Monday, July 11, 2016

The No of Noranda

Last week Noranda, as part of their Chapter 11 process, began to auction off their downstream business. On September 22 they will do the same with the upstream business which would include the New Madrid smelter.

About five years ago Noranda emerged as a relatively unknown player and evolved into a political giant in Jefferson City.  With the dismantling of that giant now, it’s worth considering the “Noranda Era.”

Noranda spent their time – and money – almost entirely playing defense, in what amounted to a scorched earth strategy of opposing the utilities year after year.  Major overhauls, minor tweaks, even legislation that seemed tangential to their interested were all on the radar for torpedoing.  And they were remarkably successful.

Yet when they needed a life line this session it wasn’t there. The demise of Noranda was not a political event.  It was caused by a myriad of reasons like Apollo hedge fund sucking out millions of dollars from their business and a glut of aluminum on the market.  But these political strategies were also a contributing factor. After killing legislation and just saying ‘no’ for half a decade they dug too deep of a hole with few friends to help pull them out.

Perhaps if Noranda had negotiated in 2009 they would have enjoyed a more competitive rate for years and avoided this auction?

What’s to be learned?  Maybe that the strength and stability of relationships are more importaqnt to long-term success than the outcome of any particular vote or piece of legislation.

Is there another Noranda, not just in the utility space, but on other issues that will regret “winning” in the short-term later when their fortunes have changed?


RYH4K IP Process Officially FUBAR

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District made the latest in a series of rulings of challenges to the Raise Your Hand for Kids tax increase proposal.  See the ruling here.

“We conclude that, while the fiscal note summary is fair and sufficient, the summary statement is not.  We accordingly reverse, and certify to the Secretary of State modified language for the summary statement…”

This set off a twitter storm between Little Tobacco lobbyist Andy Arnold (see his tweets here and his blog here), and Jane Dueker (see her tweets here) – two people who are very certain of their opinions!

Arnold says that Secretary of State Jason Kander has to invalidate signature since the summary language is changed.  Dueker says Nope.


Raise Your Hand Statement

“Earlier this year more than 330,000 Missourians signed the early childhood education initiative petition because they wanted voters to decide if Missouri should finally start investing in our children’s future… While we respectfully disagree with the opinion of the court today as to the ballot summary, we recognize that never in Missouri’s history have the courts prevented a campaign that obtained the required amount of signatures from making the ballot due to a ballot title or fiscal note challenge. Therefore, we plan to review the opinion and file the appropriate appeal so that a higher court can clear the way for this initiative to appear on the November ballot…”


Brunner Hits Greitens

The MOScout poll (see it here) showed that Eric Greitens had pulled into the lead of the fascinating Republican gubernatorial.

Probably other tracking polls have shown the same thing, and as a result John Brunner – who has plenty of cash and is second according to the poll – launched his first negative attack on Greitens.  It says that Greitens is lying about Brunner because Greitens “can’t explain” his “pro-gay marriage” and “pro-amnesty” positions as well as “applauding” Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.


In the poll, for lieutenant governor Bev Randles and Mike Parson basically tied at 24%-23% with 46% undecided; for attorney general Josh Hawley and Kurt Schaefer basically tied at 30%-28% with 42% undecided.  And Jay Ashcroft still rolling over Will Kraus 48% to 11% with 35% undecided.


Brunner On the Road

From the Brunner website (see it here): The Can’t Be Bought Bus Tour is coming to YOU!

This is a chance for you to spend some time with John…

Creve Coeur | July 11 @ St. Louis Office

Steelville | July 11 @ The Soda Fountain

Marshfield | July 11 @ Grillo’s

Osceola | July 11 @ First Assembly of God Church

St. Louis |  July 12 @ Southside Office

Chesterfield | July 12 @ The Chapel Home

Arnold | July 14 @ Arnold City Hall

Cape Girardeau | July 14 @ Ruark Residence

West Plains | July 15 @ Ozark Cafe

Branson | July 15 @ Sweet Springs Gunworks

Springfield | July 15 @ TBA

Ballwin | July 17 @ The Koenig Home


Of course a bus tour needs its own twitter feed


More Rex Money to Schaefer, Randles

Over the weekend more bid contributions came in from Rex Sinquefield to two of his statewide candidates… almost $600K to Sen. Kurt Schaefer and $250K to Bev Randles.


AFSCME Hits Eigel

In Senate 23, one MOScout reader reports that labor unions are working the ground game for Rep. Anne Zerr.  See an example of a lit piece from “Working America” here.


eMailbag on Possible Hicks Motive

He doesn't qualify for a pension with the state - happens after elected to the 3rd term - 5 years... He will have served 4...


Long in Vegas

Blogger Randy Turner notes that Congressman Billy Long is pitching a fundraising weekend in Las Vegas… See it here.

Pull Quotefrom his blog: So sometimes even in a Congressman in a relatively safe district needs to hold fundraising events in places that he would otherwise, of course, have no reason to visit.

So the invitations are out and Billy Long will hold a "Weekend in Las Vegas" September 30-October 3 at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel.

Any high rollers who want to contribute $2,500 to Long's campaign account can do so by sending their RSVP to Ali Schultz of White Birch Strategies, a recently-formed LLC that specializes in fundraising, event planning, and political finances..

And don't worry. The rooms have been secured and they only cost $305 a night…


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

House 107 candidate Nick Schroer Golf – Old Hickory Golf Club – St. Peters – 7AM.

Sen. Mike Parson Golf – Silo Ridge Golf Course – Bolivar.

Rep. Elijah Haahr Reception – The Olive Room, Parlor 88 – Springfield – 5PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

David Jackson added Signature Medical Group.

Dave Berry deleted Heyltex, Missouri Dermatological Society Association, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Missouri Society of Anesthesiologist, and Missouri Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Jorgen Schlemeier and Jeffrey Brooks deleted Managed Care of North America.

Jay Swearingen deleted Americans Take Action, and Missouri Main Street Connection.


$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for John Brunner - $25,000 from Prime Inc.

Missourians for Randles - $250,000 from Grow Missouri.

Senior Count Campaign Committee – Preferred Family Healthcare Inc.

Citizens for Ed Emery - $20,000 from Ethelmae Humphreys.

Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri 2665 PAC Fund - $7,500 from Missouri State Council of Fire Fighters PAC.

Russ Carnahan for Missouri - $10,000 from Zevan & Davidson Law Firm.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer Attorney General - $587,979 from Grow Missouri.

Missourians for Peter Kinder - $10,000 from Douglas Albrecht.

Greitens for Missouri - $50,000 from James Parsons.

Rizzo for Missouri - $10,000 from Safer Families for Missouri.

NEA Fund for Children & Public Education – Non Federal Itemized Account Missouri - $101,000 from NEA Fund for Children and Education Non-Federal Itemized Account.

Citizens for Ed Emery - $20,000 from Sarah Atkins.

Citizens for Stephen Webber - $10,000 from Davis Bethune & Jones LLC.

Friends of Andrew Koenig - $25,000 from Missouri Club for Growth PAC.

Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $15,000 from Lodging Hospitality Management.

Citizens for Jennifer Growcock - $25,000 from David Humphreys.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Wayne Wallingford (the big 7-0!), and CenturyLink’s Claudia Sands.