Schmitt for AG?
The governor’s office sent out an advisory yesterday afternoon that they’d be announcing the new attorney general this morning at 9:45AM. The strong consensus among political observers is that Treasurer Eric Schmitt will get the nod.
In Missouri political history all of the statewide offices have been used as stepping stones to higher office. However, the AG’s office has clear advantages over the others. For Schmitt, the elevation will yield…
· A higher national profile. State attorney generals generate headlines, and have garner corporate interest at a level exponentially higher than state treasurers.
· An expanded donor pool. With the national profile, comes new networking and fundraising opportunities.
· An office that can build a resume of achievement. Instead of pushing a press release about the latest linked deposit rate, you command an army of attorneys, and wrestle with titans accused of wrong-doing.
All of these new advantages will help Schmitt when he’s ready to make his new move.
Because of these advantages, there must be some wariness on the part of 2024 Republican gubernatorial aspirants that Schmitt’s been gifted a higher platform. But perhaps there’s been some understanding that Schmitt will hold the AG’s office (which is not term-limited) until US Senator Roy Blunt retires, and leave LG Mike Kehoe and SOS Jay Ashcroft to figure out the gov’s mansion.
And Treasurer Announcement Too?
Rumors are that Parson will also announce Schmitt’s replacement at Treasurer. If true, that’s a fast-moving second floor.
Names in the mix for treasurer are all women. The GOP appears to realize that a statewide slate of white men, mostly not elected to the position that they occupy could create some vulnerabilities.
Who folks are talking about: Bev Randles (Parson’s 2016 primary opponent), Brenda Talent (currently head of the Show-Me Institute), and Sen. Jeanie Riddle.
Randles and Talent are both Team Rex. Randles served on Sinquefield’s Missouri Club for Growth, and Sinquefield contributed an astoundingly large amount to her losing LG bid. Talent’s Show-Me Institute is a Sinquefield creation, and still funded by him.
Talking to a lobbyist about possible treasurers and their qualifications, the deadpan reply was: “It’s treasurer. You don’t do anything.”
What It Means
Schmitt is an Axiom Strategies client. His appointment should reduce the chances of a Roe-back primary candidate. Sinquefield is one of the triumvirate (with Humphreys and Herzog) of heavy GOP donors who could fund a big IE.
It appears, then, that Governor Mike Parson – assuming these rumors are true (we’ll find out in a few hours) – will have largely made peace with the various Republican factions that could have complicate his 2020 re-election.
Former Sen. Jane Cunningham knows how to hold a grudge. See it here.
Who Will Be The New Renegades?
The new legislative session is only about seven weeks away. In recent times, the Senate’s supermajority has spawned sporadic renegade factions. These groups, when effective, can gum up the body’s workings and minimize the number of bills passed.
The chief trouble-maker of the last few sessions was Sen. Rob Schaaf. He’s term-limited and will be replaced by Sen-elect Tony Luetkemeyer.
I asked around to get a guess for who the new renegades of the Senate might be.
Folks generally don’t see a cohesive group such as was organized under the Silvey-Holsman umbrella. Instead it will be the staunchly ideological conservatives coalescing around specific issues. Sens. Bill Eigel and Denny Hoskin may take lead roles, joined at times by Sen. Bob Onder.
The wildcards are the incoming freshmen. The guess is that Sen-elect Eric Burlison will act similar to Sens. Andrew Koenig and Ed Emery. Those senators, while willing to voice their displeasure, rarely engaged in filibusters. This may also be true of Sen-elects. Cindy O’Laughlin and Bill White. The group dynamics are hard to forecast, though interestingly no one mentioned Luetkemeyer, or Sen-elect Justin Brown as possible members of the renegade group.
The Missouri Ethics Commission fined Levi Weaver, mayor of Greenwood (Lee’s Summit), $9,587 for various violations. See it here.
Elad Gross, the plucky lawyer who sued Greitens’ dark money operation, announced yesterday that he’d be running for attorney general as a Democrat. See his website here.
Paul Fehler, committeeman in St. Louis City, has created some interesting maps of the 2016 House elections. See some images here.
The mighty Jason Rosenbaum interview Sen-elect Cindy O’Laughlin. Listen to it here.
SaferMO.Com - $10,000 from Express Scripts.
2018 Ballot Fund - $45,000 from MOVE Action.
House Victory Committee - $10,000 from Citizens for Crystal Quade.
Happy birthdays to Steve Hoven, J.C. Kuessner, Jack Jackson, and Melissa Panettiere.