MOScout Weekender: Williams Out at OPC - Who Won the Week - Senate 34 Poll - Hallway Still Likes CMC and more...

Williams Out as OPC

In an announcement that surprised folks who follow utilities, Hampton Williams is out at the Office of Public Counsel.  The Department of Economic Development posted online yesterday that they had started a “search for a new director for its Office of Public Counsel. Marc Poston will serve as acting director until a candidate is selected…”

The reason for Williams’ exit is unknown.  Williams was a Greitens appointee, so it could be that Governor Mike Parson is reassessing staffing.


New CMC Ad

A new Claire McCaskill sounds almost unscripted as she responds to the attack ad against her husband’s wealth.

“Let’s talk about these false attacks… I was a single mom raising three children when I met my husband who had already built a very successful business before we’d even met.  For my opponent to attack me for marrying a wealthy man is outrageous…”

One Republican shakes his head as it seems like an unusual McCaskill slip-up: “You don't ever ever ever repeat an attack. You can say ‘I'm being unfairly attacked’ and look sympathetic. But to talk about being rich, your husband being wealthy and the fact that his business was already successful when you found him is something that precisely no voters can relate to…”


MOScout Weekly Poll: Senate 34

Survey conducted October 3 through October 4, 2018. 480 likely 2018 General Election voters participated in the survey. Survey weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2018 General Election. Margin of Error is +/-4.6%. Totals do not always equal 100% due to rounding. Survey conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of Missouri Scout.

Q: Candidates in the November 2018 General Election for State Senate are the Republican Tony Luetkemeyer and the Democrat Martin Rucker. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Tony Luetkemeyer: 49%

Martin Rucker: 44%

Undecided: 7%


See the full results here.

See a map of Senate 34’s 2016 results here.


What It Means

The poll is very good news for Luetkemeyer – and Republicans.  This district – along with Senate 22 – is one of their toughest defenses this cycle.

Poll hawks may quibble with the turnout assumptions of 60% of the vote coming from Platte County and a +8 GOP weighting.  We’ll see.


MOScout’s Hallway Index: US Senate Race Again

I asked the MOScout focus group of lobbyists and hallwayers to give me their read of the US Senate race.  I’d asked this five weeks ago so I was wondering if recent events had changed their perspective. It really hasn’t. (Whereas polls provide a snapshot of voters’ opinions, I think a survey of these individuals – immersed in politics – may yield a more insightful point of view.  We’ll seeeeee.)

Will Claire McCaskill win re-election?  28 responses….

Highly Likely: 3.5%

Somewhat Likely: 67.8%

Somewhat Unlikely: 21.4%

Highly Unlikely: 0%

No Opinion: 7.1%

Sample of comments

Highly Likely: If Kavanaugh is confirmed prior to the election, the motivation built up on the right will dissipate and she will be a lock.  If the Kavanaugh vote is delayed or he is voted down, the motivation will continue to close at that point it’s basically a coin-flip.  I think he gets confirmed, therefor she pulls it out.

Somewhat Likely: The more October is about sexual assault, the more this helps Claire. Helps with BOTH the base and the ever-swinging suburban moms.

Somewhat Unlikely: Still have yet to see a reason African American voters go vote this year.

Results from same question to same group of lobbyists one month ago

This week I asked: Will Claire McCaskill win re-election?  26 responses….

Highly Likely: 7.7%

Somewhat Likely: 65.4%

Somewhat Unlikely: 19.2%

Highly Unlikely: 7.7%

No Opinion: 0%


Who Won the Week?

Jason Kander – Kander’s candid admission will be remembered as a remarkable display of personal and political courage for years to come.

Kansas City lobbyists – In the words of one KC lobbyist: “After seeing Kander pick fights on twitter with senate leadership over issues that don't affect KCMO whatsoever, it wasn't going to be pretty if he were mayor… now we potentially could have a mayor that is respected by moleg and knows how to deal with moleg (Jolie Justus)”

Josh Hawley – The Kavanaugh hearings added a squirt of lighter fluid to the Republican base, brightening Hawley’s turnout model.  We’ll see if lasts another four weeks…

Tony Leutkemeyer – Makes peace with primary rival, gets a nice result from MOScout Weekly Poll…

Raise Up Missouri – Amazon announces it’s bumping up its lowest wage to $15/hour, making the campaign to raise Missouri’s to $12 by 2023 seem incredibly modest.

Amendment 2 and Prop D – Both continue to gain momentum and pick up endorsements….


Get the downloadable version here.



The Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed complaints against Dirk Deaton (Republican running in House 159) and Martin Rucker II (Democrat running in Senate 34).  See the Deaton letter here.  See the Rucker letter here.


Prop D rolled on this week gaining formal endorsements from big labor organizations.  Missouri AFL-CIO and the Missouri Teamsters both joined the coalition.  One MOScouter calls it “truly kum-ba-ya,” as labor joins with the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and local pro-business chambers backing the gas tax.


Help Wanted

Crown Castle seeks Manager Government Affairs.  “Crown Castle works around the country to build and maintain the infrastructure behind the world’s most revolutionary technologies. Crown Castle owns, operates and leases more than 40,000 cell towers and over 60,000 route miles of fiber supporting small cells and fiber solutions across every major US market… The Manager Government Affairs establishes, grows and leads local and state government relationships on behalf of all groups at Crown Castle, serving as the point-person for both municipal officials and internal teams. Working closely with our public affairs managers, sales teams and local real estate and permitting teams, this person navigates opportunities and hurdles to ensure the successful, timely buildout of Crown Castle’s communications infrastructure…”  See the ad here


Lobbyist Registrations

James Harris added Powell Gardens.

Megan McBride deleted Rockwood Asset Management, and Kiel Center Partners, L.P.

Mary Byrne deleted Cooper Governmental Services.

Barbara Bichelmeyer deleted University Of Missouri - Kansas City.


$5K+ Contributions

Friends of the St. Louis Zoo - $10,000 from Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 Political Education Fund.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $9,000 from Lincoln PAC.

The LOUpac - $10,000 from Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.

Vote for your Library - $10,000 from Commerce Bank.

Brush Fires PAC - $40,000 from American Federation for Children.

Committee To Elect Tom Van Camp 4th District - $50,000 from Marguerite Van Camp.

Safer Families for Missouri - $5,200 from Gori, Julian & Associates.

Safer Families for Missouri $12,200 from Strong Garner Bauer.

SafeMO.Com - $10,000 from AECOM.

MO-DSV PAC - $63,250 from Missouri Health Care Association.

Citizens to Protect Tax Revenues and Jobs - $20,000 from Penn National Gaming, Inc.

Citizens to Protect Tax Revenues and Jobs - $13,771 from Penn National Gaming, Inc.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $14,514 from theLOUpac.

Raise Up Missouri - $25,000 from The Union Labor Life Insurance Company.