Webber to Lead MO Dems
When the Missouri Democratic State Party meets tomorrow, Rep. Stephen Webber is expected to be named the new topper. Webber, a termed Mid-MO legislator, lost his Senate race to Rep. Caleb Rowden. It was a seat Dems had hoped to pick up.
It’s said that Senator Claire McCaskill has signed off on the Webber taking the chair spot, and that the “Bernie folks,” short-hand for relatively new activists energized by Bernie Sanders insurgent campaign, have agreed to stand down rather than mount a challenge to Webber.
McCaskill is up for re-election in 2018. And Republicans – following their statewide sweep last month – are likely to be targeting her. Dems, meanwhile, believe that the mid-term elections of a Donald Trump presidency should provide a hospitable environment for their candidate.
Tipster: Looks Like Stream
One capitol denizen says that it looks like Rick Stream, not Harry Otto, is being prepped to take of the budget director’s job… “Stream has been walking around with Dan Haug, the current budget director. Maybe Harry is going to play a role bur not sure why Stream would be with Haug unless [he was getting the job]…”
Team Gretiens sent out an announcement / invitation to the inauguration. See the website they’ve set up: NewMissouri.Org
It’s funded by a new non-profit they’ve set up: A Committee for a New Missouri. See the paperwork here.
It means that the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Greitens has been raising for Greitens for Missouri are not for the inauguration. That’s banking campaign dollars four years in advance to avoid the limits passed by voters last month.
So far those donations have been mostly from Missouri corporations, but one does wonder if Greitens will ask the anonymous-LLC-in-the-anonymous-non-profit to contribute as well before the limit take effect. We’ll see….
Pre-filing of bills started yesterday. See the House bill list here. See the Senate bill list here. Sen. Gina Walsh filed a bill to enable St. Louis area counties to raise their sales tax to support the St. Louis Zoo. See the Post-Dispatch article here.
Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal filed an education reform bill she says is similar to what Governor Jay Nixon vetoed in 2014 and 2015.
And Missourinet reports on the pre-filed right to work bills. See it here.
Jami Ready to Fight
Sen. Jamilah Nasheed on Twitter...@SenatorNasheed: They can pre-file all the bills they want, but we're not going to stand by while MO families are attacked #RTW
Ameren Talks Proposal
The St. Louis Business Journal sponsored an event yesterday to discuss the benefits of modernizing the electrical grid that included Ameren toppers Warner Baxter and Michael Moehn.
Moehn recalled the 1950s and 60s as a time when people were adding air conditioning and the utilities business was growing 8% a year. But in the current environment with more and more energy efficiency – especially among lighting – their top lines have been flat to negative.
So their problems is: how do you invest in maintaining or updating the grid in a flat revenue environment?
The answer is a new regulatory framework that that they are proclaiming to be a win-win-win scenario. They update and modernize the grid, jobs are created, customers get more reliable service and rates remain low.
The hardest sell is that last part. It smells like a “free lunch.” If Ameren is going to spend an additional billion dollars, and they’re going to get reimbursed for those expenditures from their customers, how do rates not go up?
The explanation is that there are significant cost savings with a more reliable grid. You don’t have to send crews out in the middle of the night and make repairs. Those repair expenses get reimbursed now dollar-for-dollar. But if they can spend money upgrading the grid under a new rate plan, they could amortize the expenses over the life of the grid – say 40 years – and spreading it out like that would help keep rates low.
Elizabeth Lauber and Steve Tilley added Missouri Main Street Connection.
Jeffrey Aboussie added Kiel Center Partners and The Kelley Group.
Stephen Szejner added PGIM Inc.; and deleted Prudential Capital Group.
Tim Green added Spire Inc.; and deleted The Laclede Group, Linq3, Missouri Retired Techers Association, and Healthcare Advantage LLC.
Kathryn Ann Harness added Bi State Development Agency; and deleted Fair Trade Missouri, and Centerpointe Hospital.
Elizabeth Fuchs added PROMO.
L.P. (Louis) Hamilton deleted Ace Cash Express, PH Financial Services, Title Lenders Inc, ATS, TMX Finance, VWWC, MO Title Loans, and QC Holdings.
Cynthia Gamble, David Jackson, Kathryn Gamble, Jeffrey Brooks, William Gamble, Sarah Topp, and Jorgen Schlemeier deleted Gentiva Health Services, and The Kraft Heinz Company.
Mark Stallman deleted St. Charles County Association of Realtors.
Joel Kurzman deleted National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and Joel Kurzman.
Palmer R “Nick” Nichols II deleted Missouri Hospital Association.
St. Charles Association of Realtors Political Action Committee - $11,311 from Missouri Realtors PAC.
St. Louis Association of Realtors PAC - $10,434 from Missouri Realtors PAC.
Hawley for Missouri - $10,000 from Southern Glazer’s Missouri PAC.
Central Bancompany PAC - $10,000 from The Central Trust Bank.
Clean Missouri - $10,000 from Deaconess Foundation.
Happy birthdays to Stephen Bough.
Saturday: Jill Ott.
Sunday: Jennifer Florida and Sean Gagen.
Due to travel, there will be no Weekly Summary and “Who Won the Week” today. Take this as your hint to start the weekend early. See you Monday….