Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Driving the Day: SBOE Meeting

The State Board of Education will meet this morning at 8:30AM amid some drama.  Yesterday

Melissa Gelner continued her press tour, pushing back against the governor’s office which has pulled her nomination to the board.  According to the Post-Dispatch she “said an aide to the Republican governor requested she vote to remove Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven when the board meets [today]… In her letter, Gelner said Greitens’s special adviser, Nick Maddux, requested her vote to fire Vandeven and quickly replace her with a new-to-the-state candidate recommended by the governor without an open process… In the letter, Gelner said Maddux told her she may be “reassigned” to a new role if she did not change her mind on removing Vandeven….”

The big question now… does the governor have the votes to oust Vandeven? One observer’ math: there are now 4 board members appointed by Nixon that hired the Commissioner, unless one of the four Nixon-appointees is absent, nothing is going to be done.

And on the politics of the move: With the Governor focusing on the Stockley fallout, his staff could be making mistakes that costs him support of a number of rural educators and board members that are solidly Republican.


Yesterday marked the deadline for states to submit their ESSA plans to the federal government. Missouri choose to turn in a “skinny plan” as described by DESE’s Chris Neale. “We have submitted to the government what we believe is important to satisfy them, but we have not gone beyond that purpose,” Chris Neale, assistant commissioner for quality schools at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), told members of the state board. “We’ve been saying for some time now ESSA only drives about 5 percent of school improvement in Missouri.”

Today’s agenda includes the adoption of the FY19 budget request.  Some have speculated that the foundation formula target will increase by $100M due to an increase in the state adequacy target ($60M) and the expansion of early childhood education ($40M).


Haahr To Bury the Hatchet?

One lingering question is whether there will be any residual fall-out from the recent speaker’s race.

In the past House leadership race have usually resolved themselves with a graciousness that bedevils Democrats.  When John Diehl beat Mike Leara for floor leader, Diehl insisted that Leara be given the committee chairmanships that he coveted.  In the process he converted his opponent into an ally.

Will Speaker-elect Elijah Haahr do the same with Reps. Robert Cornejo and Holly Rehder?  Cornejo has been chair of the General Laws committee.  It’s an important committee because it’s a catch-all for a lot of legislation.  If Haahr keeps Cornejo at that post it would be a sign of goodwill and trust between the two.

One building denizen offers another scenario: keep Cornejo at General Laws, but set up a secondary committee (call it “Emerging Issues”) where you can refer critical bills to a friendly chair if there’s no lasting rapprochement with Cornejo.


Bannon-Martin Alliance

This will cheer up Dems…. A press release from Phyllis Schlafly Eagles with hand-picked successor Ed Martin touting a visit from Steve Bannon

Breitbart News chief Steve K. Bannon will be in attendance at Eagle Council XLVI in St. Louis, MO this weekend to receive a prestigious Phyllis Schlafly Eagle Award. Prior to returning to his role running Breitbart News, Bannon served as White House Chief Strategist to President Donald Trump and as CEO of the 2016 Trump Presidential Campaign. Bannon will also attend the Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund executive board meeting on Sunday.

What It Means

Probably not a lot, but… Bannon has reportedly been seeking far right candidates to primary Republicans who aren’t pure enough.  Could this dance lead to a Martin congressional or senate candidacy?  Dems can only hope.  They view Martin as the potential Todd Akin of this cycle.


St. Louis County Drama

Councilmember Sam Page tonight will introduce a resolution (see it here) for a special counsel to help with the dispute over the auditor’s office…

“The County Council relieves the County Counselor of the duty to provide the bifurcated representation to both the plaintiff and defendant County Executive branch of government in this dispute, and requests that, pursuant to St. Louis County  Revised Ordinances 1974 as Amended, Section 110.040, the St. Louis County Counselor appoints the law firm of Bick & Kistner PC, James P. Bick, Jr. and Elkin L. Kistner as special counsel to the St. Louis County Council for purposes of pursuing the judicial relief described above, with said special counsel to be compensated at the rate of $225 an hour.”

What It Means

The Page-Steve Stenger spat is still escalating.  Stenger is eyeing his re-election and has to be wondering how this fight with Page go this far.  The two worked as allies just last year.  This is a distraction Team Stenger doesn’t need, as Republicans will once again try to make a run at winning the County Exec’s spot of the state’s largest county.


Burns and Mac Pushes for Reconsideration

Kansas City Star reports on the continuing saga of the KCI project.  See it here.

Pull Quote:  Burns & McDonnell on Monday rolled out its legal and financial team to deliver a detailed and highly technical rebuttal to the selection of Edgemoor. The company called on the council to set aside the committee’s recommendation and consider its bid along with those of two other unsuccessful competitors, AECOM and Jones Lang LaSalle…. Another attorney retained by the company, Charles Hatfield, said the selection committee was legally required to advance all four proposers to the council and rank them in order of their qualifications… “There is no such thing in the city’s procurement law as a non-advanced proposal,” Hatfield said. Charles Renner, the private attorney counseling the selection committee, said the committee ranked two firms — Edgemoor and AECOM, in order of their qualifications. It was under no obligation to include other proposers.

MOScouter: You learn about “shall” in semester one of law school.

Drebes: Or year one in the legislature.

This argument was echoed by Hatfield on Twitter.



Post-Dispatch’s Kurt Erickson does a deep dive into the Missouri Lottery contract with IGT.  See it here.  Super-Attorney Chuck Hatfield makes a cameo in the article as IGT’s lawyer.  International Game Technology’s Missouri lobbyists are Joe Bednar and Kelli Stiles.


In the lobbyists registrations (below), former Rep. Jim Avery is now a registered lobbyist.  He’s an attorney at Schultz & Myers.  And that’s who he’s repping in Jeff City.  See his bio here.


Sen. Ryan Silvey tweets on a Clay County property tax increase approved at yesterday morning’s meeting… “I don't fight for low taxes at the State so Clay County Commissioners can raise theirs and increase their own salaries. Very disappointing.”


The board of directors of the Missouri Limestone Producers Association (MLPA) named Morgan Mundell as its executive manager.  Mundell will replace Steve Rudloff, who served more than 29 years in the same position. Mundell, a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and Southeast Missouri State University, currently serves as the director of accounting, human resources and computer information for the Missouri state senate. Also, Mundell has experience as managing director of the National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, deputy director of the National Lieutenant Governors Association and executive director of a joint committee of the Missouri General Assembly.


Sent from his John.McCaherty@house.mo.gov email address just before midnight… See it hereWe're Shifting to Jefferson County! This month's coffee is still on but it will now be a candidate coffee and we'll be discussing what's going on in Jefferson County Government.  Please join me Saturday, September 23, 2017.  Fenton St. Louis Bread Company….


Help Wanted

Professional Registration State Cosmetology and Barber Board seeks Executive Director. “This position is responsible for serving as the senior executive officer of a state regulatory agency that examines, licenses, regulates and disciplines professional licensees. This position directs the operations of the office; implements the Board's decisions and policies and procedures; establishes and maintains internal controls and procedures; and assists and advises the Board in developing regulations. This position is also responsible for developing and preparing the annual budget and administering appropriations; preparing financial statements of revenues, expenditures, and both monthly and annual projections. This position must develop agendas; attend board meetings and schedule hearings before the board; oversee inspections and investigations of the board; administer the Board's enforcement activities; and represent the board at meetings, before the general assembly and by testifying at legal proceedings. This position must be a competent leader who is able to effectively manage a large group of in-house office staff as well as staff working from home offices…  Starting Salary: $58,000 - $65,000…”

See it here.


Missouri Community College Association seeks Director of Communication. “This position will serve as the lead marketing, communication, and public relations lead for the association…   Develop and implement communication strategy that supports the association’s mission and strategic plan... Manage media relations for the association, including the creation of press releases, talking points, statements, editorials, and press conferences… Develop and maintain the association’s brand, logo and style guide… Salary Range: $45,000 - $55,000…” See it here.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Rep. Mike Cierpiot Reception – Edge Wild Restaurant & Winery – Chesterfield -4:30PM.

Rep. Kirk Mathews Reception – Edge Wild Restaurant & Winery – Chesterfield – 5:30PM.

Rep. Sarah Unsicker Reception – Fresh Art Photography Studio – Webster Groves – 6PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Michael Harris added Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

James Avery added Schultz & Myers.

Rachel Merlo deleted Google.

Shantel Smith deleted all her (Flotron McIntosh) clients.


$5K+ Contributions

Xcaliber MOPAC - $7,500 from Bruce Taylor.

Xcaliber MOPAC - $7,500 from Lee Levinson.

Missouri Insurance Political Action Committee - $7,500 from RGA Enterprise Services Company.

HealthPAC - $6,100 from MidAmerica Division Office.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from UMB Bank, N.A.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Enterprise Holdings Inc. Political Action Committee.

Gladney for Missouri - $5,400 from Ronald Gladney.

We Are Missouri - $15,075 from Laborers International Union of N.A. Local No. 42 General Fund.



Happy birthdays to former Reps. Rachel Bringer and Michael McGhee, and Alex Salsman.