Friday, October 6, 2017

Q&A #1: Why Has MHDC Postponed their October Meeting?

Short answer: Internal divisions.


Tipster writes: Did you notice Missouri Housing Development Commission canceled their meeting scheduled for next Tuesday?

“It's a symptom of a huge fight over low-income housing tax credits.  Governor appointed Jason Crowell to MHDC and the anti-tax credit crowd thought it had serious momentum… There was a plan to kill the housing tax credit at the meeting next week. But the developers [have been making their case]… Rumor is the fight will head to the Senate over the Governor's appointments and that Crowell might not be confirmed.”

A second person watching the fight agrees… “Yes, Crowell won’t be confirmed…”

Meanwhile it seems that MHDC is “frozen.”  And one source thinks that the governor’s resolve on the issue may now be wavering.

We’ll see….


Follow-Up on Jones Lobbying

A few folks asked me how the governor’s executive order on “banning the revolving door” impact Caleb Jones.

Most people agree, from a legal standpoint, it’s basically meaningless.

The governor can only direct people working for him.  The executive order, unlike the statute, doesn’t apply to Jones once he leaves the employ of the governor’s office.  That is, the governor can’t tell someone – who’s not working for him – what he can or can’t do.

But, one observer while agreeing with the legal aspect, counters: That's correct, but the biggest liability is with the press. They would love to catch Greitens in this kind of contraction. To avoid that, his people are going to have to be willing to freeze Caleb out if he approached them.


New GOP Senate Love Triangle: Hawley-Bannon-Martin

The Kansas City Star reports that Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is courting former White House strategist Steve Bannon…”  See it here.  This comes after Bannon reportedly made calls to Missouri Republicans labeling Hawley as (gasp) “establishment!”

Pull Quote: Hawley and Bannon spoke on the phone last week for an “introductory conversation” about “who he is, his vision,” according to a Missouri Republican who is close to Hawley. A source close to Bannon confirmed that account of the call.  “They have some mutual friends ... donors who know both of them,” the Republican close to Hawley said. The call was meant to assure Bannon that “Josh is a good conservative” and “one of us,” rather than an establishment candidate… Former Missouri Republican chair and CNN contributor Ed Martin has repeatedly said that Hawley should not run against McCaskill if he won’t denounce Danforth…

Martin said he and Bannon are friends and speak or text a few times a day. Martin would not rule out his own run for Senate in Missouri to The Kansas City Star. “I am watching the field because we MUST beat Claire and support the Americans First agenda,” he said in an email…


Lexington Audit

Auditor Nicole Galloway released a citizen-requested audit of the City of Lexington.  See it here“The report details a series of financial missteps, including payments related to a failed venture to build a new city-owned hospital, that has resulted in a steep decline in city funds… The city's general fund cash balance declined by $122,000 between fiscal years 2014 and 2016. While the fund was bolstered by a one-time payment from the hospital board in fiscal year 2017, the audit found a significant portion of the money was not due to the city… The City of Lexington has pledged to address many of the findings and in some cases, has already begun to take action on the concerns outlined in the report…”

The City of Lexington is represented by Sen. Denny Hoskins and Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer.


Barnes Out for Senate

Rep. Jay Barnes announced that he had decided against running for state senate (District 6).  See the announcement here.  Barnes cited the desire to spend more time with his growing family.

What It Means

This would seem to give Rep. Mike Bernskoetter the lock on Senate 6.  Unlike the US Senate race drama (above), and an expected primary for the Republican nomination for auditor, this is yet another primary Republicans have avoided in their state senate race.  True, they still have spirited contests ahead in Senate 16, 18, 32 and 34, but coming on the heels of the Senate 20/30 shuffle, this is more good news for the GOP.


I expect we will hear about more about Barnes politically somewhere down the road.


September Revenue Numbers

The press release: State Budget Director Dan Haug announced today that September 2017 net general revenue collections decreased 1.8 percent compared to September 2016, from $891.1 million last year to $875.4 million this year….


The Department of Revenue is transitioning to a new integrated tax collection system.  As a result, the September 2017 collections are not directly comparable to September 2016 collections.


Schmitt Named Fellow

Press release: Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt has been named a rising political star by the Aspen Institute. The state treasurer is one of 24 people who was selected after an intensive year-long search to be named to the Rodel Fellowship in Public Leadership program, a program designed to bring together elected officials who they believe have demonstrated an “outstanding ability to work responsibly across partisan divisions and bring greater civility to public discourse.”  The Rodel Fellowship program is an invitation-only program for men and women in an elected public office, ideally between the ages of 25-50… The 24-month fellowship program consists of three weekend-long seminars, generally held in Aspen, Colorado.


Gov’s Trip

Press release: This weekend, Governor Eric Greitens and First Lady Sheena Greitens returned from a trade mission to China and South Korea. The trade mission included numerous meetings with government officials, business executives, potential investors, and cultural and educational partners in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Seoul… The Governor arrived in Beijing on Sunday, September 24, and met with U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad. The Governor and First Lady's meetings in China also included meetings with the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yang; Vice Minister of Commerce Yu Jianhua; Party Secretary of Shanghai Municipality Han Zheng; and Vice Governor Wang Xiaodong of Hebei province, Missouri’s sister-state in China. The delegation explored opportunities to expand on existing economic ties between Missouri and China…

The Governor and First Lady arrived in Seoul on Thursday, September 28, where official meetings included Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon of the Republic of Korea, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa, and Vice Minister Choi Su-gyu of the Ministry of Small & Medium Enterprises and Start-Ups.

On Friday, September 29, Governor Greitens and Vice Minister Choi signed a Memorandum of Understanding to recognize the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises for economic growth and to promote small business job creation… Along with Governor Greitens, Missouri Senators Sandy Crawford, Daniel Hegeman, and Robert Onder were also in attendance to support the growth of trade and investment opportunities between Missouri and Asia…


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Saturday: Tommie Pierson, Jr. Mini-Golf – StL Putting Edge – Hazelwood – 11AM.


New Committees

Daniel Trott formed an exemption committee to run for House 23 as a Green candidate.

Phil Glynn formed a candidate committee (Glynn For Mayor) to run for mayor of Kansas City.

MWLC PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Margaret Weir.


Lobbyists Registration Changes

Morgan Mundell added Missouri Limestone Producers Association.

Brian Millner added Missouri Community College Assn.

Erik Bergrud added Park University.

David Grote deleted Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association, Health Management Systems, and Missouri Restaurant Association.


$5K+ Contributions

New Approach PAC - $30,000 from Larry Ellison.

MO State Council of Fire Fighters PAC - $30,000 from International Association of Firefighters.

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $6,361 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

We Are Missouri - $33,160 from SEIU Missouri/Kansas State Council.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from Commerce Bank.

We are Missouri - $18,149 from SEIU Healthcare Missouri.



Happy birthdays to Yancy Williams.

Saturday: Jeff Harris, Zach Wyatt-Gomez, Sam Barbee, and Kenny Ross.

Sunday: Rep. Pat Conway and Emily Wright.