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Democratic Party

Better Angels members hold political discussions at a workshop last December.  The organization's president David Blankenhorn said the group uses tactful conversation to dive into opposing political values.
Better Angels

After the 2016 presidential election, David Blankenhorn, president of the national organization Better Angels, wanted to bring voters together to try to find common ground despite their political differences.

Blankenhorn gathered 10 Democratic Party voters and 10 Republican Party voters in South Lebanon, Ohio, to discuss the election and explore how to rebuild a civil society. This groundwork led Blankenhorn to founding his organization.

The group has hosted over 400 community events in the past three years, and will host a three-day convention beginning Thursday at Washington University to tear down political stereotyping and conversation barriers among voters.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is about to head home after losing her bid for re-election, and in defeat she's blaming her own Democratic Party for abandoning moderates.

McCaskill has represented Missouri in the Senate since 2007. During her tenure, President Obama lost Missouri twice and President Trump won it handily. McCaskill was one of 10 Senate Democrats running for re-election in states Trump won; four lost.

Former Secretary of State Jason Kander, left, hosts podcast with national AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka on June 23, 2018.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Democrats appear to be banking their political future on linking the state’s fight over a “right to work’’ law, known as Proposition A, to the effort to re-elect Missouri’s last remaining Democrats holding statewide office.

A referendum over Proposition A will be on the August ballot. The two Democrats facing re-election this year – U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and state Auditor Nicole Galloway – will go before voters in November.

Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The modern two-party system has dominated U.S. politics for decades – but it’s also led to deep-seated divisions among American voters. Mickey Edwards, former Republican Congressman from Oklahoma, said political parties are “undemocratic,” citing the American Founding Fathers’ warnings about the rupture political parties can cause among U.S. citizens.

“George Washington’s farewell address said, ‘don’t create political parties.’ He begged us not to create political parties. The founder James Madison said that; James Monroe said that, and we did it – and now we’re paying the price for it,” Edwards said.

Edwards, vice president of the Aspen Institute, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Tuesday for a conversation on the structure and function of political parties and party leadership. Also joining the discussion were St. Louis 8th Ward alderwoman Annie Rice and Wally Siewert, director of civic engagement at FOCUS St. Louis.

Democrats gather at the 1st Congressional Caucus.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Democrats have turned to a mix of party veterans and newcomers to fill the first wave of delegate spots for this summer’s presidential convention.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s sister, Anne McCaskill Moroh, is among the 47 Democratic delegates elected Thursday night at eight congressional conventions held around the state, including three in the St. Louis area. The delegates also include three St. Louis aldermen: Antonio French, D-21st Ward, Jack Coatar, D-7th, and Megan Green, D-15th Ward. Other delegates include Sanders backer Jabari Allen, a 24-year-old political newcomer who works for a home-security startup, and John Burroughs history teacher James Wagner.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 18, 2011 - Sporting a hat monogrammed just for the occasion, U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis, spent Saturday morning touring businesses in Webster Groves -- a community in his current 3rd district.

Karla May, left, and Hope Whitehead
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | file photo

State Rep. Hope Whitehead, D-St. Louis, is challenging her narrow defeat in the Aug. 3 primary by Karla May, who was backed by Mayor Francis Slay.

Whitehead has scheduled a news conference at noon today downtown, in front of the Civil Courts building, where she plans to file a lawsuit asserting that city Democratic Party chairman Brian Wahby improperly allowed May to post "challengers" inside the polling locations.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine asserted Thursday that the Republican emphasis on the proposed mosque near New York's Ground Zero, and the growing inaccurate belief that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, "confirm a narrative" that the GOP is "whipping up fear and division" in the hope that such destructive tactics will win votes.

Tuesday's primary -- featuring candidate contests, a St. Louis school bond issue and the first statewide vote on federal health care reform -- will be an end and the beginning.

For many candidates, Tuesday's primary results (click here to read the Beacon's overview of the races and issues) will spell the end of their political hopes. But for others, their primary victories will launch their new campaigns for Nov. 2 election.

Martin Casas says St. Louis is ready to host the big national political show -- a presidential convention.
Matthew Gierse | For the St. Louis Beacon

Chuck Berry didn't duck walk, but the 83-year-old rock-and-roll legend still brought the crowd to its feet and dancing in the aisles Thursday night as part of the city of St. Louis' pitch to host the Democratic National Convention in 2012.

For 45 minutes, Berry riffed through his musical catalogue -- from "Hail, Hail Rock 'n' Roll" to "Maybellene" and "Johnny B. Goode" -- amid cheers from several thousand packing the amphitheater in Kiener Plaza.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine says his visit today to St. Louis, coinciding with President Barack Obama's State of the Union address does, indeed, underscore the national importance of Missouri's congressional elections this year.

But Kaine also hopes that Democrats nationally will take a lesson from Missouri's past and "avoid freaking out'' about recent political setbacks.

Commentary: Hey, Dems: We gotta talk

Jan 28, 2010

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 28, 2010 - “4-1-1, Information. What city, please?”

“Do you have any listings for Oz? No? Then, I guess Washington, D.C., will have to do. I’d like the number for the office of strategic planning for the Democratic Party.”

“There’s no such listing, sir.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The case can be fairly made that the Democratic Party has spent the last 45 years searching for JFK. Like the star-crossed lover who broke your heart that you can never quite forget, Jack’s absence haunts the party faithful with a vague, but gnawing, institutional lament.

Commentary: Why Missouri Is A Must-Win State

Mar 25, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Democratic candidate for president must win Missouri to win the presidency. To stop the Democrats from winning the presidency, the Republican Party must win Missouri's electoral votes for the third presidential election in a row.