Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Driving the Day: Prop P Releases TV Ad

This morning the proponents of Prop P will release their first TV ad.  See it here.

Prop P is a sales tax increase to increase funding for police and fire fighters in St. Louis City.  The measure – according to MOScout polls – has lost some support in the wake of the protests and the police response.  This should help fortify support for Prop.  It’s a standard ad with average looking people telling the camera why they’re supporting the sales tax increase.  Though there is some organized opposition to the proposal, they don’t have money to mount much of a campaign on the airwaves or in mailboxes.

The release of this ad marks the beginning of the two-week finale before the November 7 Election Day.  It’s an exciting November for an off-year.  Besides Prop P in St. Louis City, there are two other major elections: KC3T’s airport proposal in Kansas City, and the special election to replace Will Kraus which has become intriguing due to the Independent candidacy of Jacob Turk.


Q&A #1: What Do We Make of Republicans’ Distrust of Mainstream Media?

Short answer: It’s been a long time coming, and is here for a long time more.


Last weekend the MOScout poll asked Missouri Republican primary voters if they thought mainstream media was honest or dishonest.  Over 75% said that mainstream media was either somewhat dishonest or mostly dishonest.

I found that shocking because the reporters I know work hard every day to assemble facts, overcover missing facts, doublecheck their facts etc.  While they make mistakes, they are not mistakes of intention.  They’re not dishonest folks.

On the one hand, the Republicans I talked to yesterday almost laughed at me.  This isn’t a new development they told me.  Mistrust in the media has been building for decades.  The campaign of Donald Trump simply pushed it to an explosive level.

On the other hand, none of them, in varying degrees, bought into the Trumpian “Me vs the press” mentality.  They could name specific grievances, but none thought of the press as the “opposition party.”  They tended to think that mainstream media is biased in the stories they cover or don’t cover, not dishonest in presenting the facts themselves.


The ascension of social media – and the example of Trump – will tempt some politicians to “bypass” the media and take their case directly to the voters without the filter of the media.  And also they may opt out of previous campaign norms (releasing tax returns, participating in debates).  But this is not – according to those I spoke to – a viable alternative for the vast majority of politicians.  A Trump with millions of twitter followers can do it.  A House candidate with a hundred followers can not.

One Republican thinks that the real danger of Trump is the obliviousness to truthfulness.  Trump will say things that are obviously false.  And when there’s evidence that they’re false, he simply repeats them over and over.  He worries that this will lead to the undermining of fact-based discussions and fact-based policy.

Despite the discomfort over this dynamic, it would seem this distrust is here to stay – particularly because it’s become integrated into the Trump Republicans’ mindset.


Q&A #2: Who’s Bidding on St. Louis City Contract?

Here’s who submitted bids to handle St. Louis City’s lobbying in Jefferson City: Regional Strategies (Jeff Aboussie); Kyna Iman; Steven Carroll; Flotron & McIntosh; and Richard Wiles & Associates and Viceroy Government Relations (Jeffrey Altmann).

Each has professional ties to St. Louis. Aboussie is a former labor leader in St. Louis. Iman lobbies for the St. Louis Metropolitan Sewer District among other clients. Carroll has represented the St. Louis Public Schools for many years.  Franc Flotron and Richard McIntosh represented the St. Louis Police Officers Association until a few years ago.  And Wiles once represented the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Police Commissioners.


Post Reveals Greitens DESE Pick

Post-Dispatch’s Kurt Erickson lands a scoop, naming the Greitens administration’s choice to lead DESE.  It’s Kenneth Zeff, “an Atlanta school administrator and education consultant whose familiarity with charter schools would appear to match Greitens’ support for expanding them in Missouri… Previously, Zeff was chief operations officer for a charter school management organization serving students in Los Angeles and New York.”


Chambers 1, Reuben 0

Later in Erickson’s article a Mizzou law professor, Richard Reuben, says that Greitens’ use of campaign funds to pay for his wanna-be’s trip to Missouri is “questionable.  But he’s wrong.  It’s young Austin Chambers who is correct in his reading of the campaign finance laws.

As one MOScouter explains…  “It is not questionable at all. Many candidates do this. And many attorneys have advised them that they may do it… The law is clear:  130.034 2.  Contributions may be used for any purpose allowed by law including, but not limited to: (1)  Any ordinary expenses incurred relating to a campaign; (2)  Any ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the duties of a holder of elective office…”



At a special meeting of the State Committee and their Executive Committee, Sam Cooper was elected as the Executive Director of the Missouri Republican Party.  See it here.  Follow Cooper on Twitter here.


Washington Post reports that Amazon received 238 entries into its HQ2 contest.


The Hill reports on women in state capitols facing sexual harassment.  Missouri gets a paragraph.   See it here.


Resurgence Housing LLC is in the large contributions list today.  Former Speaker John Diehl is the registered agent for Resurgence.


David Linton will be the Republican nominee in the February special election to fill John McCaherty’s vacancy in House 97.


New Committees

Ronna Ford formed a candidate committee (Citizens For Ronna Ford) to run for House 129 as a Democrat. This is Sandy Crawford’s old seat.

Mitch Wrenn formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Mitch Wrenn) to run for House 6 as a Democrat. The current incumbent is Republican Rep. Tim Remole.

Conservatives of Christian County PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Hal Greene, and its deputy treasurer is William Breshears.

Dennis VanDyke formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Vandyke) to run for House 7 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Republican Rep. Rusty Black.

According to his Facebook VanDyke was a conductor for many years with BNSF Railroad.


Lobbyists Registration Changes

Evan Fitts added Development Associates Smithville LLC.

Bill Gamble, Cynthia Gamble and Kathryn Gamble added Code.org.

Jeffrey Brooks, David Jackson and Jorgen Schlemeier deleted Natural Defense Council Inc.

Guy Black deleted Missouri Clean Energy District, and Missouri Renovate America Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

Missouri AG PAC - $6,250 from Resurgence Housing LLC.

Missouri Growth PAC - $6,250 from Resurgence Housing LLC.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $50,000 from Pipe Fitters Local Union 533 Volunteer Political Fund.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $15,000 from Centene Management Company LLC.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Jay Wasson, SuperAttorney Chuck Hatfield, Brian Wahby, Jon Galloway, and Craig Stevenson.