Politics & Issues

1:19 pm
Tue September 18, 2012

The 47 percent, in one graphic

Lead in text: 
The Planet Money team breaks down the numbers behind the statistic making the news today. Learn more via the link.
Our colleague Mark Memmot explains the context around Mitt Romney's comment that 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. Here's a closer look at the numbers. As of the latest accounting, it's actually just over 46 percent of Americans that pay no federal income taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center (PDF).
Education
11:31 am
Tue September 18, 2012

Normandy School District loses accreditation

The gates of Normandy High School, one of the institutions in the Normandy School District.
(via Google Maps screen capture)

The Missouri Board of Education has voted unanimously to strip the accreditation from another St. Louis-area school district.


Normandy schools had been under provisional accreditation for the past year, but had been “on thin ice,” in the words of State Board Member Peter Herschend (R, Branson).  He says the district has again failed to meet the minimum nine out of 14 performance standards required for accreditation.


“If you look at the academic results in all of the core content areas, save one, they are at the bottom end of attainment," Herschend said.  "Do I think that’s significant?  You’re damn right I think that’s significant!”

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Farm Values Tour
6:17 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Schoeller conducting 'Farm Values Tour' across rural Mo.

GOP Sec. of State nominee Shane Schoeller.
(via Friends of Shane Schoeller)

Agricultural interests are being highlighted in the Missouri Secretary of State’s race this week.

Republican nominee Shane Schoeller is conducting a “Farm Values Tour” across the state, in which he’s reviving memories of the recent battle over dog breeding regulations.  He says his Democratic opponent, Jason Kander, would follow in Robin Carnahan’s footsteps in writing ballot summaries that could greatly harm farmers who also breed dogs.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Montee stumps at Democratic rally

Former Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee announces she will run for the office of Missouri Lieutenant Governor on February 7, 2012.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The race for Missouri Lieutenant Governor has remained below the radar so far this political season. Republican incumbent Peter Kinder and Democratic challenger Susan Montee are well-known political names in the state, but their campaigning has been fairly low-key to this point.

Montee appeared as part of a Democratic rally Sunday in mid-Missouri, in front of a full crowd of 300 Democrats.

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It's All Politics
1:47 pm
Mon September 17, 2012

Football And (Conservative) Politics Do Mix For Some NFL Fans

Rowdy Smith, who brought his sons to the St. Louis Rams game on Sunday, said that President Obama's "not a leader" and is hurting the energy industry. He's shown here walking in front of the Americans for Prosperity campaign bus.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 2:18 pm

There's nothing like a ready-made crowd to help a group get its message out. That's why a conservative political organization set up shop Sunday outside the St. Louis Rams-Washington Redskins NFL football game.

Why mix politics and football?

"People are here," explained Patrick Werner, Missouri state director for Americans for Prosperity.

Football fans are used to encountering promotional tents for sports-talk radio stations and brands of beer and mixed nuts on their way to the game. Not so many of them expect to discuss politics as part of the pregame festivities.

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Politics
11:05 am
Mon September 17, 2012

As deadline to drop out nears, McCaskill steps up attacks on Akin

(Akin: UPI Bill Greenblatt/McCaskill: Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

After weeks of focusing on her image as a moderate Democrat who isn't afraid of compromise, Senator Claire McCaskill stepped up the attack on her opponent in November's Election, Congressman Todd Akin.

In a speech to Democrats in Callaway County, the Senator touched on a variety of issues to incite Democratic voters. One topic that garnered the most applause (and laughter) from the audience was student loans.

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Politics
4:22 pm
Fri September 14, 2012

Super PAC bringing bus tour to Missouri

Americans for Prosperity is bringing its "Obama's Failing Agenda" bus tour to Missouri.
Kirk Siegler/KUNC

A prominent conservative Super PAC plans to host several events in Missouri over the next few days.  The national group - Americans for Prosperity - will bring its bus tour to tailgate parties before the Mizzou football game on Saturday, the Rams game on Sunday and the Cardinals game on Tuesday. 

The group says this is a way to reach out to a large audience that’s already there – an audience that isn’t necessarily the political rally type.  

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House Speaker Tim Jones
7:57 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Tim Jones new Missouri House Speaker

Tim Jones (R, Eureka) stands behind the podium shortly after being sworn in as Speaker of the Missouri House.
Tim Bommel, Mo. House Communications

Missouri House members have chosen Tim Jones (R, Eureka) as their speaker for the next few months.


Jones had served as the chamber's majority leader for the past two years. His selection Wednesday fills the vacancy created when former Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) resigned from the House in August to work as a paid consultant.  House members will decide in January whether to keep Jones for two more years as Speaker, assuming that he is re-elected in November and the GOP holds onto the Missouri House as expected.  Jones said Wednesday he wants to encourage job creation by streamlining government, offering tax relief and paring back government regulations. He also wants to focus on energy independence and education policy.

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Out-of-state vehicle purchases
7:35 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Mo. lawmakers back away from plans to override out-of-state vehicles sales tax bill

A used car dealership in Jefferson City.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House Republicans have decided against trying to override Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of legislation on vehicle sales taxes.


No motion was made to override Nixon's veto when lawmakers met Wednesday. The Republican-led House and Senate approved the measure earlier this year.


Republican House leader Tim Jones said Wednesday he would welcome a special session over the sales tax issue. But Nixon says he is not calling a special session.

Politics
3:59 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Mo. police, firefighters unions endorse Senator McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

One day after the Missouri Farm Bureau reaffirmed its support for Congressman Akin, Senator Claire McCaskill announced endorsements from the Missouri chapters of the firefighters and police unions.  During a conference call, the incumbent Democrat praised the two groups.

"You know, none of the people who go into this line of work do it for the money," McCaskill said. "What they're looking for is a way to serve and give back and have a salary for their families."

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