Parson Staff Researched County Level RTW
KSDK dropped a humdinger of a report that sent shockwaves through political circles yesterday: “Before the August election even took place, high-level officials within Governor Mike Parson’s office began looking at how to get around the anticipated loss of Prop A.”
Their plans are spelled out in nearly 80 pages of often-redacted documents obtained by 5 On Your Side through a public records request…. For example, on August 6, just one day before the primary, Gov. Parson’s policy director, Kayla Hahn, sent an e-mail to his Chief of Staff, Aaron Willard. In it, she predicated Right to Work would be rejected by voters… However, the memo’s very title already proposed a solution: “Right to Work by County Ordinance.”
Hahn goes on to discuss how municipalities in other states, such as Illinois, New Mexico, Delaware and Kentucky, have passed the law locally, including details of the legal battles that followed… Another e-mail from July shows Willard requesting that a staff member research and report how Kentucky counties managed to enact Right to Work before it finally passed there at the state level… Other e-mails obtained by the I-Team show Parson staffers assembling a chart to determine which Missouri counties would be the best test case. And one indicator was whether Donald Trump won the county in the November 2016 election. According to public records, Parson’s executive team has identified 14 Republican stronghold counties that they believe would be “good candidates” for Right to Work at the county level. They are: Atchison, Barry, Barton, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Howell, Jasper, McDonald, Newton, Pemiscot, Putnam, Stone and Taney….
First, it’s important to note these discussions took place before the August electoral thumping of right to work, and there’s no indication that there’s an active plan to attempt a county-by-county rematch on the issue.
Second, we want a governor’s office to be thinking through the various angles of public policy and considering a wide range of options. Regardless how you feel about a specific issue, that’s good staffing.
Why It Matters
The issue is a livewire because it raises again the tension between right to work and the governor’s agenda. Right to work is seen by much of the Missouri Republican faithful as a critical economic policy. But it’s an abomination to organized labor. And organized labor could be an active and important partner in the governor’s stated economic agenda of workforce development and infrastructure investment.
The notion that the governor is slyly plotting to re-engage on right to work could threaten to alienate a significant ally for his legislative agenda.
From one reader: To set the record straight, although the RTW vote baggage did not hurt almost all [Republicans]... Mark Matthiesen lost House 70th District....
Hatfield on CLEAN
In an email that’s circulating, SuperAttorney Chuck Hatfield outlined CLEAN’s lobbyist gift ban which is now in effect.
1. Clean imposes no restrictions on lobbyists or lobbyist principals. Legislators and legislative staff may not ACCEPT items valued at more than $5 per occurrence, but there is no penalty for giving the gift.
2. Clean does NOT change reporting requirements for lobbyists or otherwise alter the requirements of chapter 105.
3. The gift restrictions in Clean prohibit legislators/staff from accepting money from paid lobbyists and lobbyist principals. If an individual or entity is NOT a paid lobbyist or lobbyist principal (employing a lobbyist) the legislator/staff is NOT prohibited from accepting a gift of more than $5 from that entity.
4. Some of the provisions of Clean will likely need to be clarified by the ethics commission or by additional statutes, i.e. what is an "occurrence", what is a "gift" or other "item of value."
EXAMPLE: Association employs lobbyists, so is a lobbyist principal. Association hosts a reception and invites the entire general assembly. When the costs of the reception are divided by attendees, the cost is more than $5 per person. Legislator simply attends reception, does not eat or drink or accept anything else during reception OR Association gives Legislator a drink/food ticket with a true value of only $5 and legislator accepts the gift.
RESULT: Association lobbyists report a group expenditure under 105 just as they have always done. Legislator did not violate 105 because they did not accept anything of value more than $5.
EXAMPLE: Business owner does not employ a lobbyist. She takes her legislator to lunch and picks up the tab (which is more than $5) and legislator accepts.
RESULT: Legislator did not violate the Clean restrictions because the gift was not from a lobbyist or lobbyist principal.
Meet Timothy Lohmar
In this Jack Suntrup article yesterday about the Hawley-Schmitt transition meeting, a new quote machine is born… See it here.
When asked what he would do differently than Hawley, Schmitt said he would emphasize crime prevention and collaboration with local prosecutors. He named three county prosecutors to his transition team, including St. Charles County Prosecutor Timothy Lohmar, a Republican…
Lohmar said it would be difficult for Schmitt to launch some kind of crackdown on crime. The attorney general's office lacks original jurisdiction in criminal matters.
"We bristle when we hear the attorney general, or candidates for attorney general, refer to themselves as the chief law enforcement officer of the state, because they're absolutely not," Lohmar said. "They don't have any authority over us or what we do."
Lohmar also said he expects a re-commitment to perhaps mundane state issues. Hawley, in his two years as attorney general, devoted unprecedented resources to challenging the federal government. The cases, prepared by a new "Federalism Unit," raised his profile as he was running for U.S. Senate. Lohmar called the unit "total bogus" and a mechanism for "pandering."
"I think the AG's focus has always been and should always be on the domestic issues and not so much battling the federal government," Lohmar said. "I think Eric is in tune with that."
More on Hulshof for Treasurer
CDT’s Rudi Keller chases down the rumor that Renee Hulshof is under consideration for the treasurer’s spot. See it here.
Hulshof, long-time radio host at KFRU and the wife of former U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, could become the latest statewide official from Columbia after being approached as a possible replacement for state Treasurer Eric Schmitt. In an interview Thursday, Hulshof confirmed… that she is interested in the job. She said she was approached twice, by advisors to Gov. Mike Parson, to gauge her interest in the post.
From one veteran observer: Renee Hulshof is a pretty safe choice hitting all check boxes…
Well-known GOP name; knows politics and pitfalls as trusted adviser to her husband, former Congressman Kenny Hulshof; smart enough to hire good people, pros with integrity, for the nuts and bolts of overseeing the treasury; mom of two teenaged girls; a literal soccer mom (though her girls are into dance); hails from Hannibal, husband is from SE Missouri and they have called Columbia home for 20-plus years, not to mention representing the old 9th CD for years and traveling statewide for Kenny’s unsuccessful governor’s race…
House seeks Director of Communications - Democratic Caucus. “The duties of this position
include working directly with the Democratic lawmakers, creating news releases, directing social media content, and assisting in the media plan with local and national media. The selected candidate must be available to work extremely long hours during the legislative session from January through May…” See it here.
House seeks Budget Analysist. “This position will draft and review legislative appropriation bills and track relevant legislation while serving as the main budget liaison for members of the
Missouri House of Representatives. This position is also responsive to state departments
of government and the general public. Job responsibilities include public speaking,
preparation of fiscal and statistical data for use in budgetary evaluation, data entry, and
review of agency budget requests and Governor’s budget recommendations for accuracy….” See it here.
House seeks Senior Counsel. “The Senior Counsel is an advanced professional position providing legal analysis and advice on matters related to the operation of the Missouri House o
f Representatives. In giving such advice, the Senior Counsel will serve in an attorney/client relationship… The Senior Counsel assists and advises the Speaker and the Chief Clerk on
matters of administrative law and other legal matters; advises the Speaker on parliamentary
procedure; assists and advises committee chairs on legal matters pertaining to the committees, assists and advises individual members of the House on matters related to their legislative duties and records requests; assists with parliamentary procedure in legislative session; assists and advises House division directors and House staff on related areas…” See it here.
Loraine Cavin formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Lorie Cavin) to run for St. Louis City 24th Ward Alderman as a Democrat.
Henry Gray formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Henry Gray) to run for St. Louis City 6th Ward Alderman as a Democrat. His treasurer is Michael Butler.
Rodney Boyd, Katherine Casas, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons added Invenergy.
Tom Robbins and Steven Tilley added Stepstone LLC, and Gateway Green LLC.
Eapen Thampy added Concentrates By Dezign, LLC.
Casey Wasser added Wasser and Associates LLC.
Barry Hart deleted Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Andy Blunt, Ginger Steinmetz, Jay Reichard, Angela Schulte, Chris Moody, and Noel Torpey deleted Diamond Game, and Conservation Federation of Missouri.
Uniting Missouri PAC - $6,000 from Brian and Barbara Satterthwaite.
Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri 2665 PAC Fund - $7,674 from Professional Firefighters of Eastern Missouri.
CLEAN Missouri - $399,344 from Missouri Jobs With Justice Voter Action.
CLEAN Missouri - $6,999 from Sierra Club.
Centene Corporation Political Action Committee DBA Centene Missouri Federal PAC - $10,000 from Centene Corporation Political Action Committee.
Happy birthdays to Sen. Kiki Curls, Rodney Hubbard, Bree Bowen, Nick Maddux, and Churie Spreng.
Saturday: John Brunner, Patrick Bonnot, and Linda Rallo.
Sunday: Former Sen. Jeff Smith, Blake Lawrence, and Heidi Geisbuhler Sutherland.