Thursday August 24, 2017

Daily MCN Watch

Hold the phone, folks.  In a recent Post-Dispatch article Minority Leader Gina Walsh wavers (see it here) saying that she would not necessarily vote to expel Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

“Today I wouldn’t,” Walsh said. “I want to have all the information before me. And somebody may say it’s a cop-out but it’s not. ... She will be subjected to due process.”

This comes as Walsh strips Chappelle-Nadal of her committee assignments, and after she’s called on Chappelle-Nadal to resign.  The mixed signals were lamented by one Dem-leaning lobbyist who says Dems need to fast-forward and end this drama.

 

Cuts to MTC Worry Some in Business Community

St. Louis Business Journal writes about cuts to the Missouri Technology Corporation hurting start-ups.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Gov. Eric Greitens and other state lawmakers have slashed the program’s funding by 90 percent for this most recent fiscal year — from roughly $24 million in fiscal 2017 to $2.5 million in fiscal 2018. And the state’s involvement in growing startups figures to be different as the governor’s office explores new ways to foster innovation throughout the region. Greitens, during a recent tour of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and BRDG Park, which has utilized MTC funds to build some infrastructure such as greenhouses, said it’s important for the state to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars. “Whenever we’re making any investment, you have to ask what are the results? What is the return on investment? For far too long, taxpayer dollars have been spent and there has been no accountability around results,” he said. “Whatever the state of Missouri is investing money in, we have to remember these are taxpayer dollars and we have to make sure there is a very clear return on investment.”

Facts of Life: Taxpayer money into start-ups is wayyyy out of bounds of what conservatives consider to be the right functions of a limited government.  On the other end of the spectrum, liberals would rather see tight government resources devoted to helping the most vulnerable.  And in the middle, the average person sees stories everyday that show we’re living in a Shark Tank world where there’s really no shortage of capital for a reasonable business plan.  All of these factors add up to decreasing support for these sort of programs.

 

Follow-Up to PAC-World

A MOScouter says that the Amendment 2 language doesn’t prevent using PACs as a vehicle for multiple contributions….

“No contribution shall be made or accepted, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, in the name of another person, or by or through another person in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the actual source of the contribution or the actual recipient.”  [That’s] intended, I believe, to prohibit the "straw donor" scenario where one person uses another person's money to make a contribution in their own name… Here, so long as the donor is contributing their own funds in their name (personal or business) - even to multiple PACs - the straw donor language doesn't apply….

 

State Board of Education Appointments

Governor Eric Greitens made two more appointments to the State Board of Education, a board closely watched by the educational establishment as well as educational reform groups.

He appointed Claudia Oñate Greim and Doug Russell were appointed as members of the State Board of Education.

See a Post-Dispatch article here, questioning if Greim is a Democrat.  She’s contributed to a Republican, worked at the John Ashcroft’s law firm, and is married to uber-conservative Eddie Greim.  But she was appointed as a Democrat to a board in 2006 – when Matt Blunt was governor.

Russell is also a Blunt-era appointee.  Russell was Missouri Republican Party during that time and appointed by Blunt to the University of Missouri Board of Curators.  Russell is the son of the

late Senator John Russell of Lebanon, who one reader describes as “a principled conservative and a gentleman much respected for his kind manner and keeping his word…”

What It Means: Reformers seeking to inject more competition into schools are cheered by these appointments.  They are thinking they will finally have an ally in the State Board which they’ve previously viewed as obstructing their efforts.

 

Other Appointments

See the full list of Governor Greitens appointments yesterday here.  And also “the Office of Administration announced that Governor Greitens has appointed Guy Krause as Director of the Office of Administration’s Division of Personnel. The Division of Personnel provides an effective and efficient statewide human resource management function as well as guidance in several areas such as the Missouri Merit System, the Uniform and Classification Pay (UCP) System, and other HR management functions established by statute….”

 

Thampy Bits

Following marijuana reform lobbyist Eapen Thampy on social media gives a pretty good view of the many different front of the medical marijuana debate in Missouri.

Here on Twitter, Thampy says that New Approach Missouri has a “tracker” watching an alternative marijuana reform group.

And here on Facebook, Thampy reports that “Councilman [Michael] Trapp just announced he will push [for] Columbia City Council to add cannabis 2 city's lobbying agenda…”

 

Yokley on Haefner for Senate

Eli Yokley reports that Rep. Marsha Haefner is in DC talking about her Senate run.  See it here.  There’s one devastating question everyone says when talking about a possible Haefner campaign: can she raise the money to compete with Josh Hawley?  The implied answer is No.  Until she can credibly answer the question differently, there’s no traction among the political class for her bid.

 

Bits

UMSL’s PPA has leadership change.  The announcement: We want to let you know about a change at Public Policy Administration (PPA). After serving for six years as PPA Director, Dr. Deborah Balser has retired. Dan Sise, who has been the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Community Engagement Manager for nine years, has been named the PPA Interim Director.

 

Press release: “U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill applauded the launch of the new Intern Resource Network by the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, Partners In Prevention, and Women’s Foundation to help keep interns safe….”  More info here.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Rep. Craig Redmon Golf – Norwoods Golf Course – Hannibal – 9AM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

David Sweeney deleted Instate Partners.

 

$5K+ Contributions

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from NorthPoint Development LLC.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $25,000 from Sprint.

We Are Missouri - $10,000 from IBEW PAC Voluntary Fund.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Bob Holden, International Institute’s Anna Crosslin, and Rep. Dan Stacy.