On the Trail

On the Trail
8:24 pm
Sun March 2, 2014

As Dooley and Stenger Duke It Out, Zimmerman Seeks Quieter Re-Election Bid

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman is running for his first full term as St. Louis County assessor, a bid likely to be overshadowed by a contentious Democratic primary for county executive.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

In some strange, alternate universe, St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman would be running for a third term on the St. Louis County Council. 

Back in the mid-2000s, the Olivette Democrat seemed to be on a collision course with Barbara Fraser, a fellow Democrat, for the 5th District council seat. But the two agreed on a deal: Fraser would run for county council while Zimmerman would run for Fraser's spot in the Missouri House.

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On the Trail
3:34 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Despite National Focus, Missouri Minimum Wage Vote Faces Murky Future

Democrats are hoping that focusing on increasing the minimum wage will pay dividends come election time. But chances of a Missouri ballot initiative are up in the air, at best.
Credit Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

President Barack Obama sent a message during his State of the Union address to every mayor, governor and state legislator who want to increase the minimum wage: Don't wait on Congress, Americans will support more local government initiatives.

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On the Trail
8:18 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

Showdown Looms Over 'Right To Farm' Amendment

Former state Sen. Wes Shoemyer, D-Clarence, has formed a political action committee to oppose the "Right to Farm" amendment.
Credit Flickr/MoDOTNews

Wes Shoemyer was content to ride off into the political sunset. 

The former Democratic state senator lost his re-election bid decisively in 2010. Afterward he told people in Jefferson City that he had a great “consolation prize” – going back to his farm near Monroe County.

But Shoemyer is leaping back into the fray to fight an amendment making it more difficult to regulate agriculture. And he’s taking on familiar adversaries – some the state’s largest agricultural organizations.

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On the Trail
10:18 pm
Sun January 19, 2014

Is There A Democrat To Take On Schweich In 2014?

State Auditor Tom Schweich is in an enviable electoral position after Democrat Jay Swearingen dropped out of this year's auditor's race. Democrats do have candidates that could mount credible campaigns. But the question is whether any of them will run.
Credit Provided by the auditor's office

Democrats may be deciding between "fight or flight" when it comes to taking on state Auditor Tom Schweich in November.

Last week, state Rep. Jay Swearingen, D-North Kansas City, bowed out of the state auditor's contest. He told the Associated Press that he wanted to step aside for another Democrat who's better able to raise money for the race.

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On the Trail
5:13 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Sinquefield Still Reigns Supreme Among State's Biggest Individual Donors

Rex Sinquefield
Credit File photo

When it comes to campaign financing, one name stands out: Rex Sinquefield. 

In 2013, an off year politically, the retired financier gave millions in campaign contributions — primarily to ballot initiatives and political action committees. Most of Sinquefield's money went toward an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to override Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of tax cut legislation. Sinquefield also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars for ballot initiatives, including one to curtail teacher tenure.

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On the Trail
11:10 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Democrats Edge Out Republicans In Big Donations In 2013

Credit (via Flickr/401K)

For most intents and purposes, it was all quiet on Missouri's electoral front in 2013. But that didn’t stop the money from flowing to candidates and campaigns. 

Throughout last year, a diverse group of donors gave well over $21 million worth of donations of $5,000 or more. That money flowed to candidates, political party committees, ballot initiatives and political action committees in all corners of the state.

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On the Trail
11:31 pm
Sun January 5, 2014

McKenna's Departure Leaves Nixon With Special Election Conundrum

Former Sen. Ryan McKenna, D-Jefferson County

It make take longer than expected to fill Ryan McKenna's void in the Missouri Senate.

When the Jefferson County Democrat resigned in December to become director of the state labor department, he left open the possibility that his Senate seat may remain vacant throughout 2014. If that occurs, the Missouri Senate would not be at full membership for an entire calendar year.

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On the Trail
11:40 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Transportation Tax Supporters Still Aim For 2014 Vote

A sales tax increase for transportation projects could reemerge next year.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Proponents of a transportation sales tax were dealt a big blow last year when a legislative effort died at the last minute. But that doesn’t mean they’re giving up on putting a 1-cent sales tax increase before voters.   

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On the Trail
5:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

On The Trail: Aldermen Still Flex Muscle In Block Grant Funding

Credit via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft

When a Board of Aldermen committee made changes to St. Louis' community development block grant recommendations, it showed the city's legislative branch asserting itself against a power shift to the executive.

But not everybody was happy -- including the agency that gave the city the funds in the first place.

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Politics & Issues
5:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

On The Trail: New Block Grant Process Shifted Power, Stirred Tensions

Credit via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft

When St. Louis changed how it divided out community development block grants, it marked a major sea change in how St. Louis government functions -- shifting power toward the mayor's administrative umbrella and away from individual aldermen.

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