Q&A #3: What’s Next for SBOE Drama?
Short answer: Gotta flip someone or replace someone – again.
With a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, and State Board of Education member Tim Sumners balking at the Greitens’ plan of replacing the DESE Commissioner, be on the lookout for more moves in the next few days.
One rumor is that Sumners got cold feet about the fire-and-hire maneuver after he heard from several southwest Missouri superintendents. It may be that Team Greitens presses Sumners to resign and then offers yet another replacement. Presumably someone who’s on-board with the plan, but also nominated very soon before the meeting so that s/he cannot be influenced.
The other option is to postpone the meeting. But as I’ve written before, the governor’s folks are aware that reshaping the board becomes more cumbersome in January – once the Senate is in session.
Q&A #2: Who is Ken Zeff?
Short answer: Read Will Schmitt’s piece.
News-Leader Will Schmitt puts together a sketch of Ken Zeff, Governor Eric Greitens’ pick to lead DESE - if he can ever gain control of the situation. Schmitt does it without comments from Greitens’ team or Zeff, but still does a nice job. Read the whole piece here. See Zeff’s application for a different job here. See one legal opinion that Zeff isn’t qualified for the job here.
Q&A #1: Does Zeff Still Want the Job?
Short answer: It’s becoming a less attractive job by the day.
The bungling of the appointments by the governor's office has allowed those opposed to Margie Vandeven’s ousting to coalesce.
In just the last few days:
House Dems have charged that the governor has not followed the law with regard to withdrawing SBOE appointments. (The implicit threat here is legal action which could knot things up).
Several senators – both Republicans and Democrats – have gone on the record in support of Vandeven and/or opposed to hasty action by new SBOE members.
Several representatives – both Republicans and Democrats – have done the same.
Vandeven was elected to a leadership position in a national organization, bolstering her credentials.
Several state education organization – who the next commissioner will have to work with – have publicly denounced the process or publicly supported Vandeven.
Meanwhile those who support the governor’s position have been amazingly absent from social media or the public dialogue. Where are the folks who support the governor’s SBOE actions? They’re not banging pots and pans like the opposition is.
All of this leads one observer to ask: At what point does fall out become so bad that even if they do get a new commissioner, the next commissioner is placed into a no-win situation?
In other words, does Zeff even want to step into this drama now?
Griffith Kicks Off
Dave Griffith, running in House 60 to replace termed Rep. Jay Barnes, held a kick-off event at Sen. Mike Kehoe’s house last night. Word is he raised about $20K at the event, prepping the way for a big January fundraising number.
Schmitt to DC
Yesterday Treasurer Eric Schmitt announced he was headed to DC today to meet with senior White House officials and cabinet members to talk tax policy.
Schmitt has used his first year in office to expand the role of the state treasurer into an advocate for a pro-growth agenda. This includes the launch of MOABLE, firing warning flares about the state pension, the creation of an “economic dashboard,” and penning two recent op/eds - one on tax reform and another on economic systems.
And Eigel Too
In addition to the state treasurer trekking to DC, state senator Bill Eigel is also headed there. The press release: Missouri State Senator Bill Eigel will meet with senior members of the Donald Trump administration at the White House on Thursday morning amid increasing state and federal calls for major tax reform.
“I welcome the opportunity to talk with President Trump’s team about tax reform efforts in Missouri and share with them the incredible opportunity we have in Missouri to create jobs and grow the economy for working class families.” Eigel said.
This event follows on the heels of Senator Eigel’s announcement to file a major piece of state tax reform legislation, named the Missouri Economic Relief Act, on December 1st. That is the first day bills can be pre-filed for the 2018 legislative session…
Judge to STL Police: Straighten Up
St. Louis Public Radio reports that “U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry blocked the [St. Louis Police] department from ordering protesters to disperse unless there’s an immediate threat of violence. Perry also limited when officers can use chemical agents like pepper spray or mace….
Perry’s decision comes a day after aldermen heard testimony on a bill that would write similar restrictions into law….”
As expected, Rep. Shamed Dogan announced for Assistant Floor Leader yesterday. From Facebook… Friends, I want to thank each and every one of you who has encouraged me to run for St. Louis County Executive. After much consideration, I've decided that I will run for re-election to the House in 2018 instead…. I am excited to announce that I will be seeking the office of Assistant Majority Floor Leader next year, which would make me the fourth highest-ranking person in the House….
Washington Post looks at high school football in the small Misosuri town of Eldon. Read it here. Eldon Missouri is represented by Sen. Mike Kehoe and Rep. David Wood.
One MOScout reader on Donna Mueller – who filed the lawsuit against Josh Hawley: She worked for John Schneider in the Senate for years…. I like Donna but I would be pretty certain she did not do this on her own. Smart for Stephen Webber or Claire McCaskill or whoever to get a Jeff City resident to do it….
A recent TPC poll hitting Missouri residents asks (among various candidate and issue questions) “How do you pronounce Missouri? Missouree or Missourah…”
Joseph Register formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Joe Register) to run for House 123 as a Democrat.
And Wes Powell formed a candidate committee (Elect Wes Powell) to run as a Republican for House 123.
The current incumbent is termed Rep. Diane Franklin.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:
Rep. Bill White Reception – Club 1201 – Joplin – 5PM.
Michael Gibbons added Alliance for Responsible Consumer Legal Funding.
Michael Gibbons and Tricia Workman deleted Oasis Legal Finance.
Fight for Reform Missouri - $15,000 from Fight for Reform.
Missouri Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Enterprise Holdings Inc Political Action Committee.
CLEAN Missouri - $5,526 from Fight for Reform Missouri.
United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $11,069 from UFCW Local 655.
UAW Region 5 Midwest States Political Action Committee (PAC) (MO) - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Cheri Toalson Reisch, former Rep. Jeff Grisamore, and Penney Wood Rector.