Friday, September 22, 2017

Greitens to MI

I questioned yesterday whether Governor Eric Greitens would keep his engagement this weekend to a Republican confab in Michigan given that protests and unrest will likely continue in the days ahead.

One politico waved off such concerns saying that the governor is probably traveling by private plane and could zip back in 90 minutes if things truly got out of hand.

But the juxtaposition is part of a narrative which has been presence since Greitens’ first days in office: that his eyes are focused less on Missouri and instead on building his national profile for a DC campaign.

Assuming his leap onto the national scene doesn’t come in the next three years, he’ll be running for re-election.   One ad that Dems will test: a compilation of his innumerable trips across the country and asking if he should have stayed in Missouri to work on the XXX problem of the moment.


Follow-Up on Proposed Healthcare Funding

I got a few responses/rebuttals to yesterday’s NYTimes bit that Missouri would see an increase in federal aid under the latest proposal of “Repeal and Replace Obamacare.”

In short: providers and advocates for low-income patients are still trying to figure out the impact, scared s**tless by what think could be massive cuts.

Here’s some feedback…

We believe the new fed healthcare bill will result in a loss of $900M annually when it's fully phased-in.  It's true we could see another $100M because of the block grant. However, because of the FRA adjustment from 6%-4%, MO would lose roughly $1Billion in a federal match…


If you take out the HUGE provider tax cut, MO gets more money - at first. [But by] 20 years out, we get $35B less.


Here’s one analysis of the longer-term impact.


Martin Gets Gig on CNN

After several appearances on CNN, Ed Martin has been hired as a regular contributor.

Press release: Today, CNN announced that Ed Martin will serve as a CNN Political Contributor effective immediately. He will appear on all CNN programs…. As a CNN contributor, Ed will appear exclusively on TV with CNN…

What It Means

This give Martin a broader platform. If he truly has his eyes on a federal office, it enhances his ability to create a national brand – with a wider fundraising reach.  One politico – half joked (or maybe 1/10th joked) that Martin would say something outrageous enough early next year to get him tossed from CNN and then use that to be a free speech martyr against FakeNews CNN while launching his candidacy.

We’ll see….


Rollcall writes about Martin’s dispensing of Phyllis Schlafly’s endorsement – even after her death.  See it here.


Calzone on Fitzwater to P&P

On Facebook, unregistered lobbyist Ron Calzone writes seemingly about Paul Fitzwater’s appointment to the Board of Probation and Parole….  “When an office holder skips out on his or her constituents to take a high paying public appointment, the Senate should refuse to confirm the appointment.”

What It Means: Nothing.  Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard isn’t a Calzone fan.


Hatfield on MOSERS

On Facebook, Super-Attorney Chuck Hatfield cautions folks that the MOSERS buyout might not be in their best interests… “If you got a MOSERS buyout option, do the math. If you really need money now and you think you will die shortly, it might make sense. If not, know that 1) your buyout is for 60% of the present value. That means you are giving up 40% of your money. 2) they figure present value using an assumed 7.5% return (see footnote). Unlikely you will get that kind of return on your money, meaning its even more of a discount of what you are owed. 3) you will pay taxes now if you take the cash option. If you are under 60, your will pay an extra tax penalty.”


Across the Pond…

NYTimes reports that the City of London yanks Uber’s permit.  Read it here.

Pull Quote: Transport for London said it had concluded that Uber was “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.”  Among the issues it raised: how Uber deals with serious criminal offenses; how it conducts background checks on drivers; and its explanation for its use of a software program called Greyball that “could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app.”


Rumorville: Coming this Weekend?

Word is that Rex Sinquefield will be sending some large contributions to various PACs.  I have written about these PACs before – Missouri Growth PAC, Missouri AG PAC, Missouri Senior PAC, and Missouri C PAC.  They are associated with lobbyist Steven Tilley.

In the wake of Amendment 2, several lobby firms appear to be setting up PACs.

Tilley is a lifelong friend of Travis Brown who has acted as Sinquefield’s hand in the capitol.

Tilley – a former Republican speaker – has maintained a small government philosophy while occasionally stepping outside the Republican orthodoxy on specific issues.  He’s been a supporter of medical marijuana, which he frames as an issue between a doctor and patient.  And also against some anti-labor items which he argues are government intrusion into a private contract between employers and employees.


Trinity Fall-Out

EducationNext looks at fall-out from the recent Trinity Lutheran decision.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Supporters of school vouchers had hoped that the time was ripe for the Supreme Court to deliver a death blow to Blaine Amendments—the provisions in at least 37 state constitutions that forbid public aid to sectarian institutions. But in ruling on Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer this past June, the court declined to strike that blow. The court’s reasoning, however, does suggest that recent state-court decisions that rely on Blaine Amendments are unconstitutional because they discriminate against religious schools…. The court might soon have a chance to decide Trinity Lutheran’s reach. The day after announcing its decision in that case, the court vacated and remanded Blaine Amendment cases from New Mexico and Colorado, to be reconsidered in light of Trinity Lutheran. Applying even Roberts’s narrow reasoning should lead to different judicial outcomes and possibly more appeals to the Supreme Court.


New Committees

Invest in Greene County PAC.  David Pavlin is the treasurer.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Rep. Bruce Franks Reception – AB Biergarten – StL – 6PM.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Rockwood Asset Management 6 LLC.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Bruce Franks and David Willis.

Saturday: Harry Otto.

Sunday: Kevin Wilson and Terry Witte.