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Attorneys Erwin Switzer (back left) and Al Johnson (back right) listen to Gov. Jay Nixon on Sept. 6 as he introduces them as the chair and secretary of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners.
Bill Greenblat | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon has cleaned house at the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, four days after a judge found its employees responsible for absentee ballot problems that led him to schedule a new election in the 78th House District. Nixon replaced Democratic chairwoman Joan Burger, a retired judge, with Democrat Erwin Switzer, an attorney and a former member of the now-defunct St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. Republican Al Johnson, also an attorney, replaces the Republican secretary Andrew Schwartz, who owns an adhesives company.

State Rep. Stacey Newman
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 are pleased to welcome back state Rep. Stacey Newman to talk about the legislature’s upcoming veto session – and the November election. Newman is a Richmond Heights Democrat who entered the legislature in 2010 after a special election. With the exception of a zany Democratic primary in 2012 , Newman’s subsequent elections have been relatively easy. For instance: She was completely unopposed this cycle, meaning she will return to the Missouri House for her final term.

Longtime Republican stalwart Phyllis Schlafly said Donald Trump is "a choice not an echo," which references her long-ago support of Barry Goldwater.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The redoubtable conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who led a movement that for decades successfully thwarted liberal and feminist causes, including the Equal Rights Amendment, and helped uber-conservative candidates win elections, has died. She was 92. Mrs. Schlafly died Monday afternoon at her Ladue home, surrounded by her family. She had been battling cancer, said daughter Anne Cori. Mrs. Schlafly was a self-described “lifetime fulltime volunteer in public policymaking.” Although she held three degrees, including a law degree, and worked her entire life, albeit most of it without pay, she championed the role of full-time homemaker as a woman’s highest calling.

Erin Williams | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Anyone in St. Louis, Kansas City, or any other urban area in Missouri who wants to plant rooftop gardens or fruit trees can get financial help from the state. The Department of Agriculture is providing matching grants of up to $7,500 for urban and non-traditional agriculture projects. A total of $100,000 is available for the current fiscal year, and higher priority will be given to projects that create jobs and "demonstrate an economic benefit and potential for sustainable revenue generation."

Wikipedia

The National Park Service has been studying proposals to extend the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail east from St. Louis and wants to know what the public thinks. Yes, they mean EAST. Of course, we in St. Louis know that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark headed WEST from these parts in May 1804 to explore President Thomas Jefferson’s new hunk of real estate, the Louisiana Purchase.

Bruce Franks says his legal fight with Penny Hubbard shouldn't be linked with a GOP push for a photo identification law.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It didn't take a particularly long time before the legal showdown between Bruce Franks and Penny Hubbard became a rationale for a photo identification requirement. The disputed 78th District House race became part of the discourse to override a gubernatorial veto of photo ID legislation -- especially after the publication of a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article detailing potential absentee ballot irregularities.

The Mourning Society of St. Louis, which re-enacts 19th century funerals at Bellefountaine Cemetary, was the first group to walk in the Golden Lane parade.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of women celebrated the right to vote Saturday in downtown St. Louis by re-enacting a suffragette protest that took place on Locust Street during the Democratic National Convention of 1916. The League of Women Voters invited the women to dress in white, wear sashes and carry golden umbrellas just like an estimated three thousand suffragettes did during the original protest, when they waged a “walkless, talkless” protest by lining the street the male delegates had to walk from their hotel to the convention.

Bruce Franks in court on Sept. 1, 2016.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 6:45 p.m. with comment from Dave Roland . - A St. Louis judge has ordered a re-do in a state House race marred by allegations of problems with absentee ballots. Judge Rex Burlison set the new Democratic primary in the 78 th House District for Sept. 16, the earliest date allowed by state law. The 78 th covers a swath of eastern St. Louis , from just north of downtown to near the Anheuser-Busch brewery.

a rolling dollar bill
dleafy | sxc.hu

Missouri state government’s income collections were down in August, but state Budget Director Dan Haug says it’s too early to panic. A key reason for the decline is that August 2015’s income collections — particularly for the sales tax — were unusually high.

Doug Moore, a reporter with the st. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The contested 78 th House District race between Rep. Penny Hubbard and Bruce Franks came back into the spotlight this week as the first days of testimony about irregularities in the absentee ballots took place in front of Judge Rex Burlison in a downtown St. Louis courtroom. On Aug. 5, 2016, Hubbard beat challenger Franks by 90 votes—that margin of victory came totally from absentee ballots. Franks, represented by attorney Dave Roland, sued in order to force a new election. They said...

Mike Pence
Gage Skidmore | Wikipedia

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence will hold a rally Tuesday afternoon in Chesterfield, as part of the GOP ticket's first Missouri campaign swing. Pence is also scheduled to hold a town hall meeting Tuesday morning in Springfield, Mo. The Chesterfield event will be held 1:30 p.m. at the Doubletree hotel. Admission is free to the public, but tickets are required. They can be obtained on the GOP presidential ticket’s website .

Eric Greitens, the victor of Missouri’s four-way Republican battle for governor, spent just over $10 million to win his party’s nomination. The final campaign-finance reports for the Aug. 2 primary, due Thursday, show the four spent a combined total of $27.1 million — a record in Missouri for a statewide primary contest. The final spending almost mirrored the candidates’ election finish.

Jason Kander speaks at the Missouri Democratic Party's annual dinner, the Truman Dinner, at Busch Stadium.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Missouri’s already nationally watched contest for the U.S. Senate is getting swept into the St. Louis region’s latest spat of vote-related woes — including the current court fight over absentee ballots cast in the Aug. 2 primary for a legislative seat whose boundaries are within the city of St. Louis. U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has been running a TV ad that seeks to tie those controversies to how his Democratic rival, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, has performed his job. Blunt also has raised general questions about Kander’s performance during his recent campaign stops. Kander has pushed back.

Protesters and police outside St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce's house on Tuesday, May 15, 2015.
Lawrence Bryant | St. Louis American

A St. Louis jury Wednesday found activist Elizabeth Vega guilty of wiping pepper spray on police Chief Sam Dotson’s shirt — which drew a third-degree assault charge against an officer — during a May 2015 protest. Vega, who is the leader of the Artivists STL , faces up to one year in jail on the misdemeanor charge. Her sentencing hearing will be held on Nov. 21. Associate Circuit Judge Nicole Colbert Botchway allowed Vega to remain out on bond until sentencing.

Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio

Community activists draped banners over several overpasses over westbound Interstate 70 on Wednesday to call attention to neglected parts of St. Louis and protest police killings of black people. Each banner greeted commuters heading into St. Louis County with messages like “Black Lives Matter,” “Police Stop Killing Us” and “Invest in North City.” Kayla Reed, one of the organizers with the St. Louis Action Council, said they chose I-70 because it allows drivers to pass quickly through areas with high rates of unemployment, infant mortality and crime.

Judge Rex Burlison (center) listens to attorneys on the first day of a trial to determine if there will be a new election in the 78th House District.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

On Aug. 5, 2016, incumbent state Rep. Penny Hubbard, D-78th District, beat challenger Bruce Franks by 90 votes. Her entire margin of victory came from absentee ballots. Franks and his attorney, Dave Roland, sued in an an effort to force a new election , arguing that irregularities in the absentee ballots made the results invalid.

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

So far, Missouri voters will decide six ballot questions this fall. The deadline for issues to be certified for the Nov. 8 ballot was Aug. 30. That number could rise to seven if a judge rules to validate about 2,200 more signatures gathered for a proposal to allow the medical use of marijuana.

Daniel Gallagher holds up a sign outside of the St. Louis County Administrative Building in Clayton. Gallagher says he opposes a bill raising the age to purchasing tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to 21.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7:50 a.m., Sept. 7 with council approval - The minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping equipment in St. Louis County is about to change. The county council has voted in favor of an ordinance increasing the age from 18 to 21.

Tom, via Flickr

Missouri’s U.S. senators, who are at odds on some issues, do seem to share the same prediction when it comes to Zika, the dangerous virus spread by mosquitoes. Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill both say Congress will finally take action within weeks to approve funding to fight the virus, which has gained a foothold in Florida.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill listens to a presentation on Aug. 29, 2016, at Jefferson Barracks from members of a Missouri National Guard cyber unit.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says the military needs to be more aggressive in attracting and recruiting qualified people for cyber security operations. That’s one of the big takeaways the Democratic senator had after receiving a presentation on Monday from Missouri National Guard personnel at Jefferson Barracks. The cyber unit that’s stationed there was established in 2013 and is often sought to train military units across the country.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Every time a consumer applies for a mortgage or car loan – and, in many cases, signs up to rent an apartment or applies for a new job – a major factor in the decision to accept or reject the application is their credit report.

Paul Wieland
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 are pleased to welcome back state Sen. Paul Wieland to the program. The Republican from Imperial was previously a guest on the show when he was running against Democrat Jeff Roorda for the 22 nd District Senate seat. Wieland won the so-called “Battle For JeffCo” by a sizable margin, a victory that expanded the Republican Senate majority.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Aug. 28 means that most of Missouri's new laws passed earlier this year are now in effect. They include House Bill 1568 , which allows anyone to buy naloxone without a prescription, which can then be administered to someone suffering an overdose from heroin or a prescription opioid. It was sponsored by Rep. Steve Lynch of Pulaski County.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, left, speaks with Attorney General Chris Koster earlier this month at the Missouri State Fair. Nixon criticized Koster for a statement the Democratic gubernatorial nominee made about school funding.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is taking major issue with a statement issued on Friday by Attorney General Chris Koster about public school funding. What prompted the governor's response is a statement that Koster’s office released reacting to reports about lead in drinking water at St. Louis Public Schools. In that statement, Koster said the “drinking-water contamination reported this week in St. Louis schools is an unintended — but significant — consequence of the repeated refusal to invest in education and infrastructure.”

Linda Lockhart, Alvin Reid and Chris King reflected on colleague George Curry's life on Friday's "St. Louis on the Air." Curry died last week at the age of 69, but left a journalistic legacy to be admired.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them. This week’s show happened in two parts. For the first part, we remembered George Curry and his many contributions to journalism both nationally and in St. Loui s as well as his efforts in mentoring aspiring young journalists. Curry died last week at age 69. St. Louis Public...

Bruce Franks talks to Mary Wheeler-Jones, the Democratic director of elections for St. Louis, on August 17, 2016.
File photo by Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The prolonged 78 th House District primary between state Rep. Penny Hubbard and Bruce Franks may prove that one state representative race can shake up the Missouri political system. But there’s disagreement if that "system shaking" is a positive or negative development for Missouri politics.

Eric Greitens, left, and Chris Koster
Carolina Hidalgo and Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On television, Missouri’s two major candidates for governor — Democrat Chris Koster and Republican Eric Greitens — pretend their rival doesn’t exist. Both men are running pleasant biographical ads that highlight the best of their respective personal and professional backgrounds. Koster, currently the Missouri attorney general, emphasizes his experience as a prosecutor, and his commitment to fiscal discipline. Greitens, who is making his first bid for public office, recounts his past as a Navy SEAL, and the success of a nonprofit he helped establish, called The Mission Continues, to help returning veterans.

Cora Faith Walker
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jenny Simeone welcome state Rep.-elect Cora Faith Walker to the show for the first time. Walker recently won a Democratic primary to represent the 74 th District, which takes in portions of north St. Louis County. Because she has no Republican opponent, she will take office next year. (Even if she did have a GOP opponent, her district is overwhelmingly Democratic, so she most likely would have still won. )

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, center, with Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, right, at area high school during height of unrest in Ferguson.
Missouri Attorney General's Office | File photo

If you’ve paying attention to the discourse in the race for Missouri governor, you’ve probably heard a lot about what Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Koster didn’t do during the unrest in Ferguson in 2014. In fact, several Republican gubernatorial hopefuls accused Koster of being “absent” during the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death. It's the type of message that serves a dual purpose of questioning Koster's commitment to law enforcement and leadership skills. (Republican gubernatorial nominee Eric Greitens told a swarm of reporters after he won the GOP primary that Koster “failed to show up and to lead in Ferguson.”) It will be up to Missouri voters to decide whether Koster's actions in Ferguson two years ago were effective. But it’s inaccurate to say that Koster was “absent."

Supporters pack the St. Louis for Hillary Clinton campaign office. Some took photos with the life-size cardboard cutout of Clinton in the background on Aug. 24, 2016
Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

As St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay sees it, the crowd that packed Hillary Clinton’s new local office Tuesday night could help persuade her Democratic presidential campaign to direct more attention — and resources to Missouri. Win or lose, such action could help the state’s entire Democratic ticket. “We need to show the support is here, to pull her over the top,’’ Slay told reporters, shortly before addressing the shoulder-to-shoulder audience that spilled onto the sidewalk outside the Clinton campaign office at 4039 Lindell Blvd.

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