Thursday, October 19, 2017

Driving the Day: A-Day

Today is the deadline for cities (scores and scores of them) to send in their proposals to web giant Amazon which is looking to locate a second headquarters.

From Politico’s New York Playbook… “They are looking for a second headquarters above and beyond Seattle because they have 50,000 people working there and they can't grow their headquarters in a meaningful way with the talent base that is available to them in Seattle, so I fully expect to see them on the East Coast or somewhere on the Northeast to draw a separate talent pool,” [New York City Economic Development Corp president] James Patchett said...

I think this hits on an important truth.  I can’t imagine every city won’t offer some package of “incentives,” but it is my core belief that the vast majority of businesses make the bulk of their location decisions based on geographic proximity to one of their inputs (labor, capital or materials) or proximity to their market.

In essence Patchett believes this too, Amazon is looking to locate near a labor pool.

For Missouri the biggest question to drawing Amazon is: can we provide the workers they need?  Can our educational institutions graduate capable workers? Can our affordable cost of living and great quality of life attract and retain talent from around the globe for Amazon?


Q&A #1: Is the Jeff City Culture Improving?

In the heels of the viral “MeToo” campaign, I made a round of calls asking folks if they thought that the Jefferson City culture was improving from its nadir a few years ago when then-Speaker John Diehl texts to an intern were revealed.

The culture was such then that female legislators came out to defend Diehl, and without the vocal moral clarity of Reps. Jay Barnes and Paul Curtman the circle-the-wagons mentality might have prevailed.

In response to that crisis, Speaker Todd Richardson helped push through a review of the sexual harassment policy.  The most important feature is to make legislators and some staff mandatory reporters so that behavior can’t be swept under the rug.  It gets reported and Richardson has been unequivocal in pushing bad actors to accept the consequences.  Beyond specific legislative achievements, this will be one of Richardson’s biggest legacies.

The female lobbyists I spoke to say things are incrementally better.  Interestingly none of them were particularly concerned with their own treatment.  They continue to worry about interns though.

As one said (paraphrasing): I’m a 40-year old attorney.  I’m not in danger.  It’s the 20-something intern who doesn’t know what they’re dealing with.

Or another (paraphrasing again): You think anyone’s going to f**k with [name of lobbyist]?  No. She’ll kick their ass!  It’s the interns who are vulnerable.


Governing Magazine has an article on sexual harassment in state capitals that mentions Jefferson City.  See it here.


Curtman Amends Campaign Committee

Rep. Paul Curtman has amended his campaign committee to say that he’s seeking th Republican nomination for state auditor.  See the paperwork here.

As I wrote earlier this week, Curtman’s October quarterly report showed only $3,537 on-hand.  To be competitive he’ll need to start putting together some solid fundraising numbers.


Schupp for Shields

Sen. Jill Schupp will host a fundraiser for Hillary Shields – the Democrat running in the Senate 8 special election.  You gotta wonder if Republicans had a strong candidate announced against Schupp if she wouldn’t be more concerned with her own re-elect than with a special election across the state….

From the email blast:  As you know, I am running for re-election. November, 2018 will be here in no time. Meanwhile, there is an urgent need for each of us to get involved in a special election in the 8th Senatorial District, just east of Kansas City, taking place less than a month from now!..

The candidate is Hillary Shields. She has a compelling story and strong work ethic, which is why Mark and I have donated to her campaign and are opening our home for her fundraiser on Tuesday, October 24, 6-7:30 PM…. We have an opportunity to flip Missouri’s 8th District….


HUD Warned State About SB43

Post-Dispatch reports that early in last year’s legislative session HUD warned the state that the proposed changes in discrimination law would jeopardize federal funding.  See it here.

This confirms what one MOScout reader told me… “The projected loss of federal funds was RIGHT THERE in the fiscal note on SB 43, Dave. [It was] pointed it out repeatedly in press conferences and in testimony. The MO Commission on Human Rights shared warning letters from HUD and EEOC with key House and Senate leaders for weeks during the debate. [When folks] met with Gov. Greitens' staff to ask for a veto and talked about the impending loss of HUD funding, the reaction was skepticism that it would come to pass…”


LRT Opp Powers Leadership for America

According to its October fundraising report, Leadership for America has $864,470 on-hand.  This PAC was formed when former Speaker Tim Jones closed down his candidate committee and sent his cash to it.

Leadership for America has regularly contributed to Republican candidates as you might expect.  However what’s unexpected is that its cash balance continues to increase despite reporting no further contributions.  That’s because of its savvy investment into LRT Global Opportunity LP.

Here’s are the numbers… Leadership started its April quarter with $665K on-hand.  It reported interest income of $125,808, and finished the quarter with $754K on-hand.

The July report has $81K of interest income so that after its $72K of expenses (including $25K to the IRS), Leadership had $764K on-hand.

The October report showed another $140K in interest income, bringing Leadership balance to the current $864,470 mark.

Pretty remarkable to generate $340K incomes off a $665K balance.  That’s more than a 50% return in under a year.  The Dow, for example, is up 17% in that time period.

So what is LRT Global Opportunity LP?  According to this filing with the SEC, it’s a pooled investment fund that invests in private equity.  It’s based in Austin.  The SEC form though does have a (314) phone number attached to it.  And, interestingly, if you Google that number, you will reach the same address as Pelopidas LLC.

LRT Capital Management (see the website here) is run by Lukasz R. Tomicki. See his twitter feed here.  And the next time he does an offering, we should all buy in….



Look what hits my in-box yesterday…

Toughest lobbyist in the Capitol

On Monday night Lynne Schlosser was held up at gunpoint by several young men outside her apartment in the City of St. Louis.  After she brazenly refused to give them her purse, they pressed a gun to her forehead and she calmly asked for them not to shoot her.  The criminals briefly conferred with each other and fled the scene.  As if that wasn’t traumatic enough, when Lynne called 911, her first call went to an answering machine.  After finally contacting the police, it took them more than 20 minutes to arrive, and it didn’t appear that they believed her story (since none of her belongings were stolen and she wasn’t shot) until security video footage of the incident was obtained.  Not a great story for St. Louis, but proof that Lynne can handle anything inside or outside the capitol building!


La David Johnson Controversy

Watch U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill sitting next to an unapologetic Donald Trump here.

Meanwhile there’s this… "She's a small-time Congresswoman." -- @EagleEdMartin on Rep. Frederica Wilson.


Money Moves

Notice in the large contributions (below), Republican senators are ponying up cash via the Missouri Senate Campaign Committee to help Rep. Mike Cierpiot in his special election.

And Raise Up Missouri – the committee supporting a statewide minimum wage increase ballot initiative – continues to add money to their campaign.  So far this year, their large contributions have totaled nearly $400K.


People Moves

Maggie Kost, previously Communications & Public Relations Manager at MCCA, followed her boss and is now with Department of Economic Development.


Post-Dispatch’s Kurt Erickson tweets that Pro Tem Ron Richard has chosen Heidi Kolkmeyer to be his new chief of staff.


Gov. Eric R. Greitens today appointed Amy Dent, of Nixa, as the new Christian County Auditor.

Colleen Vetter moved over from the Office of the Attorney General to the Labor and Industrial Relations’ Division of Workers’ Compensation.


Barber Testers RFP

The state is bidding out testing services for the hairdressers, manicurists, barbers etc.

From the RFP:  The Missouri State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners was created by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri and approved by the Governor in 2005… The Missouri State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners has statutory authority to require all applicants for licensure as “Class CA-hairdressing and manicuring”, “Class CH-hairdresser”, “Class MO-manicurist”, “Class E-estheticians”, “Cross-over license”, and “Instructor” to have passed an examination pursuant to section 329.050, RSMo. The Missouri State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners have statutory authority to require all applicants for licensure as “Barber” and “Instructor” to have passed an examination pursuant to section 328.080, RSMo... The breakdown of candidate volume by the two examination types are as follows: Theory- 2,079; Practical- 2,205… The current contract for cosmetology and barber examination services expires January 22, 2018. 


eMailbag on Walker Announcement

[Rep. Nate] Walker’s entry into the race will hurt [Rep. Craig] Redmon more than anyone else. In fact, I'm not sure it hurts [Cindy] O'Laughlin as the two Reps both share the same geographic area (Kirksville).


When Walker won the primary where Club for Growth spent 1/4 million, he had NEMO's Aaron Baker working for him. Now Baker is working for O'Laughlin.


eMailbag on Senate 8

The righteous indignation is hilarious and shows just how lazy and electorally incompetent some electeds have become in a time of safe, gerrymandered districts. No party or person should ever feel so entitled they can accuse another candidate of stealing their votes by merely running.


Help Wanted

Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis (JCRC) seeks Policy Associate. “The JCRC Policy Associate will work in close cooperation with the JCRC’s Executive Director to oversee the planning, coordination, and implementation of advocacy campaigns and educational programs on identified JCRC priority areas in the realm of social justice, domestic affairs, and Israel… Oversee strategy and implementation of issue campaigns within Jewish community and with partner communities, including researching and drafting position papers, building relationships with legislators and public officials, and coordinating legislative strategies;    Engage and mobilize stakeholders through participating in issue and advocacy coalitions, raising awareness and disseminating information in the community on core issues, and creating action plans for advancing strategic change…”  See the job here.


New Committees

Jason Eslinger formed a campaign committee to run as a Republican for Councilperson in St. Joseph.  See the paperwork here.


$5K+ Contributions

Raise Up Missouri - $145,000 from National Employment Law Project.

Raise Up Missouri - $15,427 from Missouri Jobs with Justice Voter Action.

Presnell for Missouri - $8,500 from Jordan Presnell.

Lewis & Clark – Northern Missouri Forum - $10,000 from Krev Distributing Company.

Lewis & Clark – Northern Missouri Forum - $10,000 from Mid America Peterbilt.

House Victory Committee - $6,000 from Charter Communications.

Citizens for a Safer St. Louis - $100,000 from Centene Management Company LLC.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $12,500 from Friends of Wayne Wallingford.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $12,500 from Citizens for Jay Wasson.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $12,500 from Eigel for Missouri.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $25,000 from Citizens to Elect Mike Kehoe.

Supporters of a Better SJSD - $10,000 from Herzog Contracting Corp.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $50,000 from HNTB Corporation.

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

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from Spire Missouri Inc.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from Sporting Kansas City.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Patricia Pike, and former Sen. John Lamping.