On the Trail

On The Trail
1:52 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Five Things To Watch For During Legislative Veto Session

Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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On The Trail
9:53 pm
Mon September 1, 2014

Amid Anger Over Brown's Death, Structurally Limited Mayor Vows To Make Changes

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III and NPR's Michel Martin at a public forum St. Louis Public Radio convened Aug. 28.
Credit Durrie Bouscaren, St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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On The Trail
7:54 pm
Sun August 24, 2014

An 11-Year-Old Provides Words Of Wisdom About Ferguson's Underlying Problems

University City resident Marquis Govan has been going to St. Louis County Council meetings for three months. He made a speech before the council last Tuesday about the turmoil in Ferguson.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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On The Trail
10:55 am
Thu August 14, 2014

French Turns Camera's Eye Toward Ferguson Unrest

St. Louis Alderman Antonio French documents a press conference with Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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On The Trail
12:22 am
Mon August 11, 2014

Checking The Score: How Well Did Sinquefield-Backed Candidates Fare?

Retired financier Rex Sinquefield made a big play during this year's primary cycle, with mixed results.
Credit Courtesy of Rex Sinquefield's website

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.

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On The Trail
8:46 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Lessons Learned In Missouri's Relatively Tranquil Primary Season

Councilman Steve Stenger and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley
Credit Parth Shah, St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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On The Trail
10:06 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

'Skin In The Game' Or Excessive Tipping Point? Self-Funding For Legislative Seats Raises Eyebrows

What does it take to win a seat in the Missouri General Assembly? In some cases, five or six-figures of somebody's own money.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 8 p.m. on Monday with news about Schneider repaying her loan.)

Vicki Schneider got on the phone earlier this year with Bob Onder after he loaned himself $200,000 for his state Senate bid. 

She said she asked a fairly simple question of one of her opponents for the St. Charles County-based 2nd District seat: "Do you want me to help you spend that?"

“And he just laughed,” she said.

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On The Trail
9:37 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Legislators May Have Numbers To Counter Nixon's Vetoes

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed a record number of bills this session. But some of those objections could be overridden by the GOP-controlled Missouri General Assembly.
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated at 1 p.m. Monday with additional comments from House Speaker Tim Jones.)

Gov. Jay Nixon proved that he can outdo himself, at least when it comes to vetoing legislation. 

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On The Trail
1:12 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

We Asked Five Questions About Campaign Finance Reports. Here Are The Answers

Credit flickr/yomanimus

The seven or eight people who love watching political ads will be in for an exciting three weeks.  

Everybody else in Missouri may want to become familiar with the “fast forward” button on their DVRs.

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On The Trail
9:28 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Money, Money, Money: Five Things To Look For In Tuesday's Campaign Finance Reports

Credit (via Flickr/Tracy O)

A fundraising quarter before an election is when Missouri politics starts getting real. 

And by “getting real,” I mean getting "real expensive.”

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.

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