Monday, July 31, 2017

R-Day for Kraus?

Strong buzz out there about Sen. Will Kraus getting a Trump administration appointment.  I wrote about the rumor last week, but it could become reality today.  A couple folks say that they expect Kraus to submit his resignation today.

There’s a strong expectation in the building that Kraus’ resignation will be soon followed by Governor Eric Greitens calling a special election for his seat.  Rep. Mike Cierpiot is the favorite to replace Kraus in a special.  Cierpiot spent time this Spring nailing down the legislative committee which will determine the Republican nominee.  This will freeze out his competition – for now.  He’ll have to run for reelection next August in the regularly scheduled primary.  But he’ll do so as an incumbent, a strong advantage, which may dissuade some would-be opponents.

As important – maybe more important – I am told that the House will move up its leadership race and elect a new (potentially three-year) floor leader.  Cierpiot won’t be sworn in until January, so that’s when the election will happen.  The three members vying for that spot are Reps. Kirk Mathews, Rocky Miller and Rob Vescovo.

Vescovo has carved out an image of himself as a fighter, and some believe that will appeal to the House Republican Caucus.  Look for Vescovo to run on this: someone who will stand up to the Senate and hold the House position in the inter-chamber fights.


Greitens Fox Power Player – Again

From the Eric Greitens campaign email blast…

Eric was featured again today as the Fox News Power Player of the Week.

Watch here:

P.S.: Tomorrow marks the end of the month fundraising deadline. Donate now to help

us continue the fight and to meet our goal….


Schmitt Confirms: Austin Out of Senate 30

Springfield News-Leader’s Will Schmitt tweets that “Rep. Kevin Austin tells me he will NOT run for state Senate.”  See it here.

That leaves businessman Caleb Arthur in the front-runner position.  But one lobbyist tells me this seat will have a primary.  He thinks Arthur’s $1,000 contribution to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is like “blood in the water,” sure to attract some opposition.  We’ll see….


What’s Up with Wagner

KCStar’s Bryan Lowry‏ noticed Congresswoman Ann Wagner apparently at Rep. Paul Curtman’s US Senate kick-off cheering his candidacy.  (Wagner on twitter: Here in Missouri, grassroots energy to defeat Claire McCaskill is strong. Great event, @paulcurtman! #MOSen)

Lowry tweeted: Wagner again boosting a candidate not named Josh Hawley. #moleg #mosen


This comes after Wagner reportedly encouraged Rep. Marsha Haefner to enter the US Senate race as well.

Many expected Wagner – after she decided not to run – to fall in behind Attorney General Josh Hawley.  Republicans have been itching to take out McCaskill.  The first step is to minimize a costly primary.  But Wagner doesn’t seem to be following that playbook.

Two theories are emerging on her behavior: First, the jockeying and positioning that preceded her decision not to run have left her bitter towards the Hawley camp.

Or second, these encouragements are to politicians who previously were eyeing CD-2 if Wagner vacated.  Perhaps this is to keep them from considering primarying her!

MOScouters, feel free to explain this to me.


Rumorville: Onken for Kander?

One tipster says that Margaret Onken, Nixon’s former fundraiser, is now working for Jason Kander.  Kander’s federal committees associated with his Let America Vote effort haven’t had to file any reports yet.  It’ll be interesting when they do if Onken is helping out.


The Next Special

Post Dispatch reports that “Amid the ongoing political squabbles under the Capitol dome, there is one thing lawmakers in Missouri agree upon: Gov. Eric Greitens should stop calling them back to town. In an informal survey of legislators on both sides of the aisle last week, the Post-Dispatch found no one who would publicly identify a single issue that is pressing enough to warrant the Republican governor to schedule a third special session…”  See it here.


However, word is that Jerry Schlichter, the primary author of the original historic preservation tax credit legislation, is revving up an effort to protect tax credits “in anticipation of the governor calling a September special session on credits."


Meanwhile in Washington…

LATimes reports: A few years ago, Washington state awarded the Boeing Co. the largest corporate tax break any state had given any corporation — a massive $8.7-billion handout aimed at encouraging the aerospace industry generally, and Boeing specifically, “to maintain and grow its workforce within the state.”  Unwisely, state legislators and Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee didn’t make that a hard and fast requirement of the handout. So they’ve had to stand by powerlessly as the company has cut 12,655 jobs, or more than 15% of its Washington workforce, since that heady signing ceremony in November 2013.  See it here.



Jeff City workers will get August 21 off…  The press release: After consultation with members of the entire executive cabinet, the Office of Administration today announced that non-essential executive department state offices in Cole County will be closed on August 21 for the solar eclipse.  "According to reports from the Department of Public Safety, MoDOT and local law enforcement partners, the kind of congestion expected for this event can create safety and security risks for the public," said Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman. "We believe closing non-essential state offices for this historic event is in the best interest of our state employees and the thousands of people expected to visit Cole County the day of the eclipse."


Saturday, August 12 (7 PM - 9 PM) Senator Al Franken’s book tour ("Al Franken, Giant of the Senate") comes to the Ethical Society of St. Louis, hosted by Left Bank Books. A $35 ticket admits ONE person and includes ONE hardcover copy…


Drama in House 37?  From Facebook… James Clark writes: I want to explain and protect my name and my career . as a campaign manager and political consultant. I officially resigned on July 18th 2017 from John Boyd campaign. I am never violated any rules of ethics as Mr. Boyd has alleged . I have not made a public statement on social media till this point . Because I want everyone to know I still have plenty of clients...

Boyd, for what it’s worth, is running in House 37 as a Republican.  It’s a solid Dem district represented by incumbent Rep. Joe Runions.


eMailbag on OHI Survey

Received three emails today regarding the governor survey. They really want us to take it….


Lobbyists Registrations

Andy Arnold deleted Pelopidas LLC.

Eric Bohl added Missouri Farm Bureau.


$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $25,000 from UFCW Local No. 88 Meat Cutters Union.

We Are Missouri - $46,500 from Laborers International Union of North America Laborers Local No. 110.

We Are Missouri - $190, 264 from CHIPP Political Account.

We Are Missouri - $60,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers.

We Are Missouri - $9,000 from IBEW Local Union 257.

We Are Missouri - $42,660 from UFCW Local 655.
Connect KC - $15,000 from Heavy Construction Laborers Union Local 663.

Connect KC - $10,000 from Western Missouri & Kansas Laborers District Council.



Happy birthdays to Wendell Bailey, Rodney Gray and Liz Henderson.