Best of the Beacon, for week of July 9
We at the Beacon hope that you take a look at us every day, but we also know that that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we'll be highlighting some of the top stories of the week. Here are Beacon must-reads from the week of July 9.
"Show me the money" just might be the unofficial slogan for Missouri political campaigns -- by candidates, parties and PACs. Since 2008, donors have been able to contribute as much money as they want to them. Here are the top 10 biggest donors from 2008 and 2010. (Click here for the Power Players app.)
Sorting out campaign contributions is harder than it might seem. Here's how we did it for the Power Players project -- and why it's not so easy for voters to figure out.
Ballot initiatives are often viewed as democracy at work -- changing public policy at the grassroots level. But in reality, the support, especially the financial backing, for these statutory changes or constitutional amendments is anything but broad.
A former Republican EPA chief once wondered, “Why is EPA now the agency everyone loves to hate?” Environmentalists praise the agency, but U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt calls EPA administrator Lisa Jackson the “worst ever” and the GOP-led House takes aim at EPA regulations.
Countdown to August primary
Once again, a crowded field of Republican contests -- and a handful of Democratic ones -- are the marquee battles on Missouri's Aug. 7 primary. Absentee voting already has begun, but there's still time to register to vote.
U.S. Reps. William Lacy Clay Jr. and Russ Carnahan, both St. Louis Democrats, are ramping up their attacks and rhetoric as they battle it out in the Aug. 7 primary to see who remains in Congress. Redistricting tossed them into the same 1st District.
Missouri’s GOP contest for the U.S. Senate is shifting into attack-ad mode, as the three major candidates -- Todd Akin, Sarah Steelman and John Brunner -- pull out the stops to appeal to key voters who will determine the outcome of the primary. The attacks have gotten particularly sharp between Brunner and Steelman, which could create an opening for Akin.
She has a dream
Tony and Grammy Award-winner Jennifer Holliday’s been on top. She’s hit bottom. And she’s come back. Who can’t identify with that? Next Monday, Holliday brings her signature "And I Am Telling You" to the Muny stage in "Dreamgirls."
A similar event three years ago held by NACA, a Boston-based nonprofit, drew 40,000 people but raised questions about how many homeowners were helped. Local housing activists said that homeowners should be cautious about claims made in the current NACA flyer and stressed that free foreclosure counseling is available through local nonprofits.
In a letter published by a Columbia newspaper, Mel George, who twice served as interim president of the four-campus University of Missouri System, said questions about the relative importance of athletics vs. academics deserve careful thought.
It's a bad combination: higher tuition, fewer jobs for lawyers and lower salaries for those who do find work in the legal profession. In his new book, Washington U. professor Brian Tamanaha studies the issues and recommends possible changes.
While traveling down Forest Park Ave. or South Grand, people may have noticed something missing from the saucer-shaped Del Taco building: everything but the roof. The building is being gutted to make way for two tenants: a Starbucks coffee-shop with a drive-thru, and a Chipotle restaurant.