Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Follow-up on Ethics

From a lobbyist: a few more ideas on things missing from ethics bills so far…

  1. Strict controls on how campaign dollars are spent (it does no good to require transparency on lobbyist gifts if they can be reimbursed with campaign dollars from the same lobbyist).
  2. Prohibition on political consulting from legislative staff (this is unheard of anywhere else in America - staff are not independent of their bosses. Do one job or the other, it is a clear conflict of interest to do both - and working for your boss's campaign is usually just a way to get the public to pay for campaign work)


Dems Get Primaries

It looks like a couple of St. Louis County Dems will see primary challengers this August.  Filing committees to run for House as Democrats recently are Rachel Johns in House 76 where Rep. Josh Peters is the incumbent, and Dan Wibracht in House 73 where Rep. Courtney Curtis is the incumbent.

Curtis was expected to get a primary after he strayed from the Democratic caucus on right to work.  Wibracht – see his Facebook page here – appears to be a strong union supporter.

Curtis’ cash on-hand as of the last quarter was $1,819.

In House 76, Peters survived a serious challenge from the Carter family last cycle, winning 55% to 45%. Peters’ cash on-hand last quarter was $8,744.

Johns’ Twitter (here) and Facebook (here). According to her bio she’s “a resident of the Walnut Park East neighborhood in the city of Saint Louis, Missouri, where she serves as Recording Secretary and Webmaster for the neighborhood association. Johns is a member of New NorthSide Missionary Baptist Church in the North Pointe neighborhood of St. Louis City. She is also a Lifetime Member of the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery.”


One observer thinks that Congressman Lacy Clay wants high turnout for his primary with Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal and therefore will be pleased with the prospect of some spirited down-ballot primaries.


MO Supreme Court Strikes Down Targeted Bill

The Missouri Supreme Court struck down a law as unconstitutional aimed at the City of De Soto.  See it here.  The Court found that the law was in violation of the state’s constitutional prohibition against special laws (Article III, Section 40).  See the ruling here.

Maybe some lawyer can tell me why this ruling doesn’t suddenly jeopardize every bill which targets the City of St. Louis or other municipality. This seems to be the usual mode of operations in Local Government Committees.


Rams to LA

News came down yesterday that the NFL owners had voted to approve the plans of their fellow owner Stan Kroenke to move the Rams football team to Los Angeles.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

Meanwhile civvies had already pivoted to the next ecodevo deal… retaining the National Geospatial Agency to St. Louis.  (There’s a White House petition on it.  See it here.)


Nixon Statement

“Tonight's decision is disappointing, and a clear deviation from the NFL's guidelines.  It is troubling that the league would allow for the relocation of a team when a home market has worked in good faith and presented a strong and viable proposal. This sets a terrible precedent not only for St. Louis, but for all communities that have loyally supported their NFL franchises…We will review the NFL's decision thoroughly before determining what next steps to take. In particular, we are interested in their justification for departing so significantly from the NFL's guidelines…”



On Facebook, St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council’s Executive Secretary Jeff Aboussie reacted: “My loyalty is not to the Rams who left, but for the jobless people they left behind. Thx to all who took tickets at the gate, who served our food, kept the facilities clean. You are who we will miss the most!”


Schmitt Takes On Taxation By Fining – Part II

It’s hearing day for Sen. Eric Schmitt’s follow-on legislation to last year’s bill capping the amount of revenue a municipality can take in through traffic tickets and fines.  This year, Schmitt aims to expand the types of fines limited in response to reports that municipalities were now aggressively enforcing various fines to make up for the lost revenue.

The bill (SB 572) will be heard in the Economic Development Committee which Schmitt chairs at 1PM in the Senate Lounge.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Taste of Jefferson Reception – Capitol Plaza – 4:30PM.

MDA’s Legislative Day (Rotunda) and Reception – Revel – 6PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Brad Bates added Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Richard McIntosh, David McCracken, Shantel Smith and Zach Brunnert added Neurologix Technologies Inc.

Franc Flotron and David McCracken added Great Circle.

Charles Patrick McLarney added The Missouri Courts, Journey for New Life, and Legal Aid of Western Missouri.

Charles Ballard added Agape Boarding School.

Thomas Robbins added Strategic Capitol Consulting LLC.

Phebe La Mar added Smith Lewis LLP

Christopher Molendorp added Dentons US LLP.

Jennifer Carter Dochler added Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Andrew Blunt deleted Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from A-T International Consultants, LLC.

Shelter Insurance Missouri PAC - $20,000 from Shelter Mutual Insurance Company.

Missourians for John Brunner - $10,000 from Positronic Industries Inc.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $100,000 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Koster for Missouri - $25,000 from Callahan for Missouri.



Happy birthday to Jeffrey Boyd.