Handful of Missouri legislative races will determine fate of GOP super majorities

BY: - October 29, 2020

First things first, there’s one thing that’s absolutely certain: Missouri Republicans are in no danger of losing their legislative majorities. When the 101st Missouri General Assembly convenes in January, the GOP will still dominate both the House and Senate. But the outcome of Tuesday’s legislative elections around the state could still have long-lasting consequences. If […]

Missouri redistricting vote opens door to an experiment, regardless of outcome

BY: - October 28, 2020

State governments are unique political bodies that allow for experimentation in how rules and laws affect political outputs.   As Justice Louis Brandies pointed out – states are laboratories of democracy. State governments have broad jurisdiction to “tweak” institutional rules and laws. Through this system of government, we can observe the aftermath of experimentation. Because experimentation […]

The Missouri House floor for the 2019 State of the State address.

Missouri Politics in 2020: How did we get here?

BY: - October 26, 2020

I sat down to write this on the 20th anniversary of Gov. Mel Carnahan’s tragic plane crash. Much has changed for me since then, but far more has changed in Missouri politics. Twenty years ago, I’d just come off my first real campaign gig, a failed effort to elect Missouri native Bill Bradley to the […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Capitol Perspectives: The better angels of our nature

BY: - October 23, 2020

Before proceeding with this column, I want you to think about what you’ve read, seen or heard from the candidates running for state office during this campaign season. How often have you heard detailed proposals to deal with the major issues facing our state like COVID-19 including steps to reduce infection, addressing complications of reopening […]

Missouri teachers work two jobs for the price of one

BY: - October 22, 2020

Two minutes into our interview, I counted five yawns as the young teacher from southwest Missouri caught herself and apologetically assured me that my questions weren’t dull. “I just feel like I am working all the time,” she added. “I don’t know how I am going to keep doing this the rest of the year.” […]

Remembering former Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, 20 years after his sudden death

BY: - October 21, 2020

Today many young people are casting their first votes with no living memory of Missouri’s 2000 general election. But it’s worth remembering for an outcome unprecedented in American history: A deceased man was elected United States senator. More importantly, though, it’s worth remembering because of the man elected that night back in November 2000: two-term […]

Exterior Missouri State Capitol building

Introducing The Missouri Independent: ‘Detectives for the people’

BY: - October 20, 2020

Legendary New York muckraker Wayne Barrett was once asked to explain to his son’s elementary school what it meant to be an investigative journalist. He quipped, “We are detectives for the people.” That line always stuck with me. Look: I’ve been a journalist my entire adult life, from my stint covering county government for an […]