Thursday, August 3, 2017

Hawley Moves to Starting Line

KC Star reports that Attorney General Josh Hawley is making his long-rumored start toward a US Senate run.  See it here.

Pull Quote:  Hawley is creating an exploratory committee to run for U.S. Senate against Democrat Claire McCaskill. “As part of Josh’s process to consider becoming a candidate for the United States Senate, this week he is filing paperwork to launch an exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission,” Hawley’s spokesman, Scott Paradise, said Wednesday in an email… Hawley “will win the primary in a heartbeat,” said James Harris, a Jefferson City-based Republican consultant, who noted that Hawley survived a brutal primary in 2016 and went on to win by a wide margin in the general election. “He’s that person your party base, donors and activists are looking for,” Harris said.


Dems immediately recalled Hawley’s “ladder-climbing” ad during his AG race last year as an accusation that he was being hypocritical to run for higher office after six months in office.


More on State Board of Education

With Governor Eric Greitens’ recent appointment of three new members to the State Board of Education, there’s renewed hope among the educational reform crowd that they may see some policy breakthroughs in the near future.

However one building denizen notes that while the “appointments… all bring with them backgrounds that would indicate a lean towards school choice… the board is limited in what they can do and any changes will need to be made in state statute…”

It’s a sentiment echoed by others.

One education wonk told me that Missouri doesn’t have a State Board of Education.  We have two.  The other one is called the General Assembly because they’re always encroaching on education policy that should be set by the SBOE.  The examples ranged from the profound as when the legislature inserted itself into the common core debate to the trivial, like mandating the recitation of the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

However well-intentioned, these pieces of legislation act to limit the power of the State Board of Education.

Will these recent appointments usher in a new era of open enrollment and market-like forces in public schools?  Only if the legislature wants it.


More on Missourians for Patient Care

The Missourians for Patient Care which I wrote about the last few days is an extension of the Missourians for Compassionate Care effort.

Travis Brown’s Pelopidas will manage the signature collection for the initiative petition, while Steve Tilley will be organizing the fundraising.  They’re expecting to spend about $1 million on signature collection and then a couple more million when it comes to the actual campaign.

Some question whether the result couldn’t be achieved for a fraction of the cost if medical marijuana was pushed through the legislature.  The political (and financial) calculations of this group is that the general assembly is still gun-shy on the issue.  Legislators want the cover of a citizen vote.


SB43 Makes National News

CBS Evening News ran a piece about the “travel warning” issued by NAACP, telling folks to be wary of Missouri on account of last session’s SB 43.  Rod Chapel makes the case for the NAACP’s position, and Pat Rowe Kerr makes a cameo.  See it here.


New PACs

A couple more PACs were formed recently.  This seems to be one of the byproducts of Amendment 2’s passage.

Attorney James Thomas – who often works with Axiom Strategies – is the treasurer of a new political action committee, Citizens For A Prosperous 34th Senate District.  My guess would be that this will be an independent PAC to support the election of Tony Luetkemeyer in replacing Sen. Rob Schaaf in Senate 34.


Heather Grote is the treasurer of two other new PACs.  Grote is a busy Republican fundraiser in the state and her husband, Michael Grote, is a lobbyist in Jefferson City.

One PAC is Gunzlingers PAC.  Gunzlingers is a well-known play on the name of Sen. Brian Munzlinger in the building.  The PAC will apparently help Republican candidates, perhaps in the Munzlinger’s area of the state.

The other is PWPAC.  Its purpose is less clear, but perhaps PW stands for Sen. Paul Wieland?

We’ll see…



“On June 19, 2017, the Sixteenth Circuit Judicial Commission interviewed 22 applicants and selected a panel of three nominees for the circuit judge vacancy in Division 11 of the Jackson County circuit court, created by the appointment of Judge W. Brent Powell to the Supreme Court of Missouri. Governor Eric Greitens has 60 days from June 19 to appoint one of the nominees as circuit judge for Division 11.  The commission will meet at 10 a.m. August 23, 2017… to select a panel of three nominees for the circuit judge vacancy in Division 15, created by the retirement of Judge Robert M. Schieber.  The Commission will not reinterview the applicants but will fill the panel of the three nominees from the 21 remaining applicants after Governor Greitens’ appointment of the next judge of Division 11….”


Press release: “Budget Director Dan Haug announced today that July 2017 net general revenue collections increased 5.7 percent compared to July 2016, from $543.1 million last year to $574.2 million this year… Individual income tax collections increased 6.6 percent for the year, from $415.4 million last year to $443.0 million this year. Sales and use tax collections decreased 2.3 percent for the year from $154.4 million last year to $150.9 million this year….”


Press release: “Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, was unanimously elected chair of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC) this week by delegates to the group's 71st Annual Meeting in Biloxi, Mississippi. As chair, Senate President Pro Tem Richard will preside over the Conference and guide its major policy efforts during the coming year. He also will assist in shaping the program for the 72nd Annual Meeting, to take place in July 2018 in St. Louis, Missouri…”


Gov. Eric R. Greitens appointed Rex Hibler, of Cameron, as the new Caldwell County Western District Commissioner.  And he named Steve Ehrhardt as a member of the Missouri Military Preparedness and Enhancement Commission. Ehrhardt will be the successor of Michael Dunbar.


Lobbyists Registrations

Ryan Irsik deleted Wal-mart Stores Inc.

Mandi Chancellor deleted Rockwood Management Corporation.



Happy birthdays to Bev Randles, and Dan Engemann.