Wednesday, May 24, 2017

House Passes Rone Bill

The House Utility Committee passed Rep. Don Rone’s bill yesterday.  (See the bill summary here.)  It’s stripped down to only include the first part of the call, more narrowly focused on the immediate projects in the bootheel.  It will go to the House floor today.


Special Session Bits

The free market Show-Me Institute blogged that “there is a tradeoff: other electricity users would ultimately pay more so that these plants could pay less.”  See it here.


Plan B?  The smelter may be dismantled and sold off piecemeal for scrap metal.  According to this report ARG International, the parent company to Magnitude 7 Metal, explored this possibility.  If true, it means that they have little risk in the smelter at this point.  The scrap value ($12-13 million) would apparently be approximately what they paid for the facility.  Also, the current price for aluminum ($1,900/ton) is below what the article estimates is necessary to restart the smelter ($2,200/ton).


The big problem with Greiten’s dark money habit is that there may be dark benefactors somewhere we don’t know about.  For example, much made of the fact that Rone and governor aren’t releasing the name of the steel mill.  This creates speculation that the mill could be owned by a private equity firm or other coastal venture capitalist who may have contributed to Greitens’ SuperPACs – LG PAC and Seals for Truth – during the campaign, or contributed to his political non-profit, a New Missouri, or contributed in other secret ways we don’t know about.  What benefit are these donors getting for their “investments” in this governor?  That question is unanswerable and it’s why the dark money is bad government.


Commerce Switch

Pro Tem Ron Richard took Sen. Will Kraus off the Senate Commerce Committee which will hear the special session bills, and replaced him with Sen. Jay Wasson.


Greitens Flips On Transparency

Greitens’ KMOX “dark voting” interview I wrote about yesterday became the topic of the day with some pulling up an interview candidate Greitens did with the mighty Jason Rosenbaum during his campaign (see it here) decrying secret money and talking about how proud he was of his donors.

Sen. Jason Holsman on Greitens’ new position: "Recently, Gov. Greitens went on the radio and seemingly called for an abolition of Missouri's voter-approved campaign disclosure laws. Even for a Governor who prefers to operate from the shadows, this new call for complete and total darkness for his big dollar donors is a troubling," Sen. Holsman said. "I cannot truly believe that a Governor who recently admitted to breaking campaign finance laws would have the audacity to call for dismantling the very system that exposed his wrongdoing. The Governor needs to clarify or recant his statements so that the people of Missouri know where Eric Greitens stands on laws that protect against corruption and pay-to-play."


Greitens Rallies Bill Supporters

Governor Eric Greitens led a rally in the capitol yesterday for supporters of the special session bill.  They left sticky notes on doors of senators.

KRCC’s Garrett Bergquisttweeted that the “Governor's office confirms nonprofit A New Missouri paid for buses to bring residents to JC. Says no coordination between the two.”

I’m not sure why they would deny coordination.  I don’t think there’s anything illegal with it, and it’s hard to imagine that wasn’t coordination considering the governor and the state party were both hyping the event and involved in the event.


Advocate: Greitens Open to Pot for Vets

On Facebook Joe Reagan of the Missouri Epilepsy Treatment Group, writes, “Had a face to face with Governor Greitens today about safe access to cannabis for veterans! He is open to the idea if we can present scientific evidence of which we have. We will be going back to present this evidence to him at a later date…”  See the photo and caption here.


McCaskill: Add PDMP To Special

The press release: Yesterday [Claire] McCaskill penned a letter to Governor Greitens, supporting State Representative Holly Rehder’s request for a special session after the legislature yet again failed to pass such a program this session. Missouri is the only state in the country without a statewide program.

“It’s deeply discouraging that an opioid epidemic ravaging Missouri communities is apparently so low on the Governor’s list of priorities that it wouldn’t make this agenda of a special session—and I urge him to reconsider,” McCaskill said. “Ultimately, I know the current failure of political leaders in Jefferson City to confront this epidemic won’t slow down the important work of State Representative Rehder, county-level leaders, or my own work to support them in the Senate.”


Constitution Confusion?

Ozark First reports that Gov. Eric Greitens said the Constitution requires the governor to call a special session on one specific issue, not multiple issues.

However veterans retort that we’ve have many special sessions that have dealt with multiple issues and Article IV, Section 9 pretty clearly implies that you can have multiple “measures.”

Additionally, his own proclamation has two matters with the standard boilerplate language that says I can recommend “additional and other matters.”

  1. Such additional and other matters as may be recommended by the Governor by special message to the General Assembly after it shall have been convened.


We Are Missouri

In the large contributions (below) unions are starting to fund ($60K today) the We Are Missouri committee which is going to push the referendum to overturn the right to work legislation.


New Committees

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (Kc3t) was formed. It’s a PAC.  The treasurer is Matt Dameron.

Nate Branscom started a campaign committee to run for House 131 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Republican Rep. Sonya Murray Anderson.  Branscom ran against Anderson in 2016 winning 27% of the vote.

Vincent Clubb started a campaign committee to run for House 144 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Republican Rep. Paul Fitzwater, is termed.

Ridgely PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Kristen Blanchard Ansley.  She was formerly the interim executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.  The address on the committee is the office of Garrett Graves Law firm.

Abby Zavos started a campaign committee to run for House 38 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Republican Rep. TJ Berry.  He is termed.




eMailbag on Greitens Defending Hiding Donors Identities

Based upon Gov. Greitens comments about dark money and that it is harassment to report donors. Does he advocate for the abolishment of the Ethics Commission as well as the reporting of all contributions?


eMailbag on Capital Enhancement Hiring

Maybe Karen Day prepping for the Wagner Senate race?


See a profile of Karen Day from 2007 here.


Help Wanted

St. Louis City Treasurer’s Office seeks Assistant Treasurer.  “Under the direct supervision of the Treasurer, responsible for directing financial planning and investment of funds for the City of St. Louis. In addition, oversees collections, distributions, payroll, garnishments and warehousing of W2s.  Also, responsible for directing and managing all aspects of the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE)…”  See the ad here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jorgen Schlemeier added Macquarie Infrastructure & Real Estate Assets Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $22,500 from IUOE Local 513 Political & Education Fund.

We Are Missouri - $5,175 from Heat and Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Political Fund Account No. 1.

We Are Missouri - $24,000 from Pipe Fitters Local Union #533.

We Are Missouri - $13,170 from BAC Administrative District Council of Eastern Missouri.

Teamsters Local Union No 688 Political Action Committee - $11,083 from DRIVE Committee.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Jake Hummel, St. Louis County Councilman Sam Page, Byron DeLear, and Gregg Christian.