Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Driving the Day: Walker Announces in Senate 18

It’s been expected, but today Rep. Nate Walker will formally announce his candidacy for Senate 18.

From his statement… “Big city special interests, wealthy developers, and billionaire NFL owners are lining their pockets with our hard-earned tax dollars. Enough is enough. Tax dollars belong in our schools, our roads, and our communities — not in empty football stadiums. I will fight to make sure they don’t end up there,” said Walker.

Nate Walker learned the value of a hard day’s work at a young age. As a child, he worked on the family farm. Then, he worked his way through college, becoming the 4th generation of his family to graduate with an agriculture degree from the University of Missouri…

“I was raised in a community where hard work was not just a value, but a necessity. The average person now must work over 100 days just to pay their annual tax bill, and that is just wrong,” Walker said. “We work hard just to see those tax dollars go to empty pro-football stadiums and collapsing schools in St. Louis City. Meanwhile, swindlers have nearly bankrupted our communities like Mamtek did in Moberly or the $90 million medical billing scheme, under current federal investigation, did in Putnam County.”

Walker believes that government has grown too big and bloated to serve Missouri citizens effectively. In the Senate, Walker will fight to make government smaller and more accountable to taxpayers while providing better service…

“Health care was a real issue to me and my family growing up. I feel strongly that we need to repeal Obamacare and create a state-based healthcare plan managed by Missourians for Missourians. It’s time to cut costly regulations, eliminate waste, and provide better access to quality care,” said Walker…

What It Means

Walker is unveiling a populist message in his announcement as opposed to a conservative message.  The difference can be subtle in rural Missouri.  But it’s not just anti-big government.  It’s anti-big city.  The rallying cry is more along economic classes than ideological lines.  In this district – which not too long ago sent a Democrat to the state senate – that could have a wider appeal.

The big question for Walker is whether he will be able to corral the resources needed to take on Cindy O’Laughlin – who has about $150K lead in the money race right now.  Walker was able to withstand hundreds of thousands of dollars spent against him by Rex Sinquefield previously, using just this populist message.  That might mean he won’t need to match O’Luaghlin dollar-for-dollar, but he can’t run an entirely “grassroots” campaign and expect to compete.


Q&A #1: Will MO GOP Run Against Obama-Clinton Again in 2018?

Short answer: Yes.


If Missouri Democrats thought that the silver lining in losing the White House would be that their state candidates would no longer be tied to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, they thought wrong.

I look at the Missouri Republican State Party’s recent release shows that the attack lines from 2016, 2014, 2012 etc are still being employed.  For example, “When Michelle Obama goes low…” And “if you supported Hillary Clinton you’ll love Nicole Galloway…”

One Republican explains: They need a boogeyman and Clinton and Obama fit the bill as to what the GOP/Trump supporter does NOT want, especially with Clinton putting herself out there every day still whining about the election.  I think until an Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris type gets more national exposure they stick with what works. To be fair Obama blamed [Geroge] Bush for the first two years as well as have other presidents after a party change.

However, he says the message won’t be enough to paper over the lack of accomplishments.  “If they go into mid-terms without much to show the base will stay home and be apathetic.  Mix that with Bannon/Trump recruiting candidates that will be unpopular with a General Election audience and Democrat enthusiasm off the charts, it could be very bad.  We are still a year away, but….”


Hancock on Senate 8

Jason Hancock writes on the increasingly acrimonious special election in Senate 8.  See it here.

Pull Quote: The head of the Jackson County Democratic Party helped Jacob Turk collect enough signatures to appear on the November ballot as an independent candidate for the Missouri Senate.  Rep. Mike Cierpiot, a 64-year-old lawmaker chosen by local Republican officials to run for a vacant Senate seat in eastern Jackson County, is crying foul and calling Turk a “plant by liberal interests to elect a liberal to the state Senate.”

Turk, 60, who ran as a Republican for Congress six times against Democratic U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, called the accusation ridiculous and proof that Cierpiot is “willing to play fast and loose with the truth to win this race.” The back-and-forth comes as Cierpiot’s campaign is set to spend more than $130,000 on TV ads over the next three weeks before voters go to the polls on Nov. 7….

The latest development in the race centers on Geoff Gerling, the executive director of the Jackson County Democratic Party. Gerling circulated petitions to get Turk on the ballot, collecting 44 signatures…. Turk said both Missouri GOP Chairman Todd Graves and the party’s political director, Ray Bozarth, met with him separately to tell him that “if I didn’t file my petitions there would be a place for me in the party.”

“For 12 years I’ve worked to grow the Republican Party in Jackson County and the (congressional) Fifth District,” he said. “I would hope that however this turned out I’d always have a place for me in the party.”


Merger Talk Follow-Up

Missouri Times dispels the talk that Pro Tem Ron Richard will file legislation to accommodate St. Louis City re-entering St. Louis County.  See it here.


St. Louis City Gossip

Committeewoman Marie Ceselski writes on her blog“Rumor has it that [Rep. Michael] Butler and the Bosley Family have swapped endorsements and Lakeysha Frazier-Bosley, the Alderman’s sister, getting the nod from Butler as heir to his 79th District seat…. License Collector Mavis Thompson has $7,021.12 on hand and fundraiser scheduled for the end of this month. Dana Kelly Franks, wife of State Rep. Bruce Franks, launched her campaign for Thompson’s job last weekend….”


New MEC Opinion

In a new opinion from the Missouri Ethics Commission, “The position of Chief Counsel for the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission is not specifically required to file a Personal Financial statement under §105.483, RSMo., unless the department director designates that position as a decision-making public servant.”  See it here.

According to the Missouri Accountability Portal, Bruce Farmer is currently chief counsel.


New Committees

Lee Sawyer formed a candidate committee (Friends of Lee Sawyer) to run for presiding commissioner of Buchanan County as a Republican. See the paperwork here.


Lobbyists Registration Changes

Barbara Bichelmeyer added University of Missouri - Kansas Ciy.

Guy Black added Missouri Clean Energy District, and Missouri Renovate America Inc.

Rodney Boyd and Katherine Casas added McDonald’s Corporation

Dana Tippin Cutler deleted The Missouri Bar.


$5K+ Contributions

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $60,000 from Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate LLC.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $10,000 from Clarkson Construction Company.

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $30,000 from The Weitz Company, LLC.

Citizens for a Safer St. Louis - $50,000 from St. Louis Police Foundation.

Citizens for a Safer St. Louis - $100,000 from St. Louis Regional Business Council.

Freedom Incorporated - $65,000 from Heavy Constructors Association.

Freedom Incorporated - $65,000 from Heavy Constructors Association.



Happy birthdays to Jim Talent, Ray McCarty, and Cindy O’Laughlin.