Monday, June 19, 2017

House Considers Toughening Abortion Bill

I had imagined that House would pick up and pass whatever abortion bill the Senate passed over to them.  However there are several folks voicing discontent with the Senate bill, and it appears that the House is considering toughening the bill.

This would of course would require some more back and forth between the two chambers and extend this special session.

Within the House, look for Rep. Jay Barnes to push for a more aggressive bill. (See Barnes’ blog here; he talks about the abortion special session.)

It’s said that the governor’s office is wanting the bill to be strengthen as well, with one rumor being that the governor’s dark money would attack legislators for not being pro-life if they just go along with the Senate bill.

While senators are mostly unafraid of the governor’s non-profit attack arm, many state representatives are in a more vulnerable position, especially those looking at possible senate primaries in 2018.  For example, Rep. Diane Franklin will be running against Sen. Dan Brown’s son in Senate 16.  The last thing she wants is an anonymous third-party hit on a cornerstone GOP issue.

Finally, Pathway’s Don Hinkle was on Bott Radio yesterday giving out Speaker Todd Richardson’s office number, imploring listeners to let the speaker know they want the best anti-abortion bill possible.

All of these pressures make me think we have another lap or two left in this special session.


Follow-Up on Senate 18 Poll

The MOScout Senate 18 poll found that Reps. Nate Walker and Lindell Shumake lead the pack of possible candidates.  Meanwhile GOP activist Cindy O’Laughlin trails the four-way with 6%.  One observer cautions that the early poll is deceptive because O’Laughlin can pick up a lot of ground as she runs an “outsider message” campaign, and some of the other establishment candidates ultimately decide against running.

To make this case, look at the MOScout Senate 23 polling from last cycle.  Rep. Anne Zerr’s poll numbers reached a ceiling early, and Bill Eigel continued to gain ground.  First, he swallowed Rep. Mark Parkinson’s support when Parkinson opted out, and then he added more throughout the campaign.

Survey conducted October 2 – October 3, 2015.

Q: If the candidates in the 2016 Republican Primary Election for State Senate were

Anne Zerr, Mark Parkinson and Bill Eigel, for whom would you vote?

Anne Zerr…………………………………..26%

Mark Parkinson………………………….19%

Bill Eigel……………………………………..10%



Survey conducted November 20 – November 21, 2015.

Q: The candidates in the 2016 Republican Primary Election for State Senate are Anne

Zerr and Bill Eigel. If the election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Anne Zerr…………………………………..25%

Bill Eigel……………………………………..19%



Survey conducted April 29 through April 30, 2016.

Q: The candidates in the Republican primary election for State Senate are Bill

Eigel, Anne Zerr, and Michael Edward Carter. If the election were held today, for

whom would you vote?

Bill Eigel: 32%

Anne Zerr: 24%

Michael Edward Carter: 4%

Undecided: 40%


Shumake Announces, Dings Dysfunction Senate

Press release: Representative Lindell Shumake announces his campaign for State Senate. “After several months of prayerful consideration I have decided to enter the race for the 18th District Senate seat,” said Representative Shumake. “I believe that my strong and consistent conservative voting record as State Representative along with my life experiences as a husband, father, veteran, and small business owner have all qualified me to be our next State Senator. We have record Republican super majorities in the House and Senate and a Republican in the Governor’s Mansion. Despite those gains, we still fail to get all of our conservative legislation passed because of dysfunction in the State Senate…”


West Lake in WashPost

The EPA issued a site update for the West Lake Landfill which Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal has made the central issue for her second term in office. See it here.

They continue to report that “EPA has performed off-site investigations to address public concerns about possible off-site exposures, and has collected a large body of perimeter and off-site air data. These efforts have included an extensive off-site air monitoring program, characterization of the Bridgeton Municipal Athletic Complex, and the recent Bridgeton Residential Investigation. In all cases, the scientifically validated data demonstrate no current off-site exposures to [radiologically-impacted material] from the site…”


Front-page Washington Post today looks at the North County landfill.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Families here have long lived with the reality of the site, which got its Superfund designation in 1990. The 200 acres include not just the radioactive waste that was illegally dumped in 1973, but also an adjacent landfill where decomposing trash as deep as 150 feet is smoldering in what scientists call a “subsurface burning event.” The fire is now about 600 feet from that other waste.

West Lake has made Bridgeton the kind of place where some parents drive their children to playgrounds far from the landfill. Where some people keep homemade kits in their cars — face masks for days the stench hits, eyedrops for irritation, Tylenol for headaches. Where others trade stories of cancers, autoimmune diseases and miscarriages they’re scared could be related to the Superfund site, although air, water and soil tests from the EPA and other government agencies have shown no link.

Activists fault the EPA for moving at a glacial pace. They accuse Republic Services, which took ownership of the landfill in 2008, of trying to avoid full-fledged cleanup…

Despite West Lake’s complex challenges, the long-awaited cleanup could move forward relatively soon. For one, there are viable parties on the hook to pay the costs. (Republic Services is one of three “potentially responsible parties” that would shoulder the remediation.) And with the EPA’s site investigation largely complete, officials already planned to make a final decision this year on how cleanup would proceed, according to former regional administrator Mark Hague… Although some nearby residents have pushed for a full removal of the radioactive material, a solution that could cost in excess of $400 million, Republic Services has maintained that “capping” the site with layers of rock, clay and soil would be sufficient and would avoid the risks associated with disturbing the nuclear waste. Its approach would cost closer to $50 million…


Greitens Not On This Veep List

For all of our talk here in Missouri about Governor Eric Greitens’ national ambitions, his frequent flights to DC, he’s not necessarily on the capitol’s radar.  From Axios’ Mike Allen:

One of the parlor games Republicans are playing in the shadows of the Russia investigation is this: Who would President Pence pick as his vice president?

Quick refresher: If a president leaves offices for any reason, the sitting Vice President takes over and picks his number two, subject to majority vote in the House and Senate.

Quick stipulation: Yes, this is premature and highly speculative and premised solely on Trump leaving office for whatever reason.

The various theories being tossed around:  Return to normal: Pick a conventional, mainstream Republican to usher back in pre-Trump conservativism. Think Paul Ryan or Mitt Romney. (Romney more likely, because you wouldn't want to disrupt a second branch of government.) Or Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., and former South Carolina governor.

Reassurance: Pick someone who helps ease the nerves of an anxious nation. Think Bob Gates. Or Mitch Daniels, for Hoosier supremacy? John Boehner?

Calm the country: Pick someone who sends a clear signal that anything approximating the status quo of Trump or even pre-Trump won't cut it. Think Joe Biden or Michael Bloomberg. The chattering class would go ga-ga!

Double Down: Pick someone who can keep the spirit of America First Trumpism alive. The problem is it's thin pickings: Jeff Sessions? Rudy Giuliani? Newt Gingrich?


Kander in Politico

Jason Kander was the subject of a Politico story titled: How Jason Kander Won By Losing.

See it here.

Pull Quote: Since losing his Senate race to Blunt last year—Kander nearly won in a state Clinton lost by 19 points, and picked up 220,000 crossover Trump voters by running on a progressive economic message—he’s become a star of the Democratic grassroots circuit. He’s picked up 100,000 new Twitter followers and a CNN contributor contract. He’s been embraced by the insular Obama orbit and all but adopted by Joe Biden, who sees in Kander a little of his late son Beau, another earnest young Army veteran. The former vice president spent many a donor dinner last year calling out to a staffer “give me the iPad” so he could play the rifle ad—which has been view nearly 1.5 million times on Kander’s YouTube channel—for them himself…

If Kander had beaten Blunt last year and been a freshman progressive Democratic senator from a red state with a history that includes fighting for voting rights and serving as an intelligence officer in Afghanistan, he’d be at the top of all the 2020 speculation lists…

And maybe, just maybe, he’s running for president in 2020 anyway. By then, he would only be 39 — seven years younger than Obama was in 2008…

Some Democrats watching closely think he might just go through with it. Or maybe he’ll just let it keep floating, or endorse someone else as he launches a campaign for governor—using the somewhat insane idea that a one-term secretary of state could lose a Senate race, only to become president four years later, as a publicity vehicle for a more realistic statewide bid in 2020. And then there’s a future beyond either running or serving in the next Democratic administration…

“I’m really focused on making sure we still hold elections right now,” Kander said. “And maybe one day I’ll be in one.”


Schmitt on Father’s Day

Treasurer Eric Schmitt posted a Father’s Day note on Facebook: I have had a few jobs and titles in my life - counselor, Senator, Treasurer (for the record Jaime has never referred to me as any of those), but none of them come close to the the importance of my most important job: Dad. I was blessed to be born to Steve and Kathy Schmitt, two wonderful parents who were always encouraging and supportive through victories and mistakes, but nothing completely prepares you for your own journey as another human being's father.

Today, once again it's Fathers Day. This is my twelfth as a dad. My first was in 2005 after Stephen had been born the August before. By then, ten months in as parents, we had already experienced some incredible highs and lows in Stephen's first year. He was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis when he was just five months old. Other diagnoses followed in the months and years to come like epilepsy and autism. To this day Stephen is non-verbal. More to the point, I have never had a conversation with my first born, my son. I'd be lying if I told you that isn't painful. In fact, there are inescapable reminders of that reality everywhere: A glimpse of a dad explaining to his son what's happening at a ballgame; seeing kids Stephen's age playing basketball together; coming to the realization Stephen won't have his own family some day; No Fathers Day for him.

However, in the midst of all of this I am incredibly grateful for him and the impact he has had on me and so many others. What Stephen has given our family transcends the temporal. He has given Jaime and I perspective we never would have had otherwise, a calling, greater empathy and so much more. For me specifically as his dad Stephen has been and is my inspiration to make a difference; to do things I wouldn't have done otherwise and has made me a better person.

Since and during our journey with Stephen, Jaime and I have also been given two incredible girls: Sophia and Olivia. I am so proud of them. Sophia has a sense of determination and grit that will serve her well and its my job to make sure she understands how blessed she is and the responsibility she has to realize all of her potential and enter adulthood ready to work hard, achieve and serve. Olivia's easy-going demeanor and personality makes me laugh every day and she has a heart of gold. They are both great kids.

Being a dad is the best job I have ever had or will ever have. There are plenty of moments with my kids where I want to freeze time. As much as I wish I could I know I can't. Fathers Day is a day to remember those moments during the past year and be grateful. On this Father's Day I have much to be grateful for and at the top of that list is being Stephen, Sophia and Olivia's dad.


eMailbag on Speaker’s Race

If I were a Dem elected I'd be concerned that Elijah Haahr has the ability to tap into traditional Dem issue donors, sucking more resources away from their candidates/committees. Smart Republicans look at that list and smile happily while smart Ds hold onto their shorts.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jeff Brooks, David Jackson, and Jorgen Schlemeier added Natural Resources Defense Council Inc.

Dwight Scharnhorst deleted Express Wash Concepts, and Saint Charles Auction Company.


$5K+ Contributions

Mantovani for STL - $15,000 from Jerome Schlichter.

SEIU Local 1 Misosuri Division PAC - $10,000 from SEIU Local 1

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $6,000 from Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 PAC Fund.

Missouri Demcoratic State Committee - $25,000 from Joseph Shepard.



Happy birthday to former Sen. Brian Nieves, Jason Cohen, Keith Kirk, Angela Bingaman, and Misty Snodgrass.