Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dixon Won’t Expel MCN

KCStar’s Jason “Scoop” Hancock writes that “in a letter to his Republican Senate colleagues this week, GOP Sen. Bob Dixon of Springfield called [Maria] Chappelle-Nadal’s Facebook post ‘intemperate and embarrassing.’ He even noted that in the past she has been ‘guilty of disrespect to the Senate and sometimes to its members personally by contemptuous behavior and comments.’  But while he would support an official censure of Chappelle-Nadal as well as her permanent removal from Senate committees, Dixon said he will not vote to expel her from the Senate…” See it here.

What It Means: This doesn’t change the math. Most folks have been assuming that Dixon and Sen. Rob Schaaf were Republican No votes if it came to expelling Chappelle-Nadal.  And there’s also a consensus that Republicans would want Democratic votes to make it a bi-partisan action.

It does, however, add to the momentum which has slowly and consistently been shifting in Chappelle-Nadal’s favor.

Scooplette: There has been talk now – among both Republicans and Democrats – of some punishment short of expulsion.  One hang-up for folks trying to feel their way through this is that censure – regarded as the alternative – seems like too light.  So they are exploring what might be called “censure-plus.”  For example, censure plus permanent removal from committees.  The constitution is quite vague.  Article III Section 18 reads: “Each house…  may punish its members for disorderly conduct…” offering no specifics to the punishment.


Wednesday Thinker: State Reorg?

I did a round of calls to follow-up on the yesterday’s bit about Governor Eric Greitens email concerning the state employee survey, and the possibilities of some serious reorganization of state government.

You may recall in Greitens’ State of the State speech he hinted that there were too many employees and that with a smaller workforce Missouri could pay its state employees more.

“[O]ur best state employees are being hurt by a big bloated bureaucracy. In Indiana, they have 46 state employees per 10,000 people in their state. In Illinois, they have 47 state employees for every 10,000 people. In Ohio, they have 55. And in Missouri? We have 92 employees for every 10,000 people in our state.

“Because of this, we are 50th out of 50 in state employee pay. We need to change that… We’d pay and promote our best people and make sure they know they are valued. And we’d have a government focused on doing fewer things but doing them well. That’s how we’ll be able to pay our star performers what they deserve. That’s one of the reasons why I’m committed to civil service reform, with a focus on making a smaller government that works better…”

However my survey of folks suggests that there’s no significant initiative to downsize the state workforce afoot.  It’s not even being talked about.  Any reorganization will happen within departments.  The directors are being given a wide berth as opposed to the ultra-micromanagement of the Nixon years.

The survey results that the governor highlighted in his email elicited shrug-ish replied from folks.  Basically the pay is relatively low; there’s no bonuses like you’d find on the private side (equity stake or even sales contests); and management turns over with each new administration.  So of course you end up with employees who don’t see their work as part of a larger effort and who bolt once the clock hits 4:30.

Re-engineering state government sounds good in a speech, but everyone agrees it’s exceedingly difficult to design and implement.


Burlison Revs Up Senate Campaign

Former Rep. Eric Burlison sent out a campaign email.  It touts him as a “Conservative for Senate.”  But amid all the jockeying going on in the Springfield state senate seats, it coyly does not mention the senate district.  See his website here.  Burlison is expected to run for Senate 20 (Wasson termed), setting up a primary with former Rep. Lincoln Hough.  But it possible one of them shift over to Senate 30 (Dixon termed).


Maxwell and Shoe’s New Ag Group

The mighty Jason Rosenbaum writes about the Dems new Ag 501c4.  I wrote about this a week or so ago, but the mighty one gets some nice quotes. See it here.

Pull Quote: The group could be a formidable alternative to organizations like the Missouri Farm Bureau, Putnam County cattle farmer Terry Spencer said. But Spencer, who has advocated against large livestock operations for decades, recognizes the challenge ahead. “It’s going to be very difficult. Because there is major money within these corporations,” said Spence, who owns a farm that’s close to a large Smithfield hog facility. “It’s going to be hard to challenge them, because they pretty much dictate the agenda for our state legislature. And they pretty much dictate to our Congress on the power that they have.”

Republican Rep. Joe Don McGaugh of Carrollton said it’s unrealistic to expect larger farming operations to completely disappear in Missouri. “That message that (Maxwell) is driving, about bringing back the family farm and some of those things, that’s probably the issue that resonates the most,” he said. “They want everyone to have 10 cows and 15 hogs. We’ve gone away from that. We’ll probably never go back to that type of society. So I just think the message is old and stale on their part.”


Redistricting Coming….

NYTimes has this piece on redistricting.  It will be here before you know it, though Missouri should be much less dramatic this time around as we presumably won’t be losing a Congressional district.  “Since 2010, the number of competitive races in House elections has shrunk. That’s partly because Democrats increasingly cluster in blue cities, geographically limiting their voting power. But it’s also because redistricting has become more targeted as voters have become more predictable. Once you join Team Red or Team Blue, you’re likely to stay on it. ‘‘If you know how everyone is going to vote, and where they’re going to live, then you have all the information you need,’’ says Nathaniel Persily, a Stanford law professor who has served as a court-­appointed redistricting expert in several states. Both parties use gerrymandering to cement their hold on power…”



Springfield News-Leader does a backgrounder on Loren Cook – the company where President Donald Trump will be speaking today.  See it here.  SPOILER: You’ve seen the name before… Company officials invested nearly a quarter of a million dollars in Missouri politics in the 2016 election cycle, supporting candidates including U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, Gov. Eric Greitens, gubernatorial candidate John Brunner, Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, former Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and Springfield Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky…


Barricades are going up around a St. Louis City courthouse.  (See twitterpic here.) This comes after a Post-Dispatch story: Activists calling for a conviction in the first-degree murder trial of former St. Louis police Officer Jason Stockley on Monday warned of “mass disruption” if he is acquitted. “It’s going to look a lot like Ferguson. It’s going to be a hundred-plus days, three hundred-plus days of direct action,” Tory Russell, 33, of St. Louis, said Monday on the steps of the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis….


Tipster at Rep. Dean Plocher’s kick-off last night: Full house of legislators, lobbyists and citizen donors. Attendees were attentive to Ann Wagner’s report on trip to China, Japan, and Korea’s DMZ.  She will be on tarmac tomorrow to support Trump for his MO trip in support of tax reform.


The mighty Jason Rosenbaum offers this beauty… Councilman Sam Page and County Executive Steve Stenger in a spat at last night’s council meeting.  Listen to it here.


Sen. Ryan Silvey is putting his house on the market.  See it here.  “This well maintained 4 BR and 2.5 BA two story home in Bristol Highlands will impress as you walk through the door to a large, newly painted great room with gas fireplace and tons of natural light…. Priced at $235,000”


New Committees

Neal Minor started a candidate committee (Minor For Missouri) to run for House 5 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Rep. Lindell Shumake, is term-limited.  Minor is the mayor of Monroe City.


Genevieve Steidtmann started a candidate committee (Steidtmann For Missouri) to run for House 101 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Rep. Bruce DeGroot.  It is considered a safe Republican seat.  See her website here.


Help Wanted

City Utilities of Springfield seeks Associate General Manager-General Counsel.  “Under the direction of the General Manager, the is responsible for all legal matters. Serves as chief legal officer and oversees all legal activity of the utility.  Plans, directs, manages, and coordinates the activities of Legal, Environmental Affairs, and Governmental Relations.  Serves as a member of the Executive Committee, advising the General Manager on utility-wide management decisions… Salary: $3,867-$5,801 per week…” See the ad here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:

Reps. Cunningham/Fraker/Kelly Golf – Marshfield Country Club – 9AM.

Rep. Don Rone Steak Dinner – location TBA – Portageville (prior to Delta Ctr. Days).


Lobbyists Registrations

Dave Berry added American Concrete Paving Association.

Jorgen Schlemeier added Maxim Healthcare Services Inc; and deleted Missouri Motion Media Association.


$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $37,316 from UFCW Local 655.

New Approach Missouri - $100,000 from Drug Policy Action.



Happy birthdays to KC Star’s Jason Hancock, Louis Hamilton and former St. Louis City Alderman Stephen Gregali.