Politics & Issues

Political news

Illustration by Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is seeing an unprecedented flood of outside money – some of it the hard-to-trace “dark money” – aimed at the state’s candidates for the U.S. Senate and governor. But there’s a stark contrast between how the money flows into the two contests, because of the difference in federal and state campaign-finance laws.

Every Missouri attorney general since 1969 has sought higher office at the conclusion of their term , just as gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster is doing this year. Even so, the race to be the next attorney general hasn’t received much attention. Perhaps it should; this year’s two major candidates have completely different ideas about what the job even is. “This is an office that is the top law enforcement office of the state of Missouri with over 180 attorneys in that...

A collage of Missouri statewide and area congressional candidates on 2016 ballot
File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

As this election season finally winds down, St. Louis Public Radio is putting together a lot of the campaign coverage we did this year in the hope that readers can find the information they need before casting their votes.

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Amendment 3on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A . This was an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on Nov. 8. The third part of the conversation centered on Amendment 3 , which would increase the taxes on cigarette packs to 60 cents by 2020 and impose an additional fee on tobacco wholesalers at an initial rate of 67 cents...

Vinita Park mayor James McGee speaks against proposed standards for polcie departments in St. Louis County in December 2015.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Residents of two North County municipalities will vote on Tuesday whether to become one. The governing bodies of Vinita Park and Vinita Terrace jointly submitted an application for merger to the St. Louis Boundary Commission in April. That board voted in June to put the merger on the November ballot.

Screen captures from ads by Democrat Chris Koster, top, and Republican Eric Greitens
YouTube

If you think you’re being bombarded with TV ads for Missouri’s governor’s contest, you’re right. The Missouri governor’s race is the top state-level contest in the country, when it comes to ad spending, and ads airing. That’s according to the Center for Public Integrity, an award-winning nonpartisan nonprofit that tracks political spending. It says that Missouri’s battle for governor, including last summer’s nasty GOP primary, is responsible for about 27 percent of the nation’s TV ads aired for state-level contests this year, and about 13 percent of the ad spending.

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Proposition A on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A . This was an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on Nov. 8. The third part of the conversation centered on Proposition A , which would increase taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products a total of 23 cents per pack by 2021. The proceeds of the tax would go to fund...

Dozens of cannabis clones grow under high-intensity lights at BeLeaf's growing and processing facility in Earth City, Mo.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

Efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri failed to pass the state legislature last session or qualify for the ballot next week, but nine pot-related measures are up for votes in other states on Election Day. As laws and public opinion toward the cannabis plant continue shifting nationwide, the Show Me State is taking a wait-and-see approach.

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Amendment 6 on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A . This was an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on Nov. 8. The second part of the conversation centered on Amendment 6 , which would empower the state government to require the presentation of voter photo IDs at public elections for the purpose of identifying and proving...

File photo

After leading the fight to get the proposed tobacco tax increase known as Proposition A on the ballot, Ron Leone is forsaking that proposal so he can focus on defeating its rival. “We’ve had to leave the fate of Proposition A to the gods,” said Leone, executive director of Missouri Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Stores. “Our entire focus of our resources and our effort has been to defeat Amendment 3.”

St. Louis on the Air hosted a town hall with a proponent and opponent of Missouri's proposed Constitional Amendment 4 on Nov. 1, 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, Nov. 1, St. Louis on the Air hosted a moderated conversation in the Community Room at St. Louis Public Radio about Amendments 3, 4 and 6 as well as Proposition A . This was in an effort to inform voters on statewide ballot issues they would see on their Nov. 8 ballot. The first part of the conversation centered on Constitutional Amendment 4 , which would prohibit a new state sales or use tax on any service or transaction that was not subject to a sales or use tax as of...

Russ Carnahan October 2016
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome back Democratic lieutenant governor hopeful Russ Carnahan. The former congressman and state representative easily won a Democratic primary earlier this year. He’s squaring off against GOP lieutenant governor nominee Mike Parson. Parson recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that can be found here .

Join St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh for a town hall event on Tuesday, Nov. 1 to discuss four of Missouri's most contested ballot measures.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Come Nov. 8, Missourians will have many important decisions to make. Who will be the country’s next president? Missouri’s next U.S. senator and congressmen? Our state’s governor? Our state’s next senators and representatives? That’s not all Missourians will be deciding on. There are also a handful of ballot measures that you should think closely about before the day of the election. A week before you head to the polls, St. Louis on the Air hosted an evening town hall to hear from...

How do you tell what is real and fake news during the election season? On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, we'll hear from media literacy educators about some strategies. These are all "fake" news headlines pulled from Snopes.com.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

You’ve seen it in your newsfeed before and perhaps even clicked on it or shared it: a bogus “news” story related to the election. While Facebook and other social media sites have worked hard to limit the reach of such stories, some still seep through the cracks. You’ll see headlines like, “Michael Moore Endorsed Donald Trump?”, “ 6,000 Muslims with Forged Papers Caught at Southern Border ,” “ Recording Captures Tim Kaine Yelling at His Mistress ,”and “ Trump Just Removed His...

An infrared photograph shows a water main leak in Webster Groves. Water utility companies photograph roads at night to determine which pipes may be in need of repair.
Missouri American Water | Provided

Updated Nov. 1 with court arguments – The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing whether state law still allows Missouri American Water to charge its St. Louis County customers an infrastructure surcharge. The Public Service Commission agreed to allow Missouri American to charge the $3 a month fee, even though St. Louis County's population dropped below 1 million during the 2010 U.S. census. But the western district court of appeals overturned that decision in March .

C.J. Baricevic is the Democratic candidate for Illinois' 12th congressional district. He comes from a long line of public servants.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from C.J. Baricevic, the Democratic candidate running for Illinois’ 12th congressional district. Baricevic is a St. Clair County native and comes from a family of public servants. He is a partner in the law firm of Chatham and Baricevic, which specializes in labor law. He has also serves part-time as a public defender. In recent years, the 12th district has flipped from Democrat to Republican majority. We heard from Green Party candidate Paula...

Democrat Sheila Simon and Republican Paul Schimpf
From campaigns

In Illinois’ 58 th district, it’s lieutenant governor versus lieutenant colonel in a race for the Metro East’s only open state senate seat. Republican David Luechtefeld of Okawville is retiring after 22 years in office. He has endorsed Paul Schimpf of Waterloo, a former Marine and political newcomer. Schimpf is running against a familiar name in Illinois politics, former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, a Democrat from Carbondale.

Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson listens to representatives speak on the last day of the legislative session.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Next Tuesday’s election could showcase whether the House Republican supermajority is wave-proof. After the House GOP shot way past the 109-member supermajority threshold in 2014, Missouri Republicans may be in their strongest legislative position ever in the General Assembly’s lower chamber. And since Republicans represent some Democratic-leaning seats, it stands to reason that the party will face a challenge this year to retain the status quo – especially if GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump underperforms in the Show Me State.

Mike Parson
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Mike Parson. Parson, a state senator from Bolivar, won a hotly contested GOP primary for the lieutenant governorship against Bev Randles. He’s facing off against Democrat Russ Carnahan in the general election. Carnahan recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that will be posted later this week.

Mario González Contreras, on a speaking tour to spread awareness about the Ayotzinapa 43, attends a Saint Louis University student mass at St. Francis Xavier College Church after speaking with students.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Mario González Contreras doesn’t like speaking at universities. The students who fill the lecture halls and seminar rooms are about the same age as his son, César. He notices his son’s features in their faces. Or maybe, he looks for them. And that’s when it hits him the hardest. On Sunday evening, González stood behind a lectern at Saint Louis University’s Center for Global Citizenship. About two dozen students listened intently as he talked about his son. César González Hernández turned 19...

Eric Greitens, left, and Chris Koster with images of money
Jason Rosenbaum and Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s $45 million and counting for Missouri’s two major-party nominees for governor as they head into the home stretch. That’s how much Democrat Chris Koster and Republican Eric Greitens have raised, as of Friday, in their record-setting battle. So far, they’ve spent close to $36 million (some of it before the Aug. 2 primary.)

Arch City Defenders executive director Thomas Harvey speaking during a 2014 meeting of the Ferguson Commission.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Florissant has become the 16th north St. Louis County municipality to face a federal lawsuit for jailing defendants simply because they couldn't pay a fine or court cost. The Arch City Defenders filed the class action lawsuit on Monday . It alleges that the five individuals were among hundreds, if not thousands, of defendants "threatened, abused, and left to languish in confinement until their frightened family members produced enough cash to buy their freedom, or until City jail officials decided, days or weeks later, to release them free of charge — after it had become clear the City would not be able to extract any money from them."

Patrick Henry Elementary School in St. Louis.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans have spent roughly a decade trying to implement a requirement that voters show government-issued photo identification before they can cast a ballot. After numerous starts and stops, the GOP is one public vote away from achieving a long-standing public policy goal. Amendment 6 would authorize Missouri lawmakers to pass a photo ID statute. The constitutional change is needed because the Missouri Supreme Court years earlier had tossed out photo-ID mandates, saying they violated the state constitution.

Gov. Jay Nixon October 2016
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are honored to welcome Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to the program. The two-term Democrat spent more than an hour discussing his legacy as the state's chief executive — and provided in-depth insight into how he faced crisis while in office.

These stories appear in our top five stories periodically. Some are assigned to classes for students. Others appear on websites, such as Reddit. The rest are inexplicably popular.

Eric Greitens, Missouri's GOP candidate for governor, embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during a get-out-the-vote rally in Chesterfield.
Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker headlined a parade of Missouri Republican candidates who exhorted local allies Sunday to do all they can to help generate a GOP sweep on Nov. 8. “If you’re going to turn the country around, first off, you need to do it in the states,” said Walker, who was campaigning primarily on behalf of Eric Greitens, Missouri’s GOP nominee for governor. Greitens is locked in a tight contest with his Democratic rival, Attorney General Chris Koster. Walker traveled Sunday with Greitens and other Missouri candidates to the state’s most-populous regions – Springfield, Kansas City and St. Louis. The blitz came about 48 hours after Vice President Joe Biden held a St. Louis rally aimed at energizing Democrats.

In this election year, much of the dialogue between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump has been particularly harsh. Both candidates for president of the United States have taken turns hurling accusations of illegal or immoral behavior at one other. The verbal assaults, frequently discussed in decidedly “adult language," have left some likely voters wondering what ever happened to common decency and common sense. What, then, are parents supposed to do, when their children hear talk and see actions that in no way set examples of how reasonable people should behave?

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of supporters at a rally for Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Jason Kander at The Pageant.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Vice President Joe Biden swung through St. Louis Friday to extol a largely youthful crowd to send Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander to the U.S. Senate. Biden spoke to hundreds of people at The Pageant, a popular music venue in St. Louis. His visit comes amid a tightening race between Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt in a contest that could determine whether Democrats take over the U.S. Senate next year. Kander's aides estimated that nearly 2,000 people came to hear Kander and Biden...

Police chief Sam Dotson addresses Tower Grove South residents at a community meeting on December 12, 2014.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

An attempt by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen to record its discontent with a sitting police chief running for mayor fell short on Friday. The resolution from Alderman Joe Roddy, D-17th Ward, got just 13 of the 15 votes it needs to pass. It calls on St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson to resign if he officially files to run for mayor in November. The chief announced earlier this month he would seek the office, being vacated after 16 years by Mayor Francis Slay.

Paula Bradshaw is the Green Party candidate in Illinois' 12th Congressional District.
Facebook photo | used with permission of the candidate

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air , we heard from our first Green Party candidate of the election: Paula Bradshaw, a nurse, who is running for Illinois’ 12 th congressional district. Bradshaw ran for the same seat in 2014, but was defeated by Mike Bost [R]. She also ran in 2012. In both elections, she garnered nearly six percent of the vote. This could be significant because the 12 th district has flipped from Democrat to Republican majority in recent years. Bost is running as the...

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