Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Democrats Brad Bakker, at left, and Wiley Price IV, right, seek to replace Missouri House Rep. Karla May in District 84.
Jon Saucier Photography, Wiley Price IV via Facebook

In Missouri’s 84th House district two Democrats are competing for Karla May’s term-limited seat as she makes a bid for the state Senate.

Brad Bakker, an attorney, came to St. Louis to attend Saint Louis University; he left to get his law degree before returning to St. Louis with his family several years ago. Wiley Price IV, an events management director, is a lifelong resident of the 84th district, which includes the Forest Park, the Central West End, Dogtown, Wellls-Goodfellow and Hamilton Heights neigborhoods.

Attorney General Josh Hawley shakes hands on Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence. Pence made a speech in downtown St. Louis to bolster President Donald Trump's policies.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

This week’s election edition of Politically Speaking examines how national and state-based political figures are assisting Attorney General Josh Hawley and U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaigns.

Hawley received a fundraising boost this week from Vice President Mike Pence, who swung through the St. Louis area on Thursday to promote President Donald Trump’s policies. Meanwhile across the state, House Democrats are trying to a link a 2017 controversy involving Senate President Ron Richard with Hawley.

Updated at 5:25 p.m. ET

Seventeen people are dead after an amphibious tourist boat carrying 31 people capsized and sank Thursday during a severe squall in a lake in southern Missouri.

The Ride the Ducks Branson boat sank on Table Rock Lake near the resort town of Branson on Thursday. Divers worked through the night on rescue and recovery operations. On Friday morning, the county sheriff told reporters that all the bodies had been found, bringing the death toll to 17.

Mike Parson
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson is now detailing the reasons why he made several line-item vetoes to Missouri’s fiscal year 2019 state budget, which took effect this month.

The state constitution requires that vetoes of bills or budget line items be accompanied by a letter alerting the Legislature of each veto, and why it was made. While Parson issued explanations for the two standard bills and one resolution he vetoed, he initially did not for the budget cuts.

The City of Clayton has apologized to the 10 black Washington University students involved in the July 7 incident.
File Photo | Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated July 20 at 4:15 p.m. - STLPR journalists Holly Edgell and Chad Davis joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to provide context and analysis about this story.

Original story from 7/19:

Clayton City Manager Craig Owens, Clayton Police Chief Kevin R. Murphy, and other officials met with several black students who were falsely accused of “dining and dashing” at an IHOP in Clayton.

Owens said the meeting was “emotionally powerful.”

“In hindsight, it is clear to us that we mishandled the interaction with these 10 Washington University students and lacked sensitivity about their everyday reality,” he said in a statement.

Marchers protest ICE and U.S. immigration policy in downtown St. Louis on July 19, 2018.
St. Louis American

More than 20 immigrant advocates and St. Louis clergy occupied the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office in downtown St. Louis Thursday afternoon. With a banner stating “U.S. Funded Kidnapping” and “#AbolishICE,” they held a sit-in at the office, located at Spruce Street and Tucker Boulevard.

“We want to send a message that we do not welcome ICE in St. Louis,” said Amanda Tello, a community organizer for Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA), in an interview with St. Louis American prior to the action. “Most of our actions have not been targeted at ICE, and so it was time to let them know that we see them and that we don’t want them here.”

NPR political commentator Cokie Roberts is in St. Louis for a presentation at the Missouri History Museum.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For years, radio and television audiences have listened to and watched Cokie Roberts make sense of the news. Currently, as a political commentator for NPR, her analysis is heard on Morning Edition.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Roberts, who will be presenting Thursday night at the Missouri History Museum at an event that’s also presented in collaboration with the Society of the Sacred Heart. The title of the presentation is "Extending America’s Promise: Pioneering Women with Cokie Roberts."

Hosted by St. Louis Public Radio’s Kameel Stanley and Tim Lloyd, the July 10 “I Live Here” event featured five St. Louisans’ stories include one from Chiffontae.
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

In an effort to spur more listener engagement, the “We Live Here” team decided early on to host a community storytelling event. Now in its third year, “I Live Here” features the voices of community members related to a specific topic. Five St. Louisans shared their tales at the latest gathering on July 10.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, “We Live Here” co-host/co-producer Kameel Stanley joined host Don Marsh to talk about the most recent episode of the podcast, which samples a few speakers from the event.

Ferguson Councilman Wesley Bell
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson City Councilman Wesley Bell comes back to the Politically Speaking podcast to talk about the race for St. Louis County prosecutor.

The Democratic official is taking on incumbent St. Louis Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, one of the longest serving local officials in the entire state. Because no Republican signed up to run, the winner of the Aug. 7 primary will serve a four-year term.

Vice President Mike Pence visited St. Louis on Thursday to tout President Donald Trump's tax cuts and campaign for Senate candidate Josh Hawley, at left. July 19, 2018
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated July 20 at 4 p.m. — Analysis from St. Louis on the Air added.

Updated July 19 at 3 p.m. — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence defended President Donald Trump’s record as “18 months of action, 18 months of results, 18 months of promises kept,’’ as he exhorted St. Louis area supporters to get out to vote in November.

In particular, Pence called for help in defeating U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who the vice president contended is too liberal for the state — and the country.

Ganga Mongar, left, and Sancha Subba, right, receive help from Mongar's daughter Anjali while practicing for the writing portion of the naturalization test. Both women have learned how to read and write to prepare for the test.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Ganga Mongar’s pencil is covered in hearts and a pink eraser cap. She taps it on the table as she reels off the names of the Supreme Court justices. She’s is in her mid-40s, a mother of five, and a student at the St. Louis International Institute, where she’s enrolled in the Literacy Citizenship Preparation course. She comes three times a week for two hours, where, in addition to being drilled on U.S. civics, she’s learning how to read and write in English.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and then-St. Louis interim Police Chief Larry O'Toole address reporters on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A former candidate in the running to become the police chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department last year has alleged employment discrimination by the city of St. Louis.

St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Larry O'Toole filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and another with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging employment discrimination.

14th District state Senate candidates Sharon Pace, Brian Williams and Joe Adams speak at a candidate forum at Beyond Housing. July 17, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In many respects, Missouri’s 14th Senate District is one of the most challenging legislative seats to represent.

With some of the state’s richest and poorest cities, the central and north St. Louis County-based district has been ground zero for high profile education and environmental issues. It also includes Ferguson, which became a national focal point for relations between police and African-Americans.

The St. Louis County Council continued its fight with County Executive Steve Stenger July 18, 2018, overriding three vetoes.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council has overridden three more of County Executive Steve Stenger’s vetoes — part of a longstanding fight over power.

But the stakes may be heightened, as the Aug. 7 primary looms.

Council Chairman Sam Page, a fellow Democrat, said after Tuesday’s votes that the members want to hold Stenger accountable.

St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is heading into the final weeks of his primary campaign with a hefty financial edge over Democratic rival Mark Mantovani as the two continue their expensive battle on TV.

And now, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, is joining them by also going on TV, even though she is expected to easily win the Republican primary.

Wagner’s decision to run ads before the Aug. 7 primary is notable – especially since she didn’t run any TV spots in 2016, according to her campaign staff.

R. Marie Griffith is the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University.
Randall Kahn

A few weeks after the #MeToo movement first gained traction in October 2017, a related hashtag also began appearing on social media: #ChurchToo. It quickly caught the attention of Marie Griffith, a faculty member at Washington University who was raised Southern Baptist.

For Griffith, who leads the university’s John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, the idea that sexual harassment and assault occur within Christian faith communities wasn’t new. What was different was the growing spotlight on the problem. In some cases, the outcry led to the resignation of powerful pastors who had abused victims for decades.

Washington University's Brookings Hall
Washington University | Flickr

Updated at 2:20 p.m. on July 17 with information on the city's apology. Updated on July 16 at 4:15 p.m. with comment from Clayton Police Chief  – Washington University asked the city of Clayton to apologize to 10 black incoming freshmen for an incident on July 7, and the city has complied.

The city posted a statement including the apology on its website.

CEO Bob Chapman, right, talks to an employee at a Barry-Wehmiller factory.
Provided by Barry-Wehmiller

Barry-Wehmiller’s leadership philosophy is spelled out on a wall outside the company’s parking garage in Clayton. Employees and visitors see it, coming and going:

“We imagine a society in which people care about each other first.”

All states experienced an increase in the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households from 2000 to 2012-2016.
U.S. Census Bureau

The rate of interracial marriages in Missouri is increasing at a rate slower than other states, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.

Results from the American Community Survey show the percentage of interracial married-couple households increased from 7.4 to 10.2 percent between 2000 and 2012-2016 nationwide.

File Photo. Alderman Terry Kennedy says the delay in naming a St. Louis poet laureate could stretch into next year.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Supporters of a measure that would reverse a planned reduction in the number of aldermanic wards in St. Louis will use the Board of Aldermen’s summer break to get more support lined up for their bill.

Aldermen adjourned Friday until Sept. 7 without giving final approval to two charter changes. One would eliminate the residency requirement for most city employees — the other would put the 2012 ward reduction back in front of voters.

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