Friday, August 12, 2016

Hicks Resigning

Rep. Ron Hicks finally signaled yesterday that he will resign his seat as the constitution says he should having moved out of his district.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Rep. Ron Hicks, who formerly lived in St. Peters, announced he would step down Friday more than two months after moving outside the boundaries of the 107th House District… In a statement, Hicks said he would quit the $34,000-per-year post after discussing the matter with House Speaker Todd Richardson, who has made ethics a key component of his tenure as the leader in the House.  “While I was concerned about leaving my constituents without representation for the rest of the year, my conversations with my family, many of my constituents, and Speaker Richardson made it clear that resigning my seat is the right decision,” Hicks said.


Politico on MO’s Lack of PDMP

Politico has a long piece on Missouri’s lack of a prescription drug monitoring program. And how opposition to it has spread from just Sen. Rob Schaaf. See it here.

Pull Quote: When officials try to explain why Missouri, alone among 50 states, has failed to create a monitoring program that tells doctors when patients are abusing narcotics, they point to a right-wing state senator who has repeatedly filibustered the program…

But while Schaaf is an outlier when it comes to prescription drug monitoring programs, jitters about the programs have flared up nationwide. In Missouri, Schaaf enjoys the backing of right-wing grassroots groups. And resistance to the programs — seen by federal officials and establishment medicine as a key element in fighting opioid abuse — has also appeared in states like Oregon, Florida, and Utah…

“[I]f I could wave a magic wand and get a certain senator locked in a closet, we can get this done in Missouri," said [Claire] McCaskill

Yet distaste for the monitoring program seems to have broadened. While Schaaf’s filibustering has tied up the issue in the Senate, the chorus of “nays” against the House version of the bill doubled from 32 in 2014 to 66 in 2016.

“It’s gotten to the point where it’s more than just him,” said Jeff Howell, general counsel for the Missouri State Medical Association. Groups that Howell describes as “to the right of the Republican Party” — United for Missouri, Missouri First, and Missouri Alliance for Freedom— oppose PDMP bills and yield clout through their scorecard systems rating legislators…


Coleman: No RNC Funds for Trump

Former Congressman Tom Coleman signed a letter with 70 other Republicans urging Reince Preibus to “stop spending any [RNC] money to help Donald Trump win in November and shift those contributions to Senate and House races.”  See it here.

Pull Quote: “We believe that Donald Trump’s divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence, and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide, and only the immediate shift of all available RNC resources to vulnerable Senate and House races will prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck…”


Koster’s Ground Game

Tomorrow Chris Koster will speak at a “canvass kickoff” in West St. Louis County.  According to the press advisory he also has similar spots planned for Farmington and Cape Girardeau this week.  And one Mid-MO MOScout reader sent me this picture, showing that Team Koster had already hit his house.  Plus looks like Working America is already out working for Koster (see their filing here).

This all signals a robust ground game from Koster’s campaign.


Nixon Interview

Governor Jay Nixon looks back on his governorship.  See it here.  He calls his biggest disappointment “Ethics and campaign finance. We’re still a state with no limits on gifts and contributions. It skews the system when you can write million-dollar checks or you can take a $1,000 trip from somebody without any controls. I think it leads to cynicism for the public. So that’s frustrating to me.”

And interestingly he lists pension reform as one of his accomplishments.

Last month the Office of Administration released a study which called for reversing the main component of that reform, the 10-year vesting for retirement, in order to be competitive with the rest of the labor market.


Blue Lives Matter

I haven’t heard of any “Blue Lives Matter” bills coming to Missouri next session yet, but we’ll see…  See it here.

Pull Quote: After the fatal shooting of eight police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge, La., this month, lawmakers across the country want to increase the penalties for attacking law enforcement and other first responders… So-called Blue Lives Matter bills -- a riff on the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and racism -- have been proposed in at least nine other states and Congress in the past year. Supporters of such legislation argue that targeted attacks on cops are on the rise and that politicians need to take a stand against such violence. Critics counter that the bills dilute the meaning of a hate crime and detract from the more widespread issues of excessive use of force and racial discrimination by police….



According to the Senate website, Eric Vickers is back on staff for Sen. Jamilah Nasheed


Yet another Rex Sinquefield committee?  Make Saint Louis Safe, a political action committee, was formed last week.  The treasurer is Larry Stendebach.  Make Saint Louis Safe received a $22,500 in-kind contribution from Sinquefield committee Great St. Louis Inc.  According to LinkedIn, Stendebach is the Chief Technology Officer at Pelopidas.


$5K+ Contributions

Dr. Dan Brown for Senate - $10,000 from Political Action Committee for Health (Health PAC).

Greitens for Missouri - $1,000,000 from Republican Governors Association – Missouri.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $20,000 from Pipefitters Local Union 533 Volunteer Political Fund.

Early Childhood Education Initiative - $100,000 from RAI Services Company.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $5,001 from Telephone Contact Inc.



Happy birthdays to for Rep. Vicki Schneider, Sharon Jones, and Larry Drebes (the big 8-0).

Saturday: former Rep. Ed Wildberger, Aaron Baker, and Tony Pousosa.

Sunday: former Sen. John Loudon, Nancy Cross, and Senate 23 candidate Richard Orr.


MOScout News

No MOScout Weekly Poll this week.