It’s getting to be decision time for Governor Mike Parson. The consensus is that this week he will announce who will fill the vacancy in the state treasurer’s office.
All I have is a lot of bits among the chatter and a lot of it contradictory. Here’s what I believe, from a variety of sources deemed to be reliable:
· Reps. Scott Fitzpatrick, Shamed Dogan, and Holly Rehder have all sat with the governor for interviews. Others have been interviewed by the governor’s staff, but these are the only ones that I’ve heard of getting a sit with the big guy.
· Among the other names still mentioned, but with seemingly less juice recently: Rep. Jean Evans and Sen. Sandy Crawford. Both have financial services backgrounds.
· While there may have been “outsiders’ considered along the way, they apparently either were interested or haven’t panned out. From what I can tell, the short list is all inside the building
· After all the talk about wanting a woman, that’s not in cement as the list above shows.
· Several folks have said, in different ways, that the bar for “being qualified” is higher for an appointment than it is for being elected. In other words, let the voters choose someone with marginal qualifications, fine. But if the governor does that and something goes wrong, he’s gets 100% of the blame.
From someone without a dog in the fight: “They say they want a woman as treasurer and yet not one of the people in the inner circle making the decision or talking to [Parson] is a woman.”
The stakes in this decision are lower than all the talk would have you believe. Less downside: It’s really just a simple two year appointment (see below), and the treasurer’s office isn’t something that the average Missouri citizens feels in their everyday life. And less upside: it’s unlikely that one appointment creates a sudden shift among a demographic (for example, college-educated white women, or African Americans) toward Republicans.
Treasurer Primary 2020
Most folks believe that we’ll see a Republican treasurer primary, regardless of who nabs the appointment.
It’s musical chairs. Republicans have all the statewide seats in 2020. And with term limits there’s a constant churn of talent upwards. The treasurer will likely have the least “claim” to the office and likely have the smallest war-chest. That will make them a target.
The Big EcoDevo Debate
I wrote last week about the potential Department of Economic Development reorganization, and how it’s bringing a wider EcoDevo debate to the fore.
One MOScouter believes that this issue was central to the Senate leadership races. “[Within the Republican Caucus] Ron Richard and his Eco-Devo zealots clashed dramatically with free market types who think less government means lower taxes and spending… As the Senate leadership races showed, the caucus inclination towards a free market approach wasn’t yet strong enough to extinguish the Richard flame completely.”
However it’s quite possible that new senators like Eric Burlison and Cindy O’Laughlin will join with the existing free marketers like Sens. Bill Eigel, Andrew Koenig and Ed Emery to put more pressure on the old incentives way of doing EcoDevo.
eMailbag on Incentives
There may be growing currency among Capitol folks on the counterproductiveness/wastefulness of eco devo programs but that has for years has been the position of economists: mainstream, left and right. I am not saying this flippantly and I know it is counterintuitive but the statistical evidence is pretty clear you are in general just better burning money….
Over the past week over $425K has come into Uniting Missouri, the pro-Mike Parson PAC. That brings the total large contributions into the PAC since its inception in July to nearly $1 million.
What It Means
The hallmark of statewide campaigns in the post-Sauer Amendment world is third-party PACs that allow for unlimited campaign contributions. The candidates can raise money for these PACs, but can’t control them or coordinate with how they spend their money.
Parson raising big money early will lessen the likelihood of a primary challenge.
Among the latest batch of checks was $25,000 from Missouri Mining Investments LLC. The registered agent for that LLC is former Speaker John Diehl…
MMJ Biz, Eh?
Over the weekend, hemp advocate Eapen Thampy registered to represent Eighteen Fifty Equity Co. Apparently, they are aiming to be the first MO cannabis company publicly traded listed on Canadian Stock Exchange. This is part of a trend for MMJ companies to raise money. See it here.
Travis Hagewood formed a candidate committee (Hagewood For Missouri) to run for House 31 as a Democrat.
Karl Skala formed a candidate committee (Skala For Council) to run for Columbia Council, Ward 3.
Northland Regional Political Action Committee was formed. Its treasurer is Edward Ford III.
Friends of Wesley Bell - $10,000 from Centene Corporation PAC.
Nancy Giddens and Shannon Cooper deleted MO Gaming Association, and Distilled Spirits Council of the US.
Happy birthdays to Kristian Starner, Talibdin El-Amin, and Sam Komo.
Still looking for a Christmas gift for that political junky with almost everything? Email me if you’d like information about a discounted 3-month gift subscription to MOScout.