Thursday, August 10, 2017

Galloway Releases A Pair of Zingers

Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a pair of zinging audits this week.  The first one was a “close-out” audit of Governor Jay Nixon’s office.  He only received a “Fair” rating.  The audit took aim his increase transportation costs: “Based on flight utilization records and the Governor's official calendar, the number of Governor's flights between Jefferson City and St. Louis significantly increased near the end of his term when he began staying some nights at his new residence in St. Louis.”  And scores of half-empty boards and commissions: “The Governor's office did not have adequate procedures to ensure vacancies and expired terms on boards and commissions were filled timely, or to dissolve them when they were no longer needed. In addition, related records were not always complete and accurate.”

To address this concern Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson is heading up a Greitens Task Force.  “The Boards and Commissions Task Force will convene later this month to review information presented during the hearings and draft the final report of their findings, including recommendations that will be made to Governor Eric Greitens by the October 31, 2017 deadline.”

 

But the audit yesterday was a jaw-dropper.  The audit of Putnam County Memorial Hospital “uncovered $90 million in inappropriate lab billings by hospital leadership and associates… Since November 2016, the hospital has received more than $90 million in insurance payments and passed most of it along to the lab company and its affiliates. However, during this time the vast majority of billings were for patients who had never been to or received services from Putnam County Memorial Hospital. Instead, the hospital submits the bills for their services to the insurance companies, funneling millions of dollars through the hospital and reducing it to what is essentially a shell organization for labs across the country…. Auditor Galloway has turned records and information uncovered through the course of the audit to state and federal law enforcement authorities…” See it here.

The hospital is located in the districts of Congressman Sam Graves, Sen. Dan Hegeman, and Rep. Nate Walker.

 

Show Me Institute Seeks Policy Analysts

FireSeeds is advertising for two openings at their client, Rex Sinquefield’s Show-Me Institute. They are both policy analyst positions with one focused on the budget and the other on welfare reform.

The Senior Policy Analyst will join the Show-Me Institute as a leader in their understanding of Missouri’s budget, spending, and tax policy. This individual will produce high-quality research and timely analysis of Missouri fiscal issues at the state and local level and will be the Show-Me Institute’s top analyst regarding fiscal issues and tax policy. A successful Senior Policy Analyst will be able to effectively and persuasively communicate the Institute’s position at an academic and layperson level as well as in print or visual media. He or she will have the opportunity to manage and supervise research assistants and policy analysts.  See the ad here.

The Policy Analyst will develop an expertise regarding the causes of government dependency in Missouri and will assist in developing and implementing a welfare reform agenda for the state. This individual will produce high-quality research and timely analysis of Missouri’s welfare programs and their impact on recipients, taxpayers, and Missouri’s economy. He or she will be able to effectively and persuasively communicate findings both at an academic and layperson level as well as in print or visual media.  See the ad here.

 

Unions Claim Plenty Of Signatures for Anti-RTW Referendum

Jo Mannies reports that “it appears that Missouri labor groups will be able to block the state’s new right-to-work law from taking effect Aug. 28. They’ve collected more than 300,000 notarized signatures in the fight to force a statewide vote over the law in November 2018, state AFL-CIO president Mike Louis and other union leaders say. That’s more than three times the number needed. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has said the law can’t be enforced if it’s clear union leaders turn in at least 100,000 certified signatures. Louis told supporters at a rally this week that the signatures will be submitted on Aug. 18…”

And

More money from David Humphreys in the large contributions (below) presumably flowing into vehicles to defend the new law when it goes to voters.

 

Readers Weigh In on Dem Special Election Losses

Reader 1:  Even following nine months of incessant Trump bashing and the president's tanking poll numbers the Dems still couldn't manage to post a win. Note to [Josh] Hawley, be wary of the temptation to put daylight between yourself and an "unpopular" president.

Reader 2:  Loved your 'Dems Get Participation Award' [bit] yesterday… how many minutes of House Floor time will Skelton get for her participation award and how many Senate filibusters will be given to Skalicky for his?  Talk about Kander and Webber trying to put lipstick on a pig...

But

Dems are unbowed with Dem Party Chair Stephen Webber blasting out an email that Dems are itching for a rematch in House 50…

Last night, Michela Skelton earned almost 48% of the vote, a substantial 10 point increase from the top of the Democratic ticket just last year. That means that in a deep red district, we were only 300 votes away from winning a seat where there hasn't even been a Democratic challenger in the past four elections. And Michela isn't stopping. Last night, she announced that she's continuing her run to represent the people of the 50th district in 2018. To quote Michela: "We have 16 months to find 300 votes...we'll win it next time!"

 

Bits

Sen. Bob Onder talks to the St. Louis Young Republicans tonight.  See it here.

 

Stenger-ites are cheered by a recent Clayton Times poll showing the St. Louis County Executive’s job performance is +32.  Says one: “I’d be hard pressed to find another politico in the state who has numbers are that high??  56 favorable, 24 unfavorable…”

 

For those following the career of Nick Ayers for his Greitens connection, Politico writes about his recent move to become Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff.  See it here“Ayers is a schmoozer whose crisis-management skills the vice president has come to rely on… Ayers is around to ensure that if Trump is out of the picture for one reason or another his man will be ready. He is elbowing his way into meetings at which the vice president was previously unrepresented… Ayers freely shares his views on the White House’s messaging and political strategy. He is making himself a ubiquitous figure, pacing the hallways, talking on his cellphone. ‘He walks around like he owns the place,’ said a senior White House aide.”

 

Sen. Ed Emery writes an op/ed making the case for utility regulatory reform.  See it here“Energy reliability is important to businesses because without steady and reliable energy, commerce stops. When it comes to keeping the lights on, Missouri ranks above average in two categories but is lagging in one key measurement: turning the lights back on once there is a power outage.  This ranking is directly related to the lack of grid modernization and represents a direct cost to businesses while the power is out. The electric grid is the backbone of Missouri’s economy, and updates to our 100-year-old policies are needed to spur economic development as we build a smarter, stronger energy grid for our state…”

 

New Committees

Citizens To Elect Trish Mitchell was formed.  Mitchell, a local Republican activist, is running for Presiding Commissioner of Franklin County.  The primary is next summer.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

August 10 – August 20 – Missouri State Fair.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

David Pearce added State Treasurer’s Office.

Caroline Hoover deleted Midwest Foster Care & Adoption Association.

Constance Rush deleted Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Sarah Vatterott deleted Renovate America.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Liberty Alliance - $100,000 from David Humphreys.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Sen. Gary Nodler, former Rep. Jason Grill, Mindy Mazur and Cheryl Dozier.