Political news

Gov. Mike Parson met Tuesday with several mayors from across Missouri, including Florissant and St. Peters, as part of the transition into his new job.

He called it the first in a series of meetings with mayors, in which he said he wants his office to provide whatever help or assistance cities and towns may need.

Updated at 9:54 p.m. with the hiring of Parson's chief of staff - Mike Parson kicked off his first full week as Missouri’s governor by meeting with the state’s cabinet members, all chosen by his predecessor, Eric Greitens.

The meeting was held Monday in private, inside the governor’s office, but Parson did briefly meet with reporters beforehand. He said he has no intention of replacing any of Greitens’ chosen agency heads.

Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Parson

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — New Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Monday that he wants to work with the "good team" of cabinet members selected by former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Parson, who was lieutenant governor and assumed leadership when Greitens chose to step down Friday rather than continue fighting possible impeachment and allegations of personal and political misconduct, met with cabinet members Monday morning.

Missouri's Political Focus Shifts to the Senate Race

Jun 4, 2018

The end of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' tenure as governor could breathe new life into Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley's campaign.

Greitens stepped down Friday. Fellow Republican Mike Parson, who was lieutenant governor, replaced him.

Greitens' months-long fight for political survival left the GOP bruised and fractured. Greitens' troubles posed challenges on multiple fronts for Hawley. While Democrats attempted to tie him to the former embattled governor, Hawley's call for Greitens to step down also angered some Republicans loyal to him.

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson set forth on a new chapter in Missouri political history by becoming the state’s 57th governor — promising to stabilize a state government rocked by departing-Gov. Eric Greitens’ scandals.

Parson, 62, took the oath of office shortly after 5:30 p.m., Friday.

Missouri voters will be asked in November to increase the state’s gas tax by 10 cents a gallon.

The Missouri House approved the proposal Friday, in the final hours of the legislative session, after the Senate had tacked it onto another bill.

The increase would be phased in over 10 years, and would be used to pay for road and bridge projects, and underwrite some of the costs for the Missouri Highway Patrol.

“We just can’t keep putting this off,’’ said state Rep. Kathie Conway, a Republican from St. Charles. “We need the money.”

Commentary: Permanent Interests

May 18, 2018

At Columbia College I teach and study American domestic politics.  I know only enough about foreign policy and international relations to be dangerous.  That said I willingly acknowledge that foreign and domestic policy are inseparably intertwined.  President Trump is betting that foreign policy successes will benefit him politically at home.  More about this in a minute.

A surprise twist in the Greitens invasion of privacy case earlier this week -- did anyone see it coming? Many in the White House are trying to stop all the leaks, and not the plumbing kind. Plus, print reporters cashing in on television appearances, new sports gambling laws and we ask the question: who won't be covering this weekend's Royal wedding festivities? From Missouri School of Journalism professors Mike McKean, Earnest Perry and Stacey Woelfel: Views of the News.

missouri house floor
File photo / KBIA

Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, thought there was a consensus among his fellow lawmakers on a House tax bill when he brought it to the floor. However, differing opinions on the bill may have killed chances for this year.

The bill would reduce the income tax rate for the highest bracket by .4%, with the possibility of a reduction of .5%

missouri capitol
File Photo / KBIA

A Missouri senator is trying to stop Gov. Eric Greitens' State Board of Education appointees from withdrawing in an attempt to bar them from being reappointed later.


If gubernatorial appointees are withdrawn before Friday, they could potentially be appointed later to the same position. So Sen. Gary Romine in a procedural move Monday attempted to reject their withdrawal. 

The Missouri House has given final approval to a proposal that would ask voters later this year to put right-to-work language into the state’s constitution.

Monday night’s action is part of a two-pronged effort by predominantly Republican supporters to protect a right-to-work law they passed last year.

Under right to work, unions and employers are barred from requiring workers to pay dues or fees. Supporters say right to work would give workers more freedom and attract more business to the state. Opponents say such a law drives down wages and is a GOP effort to hurt unions because they primarily support Democrats.

In a stunning move, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has dropped the felony invasion of privacy charge against Gov. Eric Greitens — short-circuiting the unprecedented trial of a sitting Missouri chief executive.

While Gardner’s office is promising to refile the case with a special prosecutor, the governor’s attorneys are confident that another prosecutor won’t touch the case.

The chairman of the Missouri House committee that’s investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday they’re getting pushback from the governor’s camp.

Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City, told reporters that they’ve issued a subpoena to Greitens’ advisor Austin Chambers, and to the groups Greitens for Missouri and A New Missouri, via attorney Catherine Hanaway. He said the groups have provided some documents but are refusing to provide others.

A new front has opened up in the battle over whether Missouri should become a right-to-work state.

Under right-to-work, unions and employers would be barred from requiring all workers within a bargaining unit to pay dues or fees. On Friday, the Missouri House passed a measure that would ingrain right-to-work in the state constitution.

The staff of the Denver Post has an unlikely advocate: the city’s mayor. He says the city needs the Post and its staff of dogged reporters, and is helping in its fight against its hedge fund owners. Also, Tronc recognizes the new union at the Chicago Tribune, NBC’s parent company makes a run for 21stCentury Fox and what has some of Charlie Rose’s accusers thinking he’s planning a comeback. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

The staff of the Denver Post has an unlikely advocate: the city’s mayor. He says the city needs the Post and its staff of dogged reporters, and is helping in its fight against its hedge fund owners.

Chuck Plunkett, Rolling Stone: “Op-Ed: I stood up for ‘The Denver Post’ and was forced to resign

Minimum Wage, Medical Pot Among Missouri Ballot Proposals

May 7, 2018

Several groups have submitted signatures for proposed ballot measures on a minimum wage hike, limits on lobbyist gifts to lawmakers and medical marijuana in time for the Sunday deadline to get initiative petitions on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The Secretary of State's Office still needs to check the number of signatures for each proposal, and then local election authorities must verify signatures. The process takes weeks to determine whether measures received enough voter signatures to get on the ballot.

Here's a round-up of the proposed ballot measures:


Maybe it’s time to retire the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Michelle Wolf’s 15-minute act has many in our profession questioning the mission and purpose of the annual gala, and whether it’s time to put an end to it. Also, Missouri’s attorney general digs in on the governor, Tom Brokaw fights back against allegations of sexual misconduct and AM radio’s resurgence in Puerto Rico. From the Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

Maybe it’s time to retire the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? Michelle Wolf’s 15-minute act has many in our profession questioning the mission and purpose of the annual gala, and whether it’s time to put an end to it.

With two weeks to go before Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is scheduled to go to trial on felony invasion of privacy, his attorneys are asking a judge to prohibit testimony from the pivotal witness — the woman involved in an affair with him.

Greitens is accused of taking a nonconsensual photo of the woman while she was at least partially nude in 2015, before he was elected. His trial begins May 14 in St. Louis.

Commentary: Is The Blue Wave Really Coming?

Apr 30, 2018

Recently I was asked if I had difficulty finding topics for these commentaries.  I said: “You’re kidding, right?”  Politics in 2018, to quote General Norman Schwartzkopf from the 1991 Gulf War, is a “target-rich environment.”

One topic that fascinates me is the prediction of the Blue Wave coming in November – Democrats will take back the U.S. House and keep Senate losses to a minimum, or possibly even pick up a seat or two, including holding Claire McCaskill’s seat.  Evidence presented includes:

Sean Hannity is a commentator, not a journalist. But that still begs the question, did he owe it to viewers to disclose he’d discussed personal legal matters before it was revealed in open court? Also, coverage of the air strikes in Syria, James Comey’s first television interview, and what’s next for Governor Greitens. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

KBIA/file photo

The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that would beef up the state's open records law.


The proposal, passed Tuesday, would essentially give the attorney general's office subpoena power when investigating open records violations. Attorney General Josh Hawley has said his inability to subpoena witnesses tied his hands earlier this year when investigating Gov. Eric Greitens' office use of a message-destroying app. The bill would also increase penalties for violations. 

St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens' two nominees to the Missouri Ethics Commission said they did not promise anything to anybody in exchange for their nominations.

The governor nominated former Democratic state representative Wayne Henke and Republican retired financial analyst Bill Birkes to the ethics commission Friday. Concern that their nominations came at a price stemmed from Greitens' decision last year to stack the state Board of Education with people willing to fire the education commissioner.

House Investigative Report Details Governor's Aggressive Encounter

Apr 11, 2018

The woman who had an affair with Gov. Eric Greitens told House lawmakers that not all of their encounters were consensual and that the governor was sometimes violent.

The details were included in a graphic report released by a House investigative committee Wednesday. The committee did not recommend any specific action against Greitens, stating that doing so would be outside the scope of their duties. Among the options House lawmakers would have include calling for impeachment.

via Flickr Brian Solis

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared before Congress to answer questions about users’ privacy on the social media platform. At least one senator inquired as to why users don’t seem clear on how their data is collected and used. Could it lead to regulation?

Voters in the city of Ashland approved a half-cent sales tax increase Tuesday night that will fund stormwater and local park projects. Previously, the city had no source of revenue for such projects. But the growth of the city, seeing over a thousand new residents since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, strained the city budget.

Beatriz Costa Lima

Cheering at Teresa Maledy’s watch party may have only started after the final votes were counted, but the candidate had pulled ahead well before then.

“The campaign even though it’s been outside of my comfort-zone I’ve been overwhelmed with the type of support and really people who were enthusiastic about me running. So that feels great, and I want to make sure I work hard for them.”

Jamie Hobbs / KBIA

Greg Steinhoff celebrated with a few dozen supporters as he again won a seat on the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees. Steinhoff was a trustee on the hospital’s board from 1999 to 2005, and he says the hospital’s current situation is much different.