The time between Christmas and New Years is a strange lull for Missouri politicos where to-do lists seem impossible to complete, but time is randomly and unsatisfyingly available. To fill the lull in your holidays, we suggest watching ten of the most notable episodes of This Week in Missouri Politics since the show’s start two years ago.
1. Episode 1 of This Week in Missouri Politics
Sen. Eric Schmitt was the featured guest on the premiere episode of This Week in Missouri Politics. Years away from the Nov. 8, 2016 election, it encapsulates the reason he became State Treasurer-elect Eric Schmitt for the state of Missouri. The St. Louis County Republican has conservative principles of limited government, and his focus on municipal reform in the city’s many small cities, entailing an end to taxation by citation and debtor’s prisons in the wake of the Ferguson unrest, typifies the Republican fight against abusive government. Although many commentators believe Schmitt had his eyes on the Governor’s office someday, Republicans can tout him as a champion of the party and a fighter for the state in whatever position he pursues.
2. Gov. Jay Nixon sits down with Scott Faughn
Just a few days after the Nov. 8 election that severely damaged his party in Missouri, Gov. Jay Nixon stopped by This Week in Missouri Politics to discuss how he managed to be so successful in state politics throughout his years as a state senator, attorney general, and, finally, governor. He also talked about his status and years of experience as one of the state’s longest serving public servants in an insightful interview that highlighted exactly what Missourians will remember about the man and what he accomplished for Missouri over the last three decades.
3. Gov.-elect Eric Greitens visit to the show
Gov.-elect Eric Greitens’ appearance on This Week in Missouri Politics highlights just how far he came this year from a political unknown to becoming the next governor of the state. In a field stacked with big political names like former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, it was Greitens who won the primary and went on to challenge and usurp Attorney General Chris Koster, considered a sure thing for governor by most observers. His appearance on TWMP highlights his life story and simple, straightforward message that propelled him to become the state’s chief executive.
4. This Week in Missouri Politics comes to Kansas City
Breaking into the Kansas City market has always been a big aspiration for This Week in Missouri Politics, and the show had a great first filming in the city to demonstrate its commitment to the state’s western city. Majority Floor Leader Mike Cierpiot stopped by to offer premonitions about Republican success 10 days before the election and a host of Kansas City-area legislators, like state Sen.-elect John Rizzo and outgoing Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, sat on the panel. Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer stood out for promoting Greitens’ attacks on Koster’s ties to Medicaid expansion.
5. Speaker Todd Richardson talks about his legislative priorities at the outset of his first legislative session in the position
House Speaker Todd Richardson sat down on the show all the way back in January to discuss the upcoming legislative session. The Poplar Bluff legislator would face his first full legislative session as speaker. Richardson’s interview stands out because it shows how much can change in a year; his laser focus on ethics reform and fight against funding for an NFL stadium has changed dramatically at the outset of a new session where labor and tort reform shows just how much can change in a year.
6. This Week in Missouri Politics gets a new venue
Getting new digs is always an exciting experience. This Week in Missouri Politics broke in a new studio on Aug. 23, 2015 when we welcomed friends of the show Jeff Mazur, Joe Lakin, Sarah Martin and former Speaker Steve Tilley to our new digs. The upgraded look of the studio has helped TWMP become a prominent Sunday morning talk show for across the state.
7. Attorney General Chris Koster comes to TWMP
Attorney General Chris Koster’s first appearance on This Week in Missouri Politics came just over a year ago as he talked about his work fighting for Environmental Protection Agency over the West Lake Landfill crisis and his own work in the fight against abusive municipal governments. Although Koster lost his bid for governor, his appearance reaffirms how good public servants and strong government, even when it is unpopular, can be a benefit to the state.
8. Rep. Don Gosen’s apology and his start at redemption
For a few days in February, Rep. Don Gosen’s resignation from the General Assembly and quick publicization of the legislator’s affair was a quick, yet confusing meal for ethics enthusiasts. However, his appearance on This Week gave a glimpse at the humanity in someone who wanted to rectify their mistakes and shared a glimpse at the unique pressures and challenges presented to those who work in Jefferson City. Gosen has since pivoted to a role of party elder in St. Louis County republican politics.
9. Secretary of State Jason Kander’s 2015 appearance
Secretary of State Jason Kander saw his national profile go through the roof during his unsuccessful race for Sen. Roy Blunt’s U.S. Senate seat. When he sat down on This Week in Missouri Politics, it was easy to see why he performed the best of all the Democratic statewide nominees. His background in the military, opposition to President Barack Obama’s Iran deal and his willingness to attack Washington made him a popular figure and could serve him well as he continues to gain buzz.
10. The Barklage Rule
Just before Stan Kroenke picked up his NFL franchise and left for Los Angeles, a long panel discussion about the possibility of the Rams staying in St. Louis was highlighted by David Barklage earning the show’s first edit for foul language in what was a perfect descriptor of Kroenke. A year later, Kroenke’s football team looks worse than ever and Barklage’s proclamation helped deliver that karmic justice to a man who went out of his way to malign and embarrass the city of St. Louis and its citizens after they gave him more than he deserved.