Monday, March 6, 2017

MOScout Energy Poll

See the full results of an extra MOScout Poll here.

The survey was conducted by Remington Research Group on behalf of Missouri Scout, March 3 through March 4, 2017 with 819 likely voters, weighted to match expected turnout demographics for the 2018 General Election. Margin of Error is +/-3.51%.

 

Toplines

Do you favor or oppose legislation that accelerates energy companies’ investment in smart grid technology, which prevents power outages and restores power more quickly when they do occur?

Favor: 65%

Oppose: 17%

Unsure: 18%

 

Do you favor or oppose legislation that accelerates energy companies’ investment in cyber and physical security that protects the electric grid and customer data from cyberattacks and hackers?

Favor: 72%

Oppose: 15%

Unsure: 13%

 

Do you favor or oppose legislation that encourages energy companies to invest in cleaner and more renewable types of power, especially home-grown biomass; a fuel source which can boost the economy in rural Missouri?

Favor: 58%

Oppose: 20%

Unsure: 22%

 

Do you favor or oppose a minor adjustment to Missouri's utility laws if such a change included a cap that would limit any additional costs to about $1 per month for a typical residential customer but would also provide more than $2 in savings and benefits for every dollar invested?

Favor: 58%

Oppose: 17%

Unsure: 24%

 

Missouri's electric costs are rising four times faster than the national average due to laws put in place in 1913. 46 other states have updated laws to make energy costs more stable and predictable. Do you favor or oppose a small adjustment to Missouri's utility laws to allow more stable and predictable energy costs?

Favor: 63%

Oppose: 16%

Unsure: 21%

 

The Next Alcohol War?

In previous sessions, alcohol policy has proved to be a battlefield where the building quickly divides into two armies of lobbyists. We’ll see if such a brouhaha develops around HB433.  It had its hearing last week in the General Laws committee. Rep. Robert Cornejo, the sponsor of the bill, is chair of that committee. That would seem to help its chances this week when it will likely be voted on.

The background – from one observer…. State rules, regulations and laws restrict truthful information about alcohol prices from being advertised to Missouri consumers – restrictions that are the subject of an ongoing federal lawsuit and current state legislation. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently kept alive a federal lawsuit alleging Missouri’s alcohol regulations and laws violate the First Amendment by restricting the free flow of truthful information to consumers… House Bill 433 has been introduced in the Missouri Legislature to allow retailers selling alcohol to offer specials, discounts and coupons to consumers and to advertise those discounted prices.

The legal challenge to Missouri’s restrictions on free speech has been in the federal courts since 2013, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit recently declared that the lawsuit filed in the lower court has sufficient facts to back up its legal challenge and should be heard by the court. The lead plaintiff is the the Missouri Broadcasters Association, which represents the state’s radio and TV stations…

HB433 declares that retailers may “Purchase, publish, and display advertisements that list the amount of the rebate or discount and the retail price after the rebate or discount.” It also allows coupons, prizes, rebates, consumer discounts and loyalty clubs to be advertised by alcohol retailers, as is the case for other types of retailers’ loyalty clubs. Explaining his bill, Rep. Cornejo said, “To me, this is a common-sense step,” and “pro-consumer.” And, he said, “The opponents are afraid of competition.”

Cornejo warned that the current Missouri restrictions are unconstitutional First Amendment restrictions, and if federal courts ultimately throw them out, without passage of HB433 to lay out a constitutionally sound state position, “Missouri becomes the wild, wild West.”

 

One of the heavies backing the bill is Total Wine & More. Their lobbyists are: Mike Gibbons, Trish Workman and Tony Dugger.

 

Success for Rex & Co in KY

Lexington Herald Leader reports on the “5 wealthy, out-of-state men helped finance the GOP takeover of Kentucky’s House.”  Among them Travis Brown and Rex Sinquefield. See it here.

Pull Quote: Last fall, a group of five wealthy men from out-of-state dumped at least $211,500 into Republican efforts to take over the Kentucky House of Representatives for the first time since 1921.

“I think now’s a good time for any state like Kentucky to look at their tax structure and say ‘how can we modernize?’” said Travis H. Brown, a Missouri lobbyist who donated $23,000 to GOP House members, more than any other individual.

They picked a winning horse, pumping $105,000 of their money directly to winning candidates and another $59,500 to state GOP committees that gave more than $1.8 million to successful GOP House candidates.

Republicans claimed a super majority in the House and quickly pledged support for Gov. Matt Bevin’s promise to call a special law-making session later this year to transition Kentucky’s tax system from one based on production (income taxes) to one based on consumption (sales taxes)…

 

Former MDC Director Still Making $$$

Post-Dispatch reports on a fat severance package received by Robert Ziehmer, former director of the Missouri Department of Conservation.  See it here.

Pull Quote: According to state payroll records, Ziehmer already has received more than $87,000 from the state for doing no work. And every two weeks, he gets $5,800 more… Lawmakers who are reviewing the proposed state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 have begun raising red flags about the payouts to Ziehmer, which were not disclosed when he departed last year after nearly three decades at the department.

 

Greiten Bits

Governor Eric Greitens was the “power player of the week” on Fox’s Sunday news program.  See it here.

 

Greitens policy director Will Scharf takes aim at Steve StengerSee it here.  “Steve Stenger is the definition of a corrupt, career politician…”

 

Schneider Passes

Former state senator John Schneider died.  See his obituary here.

From the Post-Dispatch article: Schneider was a Democrat who represented the Florissant area. He served in the Senate from 1971 to 2002 after two years in the Missouri House. Schneider championed helped pass laws on consumer issues, social services and health. But he also fought against abortion and helped limit public funding for the procedure. "He was highly respected by his colleagues," said Wayne Goode, Schneider's longtime Senate colleague and friend. "Always a good, reliable vote, in my opinion, on important legislation to do what's right for the people, as opposed to special interests."

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Richard McCullough added Missouri Psychiatric Association; and deleted Missouri Psychiatric Society, and City of Bridgeton.

Eapen Thampy added Larry Malashock.

Richard Moore added Richard Moore.

Vicki Leuther added Concerned Women for America of Missouri.

Richard Brownlee III deleted Environmental Federation of Missouri.

Bailey Baker deleted Nicklas Lobby.

Richard Watters deleted Flint Hill Care and Rehabilitation Center, Success Halthcare LLC, Chesterfield Senior Care, and Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

Ward Cook deleted Missouri Flagship Council, and Seniorlink.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Central Bank of St. Louis.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Onder, Shelton, O’Leary & Peterson LLC.

UAW Region 5 Midwest States Political Action Committee (PAC) (MO) - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.

Committee for Accountable Government in Missouri - $100,000 from David Humphreys.

AspireSTL - $200,000 from SC STL LLC.

Professional Firefighters of Tri-County PAC - $25,000 from Mehlville Firefighters Local.

Citizens for Good Government - $15,000 from Lincoln County Professional EMS Association.

Progress KC PAC - $15,000 from Lathrop & Gage LLP.

Professional Firefighters of Tri-County PAC - $9,600 from Fenton Firefighter Community Outreach.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Kit Bond, Christine Page, Todd Patterson and Chuck Simino.