Politics

Political news

  It seems every few weeks we’re talking about another shooting incident. Why is that? MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough puts the blame on the 24-hour cable news networks. Is it a fair criticism? Also, President Obama’s appearance on an NBC reality show, press freedoms challenged at student publications across the country, and athletic teams’ game changing decision regarding access for credentialed journalists. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

 The Missouri Ethics Commission has found that lobbyists likely broke state laws requiring them to name lawmakers they buy meals for.

money
File Photo / Flickr

Starting this week, delinquent Missouri taxpayers can pay back taxes without penalties or interest under a temporary amnesty program. The program begins tomorrow and runs through November 30th. 

Participants must follow tax laws and pay on time for the next eight years or face paying previously waived fines and interest. Revenue department estimates show roughly 350,000 taxpayers could be eligible, potentially making the program one of the most high-impact legislative measures this year.

As of today, there are 92 new laws on the books in Missouri.

All of them were passed by the Missouri House and Senate during the 2015 regular session, and all but two were signed by Governor Jay Nixon.  Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 24 by overriding Nixon's veto.  The new law shortens the lifetime eligibility for welfare recipients in Missouri from five years to three years and nine months.  Although most of the provisions in SB24 officially takes effect today, the shorter eligibility period won't kick in until January 1st, 2016.

Updated with McCaskill's letter - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says St. Louis County should approve the sale of adjacent park land to keep the cemetery operating for several more decades. In a letter to the County Council, McCaskill urges the members to sell 38 acres of Sylvan Springs Park to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The county’s Historic Buildings Commission opposes the parkland sale.

Jason Rojas / Flickr

The public will have an opportunity to suggest changes to the training requirements of law enforcers in Missouri.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety said the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission will hold six public meetings statewide.

  Details are still coming together in Roanoke, Va., where a disgruntled former employee shot and killed a reporter and photographer live on the air. Also, Cox’s Rare Media posts a job looking for a reporter that’s “less Paula Zahn, more Zoe Barnes.” It’s a House of Cards reference to a young, driven reporter willing to work sources – intimately -- to get her story. And, is it ethical to identify names of Ashley Madison subscribers obtained through theft, drama on CNBC and when journalists should turn into activists. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

  A Senate staff member is back at work, a month after being fired by a senator who was facing sexual harassment allegations. 

On this week’s episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s political journo-duo – Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies – welcome state Auditor Nicole Galloway to the program for the first time.

The Democratic official was appointed to statewide office earlier this year after the death of state Auditor Tom Schweich. Before taking the reins, Galloway was in her first full term as Boone County’s treasurer.

The last time the Senate Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life met, members threatened to hold a Nixon administration official in contempt unless she produced documents identifying which hospital had a working relationship with Columbia's Planned Parenthood clinic.

That became a moot point when Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling sent the committee a letter stating that Colleen McNicholas, M.D., had received admitting privileges from University of Missouri Health Care.

Hackers stole hook-up site Ashley Madison's member database and made it searchable online. Since that happened, media outlets around the world have been scouring the data and identifying users. Is it ethical for journalists to publish the data, given it's been made available to them via illegal means?

Chava Gourarie, Columbia Journalism Review: “Is it ethical to write about hacked Ashley Madison users?

Michaela Tucker / KBIA

Protestors and supporters of Planned Parenthood lined the sidewalks of Providence Road outside the Columbia clinic Saturday morning. Protesters from groups like 40 Days for Life came out from across the state as part of a national day of protest. Kathy Forck, the organizer of the protest, said over 300 rallies were held around the country.

Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson is maintaining that a proposed new dress code for interns is not, and will not, be among the recommendations for improving their working conditions.

House members have been working on several suggestions, which Richardson says will be released at a later date.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

Enough Missouri senators appear to support an unemployment bill to vote to overturn Democratic Governor Jay Nixon's veto. 

money
File Photo / Flickr

The Kansas City Council has agreed to put a citizen group's minimum wage petition on the November ballot.

Missouri House of Representatives

Missouri's Republican U.S. Rep. Jason Smith says he thinks the federal Environmental Protection Agency should be eliminated. 

Fifteen months before the 2016 election, Missouri’s major candidates for the U.S. Senate – Republican incumbent Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander – are ensnared in two familiar issues:

  • The use of private planes;
  • Accusations that each is too tied to special interests.

A key difference is that, for the most part, the attacks aren’t coming from the candidates or their campaigns. Rather, they’re being launched by party surrogates on their behalf.

Gov. Jay Nixon made a return appearance Thursday to the State Fair's annual ham breakfast, after pulling out of last year's event due to the unrest in Ferguson.

He told reporters at the fair that progress has been made in advancing social justice in Ferguson one year after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by former police officer Darren Wilson.

Emotions are running high 10 years after Hurricane Katrina made landfall on New Orleans, so what was a Chicago Tribune columnist thinking when she wrote that she prayed for a storm like Katrina to wipe out Chicago? Also, how Pro-Publica and the New York Times worked together to determine a special relationship between AT&T and the National Security Agency, Sesame Street’s move to HBO and more. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

gun
~Steve Z~ / flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a state constitutional amendment on gun rights does not allow convicted felons to possess firearms.

Courtesy Chicago Tribune

At a time when so many are writing anniversary stories looking back on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina,  Chicago Tribune columnist Kristen McQueary wrote a column under the headline "In Chicago, Wishing for a Hurricane Katrina."

That headline was changed after readers took great offense to McQueary's assertion that the city of Chicago needs a storm the size and strength of Katrina to reset the city's mounting debt, it's struggling schools and it's political infighting.

cigarette
Sudipto_Sarkar / flickr

A group of Missouri gas station and convenience store owners is backing taxing cigarettes an additional 23 cents per pack.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

The Missouri House is working on new intern rules aimed at preventing sexual harassment after recent scandals led two legislators to resign.

401 (K) 2013 / FLICKR

The St. Joseph City Council is considering an ordinance to end some court fees.

Missouri Capitol
j.stephenconn / Flickr

  A former spokeswoman for various causes backed by conservative donor Rex Sinquefield has been hired as the communications director for the Missouri Senate.

A Missouri Senate committee is threatening legal sanctions against a member of Gov. Jay Nixon's cabinet after the first day of hearings into the operations of Planned Parenthood in Missouri.

Committee chairman Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, on Thursday asked Department of Health and Senior Services Director Gail Vasterling to disclose the name of the hospital that has a working agreement with Planned Parenthood's Columbia clinic.  Vasterling refused.

University of Missouri Law School / MU

  A Missouri law professor and Republican candidate for attorney general has argued his emails and other work documents aren't subject to state open records laws. 

Court fees – which came under Justice Department criticism after the unrest in Ferguson – are getting attention again.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon thanked the Missouri Bar for backing his veto of two bills that would have raised some court fees.

Senate Bill 67 and House Bill 799 would have added new fees to court cases to help pay for building and maintaining new and existing county jails around the state.

Former Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, who resigned less than a week ago, says his new title is “director of business development’’ at a Clayton-based lobbying firm, Gate Way Group.

Dempsey, a Republican from St. Charles, said in an interview that he began work this week. His resignation from the state Senate was effective last Friday.

People in Ferguson and across the country marked the one-year anniversary of the police-involved shooting death of Michael Brown. What’s changed? What hasn’t? And how is it the media is still so tied to the center of this story? Donald Trump continues to steal the headlines in the GOP presidential push, investigative powerhouse ProPublica teams up with the online review site, Yelp, and Jon Stewart issues us all a challenge. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Pages