Politics & Issues

Politically Speaking
1:12 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Politically Speaking: James Harris Optimistic About Missouri GOP's Fortunes

Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies continue their mini-series on Missouri’s top behind-the-scenes players. For this week’s show, Rosenbaum and Mannies welcomed Republican political consultant James Harris to the show. 

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On The Trail
10:12 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

St. Louis' Newly Wed Gay Couples Reflect On Why Attitudes On Gay Marriage Have Shifted

Tod Martin, left, and David Gray speak at a press conference last week. St. Louis officials married the couple last week, sparking a challenge -- and public reflection -- of the state's gay marraige ban.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Tod Martin wasn’t going to let 20 words keep him from marrying David Gray.

While it took more than 20 years, St. Louis officials last week issued Martin and Gray a marriage license. They’re among eight people who are testing the state’s nearly 10-year-old, 20-word ban on gay marriage.

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Primary Election 2014
10:11 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Five Things You Need To Know About Transportation Tax

Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians will vote Aug. 5 on a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation projects. The proposal — commonly known as the transportation tax — would generate billions of dollars over the next decade to fix roads, repair bridges and improve mass transit. 

The stakes are high. Supporters say Missouri needs more money for its aging transportation infrastructure. With gas tax revenue dwindling and federal funding uncertain, some policymakers see the sales tax as a guaranteed way to fund transportation needs.

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Primary Election 2014
5:39 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Dooley Switches Gears On Debates As Sparring Continues Over Ad

Steve Stenger (left) and Charlie Dooley
Credit candidate photos

After weeks of resisting debates, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley is now calling for a debate with his Democratic rivals just days before the Aug. 5 primary.

In a release sent out Friday afternoon, the Dooley campaign called for a debate for the morning of July 31 or Aug. 1 – a Thursday or Friday – that would include County Councilman Steve Stenger and the other Democrat who has filed, Ronald E. Levy.

(Levy has not returned repeated calls from St. Louis Public Radio. He previously has run for office as a Democrat and as a Republican.)

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For The Sake Of All
5:43 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Editor's Weekly: Funding With Integrity

The 'For the Sake of All' report.
Credit For the Sake of All

The grant-funded project that St. Louis Public Radio recently announced is ambitious.

It’s big — more than $170,000 from the Missouri Foundation for Health for our news organization and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. And it addresses a big question — how to reach people whose voices and views are often left out of public policy discussions that directly affect them.

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General Obligation Bond
8:20 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Effort To Make City Bond More Transparent Causes Delay

Credit (via Flickr/kevindooley)

The president of the Board of Aldermen thinks voters deserve to know exactly what kinds of projects they're getting when they vote on a $195 million bond issue in November. But listing what kind of projects are covered could delay the process of putting the bond issue in front of those voters. 

General obligations bonds fund things like new fire trucks or road projects or building repairs - something that will last longer than it takes to pay off the bonds. The city sold $13 million in general obligation bonds in 2006, and $65 million in 1999.

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Politics & Issues
4:49 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Buffer Zones At Abortion Clinics

Chief Justice John Roberts

Governments cannot ban anti-abortion "sidewalk counselors" from a 35-foot buffer zone that includes the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic unless the governments first have tried less restrictive methods of protecting women from face-to-face intimidation as they enter reproductive health facilities.

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U.S. House
3:44 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Wagner Named To House Deputy Whip Team

Ann Wagner
Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/ United States Department of State)

In gratitude for her help,  new U.S. House Majority Whip-elect Steve Scalise, R-La, has named U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, to his “senior deputy whip team.”

Wagner is among five members of the U.S. House – two women and three men – named to the team.  They will serve under U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., who was chosen by Scalise to be his chief deputy whip.

The job of the deputy and his team will be to help Scalise round up the votes for bills backed by the Republican leadership.

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Court Decisions
2:24 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Beneath Unanimous Supreme Court Decisions On Appointments, Abortion Lay Sharp Divisions

U.S. Supreme Court
Credit supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously struck down President Barack Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and a Massachusetts law keeping opponents of abortion off the sidewalks within 35 feet of an abortion clinic.

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Primary Election 2014
5:19 am
Thu June 26, 2014

On The Issues: Stream And Pousosa Share Vision For St. Louis County

Two Republicans are vying for the St. Louis County executive's office, which is located on the ninth floor of the county administration building.
Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, duke it out in the Democratic primary for county executive, two Republicans are engaged in a relatively low-profile primary for the post. 

St. Louis Public Radio conducted wide-ranging interviews this week with the two contenders: House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood; and Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa. Besides asking about the two candidates' backgrounds and general vision for the office, the two were asked about the county's most controversial and contentious issues.

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