Monday, October 23, 2017

Q&A #1: Who’s the Republican Front-Runner for Auditor?

Short answer: David Wasinger.

Call me a convert on Wasinger. I was converted by last weekend’s poll which showed him polling 8% of the Republican primary voters statewide.  That may not sound like much – it’s not – but compared to Rep. Paul Curtman’s 11% it’s a virtual tie.  With 80% of the electorate shrugging their shoulders at these two candidates, cash is king.

And Wasinger has cash while Curtman has yet to show the ability to raise cash.

Until a third-party PAC emerges to support Curtman, or Curtman himself puts up some big numbers, or a new big-foot Republican enters, Wasinger should be considered the front-runner.

Wasinger does have negatives that could hurt him in a Republican primary.  I’ve written about these before.  He is a trial attorney with RINO rumors swirling around him because he was previously appointed by a Republican governor as a Democrat.

Still, unless a foe of Wasinger has a few million dollars to run TV, these negatives will never get a wider audience.

 

Greitens In Iowa

Governor Eric Greitens made a political trip to Iowa.  See the Kansas City Star report here.  And the Des Moines Register story here (by former KCStar reporter Jason Noble).

Pull Quote: Political leaders and “cultural leaders” have an obligation to respect the American flag and stand for the national anthem, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens said Saturday on his first visit to Iowa… In addition to staking out his position on anthem protests, which drew strong cheers from the crowd, Greitens described calling Missouri lawmakers into a special legislative session to pass laws limiting access to abortion and taking a hard line against protests in St. Louis that have turned violent at times… “The people of Missouri and the people Iowa, we want to see results,” Greitens said. “We’re tired of waiting, and we need D.C. to get it done.”

What It Means

Yes, it means Greitens can’t hardly wait to run nationally.  And the most immediate opportunity for that is next year.  Know that Greitens is positioned to become the consensus candidate to run against McCaskill if Hawley’s bid should falter for any reason.

 

Nolte: Ridgeway Creating “Virtual Dictatorship” in Clay County

Former Rep. Jerry Nolte and former Sen. Luann Ridgeway continue their war on the Clay County Commission.  Nolte posted this on his Facebook accusing Ridgeway of subverting the county government…

Monday at 10:00 am at the County Courthouse in the Commissioner’s meeting room, Commissioner Ridgeway will try to ramrod her latest attack on the citizens of Clay County and our representative form of government with 2014-ORD-42*. Only you can stop her…. Commissioner Ridgeway will also, cancel your vote in the 2014 election by replacing the elected Presiding Commissioner with an unelected bureaucrat, likely to be County Administrator Brookshier, with almost total power in Commission meetings. Commissioner Ridgeway is creating a Charter form of government without public input or without your vote, creating a virtual dictatorship…

 

STL Protests Gets NYTimes Coverage

Late last week, the New York Times ran an article about the ongoing protests in St. Louis City.  See it here.

Pull Quote: While regional leaders say they are confident the area can thrive economically amid the demonstrations, protest leaders have gotten their attention. The protesters have largely won the public relations battle against the police — who have made some embarrassing missteps in their handling of the demonstrations — and have seized the media narrative, with the local press reporting on their complaints against particular officers and police tactics.

With a focus on disrupting the city’s economy, the protests have forced the city to pay more than $3 million in police overtime and have led to lost revenue after a couple of major concerts were canceled. Demonstrations — or even just the fear of them — have prompted grocery stores and malls to temporarily close. And some wonder whether the unrest will harm the region’s bid to lure the new Amazon headquarters…

“I think people are nervous about irreparable harm to the civic identity,” said the Rev. Starsky Wilson, a co-chairman of the commission created in the aftermath of the Ferguson shooting.

If nothing else, said Mr. Wilson, who is black, the persistent protests should alert cities nationwide that people will not be satisfied by endless commissions and policy proposals that do not result in action…

 

SNAP RFP

The state is looking to upgrade its technology infrastructure for SNAP assistance.

From the RFP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (Food Stamp) Program (SNAP), a federal food assistance program that helps provide food assistance to eligible low-income families to provide a first line of defense against hunger and improve families' nutrition and health…

The Family Support Division uses data from various internal and external sources to support eligibility determinations including federal agencies, multiple departments within the state, and other entities… The total monthly number of active Missouri food stamp active cases varies from approximately 350,000 to 400,000 cases with the number of individuals receiving benefits monthly varying from approximately 758,000 to 830,000. The total number of applications varies from about 38,000 to 48,000 per month…

FSD’s Income Maintenance Unit (IM) is transitioning from FAMIS, a mainframe-based integrated eligibility system, to MEDES, a modern, web-based eligibility and enrollment system. MEDES, the Missouri Eligibility Determination and Enrollment System…

The contractor shall provide and implement a state-of-the-art SNAP application, eligibility determination, and management system for the Department of Social Services Family Support Division for use by DSS/FSD offices located throughout the State of Missouri…The solution shall provide a consistent customer experience through a multi-point responsive interface that is easy to understand and navigate for citizens, providers, and workers and is seamlessly interfaced and/or integrated with other required systems and components both internal and external to the State… A customer-centric SNAP approach will radically improve the user’s experience by providing an intuitive and always available interface for requesting, obtaining, and maintaining benefits that is timely and accurate…

The key characteristics of this new solution should accommodate customer self-service via multiple access points, frictionless interaction and submission, seamless navigation, and a consistently excellent customer experience.  Since customer experience is correlated to the State agency’s accurate and efficient administration, the solution should significantly reduce or eliminate manual processes and redundant steps.  Benefit determination information requests and receipt must be automated, transparent, and placed in the associated electronic case file in order to complete benefit decisions quickly, accurately, and automatically whenever possible.  The solution should provide the ability to obtain information, at any time, about a specific case, subset of cases, or a larger grouping, that will be provided to support decision-making...

 

Bits

Former Sen. Bob Johnson announced a “comeback.”  He’s running for – again – for Lee’s Summit City Council.  See it here.

 

The Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed a conflict of interest complaint against the Missouri Board of Law Examiners because it determined that it does not have jurisdiction.  See it here.

 

Governor Eric Greitens announced that that boys and girls in foster care will no longer be required to pay the state to get a copy of their birth certificate… “Foster kids don't have teams of lobbyists. They don’t know insiders or the special interests. And in the past, that meant that they were—like too many Missourians—forgotten. Until now….”

 

In the large contributions (below) Southwest Airlines chips in $50K for the Kansas City airport initiative.  Don Morrison is their lobbyist in Jefferson City.

 

And from AirlineGeeks.com, here’s a look at the KC airport physical situation.

 

New Committees

Nicole Thompson formed a candidate committee (Nicole Thompson For Missouri) to run for Senate 6 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent, Sen. Mike Kehoe, is term limited.  Rep. Mike Bernskoetter is expected to be the Republican nominee in 2018.  Website coming… See it here.

 

Lobbyists Registration Changes

Jeffrey Brooks, David Jackson and Jorgen Schlemeier added Code.org.

 

$5K+ Contributions

CLEAN Missouri - $6,366 from Sierra Club.

Supporters of a Better SJSD - $10,000 from Herzog Contracting Corp.

SHS PAC - $12,500 from Altria Client Services LLC.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) – $50,000 from Southwest Airlines Co.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) – $10,000 from Saint Lukes Health System.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) – $7,500 from IBEW Local Union 124.

Find The Cures - $26,000 from Bradley Bradshaw.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Friends of Mike Cunningham.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $15,000 from Management Company LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Reps. Rebecca McClanahan and Bryan Pratt, and Kenny Murdock.

 

Congratulations

To Jeff and Melissa Roe who announced on Facebook that they are infanticipating their third child in February.