Monday, May 8, 2017

And Away We Go….

Senate starts at 1PM today; the House starts at 3PM.  Last week folks….  Until special session! (see below)….


Eyes on the Senate

I did a round of asks this weekend about the state of the Senate.  And despite its ability to pass a budget and the fact they spent Friday appeasing Sen. Rob Schaaf’s demand to discuss the governor’s dark money machinery, there’s an awful lot of pessimism about how much will get done this final week.

A sampling:  “I think the senate could be finished... Nothing happens… Back to Senate dysfunction… [They] get a bunch of non-controversial bills done…”

The Senate has some big House bills sitting on their calendar venue, prevailing wage, Public union regulations, and minimum wage.  Can they move one or two across the finish-line?  Plus PDMP.


But Over in the House There’s Also Real Action…

What will they do on SB43 (changes to discrimination law)?  The best guess from folks watching is: amend it.  And with five days left (and with the Senate the way it is), that pretty much kills the bill for this session.

Still, even if SB43 dies, there are other Senate bills in the tort reform arena which teed up for passage in the House: Collateral Source (SB31), Healthcare Provider definition (SB237), and arbitration agreements (SB45), for example.


Special Session Coming

Don’t book that family road-trip to the Grand Canyon yet folks… Regardless of how well or not this last week goes, multiple sources say that the governor is prepping to call a special session (and maybe more than one) this summer.

Real ID, tax reform, more tort reform… these are just some of the items on the governor’s wish-list.  But his biggest wish is to be the chief executive who calls the legislature back to Jeff City for not doing its job.  Make no mistake, he’s calling a special.  He ran as an outsider against the Jefferson City culture so this keeps that campaign message going.  He calls them back into session because they couldn’t get X, Y or Z passed.

As one denizen explains: Long term, he wants to be standing at the Iowa bean feed or the Lake Winpasauke meet and greet and his tag line will be "When I was governor, I called the legislators into 17 special sessions until they stopped listening to special interests and passed good, conservative legislative reforms."

Several folks tell me “there’s no downside for him calling a special session.”

But several folks (with more experience in building) tell me “yes there is.”

Here’s one:  How does the governor tell the public these guys couldn't get along and work for 5 months, so I'm going to call them back to work on my priorities for up to 60 days at a time? And by the way it costs tax payers more money….

Especially if it’s for something like “Blue Alert.” That would give everyone time to focus on whether it’s really a more pressing law enforcement priority than say, higher salaries at Corrections or gun courts to keep repeat offenders off the street, or just better funding for struggling local police departments.  Sometimes window-dressings don’t look as pretty when it’s all folks are looking at.


Vescovo for Floor

Rep. Rob Vescovo announced he’s running for House Floor Leader.  It’s an early announcement.  This Republican Caucus election won’t take place until after the 2018 Elections, so he’s got an 18 month campaign ahead of him.  It will pressure others who are interested to push up their announcement timeline.

What supporters like in Vescovo: he’s won competitive races and made a previously swing district into something of a solid GOP seat; he’s handled and passed difficult legislation; and he’s a hard worker who has regularly attended events and knocked on doors in other reps’ districts.

From Vescovo’s Announcement Letter

Most of you know that I have not backed away from sometimes controversial issues when necessary to further conservative agenda items, but in doing so, I have also learned to respectfully disagree with members of our diverse caucus.  As I have been unafraid to take the heat on high profile issues, I will also stand tall to shield our most vulnerable members from unnecessary pressure.  I understand what a tough election is like, as I have been elected twice in one of the most competitive swing districts in the state.  After consecutive twenty point victories over serious competition, I am proud to have put my seat into safe Republican control...  While no one enjoys fundraising, I have developed a track record of success in doing so.  With the support of my family, I am willing to travel to each corner of our great state to communicate our agenda to anyone who will listen, and I am certain they will reward our ideas with their support for our caucus.

In the coming weeks and months, I look forward to visiting with each of you to further learn the issues that are important to you and your districts and to earn your support in being an advocate for your and our cause.  I believe that with your support, as your next Majority Floor Leader, we can work together to ensure that each individual member is listened to, the caucus agenda can be furthered, and that the issues that are important to your individual districts become an important part of that agenda.


House 55 Preview

Tipster: The Cass County Clerk, Mike Vinck, has started calling people telling them he is run for Rep. Rick Brattin’s seat, House 55. Brattin is Term limited. That sets up a potential primary between him and co-founder of Missouri Alliance for Freedom Ryan Johnson who has been mentioned as a possible candidate. Vinck will have to overcome some hurdles. Especially against a well-funded opponent.

Oh, and the first hit piece mailer on Vinck?  See it here.


The Dailies’ Columnists

Messenger on Greitens

[T]he Honorable Gov. Greitens signed his name to a document admitting to a dishonorable act, he and his spokespeople have continued to refuse to come clean on the details about the mysterious donor database obtained from a nonprofit that exists to help veterans returning from war.  The Mission Continues said it never authorized selling or giving away its database. Greitens signed a document that admits to having used it, but he won’t say where he got it…. Greitens told the AP his campaign wasn’t using such a donor list… In 2017, Greitens and his attorney both signed a Missouri Ethics Commission document that says the opposite is true. It is not against the law to lie to the press. But it puts the governor in a difficult position if the FBI ever comes knocking at his door….  See it here.

Kraske on Silvey-Richard

Ryan Silvey and Ron Richard are both Republicans, and they both serve in the Missouri Senate. But any notion that they play for the same team blew up this week…  Silvey, who has expressed interest in a bid for Kansas City mayor in 2019, is not one to be pushed around. He has battled Gov. Eric Greitens this session over “dark money,” with Silvey calling for more transparency. He was routinely critical of former Gov. Jay Nixon, whom Silvey referred to as “King Jay.” Silvey once fought Gov. Matt Blunt, a fellow Republican, over patronage fee offices, with Silvey demanding reform.  Meantime, Richard’s hold on the Senate is slipping. The only man to ever lead the state Senate and House, Richard seems not to understand that he can’t twist arms as aggressively in the Senate. By design, senators are more autonomous. He’s sure not twisting Silvey’s arm…  See it here.


eMailbag on HCB3

So I tend to disagree with your analysis that the House will take up and pass HCB 3 [formerly the circuit-breaker, now the sweeper].  [Rep. Justin] Alferman wants to go to conference on this.

Additionally, I think what the Senate did was unconstitutional (pause for the gasp) not because of removing all the language (although maybe) but because they asked the executive branch to do the function of the legislative branch which is a violation of the nondelegation doctrine….


Help Wanted

Regional Business Council seeks Project Coordinator, Member Services & Government Relations.  “Work closely with the President and CEO, Director of Member Services & Initiatives, Council members and outside consultants to implement the mission of The Regional Business Council… Facilitates communication for the RBC between legislative offices and staff… Communicate via written material to RBC members providing regular updates on legislative agenda items… Works closely with RBC political and legislative consultants to monitor issues important to RBC membership….” See the ad here.


Lobbyists Registrations

David Rudie Bippes, Alison Bonner, Mackenzie Landa, Jordan Lucas, Jordan McFarland, Adam Mire, and Emily Ross deleted Associated Students of The University of Missouri.

Cydney Mayfield added Lauber Municipal Law LLC.

Henry Foley deleted University of Missouri.

Holly Borgmann deleted ADT LLC dba ADT Security Services.

Clark Packard deleted National Taxpayer Union.


$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $5,100 from Missourians for Mike Cierpiot.



Happy birthday to Tom Dempsey.