Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sifton to Greitens: J’Accuse!

On the Senate floor last night with Sen. Jill Schupp, Sen. Scott Sifton said the reason that Governor Eric Greitens hadn’t signed the bootheel economic development bill – passed during the last special session – was because “he’s waiting for the check to clear.”

It seemed Sifton was accusing the governor of taking dark money from special interests in return for legislative action.


Senate Passes Abortion Law

The Senate passed SB5 – see it here – after spending the day negotiating behind closed doors.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.


Not Onder’s Bill

Sen. Bob Onder complained on the floor that the bill was scaled back.  It’s said he was cut out of the negotiating with the Dems that took place throughout the day – in between the various rallies in the capitol.

It highlights the continuing difference in the decision-making of Senate leadership: the duo of Pro Tem Ron Richard and Floor Leader Mike Kehoe on the one hand, and Onder, Assistant Floor Leader, on the other. Onder has been considered a candidate – if not the front-runner – for the Pro Tem’s job next term, January 2019.  But I wonder if this has him thinking he can be more effective as a regular senator pursuing his own agenda without being a team-player.

Remember Onder’s top staffer is Ryan Nonnemaker who staffed Jason Crowell during his most impactful sessions…


First in MOScout: Oetting to Chancellor’s Office

Marty Oetting has been named to the Interim Chief of Staff position with newly named MU Chancellor-Designate Alexander Cartwright.  Oetting previously served as Director of State Government Relations for UM System.


Sutherland to MOParks

From MOBudgets email blast: “We are sad to announce that today is Mike Sutherland's last day as Policy Director for the Missouri Budget Project.  Mike has taken a position as Deputy Director of Missouri’s Division of Parks. If you know Mike, then you already know that he is a nature lover and a passionate supporter of Missouri’s parks… We are happy to announce that Brian Colby will be transitioning to the position of Policy Director…”


Ponder to Pelopidas

St. Louis Business Journal reports that Slay’s former chief of staff Mary Ellen Ponder is joining First Rule Media, which is a part of Travis Brown and Rachel Keller’s Pelopidas.  See it here.

Pelopidas counts Rex Sinquefield among its client list.  So substantial is Sinquefield thought to be to their bottom line, that the Biz Journal refers to Pelopidas as “Sinquefield-backed.”  The article says that “Ponder is also chief of staff for Sinquefield, whom she will advise on philanthropic initiatives and issue advocacy.”


Glitchy Software, Fuming Drivers

KSDK reports that drivers trying to get their emissions tests done in the St. Louis area are finding some long waits due to software glitches (“freezes up, have to reboot.”)  See it here.

This stems from a switch in vendors.  The new vendor Worldwide Environmental Products, Inc; the previous vendor was Opus Inspection.  See the press release here.


Simmons Hanly Conroy Leading Opioid Legal Challenge

The law firm of Simmons Hanly Conroy – which has been a consistently big Dem donor – is leading the legal pack in the current attack on the opioid problem.  See it here.

Pull Quote:  As more New York counties file lawsuits alleging pharmaceutical companies contributed to the opioid epidemic, one law firm, Simmons Hanly Conroy, is leading the charge.

The firm, which has offices in Manhattan and Illinois, first filed suit against companies including Purdue Pharma and Teva Pharmaceuticals USA on behalf of Suffolk County in August. Since then, it has filed similar litigation for Sullivan, Seneca, Broome, Dutchess, Erie and Orange counties, with 10 more upstate counties engaged in conversations about a possible suit.

"By the end of the year, I expect to have commenced cases for close to 30 of the state's 62 counties," said Paul Hanly Jr., a shareholder in the firm and lead attorney on the lawsuits.

Simmons Hanly Conroy’s Missouri lobbyist is Irl Scissors.


Cybersecurity and Grid Modernization

Washington Post reports that the utility grid is potentially a top target for cyber-attacks.  And obviously the consequences could be devastating.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Hackers allied with the Russian government have devised a cyberweapon that has the potential to be the most disruptive yet against electric systems that Americans depend on for daily life, according to U.S. researchers.  The malware, which researchers have dubbed CrashOverride, is known to have disrupted only one energy system — in Ukraine in December. In that incident, the hackers briefly shut down one-fifth of the electric power generated in Kiev.

But with modifications, it could be deployed against U.S. electric transmission and distribution systems to devastating effect, said Sergio Caltagirone, director of threat intelligence for Dragos, a cybersecurity firm that studied the malware and issued a report Monday.

And Russian government hackers have shown their interest in targeting U.S. energy and other utility systems, researchers said.


eMailbag on Wagner-Hawley

There are two camps at play.  One is Ann Wagner’s; the other is Trump Republicans. Both groups want to beat Claire McCaskill.  But the best way to do that is with a clear primary because you can’t reload the money like we used to do in statewide races. If Josh Hawley gets in then Wagner will blink because the Trump Rs love him.  If Wagner gets in and Hawley doesn’t, I think the Trump Rs will still run one (or many) alternative candidate(s) because they don’t like Wagner.


Help Wanted

Olin Corporation seeks Manager, Government Affairs. “The Manager, Government Affairs will protect, maintain and enhance the organization’s reputation with government stakeholders and influencers by providing a regular interface and communicator for the organization with various government personnel and the trade associations that represent it. This is a seasoned professional who interacts with elected and career officials, trade association representatives, lobbyists and the organization’s executives and managers to exchange information about the organization and its interests and concerns.  Although not a policy maker, contributes to the definition of issues and preparation of action plans to protect, maintain and enhance the organization’s reputation…”  See the ad here.


$5K+ Contributions

Site Improvement Association of Missouri PAC (SITE PAC) - $14,300 from SITE Improvement Association.

CLEAN Missouri - $9,040 from American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees.



Happy birthday to former Rep. Martin Rucker.