Politics & Issues

Election 2012/GOP Primary
6:32 am
Tue June 12, 2012

GOP Senate debate sticks close to party themes

U.S. Rep. Todd Akin announces his Senate candidacy on May 17, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The three Republicans vying for the right to challenge Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill in November didn't stray far from the party's script at a debate in St. Charles last night.

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Firefighters /Police Officers
6:17 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Slay ties firefighter pension reform to police cuts

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says firefighter pension costs have gone up by more than 500 percent in the last 10 years.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says cutting the fire department’s pension costs will enable the city to take 30 police jobs off the chopping block.

The Board of Police Commissioners voted Monday to hold onto 30 of the 80 police positions this year’s budget eliminates through attrition, but only if a pension reform bill is passed by the Board of Alderman.

Slay says the bill, which requires firefighters to pay more into the system and prevents full retirement benefits until age 55, would save the city more than $8 million.

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Missouri River
6:16 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Farmers and environmentalists at odds over plans to dump sediment into Missouri River

Over 120 people crowded into a meeting room at the Lewis and Clark Building in Jefferson City for a hearing on the Jameson Island project on June 11, 2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Farmers and environmentalists faced off at a hearing today in Jefferson City over a water project on the Missouri River west of Boonville.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers wants to build a new chute at Jameson Island designed to protect the pallid sturgeon and other native fish species.  Building it would involve dredging along the Missouri River, and the Corps wants to dump the sediment back into the river.  The move is strongly opposed by farm interests.  Dale Ludwig with the Missouri Soybean Association says up to a million cubic yards of sediment could be dumped into the Missouri River.

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2:58 pm
Sun June 10, 2012

Mo. lawmakers seek to bolster senior protections

jimbowen0306 Flickr

People who use their influence to take financial advantage of elderly and disabled Missourians could face criminal charges under a bill on Gov. Jay Nixon's desk.

It's already a crime in Missouri to financially exploit the elderly or disabled through deception, force or intimidation.

Legislatures voted this year to expand the law by making it illegal to use "undue influence" to exploit an elderly or disabled person's pain or state of mind for financial gain. That language is aimed partly at improper uses of a power of attorney, guardianship and conservatorship.

Anti contraceptive mandate rally
5:28 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Rally against president's contraceptive mandate held at Mo. Capitol

Bishop John Gaydos addresses the crowd at a rally on June 8th, 2012, opposing President Obama's contraceptive mandate.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Around 200 people rallied at the Missouri Capitol today against President Obama’s mandate that employers provide coverage for contraceptive services.

Churches are exempt from the mandate, but religious non-profit organizations, such as schools and hospitals, are not.  John Gaydos is bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City.

“Religious freedom is not merely about our ability to attend church on Sunday," Gaydos said.  "It is impossible to exercise that religious freedom and at the same time compromise the faith that inspires us to action.”

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5:06 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Dave Spence hoping business savvy will win hearts of MO voters

Republican Dave Spence
Christine Page RCGA

The presumptive Republican candidate for Missouri Governor, Dave Spence, says Democrat Jay Nixon is not doing a thing to help grow the state economy.

Spence is a wealthy St. Louis businessman who made his fortune as a manufacturer of plastic containers.  He is a virtual outsider in state politics, having never run for political office before.   Spence addressed members of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA) on Friday.

Mr. Spence accused Nixon of stifling growth, by imposing layers of unnecessary regulations on the private sector. 

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WiFi at state park campgrounds
6:10 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

WiFi service being added to Mo. state park campgrounds

An RV campsite at Table Rock State Park.
Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources

People who go camping at state parks in Missouri can now add laptops and iPads to their lists of camping gear and supplies.

Prior to this year, only Bennett Spring State Park had WiFi service, which was used mainly for live trout cameras during trout season.  Renee Bungart with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says WiFi service has now been expanded to eleven state park campgrounds.

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5:54 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

St. Louis firefighter pension reform bill stalls in committee

A vote on Alderman Craig Schmid's firefighter pension reform bill was postponed in the Public Safety Committee Thursday.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

The bulk of Mayor Francis Slay’s firefighter pension reform bill stalled today in the St. Louis Board of Alderman’s Public Safety Committee.

The committee passed a provision barring trustees of the Firemen’s Retirement System from suing the city over the design or benefits of the pension plan. But the committee postponed voting on major reforms that would make firefighters to pay more into the system and prevent retirement until age 55.

Alderman Larry Arnowitz says he’s certain if reform passes, firefighters will fight the changes in court.

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Election 2012
1:52 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Ill. Nat. Guard's Enyart resigns; possible entrant to 12th District race

Maj. Gen William Enyart has submitted his letter of resignation.
(Illinois National Guard Website)

Updated 3:22 p.m. with information from press conference.

The man who has headed the Illinois National Guard for the past five years is stepping down from that post to consider running as a Democrat for an open congressional seat.

Adjutant General William Enyart submitted his resignation Thursday and was replaced by Gov. Pat Quinn for the time being by Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti. Celletti is the assistant adjutant general for the Army.

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Election 2012
12:42 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Mitt Romney accuses President Obama of 'moral failure' on economy

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney shakes hands of supporters during a campaign stop at Production Products in St. Louis on June 7, 2012.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney didn’t mince words at a campaign stop in St. Louis on Thursday.

Romney addressed several hundred supporters at Production Products, a military equipment supplier in north St. Louis County.

The former governor railed against the Obama Administration for “undermining the free-enterprise system and over-regulating businesses."

He said the President wasn’t up to the task of solving the economic crisis, all the while recklessly expanding the reach of government.

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