from early childhood to college. His initiatives include:

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Bond issue proposal
11:05 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Missouri Lawmakers To Consider Statewide Bond Issue For Infrastructure Improvements

Mo. Capitol
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House members are proposing a statewide bond issue they say could launch a building boom across the Show-Me State.

House Speaker Tim Jones (R, Eureka) has created a special committee to examine several bonding proposals that could fund new buildings, repairs and upgrades on state property and college campuses.  The effort is bipartisan, as the Republican speaker has appointed Democrat Chris Kelly of Columbia to chair the committee.  Kelly says the proposal can be done without raising taxes, unless transportation needs are included.

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State of the Judiciary Address
10:00 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Mo. Chief Justice Teitelman Praises Drug Courts In Annual State Of Judiciary Address

Mo. Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Teitelman delivers the annual State of the Judiciary Address before the Mo. Gen. Assembly on Jan. 23rd, 2013.
Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Teitelman sang the praises of the state's drug court system during his annual State of the Judiciary Address Wednesday.


He told lawmakers that 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the state’s drug courts, which provide treatment options for non-violent drug offenders.

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Mayoral Race
5:59 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Reed Accuses Slay Of Campaigning To City Employees, Slay Says He's Just Doing His Job

(via City of St. Louis websites)

St. Louis Mayoral candidate Lewis Reed is accusing Mayor Francis Slay of campaigning at the expense of taxpayers.

Reed, President of the Board of Aldermen, alleges Slay is holding meetings with city employees to campaign for votes while they are on the clock. Glenn Burleigh, Reed’s campaign manager, claims it’s a coordinated effort aimed at multiple departments.

“Telling folks on taxpayer dime: that’s what’s important here," Burleigh said. "These are trash collectors, that instead of picking up trash, were listening to the mayor.”

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