Spent yesterday in jury duty, but thank you all for filling up my In-Box with a bunch of interesting items.
First, let’s start with this funny victory lap from Palm Strategies showing a MO Dem Party’s Stephen Webber surfing the Blue Wave and hitting MO GOP’s Red Wall…. See it here.
Razer for Senate
Rep. Greg Razer announced for Senate 7 yesterday. This is Sen. Jason Holsman’s seat. Holsy is termed. See Razer’s updated website here featuring his platform… “stand up for working men and women of this state, for the rights of women, for sensible gun laws, for better education for all our kids, and for the rights and dignity of LGBT Missourians…”
It’s smart for Razer jump out and claim a stake. It’ll be hard to get to the left of Razer in a primary, but Rep. DaRon McGee might try. We’ll see…
Senate Leadership Races
Republican Senators caucus today in Jefferson City to pick their leadership. For Pro Tem, MOScout’s “Hallway Index” has previously pointed to Sen. Mike Cunningham as the front-runner. However less than half the folks picked him to win, so that shows how it’s anyone game. Cuningham is considered the “safe” choice because of his demeanor and he’s termed in two years. Meanwhile Sen. Dave Schatz has been said to be making a late charge and working his colleagues hard. And Sen Bob Onder may actually be the favorite right now, according to a few folks I spoke with yesterday.
The pro tem’s biggest responsibility/power is committee assignment, including appointing committee chairs. Interesting to note that there are more Senate committees now than there are returning senators. So we could see the next pro tem consolidate committees – or we could see freshmen getting a gavel very early in their tenure.
In my experience these decisions are important, but equally important is how a pro tem handles the body’s mercurial nature. How do they respond to coalitions which arise in opposition to a piece of legislation, but coalesce into a faction which threaten to the chamber ability to “function?” That’s been the major problem for the body in the past. Under those circumstances it’s the even-keeled Tom Dempsey or Mike Gibbons who dissipates drama rather than amps it up.
In any cases you don’t know how someone handles the heat until they’re in the kitchen. So, we’ll see….
For Floor Leader, Sen. Caleb Rowden is considered the favorite, but I have heard the case made that Sen. Denny Hoskins can put the votes together. I haven’t heard that case made for Sen. Gary Romine.
House GOP Leadership
The press release: House Republicans – including newly-elected and returning lawmakers – elected the following members of their leadership team for the 100th General Assembly:
Speaker of the House: Rep. Elijah Haahr
Speaker Pro Tem: Rep. John Wiemann
Majority Floor Leader: Rep. Rob Vescovo
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Rep. J Eggleston
Majority Whip: Rep. Steve Lynch
Majority Caucus Chair: Rep. Sonya Anderson
Majority Caucus Secretary: Rep. Chris Dinkins
Policy Development Chair: Rep. Jeff Messenger
From an insider, this primer on How Wiemann Won…
· Traveled over 20,000 miles visiting nearly every House District, meeting with Republican Reps and candidates and offering to help their campaigns.
· Was the top contributor to the HRCC of all the candidates running for Pro Tem.
· Worked very hard to build a strong coalition of support among Republicans State Reps in urban, suburban and rural regions of the state. Wiemann represents a district in St. Charles County, and he was nominated by Rep. Rick Francis, who represents a House district in Southeast Missouri.
As Missouri Democrats pick up the smashed shards of their ‘blue wave’ dream and start to piece a 2020 plan together, one of the most sobering facts they’ll have to confront is the shocking margins by which Republicans won a lot of state senate districts on Tuesday.
· Senate 22 was supposed to be one of the Republicans’ most vulnerable incumbents. But Paul Wieland finished with 58%. JeffCo essentially matched St. Charles as Sen. Bob Onder won with 59.7%.
· Senate 16 and Senate 18 had Democratic senators just a dozen years ago and now they seem utterly out of reach to Dems. In Senate 16, Dems fielded a legitimate candidate who worked hard, built an organization, raised money, had a message and fit the district. And still he was crushed by 40 points, 70% to 30%. Similarly, Cindy O’Laughlin in Senate 18 won 70% of the vote.
And Mountainous GOP Senate Margins Elsewhere
Senate 6 (Mike Bernskoetter): 73.2%
Senate 10 (Jeanie Riddle): 70.3%
Senate 12 (Dan Hegeman): 72.5%
Senate 20 (Eric Burlison): 73.9%
Senate 26 (Dave Schatz): 64%
Senate 28 (Sandy Crawford): 79.2%
Senate 32 (Bill White): 73.7%
eMailbag: How to Pick an AG
Three criteria for picking a statewide office holder:
3. Political Gain
A pick doesn’t necessarily have all three of the criteria (very hard to find someone who meets all boxes), but they should have a couple.
But Hold the Phone for This Off-the-Hook Rumor
One rumor is that President Donald Trump may tap US Senator Roy Blunt for a big appointment. Who knows whether something could come to fruition, but it would be a huge development in state politics if the other US Senate seat is open for an appointment. That would make the elbowing for the AG spot look like kindergarten recess. In fact, one source thinks folks interested in the AG spot might “ask Parson to hold off on naming” a replacement, until they can determine if this rumor has legs.
How Galloway Won
The moment Saundra McDowell emerged from the primary, Auditor Nicole Galloway’s team strategically deploying opposition research and implemented an advertising strategy to highlight her flaws in the eyes of voters.
I – and others – believed that Galloway’s paid media would get lost with the Senate race clogging the airwaves. However, the message clearly got through.
All other things equal, Tuesday’s electorate would have selected a generic Republican for Auditor. Instead Galloway won by almost 6 points, while Claire McCaskill lost by almost 6 points.
That means Galloway ran 12 points ahead of the top of the ticket. Part of that margin is the weakness Galloway created in her opponent, but another part is Galloway’s strength. Republicans said for years that Galloway was vulnerable because she’d never won a contested election and was unknown to voters. But, in addition to winning 2-1 in Boone and losing by only 3,000 votes in Jefferson County, she won Buchanan, Clay, Cole, Callaway, Greene, St. Charles, Ste. Genevieve, Platte, and even Howard County.
What It Means
Galloway for Gov 2020….
MO Congressional Power
I’m not a national political guy, so I defer to experts if I’m told otherwise, but… the Dems taking over the House of Representatives in DC looks like bad news for Missouri to me. Congressman Sam Graves and Congresswoman Ann Wagner will hand over the gavels of their subcommittees. And the number of MO Reps in the majority suddenly shrinks from 6 to 2. Can Congressmen Emanuel Cleaver and Lacy Clay step up and fill the gap for Missouri? We’ll see….
Effective Date of IPs
Press release from Secretary of State: Any constitutional amendments passed on Nov. 6 will become effective 30 days after the date of the election, which is Dec. 6. Any statutory amendments passed are effective upon approval, or on a date specified in amendment language.
What It Means
We may see some legislators resign before Dec 6 to avoid the more stringent wait periods of CLEAN Missouri.
Data Point: Turnout
SOS says voter turnout was 57.9% In 2014 it was 35.23%
eMailbag on Election: Some Perspective
In 1979 Dems controlled five of the eight statewide posts (likely would have been six if not for Jerry Litton’s tragic plane crash); in 1989 just one and the party was considered dead; in 1999 they had six; after 2009 had six again; and now in ’19 back to one. Enjoy power in Missouri while you have it because it doesn’t last as long as you think it will…
eMailbag on Election: Demographics is Destiny
Missouri is increasingly older and whiter than the rest of the country and is changing slower, which lessens the “blue wave” effect but potentially could further isolate the state culturally and make attracting high-paying jobs harder (especially since Kansas now looks less retro than it did).
Prop D Afterword: Problem Isn’t Going Away
One veteran observer writes that “Prop D was a victim of the crushing turnout of far-right, no-tax, no-way, no-how voters who propelled Josh Hawley to victory - even though Missouri’s most prominent Republicans were leading the charge for the Prop D gas tax. Prop D carried places won by Claire McCaskill. It was most soundly rejected in locales McCaskill lost by the biggest margins.
GOP insiders, who figured taking care of bad roads and bridges was the most conservative view of government’s essential role to justify the first gradually phased-in gas tax increase in 22 years, were stunned. The Prop D campaign would have prevailed in any other year. The messaging was solid, the ads were good, the needs are proven: 49th lowest fuel tax in America, frozen since 1996, trying to keep up with maintaining the 7th largest state highway system. And Prop D failed by 7 percentage points. Hardly a blowout as in 2014, and something to build on.
The Kansas City Star has it right - defeating Prop D was a huge missed opportunity by voters to fix a problem that isn’t going away.”
Last night Governor Mike Parson held a fundy that Jim Koman’s house in Ladue which one MOScouter reports was a one of Parson’s biggest fundraisers ever. He spoke about Prop D mentioning that he was disappointed. But the problem hasn’t gone away and he’ll work with the legislature to try to find a solution.
eMailbag: Yay SOS!
Not reporting results until people were finished voting is frustrating for those of us who are sitting at home hitting refresh 100 times a minute, but it is also the right thing to do. You can report results while people are still standing in line thinking their votes matter. If Ashcroft had started posting results, I am pretty sure the Dems would have said it was wrong.
Yay MO Club For Growth!
One MOscouter says MO Club for Growth “had an extremely successful cycle,” pointing to their near perfect endorsements in the Tuesday’s election. They supported Tony Luetkemeyer in the Senate, and in the House Danny Busick, Dan Stacey, Chuck, Sara Walsh, Tom Hannegan, Jim Murphy, Mary Elizabeth Coleman, Steve Helms, and Mark Matthiesen. Matthiesen being the only one who lost of that group.
Reminder: Meet Tomicki
If you’re curious – like I was – about Lukasz Tomicki, the brains behind investment fund which powers Speaker Tim Jones’ Leadership for America PAC, he’s holding a webinar outlining his current views on the markets and giving an introduction to his firm on November 9 at 3PM, and November 12 at 10AM. Anyone interested can sign up for the webinar at: http://eepurl.com/dMj2Ak
I made two minor corrections to the New Legislator Contact Spreadsheet (one phone #, and deleted a person who won’t actually be a new legislator). If you downloaded it early yesterday, you may want the new version here.
Bryce Bradford formed a candidate committee (Bradford For KC 2020) to run for House 22 as a Democrat.
Ian Thomas formed a candidate committee (Ian Thomas For 4th Ward) to run for Columbia City Council.
SaferMO.Com - $10,00 from Pace Construction Company.
SaferMO.Com - $25,000 from Clarkson Construction Company.
Lennon for Boone - $8,400 from Brianna Lennon.
MO Opportunity PAC -$25,000 from David L Steward.
Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $20,000 from Missouri Forward PAC.
Happy birthdays to Tony George, Catherine Hanaway, Ellie Glenn, Ed Bushmeyer, and Steven Webb.