Politics & Issues | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics & Issues

Political news

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in the St. Louis region will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide on some key financial issues.

Most of the attention will be on St. Louis, where residents are being asked to raise the sales tax by a half-percent in order to pay police and firefighters more. Voters in St. Louis and St. Charles counties will decide an array of tax-related issues.

Protesters chant outside Busch Stadium during a Cardinals game on Sept. 29.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Sept. 15, St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson ruled that former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 4, 2008 - Wednesday's major event outside of the convention was a tribute to Sen. Bob Dole from the Kansas and Missouri delegations. Sens. Sam Brownback, Jack Danforth, Fred Thompson, U.S. Rep. and Missouri gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof, and U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Wichita stood on stage to honor this great American.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 4, 2008 - ST. PAUL - Former U.S. Sen. John C. Danforth said Thursday that critics of Gov. Sarah Palin's nomination for vice president on the GOP ticket were using a double standard, and he predicted that a looming political fight over her selection could be as bitter as the battle over the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court. He also said Palin, like Thomas, was strong enough to weather the storm.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken speaks Saturday at the Truman Dinner in St. Louis. The Minnesota senator was the keynote speaker for the Missouri Democratic Party event.
Courtesy of the Missouri Democratic Party

With jokes and jabs, some of Missouri’s top Democrats are seeking to rally supporters dreaming of a better political future in 2018  — especially compared to the nightmare defeats the party suffered almost a year ago.

At Saturday night’s Truman Dinner, the state party’s biggest event of the year, most of the best jokes came from Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, a Saturday Night Live alum who’s now a national Democratic figure.

Trailnet claims a 12-mile walking and biking trail network could boost property values and business districts, while making the city more attractive to younger generations.
Trailnet

Trailnet wants to build a network of bicycle and walking trails that would connect St. Louis' north side and south side neighborhoods to an east-west trail that stretches from downtown to Washington University.

The nonprofit, which has been working for several years to develop a network of protected trails on existing city streets, has released a map that shows the general location of the proposed paths. They reach north to Fairground Park and Old North and south to Lafayette Square, Tower Grove and Cherokee Street.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Treasurer Tishaura Jones is calling on St. Louis residents to vote against Proposition P on Nov. 7 – a half-cent sales tax increase that will fund public safety efforts.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Jones, who said sales taxes are regressive and disproportionally affect the poor.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis voters will decide on Nov. 7 whether to increase the city’s sales tax by a half cent to fund increased public safety efforts.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, who endorses the ballot measure Proposition P.

The Rev. Dinah Tatman and faith leaders speak in support of the economic boycott on Nov. 2, 2017.
Chelsea Hoye | St. Louis Public Radio

As protests over the Jason Stockley verdict continue in St. Louis, the persistent chant of “no justice, no profits ” can be heard. Now, that credo is being put into action.

Community activists are using the upcoming holiday season as an opportunity to launch an economic boycott campaign from “any entities that do not respect us or our purchasing power” said the Rev. Dinah Tatman, CEO and founder of Greater New Vision Ministries Inc. in St. Louis.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Addressing police aggression and unequal policing are among Judge Jimmie Edwards’ top issues to address as the new public safety director for the city of St. Louis.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Don Marsh talked with Edwards, a former St. Louis circuit court judge embarking on a new role that oversees the police and fire departments.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has sent a scathing letter to the state’s two U.S. senators – including fellow Republican Roy Blunt – that accuses them of ignoring problems at the state-run St. Louis Veterans Home and trying to shift the responsibility to him.

In the letter, sent Thursday, Greitens appeared to take offense at an earlier letter that Blunt and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill had jointly sent to him this week asking for an investigation into accusations of patient mistreatment.

For the first time in 18 years, St. Louis’ 2nd Ward is getting a new alderman.

The seat opened up in August when Dionne Flowers resigned to become the register, the city’s top record-keeper. The ward encompasses six north St. Louis neighborhoods, stretching from north of downtown to the border with St. Louis County. Three candidates are running to take her spot.

Missouri Dept. of Agriculture

Chris Chinn’s first year on the job has not been boring.

Her tenure as director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture began with flooding in the spring that’s now causing delays in crop harvests. Along the way, Chinn’s office had to deal with contamination in southeastern Missouri that triggered a temporary ban of the herbicide Dicamba. It's an issue that caught the attention of the Missouri General Assembly and farmers across the state.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin caught up with Chinn to talk about those challenges and her department’s major priorities.

U.S. Rep Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin, raised $804,000 from Jan. 1 to March 31.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner is dismissing any talk about fellow Republicans firing special prosecutor Bob Mueller, who has charged three former campaign aides to President Donald Trump.

“We’re going to let special prosecutor Mueller and the Justice Department do their work,” said Wagner, R-Ballwin, in an interview. “I’ve got work to do here in the 2nd district and in Congress. Everybody should do their job.”

Missour Attorney General Josh Hawley announces he's issuing subpoenas against three opioid distributors.
Provided |Office of attorney general

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has issued subpoenas to three companies that distribute opioids throughout the United States.

The subpoenas were issued to AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson Corporation. As opioid overdoses rise across the country, Hawley is accusing those companies of putting profits ahead of patient health.

File photo. Cathy Serino, a transgender veteran, served 12 years in the United States National Guard. She now lives in Columbia, Missouri.
Brit Hanson | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis transgender community and others are cheering a ruling that blocks President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban trans people from serving in the military.

Monday’s decision by a federal court judge in Washington, D.C. will allow transgender people to continue serving for the foreseeable future.

St. Louis voters will decide next Tuesday whether to boost the sales tax a half cent to fund raises for police and firefighters.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in St. Louis will go to the polls next week to decide whether to give the city’s police officers and firefighters a raise by boosting the city’s sales tax by a half-cent.

Proposition P is the second sales tax on the ballot in six months. Approval would push the rate to nearly 12 percent in some parts of the city. And the current climate around policing in St. Louis is making the measure a tough sell.

Protesters walk down Olive Street in downtown St. Louis after the People's Town Hall event. Sept. 28, 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Mary Ann Tisdale’s 20s lined up with the peak of the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the struggle for black empowerment.

Tisdale didn’t participate. She said she was scared of getting hurt, but she followed the movement closely — reading “everything there was to read.”

“You could say physically, I’m a coward, but I know what’s going on,” she said.

Rep. Clem Smith, D-Velda Village Hills
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Rep. Clem Smith to the program.

The Velda Village Hills Democrat has represented a slew of central and north St. Louis County municipalities since 2011. He will leave the House after the 2018 session due to term limits.

County Executive Steve Stenger, second from left, argues with Council chairman Sam Page at an August meeting
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A majority of the St. Louis County Council has filed suit to determine if it has any power to hire employees over the objections of County Executive Steve Stenger.

The suit was filed Monday in St. Louis County Circuit Court. It contends Stenger overstepped his bounds by refusing to hire more staff for county Auditor Mark Tucker.

Bill Freivogel, Douglas Beach and Mark Smith joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three legal experts about some of the latest issues of local interest pertaining to the law.

Joining him for the discussion were:

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Apparent Russian agents began reaching out to Donald Trump's presidential campaign as early as March 2016, the Justice Department established in documents released Monday, with appeals for partnership and offers of help including "dirt" on Trump's opponent, Hillary Clinton.

That case is made in charging documents in the case of then-Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Missouri Republican Martin behind controversial attack ad

Oct 29, 2017

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 26, 2008 -  Missouri Repubican Ed Martin has been identified as the person behind an ad that tries to link Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to Bil Ayers and terror.

AA Roads

While one legislative task force is touring the state to hear ideas about upgrading Missouri’s roads and bridges, another group of lawmakers is using an online survey to determine the best way to pay for it all.

Rep. Jeff Messenger, R-Republic, chairs the House Policy Development Caucus, which he said was formed to study “hard and difficult situations” in Missouri — including paying for transportation improvements.

Hundreds of volunteers donned stocking caps and work gloves Saturday to clean up empty lots and complete minor home repairs in University City.

Cold temperatures prevented workers from pouring concrete, but city residents and others from throughout the St. Louis region cleared brush, picked up trash, cleaned gutters and painted railings.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 23, 2008 - Barbara S. Eagleton, widow of former U.S. Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton of St. Louis and an influential Democratic figure in her own right, said Saturday she is "thrilled with the choice" of Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., for the vice presidential slot on the 2008 ticket with presumed presidential nominee Barack Obama.

s_falkow | Flickr

The city of St. Louis has pledged to let most people charged with municipal offenses go home without having to pay bail.

These changes are part of a court order finalized earlier this month. They were prompted in part by a federal lawsuit from the MacArthur Justice Center over the way people protesting Jason Stockley's acquittal of first-degree murder were treated by the police and courts. That lawsuit has since been dismissed.

Stephanie Snow, a staff attorney with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, standing in front of one of the panels that's part of an exhibit about Alexander Hamilton.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

An exhibit on display now at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in downtown St. Louis features the life and work of Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton was one of the Founding Fathers, the first Secretary of the Treasury and a fervent advocate of a strong national government.

LaShell Eikerenkoetter addresses police officers after protesters saw them use a Taser on a demonstrator.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The search for a new chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department — underway since Sam Dotson retired in April — is into its sixth month.  Applications were due on Thursday, and a new chief should be in place by January.

The final steps of the process are taking place with the department under a bright spotlight from protesters demanding more police accountability, and the scrutiny could impact the way the rest of the search plays out.

Sign at a homeless tent encampment on sidewalk in downtown St. Louis on Oct. 26, 2017.
File photo | Chelsea Hoye | St. Louis Public Radio

For a group of homeless people who've been living in tents on a downtown St. Louis sidewalk, it's the end of the road. 

Thursday was the deadline imposed by the city for them to leave the site.

In an act of solidarity, community activists gathered Thursday morning near Tucker Boulevard and Biddle Street to hand out food, winter clothes, and bus tickets to people who are homeless.

City officials had earlier announced that those in the tents would have to vacate the sidewalk, citing safety concerns.

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