Julie O'Donoghue | St. Louis Public Radio

Julie O'Donoghue

Politics Correspondent
State Rep. Cody Smith, R-Carthage, is the chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Tim Bommel I House Communications

State Rep. Cody Smith is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The Carthage Republican spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue about his role as House Budget chairman — and his thoughts on overhauling Missouri’s criminal justice system.

Smith was first elected to the Missouri House in 2016 in a district encompassing parts of Jasper County in southwest Missouri. He became Budget chairman after his predecessor, Scott Fitzpatrick, was appointed as state treasurer.

Raychel Proudie
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Pubic Radio

Rep. Raychel Proudie, of Ferguson, will be the only Democrat in the Missouri House of Representatives to head a committee in the 2020 session.

Proudie, who took office last year, is the chair of the Special House Committee on Urban Issues. She took over the job after Rep. Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis, resigned last year to address his mental health.

“Right off the bat, one of my priorities is to make sure the committee is taken seriously,” Proudie said.

Rep. Rasheen Aldridge
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

We talked to state Rep. Rasheen Aldridge, D-St. Louis, who was sworn into office this week. 

Aldridge represents the 78th District in St. Louis, which includes Hyde Park, Old North St. Louis, Carr Square, downtown, Soulard, Benton Park and LaSalle.

St. Louis County Council Chairwoman Lisa Clancy.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrats took over both leadership roles on the St. Louis County Council on Tuesday night.

The council unanimously selected Lisa Clancy, D-Maplewood, as its chairwoman. Rochelle Walton Gray, D-Black Jack, was selected as vice chair on 4-3 partisan vote, with Democrats’ support and Republican opposition. 

State Rep. Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis County
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Jim Murphy is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The south St. Louis County Republican joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue to talk about what to expect in the 2020 legislative session.

Murphy represents Missouri’s 94th House District, which includes places like Mehlville and Green Park. It is one of the most competitive House seats in the state, as it famously flipped between Democrat Vicki Englund and Republican Cloria Brown for roughly a decade.

The latest episode of Politically Speaking features St. Louis Public Radio's political team counting down the top stories of the decade.
Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Politically speaking, Missouri politics changed dramatically throughout the 2010s.

At the beginning of the decade, the Show-Me State was a place where Democrats dominated in high-stakes statewide contests — while Republicans prevailed in state legislative elections. By the end of 2019, Republicans maintained unprecedented control over Missouri politics.

State Rep. Dan Shaul, R-Imperial
Tim Bommel I House Communications

State Rep. Dan Shaul joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum on the latest edition of Politically Speaking.

The Imperial Republican represents the 113th District in the Missouri House. That takes in a portion of northern Jefferson County, particularly parts of Arnold, Imperial and Barnhart. 

A worker trims marijuana plants in Ascend Illinois' growing facility in Barry, IL.
Eric Schmid | St. Louis Public Radio

On the final Politically Speaking roundup show of 2019, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum look at some of the headlines that made an impact in the waning days of the year.

O’Donoghue talked with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Eric Schmid about impending legalization of marijuana in Illinois. It’s a move that will have a profound impact on towns in the Metro East — and on neighboring states like Missouri.

Gov. Mike Parson
File|Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In the 18 months he has been in office, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has acted on just one of over 3,500 clemency cases. 

The Republican governor inherited a decades-old backlog of clemency requests. Some of the cases have been pending for several years, with multiple governors before Parson not taking action.

But Parson doesn’t seem to be in any rush to dive into what can be a politically risky part of the job. He declined to put one man’s execution on hold in October. Beyond that, he hasn’t denied or approved any other clemency applications. 

Missouri Rep. Keri Ingle, D-Lee's Summit
AVIVA OKESON-HABERMAN | KCUR

State Rep. Keri Ingle, D-Lee’s Summit, joins public radio political reporters Julie O’Donoghue, Jason Rosenbaum and Aviva Okeson-Haberman to talk about her first year in office and what she expects in the upcoming 2020 legislative session.

Ingle has a background in social work and has investigated child abuse and neglect. She won election in 2018 in a district outside Kansas City. She flipped her House seat from Republican to Democrat. 

via Flickr/functoruser

In this week’s Politically Speaking news roundup, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue discuss St. Louis' proposal to bring back red-light cameras, the city’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors and how Missouri’s delegation is handling President Trump’s impeachment. 

St. Louis Public Radio’s Kae Petrin and the Kansas City Star’s D.C. correspondent, Bryan Lowry, join the podcast for some of these conversations. 

Former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ray Price
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ray Price talks with St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum about his legal career and his new role as chairman of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page appointed Price to the board that oversees the police department this fall. Page has now appointed four of the five members — and could replace former county executive Steve Stenger’s final appointee at any time.

St. Louis County jail
File photo

St. Louis County plans to launch a six-month pilot program in January that tracks people accused of crimes by using a smartphone app. 

County Executive Sam Page told the County Council in a letter Monday that his administration plans to hire eHawk Solutions, based near Kansas City, to provide the software. 

The county’s smartphone monitoring program could be the biggest one of its kind in the U.S., according to the company. County officials are hoping such a program could reduce the local jail population. 

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, speaks to supporters and media on Tuesday night. She defeated Democratic challenger Cort VanOstran in Missouri's 2nd Congressional District.
File photo I David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum break down the big stories that have made headlines over the past week.

Arguably the biggest was Democratic state Sen. Jill Schupp announcing she would run for Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes parts of St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties. She’ll face Republican incumbent Ann Wagner. While the 2nd District has been in Republican hands for a generation, it’s become more competitive as white suburban voters have soured on President Trump.

State Rep. Trish Gunby, D-St. Louis County
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep.-elect Trish Gunby is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The St. Louis County Democrat talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jo Mannies about her victory in the 99th House District special election that flipped the seat.

Gunby defeated Republican Lee Ann Pitman to serve out an unexpired term in a district that takes in Valley Park, Manchester, Twin Oaks and parts of unincorporated St. Louis County. 

Christine Ingrassia
JASON ROSENBAUM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

St. Louis Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann on the latest episode of Politically Speaking.

The Democrat represents the city’s 6th Ward. Her district encompasses nine neighborhoods, including Lafayette Square and Fox Park. 

Electronic Gambling Machines
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

They look like slot machines. They sound like slot machines.

But they aren’t in casinos — which is the only place you are supposed to be able to find slot machines in Missouri. 

Thousands of new gaming devices have been popping up at gas stations, veterans homes, union halls and fraternal lodges across the state. Their growing presence has raised the hackles of state regulators and the traditional gambling industry, which says the machines are draining business from them. 

On the latest news roundup show for the Politically Speaking podcast, the St. Louis Public Radio team discusses vaping, St. Louis' police residency requirement and General Motors state tax incentives.
File | Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll review some of the week’s biggest stories in state and local politics.

We break down how Gov. Mike Parson is responding to the recent spate of illnesses and deaths related to vaping.

State Rep. Becky Ruth, R-Festus
Tim Bommel I House Communications

State Rep. Becky Ruth joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum on the latest episode of Politically Speaking.

Ruth represents a portion of eastern Jefferson County, which includes the cities of Festus, Herculaneum, Pevely and Hematite. The Festus Republican is the first woman to ever lead the House Transportation Committee.

Colorful photos hang on the walls at HCI Alternatives in Collinsville. The marijuana dispensary is set up like a typical doctor's office.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue, Jason Rosenbaum and Jaclyn Driscoll review some of the week’s biggest stories in state and local politics.

One of the big topics on the show is the first meeting of the Board of Freeholders, which can propose consolidating services in St. Louis and St. Louis County — or even combining city and county governments.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said he needs a lot more money to run his office properly.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell wants at least $1.4 million more in next year’s budget than the county executive has recommended his office receive. 

Sam Page has included $11.9 million in general funding in his 2020 spending proposal to the county council. At a county council budget hearing Thursday, Bell asked to have that bumped to $13.3 million.

State Rep. LaDonna Appelbaum, D, St. Louis County
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll welcome state Rep. LaDonna Appelbaum to Politically Speaking for the first time. The discussion includes the Democrat's efforts to improve health care.

Appelbaum represents Missouri’s 71st House District, which takes in portions of Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights, Olivette, Overland and unincorporated St. Louis County. She was first elected in 2018.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue break down some of the week’s biggest stories.

To do that, Rosenbaum and O’Donoghue enlisted the help of St. Louis Public Radio colleagues Corinne Ruff and Kae Petrin. Ruff talked about the ongoing process of potentially getting a private operator to run St. Louis Lambert International Airport. And Petrin discussed Paul McKee’s bid to redevelop parts of north St. Louis.

(via Flickr/Tracy O)

Under the best-case scenario, St. Louis County has about $12.5 million readily available to pay a police officer who won a nearly $20 million verdict in a workplace discrimination lawsuit two weeks ago.

But county officials and legal experts say it’s likely the county won’t end up owing Sgt. Keith Wildhaber near the amount he has been initially awarded. Existing state laws and court precedent suggest that $20 million verdict could be reduced on appeal or through a settlement. 

People place bets at the Sports Book at the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
File photo | Leila Fidel | NPR

Missouri legislators heard from Major League Baseball, the NBA and the PGA on Thursday about their leagues’ role if legalized sports betting comes to the state.

The General Assembly is expected to consider legalizing sports betting in the 2020 legislative session. 

Among the details that need to be worked out is whether lawmakers will consider a sports gambling proposal that includes college sports as well as professional sports, mobile phone betting and in-game wagering on a particular play during an event. 

Democrat Trish Gunby is congratulated by her son, Kyle Gunby, who worked on her campaign, after winning a traditionally Republican Missouri House seat in the 99th District.  Nov. 5, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrat Trish Gunby won a high-profile Missouri House race in the 99th District on Tuesday, capturing a historically Republican seat with 54% of the vote in west St. Louis County.

Gunby’s victory over Republican Lee Ann Pitman is a morale boost for a Missouri Democratic Party that’s struggling to pick up the pieces after three disastrous election cycles that left the party out of favor in the state.

Attorney Michelle Schwerin and former Supreme Court Judge Ray Price
Capes Sokol law firm, File Photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page nominated two new members to the five-person Board of Police Commissioners on Friday. 

Page picked former Missouri Supreme Court Judge Ray Price and local attorney Michelle Schwerin. The lawyers are meant to replace Laurie Westfall, the widow of former County Executive Buzz Westfall, and Roland Corvington, a former FBI agent who stepped down from the police board earlier in the week.

The nominations still need confirmation by the county council. Neither nominee could be reached for comment Friday.

St. Louis County police Chief Jon Belmar on July 24, 2017.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie O’Donoghue and Jason Rosenbaum take a closer look at some of the biggest political stories of the week.

Topping the headlines was turmoil in the St. Louis County Police Department after a jury awarded a nearly $20 million verdict to Sgt. Keith Wildhaber in his discrimination suit. That decision is prompting calls for sweeping change in one of Missouri’s largest local law enforcement agencies.

Missouri Rep. Donna Baringer, D-St. Louis
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Donna Baringer, D-St. Louis, talks with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about the need to regulate vaping and other topics during the latest episode of Politically Speaking. 

Baringer’s district includes the neighborhoods of South Hampton, Princeton Heights, St. Louis Hills, Villanova and parts of Lindenwood Park, Northampton, Bevo Mill and Boulevard Heights.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page answers question on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, from a group of reporters. Page is poised to appoint new members of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

In the first St. Louis County Council meeting since a jury awarded a police sergeant nearly $20 million in a discrimination lawsuit, County Executive Sam Page on Tuesday promised “serious changes” in the police department.

That came just hours after the county Board of Police Commissioners announced it is hiring an outside consultant to review the department.

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