Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Driving the Day: House Veto Bits

Today… the House Republican caucus will vote on a new speaker-elect at 3:30PM.  If none of the candidates – Reps. Robert Cornejo, Elijah Haahr, Holly Rehder – get a majority on the first ballot, the lowest vote-getter will be dropped and a second round of voting will take place.

 

And tomorrow… there’s still a chance that Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick will move to override some of the governor’s line item vetoes.  We’ll see….

 

Rumorville: Southwest Senate Seats

Rumor is that Republicans shuffled their plans in a way that everyone can be happy.  This is good news for Republicans in southwest Missouri and a set-back for Democratic hopes to find an opportunity.

First, Caleb Arthur is making his withdrawal official.  He has a family priority to deal with in the near term.  But he may look at a House seat or county commission seat later in the cycle.

Second, Lincoln Hough will run in Senate 30.  He has a slightly more moderate profile than Eric Burlison and that is the more moderate constituency of the two districts.  Additionally Hough has a residence in that district and it overlaps with his former House district.

Hough is not expected to have a primary.

Rep. Sonya Anderson will defer to Hough so Republicans avoid a primary in Senate 30.  She will run for her House seat again.

Finally, all this clears Burlison to run unopposed in Senate 20.

 

Wasinger for Auditor

Attorney David Wasinger seeded his nascent auditor’s bid with $500K.  That’s a healthy opening bid for a statewide race, but one observer thought it fell short of the shock and awe that could have come with something more substantial (like $2M).  Translation: it hasn’t stopped others form talking about running.

Others

The field of possible names has not narrowed by much.  Reps. Paul Curtman and Marsha Haefner are still said to pondering moving into the auditor’s race, as is former Sen. Kurt Schaefer.

 

Beatty to Love: Do the Right Thing

Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty scorches Rep. Warren Love in a letter, telling him he should resign…

With your recent Facebook post hoping for the lynching of those who threw paint on a Confederate statue in Springfield, you have forfeited the right to hold elected office… Although you eventually professed regret for your reprehensible post, your sincerity is undermined by your refusal to take it down. In explaining your decision, you told a Springfield News-Leader columnist: “If you get (expletive) on your boots you might as well keep it there because you can’t wipe away the smell.”

I suppose that is your choice, but when your boots are covered in excrement, you aren’t allowed in the house – or the House.

As you so colorfully noted, the stink you’ve doused yourself with won’t ever go away. Please do the right thing and immediately resign your seat in the House of Representatives.

 

MOScouter: Senate Doesn’t Need Special to Expel

I think this ship has sailed, but one MOScouter sends in the case for the Senate to be able to discipline its members during a Veto Session….

 

As early as 1927, and as recently as 2016, the Supreme Court of Missouri has continually stated that a constitutional provision should never be construed to work confusion and mischief unless no other reasonable construction is possible.  To construe Art. III, Sec. 32, to prohibit a chamber of the General Assembly from considering a resolution or taking an action regulating only the internal affairs of that house would “work confusion and mischief.”  To construe Art. III, Sec. 32, to allow the Senate to discipline or expel a member for misconduct only if an executive branch officer called an extraordinary session to do so, or if the other chamber jointly agreed to call a special session, would fly directly in the face of separation of powers and bicameralism.  “[Constitutional] provisions dealing with legislative activity are limited to acts of the

Legislature performed in its legislative capacity and do not apply to actions when the Legislature is acting in a non legislative capacity.”  Padberg v. Roos, 404 S.W.d 161, 166 (Mo. 1966).  Art. III, Sec. 32, is a limitation on the acts of the General Assembly in its legislative capacity, in the same manner as the deadlines for the introduction of bills during regular session.

 

Art. III, Sec. 18, is not a grant of authority to the Senate.  It is a limitation on the inherent authority to expel a member, by requiring two-thirds of the members elected, rather than a simple majority.  Even if the Constitution never mentioned expulsion at all, the Senate would still have the power.  If the Senate cannot discipline or expel a member at veto session (or regular, extra, or special sessions, for that matter), then it will have been stripped of an inherent power of self-protection.  A member could act with complete impunity during veto session, without any consequences.

 

If this interpretation is correct, then I expect to see the Senate wait to swear in Senator-elect Crawford until the regular session.  What authority would they have to accept messages from the Secretary of State?  The same Art. III, Sec. 18, also covers the authority of each house "to be the sole judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its own members."  If you don't think you can do the one, then you shouldn't be doing the other.  Be consistent.

 

In fact, if this interpretation is correct, the Senate should have never done any of the following at previous veto sessions:

   - swear in a senator elected at a special election shortly before veto session (Lacy Clay, Walt Mueller, Marvin Singleton);

   - adopt resolutions of organization;

   - adopt administrative resolutions (directing staff to provide copies of particular newspapers for each senator or purchase and deliver stamps);

   - adopt courtesy resolutions;

   - convene in joint session to receive an address;

   - make appointments to standing, special, joint committees, or commissions;

   - acknowledge the resignation of senators;

   - adopt proposed Senate rule changes;

   - adopt a concurrent resolution disapproving an order of rule making (DESE);

   - adopt a concurrent resolution declaring “Bill of Rights Day” and “Bill of Responsibilities Day”; and

   - adopt a resolution granting permission to the House of Representatives to use the Senate Chamber.

 

Fitz Dinkins Fundy

Today one of the fundraisers will be Rep. Paul Fitzwater – termed in House 144 – with his legislative aide Chris Dinkins.  The joint reception amounts to an endorsement in a primary with a few declared candidates already.  Follow Dinkins on twitter here.

 

Clean Missouri $$$$

In the large contributions, the National Education Association sent $250,000 to Clean Missouri.  This follows other big contributions this year from staunchly Democratic constituencies to the campaign committee.  Missouri NEA previously sent $250K; Eastern Missouri Laborers’ Educational and Benevolent Fund sent $100K; Planned Parenthood sent $50K a few weeks ago.

While the CLEAN Missouri proposal has a number of ethics reform, and good government ideas (see one version here), what’s drawing Dems to support the effort? It’s the change in the state redistricting process that could change the political landscape in Missouri and tilt it back away from Republican domination.

Dems have chafed at the current map and its predecessor which bunched Dem districts in the urban areas while giving Republicans more districts with less, but still comfortable majorities. The initiative’s process include the appointment of a “non-partisan state demographer” who they think would produce greater “fairness” and more competitive districts.

 

FirstNet

Governing Magazine has an article about the FirstNet roll-out.  See it here.

Pull Quote: FirstNet and AT&T sent states a draft plan in June that describes what the next-generation technology can offer first responders, as well as the cost for using the network. States can opt out if they choose and find another vendor to build a similar system… [Some concerns] have led several states -- such as Arizona, Colorado and New Hampshire -- to issue RFPs for alternative networks. Catalano says it is still too early to know whether states will opt in or not, but he says, “I think there are states willing to seriously consider alternative choices.”

If a few states opt out, no big deal. But if more than a handful do, it could impact the network’s business plan. Building and running a nationwide, cutting-edge voice and data network requires nearly all of the country’s 5.4 million first responders to subscribe to it -- not just to cover the operational costs, but also to generate enough revenue for further expansion into remote locations and for future technology upgrades. That’s prompted the International Association of Fire Chiefs’ Board of Directors to ask fire service leaders to press governors to opt in to FirstNet…. Governors have until December to make a decision…

Here in Missouri the state issued an RFP in case Governor Eric Greitens decides to opt-out.  And the quality of what the state receives from their RFP could determine whether opting in or opting out is a better deal for Missouri.  Stay tuned…

 

PAC World

Today the opening event is a fundraising reception with Rep. Jean Evans and the LEAD MO PAC.  Evans is among a handful of House Republicans who are helping fundraise for PACs. Evans has no control of the PAC. (It’s said that former Rep. Sue Allen and former Party Chair John Hancock are on the board).  However the House Republicans can be sure that these PACs will be helping out other conservatives in the cycle ahead.

 

And Don Soph’s recent termination of his lobbying registrations is said to be related to the law that doesn’t allow a lobbyist to be a treasurer of a PAC.  Soph has been the office manager for Burton Liese for many years.  And perhaps it signals they are contemplating the creation of a PAC like other firms have already done.

 

Bits

Sen. Jill Schupp’s re-election kick-off (Senate 24) is a week from today.  Her invite has an enormous listing of supporters. See it here.  Who wants to run against this?  We’ll see….

 

Eric Vickers is the registered agent of a new non-profit, African-American Business and Construction Workers Association.

 

It’s dangerous being a blogger…. See this post by Randy Turner of answering the door to someone who’s not a fan.

 

New Committees

Citizens for Wasinger (see story above).

Independence For All Political Action Committee was formed.  Its treasurer is Jaime Simpson.

 

Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Rep. Jean Evans & LEAD Mo PAC – Gumbo Bottoms – 2:30PM

Sen. Schupp, Reps. Lavender, Arthur & McCreery Reception – 318 Washington – JC – 4PM.

Grateful 8 Reception – Heartland CU Assn. – JC – 4:30PM.

Reps. Eggleston, T Fitzwater, Pike, Roeber & Rone – Grand Café – 5PM.

Reps. Chipman, Grier & Rhoads Reception – Statehouse Ofc., 101 West High – JC – 5:30PM.

Reps. Gregory, Smith, Trent & DeGroot Reception – Cork – 5:30PM.

Reps. Paul Fitzwater & Chris Dinkins Reception – 115 E. High – JC – 5:30PM.

Reps. Quade, Merideth, Franks, Stevens, Beck, Walker – Millbottom, Ste. D – 5:30PM.

Rep. Craig Redmon Reception – Madison’s Café – JC – 6PM.

Rep. John McCaherty Reception – J Pfenny’s – 6PM.

Reps. Butler, Carpenter, Adams & McGee – Bone’s (upstairs) – JC – 6PM.

Reps. Kidd, Mathews, Miller Reception – Bones Banquet Rm. – 6PM.

Reps. Gannon, Hansen, Houx, Neely, Pfautsch – 223 Madison – JC – 6:30PM.

House Victory Committee – The Millbottom – 7PM.

Reps. Black, Evans, Francis, Henderson, Plocher, Stephens, Tate, Walsh– Bone’s – 7:30PM.

Reps. Swan, Basye & Kolkmeyer Reception – Cork – JC – 7:30PM.

Sens. Richard, Kehoe, MSCC Dessert Reception – Kehoe’s home – JC – 8:30PM.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Find the Cures - $25,000 from Bradley Bradshaw.

CLEAN Missouri - $250,000 from National Education Association.

POL PAC - $10,000 from J.E. Dunn Construction Company.

Citizens for Wasinger - $500,000 from David Wasinger.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Rodney Boyd, Katherine Casas, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons added ETS.

Tracy King added First Rule and Gate Way Group.

Matthew Panik added Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and deleted Office of Missouri State Treasurer.

Jill Pollock deleted Curators of the University of Missouri.

Aaron Baker and Kristian Starner deleted The Laclede Group.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Steve Helms, Drew Dampf, and Sam Brownback.