Sorry running late today, had to clear the snow from the driveway before making it to the office…. OK OK I don’t have a driveway or an office, but still it’s that kind of a day…
Driving the Day
It’s C-Day for Capitol renovations, as the big statute of Ceres on the top of the building will be temporarily removed today.
Green to Luetky
Brad Green will be Tony Luetkemeyer’s chief of staff this session. Green, though still young, is already a veteran of the capitol with stints including MOChamber, and the second floor. He brings a strong policy background on tort and health care, and a lot of relationships to Luetkemeyer.
Here’s the list of how new senators are staffing up…
Lauren Arthur: Kyle Olmstead (former House staffer).
Mike Bernskoetter: Joe Engler (former staffer for Rob Vescovo).
Justin Brown: Jared Brown (chief of staff to Dan Brown; Jared is no relation to the Sen. Browns).
Eric Burlison: Ryan Clearwater (former legislative assistant for Paul Curtman).
Sandy Crawford: Barb Mustoe (former COS for Jay Wasson).
Lincoln Hough: Pat Thomas (former COS for Brian Munzlinger).
Tony Luetkemeyer: Brad Green.
Cindy O’Laughlin: Paul Curtman (termed state rep).
Karla May: Ruby Bonner (former director for St. Louis Civil Rights Enforcement agency).
Bill White: Mike Kelley (termed state rep).
Brian Williams: Robert Arbuthnot (in-district financial/accounting professional).
There have been rumors at various times about former Sen. Jim Lembke (who most recently staffed Rob Schaaf). However it doesn’t appear that he has found a senate home yet. Lembke registered as a lobbyist 2013-2014, so perhaps he may return to that…
More Treasurer Names
Tomorrow I’ll do a run-down of all the names in the mix. But for right now, here are two more names that could be possible (or at least intriguing) replacements for Eric Schmitt.
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler – Perhaps with the prospect of life in the minority party looming, she’s imagining DC won’t be that exciting and would consider moving back to Missouri.
Sen. Sandy Crawford – She’d be giving up her Senate career, but she has financial expertise and the trust of the governor.
Pickel Gets ATT Job
Chris Pickel is the new Craig Unruh. Unruh led AT&T’s state legislative affairs for several years before being promoted a few months ago to president of AT&T’s state operations.
Pickel has served as AT&T’s Regional Director, handling governmental and external affairs in the St Louis region for a number of years. He’s getting promoted to the state level, so we’ll be seeing him under the dome in the months to come.
Rebranding KC Health
Yesterday, the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City announced it’s rebranding as the Health Forward Foundation in order to keep their focus where it belongs: on the promise of a healthier tomorrow for those most in need. Health Forward Foundation is by represented by Sam Panettiere and Katie Gamble of Gamble & Schlemeier. See the name-change reflected in lobbyist registrations (below).
The Next Round of IPs
Rep. Peter Merideth on Facebook started a discussion about next cycle’s initiative petitions. Democrats used the process with strong results this cycle, rewriting the redistricting process, and raising the minimum wage. What’s next?....
A lot of Dems and progressive minded folks are talking about a plan for ballot initiatives for 2020, especially after watching the results of this election cycle.
QUESTION: what are the top pieces of legislation you’d want to see on the ballot in 2020?
I’ll start with a few (feedback welcome):
1. Medicaid Expansion. (Consider adding to this a buy-in option for all Missouri citizens that want to choose Medicaid as their insurer - paid at cost. Essentially let MoHealthNet compete on the private marketplace.)
2. Voters’ Bill of Rights. Include early voting, mailed sample ballot with resources for more info to every voter, automatic voter registration. How about onljne signature gathering for ballot initiatives? Others ideas?
3. Common Sense Gun Laws. Universal Background Checks (closing the loopholes); Repeal Permitless Carry; anything else a little crazier like insurance requirements for owners of certain guns with liability for their misuse?
4. Legalize Recreational Marijuana.
5. Prohibit the use of cash bail and replace with a risk assessment.
6. Progressive income tax structure. (Yep, I’m getting crazy over here....)
7. Universal Basic Income (if we want to get really bold and can come up with a way to pay for it)...
What It Means
Republican operative eyes will bulge and mouths will start to salivate as they think about messaging the socialistic Dems who want a “universal basic income.” However Dems look at the election results as validation that Missourians share their views on economic issues. As long as they keep it mainstream, there’s no reason they shouldn’t have similar success in 2020.
There’s a growing sense that candidate elections (unlike policy questions) are being driven more and more by identity politics. Axios had this map in this morning’s email. It shows Missouri beat red in the 2020 electoral college map. The demographic changes which are helping Dems in other parts of the country are happening a lot slower here.
eMailbag: Key to MO GOP Victory?
One name that rarely came up during the general election – Eric Greitens. Would the outcome of legislative races and US Senate been different if he had tried to hang on, with more investigations and forcing an impeachment attempt, dividing the GOP? House leaders and Dem prosecutors potentially saved a load of trouble for GOP candidates and a real distraction for voters by pushing him out earlier rather than later.
Bill Gamble, Cynthia Gamble, Kathryn Gamble, Jeff Brooks, David Jackson, Sarah Schlemeier, Jorgen Schlemeier, Sarah Topp, and Salvatore Panettiere added Health Forward Foundation; and deleted Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
Steven Tilley and Thomas Robbins added Cole County, Misosuri Association of License Offices, Globe Building Company, and MyScholar LLC.
David Sweeney added GCFG LC.
Unite. Inspire. Lead was formed. It’s a PAC. Its treasurer is Deeann Aull. It’s deputy treasurer is Karen Struemph.
Missourians for Responsible Energy - $5,484 from Ameren Missouri.
Friends Of Dolan - $8,000 from Show Me Victories LLC.