Stephen Webber | St. Louis Public Radio

Stephen Webber

State Rep. Bob Burns' legislation would make it easier to hold disincorporation elections in St. Louis County.
File photo I Tim Bommel I House Communications

Updated at 10 p.m. April 23 with Burns saying he won't resign – The top leaders of the Missouri Democratic Party are calling for a south St. Louis County lawmaker to resign after he praised a radio host who commonly makes racist and misogynist remarks.

At issue are state Rep. Bob Burns’ calls into a radio show hosted by Bob Romanik, a Metro East political figure. He’s often said things on his show that are derogatory to African-Americans and women.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens greets his fellow elected officials during the 2018 State of the State speech. Later that night, KMOV reported that Greitens acknowledged an extramarital affair.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

With Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens promising to fight for his job, members of both political parties already are focusing on how the governor’s woes — whether he stays or goes — could affect this fall’s elections.

The question, eight months out, is how big the impact will be.

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber was the keynote speaker at the 2018 Democrat Days in Hannibal.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

After stepping to the lectern for his keynote address Saturday night, Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber recounted his pitch from last year’s Democrat Days in Hannibal. After his party’s disastrous 2016 election cycle, Webber told his fellow Democrats that they had a “moral obligation” to oppose President Donald Trump.

This year, Webber placed an amendment on that comment. He told the packed banquet hall that Democrats “have a moral obligation to stand up and oppose what Gov. Eric Greitens is doing here in Missouri.”

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.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal walks out of the Senate chamber as the Senate adjourns for the session earlier this year in Jefferson City.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 2:20 p.m. Aug. 18 with lieutenant governor calling for expulsion — Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Parson said Friday the state Senate should expel Maria Chappelle-Nadal due to her Facebook comment in which she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated.

Stephen Webber, June 2017
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies for a candid episode of the Politically Speaking podcast.

Webber is a former state representative from Columbia who was elected last year as party chairman. He took on that role after narrowly losing a state Senate race to Republican Caleb Rowden.

A statue of former U.S. House Speaker Champ Clark stands before the Pike County Courthouse. Democrats like Clark controlled most of northeast Missouri's offices for decades. Now, the GOP rules the roost.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

BOWLING GREEN, Mo. — For decades, as other parts of rural Missouri turned red, voters in northeast Missouri sent Democrats to Jefferson City and backed Democratic statewide candidates.

That changed starting in 2010, though Republicans and Democrats said the most marked shift was in November 2016, as then-candidate Donald Trump touched a nerve with residents who’d seen jobs leave and economic fortunes sour. 

Jackson County Committeeman Jalen Anderson speaks to a group of Pike County Democrats last week in Bowling Green.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

BOWLING GREEN, Mo. — After Missouri Democrats were routed in rural areas last year, the party’s leaders promised to be more aggressive in fielding candidates for the legislative districts ceded to Republicans.

Accomplishing that goal may require them to promote and fund House and Senate aspirants with socially conservative views on abortion — a strategy that makes some uneasy in a party that largely supports abortion rights. The talk also comes as the legislature holds a special session to strengthen abortion restrictions in Missouri.

A hand distributing cash with a dialogue box.
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s political power just got a big boost, even if he wasn’t aware of it.

That’s because the Missouri Ethics Commission just declared that candidates can spend money on, say, political ads for or against other politicians as long as there’s no direct coordination with a campaign. Since municipal and county candidates can take donations of an unlimited size, they could be used as a pipeline to help or hurt other candidates.

Rep. Stephen Webber
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

You could say that state Rep. Stephen Webber is used to getting questions about how his age parlays with his ability to succeed in politics.

While working at the Columbia Daily Tribune in 2008, I was the first reporter to call Webber when he announced his candidacy for a Columbia-based state House seat. He was 24 when he jumped into the race, the youngest possible age someone could be to run for the Missouri House.

Rep. Stephen Webber
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on Dec. 3 to reflect the results of the party's office electionsAfter taking a beating in last month’s elections, top Missouri Democrats have picked new leaders charged with bringing the party out of the political wilderness.

Members of the state Democratic committee chose outgoing state Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, to be the party's chairman. Webber served four terms in the Missouri House and narrowly lost a highly competitive state Senate race on Nov. 8 to Republican Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia.

Rep. Stephen Webber
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Stephen Webber to the show for the first time. Carrying on a tradition started by state Rep. Caleb Jones, R-Columbia, and state Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, the Columbia Democrat drove from mid-Missouri to our headquarters at Grand Center to tape the show.

House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

From the moment Todd Richardson was sworn into the Missouri General Assembly, there was an aura of promise around the Poplar Bluff Republican.

With his oratorical skills and a knack for handling big-ticket legislation, high expectations were placed on Richardson to succeed. Some political watchers foresaw a future in Missouri House leadership – and even climbing the ranks of federal politics.

(via Flickr/ensign_beedrill)

The Missouri House has approved language designed to bar the creation of a Kansas Jayhawks specialty license plate.  The measure was added onto a larger higher education bill passed by the House Tuesday.

It would require legislative approval of specialty license plates that feature out-of-state colleges and universities.  The sponsor, State Rep. Stephen Webber (D, Columbia), says it’s a direct result of Kansas dropping its football rivalry with Mizzou.