MOScout Daily Update: Legislators Adjusting to CLEAN - DeStefano for WH COS? - DED Reorg Talk and more...

Just bit this morning, in no particular order…


Map of Galloway vs Montee Margins

On Twitter, Drew Savicki published a map of the Missouri auditor race results, comparing them to the 2010 auditor’s race. He writes: “Since no Democrat ran for Missouri Auditor in 2014, I thought I'd compare 2018's race to 2010. Tom Schweich defeated Auditor Susan Montee by a similar margin. Auditor Galloway lost ground in northern and southeastern MO but made gains in central and southwestern MO.”

See the map here.

By comparing the two races you can see how Nicole Galloway improved on margins, particularly in the southwest.  But what really pops out to me is how the rural areas are just completely zapped for Democrats.  A “train-wreck” candidacy with no money carried the low-population areas of Missouri easily against a no-scandal incumbent running a textbook campaign.  Just because of an R after her name.  That’s terrible news for Dems. The Democratic brand is so damaged in rural areas that there are huge swaths of Missouri beyond their reach.


More on DED ReOrg

One building denizen sees the reorganization of the Department of Economic Development as way for the Parson administration to bring some focus to his priorities, particularly workforce development. The thought is that some money saved in the overhaul would allow for new dollars towards that purpose.


One Republican who has been briefed on the Department’s plans looks at the bigger picture, asking if the state is going economic development all wrong.  “The news here isn't a reorg. It's the frightening confirmation that we can't economically bribe our way to prosperity.”  This is a sentiment with growing currency – that economic development organizations together with a steady stream of state and local tax incentives have created a largely inefficient apparatus to grow the economy.  See a St. Louis Business Journal article about this phenomenon here.


Happening Now: CLEAN Changing Behavior

Since CLEAN took effect last week, I’ve bumped into a number of legislators who have implemented systems to segregate their work communications from their personal communications; it’s a sign they’re taking the records retention laws seriously.

This account is no longer active.

Please send personal emails to

Please send all legislative correspondence to . Thank you for keeping in touch.


I have updated my cellphone. For all messages concerning state business, please send to XXX-XXX-XXXX. Please update your records. All such communications will be maintained consistent with the retention and transparency requirements provided by law.


Casteel on Lambert Deliberations

Former RCGA Veep Chip Casteel in a Post-Dispatch letter to the editor suggest using East-West Gateway assess the future of St. Louis’ airport as a regional asset.  See it here.

St. Louisans should reject the false choice now confronting them regarding privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The available choices should not be limited to a special interest plan for a private study of this critical issue or just leaving things as they are at the airport (with or without a vote of St. Louis residents).

The wiser choice is to treat Lambert as what it actually is — a vital economic infrastructure asset for the entire two-state, eight-county metropolitan area. While there is no question the city now owns the airport and must receive fair value if it is sold or leased, it's how that determination is made that is key to our region's future.

Today the top local elected officials from throughout our region lead the East-West Gateway Council of Governments, which is charged with regionwide planning and transportation matters. East-West Gateway has a proven record of successfully studying and resolving complex economic infrastructure issues… Before any decision is made on how best to help Lambert airport be all it can be, wouldn't it be prudent to ask East-West Gateway once again to lend its expertise? If their study were to show that the city should lease or sell the airport to private interests, then the city would have the benefit of an objective regional study before deciding to do so. But on the other hand, if their study were to show that Lambert should be kept in the hands of a public entity, then the city (and the region) would have the opportunity to avoid a very costly and long-lasting mistake.


Schroer on MMJ and Privacy

Marijuana and hemp lobbyist Eapen Thampy has a post about a recent pre-file from Rep. Nick Schroer.  See it here.  HB238 would prevent the state government from sharing medical marijuana user or registry info with the federal government.


Curtman on Wearing a Suit

From Rep. Paul Curtman’s blog, here are 3 Reason to Wear a Suit… See it here.

Pull Quote: It doesn’t have to be a $1,500 tailored suit that takes weeks to make, it can be an $80 suit from Target so long as you learn how to wear it.


DeStefano for WH COS?

LA Times reports that Johnny DeSefano is in the mix as possible chief of staff to President Donald TrumpSee it here.

President Trump is being urged to consider a young White House aide for his chief of staff, according to two people familiar with ongoing conversations, after his top choice and other men turned down the job in recent days. Several people close to the president are promoting Johnny DeStefano, who was a political aide to former House Speaker John A. Boehner before joining the administration as Trump’s director of personnel. He since has seen his portfolio expand and often travels with the president… While DeStefano is less well-known than some Cabinet members and lawmakers whose names have been floated, the affable aide is known inside the White House as a diligent worker and someone whose appointment wouldn’t be unsettling to any West Wing faction…

DeStefano is brother of Melissa Furey who staffer Scott Rupp during his time in the Senate.  Melissa is married to former Senate staffer (and current Centener) Shawn Furey.


The Cost of Prop P’s Failure?

Columbia Daily Tribune reports on the on-going transportation funding problem in Missouri. See it here.

Missouri Department of Transportation Director Patrick McKenna painted a grim picture of the state’s highway system if funding hurdles are not addressed following the failure in November of Proposition D.  McKenna spoke Thursday to the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, saying the biggest impact locally of the failure of the proposition is the Rocheport bridge on Interstate 70. He said the bridge is not just important locally, but to the entire state. And while the department has $15 million budgeted for repairs, replacement is needed.

“That $15 million will probably get us between eight and 10 years of usable life,” McKenna said… Repairing the bridge as opposed to replacement would also cause a partial shutdown of the interstate for at least seven months and possibly up to 10 months. The result, McKenna said, would be massive traffic jams. “The impact on a good day, traffic backs up to here (Columbia),” McKenna said. “That’s a three-hour backup. That’s a good day. On a bad day, it’s going to backup potentially as far as Kingdom City, 25 miles, eight hours…”


eMailbag: Readers Weigh In on Variety of Topics

This attack on Khristine Heisinger is ridiculous. Does the GOP believe that Ashcroft is such a boob that a lawyer in his office can convince him to do something he did not want to do? I have known Khris for years. She is likely a Democrat but she is one hell of a lawyer and her ethics would never allow her partisan bent to affect her advice to a client.


Cody Smith is also an HRCC fundraising juggernaut. Whatever Elijah Haahr wants to do politically, he will have a wingman from the vote-rich Joplin area in Cody Smith. There’s some upside for the speaker and the chamber to have the same budget chair for six years.


With all due respect to Jean Evans, you don’t win white suburban voters by appointing a white suburban woman to treasurer. You win them over by supporting policies they care about like health, education and jobs.


New Committees

Leata Price-Land formed a candidate committee (Leata Price Land Campaign) to run for St. Louis City Alderman, Ward 26, as a Democrat.



Happy birthdays to Cheryl Dillard.

Saturday: Ric Telhorst.

Sunday: Jennifer Durham, and Jon Carpenter.