Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

President Donald Trump arrives at St. Louis Lambert International Airport to attend a fundraiser for GOP U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Hawley.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s Politically Speaking zeroes in on how President Donald Trump will affect Missouri’s election cycle — particularly U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s re-election bid against Attorney General Josh Hawley.

On the surface, Trump should benefit Hawley — especially because the GOP chief executive won Missouri by nearly 19 percentage points in 2016. Missouri’s public opinion polls show his approval ratings hovering around 50 percent. But Trump has faced a torrent of controversy this week with the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen court proceedings.

Business owners in Jeffrey Plaza on Olive Boulevard say they have not been receiving updates about a proposed development that would displace them.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The University City Tax Increment Financing commission approved a proposal Thursday that would release millions of dollars in money for development in the 3rd Ward. The commission voted 10-2 in favor of the financing plan.

But residents remained split on how the city should bring those improvements to fruition.

Much of the redevelopment proposal hinges on the first phase of the plan secured by local company Novus Development. The plans would bring big box retail and high-end living to a location near Interstate 170 and Olive Boulevard.

Mourners gather to remember Kiwi Herring in August 2017, in this file photo.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the LGBTQ community and others will gather Friday at Transgender Memorial Garden to commemorate Kiwi Herring, a black, transgender woman killed last year by police.

Two police officers shot Herring last August while they were investigating a reported stabbing in the apartment building where Herring lived with her partner and three children.

Archbishop Robert Carlson speaks during a press conference on August 23, 2018. Carlson invited Attorney General Josh Hawley to review allegations of clergy sex abuse.
Ryan Delaney I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has accepted the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ invitation to review allegations of clergy sex abuse.

It comes after a grand jury in Pennsylvania issued a report detailing widespread child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in that state. Sex abuse victim advocates have been calling for Hawley to launch a similar investigation.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s incarceration rate for women is among the highest in the country. 

The majority of these women have children, yet little research has examined the effects of incarceration on mothers specifically.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A panel of five retired judges heard arguments Wednesday over whether new DNA evidence in the Marcellus Williams death penalty case is enough to exonerate him or at least warrant a new trial.

Williams, 49, was sentenced in 2001 for the 1998 murder of Lisha Gayle, a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

From left, Mark Smith, Brenda Talent and Bill Freivogel joined host Don Marsh for this month’s Legal Roundtable discussion.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, the monthly Legal Roundtable convened to discuss current legal news locally and nationally. The recent national court proceedings involving Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort started off the conversation, which evolved from there to touch on topics including the election of Wesley Bell as St. Louis County prosecutor, opioids and district gerrymandering.

State Rep. Karla May, D-St. Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Karla May joins Politically Speaking to talk about her ouster of Sen. Jake Hummel in Missouri’s 4th Senate District.

May is a four-term Democratic lawmaker who represents a portion of western St. Louis in the Missouri House. Her roughly 5,000-vote victory — 20,204 to 15,137 — over Hummel was arguably the biggest statehouse surprise in the Aug. 7 primary. If May wins in November, she will represent St. Louis with Sen. Jamilah Nasheed. It would mark the first time that two African-American women have represented the city in the Missouri Senate. The 4th District also includes a small part of St. Louis County. 

Rep. Robert Cornejo, R-St. Peters, sponsored the municipal governance overhaul in the House.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is appointing three-term state Rep. Robert Cornejo to the state’s Labor and Industrial Relations Board.

Parson picked Cornejo to lead the board that, among other things, reviews workplace and labor disputes. the appointment marks an end of the St. Peters Republican’s legislative tenure, which featured chairmanships of several key committees.

The St. Louis County Council approved three charter amendments earlier this month. One would provide the council with more authority over the county budget.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is panning an effort to give the County Council more budgetary authority.

If Stenger vetoes the measure, the council is prepared to override the Democratic chief executive — setting up a showdown at the ballot box later this fall.

Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill meets with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in her Washington office.
Provided

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill isn’t signaling her opinion after her first meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

But as she’d advertised, the Missouri Democrat says her questions on Tuesday centered on three topics: protecting access to health care, curbing corporate power and addressing the explosion in campaign money from undisclosed donors.

McCaskill did not disclose Kavanaugh’s answers.

Left, Chris King and Sean Joe oversee the effort to produce “Homegrown Black Males” in the St. Louis American.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

All too often the narrative that surrounds the lives of young black males nationally and locally is a negative one. However, the St. Louis American has plans to influence that with “Homegrown Black Males.”

“We’re gonna provide a series of stories by young black men about this issue, about changing the narrative of young black males,” Chris King said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Melody Walker, St. Louis Public Radio’s economic development reporter, offered analysis of the ongoing airport-privatization effort on Monday’s talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

With the potential privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport still “up in the air,” as host Don Marsh put it on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Melody Walker joined the show to offer analysis of the latest developments.

“Privatization is one of the most polarizing words I think we’ve had in quite a while here in St. Louis, and it’s a little bit of a misnomer,” said Walker, who is the station’s economic development reporter. “I think when people hear ‘privatization,’ we think, ‘We’re going to sell the airport off to some private company.’ Well, that’s not what’s happening.”

Aaron Addison is the director of data services at Washington University.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The digital age has ushered in many advancements and fresh possibilities – and also new concerns. One of those has to do with the need to protect vital scientific and public data resources from disappearing or even being intentionally suppressed.

While many libraries in the U.S. have long served as repositories in an effort to back up and preserve government information, that work has new urgency under a presidential administration that has expunged certain information related to topics such as climate change.

“These things [removing data] have gone on for a long time,” Washington University’s Aaron Addison said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, offering the missing Cook County, Illinois, data from the 1960 U.S. Census as one example. “[But] here we have a case where it’s not happening in a vacuum – it’s in concert with all these other decisions that the administration is making. And so it adds, certainly, to the concern.”

Livestock in Missouri.
File | Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades, and state officials are implementing some emergency measures to help ease the pain.

Gov. Mike Parson, three of his Cabinet members, and a group of agriculture leaders announced Monday that farmers and ranchers can now get hay and water from several state-owned properties.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Politically Speaking to talk about her quest for a third term in one of the nation’s most closely watched Senate contests.

The Missouri Democrat was first elected to the Senate in 2006. Before that, McCaskill served as Missouri’s auditor, Jackson County prosecutor and a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Protestors against dark money make their presence known in Washington.
Dark Money, a PBS Distribution release

With a growing lack of transparency clouding money’s influence on politics around the United States, a new film digs into the issue by zooming in on one state in particular: Montana.

Why Montana? The choice of setting came down to three factors: the presence of whistleblowers, diligent enforcers of campaign-finance law and a watchdog press.

“We could actually tell the story there,” the documentary’s director, Kimberly Reed, said Friday on St. Louis on the Air.

Latasha Johnson's eviction story was at the center of a case that has implications for Missouri tenants and landlords.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled on a case that “We Live Here” zeroed in on at the beginning of the podcast's season. 

The podcast’s most recent episode is about the case of Latasha Johnson, whose eviction proceedings made it to the state's highest court because of its importance to tenants’ rights. The court ruled in favor of Johnson's landlord but it also laid out some important new guidelines for tenants’ rights. However, the ruling did nothing to change Johnson’s situation or expunge the eviction from her record.

Charles "Drew" Juden was one of former Gov. Eric Greitens' earliest picks for his Cabinet. Juden will step down as DPS director on Aug. 31.
File photo | Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson is replacing one of the Missouri Cabinet members he inherited from former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Charles “Drew” Juden has served as public safety director since January 2017. He was among three Cabinet picks Greitens announced before his inauguration.

Col. Sandra Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, will serve as interim director while a search for a successor is conducted. She will continue to head the Highway Patrol as well.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday, August 17, 2018, in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Friday’s edition of Politically Speaking explores three different storylines to watch as candidates and campaigns ramp up for the November election.

The first one that St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies tackle is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s upcoming meeting with Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s latest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court. Both sides of the political spectrum are pressuring McCaskill on how to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, which comes as she runs against GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.

Pages