US Senate Bits
Congresswoman Ann Wagner shows a very healthy war-chest of $2.7 million. Although Attorney General Josh Hawley has national contributors he tapped in his statewide run, that’s a lot of checks he’d have to collect to get anywhere close to Wagner. Others dismiss that as a problem because SuperPACs could make up the difference. We’ll see….
Peter Kinder – who signed the “draft Hawley” letter – is making the rounds to tout Hawley. He was on Mark Reardon’s show yesterday and is on Jamie Allman this morning.
And – if you’re getting in the mind of John Brunner and why he might run again - consider his point of view: he would have won in 2012 if Senator Claire McCaskill hadn’t jumped into the fray with her “too conservative” ads about Todd Akin. It's a race he almost won, and he can win.
Who is McCaskill’s dream match-up this cycle? Probably Ed Martin….
House Perfects Weigh Stations Bill
The House perfected Rep. TJ Berry’s HB306 which deals with the bidding process for the highway’s weigh stations. This bill was the subject of Tony Messenger’s column about the FBI looking at conflicts of interest. The two main players are Help Inc (represented by Guy Black, Aaron Baker and Kristian Starner), and Drivewyze (represented by Richard McIntosh, Bill Stouffer and Jason Zamkus).
Zahnd Too Far?
KCUR reports on Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd being “overzealous” in a child molestation case. Zahnd is rumored to be a possible US Attorney when President Donald Trump makes his picks. See it here.
Pull Quote: But before the sentencing, Zahnd’s office did something highly unusual: It contacted the people who had written character letters on behalf of Paden and told them to get in touch with assistant prosecutor Chris Seufert. When they did, Seufert told them that, unless they withdrew their letters, he would expose them as supporters of a defendant who had engaged in pedophilia. Zahnd’s office also subpoenaed the letter writers… Some of the letter writers contacted Paden’s attorney, John P. O’Connor, and told him what happened. O’Connor, concerned that Zahnd’s office was trying to intimidate witnesses…
Sen. Dan Brown has his Appropriations Committee working as hard as possible, but there are still a few senators who are making noise that they’d be OK with delivering the budget late, since they received it late.
Sen. Rob Schaaf continues on his war-path against the state’s move to managed care. Chairman Brown said it was intention to go along with Schaaf and strip it out of the budget. However the consensus is that it comes back in during conference because the speaker has been clear about his support.
Although the House passed an increase in the lieutenant governor’s budget with muted protest, there is more grumbling on the Senate side about the bump in a tough budget year.
O’Connell Named Krewson COS
Tim O’Connell – who played drums with me in a band for a few years – was named chief of staff for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. Hear him play here.
Here’s the rest of his resume… O’Connell has served as Clerk and Legal Counsel to the Board of Aldermen since November 30, 2015. In that role, he has advised the 28 aldermen and the President regarding their varying and sometimes conflicting goals about how best to pursue their legislative aims… O’Connell joined the city's Board of Aldermen after spending six years as an associate attorney at the St. Louis-based global law firm Bryan Cave LLP… While at Bryan Cave, he was privileged to work with fellow attorneys to help overturn the convictions of two Missouri men who served more than 44 years combined for crimes they did not commit…
The St. Louis Business Journal ran an editorial offering what they thought should be on the new mayor’s agenda. Krewson retweeted the link, perhaps suggesting she agrees to some extent. Among the items: Eliminate (and by eliminate we mean find a replacement for) the 1 percent city earnings tax... Rethink the North-South MetroLink plan. The fact that the new system (primarily its train cars) wouldn’t be compatible with the existing system should be a red flag. That coupled with the growing move to ride-hailing services, electric and self-driving vehicles and changing residential and business patterns indicate that this fixed-route plan would be outdated as soon as it’s constructed… Make the city safer because without that nothing else matters.
We’re on about day 43 of the 60-day window for the governor to choose the next Missouri Supreme Court member. He’s picking from the panel of Lisa White Hardwick, Benjamin A. Lipman and W. Brent Powell.
Auditor Nicole Galloway announced that the citizens of Bethany gathered the required number of signature to initiate an audit of their city. Bethany is represented by Sen. Dan Hegeman and Rep. J. Eggleston.
Will rumors never cease? Some are putting Sen. Will Kraus in the category of Missouri politicians who could find a DC appointment in a Trump administration. We’ll see….
School Choice Missouri (see the website here) is attempting to build a grassroots army to support legislation to offer families more options for education. In addition to organizing town hall forums, they’re also launching an “aggressive digital ad campaign serving up positive images of Greitens and others supporting school choice.”
Greitens Homers in Softball
Word from the legislative charity softball game is that Governor Eric Greitens hit a walk-off homer against Budget Chair Scott Fitzpatrick.
This athletic feat came after working out in the morning with the ROTC cadets at Lincoln University – the first time a Missouri governor has done so. See the picture here. (Also pictured is Denton’s lobbyist Rod “The Bod” Boyd).
eMailbag on Greitens Shrinking Govt EO
Several legislators have worked on this already in recent years. (Hegeman’s SB372 in 2017, Dixon’s SB58 in 2015, Dixon’s SB575 in 2014, McNary’s HB464 in 2011, and Scott’s 991 in 2010). And a veto pen is equally as effective as an executive order creating a committee to find committees to eliminate. It doesn't do any good to eliminate a handful when twice as many new ones might be signed into law
the same year.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
Last day to place House Consent Bills on the Senate Calendar.
Brain Bernskoetter added City of Branson.
Matthew Gierse added Public School Retirement System of the City of St. Louis.
Scott Penman, David Winton, and Jessica Petrie added FamilyForward; and deleted Family Resource Center.
Drew Wolford added SalesForce.com Inc.
AGC Of MO PAC - $5,750 from Coreslab Structures (Missouri) Inc.
Happy birthday to Rep. Clem Smith, and KMOX’s Mark Reardon.