Politics & Issues

Veterans Affairs
7:15 am
Tue July 15, 2014

American Legion Targets Gap Between Veterans And VA St. Louis Health Care

Navy veteran Mike LeBlanc discusses health care with Verna Jones, director of the American Legion's Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Division.
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The American Legion is looking for St. Louis-area veterans who need help getting medical services from the VA Health Care System.

The Legion has sent members from its “System Worth Saving Task Force” in Washington, D.C., to relay concerns directly from St. Louis-area veterans.

The three-person task force is meeting with the director of the local VA system today to bring up problems raised by veterans at a town hall-style meeting that it hosted Monday night, said Verna Jones, director of the Legion's Veterans Affairs Rehabilitation Division in Washington.

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Congress
5:15 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

For Republicans, Silence Is Golden When It Comes To Akin's Book

Todd Akin
Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

(Updated 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 15)

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, R-Wildwood, is continuing this week to make the rounds of the national news outlets as he promotes his new book, “Firing Back.”

But most Republicans, nationally and in Missouri, are continuing to ignore his book – and him.

In the book, Akin generally defends his controversial 2012 contention that in cases of “legitimate rape,’’ women rarely get pregnant because “their bodies have ways of shutting the whole thing down.”

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St. Louis Politics
10:34 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Slay Names Alderman Florida As New Recorder Of Deeds

Jennifer Florida
Credit City of St. Louis

(Updated 1:45 p.m. Monday, July 14)

Last Thursday, the day before then-Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter was forced to step down, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay approached Alderman Jennifer Florida about becoming her replacement. On Monday, Florida was sworn in.

Florida said in an interview that the mayor had reaffirmed the importance of the job and his desire to quickly deal with "this sudden impending vacancy.."

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On The Trail
9:28 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Money, Money, Money: Five Things To Look For In Tuesday's Campaign Finance Reports

Credit (via Flickr/Tracy O)

A fundraising quarter before an election is when Missouri politics starts getting real. 

And by “getting real,” I mean getting "real expensive.”

Tuesday is the deadline for campaign committees to turn in their fund-raising reports. These are the documents showing how much money political candidates and ballot initiatives have for the final push to the Aug. 5 primary.  They can also reveal how much cash is being shelled out in competitive primaries.

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Primary Election 2014
9:18 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Amendment 5 Would Expand Gun Rights In Missouri

Credit (via Flickr/M Glasgow)

Amendment 5, a proposed Missouri constitutional amendment on the Aug. 5 ballot, seeks to protect further the right to bear arms.

"It's going to strengthen the protection that the right to keep and bear arms under the Missouri constitution," said Allen Rostron, a constitutional law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. "Everybody is familiar with the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, of course, but there's also a provision in the Missouri state Constitution that guarantees a right to keep and bear arms, and this is designed to strengthen that right."

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General Obligation Bond
5:22 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Reed Delays Board Vote On Bond Issue St. Louis

Credit (via Flickr/iChaz)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is unlikely to vote on a $200 million bond issue until after the August primary election. That's because Board president Lewis Reed put a temporary kibosh on bill by tabling any discussion of the issue.

Reed cited a litany of reasons for the delay, including the need to continue negotiations with the mayor's office and fine-tune the bill. 

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Primary Election 2014
5:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

St. Louis Recorder Of Deeds Steps Down -- But Is Running For Re-Election

Sharon Carpenter
Credit City of St. Louis

St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter, the city’s longest-serving current citywide official, is stepping down from office amid a probe into whether she violated the state’s nepotism law.

But Carpenter is expected to seek election to a new term in a few weeks – and she still has the endorsement of Mayor Francis Slay.

The nepotism ban only applies to her current term, which ends in December. It does not bar her from seeking the office again.

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Week In Review
2:08 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

The Rundown: 'Right To Farm,' Food For Lunch And Family Business

Credit Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio

We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories of the week.

Primary election 2014

Would 'Right To Farm' Ballot Question Protect Family Farms Or Ag Corporations?

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August 5 Primary
1:58 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Koster's Support For 'Right To Farm' Prompts Praise And Criticism

Chris Koster
Credit (Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s decision to endorse the proposed “Right To Farm’’ constitutional amendment is resurrecting a split within Democratic ranks over the issue – and him.

Koster, a Republican-turned-Democrat, now is seen as the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor in 2016.  He also has become the de facto leader of the state Democratic Party, in part because he’s currently the party’s largest single donor.

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State Exercise
8:53 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Missouri Honors General And His Jumping Jacks

John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Show-Me State is designating the jumping jack as its official exercise in honor of the U.S. Army's second highest-ranked general.

Gen. John Pershing, who was from Laclede, Missouri, is credited with inventing the exercise while training cadets at West Point before WWI.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 669 bill Thursday, which was sponsored by State Rep. Pat Conway of St. Joseph.

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