Jim Talent | St. Louis Public Radio

Jim Talent

Under a plan circulating through the Missouri General Assembly, appellate judges would once again take part in the state legislative redistricting process.
Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio

As the Missouri General Assembly is poised to give voters another chance to decide how to draw state House and Senate maps, one of the lesser-discussed parts of the debate is how judges will gain expansive power if voters scrap the Clean Missouri system.

Under a ballot measure that recently passed the Senate and will likely be approved in the House, bipartisan commissions will have first crack at redistricting instead of a demographer. But the truth is the commissions have been historically irrelevant because they tend to deadlock along party lines and then turn over authority to appellate judges. 

There’s been little insight into how the judges actually came up with House and Senate districts — until now.

Benjamin Singer (at left), communications director for Clean Missouri, spoke in favor of Amendment 1 during St. Louis Public Radio's Oct. 24 ballot issues forum. Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent, chairman of Missourians First, spoke in opposition.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Among the measures Missouri voters will decide on Nov. 6 is Amendment 1: The Lobbying, Campaign Finance, and Redistricting Initiative. It would amend the state constitution to change several aspects of Missouri’s political system.

It would impact, according to the ballot language, the process and criteria for redrawing state legislative districts; the campaign contributions that candidates for state legislature can accept; the gifts state legislators and their employees can accept; at what point state legislators and their employees can serve as paid lobbyists; political fundraising by politicians on state property; and transparency of legislative records and proceedings.

Monday’s St. Louis on the Air brought arguments on both sides of the ballot issue into focus, featuring host Don Marsh’s conversation with proponent Benjamin Singer and opponent Jim Talent during St. Louis Public Radio’s Oct. 24 ballot issues forum.

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

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.

Members of the Missouri House of Representatives throw their papers in the air to mark the end of the legislative session on Friday in Jefferson City.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Out of all the items on the Nov. 6 ballot, Clean Missouri is creating some of the most unusual partners in recent Missouri political history.

Proponents of the measure, on the ballot as Amendment 1, include left-of-center activists who helped write and fund the initiative, as well as some current and former GOP officials. Clean Missouri backers believe that the amendment will make lawmakers more responsive to people instead of special interest groups or lobbyists.

Former U.S. Sen. Tim Talent
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies on the latest episode of Politically Speaking. The Republican served in various federal and state capacities for more than 20 years.

While Talent is no longer a candidate himself, he is leading the charge against a constitutional amendment known as Clean Missouri.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 11, 2013 - During the United States’ 200-plus years, military veterans have at times been honored and at other times forgotten.

After World War I, perceived mistreatment led veterans to camp out in Washington. After World War II, Congress -- and then-President Harry S Truman, a World War I vet -- crafted the GI Bill and other measures to help veterans readjust to civilian life.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., says he’s strongly in favor of the federal government living within its means. But that doesn’t mean, he adds, that the United States should put its national security at risk.

That’s what Talent fears is happening as a result of the latest round of defense cuts mandated by the “sequester” – mandated across-the-board budget cuts for the next 10 years that went into place a few weeks ago as a result of Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and President Barack Obama, failing to agree on an alternate deficit-cutting plan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 22, 2013 - Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., says he’s strongly in favor of the federal government living within its means. But that doesn’t mean, he adds, that the United States should put its national security at risk.

That’s what Talent fears is happening as a result of the latest round of defense cuts mandated by the “sequester” – mandated across-the-board budget cuts for the next 10 years that went into place a few weeks ago as a result of Republicans and Democrats in Congress, and President Barack Obama, failing to agree on an alternate deficit-cutting plan.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 17, 2013 - If Republicans want to start winning statewide elections in Missouri and take back the White House, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal suggested that the GOP revamp its message and its target.

Jindal, widely seen as a possible future presidential hopeful, said the Republican Party needs to ditch its current image as “the party of austerity" and frame itself instead as “the party of growth.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 5, 2013 - WASHINGTON – If Mitt Romney would have been elected president, there’s a good chance that the former Midwestern GOP senator testifying at the Senate Armed Services committee last week would have been Jim Talent rather than Chuck Hagel.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2012 - WASHINGTON – Accusing President Barack Obama of holding the U.S. military “hostage” to his economic agenda, three top Missouri Republicans argued Tuesday that the White House is obscuring the real impact of “sequestration” budget cuts that could kick in at year's end.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 18, 2012 - WASHINGTON – In his book “No Apology,” GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney acknowledges “the aptly named” Jim Talent, the former Missouri senator who “kindly contributed policy thinking and insights, as he has done for me many times before.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 13, 2012 - Top area Republicans  gathered Monday in Affton to laud new vice presidential pick Paul Ryan as a catalyst to focus this fall’s campaign – from top to bottom – on budgetary issues.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 7, 2012 - By coincidence, the two rivals who headlined Missouri’s 2006 ballot – Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Jim Talent – were launching some of their respective state parties’ field operations on Saturday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 8, 2012 - Three former Republican U.S.senators from Missouri support Mitt Romney for president and believe he’ll capture the GOP nomination.

But the three — Jim Talent, Christopher “Kit” Bond, and John C. Danforth — don’t exactly see eye to eye on his chances to win the White House.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 14, 2012 - Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent led a trio of Missouri Republicans today who discounted last week's sweeping primary victory by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum and instead lauded GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as the corporate "turn-around expert'' that the nation needs to transform the country.

Talent joins Romney in N. Hampshire, Iowa

Jan 11, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 11, 2012 - WASHINGTON - Four years ago, former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent was at the candidate's headquarters in New Hampshire when Mitt Romney's high hopes for the GOP presidential nomination were dashed by a loss to Sen. John McCain.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 8, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Playing an attack role in Mitt Romney's new effort to fend off his chief rival, former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent said Thursday that Newt Gingrich "is not a reliable or trustworthy leader" and would likely lose a presidential race to Barack Obama.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 14, 2011 - WASHINGTON - One is a savvy Capitol Hill player who's on a first-name basis with just about every congressional Republican and knows the whip tactics of lining up support. The other is a brainy policy wonk who likes to hone in on complex issues and explain them to the public and fellow politicians.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 12, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Warning that the nation remains vulnerable to a large-scale bioterrorism attack, former U.S. Sens. Jim Talent and Bob Graham said Wednesday that the government needs leadership to set priorities to improve the response to a potentially devastating event.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 10, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Moon-suited investigators swab for spores in vacated suites of a U.S. Senate building. A Florida photographer, two postal workers in the nation's capital, and two women in the Northeast perish from inhalation anthrax. Speculation about the origins of the deadly pathogen leads to "white powder scares" across the country.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 7, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Arguing that military spending should be bolstered rather than slashed, former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent sparred Thursday with House Democrats who contended that budget cutting should not spare the Pentagon.

"America's military strength is declining, both absolutely and relative to the dangers which confront us," Talent told the House Budget Committee. "The rate of decline is growing and will soon reach a point . . . where our military leaders will not be able to honestly guarantee America's security within an acceptable margin of risk."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 5, 2011 - Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., is continuing to highlight his focus on national security with a scheduled appearance Thursday before the U.S. House Budget Committee.

According to a statement from his office, Talent "will provide Chairman Paul Ryan and House Budget Committee members with an update on the condition of America's military and its likely condition in the future if current trends continue."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 24, 2011 - WASHINGTON - Nearly a decade after the deadly anthrax mailings that the FBI later traced to a government scientist, former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent is warning that the nation remains vulnerable to a far more serious anthrax attack by foreign terrorists.

In testimony to a U.S. House Homeland Security panel on Thursday, Talent -- vice-chair of the bipartisan WMD Terrorism Research Center -- said it is significant that al-Qaida's new leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is an Egyptian surgeon with a past interest in potential agents of germ warfare.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 2, 2011 - Reported by Jo Mannies, Beacon political reporter, and Robert Koenig, Beacon Washington correspondent:

St. Louis area members of Congress issued statements welcoming the news, thanking the troops and saying Bin Laden's death would serve as a warning to America's enemies. But the officials also called for continued vigilance and warned that the death does not mean the end of the fight against terrorism. Here are statements from current and former officials:

Report: McCaskill spent less on travel than others

Apr 11, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A newspaper's review of travel records has found that U.S Sen. Claire McCaskill spent far less for four years of flights on her private plane than two former Missouri senators spent for travel over similar time spans.

  • Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent has announced that he will not challenge Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in 2012. Instead he plans to continue his private-sector work on national security policies and hopes to aid former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney if he decides to run for president. Talent's decision opens the way for several other Republicans to throw their hat in the ring. Former Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman has already announced that she will run.

UPDATE 3:25 p.m. Jan. 27, 2011:

As expected, Talent has announced that he will not run for Senate in 2012. He shared the news with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today.

UPDATE 10:53 a.m. Jan. 26, 2011:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 20, 2010 - Former U.S. Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., says he'll wait until after the holidays before deciding whether to make a run for his old job in 2012.

"I'm looking at it very seriously,'' said Talent in an interview Friday. "I do think Sen. (Claire) McCaskill is vulnerable."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 25, 2010 - St. Louisan Ann Wagner -- former co-chair of the Republican National Committee, former head of the Missouri Republican Party and most recently the Bush administration's ambassador to Luxembourg -- is starting a new job as honorary co-chair of the American Freedom and Enterprise Foundation.

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