Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fitzwater to Exit

Word is circulating that Rep. Paul Fitzwater will resign in the coming days.  He’s expected to be appointed to the Board of Probation and Parole by Governor Eric Greitens.  Fitzwater is term limited, though some see him as a possible candidate for Senate 3 (in 2020 after Sen. Gary Romine is termed).

There will likely be some social media mutterings about Greitens doing once again as his predecessor did – appointing legislators (aka “insiders”) to cushy positions.  There are three other former state representatives on the board. However it’s important to note that Fitzwater, having served as chair of the House Corrections Committee, is well-qualified for the job.

There will be a spirited Republican primary to succeed Fitzwater.  It appears that Fitzy is giving his seal of approval to his legislative assistant, Christina Dinkins.


First in MOScout: Southeast Missouri Conservatives PAC

Paperwork for a new political action committee was filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.  Southeast Missouri Conservatives PAC.  Its treasurer is Jennifer Crouch.

This is a leadership PAC for Sen. Gary Romine. At the federal level many members of Congress have “Leadership PACs” to augment their fundraising.  With the passage of Amendment 2, we’re seeing this become standard practice here in Missouri too. One purpose of a “Leadership PAC” is to show the willingness and ability to fundraise for your colleagues and future colleagues.

It appears that Romine is joining Sens. Bob Onder and Dave Schatz in exploring a pro tem bid.

We’ll see if the three all stay focused on that post.  There’s still over a year before the 2018 elections and a successor to Ron Richard would be chosen.  It’s possible they will work out an  accommodation.  Perhaps one will become pro tem, another to be floor leader and the third will take a powerful chairmanship?  We’ll see….


SBOE Meeting Uneventful

Post-Dispatch reports on the State Board of Education meeting in which no action against Vandeven was taken.  See it here.

Pull Quote: For the third time, one of the rookie governor’s appointees to the eight-member board withdrew from consideration, further delaying his attempt to replace current Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven with his own top school pick. One existing board member says the political newcomer’s behavior has been “incompetent.”  “When you elect amateurs to public office, what you get is an amateur performance,” said Michael Jones, who represents the St. Louis area. Jones’ comments came after Springfield resident Heidi Crane declined to accept Greitens’ appointment to the board. Crane was a last minute choice to replace Springfield resident Melissa Gelner on the board after Gelner resigned over the pressure she was receiving from Greitens’ office to dump Vandeven…

What It Means: It seems that a quick ousting of Vandeven is not happening.  Board president Charlie Shields, former Senate Pro Tem, is no political neophyte.  Assuming that the Greitens’ folks can get their act together and find a southwest member that they have properly vetted, it’s still a four-four stalemate on the board between new members and old members.

It’s not until Jones rolls off next year that Greitens could have a majority of appointees to the board.

Meanwhile Greitens (and the reformers) haven’t made any compelling case publicly (or privately) why Vandeven needs to go.  The vague talk that they want someone who is more “pro-charter,” or that the department is too slow with fiscal notes for reform legislation seem to fall a bit short of a good reason to remove her.


Shantel Smith to MO Dental

Yesterday I noted that Flotron and McIntosh’s Shantel Smith deleted all their clients from her registration.  On Facebook, Smith says she will become the new Legislative and Regulatory Director at Missouri Dental Association.  She’ll take the place of Katie Reichard who left the MOTeeth to go to Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Health.



Willis Jones on Facebook says he’s opening an office for his Capitol City Research in October. It will be at 400 East High.  See the website here.


Dem Sam Gladney’s website in House 87 (Rep. Stacey Newman termed).  See it here.


House Majority Floor Leader vote will be the day after the Senate 8 special election.


Press release: The Missouri State Council of Fire Fighters is proud to announce its unanimous endorsement of Nicole Galloway for Missouri Auditor. "Her steadfast resolve to protect Missourians hard earned tax dollars and her commitment to hold both politicians and political subdivisions accountable for their actions has earned our highest endorsement," said Missouri State Council of Fire Fighters President Sherwood Smith.


In the large contributions see Cerner giving KC3T $100K.  That’s the committee trying to pass the airport improvements


NYTimes looks at Mayor Lyda Krewson’s response to the Stockley protests.  See it here.


Eastern Appellate District says St. Louis City’s payroll tax is constitutional.  See it here.


Hallmark PAC was formed.


$5K+ Contributions

KC Transportation Transit and Tourism Committee (KC3T) - $100,000 from Cerner Corporation.

Raise Up Missouri - $25,000 from Laborers International Union of North America Laborers Local No. 110.

Raise Up Missouri - $25,000 from The Union Labor Life Insurance Company.