Politics & Issues

Political news

Catherine Morrison, MoDOT

 Missourians killed or injured by drunk drivers were remembered today in a ceremony at the State Capitol.

Officials say 281 people were killed in crashes involving impaired drivers last year. More than 1,100 suffered serious injuries and more than 3,700 received minor injuries.

Colonel Ronald Replogle is Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He recalled the first fatal crash he worked early in his career, in which a young man wrecked his pickup while driving drunk.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

ST. LOUIS –

Authorities say 19-year-old William Mack Sapp of south St. Louis County is charged with second-degree assault and leaving the scene of an accident. He is jailed on $500,000 bond following his arrest on Wednesday. It wasn't immediately clear if Sapp had an attorney.

The other alleged racer, 19-year-old Trenton Pinckard of Glen Carbon, Ill., was charged earlier this week with leaving the scene of an accident.

 The French government has recognized another veteran from Missouri for helping to liberate that country during World War Two.

Perry Coy, 86, of Jefferson City was given the Legion of Honor medal today by Governor Jay Nixon at a ceremony at the State Capitol.

Coy was one of thousands of U.S. soldiers who took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on June 6th, 1944.

It appears diplomatic concerns, not travel issues, are what's keeping Gov. Jay Nixon in the United States next week.

(Flickr Creative Commons User meddygarnet)

The bill is sponsored by GOP House Member David Sater, who owned and operated a pharmacy in Barry County for 30 years.  He says it would not bar pharmacies from selling the so-called "morning after" pill, but would guarantee their right NOT to if the owners so choose.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Missouri lawmakers have been pre-filing bills this week in preparation for the legislative session that begins next month. Here's the lowdown on these early ventures:

(Flickr Creative Commons User MoNewsHorizon, credit for photo: Tim Bommel of Missouri House Communications)

Three Democratic members of the Missouri House will chair committees next year, despite the increase in power by the Republican Party in that chamber.
Incoming House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) told reporters at a press conference today that he picked the best qualified lawmakers to head the committees, regardless of party.

File photo

The incoming Speaker of the Missouri House is hinting of a battle with Governor Jay Nixon over tax credits.
A committee appointed by the Democratic governor has recommended eliminating nearly half of the state's tax credit programs. House Speaker-elect Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) says he has doubts about the accuracy of the tax credit committee report.
"My preliminary evaluation of it is (that) they've used false data and incorrect conclusions to come up with the recommendations," Tilley told reporters at a press conference today.

Isle of Capri Casino

The Missouri Gaming Commission has selected Cape Girardeau as the new site for the state's 13th casino license.

Commissioner Jim Mathewson said that Cape Girardeau "made a good presentation" and "had lots of support from the community."

Mathewson also cited "oversaturation of the market" when asked why St. Louis was not awarded the license.

(Updates have been made to this story below)

Amid a toxic atmosphere of attack ads, biting websites and accusations of corruption and incompetence, perhaps it's hardly surprising that the campaigns for many area candidates on the Nov. 2 ballot are still debating over whether to debate.

Likely because of the sniping, this fall's negotiations over debates are particularly tense, said Linda McDaniel, co-president of the St. Louis League of Women Voters, which has been tapped to organize or moderate many of them.

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but the sound of a voice can sometimes tell you even more.

Two recent Beacon slideshows included audio of conversations with longtime small-town residents recalling the history of their communities. In both cases, the unhomogenized twang of the speakers transported me instantly to a different place and time, conveying as much about the subject at hand as the words and images.

Only a handful of opponents of Proposition B, the Nov. 2 ballot measure to regulate dog breeding in Missouri, showed up Tuesday night for a protest outside the Humane Society offices on Macklind Avenue in St. Louis.

Inside, supporters of the measure -- Proposition B -- heard from national and state leaders of animal-rights groups, who said passage of the ballot measure would have national repercussions. Jill Buckley of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals noted Missouri's reputation as "the puppy mill capital of the United States."

When Missouri's legislators gather Wednesday in Jefferson City, expect to hear a lot of talk about a film festival last weekend in Warrensburg, Mo., that was funded with $100,000 in federal stimulus funds.

State House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, cites the festival as a poor use of federal money -- and an example of why the state Legislature should have a stronger say in how federal stimulus money is spent.

Former Missouri Gov. Warren E. Hearnes, a Democrat who died in August 2009, will be inducted Wednesday into the state Capitol's Hall of Famous Missourians, where his bronze bust will be displayed.

A ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday in the chamber of the state House of Representatives.

Attorney General Chris Koster has just announced that an agreement has been reached with Premier Exhibitions Inc., sponsor of "Bodies … The Exhibition," which he called "a cadaver exhibit" and which is slated to open in October at the St. Louis Galleria.

As part of the agreement, Premier will post a detailed disclosure with the exhibit that acknowledges that it's unclear where the bodies -- encased in plastic, with the skin removed -- were acquired in China, and that some may be deceased Chinese prisoners.

Nearly a month ago, a clear message was sent to Washington, D.C., when 71 percent of Missouri voters supported Proposition C and rejected "Obamacare."

As a progressive Democrat, I have a very different view of health-care reform than that of conservative Republicans. The dividing point is this: Do we, as a people, care enough about providing effective, affordable health care for everyone to put citizens' needs ahead of the financial interests of the health care industry?

Brian Nieves
Official photo

State Rep. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, said in an exclusive interview Sunday night that his wife's cell phone and records have been subpoenaed in what he calls the continued "malicious prosecution" of accusations that Nieves assaulted the campaign aide of a rival Republican in this summer's nasty contest for the 26th District state Senate seat.

Roy Blunt, left, with Dick Morris 9.12.2010
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2010

Missouri's Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate, Roy Blunt, didn't have to say a word Sunday when he unexpectedly took center stage at the downtown Tea Party rally on the grounds of the Gateway Arch.

Touching off deafening cheers, the congressman from southwest Missouri joined conservative commentator Dick Morris, who did all the talking and the attacking. Morris explained that political comments by Blunt would violate the event's edict barring speeches by candidates.

Missouri appears to be well on its way to recovery from the recession. By working hard, investing in infrastructure and having a strong food produce manufacturing sector, the state has been able to lower its unemployment rate nearly a percentage point below the national average. Local elected officials have encouraged a business-friendly atmosphere and, despite budget shortfalls, avoided the urge to raise taxes. Unfortunately, proposals being considered by the federal government could trip up the Show Me State’s progress.

Beware bloggers. The copyright trolls are on the loose, and apparently they’re gaining support. Last week, a Las Vegas-based company, Righthaven LLC, gained a second client in its campaign to sue bloggers for reposting clips of published, online news content.

On Labor Day, President Barack Obama unveiled a $50 billion plan that he said would create more jobs and energize a lackluster economy. It will do neither.

The Spending Revolt Bus
Provided

The Spending Revolt National Bus Tour, which is financed by a number of conservative groups, will stop by the Gateway Arch at noon on Sunday -- just as area Tea Party activists arrive for their 9/12 rally aimed at energizing the movement for the coming Nov. 2 election.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, is to headline a Clayton town hall that the Spending Revolt tour will be holding at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza hotel, 7730 Bonhomme.

Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Robert E. Parks announced today that he will not be filing criminal charges against state Rep. Brian Nieves, R-Washington, who is accused of assaulting the campaign manager of a rival Republican in this summer's nasty contest for the 26th District state Senate seat.

The altercation allegedly took place in Nieves' campaign office on Aug. 4, the day after he won the nomination. Nieves currently is the heavy favorite to win the Senate seat in the Nov. 2 election.

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Robin Carnahan is breaking with the White House on another issue, by opposing President Barack Obama's proposal to spend $50 billion on infrastructure projects.

She also launched Friday another negative ad against her Republican rival, U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt, who spent the day traveling around rural parts of the state with Missouri Farm Bureau President Charlie Kruse.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., today condemned the plans of a Florida pastor, Terry Jones, to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. McCaskill made her remarks in response to a question at a news conference today on local veterans’ issues.

"I don't know how anybody in the name of God would want to endanger the lives of American soldiers," the senator said, referring to the outcry already underway among some Muslims abroad.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Republican rival Bill Corrigan sharpened their attacks today during their second public forum, held over lunch before members of the Northwest Chamber of Commerce.

Dooley, a Democrat in office since 2003, accused Corrigan of "having something to hide'' because the latter has declined to release his personal income tax returns, as the county executive did last week.

Corrigan, in turn, accused Dooley of improperly spending county money on "$150,000-a-year consultants'' and opinion polls.

We’re doubly excited about the Beacon’s recently announced plan to add a Washington correspondent.

The reporter will add breadth and depth to the Beacon’s already strong coverage of issues and politics that affect our region. And he or she will appear as well on St. Louis Public Radio in a new partnership. The Beacon’s goal is to reach people where they are in ways they find most useful and convenient, and this arrangement will help us deliver.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., appeared to exude more optimism today about St. Louis' chances of landing a transit hub with China than she was about her party's chances in this fall's election.

Addressing members of the St. Louis Chamber and Growth Association, McCaskill said that the latest talks with China indicate Lambert Field should be seeing two Chinese cargo flights a week by next summer.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie -- arguably the most popular Republican now running a Democratic-dominated state -- will be campaigning in Missouri on Wednesday for GOP U.S. Senate nominee Roy Blunt.

Although, technically, Christie won't be in the state. He will join Blunt via teleconference, as they address Blunt volunteers gathered in campaign sites around the state.

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