Politics & Issues

NorthSide Redevelopment
5:44 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Lawsuit Over NorthSide Project, TIF Law, Heard By Mo. Supreme Court

Developer Paul McKee outside the main hearing room at the Missouri Supreme Court on Nov. 28th, 2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis developer Paul McKee’s NorthSide redevelopment plan took center stage today at the Missouri Supreme Court.

He’s been seeking nearly $400 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) from the city – but the project has been on hold since Circuit Judge Robert Dierker ruled two years ago that its details are too vague to justify awarding TIF dollars and for declaring two square miles of north St. Louis as blighted.  Cheryl Nelson is one of the plaintiffs.  She says McKee’s project has wrecked the property value of her home.

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Campaign finance
5:14 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

'Dark Money' Ban Clears St. Louis Aldermanic Committee

A bill that's cleared a committee would limit 'dark money' in some city races.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Non-profits who want to influence political races in the city of St. Louis may soon have to disclose their donors.

A bill that would force those organizations who put more than $500 into a contest for mayor, comptroller, Board of Aldermen president or a ballot issue sailed out of committee today with a 6-0 vote. Five of the 11 committee members were absent, and a quorum wasn't reached until just before the vote.

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St. Louis on the Air
1:31 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Calvin Trillin Analyzes The 2012 Election In Verse; We Promise You Our Poetry Is Worse

Author and Kansas City native Calvin Trillin
(Photo By: Richard Stamelman / Provided By: Random House)

The guest on today’s program was Calvin Trillin.  He’s a guest of top billin’.

He talked with host Don Marsh.  It was an interview, which despite the political climate, was not harsh.

Trillin is a journalist, humorist, and author of “Dog Fight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse.”  It’s a volume of poetry, concise but not terse.

Trillin was born and raised in Kansas City.  Discussion of politics is witty, and focuses less on Obama than it does on Mitty.

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Politics
12:40 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Three 'Vital' Bills McCaskill Says Are Being Ignored

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.
(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says she's frustrated with the House of Representatives for not taking up three pieces of legislation that she calls "bipartisan" and "vitally important."

The Democratic Senator says she doesn't understand why members of the House won't take up legislation on:

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ethics legislation
5:12 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Mo. House Democrats To Revive Ethics Legislation

House Democratic Floor Leader-Elect Jake Hummel (D, St. Louis) speaks to reporters at the Mo. Capitol today about their proposed ethics bill. In the foreground at left is the proposed bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Kevin McManus (D, Kansas City).
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

House Democrats say they’ll again try to get campaign contribution limits restored in Missouri when next year’s regular legislative session begins.

The Missouri Supreme Court reinstated caps on campaign contributions in 2007, but a 2008 law removed them again.  Jake Hummel of St. Louis takes over next year as the top Democrat in the Missouri House.  He says they’ll push for an ethics bill similar to one in 2010 that had support in both parties.

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Tom Bauer
1:19 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Former Alderman Bauer Loses Defamation Appeal

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Nearly seven years later, the battle over the recall of former St. Louis alderman Tom Bauer is a step closer to final.

The Missouri Court of Appeals today threw out a $150,000 defamation verdict for fliers published against Bauer during his recall election in 2005.

Bauer was thrown out of office in September of that year, in part because of his support for a QuikTrip that would have required the use of eminent domain. The 24th Ward is south of Forest Park and includes Dogtown.

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Health Care
11:13 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Report: US Law Could Increase Mo. Medicaid Costs

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

A new report says Missouri's Medicaid costs could rise by 6.6 percent over 10 years if the state fully implements the federal health care law.

But the report also says almost half of that increase will occur even if Missouri does not expand Medicaid eligibility for adults.

The report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Urban Institute says Missouri can expect to spend an additional $1.2 billion from 2013 to 2022 as more people join the Medicaid rolls because of the federal health care law.

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Missouri sheriffs
6:23 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Too Easy To Qualify For Sheriff In Missouri, Sheriffs Say

Cape Girardeau Co. Sheriff John Jordan (R) testifies before the Mo. House Interim Committee on Operations of the Office of Sheriff on Nov. 26th, 2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Sheriffs from around Missouri want state lawmakers to tighten the requirements needed to become a county’s sheriff.

Cape Girardeau County Sheriff John Jordan (R) told a State House committee today that the only current requirements for potential candidates are that they are “breathing,” and can pay the $50 filing fee.  He wants lawmakers to craft legislation that would require sheriff’s candidates to have prior law enforcement experience.

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Mayoral Race
5:27 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Ready, Set, Mayor: Reed, Slay File For 2013 St. Louis Primary

Board of Alderman Lewis Reed (at left) and current St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.
(via City of St. Louis websites)

St. Louis's Democratic battle between incumbent Mayor Francis Slay and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed is now official -- both candidates filed for the March primary this morning.

Slay has never lost a race, and he's taking this challenge seriously. In fact, Slay says he's had paid employees and volunteers standing in line to hold his spot for filing since Sept. 24.

Slay says he wants another term in order to continue improving education and public safety in the city, and points to the recent passage of local control of the police department.

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Union contract
8:29 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Quinn Voids Union Contract

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has terminated a contract with 40,000 of the state's employees.
St. Louis Public Radio

Amanda Vinicky contributed reporting from Springfield, Ill.


In what's being called an "unprecedented" step, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has terminated the state's contract with its largest employee union.


The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees helped Quinn win the governor's office in 2010, but the relationship soured almost immediately. The governor, a Democrat, has tried to close state facilities, lay off workers, rescind guaranteed salary hikes and reduce the pensions of state employees, all in an effort to cut costs.

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