Slay Passes on 5th Term
The Friday afternoon bombshell came from Mayor Francis Slay that he was declining to run for a fifth term.
In a statement he sought to minimize rumors – health or otherwise – while preserving his political capital by suggesting the possibility of a future political, the possibility of making endorsements, and reminding observers of his substantial war-chest.
It may be that knowing the rollercoaster job of being mayor, he’s seeking to go out on a high note with the NGA win and the earning tax vote win fresh.
The Post-Dispatch and others immediately began talking potential candidates. Among the aldermen the two to watch are Lyda Krewson and Antonio French. And among the city-wide elected it’s Gregg Daly and Tishaura Jones.
Sen. Jamilah Nasheed took herself out of the running. Her statement: Reacting to the high volume of interview requests received by her office State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has issued the following statement: “In response to all the inquiries I have received about my potentially running for mayor of the City of St. Louis, I wish to reiterate that my focus is entirely on being re-elected to serve as Senator for the 5th District….”
What It Means
Slay’s departure could be a big hit for St. Louis interests in the legislature. As much as the city seemed to be on the receiving end of rural spite, Slay was well received by the Republican leadership over the course of his tenure. With each House speaker he was able to parlay his no-nonsense demeanor into a good working relationship. And there were tangible results from his efforts: most notably historic legislation to bring the city’s police force back under local control.
As the Senate and House begin their negotiations to reconcile their two versions of the state budget, there will be scores of small little line-item tussles and horse-trades.
But the big picture tug-of-war will center on higher education versus Medicaid spending. The House cut higher education and preserved Medicaid spending, while the Senate reduced Medicaid, but kept higher education spending.
The other big difference between the two budgets is the House’s creation of a surplus revenue fund. It’s an attempt to manage the expenditure process if revenues come in below the revenue estimate that the governor is using. The Senate didn’t create the mechanism which was surprising as you’d think the legislature would coordinate this attempt to outflank the second floor.
Those Tobacco Loophole Ads
On Thursday on the Senate floor Sen. Mike Parson spoke to Floor Leader Mike Kehoe about television commercials running dinging the leadership for not acting on closing the “loophole” that lets “Little Tobacco” not pay the same tax rate as “Big Tobacco.”
Listen to it here – at 10 minutes mark.
Kander Releases Report on St. Louis County Election Snafu
The press release: “St. Louis County election officials have taken full responsibility for the situation and cooperated in the outside review by Secretary Kander’s Elections Integrity Unit.
Kander’s preliminary report details that St. Louis County failed to provide a sufficient number of ballots at their polling places, affecting approximately 63 precincts. The Board confirmed the shortage occurred in polling places that require more than one type of ballot. In some polling places, the quantity and type of ballots in one style were reversed with another…”
Tipster chuckles… “The Ted Cruz slate won Missouri River township by 2 votes on the 2nd ballot. That's after the first ballot ended in a tie. Usually I wouldn't care and neither would you, but this was Ed Martin's township and he failed to show up and, therefore, Cruz won….”
Missouri Republican Party Vice-Chairman, Valinda Freed announced her endorsement of John Brunner for governor, and Sen. Kurt Schaefer for attorney general.
Eric Greitens continues working the out-of-state money… From Politico (see it here): While in Las Vegas last week, Ron Weiser, a former Republican National Committee finance chair, ferried around Eric Greitens, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who is running for Missouri governor. Greitens was among the small group that joined Adelson at his home Thursday evening.
eMailbag on MOScout Weekly Poll
[Senate 21] will come down to fundraising and grassroots and Hoskins will have the advantage. I'm expecting similar results for Hoskins as Pearce received... and the initial polling between Pearce and McGhee last time was very similar.
[A] similar poll several months ago on transportation that showed similar numbers on fuel tax. What's also interesting is if you ask "if the General Assembly is forced to fundrepairs for Interstate 70, which of the following do you oppose the least" (or something along this lines) and list sales tax, fuel tax, toll roads, or not sure. [Tolls are] the least objectionable, but also had the highest negative intensity. People that don't like tolls REALLY don't like them.
Mike Grote added Missouri Primary Care Association.
Raymond Wagner deleted Enterprise Holdings Inc, Associated Industries of Missouri, and Raymond T Wagner Jr.
Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from CDC-ELT Operations LLC.
New Approach Missouri - $8,900 from Missouri Cannabis Industry Association.
New Approach Missouri - $20,000 from New Health Solutions LLC.
Committee to Elect Gail McCann Beatty - $5,500 from Holsman for Missouri.
Citizens for Responsible Government - $21,000 from United for Missouri.
Happy birthdays to Better Together’s Dave Leipholtz, and Heidi Kolkmeyer.