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Politically Speaking: Sen. Sifton on why he should get a second term in the 1st Senatorial District

Scott Sifton
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Sen. Scott Sifton to the show for the fourth time.

The Affton Democrat is squaring off against Republican Randy Jotte to represent the St. Louis County-based 1st Senatorial District. Jotte recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that you can listen to here.

Sifton is an attorney and former member of the Affton School Board. After an unsuccessful bid for the Missouri House in 2002, Sifton won an open seat in 2010 in a year that wasn’t kind to Missouri Democrats. Two years later, Sifton narrowly defeated incumbent Sen. Jim Lembke in one of the most competitive legislative races in the state.

Since joining the state Senate in 2013, Sifton has at times been a strong voice against the GOP majority. He’s participated in filibusters against major pieces of legislation, including “right to work” and a constitutional amendment allowing certain businesses to deny services to same-sex couples. He’s also been able to get some proposals across the finish line, either through standalone bills or amendments.

Celebrating a milestone

Before we get to the bullet points, we have a fun announcement: This is the 200th episode of Politically Speaking that features a guest. And to celebrate, we’re giving away St. Louis Public Radio swag.

But you’re going to have to work for it. 

These fabulous prizes are up for grabs for the winners of the Politically Speaking quiz!
Credit Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
These fabulous prizes are up for grabs for the winners of the Politically Speaking quiz!

We’ve put together a 25-question quiz about Politically Speaking that you can take by clicking this link. It’s difficult on purpose: There are questions about the show’s guests, funny moments and, yes, the bumper music.

Here are the rules:

  • The three people with the highest scores will get to choose from a St. Louis Public Radio tote bag, mug and blanket. The person with the highest score gets the first choice, the second highest score gets second choice, and third highest score gets third choice.
  • In the quiz, we’ll ask you to fill out your email address so we can contact you if you win (don’t worry, we are not going to collect your email for any sort of solicitations). Please don’t take the quiz more than once with multiple email addresses. If you do and we find out, we will disqualify you from winning anything.
  • If there are more than three people with the highest score, we will choose the top three winners at random out of a hat. We’ll use a similar process if there’s a two or three way tie for first, second or third.
  • You have until 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, to take the quiz. We’ll announce the winners the following week.

On to what Sifton had to say during the show:

  • When he lost his first bid for the Missouri House in 2002, Sifton said he learned a lot about the “blocking and tackling” of going door-to-door and getting in touch with constituents. “It also helps to inform your own views,” Sifton said. “Over the time that I’ve been involved, my views are considerably … better informed today than they were at that time. And that’s because I’ve had thousands of conversations with thousands of people over the time I’ve been involved.”
  • He says it’s a mistake for Democrats to try to filibuster bills during veto session. Republicans used a filibuster-squashing maneuver during this past veto sessions to override a photo identification implementation bill and a multi-faceted gun bill. “I don’t think veto session is the place for dying on the sword,” he said.
  • Sifton expects his race against Jotte to be very close. He said nobody has won more than 51 percent of the vote in the 1st District since 2000.
  • He said that the outcome of the 1st District race could have a big impact on whether “right to work” becomes law in Missouri. That’s because if he loses, there may be enough votes in the Senate to override a potential veto.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Scott Sifton on Twitter: @scottsifton

Music: “I’ll Believe in Anything” by Wolf Parade

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.