Rumorville: Renegade Caucus Staff?
I wrote yesterday about the Senate offices staffing up, and that as far as I had heard former Sen. Jim Lembke hadn’t been hired. Lembke staffed Sen. Rob Schaaf last session.
Two folks told me that they’d heard a rumor that a few senators might “pool funds to pay Lembke as a collective staffer for them.”
The idea is that these conservative senators might want someone to advise them how to use the Senate rules to kill noxious items or slow things down to increase their leverage.
When I called the rumor far-fetched, one whisperer replied: “Doesn't seem that far-fetched to me. I don't think [Lembke] wants the duties of a CoS. He'd rather be the wizard behind the curtain...”
Miles’ Missouri Map
The singular J Miles Coleman has a cool map of Missouri (see it here). It shows the relative county-level performance by Josh Hawley, compared to President Donald Trump’s performance in 2016. The red is where Hawley declined less than his statewide underperformance of Trump. The blue is where he declined more. “The comparisons help to illustrate the places where Trump may be more popular than other Republicans, and where other Republicans may have more strength than Trump.”
To my eyes, the most obvious patterns in the map are Hawley outperforming Trump in the bootheel, with McCaskill picking up ground in all the counties surrounding St. Louis.
David Kirby, campaign manager for Claire McCaskill, sent a note around yesterday to show that her loss was not the result of tepid Democratic turnout. See it here. “Many folks are asking if Claire turned out Democrats and progressives. The answer is an unequivocal yes, and in historic numbers compared with previous Missouri statewide midterm elections. It just so happened that the Republicans also turned out in historic numbers throughout Missouri's exurban and rural counties.”
Another Name in the Treasurer Mix?
Word is that the governor’s staff has started interviewing potential treasurers… And one new name mentioned as folks keep casting about for possible replacements: Rep. Jean Evans. She meets a few criteria: Parson seems to like folks who have held some elective office; she has a background in finance; and she’s an established strong female voice.
Here We Go… 2020 IPs
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft announced that initiative petitions have begun being filed already for the 2020 ballot. From the press release: “The office received 371 petitions in the 2018 cycle, which began the day after the November 2016 election. Of those, one referendum appeared on the Aug. 7 ballot and five ballot measures appeared on the Nov. 6 ballot…”
There has been talk – on and off – of revising the initiative petition process, or requiring a higher bar (perhaps 60%) for amending the constitution.
Post-Dispatch reports that Governor Mike Parson will allow “guns into the Missouri Capitol if [visitors] have a concealed carry permit… Parson’s administration has proposed a rule change that would make it clear that guns are allowed, as long as they are not brought into the House or Senate chambers or into committee meetings.” See it here.
Missouri continues to have a robust job market according to the latest DED release: Missouri’s unemployment rate tied a record low in October, edging down another tenth of a point to 3.1 percent. In the history of the data set, the only other time the state’s unemployment dropped this low was from October 1999 to January 2000. The unemployment data series goes back to 1976… The state’s non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 2.3 percent in October, compared to the U.S. figure of 3.5. Missouri nonfarm payroll employment grew by 4,000 jobs in October….
James Harris added Missouri Association of License Offices.
William Marrs added Governmental Services Group Inc., Burch & Assoc, Missouri State University, City of Springfield, Mercy Hospital, USH of Delaware Inc. and Tri-State Water Resource Coalition.
Missouri Leadership Forum - $7,500 from Craftsmen Management LLC.
SaferMO.Com - $12,500 from St. Louis Construction Training and Advancement Foundation.
SaferMO.Com - $25,000 from Ameren Missouri.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, Penney Wood Rector, Jeff Grisamore, and Randy Dunn.
Sunday: Rep. Brandon Ellington, Charlie Puyear, and Tim Person.