Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Stance Against MCN Hardens

In a very bad omen for Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s future, Senate Minority Leader Gina Walsh signaled a lack of confidence by removing her from Senate committees.

“It is important that the Missouri Senate conducts their work without distractions. With that in mind, Sen. Chappelle-Nadal has been removed from her committee assignments. This will help to ensure the success of the Senate, and the state, going forward.”

Senate Pro Tem Ron Richard immediately issued a complementary statement “also removing her from all appointments under my authority.”

And Lieutenant Governor Mike Parson wrote a letter to senators… I am calling on the Missouri Senate to go into special session in conjunction with Veto Session, with the purpose of expelling Senator Chappelle-Nadal from the body under the authority vested to the Senate under Article III, Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution…. I realize what I am asking is nearly unprecedented.  The Senate has not sought to remove a member since 1945.  However, in a situation like this, we as a body have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard and draw a line against these inexcusable actions.  It is unacceptable for a public official to call for violence against the President of the United States, and there is no place in the Missouri General Assembly for a legislator who embraces such harmful rhetoric…

Special Session

The consensus that’s emerged is that – as Parson writes – the Senate must have a special session if it doesn’t want to wait until January to oust Chappelle-Nadal.  There is a contrary belief. In the constitution Veto Session’s “sole purpose” is to deal with vetoed bills.  But some say that just means no other legislative business can occur, it doesn’t prohibit the body from dealing with the body’s internal business.

The need for a special session will require either the governor to call it.  Or ¾ of the legislators in both the House and Senate to call it.  Even though the House won’t be involved in the expulsion proceedings, they would need to be part of the legislature calling itself into special session.



How much of the outrage expressed against Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal is pent up frustration from previous battles she’s waged?  One Democratic activist who wants her out texted me this:

MCN should apologize to Jay Nixon and the entire D Party… R loved her when she was shouting profanity at the office of the Gov and endorsing R last cycle Remember Rick Stream… She's a big reason we have Greitens…

The expulsion movement is being fueled as much by years of Chappelle-Nadal burning bridges as it is by the post for which she has apologized.


Richardson to Caucus on Speaker Voting

I wrote on Sunday that the House Republicans had voted not to let the termed seniors participate in the upcoming Speaker-elect race.  After some pushback, they’re going to “revisit” the issue.

Speaker Todd Richardson’s letter to his caucus…

Dear Colleagues

Thank you for what was, once again, a tremendously successful summer caucus.  We had a record number of sponsors for a non-election cycle year and are continuing to build momentum as we head into 2018.

The decision on who the caucus selects as its Speaker-Elect is, to state the obvious, a very important one for the future of our caucus and the State.  It is also important that the process we employ to make that decision is fair to the members who will make this decision.

Beginning in 2007 – the caucus has made the decision to designate a Speaker-Elect.

In 2002 there was not a Speaker-elect selected early as Republicans did not gain a majority until November of 2002. It was not an issue from 2004-2008 as Speaker Jetton did not have opposition.

This decision ensures a smooth transition from one leadership team to the next, and more importantly helps avoid the infighting that, at least in part, led to Democrats losing the majority.  Choosing a Speaker-Elect allows the winner to devote their time and energy throughout the election cycle to funding and spearheading a campaign effort to protect our most vulnerable members and win the most competitive open seats, as opposed to focusing on a leadership election campaign during those crucial months. We have gained a net of 25 seats in the Missouri House over the past decade with this process in place.

Because of the timing of these elections, there has always been a question as to whether the outgoing class should participate in this vote.  There are fair perspectives on both sides of this issue and there has not been one consistent way the caucus has historically handled these decisions.  Since Republicans took the majority in 2002 we have had 7 Republican Speakers, and only 2 have been selected in contested races.

The impact of the decision on whether seniors participate in the vote obviously takes on particular significance during the years where there is a large outgoing senior class.  As a result I want to ensure that everyone has ample time to make this decision and notice of when that decision will be made.  To that end we will revisit the issue of whether the seniors will participate in the election at veto session prior to the vote for Speaker-elect.   I have spoken with all three candidates for Speaker and they are all in agreement with the decision to revisit this vote.

Some of you have also raised the question as to whether Seniors will be allowed to vote on this decision.  There does not appear to be any clear answer as to how this has been handled in the past.  I have asked staff to do some digging on past precedent and rules to help guide this decision.

I look forward to seeing everyone in September.



Welcome to PAC-World

In the New Committees (below), there are eight more political action committees which have been started.  The proliferation of PACs appears to be in response to the new campaign contribution limits of Amendment 2.   This was the result warned by those who opposed the amendment: money will always find a way.

The guess is that these new PACs will be used by larger donors to “funnel” money – more than the limits – to candidate of their choice.  And as long as the donor does not control the PAC or explicitly direct the contribution’s final recipient the consensus is that it’s perfectly legal.

The minority opinion would be that there is language in Amendment 2 that makes it illegal.

“No contribution shall be made or accepted, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, in the name of another person, or by or through another person in such a manner as to conceal the identity of the actual source of the contribution or the actual recipient.”

If a donor is giving to a half-dozen PACs to get around the limits, isn’t that an effort to conceal their identity?


Progressive Women Want Dem Litmus Test

I missed this last week.  ProgressWomen delivered a petition to Missouri Democratic Party Chair Stephen Webber “that he only recruit legislative candidates who will advocate for constitutionally protected reproductive rights.”  See the press statement here.

With the Democrats in the super-minority in both chambers and having just been swept in the statewide elections in 2016 there is understandable soul-searching.

This petition channels those Democrats worried that their core issues will be sacrificed as part of any “bigger tent” to win elections.  The counter-argument of course is that they’re core issues are getting steamrolled right now by the super-majority Republicans so they might as well try something new.


Greitens Pauses Execution

Governor Eric Greitens issued a stay of execution for an accused murder with new DNA evidence calling the man’s guilt into question.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

Greitens’ statement: “A sentence of death is the ultimate, permanent punishment. To carry out the death penalty, the people of Missouri must have confidence in the judgment of guilt. In light of new information, I am appointing a Board of Inquiry in this case.”

See the executive order appointing a Board of Inquiry here.

Snarky eMailbag On Execution

It's funny these days seeing a Republican chief executive defer to science….


New Committees

Dan Wibracht For Mo was formed.  Wibracht is running for House 72 where incumbent Rep. Mary Nichols is term limited.

C-Red PAC was formed.  The treasurer is Steve Ayers of Canton Missouri.  And the deputy treasurer is Melissa Largent.  The committee has an address and phone number associated with lobbyist Rich AuBuchon’s firm.

Parkland Conservatives PAC was formed.  The treasurer is John CrounchSee his bio here.

Missouri Senior PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Gary Matheny of Farmington.

Missourians For a Responsible Budget was formed.  It’s a PAC.  Its treasurer is R Layne Morrill of Kimberling City.

Graves Garrett, LLC PAC was formed.  The treasurer is Alan Simpson.

RQC PAC was formed; and MO-DSV PAC was formed.  The treasurer of both is Linda Koch of New Bloomfield, MO. Both committees have the same address.

Missouri Leadership PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is John O’Brien.



Governing Magazine says Missouri is leading the trend of abortion restrictions.  See it here.


Jordan Duecker joined the governor’s office last month as a Policy Analyst.  He was previously a legislative assistant to Rep. Phil Christofanelli, and before that Director of Absentee Voting for Catherine Hanaway’s campaign.


Sarah Swoboda left the Auditor’s office where she was deputy chief of staff and joined the Public School Retirement System as deputy general counsel.  She had previously been deputy state treasurer under Clint Zweifel.


Joplin Globe’s Crystal Thomas reports from Senator Claire McCaskill’s town hall meeting last night.  See it here“All of the attendees’ questions were thrown into a basket before the meeting started. In order to ensure that the questions weren’t prescreened, people who said they would never vote for McCaskill were allowed to hold the basket. At one point, state Rep. Mike Moon, a conservative Republican state representative from Ash Grove, became the keeper of the basket…”


St. Louis City removed Confederate Drive in Forest Park.  See it here“Workers began plowing over the street on Monday, a day when most of the city was preoccupied with eclipse fanfare. Koran Addo, a spokesman for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, said the tearing up of Confederate Drive was part of a longstanding Forest Park master plan and would have happened regardless of the monument controversy. It will soon be planted over, he said…”


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

August 23 – August 25: Missouri House Democratic Summer Caucus – 2300 St. Marys Blvd., Jefferson City.


Lobbyists Registrations

Rodney Boyd, Katherine Casas, Brian Grace and Kelvin Simmons added Niehaus Building Services LLC, and American Federation for Children; and deleted College Bound.

Charles Hinderliter added St. Louis Realtors.


$5K+ Contributions

Ameren Missouri Political Action Committee - $5,000 from Ameren Fed PAC.

Teamsters Local Union No 688 Political Action Committee - $12,735 from DRIVE Committee.



Happy birthday to Swing State Media’s Neil Swanson.