Friday, November 17, 2017

Rupp Objects to Empire District’s Hedging Loss

At yesterday’s Public Service Commission’s agenda meeting, Commissioner Scott Rupp had strong words about the reimbursing losses for Empire District Electric’s hedging program.

Rupp said taxpayers shouldn’t cover the loss.  He blamed the hedging loss on a lack of adaption by the company for changes in the natural gas market which have occurred during the last decade.  Their hedging policy has not been updated since 2001.

Rupp argued that by continually reimbursing these costs over a decade (and $100 million of losses) Empire District has no incentive to change their strategy.  He imagined that if the company had to bear the costs of the losses they’d be hearing from the CEO or shareholders.

Despite passionately making his case Rupp was in the minority.  The other four commissioners accepted Chair Daniel Hall’s suggestion that a review of the Empire’s hedging policy going forward made sense, but that denying this expense now amounted to “Monday morning quarterbacking.”

What It Means

As my son – a baseball fan – will tell you: when the manager goes out to argue with the ump, he doesn’t really think he’s going to get the call changed.  But you do it so that the ump knows you’re watching and you’re not happy with the situation.


Q&A #1: What’s CL PAC Up To?

Short answer: Maybe not what its donors know.


CL PAC was formed about two months ago.  Its one of a few committee of which Mark Milton is treasurer.  It’s only fundraising report so far showed a few small donations and a $10K check from David Steward.  It’s only expenditures have been two checks to Harry Roberts.

Steward is the head of mega-technology firm World Wide Technologies.  WWT is a big vendor for the state of Missouri with millions of dollars of state contracts. Roberts is a Republican candidate in Senate 34 where Sen. Rob Schaaf is termed.

Running against Roberts in the Republican primary is Tony Luetkemeyer.  He’s the husband of Governor Eric Greitens’ general counsel, Lucinda Luetkemeyer.

Does Steward – who gave Greitens $100,000 in 2016 – know his contribution to CL PAC is being used to help Luetkemeyer’s opponent?  It would certainly be a counter-intuitive donation if he did.


Greitens Disputes House Dems on SBOE Law

The gov’s spokesperson Parker Briden says that the removal of Melissa Gelner from the State Board of Education was “obviously legal.”  I have found no one who shares Briden’s legal opinion.

Here’s one attorney’s contrary opinion.  “It’s not a recess appointment like others.  SBOE is a constitutional body.  A temporary appointment to Board: exercises the same constitutional authority as other members (i.e., votes), is subject to the same constitutional qualifications (see: Delbert Scott), and has the same other powers and duties “as provided by law” Art IX sec 2(b) -- including the statutory protection against removal without hearing before Senate confirms appointment of nominee. So unless Greitens is willing to say that his temporary appointees don’t have constitutional authority (and cannot vote), they are entitled to the same protections as other members.”


Gov’s Office Won’t Play Shall-Will Game

Tipster: [A]t the Show-Me Institute No MO Red Tape event yesterday morning. Justin Smith, Deputy Counsel to the Governor says replacements of shall with will are not acceptable and all departments have been notified that cosmetic adjustment word choice changes will not be accepted as reductions in red tape and will not be approved by the Governor's office.


Vescovo Seeks COS

See the official notice here that Rep. Rob Vescovo is seeking a chief of staff… “Office of the Majority Floor Leader The House of Representatives is accepting resumes for the position of Chief of Staff to the Majority Floor Leader.  This is an advanced professional position providing the House Majority Floor Leader with comprehensive legislative support… Successful candidates must have an advanced knowledge of public policy and the legislative process, the ability to multitask effectively in a fast paced work environment and the ability to interact with members of the General Assembly on a variety of legislative and procedural issues. The position also requires the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships, communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, work with sensitive issues, and maintain a professional standard of confidentiality…  A law degree from an accredited school of law and membership in good standing with the Missouri Bar preferred…    The salary range for this position is $55,000 to $85,000…”


MHDC Meeting Today

The Missouri Housing Development Commission meets today.  See the agenda here.

Tipster says Commissioner Jason Crowell will make a motion to cut the state tax credit. A few lawmakers are expected to attend to tell the commission the legislature and not MHDC should set policy on the tax credit.

We’ll see…..


Billy Long Contra American Airlines

On twitter Congressman Billy Long bashes American Airlines for objecting to the size of his carry-on luggage.  See it here and here.

But a bad day for the congressman turns worse when he realizes what a waste of time he’s spent on a book that becoming irrelevant.



Forgot to link to this yesterday, it’s former Rep. John McCaherty exiting the Jefferson County race.  He says he’ll find private sector employment instead.


Peggy McGaugh won the nod to be the Republican nominee to succeed her son, Joe Don McGaugh.


Post-Dispatch reports on a new investigation being launched into the conditions of the St. Louis Veterans Home.  See it here.  But Jeff Mazur hits the nail on the head with this tweet… “any investigation is incomplete that doesn’t delve into the causes and effects of paying veterans’ caregivers $24K/year…”


No surprise here… Susan B Anthony List is prepping to take out US Senator Claire McCaskillSee it here.


Help Wanted

Jackson County seeks Chief Deputy Public Administrator. “Assist the Public Administrator, using personal judgement and discretion and with a minimum of supervision; Responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and supervising legal and full-time staff… Coordinates the services and activities of consultants on real estate litigation and sales, liability actions, will contests and determination of heirship…” See it here.


Women’s Foundation of Greater Saint Louis seeks Executive Director. “The Executive Director is responsible for all aspects of the Women’s Foundation of Greater Saint Louis, to support the organization’s mission to raise awareness and funding to support organizations that address the needs of women and girls…” See it here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Republican Senate 34 candidate Tony Luetkemeyer Fundraiser – The Original Pancake House – Ladue – 9AM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Tim Alborg added Zagster.

Rachel Bensmion added Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Rebecca Corson added Quicktrip Corporation.

Jessica Seitz added Missouri Network Of Child Advocacy Centers Inc a/k/a Missouri Kidsfirst.

Sean Whiting added Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes, and Advocates Of Planned Parenthood Of The St Louis Region & Southwest Missouri.


$5K+ Contributions

MO Architects PAC - $8,000 from American Institute of Architects of Missouri.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Leggett and Platt Incorporated.



Happy birthdays (Saturday) to Rep. Brandon Ellington, former Rep. Randy Dunn, Neal Boyd, Charlie Puyear, and Tim Person.

Sunday: Former Rep. Kenny Jones, and lobbyist Fred Dreiling.