Politics & Issues

MO Statehouse
6:03 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Local control, tobacco tax initiatives qualify for November ballot

An interior view of the dome of the Missouri State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Missouri voters will be asked in November to raise the state's tobacco tax and let St. Louis run its own police department.

Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced Tuesday that supporters of those proposals had submitted enough signatures from voters to put the questions on the statewide ballot.

Two other initiatives failed to make the ballot. One would raise Missouri's minimum wage, while the other would place new restrictions on payday loans.

Proponents of those measures immediately said they would challenge their exclusions in court.

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Politics
1:44 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

'Slow' and 'steady' Mo. primary voter turnout

The typical badge of a vote cast, the "I Voted" sticker.

Updated 6:47 p.m. 

Rita Days is the St. Louis County Board of Elections' Democratic director. She says the day has gone as planned.

“I guess it’s what you’d call steady all morning and of course this afternoon has been about the same. So it has not really been a rush or lines or anything like that,” Days said.

The St. Louis Board of Elections is reporting a steady flow of activity, but it's not as heavy as anticipated.

Mary Wheeler-Jones is the Democratic Director of Elections in the city of St. Louis.

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Health insurance costs
4:43 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Health insurance cost changes being considered for State Troopers, MoDOT workers

Mo. Highways and Transportation Commission members meet in Jefferson City on 8/6/2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri transportation officials are considering a proposal to restructure how much MoDOT workers and State Troopers pay for their life and health insurance.

Currently, the cost percentage varies, based on several individual factors.  Rudolph Farber chairs the state Highways and Transportation Commission.  He says the proposal they’re considering would have all employees pay the same percentage.

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George Ryan
12:05 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Federal court denies ex-Illinois governor Ryan's appeal

Former Ill. Gov. George Ryan.
(via Flickr/myoldpostcards)

A federal court in Chicago has denied former Illinois Gov. George Ryan's appeal seeking his release from prison.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a complex 16-page ruling Monday denying the 78-year-old Republican's appeal for release from the Indiana prison where he's serving a 6 1/2-year sentence for corruption.

The appeal was widely seen as Ryan's last chance to get out of prison early. He is due to be freed in mid-2013.

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Mo. voter turnout
4:36 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

25 percent voter turnout expected for Mo. primaries

A voter leaving a voting booth in Georgia in 2010. Missouri will hold party primaries Aug. 7th.
(via Flickr/Congress of local and regional authorities)

Voter turnout in Missouri is expected to be around 25 percent for next Tuesday’s party primaries, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

A turnout of 25 percent would be slightly higher than the 23 percent of Missouri voters who cast ballots in the 2010 primaries.  Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) says voter turnout is notoriously hard to predict.

“In fact, our office doesn’t even do it," Carnahan said.  "We ask the local election officials, the 116 of them around the state, to give us their predictions, based on what is on those local ballots.”

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Politics
6:36 am
Fri August 3, 2012

Russ Carnahan and Lacy Clay square off in city primary

Russ Carnahan (at left) and William Lacy Clay have vowed to work together for the good of the Democratic Party in Missouri even after a bruising primary fight.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

One of the biggest match-ups in next Tuesday’s primary will pit Congressman Russ Carnahan against fellow Democrat William ‘Lacy’ Clay to represent the party in the 1st Congressional District.

The two incumbents are have waged heated, and at times spiteful campaigns. The upshot is one less Democrat in Washington for Missouri, and city voters will choose between two well-established political dynasties.

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Beyond November
6:42 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Mo. Lt. Gov. race to come, but first, a contentious GOP primary

The candidates for the Republican primary in the Missouri Lt. Governor's race, from top to bottom, left to right: Mike Carter, Peter Kinder, Charles Kullmann, Brad Lager.
(File photos/official photos/Facebook)

Among the races for Missouri’s statewide offices, the one with the most mudslinging so far is the Republican primary for Lt. Governor.  Peter Kinder is seeking re-election, but he’s facing a major challenge from State Senator Brad Lager.  Both are touting conservative ideals while attacking each other’s records in office. 

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at next week’s GOP Lt. Governor’s contest.

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Beyond November
5:40 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Eight's a crowd: which Dem will make the Mo. Lt. Gov. race?

All eight candidates in the Democratic primary for Mo. Lt. Governor, listed top to bottom, left to right: Judy Baker, Bill Haas, Fred Kratky, Sarah Lampe, Susan Montee, Becky Plattner, Jackie Townes McGee, Dennis Weisenburger.
(Campaign Photos/Provided)

Missouri’s Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor is by far the most crowded race in the state this election cycle. The eight candidates running represent a range of experience from across the state.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, splitting the ballot eight ways means a winner could emerge with less than 20 percent of the vote.

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Drought/river traffic
6:26 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Nixon says state observing river levels for shipping

Barges pass under the Poplar Street Bridge. (via Wikimedia Commons/ Bachrach44)

Governor Jay Nixon (D) says his administration is keeping tabs on river levels along the Missouri and Mississippi as drought conditions persist across the state.  He indicates that the Missouri River may be in worse shape.

“I think that the challenges on the Missouri are a little more significant than the Mississippi," Nixon said at a gathering Wednesday in Jefferson City.  "Minnesota has had a fair amount of rain in that part of the country, but we’re watching those issues very carefully.”

FEMA Funding
5:50 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Bridgeton still waiting on 'Good Friday Tornado' funding

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder listens to public input about Missouri’s response to the 2011 ‘Good Friday Tornado’ at an interim committee hearing Aug. 1, 2012.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is asking the State Emergency Management Agency to explain why the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton has not received $500,000 in FEMA funds to help it recover from the 2011 Good Friday tornado.

Kinder chairs an interim legislative committee on disaster preparedness, response and recovery, which agreed today to give SEMA 48 hours to respond.  

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