Updated Tuesday with audio from the "St. Louis on the Air" veto session preview.
The Missouri General Assembly’s veto session, which begins Wednesday, generally shuffles into the background during an election year. While legislators could have very busy day (or two), the unrest in Ferguson has sucked up most of the state’s political oxygen this year.
It’s fair to say that Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III has broken the mold for elected leaders in north St. Louis County.
When he was first elected to his post in 2011, Knowles became one of the youngest mayors in the state. He is also one of the few Republicans who managed to electorally prevail in the heavily Democratic area. And he’s probably the only elected official in Missouri who emerged victorious in an amateur wrestling match against Randy Orton, a north St. Louis County native who became a famous professional wrestler.
The turmoil in Ferguson drew the attention of some powerful people. Everybody from state legislators to the President of the United States spoke out about Michael Brown’s death and its aftermath.
While Marquis Govan doesn’t have a fancy title, the 11-year-old has some poignant ideas about the conflict. The University City resident has a ravenous interest in politics – and plenty to say about what’s going on in Ferguson.
When Antonio French noticed social media activity bubbling up about Michael Brown’s shooting death last weekend, the St. Louis alderman got in his car and drove to Ferguson.
What he said he saw was striking: Police from neighboring municipalities had formed a “human shield” around the scene. Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, was screaming and crying over not knowing what happened to her 18-year-old son. And Brown’s body was still in the street after being shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.
When it comes to donating to Missouri candidates and causes, retired financier Rex Sinquefield may subscribe to the idea of “going big or going home.”
This past election campaign is no exception. Sinquefield has given out around $4.4 million so far this year to support ballot initiatives, candidates and friendly political groups. That money has flowed directly -- or through outside groups -- to a host of candidates who competed in last week’s primary elections.
By any conceivable measure, Missouri doesn’t have a particularly robust election cycle this year. But that doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to learn.
Even though this year's primary season featured fewer contested races than usual, the past few months still produced twists, turns and surprises. That’s especially true because a number of ballot initiatives were placed on the August ballot, making up for a relative dearth of competitive legislative contests.
A fundraising quarter before an election is when Missouri politics starts getting real.
And by “getting real,” I mean getting "realexpensive.”
Tuesday is the deadline for campaign committees to turn in their fund-raising reports. These are the documents showing how much money political candidates and ballot initiatives have for the final push to the Aug. 5 primary. They can also reveal how much cash is being shelled out in competitive primaries.