Monday, April 3, 2017

Senate 2018

Post-Dispatch takes an early look at the 2018 US Senate race in Missouri. See it here.  Meanwhile in the building it’s said that Speaker Todd Richardson is getting encouragement to look at the race – though most think he’s more likely to end up running for Auditor if he goes statewide in 2018.

And – one rumor making the rounds is that David Steelman is looking at the US Senate race as well.

Everyone believes that Republicans have a primary: Congresswoman Ann Wagner against one or two folks running to her right.


Rowden Contra Treece

Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Sen. Caleb Rowden is miffed that Columbia mayor and registered lobbyist Brian Treece testified against his bill, SB369See it here.

Pull Quote: During a committee hearing Thursday, Treece, as part of his work for his firm TreecePhillips, spoke against Senate Bill 369 as a representative for Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Teamsters, a union that includes school bus drivers. Treece said he did not identify himself as Columbia’s mayor or speak on behalf of the city. Therefore, he said, his testimony was not in conflict with his position as mayor… The bill would allow municipalities and school districts in the state to form agreements related to transporting school children, which current laws prohibit…. “I want to have a good working relationship with the mayor of the largest city in my district,” Rowden said. “ It is hard to work in a good faith manner when something like that happens.”


Remington Polls KC GO Bonds – Again

The press release: Remington Research Group has completed a public survey of likely April 4th special election voters in Kansas City, Missouri. The survey was conducted April 1 through April 2, 2017. 1,043 likely special election voters participated in the survey and the margin of error is +/-2.35%. 80% of interviews were conducted by automated IVR to landlines and 20% of interviews were conducted by live operator to cell phone numbers. The survey was paid for and commissioned independent of any campaign or committee.  The survey tested support for the three G.O. Bond questions that will appear on Tuesday’s ballot.

Question No. 1 is in the best position to pass with 56% of voters indicating they will vote Yes and 31% stating they will vote No. 13% of voters are undecided.

Question No. 2 is in a difficult position at this time with 50% indicating support and 36% indicating opposition. 15% of voters are undecided.

Question No. 3, which funds improvements to the city’s animal shelter and ADA improvements, garners 55% support and 33% opposition. 12% of voters are undecided on Question No. 3….

“This survey shows how quickly the electorate shifts in the final week of a campaign,” said Titus Bond, Director of Remington Research Group. “Just nine days ago it appeared the G.O. Bonds were in a good position to pass. Support has now softened, especially on Question No. 3, and it appears that the prospect of all three questions passing is slim.”


This week’s MOScout poll showed Alderwoman Lyda Krewson cruising to an easy victory in the mayoral race.  The two proposals – Propositions 1 & 2 – to fund infrastructure and a new stadium were positive, but look to be Election Night squeakers.  And the two city charter amendments – Props A & B – appear to be falling short of the 3/5th majority needed.  Those two amendments are backed by Rex Sinquefield.


Schmitt: MOSERS is “Single Greatest Threat to AAA Rating”

Missouri State Treasurer Eric Schmitt, a member of the Missouri State Employee Retire System (MOSERS) Board of Trustees, released the following statement today regarding the board's decision to further seek legislative approval to enact an advanced benefits reform package:

Missouri's troubled pension system is the single greatest threat to our perfect AAA credit rating. That's why last month I called on stakeholders to stop kicking the can down the road and start working together to come up with long-term solutions to fix the problem of our insolvent public retirement system before it's too late.  Our call to action did not fall on deaf ears. As a member of the Missouri State Employee Retirement System Board of Trustees, I fully support the board's decision to further seek legislative approval to enact an important reform that would help put us on the right path. This common-sense plan would offer voluntary advances on benefits packages to eligible employees who are no longer working in state government. Once enacted, it  could potentially save the state of Missouri $7 million every year and significantly reduce the fiscal burden of our pension system…


Galloway’s Ethics Priority

Auditor Nicole Galloway writes in the Springfield News-Leader about her top priority for ethics legislation, SB176See it here.

Pull Quote: We need stiffer penalties, better ways to require the return of taxpayer money, and fewer barriers to cooperation between the State Auditor's Office and local law enforcement… Currently it's potentially a simple misdemeanor when a local official zeroes out a property tax bill for a family member. This legislation makes it a felony with a potential four year sentence for those who abuse the power of their office to steal from citizens, and following a finding of guilt, makes removal from office more likely… the bill provides additional powers for Missouri courts to address stolen or misappropriated public dollars taken by public officials. If this legislation is passed, judgments can be collected on the public official against their earnings, ensuring tax dollars are recovered…


Today’s News Coming

Attorney General Josh Hawley will announce major new initiatives to combat human trafficking in the state, including first-in-the-nation regulations designed to use Missouri's consumer protection laws to go after traffickers. Hawley will also announce a new unit dedicated to anti-trafficking efforts within the Attorney General's Office, as well as a statewide, anti-trafficking task force composed of leading law enforcement officials, nonprofit groups, and anti-trafficking experts.


Governor Eric Greitens will announce a significant new program for rural development. He will be making the announcement at two schools, one in Holliday and one in Galt.  Joplin Globe’s Crystal Thomas‏ tweets that its “for fed $$ going to broadband projects. Matching $6 mil already put in FY18 budget. $30 mil total for projects. Match is 20 for Mo, 80 for feds, according to House budget.”



The state budget hits the House floor this week…



A couple folks texted that over the weekend Sen. Rob Schaaf lost his bid for a leadership position of the Missouri State Medical Association.  It’s said that the “coup” was motivated by his opposition to the prescription drug monitoring program.


Governor Eric Greitens wins a "push-up contest" against kids? See it here. MOScouter: “Probably would have been terrible to let a couple kids at the youth center win and boost their confidence…”


I wrote last week of Gus Wagner landing the Missouri Farmers Care digital account.  One reader points out that Victory Enterprises had previously serviced them.


David Humphreys was in St. Louis Saturday night for the Ferguson Youth Initiative Fundraiser…


Governor Eric Greitens appointed Thomas C. Clark II as Circuit Court Judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit, which covers St. Louis City, and Renee Hardin-Tammons as Associate Circuit Court Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit, which covers St. Louis County.


New Campaign Committees

Lee Smith started a campaign committee to run for House 73 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Rep. Courtney Curtis.  Smith ran against Curtis last year.  In that four-way Democratic primary, Curtis was re-elected with 32% of the vote.  Smith came in a close second with 30%.

Jason Boles started a campaign committee to run for House 42 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Rep. Bart Korman, is term limited.


Help Wanted

Renovate America seeks Regional Director, Market Expansion & Policy (Northwest). “The Regional Director of Market Expansion is a cross-cutting role which will work in close coordination and collaboration with key business units to spearhead the development and execution of Renovate America’s strategy to expand into new markets within the Northwest region of the United States. In order to secure Renovate America’s access to new markets, the Regional Director will be responsible for developing relationships and partnerships with state and local elected officials and intergovernmental associations (e.g., state associations of counties, state associations of mayors, etc.), as well as state and local PACE advocates, stakeholder and interest groups, and thought leaders within the renewable energy, financial services, consumer protection, and housing sectors…”  See it here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Gary Cross Reception – NCAA Championship – Bones.


Lobbyists Registrations

Rachel Treppler added Missouri Restaurant Association.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $12,500 from Robert Glarner.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $12,500 from David Glarner.

AspireSTL - $150,000 from SC STL LLC.



Happy birthdays to Dusty Schnieders, Eapen Thampy, and former Reps. Charles Portwood, and Ron Schieber.