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Politically Speaking: Examining Clean Missouri, a shake-up of state legislative redistricting

Both the governor and Legislature in Missouri are in charge of the congressional redistricting process. But they're directly involved in approving state legislative maps.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio
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Members of the state Senate and statewide elected officials listen as Gov. Mike Parson addresses a joint session of the Missouri General Assembly in June.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies take a deep look at Amendment 1 on the latest edition of Political Speaking.

The measure, widely known as Clean Missouri, combines a host of ethics-related alterations with an overhaul of state legislative redistricting. Out of all the things on the Nov. 6 ballot, Clean Missouri is eliciting the most unusual political alliances.

Proponents include left-of-center activists and groups that helped craft the measure, as well as some prominent Republicans. Backers contend that Clean Missouri will make politics more accessible to people — as opposed to special interests or lobbyists.

Detractors believe that the ethics-related items in Clean Missouri, including curtailing lobbyist gifts and slightly lowering campaign donation limits, are aimed at making the state legislative redistricting changes more palatable to voters. While many of the opponents are Republicans, some African-American officials and groups aren’t supporting Clean Missouri because of fears it will lead to fewer black lawmakers getting elected.

This latest Politically Speaking features comments from:

  • Clean Missouri campaign manager Sean Soendker Nicholson
  • State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph
  • Former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolff
  • St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones
  • The Rev. Starsky Wilson
  • State Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin
  • Former Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Talent
  • U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis
  • State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo on Twitter: @jmannies

Music: “Bicycle Race” by Queen

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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