Thursday, October 5, 2017

Driving the Day: Barnes Announcement

Rep. Jay Barnes is expected to make an announcement about his political future.  So keep an eye on his Facebook page or Twitter feed over the hour or so.

Barnes had amended his committee in August to seek Senate 6 where Sen. Mike Kehoe is term limited.  However there has been speculation that Barnes might not pull the trigger and instead yield to Rep. Mike Bernskoetter who has declared for the seat as well.


Q&A #1: Will Greitens Out of State Travel Produce a Backlash?

Short Answer: Yes, but you can’t predict when.

Jason Hancock notes that Governor Eric Greitens – just back from his Asian trade mission – is in Virginia today campaigning for the Republican there, and will be in Nebraska on Sunday with a trip to Iowa later in the month.

The narrative of his desire to be a national player rather than governor of Missouri is solidifying. And while there is grumbling…  Highway shutdown by protesters, where is governor?... Special election in Senate 8, where is governor?... the backlash won’t come until a crisis hits and his administration appears unprepared.  Then, the criticism of his being AWOL and not really be interested in governance will move beyond grumbling.


Jones Exits

Caleb Jones announced that he was leaving the Greitens administration to join the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives as vice-president.  (For those who are curious, according to their 2015 990 form, David Klindt pulled down $250K in total compensation for the vice-president’s job).

It was considered a good career move for Jones, and a good hire for AMEC.  But much of the immediate talk among politicos was that Jones won’t be able to lobby for the organization in the building for nearly two years… until July of 2019.

No person elected or appointed to the state senate, to the state house of representatives, or to the office of governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, or state auditor who vacates the office, whether by resignation, expulsion, term limitation under Article III, Section 8 of the Constitution of Missouri, or otherwise, shall act, serve, or register as a lobbyist until six months after the expiration of any term of office for which such person was elected or appointed. See it here.

Jones was elected to a term ending in January 2019 before he resigned, so the six months after that puts him on lobbying ice until July 2019.


Who Will Take Jones’ Spot?

One building denizen thinks Jones’ departure could lead to a minor shuffle in the Greitens administration.  They imagine Jennae Neustadt taking Jones’ spot as deputy chief of staff.  It would allow someone new to come into that role and “reset” Greitens’ sometimes rocky relationships with Republicans in the building.


Jami: Romine Will Work With Me

In an op/ed in the St. Louis Business Journal, Sen. Jamilah Nasheed offers hope to those who want grid modernization… “[A] minor policy adjustment would support $1 billion of additional energy infrastructure investment over the next five years; this would create nearly 600 good-paying jobs in my senate district alone, and more than 2,700 jobs in the St. Louis region…. this legislative change is being held hostage by just one senator, Sen. Gary Romine from Farmington. Sen. Romine has agreed to work with me to craft legislation that can create jobs, and bring clean and affordable energy to our city….”


Franks’ Senate 5 Run?

The Riverfront Times interviews Rep. Bruce Franks after his arrest in the recent highway shutdown protest.  See it here.

Of course Franks believes in the cause of protests, but it probably doesn’t hurt his Senate 5 Democratic primary plans to be more visible in his participation.


Herzog for Luetky?

We’re early enough in the cycle that there won’t be a lot of interesting results in the October quarter results.  But one place I’ll be watching is Senate 34.   It’s currently shaping up to be a three-way race. And fundraising may be one of the factors which determines the outcome.  Tony Luetkemeyer had a strong first fundraising quarter.  It’s said that Stan Herzog is supporting Luetky.  Herzog has become a stalwart ally of the governor, and Tony’s wife works for the governor.  We’ll see if Herzog money flow through various committees into Luetkemeyer’s campaign, or if it ends up funding independent expenditures – or both.

Meanwhile Harry Roberts has been a successful fundraiser in his past races, so we’ll see if he can match Luetkemeyer.


Humphreys Complaint

KC Star’s Jason Hancock reports that Rep. Mark Ellebracht has filed an ethics complaint against David Humphreys stemming from his employment of non-registered lobbyist Paul MoutonSee it here.

Pull Quote: Mouton admitted to the ethics commission that he was employed by Humphreys and met with lawmakers and their staff during the 2016 and 2017 legislative sessions to discuss legislation that Humphreys was pressing the legislature to pass. During that time, [Pro Tem Ron] Richard reserved Mouton a parking space in the Missouri Senate garage on 32 occasions in the final weeks of the 2016 session and the opening weeks of the 2017 session… A person violates state law if they lobby the legislature without registering with the ethics commission and disclosing whom they are working for. But it is also illegal to knowingly employ someone to lobby who is not registered with the ethics commission. Those found to be in violation of that law can be fined $10,000 for each violation.

Ellebracht is asking the ethics commission to fine Humphreys $10,000 for every time Mouton had a parking spot in the Senate garage, and thus presumably would have been in the Missouri Capitol lobbying for Humphreys. That would total $320,000…


eMailbag on Electric Cars and Changing the Grid

Future electric vehicles will be able to supply some power to one's home, and could be used to cut peak to save that customer money. That only works with a smart energy grid that is fully automated providing real time signals to the utility so they can distribute the new 'two way' power (the grid today is just one way). Missouri is not prepared to move forward as their utility laws were passed in 1913 and have not been updated for over 100 years.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Sater/Fitzpatrick Golf – Ledgestone Country Club – Branson.


Lobbyists Registration Changes

Sarah Wood Martin added NSI on behalf of Axon.

Betsy Ledgerwood AuBuchon deleted Supreme Court of Missouri, and Judicial Conference of Missouri.


$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $15,000 from Operating Engineers Local 101 PAC.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $25,000 from UAW Region 5 PAC.

A Better Missouri Political Action Committee - $45,400 from Anheuser-Busch Cos.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from Dickinson Financial Corp.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $25,000 from Republic Services Inc.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from QC Holdings Inc.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Nick Marshall, and former Sen. Joe Keaveny.