November 7, 2017

Meet Election Day

Senate 8 – The special election to fill the vacancy created when Will Kraus took an appointment had plenty of drama early on.  Republican Jacob Turk chose to run as an Independent. And that created the prospect of Republicans splitting their vote.  Recently though it seems that Republican voters have gotten wise to this possibility.  It appears that Rep. Mike Cierpiot has largely consolidated the partisan vote of his party.

But – and this applies to everything today – special elections have notoriously low and unpredictable turnouts.  In other words, be surprised if you’re not surprised by something today.

Kansas City has the airport question on the ballot.  MOScout polled this last weekend and found that over the past two months the KC3T campaign has successfully moved a chunk of undecideds into the Yes column.  It looks to pass – if the turnout matches the polling sample.

St. Louis City voters will vote on Prop P today.  It’s a half-cent sales tax increase.  Among my peer group (south city liberals with kids in grade school, try to find that crosstab!) walking house-to-house watching the kids trick-or-treat last week, there’s a healthy dose of skepticism on this issue.  The previous MOScout poll had shown a deterioration in support following press reports of overzealous policing of protests.  The assumption is that it passes.  That’s because hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent by the Pro-P campaign and opponents have very little money.

In St. Joseph an acrimonious fight has broken out over a tax increase for the school district.  Herzog Contracting has been a big donor to the opponents’ campaign.  And lately there has been accusations on both sides, even drawing in the Secretary of State, Jay Ashcroft.

Finally, Boone County has a use tax up for approval, though as I wrote yesterday the county commission said they hadn’t decided what they would use the extra revenue for….


MMJ – Licensing and Restrictions

Marijuana reform advocate Eapen Thampy has a PowerPoint up on the web of a presentation.  See it here.  It details the different initiative petitions and how they vary by restrictions.  How many licenses could be issued, how much the application fees are etc. Worth a look because remember: medical marijuana is potentially big business….


Berry to CCEDC

Kansas City Business Journal reports “Rep. T.J. Berry was named incoming executive director of the Clay County Economic Development Council. Berry, a Republican from Kearney, will work with longtime Executive Director Jim Hampton through May and go full time when the General Assembly’s 2018 session comes to a close, according to a release. Berry serves on the House Economic Development Committee and is chairman of the Special Committee on Innovation and Technology. He was a sponsor of legislation earlier this year that authorized the issuance of state bonds to cover half the cost of a new conservatory for the University of Missouri-Kansas City. That bill was vetoed by Gov. Eric Greitens…”

Since No One Asked Me, I’ll Tell You

If I could have a single “ethic reform” implemented in Missouri… it would be that any job offer or conversation about future job prospects, be publicly reportable.

I don’t know of anyone ever changing a policy position or doing anything for a job, but it just seems like a common sense.  Sitting legislators applying for, interviewing, feeling out, whatever, employment possibilities is ripe territory for conflicts of interest.  Not saying they can’t do it, but it should be disclosed to the public.


Federal Tax Reform Watch

Governing Magazine reports on a possible change to local financing in the federal tax reform package.  See it here“The bill would eliminate all private activity bonds, which allow tax-exempt municipal bonds to be issued on behalf of a government for a project built and paid for by a private developer. Tax-exempt bonds fetch lower interest rates in the municipal market and therefore lower the overall cost of financing. The projects financed with this type of debt are typically things in the public interest, such as low-income housing, hospitals or airports.”


eMailbag: Questioning Greitens’ Motives

“Don’t be lured into thinking the recent SBOE changes have anything to do with education. Missouri has an abundance of high-quality schools that offer choice and innovation. Most agree the real reason Greitens wants to oust Vandeven is to demonstrate school choice bonafides to the national interests that may be interested in helping to finance his next career move.”


eMailbag: Questioning Greitens’ Trip

Twitter picture of Governor Eric Greitens “surveying” the Golan Heights. One reader remarks, “Gotta get those international affairs bona fides to please those Dunklin County voters…”


eMailbag: Dinkins Riot Talk

One MOScout reader explains why Republican House 144’s candidate Chris Dinkins’ anti-St Louis rhetoric sounds a lot like Rep. Mike Cierpiot’s…. “Chris Dinkins’s son is Cierpiot’s campaign manager… Brett Dinkins. [He’s] former Greitens field director and DED legislative liaison.”


Court Election

Press release: The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District’s Clerk’s office conducted an election for the Eastern District attorney member on the Appellate Judicial Commission on November 4, 2017… The Appellate Judicial Commission is charged with selecting panels of three candidates for judicial vacancies on the state’s intermediate appellate court and the Supreme Court. The governor makes the final selection from the three nominees. The results of the election are as follows: Molly Jones 1,445 votes; Thomas Neill 1,350 votes; Thomas Frawley 1,238 votes… A majority of votes cast is needed to win. Pursuant to Rule 10.15, the clerk’s office will conduct a run-off election between Molly Jones and Thomas K. Neill on December 9, 2017. Electronic balloting for the run-off election will begin in mid-November 2017. The term of the present Eastern District attorney member, Thomas Burke, expires December 31, 2017….


New Committees

The Missouri Civics Project was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is Clair Antoine.

Jay Hemenway formed a candidate committee (Jay Hemenway For Judge) to run for Associate Circuit Judge Harrison County as a Republican.

Jonathon Jacobs formed a candidate committee (Jacobs For Judge) to run for Circuit Judge as a Republican.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Sen. Caleb Rowden Reception – The Club at Old Hawthorne – COMO – 5PM.

House 13 (Republican) candidate Vic Allred Reception – Nick & Jakes – Parkville – 5:30PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jason Lamb deleted Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and Missouri Office of Prosecution Services.

Terry Lynn Baker deleted American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.


$5K+ Contributions

Raise Up Missouri - $9,040 from American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.



Happy birthdays to Congressman Sam Graves, Sen. David Sater, former Rep. Doug Ervin, and Jarad Falk.