Monday, December 11, 2017

No Movement for Utility Reg Reform

I have been writing over the past few weeks that Ameren appears to be putting together a larger coalition to advance its agenda of updating the regulatory framework for investor-owned utilities.  Statements of support have been issues by the retailers’ association, the grocers’ association and the Missouri Chamber of Commerce.

BUT… the opponents – particularly as led by Sen. Gary Romine in the Senate – are as entrenched as ever, and appear immovable right now.  The basis of their opposition boiled down to a single question that they say has not been answered: “Where’s the need?”

They are deeply skeptical that Missouri needs to change the way rate cases are handled, and they view proposals from the utilities as schemes aimed to increase returns for their shareholders.

 

Q&A #1: Does Moore Impact MO Senate Race?

Short answer: No.  But the larger narrative could sway 2018.

 

Politico has a piece out.  See it here.  The sub-head title says it all: “The party will either pick up a seat in the Deep South — or have Roy Moore to campaign against in the midterms.

US Senator Claire McCaskill is quoted… McCaskill’s likely opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, said Moore should step aside. But if Moore wins, McCaskill said, he’ll have to keep answering questions every day. “This is hard for him just to sidestep. This is something you’ve got to confront,” she said.

I don’t see the Moore outcome swaying voters in Missouri in November of 2018, but… from my conversations with Democrats, it’s clear that they consider suburban women to be a key demographic in the statewide races of 2018.

They are hopeful that these voters will abandon the Republican Party.  The Roy Moore situation is simply one more drip to erode their support for the GOP.

Other drips come from the President of the United States of America.  And with no Hillary Clinton, they’re believing that there is no choice this time.  It’ll just be a referendum on Trump’s often boorish behavior.

 

Yikers!  NYTimes on Sexual Harassment Endured by Female Lobbyists

I haven’t heard of any stories like this in Missouri, but Holy Geepers, a frightening read.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Vanessa Alarid was a lobbyist in New Mexico when she asked a lawmaker over drinks one night if she could count on his support for a bill that appeared to be coming down to a single vote.  “You can have my vote if you have sex with me,” Ms. Alarid recalled the lawmaker saying, although he used cruder language for sexual intercourse. He told Ms. Alarid she had the same first name as his wife, so he would not get confused if he called out in bed. Then he kissed Ms. Alarid on the lips, she said.  Shocked, Ms. Alarid, who was 32 at the time, pushed him away. Only after he was gone did she let the tears flow.  When her bill came up on the floor of the New Mexico House of Representatives the next day, March 20, 2009, it failed by a single vote, including a “No” by the lawmaker, Representative Thomas A. Garcia. As Ms. Alarid watched from the House gallery, she said, Mr. Garcia blew her a kiss and shrugged his shoulders with arms spread.

 

Bits

St. Louis City chose Regional Strategies – the lobbying firm started by former labor leader Jeff Aboussie – to handle its lobbying needs in Jefferson City.

 

 

Tipster: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz was in Missouri over the weekend for a fundraiser at the KC Chiefs game.

 

Governor Eric Greitens’ athletic escapades land him on Mike Allen’s Morning Top Ten.  See it here (#10).

 

Help Wanted

House seeks Doorkeeper. “The House of Representatives is accepting resumes for the position of Chamber Doorkeeper in the House Operations Division. This position works in the House Chamber during the legislative session, typically early-January through mid-May. The Doorkeeper position is responsible for controlling access to the House Chamber at various locations and ensuring decorum, rules, protocol, customs and practices of the Missouri House of Representatives are maintained… Position also requires… the ability to prioritize multiple tasks and handle stressful situations… The salary for this position is $1,015 per pay period…” See it here.

 

New Committees

Paul Fehler formed a campaign committee (Paul Fehler For A Progressive 8Th Ward) to run for St. Louis City alderman as a Democrat.

Chuck Hoskins formed a candidate committee (Friends of Chuck Hoskins for State Representative) to run for House 118 as a Republican.  This is where Rep. Ben Harris, the last Democrat state representative in Jefferson County is termed.

Phil Rogers formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Phil Rogers) to run for House 9 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Rep. Delus Johnson, is termed.

Tom Lovell formed a candidate committee (Tom Lovell For House Of Representatives) to run for House 35 as a Republican. The current incumbent, Rep. Gary Cross, is termed.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

David Jacobson added Integrity Home Care & Hospice.

Lowell Pearson deleted Husch Blackwell LLP, and Uniform Law Commission.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Monsanto Company.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Noemi Neidorff.

Citizens for Steven Stenger - $15,000 from Centene Corporation.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Michael Neidorff.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Lou Fusz Properties LLC.