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Politically Speaking: Comptroller Green On Money Matters, Power Plays And Political Possibilities

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics. 

St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green joins the podcast this week. Green is the city's chief fiscal officer and one of the longest-serving comptrollers in modern history.

Green discussed her unlikely transition into electoral politics (which Mannies detailed in a 2011 profile), her relationship with Mayor Francis Slay and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed as well as some initiatives she’s launched recently. She also talked at length about her role as vice chair of the Missouri Democratic Party – and efforts to recruit African-American candidates to run for statewide office.

During the show, Green said:

  • Even though Green “never thought” that she “would ever be an elected official,” she was “well prepared” to step in the comptroller’s office. She was appointed to her position after Virvus Jones stepped down in 1995 and has been re-elected ever since.
  • She’s not an “automatic” vote on the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, the board where most of the city’s major financial decision are made. Green serves on that board with Slay and Reed.
  • She’s not keen on giving either the mayor or the aldermanic president more power. “When any one of the three of us say they want more power, they’re going to take some of that power from the taxpayers,” she said. “And I think, of course, that’s not fair.”
  • She’s been asked several times to run for state auditor over the years, but she has no plans to run for statewide office. (Rosenbaum mentioned Green as a potential auditor candidate in January).
  • She said she was one of the first people that Attorney General Chris Koster called about his gubernatorial ambitions. Green says this illustrates Koster’s willingness to build electoral bridges in the urban areas of the state.  

Follow Chris McDaniel on Twitter@csmcdaniel

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter@jmannies

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter@jrosenbaum

Follow Darlene Green on Twitter: @stlcomptroller

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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