Politics & Issues

Political news

A police officer is silhouetted against Ferguson's police department and municipal court building, during nighttime protests on November 26, 2014.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Update 03/13/15 at 10:30 a.m.

Ron Brockmeyer has resigned as city prosecutor in Florissant and Vinita Park. He had earlier resigned from the municipal judge post in Ferguson and as prosecutor in Dellwood. Florissant Mayor Thomas Schneider praised Brockmeyer's "efficient service," saying in a statement that "his unselfish resignation will enable our elected municipal judge, Dan Boyle, to continue the work he began after his election in April 2011 to streamline and improve Florissant’s judicial process to make it even more fair, effective and efficient."

Former state Auditor Tom Schweich speaks at his victory party in Clayton last November. Nixon will select somebody to serve out the remainder of Schweich's term, which runs through the end of 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon is still mulling over a permanent replacement for former state Auditor Tom Schweich.

Nixon appointed his former chief of staff John Watson to serve as interim auditor late last month. Nixon told reporters on Monday in Wentzville that he’s getting more focused on selecting someone to fill out the rest of Schweich’s term.

march August 30 2014
Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

The Department of Justice’s report detailing the excesses of the Ferguson Police Department has prompted plenty of analyses and speculation about whether the town of roughly 20,000 would change its ways.

Clockwise from top left, Sister Rose Ann Ficker, Marie Kelly, Chris Kehr and Benjamin T. Allen Sr.
St. Louis Public Radio staff

St. Louis County has 90 municipalities.

It’s a fact we’ve heard casually thrown into news stories over the past few months, with little explanation as to how St. Louis County came to be a hodge-podge of towns. In this episode of We Live Here, we talk to Esley Hamilton, a preservationist for St. Louis County Parks, who explains why there are so many municipalities in the region.

Within this system of municipalities, people are largely divided — white, black, rich and poor. They rarely live next to each other.

Jason Kander
Missouri secretary of state website

HANNIBAL, Mo.—Two weeks after his verbal hammering by Republicans, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander -- now a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate – was in GOP-held territory presenting his case.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is calling for a sharp increase in the state’s tobacco tax — now the nation’s lowest — to pay for a scholarship program to lower tuition at the state’s colleges and universities.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon has sketched out what he calls "clear areas for improvement" in Missouri's municipal courts in the wake of the U.S. Justice Department's blistering report on the police and city courts in Ferguson.

So far Nixon is focusing primarily on beefing up the 1995 Macks Creek law, which limits cities and towns to basing no more than 30 percent of their budgets on traffic fines. It was named for the former town of Macks Creek, in Camden County, which received more than 75 percent of its budget from traffic fines and was considered to be Missouri's most notorious speed trap.

Ferguson police headquarters on March 3, 2015
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Ferguson police department is likely facing stricter federal oversight of its police department after a scathing report from the U.S. Department of Justice found its officers deliberately violated the rights of African Americans. Bringing a department into compliance with a federal consent decree can be an expensive proposition.

One of the many plywood murals that appeared in Ferguson after the grand jury decision.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories of the week.

A reckoning in Ferguson...

DOJ has limited power to force changes in area's municipal courts

Jeff Roberson | Associated Press

The Justice Department has neither the authority nor the staffing to expand its investigation of unconstitutional police and court practices from Ferguson to surrounding municipalities, legal experts say.

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