Monday, March 14, 2016

More on Last Week’s Senate Implosion

I spoke to a few folks who have offered a more sympathetic reading of last week’s Senate implosion.  It was a classic “fog of war” situation where you make rational decisions are each step but somehow go astray.  That is, you make the “right” decision at each fork in the road, but miss the bigger picture of where you’re headed and end up where you did not intend.

Did they plan to make the first big brew-ha-ha happen in March over a constitutional right for baker freedom?  No.

Could Republican leadership could have pulled the bill at any time, re-introduced it a few more times, and then PQ-ed it near the end of session if it was a real priority? Yes.

But it takes two tango.  One Republican noted that there’s blame to go around.

Former Sen. Victor Callahan always insisted that there should be very few issues which are important enough to PQ – or to filibuster.

And some Republicans felt like they lost potential negotiating partners in the Democrats after national media picked up on the story.  Then the Dems – energized by the attention they were getting and the encouragement of their base – saw a PQ as a fitting end to their stand.

Meanwhile on the flip side, the Republicans in the Senate are generally less social media savvy.  They missed that the story was starting to leap to the national scene.  Now suddenly they were on a more prominent battlefield, and even if this wasn’t a top priority, they couldn’t let the Dems “beat” them by backing down.

With the Dems unwilling to compromise out of it, and the Republican unwilling to be embarrassed by pull the bill, the PQ was the only exit.


Where From Here

We’ll see how today unfolds and this week.  I think the general expectation is for an unproductive week with an effort to let tempers cool. From internet reports (Sen. Jason Holsman is quoted in this news article saying, “I think that we need to continue the next week to show the Republicans what it looks like to not have our cooperation.”  And Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal on CrowdPAC (see it here) says, “I refuse to play nice as long as the voices of the people I represent are silenced. So here’s what’s about to go down. When Republicans seek unanimous consent to introduce special guests, I will object. When they make a motion to waive the reading of the daily journal, I will object and force a vote…”) it doesn’t look like a pretty start to the week.

Then we’ll have Spring Break next week, and see if some fragile accommodation can’t be made to restore some routine to the Senate.

We’ll see…


Tomorrow’s a Big Day

Folks think that tomorrow’s presidential primaries could signal whether Donald Trump is “stoppable” or not.  See Politico story here breaking down the states in play.

Friday Phyllis Schafly endorsed Trump; and Sen. Eric Schmitt endorsed Ted Cruz.  There’s a bunch of legislators who previously endorsed Marco Rubio though last week’s MOScout poll showed that he’s fading fast.

KC Star’s Steve Kraske surveys prominent political watchers for their predictions. See it here.


How about you?  Any predictions?  Who is the MO Presidential Guru?  Send your guess, both Republican and Democratic with % of the vote they’ll get to  I feed the entries into my supercomputer and announce who was closest Wednesday morning.

MRL PAC on The Donald’s Claims

The Missouri Right to Life PAC put out their information about the presidential candidates…

This year we need to elect a pro-life president we can trust to protect life and appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices.

Republican Candidates:

Ted Cruz: proven pro-life record

Marco Rubio: proven pro-life record

John Katich: proven pro-life record

Donald Trump: claims pro-life position

Democratic Candidates:

Hillary Clinton: pro-abortion

Bernie Sanders: pro-abortion

Pastors for Cruz

The press release: Presidential candidate Ted Cruz today announced the endorsements of more than 30 Missouri pastors and faith leaders. The initiative, known as Operation Gideon, is based on the biblical story of Gideon, who led a small handful of men in defeating a foreign army of oppressors…

“There is no greater advocate and defender of religious freedom than Ted Cruz. I would urge all people of faith and good will in Missouri to prayerfully and seriously consider supporting Ted Cruz for President of the United States,” said Don Hinkle, Public Policy Director of the Missouri Baptist Convention…


Budget Moves to Senate

The Senate met briefly Friday to read in the House budget bills.

See Rep. Jay Barnes’ latest blog post here.  He writes about his amendments and his feelings toward the University of Missouri… “[S]ometimes you have to tell the people and institutions you love that they’re traveling down the wrong path. To my knowledge, I’m one of only two members of the Missouri House who are double-graduates of Mizzou – first as an undergrad and then in law school. I’m far from a Mizzou-hater. I am a proud alumnus. Over the last seven months, I’ve been dismayed to see our state’s flagship university dragged through the muck in the national media. Unfortunately, I think the university’s leadership has largely created this problem and needs to take further steps to fix it.”


Greitens Complaint Dismissed

The Missouri Ethics Commission dismissed an ethics complaint against Eric Greitens.  It had alleged that folks on the Greitens campaign were being paid by Greitens’ LLC and the compensation was not being reported on his campaign finance reports.  The MEC found no reasonable ground that a violation occurred.  See it here.


Matthew Robinson and the St. Louis Metropolitan Democrats were fined $2,950 for a filaure to properly report contributions and expenditures.  See it here.


About ReInvest STL

Last week the campaign committee Reinvest STL amended its purpose to include supporting to retain the city’s earning’s tax.  See it here.  Now see Mayor Francis Slay is contribution $100K to the committee from his campaign account.  That’ll be enough to operate a very bare bones campaign.  Reinvest had $11K in its coffers as of last month.  Meanwhile Rex Sinquefield has put over $2.1 million into his Vote NO on the E-Tax Committee….


Stem-Cellers Against Kids?

In the letter to the editors of the Post-Dispatch last week, Donn Rubin of Missouri Cures says that the tobacco tax language would “stigmatize” stem cell research.

Pull Quote: Why would a Missouri ballot initiative seeking to increase tobacco taxes to fund early childhood education include an unrelated provision restricting stem cell research? It is the latest in scores of efforts by anti-research activists to tie their narrow agenda to an otherwise attractive ballot proposal or legislative bill… This provision, entirely unrelated to the purpose of the initiative, would stigmatize stem cell research and threaten the protections passed by Missouri voters in 2006…  As long as the RYH4K ballot initiative contains words that hamstring innovation and stifle the search for better medical treatments, Missouri Cures will stand opposed.



According to Politico’s Influence’s listing of new Washington DC lobbying registrations, Kit Bond Strategies added St. Louis Economic Development Partnership.

A final NGA push maybe?


From Thursday’s Senate Journal: Senator [Bob]Dixon introduced to the Senate, all those in the chamber and upper galleries today who have read all or any significant portion of the journals from the last 196 years of statehood, and I ask they be made experts for the day to serve without compensation. Noting the absence of anyone who meets the criteria except for the Secretary of the Senate and her staff, I ask they continue to receive compensation.


Also in Thursday’s Journal, Sen. Jill Schupp offered a Senate Memorial.  Now SM1 sits on the calendar.  It’s an ode to Floyd Riddick, a senate parliamentarian.  Read about him here.


Interesting to see former St. Louis City Board of Election’s executive director Scott Leiendecker in the $5K+ Contributions, giving to Steve Stenger.  His company KnowInk has been expanding lately.  See an article here.  But they’re also listed on the Missouri Accountability Portal under “who’s not paying.”  See it here.  Maybe the MAP site isn’t up-to-date.


And interesting to see Gamble and Schlemeier adding Fair Trade Missouri.  I assume this is the tobacco settlement Fair Trade Missouri group.  See an old Eli Yokley article here.  That adds one more dimension to the on-going tobacco tax situation.


Governing Magazine calls Missouri’s attorney general race a toss-up – regardless of who the nominees are.  See it here.


New Filings

DJ Rash filed to run as a Democrat against incumbent Republican Rep. Jack Bondon in House 56.  I haven’t been able to find any biographical information about Rash yet.


Lobbyists Registrations

David Jackson added Primary Marking Systems Inc.

Sarah Topp, Jorgen Schlemeier, Jeff Brooks, and Bill Gamble added Fair Trade Missouri.

Tricia Workman and Mike Gibbons added John Bardgett & Associates.

Chris Grimm added FanDuel Inc., DraftKings Inc, and Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Mary Jo Deflorio added Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.

Sarah Gentry added Missouri Health Care for All.

Sarah Wood Martin and Irl Scissors added American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.

Sam Wiles deleted Mercy.


$5K+ Contributions

Right Government - $8,000 from Citizens for a Better Columbia.

Citizens for a Better Columbia - $10,000 from Emery Sapp & Sons Inc.

Vote NO on the E-Tax - $319,257 from Rex Sinquefield.

Koster for Missouri - $15,000 from Lodging Hospitality Management.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Andrew O’Brien.

Committee to Elect John Elmore - $25,000 from John Elmore.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Scott Leiendecker.

Returning Government to the People - $105,000 from Fred N Sauer.

Credit Union Political Action Committee of Missouri - $10,000 from Community America Credit Union.

Raise Your Hand for Kids - $5,001 from Robert Clark.

Reinvest STL - $100,000 from Slay for Mayor.

New Approach Missouri - $6,000 from Thomas Mundell.

Ashcroft for Missouri - $10,000 from Viet Dinh.



Happy birthdays to Sara Howard, and Jason Klindt.