Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Two death penalty cases in the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday could affect Missouri. In one, a splintered court ruled that Kentucky could resume lethal injections, a decision that could restart executions in Missouri and most other states. In the other case, the court heard arguments that capital punishment should be permitted for child rape, a position that Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has urged on the court.

Commentary: Are you smarter than an old fart?

Apr 17, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: This being an election year, pundits are sure to admonish voters to study the issues. Campaign hype notwithstanding, citizens will be encouraged to soberly evaluate a given candidate's position on the pressing concerns of the day before making their choice. 

Unfortunately, facts are stubborn things and many of our fellow American Idol-izers are simply ignorant of those necessary to perform such an analysis. Worse yet, the things you think you know can be more dangerous than the ones you know you don't. Remember, at one time everybody knew that Saddam Hussein had WMDs.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Walking carefully with the help of his son but looking remarkably well, Mike Swoboda entered the room to a standing ovation. Fifty people stood around the edge of the spectator section, which seated another 75. More than 50 others spilled out the door and into the gentle spring air. A battery of five television cameras in the back of the room recorded the event.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: I’ve decided that to achieve what Sen. Barack Obama referred to in his recent speech on race — the perfection of our union — we need to stop providing superficial remedies to social problems. I’ve begun to liken affirmative action to an anachronistic medical procedure that continues to be performed despite more advanced knowledge. It’s like treating the surface wounds and ignoring the underlying infection. Let me be clear: The need for affirmative action still exists. Unfortunately, race still powerfully affects individuals and shapes institutions. The malady still exists, but the remedy needs some updating.

Commentary: Guzy's Back on the beat

Apr 10, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In the venerable tradition of Lazarus, MacArthur and doggedly resilient souls everywhere, I return — again.

My writing career has acquired a zombie-like mystique because the damned thing just won’t stay dead. Some of you may recall that I used to author a weekly column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That gig ended when I publicly disputed certain assertions made in a Post expose of the St. Louis Sheriff’s Department, where I presently work. Rather than debating the substantive issues I raised, the editors determined that I suffered from a “conflict of interest” and killed my column.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The politicians surely didn't intend it, but the recent debate over illegal immigration in the Missouri Legislature has provided an intriguing window into the innards of each party. A fair amount has been written about how the issue of illegal immigration exposes the fault lines in the contemporary Republican coalition, but in Missouri it’s the Democratic Party that shows greater strains.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Hurricane Katrina reinforced that race colors how we perceive the world and events around us. Our fear of talking about race paired with our flawed goal to be "colorblind" has left us having parallel conversations rather than a collaborative dialogue. Some say racism is anachronistic while others experience its relevance daily.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Missouri Democrats have now elected their full slate of superdelegates. Of Missouri's 16 superdelegates, five support Sen. Barack Obama, four line up with Sen. Hillary Clinton, and seven remain uncommitted.

They will join Missouri's 72 pledged delegates -- 36 for Obama, 36 for Clinton -- at the party's convention in Denver this August. Missouri has a total of 88 delegates.

Commentary: Why Missouri Is A Must-Win State

Mar 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Democratic candidate for president must win Missouri to win the presidency. To stop the Democrats from winning the presidency, the Republican Party must win Missouri's electoral votes for the third presidential election in a row.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Stock story lines about loners and psychopaths fail to explain Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton’s murderous assault this winter at the Kirkwood City Hall — an attack that killed two police officers and three city officials and gravely wounded the mayor, my friend.

Nor do stock story lines about race explain how evil found a home in our idyllic little railroad town turned suburb, where some people feel comfortable leaving their doors unlocked.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Stock story lines about loners and psychopaths fail to explain Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton’s murderous assault this winter at the Kirkwood City Hall — an attack that killed two police officers and three city officials and gravely wounded the mayor, my friend.

Nor do stock story lines about race explain how evil found a home in our idyllic little railroad town turned suburb, where some people feel comfortable leaving their doors unlocked.

St. Louis, MO – Steve Kotraba is St. Louis's acting fire chief, after Sherman George was demoted this (Monday) morning for refusing to make promotions. Kotraba plans to fill the vacancies in question.

The impasse has gone on for three years, ever since a lawsuit claimed the test used to make promotions was biased against blacks. George had refused to make promotions for that reason; he also argues his job as chief gives him discretion on personnel moves.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 17, 2008 - Three Democrats make attorney general primary one of Missouri's hottest races

Other than the unusual Republican primary for governor, the hardest fought and most interesting race on the Aug. 5 Missouri primary ballot is among three lawyers vying in the Democratic race for the attorney general nomination.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If you are looking for polling numbers to help predict Tuesday's Democratic Primary in Pennsylvania, you won't have to go far. According to pollster.com's tabulation, there have been 26 statewide surveys of likely voters released since the beginning of April.

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