First in MOScout: Trump to St. Charles
President Donald Trump will be in St. Charles (Bill Eigel’s Senate district) this week to push federal tax reform.
Eigel is preparing to pre-file his own state tax reform bill.
Trump will visit the St Charles Convention Center on Wednesday afternoon.
This comes after Trump’s team devised a scheduled a few weeks ago to pressure lawmakers (read: Claire McCaskill) to support fed plan, and after Eigel pitched a MO state tax plan to the White Office of Political Affairs.
Look for a White House announcement as early as this morning.
Q&A #3: Why is Tax Reform So Yuge for Republicans?
Short answer: It’s core belief.
Republicans control the executive offices as well as the legislature. This won’t last forever. There’s a growing impatience that they might be frittering their time away while they should be reshaping big policies.
Federally Republicans failed to follow through on their other core belief – repealing Obamacare. That makes tax reform – even if it morphs into more of a tax cut – their best last chance to show that they stand for something.
Here in Missouri, with various factions of Republicans peeling off on different issues (there are anti-school choice Republicans, there are pro-labor Republicans, there are pro-attorney Republicans), this is something all Republicans should be able to get behind.
Q&A #2: What’s this Mean for Eigel?
Short answer: The roll-out of Eigel 2.0?
Getting the president to visit his district on what he’s teeing up to be his signature issue is a huge boost for Sen. Bill Eigel.
But let’s not forget: Eigel was a troublemaker in his first session in the Senate. He participated in any number of schemes to muck things up for leadership. He was part of recusals against the pay-raise resolution. He regularly joined with Sen. Rob Schaaf to bolster the dissenters' filibuster numbers.
Now, having demonstrated his willingness to be an obstacle if necessary, Eigel appears to be aiming to be more constructive. It’s a harder act to put together. But he’ll be pre-filing his tax reform bill. He’s hoping on-board the Trump plan. He’s talking of running for a Senate leadership position.
This could be the start of Eigel 2.0….
Q&A #1: Will Hawley Attend?
Short answer: Doubt it.
Even though you can make the case that U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley should appear with Trump at this event (he won the state by 19 points after all, and everyone likes tax cuts), he won’t. For starters, Trump’s numbers have softened considerably.
Furthermore, Republicans are concerned about suburban moms getting creeped out a bit and defecting. This started around the “very fine” folks marching with neo-Nazis and may have been exacerbated by the GOP's willingness forgive Roy Moore cruising the mall looking for dates.
In other words, there’s more downside than upside for Hawley. He’ll be too busy to attend.
Vescovo Staffing Up
House Floor Leader Rob Vescovo has moved quickly to assemble his team. He’ll be keeping the well-liked Joe Engler and bringing back Leslie Korte, who earned the respect of members during her time with House Research for her legal acumen and outstanding work ethic. Korte has spent the last year as the legislative liaison for the Supreme Court.
Vescovo’s getting good reviews for hiring someone who offers the blend of politics and policy, and who brings a high level of professionalism to the office.
eMailbag on Greitens’ SBOE Statement
[Governor Eric] Greitens’ statement about this misplayed Vandeven ouster says he wants to increase teacher pay and takes shots at how much money “administrators” make – says they took the money meant for education. He’s clearly referring here to superintendents as he complains about $250,000 salaries. No one at DESE makes near that much. The irony is those salaries (and teacher pay) are set by local school boards. So is this GOP governor saying we should take local control away from school boards? And if he is, why not go ahead and do it? Propose a law that limits superintendent/administrator salary and see what kind of education community you get as all the D.Ed.’s flee the state.
Waters on Greitens’ Flag
Hank Waters editorial… “It’s as if the Missouri governor favors the politics of Trump & Co. Greitens seems to be planting his flag in alt-right territory beyond the confines of his home state…” See it here.
Basye for MMJ
If you’re counting pro-medical marijuana votes in the state legislature, it seems like your number keeps going up. Here’s Chuck Basye on the record in the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Basye said he would have to know the details of legislation decriminalizing medical marijuana before supporting it, but agreed that medical marijuana could be play a part in curbing opioid abuse. He said he’s previously supported medical marijuana legislation that he thought would help those suffering from diseases and painful medical conditions. “I know of several people who have cancer and, for example, they have trouble eating and sleeping with their medication,” he said. “If they had the option” of medical marijuana “it would’ve helped them.”
PAC for Berry
Friends To Elect Rita Berry was formed. It’s a political action committee, apparently to support Rita Berry’s candidacy for Kansas City mayor. The treasurer is Andre Rucker. And the deputy treasurer is Duane Harvey.
Ellisville Mayor Moving to Las Vegas
West News Magazine report that “Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul announced via Facebook on the evening of Nov. 20 that he will officially submit his letter of resignation in January 2018, to pursue professional opportunities with a career in Las Vegas.” See it here.
Pull Quote: In his new position, Paul will be working for Caesars Entertainment Corporation, an American gaming corporation that globally owns about four dozen hotels and casinos, and seven golf courses… “[I]t was an offer I couldn’t refuse…”
J “Bret” Johnson added Help Inc.
Sharpe for Rep - $50,000 from Gregory Sharpe.
Supporters of a Better SJSD - $12,500 from Steven Craig.
Supporters of a Better SJSD - $12,500 from Five Shopping Center Co.
Happy birthday to Ward Cook.