Politics & Issues

Political news

Ed Martin
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 chat with Eagle Forum president Ed Martin about the wide open race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Mother Jones leading a Colorado march.
United Mine Workers of America (Courtesy Rosemary Feurer)

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, the “grandmother of all agitators,” emerged as an activist in the late 19th century during the country’s rash of mine and railway strikes.

Fighting for organizations such as the United Mine Workers of America during strikes, Jones organized a transnational, multi-ethnic movement in support of a living wage, restrictions on child labor and public ownership of resources. She came to be nationally known as a dissident, a “dangerous citizen,” and an unapologetic Bolshevik—later in life, she owned up to all three.

St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger said his transition into his new office is going much more smoothly than last week.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis last week started the process to raise its minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018, some policymakers and activists hoped the move would spur St. Louis County to follow suit.

“It would be great if the county came along with us,” said St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. “I think that is one of the major issues with the bill. We need to have this on a much broader spectrum than just the city.”

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A working group created by the Missouri Supreme Court to look at reforms to the municipal court system will study whether some of the courts should be consolidated.

The group released its interim report Tuesday. The two-page document outlines the areas the group plans to study over the next three months, and the material it has already gathered to inform its work.

Mo. Dept. of Corrections

Updated 9/1/2015, 10:13 p.m. -- Roderick Nunley has become the sixth death row inmate executed in Missouri this year.

He was put to death by lethal injection Tuesday at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre for the 1989 murder of 15-year-old Ann Harrison.

Marshall Griffin/ St. Louis Public Radio

Sporting new shoes, convicted felon Jeff Mizanskey has left prison – and a life sentence -- to embark on what he hopes is a new life.

A native of Sedalia, Mizanskey has become a national symbol of the movement to decriminalize pot.

Updated: 4:17 p.m.  

A Johnson County jury has found Frazier Glenn Cross Jr. guilty of all charges in the shooting deaths of three people at Overland Park Jewish sites.

Cross was charged with a single count of capital murder, three counts of first degree attempted murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of criminal discharge of a firearm at a building.

After hearing the first verdict, Cross said, "I think the fat lady just sang," and then yelled, "Sieg heil!"

Original story begins here:

City circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce joined roundtable regulars William Freivogel and Mark Smith to discuss local and national issues of note.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The legal roundtable reconvened this week with St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and plenty of local and regional topics to discuss. On the docket for local news: unconstitutional red light cameras, dual investigations into the shooting of Mansur Ball-Bey and eleventh-hour charges against Ferguson protesters and journalists. In national issues, the panelists covered the shooting of two Virginia reporters and arguments that U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s takedown of Todd Akin was illegal—and asked, should prosecutors be elected or appointed?

State Rep. Marsha Haefner
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Marsha Haefner pulled the plug on her state Senate bid in the 1st Senatorial District, creating yet another twist to a state legislative contest that could prove to be one of the most competitive in the state.

Haefner announced her candidacy for the south St. Louis County-based seat earlier this year. When the Oakville Republican jumped into the contest, the incumbent – Sen. Scott Sifton, D-Affton – was running for attorney general and was leaving the seat wide open.

Clockwise from upper left: Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Ben Carson
official photos

At least six Republican presidential hopefuls will be headed to St. Louis in less than two weeks to address conservatives at an Eagle Forum convention.

State Republican Party chairman John Hancock predicts those visits are only the start.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, left foreground, and attorney Frankie Freeman, second from right, were featured at the Democrats' Truman Dinner.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Reflecting party leaders’ desire to change things up, the Missouri Democratic Party chose an unusual venue for Saturday night’s renamed Truman Dinner: the field of Busch Stadium.

The “unusual” extended to the evening’s highlight – a surprise video by Hillary Clinton, displayed on the “jumbo-tron” – and the closing: fireworks.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay speaks to the media before signing a minimum wage increase into law on Friday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Aldermen completed a harrowing process to raise the city’s minimum wage – a decision that supporters say will help the city's low-income workers.

But few believe that Friday’s affirmative vote marks the last word in the minimum wage saga, especially if businesses or business groups pursue legal action to invalidate the newly enacted ordinance.

school lunch - can't use more than 300 pixels wide
U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Harrisonville, Mo., is sponsoring legislation she says will allow some school districts to avoid a federal requirement to increase the cost of student lunches. The National School Lunch Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, helps students who don’t qualify for free or reduced lunches to get a good meal, but the program requires participating schools to charge at least a threshold price of $2.70. 

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin
Official photo

St. Louis area congresswoman Ann Wagner acknowledges that she’s not always “politically correct.”

But Wagner, R-Ballwin, says that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has taken that term to an all-new level with his harsh jabs at  critics and reporters. And she suggests that he dial it back.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

As of today, there are 92 new laws on the books in Missouri.

All of them were passed by the Missouri House and Senate during the 2015 regular session, and all but two were signed by Gov. Jay Nixon. Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 24 by overriding Nixon's veto. That law shortens the lifetime eligibility for welfare recipients in Missouri to three years and nine months from five years. Although most of the provisions in SB24 officially take effect today, the shorter eligibility period won't kick in until Jan. 1, 2016.

We Must Stop Killing Each Other signs are posted on the security gate of a building near where Mansur Ball-Bey was shot by police.
Linda Lockhart I St. Louis Public Radio

Two recent deaths – the police killing of Mansur Ball-Bey and the incomprehensible shooting of 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden – felt like giant steps backward for a region already plagued by violence and mistrust. This week, St. Louisans took three small but significant steps forward, beginning to address the underlying problems that breed despair.

Interim Ferguson Police Chief Andre Anderson announces the arrest of De'Eris Brown for the shooting death of nine-year-old Jamyla Bolden Thursday Aug. 27, 2015 at the Ferguson Police Department.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

An O'Fallon, Mo., man is facing six felony counts including murder in the second degree in last week's shooting in Ferguson that killed 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden and wounded her mother.

Police said Thursday De'Eris Brown, 21, confessed to shooting into Bolden’s home. Brown is being held on a $750,000 cash-only bond. Court records show Brown previously pleaded guilty to felony robbery.

Gov. Jay Nixon says legislators blew their chance to have a say on bonding for a stadium in St. Louis.
File photo by Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon is facing explicit warnings from key legislators that they won’t approve payments on bonds for a new football stadium on St. Louis’ riverfront if they aren’t first approved by a legislative or public vote.

But the Democratic governor is dismissing the threats as too little, too late – pointing to inaction during the past legislative session.

A new TV ad calls for legislators to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of "right-to-work" legislation.
Screenshot | Americans for Prosperity ad

After a brief hiatus, both sides in the battle over “right to work” are back with a vengeance as they gear up for the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session in just over two weeks.

The dueling campaigns may be aimed, in part, at influencing Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Cape Girardeau. A spokesman said the speaker has yet to decide whether to bring up the “right to work” bill, which was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon earlier this summer.

Protesters outside St. Louis County headquarters on Feb. 2, 2015 call for reforms of the municipal court system.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with comments from the Municipal Court Improvement Committee — The city of Jennings has agreed to make major changes to the way it operates its municipal court.

The changes are part of a proposed settlement to a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of 10 individuals who say they were held in the Jennings jail solely because they could not pay a traffic fine. Federal judge Carol E. Jackson must still formally accept the terms for them to take effect.