Monday, December 19, 2016

St. Joe Lead Poisoning

This will be the story of the day… Reuters News Service investigates places in the United States where lead poisoning is as bad or worse than Flint Michigan… the dateline of the article says it’s being written from St. Joseph Missouri…. See it here.

Pull Quote:  St. Joseph, Missouri, is filled with old homes that for a century featured lead paint and plumbing. From 2010 to 2015, more than 15 percent of children tested in seven census tracts here had elevated lead levels – well beyond the Missouri average of 5 percent….

 

Greitens Transition

Post-Dispatch front page Sunday article about Governor-elect Eric Greitens’ pursuit of the “best and the brightest” for his administration.  See it here.

Among the tidbits:

General Counsel: “On Thursday, Greitens announced his first key appointment via the Associated Press, naming Kansas City attorney Lucinda Luetkemeyer as his top lawyer.”

For possible department head: “Among those likely under consideration is Sen. Brian Munzlinger, a 15-year member of the House and Senate who farms near Williamstown.”

Other bold-faced names… Rep. Jay Barnes, Catherine Chestnut (Greitens’ sister-in-law), Jennae Neustadt, Sarah Steelman, Rick Stream and Jeff Stuerman.

 

I think there’s more pressure on Greitens to wow everyone with his cabinet picks because his campaign was that government experience and knowledge didn’t matter; he would hire the right folks – someone who understands agriculture for example, a COO to handles the blocking and tackling of everyday governance.

 

One early name mentioned to be his chief of staff, Paul Eisenstein who worked at Mission Continues, is now apparently a no-go.  It’s unclear if Eisenstein decided it wasn’t a move he wanted to make, or what happened, but it was likely another set-back that has slowed down the process.

 

Greitens for EITC

At the St. Louis Regional Chamber’s public policy meeting last week, they expressed confidence that Governor-elect Eric Greitens is favorable to the a state earned income tax credit.

Sen-elect Caleb Rowden has pre-filed a bill for it.  See it here.

 

Different KS/MO Border War

One old adage is that generals tend to prepare to fight the last war instead of the next war.  One wonder if the politicians in Kansas and Missouri are doing the same thing in their economic war, focusing too much on tax policy – a hallmark of the 1980s – instead of labor policy.

Could it be that the Kansas tax cuts are doing long-term damage to that state’s ability to compete by leading to educational disinvestment?

In general, most businesses locate near the source of their products inputs (capital, labor, materials) or near their products’ market.

If you having trouble finding (or recruiting) the workers you need to make your product at your current location, you will consider moving to fulfill that need.

The State of St. Louis Workforce 2016 report makes the case that a labor shortage is real in Missouri.

"As they did in 2015, employers responding to the survey report that a shortage of workers with knowledge and skills is their most significant barrier to expanding employment. About half of employers reported this barrier for 2016….  For 2016, one-third more employers reported a shortage of workers as a barrier than economic conditions and nearly twice as many employers reported shortage of workers as compared to government policies…”

 

Thought on Dems Rebuilding

From Politico Magazine (see it here):

Thrush: Guy, you’ve seen an awful lot of polling, and you were active in Senate races. In 2006, I remember, it was the STEM cell issue at Claire McCaskill’s Senate race in Missouri was used to sort of wedge the white working class away from the more educated whites. It didn’t seem like Democrats had an issue set this time. They were stuck with personalities because they didn’t have issues.

 

Frank: A lot of the really hardcore culture warriors—you’re not going to be able to win over. But a lot of the lesser committed people are just looking for a party. For the people who live in those areas and vote for Republicans, the culture wars are all they know of about politics because that’s what they hear on the radio all of the time, and that’s what the newspapers talk about all the time. There’s a lot of these people that could easily be won back to the Democratic Party and, by the way, not by the Democratic Party denying the theory of evolution or siding with the NRA or something like that, but offering them a competing message that has to do with economics, appealing to them on their class interests.

And this is what the Democratic Party obviously used to do. This is not even hard to look up. This is very recent. You look at a place like Missouri. I grew up in Kansas City. And when I was a kid, Missouri was a very Democratic state. Harry Truman is from Missouri. Dick Gephardt is from Missouri. But you look at the map now, and Trump took every county except for St. Louis, Kansas City and the college town, Columbia. And it is a wipeout for Democrats out there. You go to these small towns, and there is no Democratic presence in these places.

 

Frank: Oh, can I give you an idea?

 

Thrush: Yeah.

 

Frank: Small towns, all over America, boarded up, the businesses are all gone, the kids leave as soon as they can, the family farms are dying. OK, what do you do about that? Well, one thing that’s really easy is antitrust. You know, you start going after the agricultural monopolies. Every farmer I’ve ever met knows about these companies, and is furious about them. And those people—I mean, this is a very Republican cohort now—but, you know, you start talking about their one obsessive concern, and you might be able to win some of them over. You start going after Walmart, which has destroyed the businesses in every small town in America. Do you remember when Barack Obama won Iowa over Hillary Clinton in 2008? It was a big surprise, a big shocker. And the way, he did it was by promising to use the antitrust laws against agricultural monopolies, or that was one of the things that he said.

 

Polling on Climate Change

Could climate change be a wedge issue of the future?

MOScout reader: I just got a robo survey call on my home hardline (an anachronism to some) from Public Policy Polling. Missouri poll includes lots on climate change and whether politicians would be viewed unfavorably/favorably if they have doubts about climate change…

 

Willard Trumping Full Time?

Word is that Sen. Ryan Silvey is looking to fill his chief of staff position because it’s expected that his current topper, Aaron Willard, will be joining the Trump team full-time.  Willard ran Trump’s Missouri operations.

 

Roe Goes Trump on Twitter

Jeff Roe, perhaps auditioning for a role in the Trump White House, does a little Twitter punching at former KCStar-er Yael Abouhalkah.

‏@jeffroe: While originally disappointed in your firing because it hurt the @KCStar; your partisan drivel and myopic blather proves them right daily.

‏@jeffroe: Note to potential employers; being a gifted writer doesn't make you a journalist. Don't let this claptrap artist back on the public square.

 

VA Rule Removed

Months ago, I wrote about on the grassroots campaign the Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists were running to oppose a pending Department of Veterans Affairs rule that would have created independent practice for nurse anesthetists and remove physician anesthesiologists from VA hospitals. The VA recently announced they have removed that provision from the final rule, signaling a big win for anesthesiologists in Missouri and the rest of the country. The Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists state component of the American Society of Anesthesiologists finished fourth in the country in total comments submitted to the VA.

See the press release here.

 

Nixon Sprints for Finish

Late last week Governor Jay Nixon made some announcements, showing he’s going to use every one of his final days in office.  He made commission appointments: Benjamin Becerra and Randee Kaiser to Missouri Sheriff Methamphetamine Relief Taskforce; Kevin Murphy to Petroleum Storage Tank Insurance Fund Board of Trustees; Sarah Mullen to St. Charles County Convention & Sports Facilities Authority; and Jason Hall and James Heeter to Missouri Technology Corporation.

And he announced the addition of three new state parks: Eleven Point State Park in Oregon County, Bryant Creek State Park in Douglas County, and Ozark Mountain State Park in Taney County.

 

Martin Sells and Fights

The latest Ed Martin email blast alternates between hawking a new book and attacking the Eagle dissidents…

Exciting news!  Phyllis actually will publish one more book in 2016.  It's called Phyllis Speaks: Her Favorite Speeches.  That's a photo of the book far below.  It's some of Phyllis' best speeches - ones she picked out – as well as a few bonus texts including the eulogy at Phyllis' funeral and remembrances of Phyllis by her sons John and Andy.

You will love this book and I want you to pre-order this book!  The only way to do this - before it hits Amazon.com - is by emailing me.  We have only 100 first run copies of the book so hurry up!

 

By the way, don't be distracted by Eunie Smith or Mrs. Anne Cori - they are suing us and trying to use the litigation to sound like they are in charge.  Phyllis asked them to stop wasting time and money on lawsuits. They have so far refused.

Pre-order the book!

All the best.

 

New Tax Credits

$170,525 in Affordable Housing credits to Drumm Center for Children Inc in Senate 11 / House 29.

$148,092 in Affordable Housing credits to Great Circle in Senate 1 / House 83.

$129,187 in Affordable Housing credits to Council Apartments II in Senate 14 / House 87.

$5,363 in Affordable Housing credits to St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity in Senate 34 / House 9.

$550 in Affordable Housing credits to Truman Heritage Habitat for Humanity in Senate 11 / House 21.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Jeffrey Aboussie added SC STL.

Korb Maxwell II added Opus Development Company LLC, Linwood Boulevard Development LLC, Aparium Hotel Group, Passover Properties LLC, Hardage Hotels I LLC.

Roxsen Koch added Wise LLC/WillCo Technologies.

Peter Levi deleted The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Tom Carter deleted Carter Consulting LLC.

 

$5K+ Contributions

UAW Region 5 Midwest States Political Action Committee PAC MO - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.

Early Childhood Education Initiative - $53,887 from RAI Services Company.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep-elect Nick Schroer, Greg Porter, and Josh Haynes.