MOScout Daily Update: IP Process Eyed for Reform - Vulnerable GOP Sens in 2020? - Treasurer Sweepstakes Power Ranking and more...

Changing the IP Process

News Tribune reports that Jay Ashcroft “told the Missouri Bar's annual Fall Meeting luncheon that lawmakers should look at possible changes to the initiative petition process. ‘I think we need to make sure that, when we amend our Constitution, it isn't done by 15 percent of the voting public,’ he said, adding: ‘It is not uncommon in our August elections to have a turnout of 30 percent or less….’”


This has been a discussion point among Republican senators.  There’s no settled course, but among the brainstorming ideas: a higher requirement for passage for constitutional amendments, stricter requirements on signature gatherers.  There’s no settled course.  BUT, having watched CLEAN and minimum wage pass this month, there’s appetite for reining in the IP process.


Thinking 2020

Washington Post reports that pundits believe the 2020 election will be all-Trump.  See it here.

“As the final votes from the midterm elections rolled in last week, it became clear that President Trump’s near-constant campaign presence helped transform the American political map — effectively erasing lighter shades of red and blue. The Trump effect now sets the stage for an intensely tribal 2020 showdown over his reelection, with a smaller and heavily rural Republican Party facing off against a growing Democratic coalition of suburban and urban residents in higher-income states…

Strategists from both parties say the president, in effect, erected a wall that broke the blue wave, allowing Republicans to hold onto key House seats and defeat Democratic Senate incumbents in conservative Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota. The same strategy, however, empowered Democrats to win decisive victories in formerly Republican suburbs in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, California and the otherwise reliably red state of Texas…”

What It Means

The political equation can be tweaked depending on many things – including who the Democrats nominate to run as president – but it likely means Republicans once again having to defend suburban seats, and rural areas far out of reach for Dems.

In state senate elections, I see no vulnerable Dems in 2020.  The most vulnerable Republicans: Sens. Andrew Koenig (St. Louis County), and Caleb Rowden (Boone County).


Messenger on Hill and Private Prob Cos

Post-Dispatch’s Tony Messenger writes about Rep. Justin Hill’s efforts to rein in the private probation companies in Missouri.  See it here.

“When he was charged with a DWI in 2014, Swartz ended up being supervised by private probation company American Court Services, as ordered by Ralls County Associate Judge David Mobley. He was ordered to wear a “SCRAM” ankle bracelet that monitors alcohol use, even while he was in jail over alleged violations of his probation. State law says the bracelets are only to be ordered in use for people with multiple DWI convictions. Swartz had none.

He paid. And he could afford it. But he and other advocates for reform of the private probation industry realize that the system takes horrible advantage of poor people, who end up in jail when they are violated and then also end up owing thousands of dollars in jail bills. It happens in Ralls, Jackson and Jefferson counties. In St. Francois and Dent counties. In Caldwell and Crawford counties. It happens all over Missouri because the state has almost no regulations, licensing or standards related to private probation companies.  This year, thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Justin Hill, R-Lake Saint Louis, that changed a little bit…”


Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Rep. Deb Lavender tweets that she and Sen. Jill Schupp will introduce a bill next year on “extreme risk protection orders.”

Here’s a Detroit, Michigan story on the issue

A 25-year-old man from Southeast Michigan is an example of a serious problem in the country. Mathew is the type of person law enforcement officials are worried about, even though he hasn't committed a serious crime… Mathew's case presents a legal and societal conundrum. People almost never face federal charges for lying on a credit card application, but it was the only way law enforcement officials could get Mathew off the streets, which they wanted to do immediately.

"The defendant used those two credit cards to purchase firearms," Moon said. "An assault rifle, several handguns, a binary trigger, your honor, which is used only to ensure than an assault rifle will fire quicker than (designed by the) manufacturer, and several 40-round, high-capacity magazines. When he purchased that firearm, the defendant asked the gun store how he can convert his AR-15 to a fully automatic rifle."

Mathew was buying guns legally but scaring people around him. A gun dealer called authorities, as did a neighbor, saying they thought Mathew could be the next mass shooter.  FBI agents kicked in his door and confiscated his guns, phone and computer… There were also social media posts…


Treasurer Sweepstakes

Here’s my best guess “power ranking” of names mentioned as possible replacement treasurers, from most likely to least likely.

1.      Brenda Talent

2.      Vicky Hartzler

3.      Shamed Dogan

4.      Holly Rehder

5.      Sandy Crawford

6.      Jeanie Riddle

7.      Kathy Swan

8.      Jean Evans

9.      Sarah Steelman

10.  Bev Randles


New Committees

Elad Gross formed a candidate committee (Elad Gross For Missouri) to run for attorney general as a Democrat.

John Kiehne formed a candidate committee (Kiehne For Missouri) to run for House 109 as a Democrat.

The American Statesman SuperPac was formed.  Its treasurer is Olalekan Sobomehin.

Team Robert PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Melissa Largent.


$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $7,500 from Missouri Realtors PAC Inc.

Find the Cures - $32,000 from Bradley Bradshaw.



Happy birthdays to Kenny Jones, and Fred Dreiling.