Friday, April 29, 2016

Brown Withdraws

Sen. Dan Brown withdrew from the treasurer’s race, leaving Sen. Eric Schmitt as the sole Republican candidate.  Brown was in the race for about a month.

With an ample war-chest and the ability to focus on the general election, Schmitt is the favorite to win the treasurer’s office, currently held by term limited Democrat Clint Zweifel.

Schmitt statement: “I’ve gotten to know and work together with Senator Brown and he is a hard working and tremendously effective senator who puts people ahead of politics.  With leaders like him, the State Senate will continue to be in strong and capable hands.  I welcome Senator Brown’s support for my campaign.  This will allow us to focus more energy on our specific proposals to make the state treasurer’s office more effective and conserve resources to draw clear distinctions between me and my eventual opponent in the November election.”


KC Star on Schaefer Complaint

Kansas City Star reports on a complaint that’s been filed against Sen. Kurt Schaefer. See it here.

Pull Quote: A Washington-based public interest group is considering its next steps after the Missouri Ethics Commission rejected its complaint against Sen. Kurt Schaefer, a Columbia Republican and candidate for Missouri attorney general… The Ethics Commission rejected the complaint because its subject matter falls outside the commission’s jurisdiction. Because the accusations may reflect criminal misconduct, it said, the complaint is a matter for prosecutors… The group’s complaint has been forwarded to prosecutors in Boone County and Cole County and the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, she said.

In a statement, Schaefer called the allegations “baseless.” He claimed FACT’s leadership is connected financially with groups associated with Hawley…

In a private email disclosed earlier this year, former University of Missouri System president Tim Wolfe claimed Schaefer — the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees university funding — had pressured him to make it harder for Hawley, a law school professor, to run for office…

Schaefer has not denied talking with Wolfe but says the conversations were proper and meant to save taxpayer money. He wanted to make sure the university was following its own rules on how it handled tenure and leaves of absence when it came to Hawley, the senator has said.

At least two former U.S. attorneys who are unconnected with the complaints told The Star an investigation could be warranted. University funding from the legislature is considered “something of value” under the law, one former U.S. attorney said, as is elimination of political competition that Schaefer might face…


Cornejo Cool on the Floor

Rep. Robert Cornejo won praise for his poise on the floor this week, working to pass the municipal court bill (SB 572) and the “beer bill” (SB 994).

Lobbyist 1: He articulated the difficult language in SB 572 the Muni court bill with ease and his calm demeanor in the face of Rep. Keith English's fiery tirade [on the beer bill] showed why seasoned capitol players want Cornejo as a bill handler.

Lobbyist 2:  Cornejo deserves serious credit for SB572 getting through the House. The committee work and effort it took to get everyone on board was really complicated. He managed a lot of interests and I think did it without alienating or angering anyone. That wasn't as easy as he made it look.

The Post-Dispatch reported on the beer bill. See it here.


Governing Blurbs MO SOS Race

Governing Magazine says that Dems are on the defense in secretary of state races across the nation. See it here.

Pull Quote: Secretaries of state can wield significant authority over the details of elections, making them of vital importance to both parties.…. Among the eight offices up for election this year, Democrats have more secretary of state seats at risk. They must defend open seats in Missouri and Montana, and have incumbents on the hot seat in North Carolina and West Virginia -- all states that lean Republican on the presidential level, complicating the Democratic party’s quest to retain control…. Missouri, a state with free-for-all contests for governor, attorney general and U.S. Senate, should also have a competitive race for secretary of state. The current officeholder, Democrat Jason Kander, is running for a U.S. Senate seat. His bid for higher office has convinced one Democrat and two Republicans to seek the post. The Democrat is Robin Smith, a longtime former reporter and TV anchor. The Republicans are state Sen. Will Kraus and Jay Ashcroft, the son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. At this point, the primary and the general are wide open.


Nixon Bits

Governor Jay Nixon appointed “George Ratermann, of St. Louis, to serve on the Missouri Ethics Commission. Ratermann (R) retired from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in 2004 after 37 years as a police officer. He was a patrol officer for five years then spent 32 years as a crime scene examiner in the police laboratory….”


Nixon announced the “appointment of Benjamin Thompson as Associate Circuit Judge for Reynolds County. The appointment fills the vacancy created by the resignation of the Honorable Edith R. Rutter.”


And Nixon also “announced the State of Missouri's AAA credit rating has once again been reaffirmed.  Standard & Poor's Rating Services, along with Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, gave Missouri the strongest credit rating possible, citing the Governor's strong fiscal management to keep the budget in balance.  Missouri is one of just a few states with a perfect AAA credit rating from all three independent rating agencies.”



On the roads of Missouri, this bumper-sticker… “Honk if you love Jesus but not Kurt Schaefer.”


Tweet of the Day

‏@ScottCharton: The sun shines more brightly over public business because of Doug Crews, retiring Friday after 36 years of service at Missouri Press Assn.


Help Wanted

House seeks Accountant.  “The House of Representatives is accepting applications/resumes for the position of Accountant I in the House Administration Division. This is a professional position involving expense accounts, vendor payments, and other accounts payable and financial reporting in compliance with agency, state and federal guidelines… The salary range for the position begins at $2,498 per month; however, actual starting salary commensurate with applicable education and experience…” See it here.


Show-Me Institute seeks Tax Policy Analyst.

“The Tax Policy Analyst’s responsibilities will include: Shaping and implementing the tax policy for the Institute; Performing research, including collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data; Fact checking and critiquing the research of other organizations; Tracking and  reviewing legislative proposals…”  See more here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Mark Habbas added Human Rights Campaign.


$5K+ Contributions

MO Cattlemens Association PAC - $23,733 from Missouri Cattlemen’s Association.



Happy birthdays to former Rep. Belinda Harris, and Brad Bates.

Saturday: Andy Blunt.

Sunday: Bubs Hohulin, and Aaron Griesheimer.