Rumorville: No Hawley for Senate
The word spreading among politicos is that Josh Hawley will not be running for U.S. Senate. This is still in the territory of Rumorville, but it’s sounding almost like a consensus when talking to folks. And it’s making a lot of people reconsider their plans.
As I wrote yesterday, without Hawley a lot of air opens up. That’s donor air. Money and support that would have gone to him in hopes of avoiding a primary will not be locked down. It has the potential for a free-for-all.
New talk: Rep. Marsha Haefner is now taking a look at the race. She’d be a good match-up with Senator Claire McCaskill, but she hasn’t raised money on the statewide scale.
Ed Martin, too, should be added to the tip sheet. He sent an email blast yesterday which some interpreted as a toe in the water. Martin is Akinesque and would likely be McCaskill’s preferred candidate.
Some Republicans aren’t totally sold that it’s McCaskill they will face. McCaskill pre-announced a strong quarter, another $3.1 million raised; she now has $5 million on-hand. But they note with Jason Kander’s continuing high profile, Dems have an easy replacement if McCaskill decides she doesn’t want another tough fight.
Greitens Unveils STL Crime Plan
Governor Eric Greitens unveiled his St. Louis Crime Plan yesterday. (See the mighty Jason Rosenbaum’s tweet of the one-page summary here.)
His speech was met with some hecklers, protesting his announced (non)action on the minimum wage bill which will allow the state legislature to roll back the city’s higher wage. See Rosenbaum’s video here.
One MOScouter sent in this critique which said Greitens should have consulted Peter Kinder for how to campaign in the city… Poorly planned -- email blast sent to GOP Stalwarts listed a non-existent address half a mile away where many Grietens supporters were congregated… Meanwhile, the protestors had no problem finding the event and shouted down the Governor – calling him a "liar" and a "killer" in regards to his decision to let the St. Louis City minimum wage repeal go into effect.
A ring of police and highway patrol kept the public away from the Governor – only reporters or staff members were allowed within 20 feet of the governor. A keen observer commented that if it took 100 police officers to protect the governor from the electorate in the City, how many extra police would it take to protect City residents from each other?
One politico questioned how different the Kinder announcement for Governor was – it was a similarly hot day and Kinder provided cold water while Grietens let the crowd do without. Kinder also had a diverse crowd in a similar area -- but it was adoring -- a difference from this crowd.
The Greitens press conference – whatever its shortcomings – was quickly eclipsed by a statement from the St. Louis Police Officers Association opposing Mayor Lyda Krewson’s proposed sales tax increase for… police salaries. They say not enough of the money will go to police salaries. See the statement here.
Pull Quote: If the Mayor’s office thinks that we are going to support a sales tax on the ballot without an enforceable agreement on competitive wages, she’s simply lost touch with reality. We’re not going to spend our political capital to pass another sales tax where—at best—only about 1/3 of the money will be for police raises….without any guarantee. We will not mislead voters that this is pro-police measure. To accept the terms currently offered by the Mayor would be a slap in the face to every member and would be nothing more than a lie to the voters we are sworn to protect and serve. We will stand firm… We need to show the Mayor and other elected officials that they woke a sleeping giant….
SLPOA’s lobbyists in Jefferson City are: Mark Bruns, Tony Dugger, Jim Foley, Chris Liese, Gary Burton and Jane Dueker.
Public Safety – On the Grid
Last week’s KC Star editorial about the dangers of cyber-warfare/terrorism (see it here) is the sort of thing that can keep you up at night. “Transportation systems have failed, commerce has ground to a halt, thousands have died and unrest is breaking out as public services fail. It all started with hackers - backed by a hostile nation - shutting down the U.S. power grid.”
It’s also a rallying cry for those who want to modernize Missouri’s grid. They point out that the “key point in this discussion is that funding for the energy grid to prevent cyber hackers from shutting down the grid is set at the state level, by the MO General Assembly. Currently energy companies are funded by a model passed into law in 1913 - and it clearly does not consider cyber-attacks! And, 46 other states have taken action to allow the utility more flexibility to meet all customer demands, especially for a safe and secure grid… let's hope this issue can get to a vote in 2018, Missouri's safety and security may depend on it.”
Slay Unwinds Campaign Committee
Former Mayor Francis Slay appears to be winding up his campaign committee. He made a lot of charitable donations from his campaign committee and ended the quarter with no cash left. See the report here.
His largest donations: $100K to Chess Club And Scholastic Center Of St. Louis; $50K to St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital, and $50K to St. Mary’s High School.
Holly PAC as New Model
Some may have scoffed at “Holly PAC” early on, but it now appears that Rep. Holly Rehder was ahead of her time in creating a PAC that fit her purposes and the law. Others are just now figuring out what they're going to do. She is an aggressive fundraiser and was
on the leading edge of conforming to the changes from Amendment 2 stuff while others were “wait and see.”
Also apparently following Rehder’s lead are Conservative Leadership for NEMO, and Young Guns Missouri PAC. Both have the same treasurer James Thomas III as Holly PAC. Thomas is a lawyer and expert in campaign finance law and has long history of working with clients of Jeff Roe’s Axiom strategies.
Rep. Robert Cornejo’s golf tournament yesterday was very well attended with many legislators there. The event raised $40K in total and, when combined with the leadership PAC set up, shows that fundraising will likely not be a factor in the Speaker’s race.
One reader reports on getting an anti-RTW robo-poll. Expect more polling as both sides test the RTW referendum coming next year.
Scott Charton reads tweet-leaves to think maybe there is something to the rumor of Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler running for US Senate. See it here.
And a tipster writes… If Hartzler runs would think former Rep. Caleb Jones will take a hard look at her seat…
Missouri Public Service Commission seeks Attorney/Regulatory Law Judge. “The Missouri Public Service Commission is seeking an attorney for the position of Regulatory Law Judge. This is a quasi-judicial, administrative law judge position that requires the ability to preside over adversarial hearings which may last from 1 to 15 consecutive days on the record that routinely involve from 10 to 80 complex economic, engineering, and accounting issues, which include a minimum of 3 but often more than 10 or 12 adverse parties, and where the amount in dispute will often be millions of dollars… The salary range for a Regulatory Law Judge is $58,896 - $61,320. The salary for a Senior Regulatory Law Judge position is $65,502…” See it here.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:
Rep. Mike Bernskoetter Reception – Kehoe’s home – JC – 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Steven Tilley added Steven Tilley.
Sarah Wood Martin added Missouri Energy Initiative.
Melissa Bowie deleted Shire.
Jay Benson deleted Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.
Happy birthdays to Sen. Wayne Wallingford, and CenturyLink’s Claudia Sands.