Thursday, April 14, 2016

Senate Debates Subpoena Resolution

The Senate spent yesterday debating a resolution of Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s to enforce a subpoena on Planned Parenthood.  It’s SR 1793.  See the legal documents in the Senate Journal here.

The hallways were calm as the Senate chewed away the day.  (The House, of course, continued their quest to set a new world’s record for number of bills passed in a session).  There’s no fear yet that the Senate may be maneuvering themselves back into another SJR39 situation where they let themselves be overtaken by circumstances and end up with a pile of trouble while the session priorities are put on hold.  We’ll see…


The grassroots on both sides of this issue of course will turn up the heat and intentionally, or inadvertently, attempt to prevent their side from finding a reasonable compromise of accommodation.

MRL’s email blast

Dear Friends:

The Senate Leadership still needs to hear from you!..


St. Louis County Election Snafu

Post-Dispatch reporter Steve Giegerich tweeted about the House committee investigating St. Louis County’s election debacle.  It makes one wonder if the fragmented nature of the county is making it too complex to manage.

@stevegiegerich: “We handle as many different ballot styles as the rest of the state combined. Which is why we have issues - StLoCo Elections Dtr. Gary Fuhr

‏@stevegiegerich: St. Louis County has 432 polling places, 323 ballot styles. #StLCoElection

See Giegerich’s Post-Dispatch story here.

Pull Quote: “You should resign and those under you should resign. Period. Point blank,” said Democratic Rep. Joshua Peters, whose St. Louis district abuts the county… The questioning at times assumed a racial edge, as Dogan and Curtis wondered aloud why elections commissioners fired former state Sen. Rita Days as elections director after polling places fell short of ballots in the county’s November 2014 general election. Days is African-American. Fey, her successor, is white…. Fey said a review by county election officials and an Election Integrity Unit inquiry ordered by Secretary of State Jason Kander traced the issues that materialized April 5 to a late February court order that necessitated ballot alterations in the tiny municipalities of Mackenzie and Uplands Park…. Finally, sheer numbers conspired with the other circumstances as officials struggled and failed to meet the voting demands of 90 municipalities with 432 polling places and 323 “ballot styles” to accommodate a multitude of school and municipal elections and ballot measures….


Walton Passes

Former Missouri state Rep. Juanita Alberta Head Walton died Tuesday (April 12, 2016), after a battle with cancer. She was 61.

Ms. Head Walton represented the 81st legislative district, which encompasses parts of North St. Louis County, from 2000 to 2008. She chaired the business and finance committee for the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, served as president of the National Order of Women Legislators, and was Democratic committeewoman of Ferguson Township.

She was also a founding member of the Black Women's Political Action Coalition, an organization aimed at increasing the political influence of women at all levels of elected office.

In a varied career outside of politics, Ms. Head Walton was a licensed realtor, and worked as a flight attendant for TWA, a trainer for St. Louis Community College, and an instructor at Alabama State University. She was the former director of the Grace Hill Women’s Business Center in St. Louis, and was president of the Sisters Network an African-American breast cancer organization in Portland, Ore… Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Coleman-Wright C.M.E. Church, 9777 New Halls Ferry Road, Jennings, MO 63136.

See the full Post-Dispatch obituary here.


Lee Challenge Also a Challenge to Blunt?

From Politico: Mike Lee isn’t backing down. The Utah senator faces a perilous path to getting the No. 4 job in Republican Party leadership that he covets: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argues that internal party rules dictate that Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming can serve in the job until 2018. And there’s substantial wariness within the caucus about an intraparty feud over future leadership elections, particularly while the GOP is pressing to hang on to its majority…. That Lee believes the seat is still open is a direct challenge to McConnell, who brought Republican Secretary Laura Dove into the Tuesday caucus lunch to explain that Barrasso is eligible for another two-year term. But if Lee wins the argument, he’d imperil three-fifths of the leadership team: Barrasso, Republican Conference Chairman John Thune of South Dakota and Conference Vice Chairman Roy Blunt of Missouri all took their jobs in late 2011.

See it here.


Koster’s Landfill News

The press release: Attorney General Chris Koster announced today that the Administrative Hearing Commission has dismissed an appeal of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) order that requires Republic Services to install a heat-extraction barrier, composed of a series of cooling loops, in the neck area between the North and South quarries of the Bridgeton Landfill.  The purpose of the cooling-loop barrier is to help stop the progression of the fire from the South Quarry to the North Quarry, while the federal government contemplates a permanent long-term remedy.  DNR ordered Bridgeton Landfill on December 4, 2015, to initiate installation of the heat-extraction barrier system “within 14 days of receipt of this letter.”  Republic refused and appealed the order to the Administrative Hearing Commission, which subsequently dismissed the appeal….


Ethics Bills in Conference

The House and Senate named their conferees for HB 2203.  This is Rep Jay Barnes’ bill to prevent lobbyists from having candidate committees.  See the conference committee substitute here.

House conferees are Reps. Alferman, Barnes, Jones, Mitten, and McCann Beatty.  Senate conferees are: Sens. Kehoe, Onder, Wasson, Chappelle-Nadal, and Sifton


See the conference committee substitute for Rep. Caleb Rowden’s revolving door bill, HB 1979, here.


Sinquefield and Slay Make Up?

According to a tweet from public relations Gentry Trotter, Mayor Francis Slay and Rex Sinquefield has quickly put their recent difference behind them.  Sinquefield threw seven figures into slashing the city budget by a third, a campaign that the mayor called “reckless.”  But Trotter says that last night Sinquefield called Slay “the finest mayor.”  See it here.



As we approach the half-way mark this month’s tax receipts are negative across all categories so far.  The numbers can be volatile, but something to watch.


According to the Senate website, Todd Scott is no longer with the District 23 office, but has joined the Majority Caucus Staff.


Lee Smith, an unsuccessful candidate for Ferguson City Council, was fined $8,460 by the Missouri Ethics Commission.  See it here.


Why is HB 2013 missing from the budget bills in conference?  Nothing to conference on, the House and Senate agree.  It’s the budget bill dealing with leases so there’s nothing to argue about.


Candidate Withdrawals

Josh Hill withdrew his candidacy from the House 36 race.  He was a Republican.  That now leaves one Republican, Renee Marsenburg, and one Democratic, incumbent Rep. DaRon McGee.  This is a safe Democratic seat.

Clifford McMurray withdrew his candidacy from the House 19 race. That now leaves two Democrats – Manny Abarca and Ingrid Burnett – and no Republicans.  This is the John Rizzo seat.


New Committees

New Approach PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Bradley Ketcher.  In the large contributions (below) they accepted a $100K contribution from the national New Approach PAC.


We Deserve Better, Inc. was formed as a political action committee. Its treasurer is Erika Jaques.  Its deputy treasurer is Bradley Ketcher.


Help Wanted

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services seeks Legal Counsel. “Primarily, the attorney will represent the Department in guardianships in circuit court throughout the state and in Employee Disqualification List appeals… The salary is $41,935 - $44,448, plus state benefits...” See the ad here.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Bill Otto House Party - Barb Hindman's Home, St Charles, MO – 6PM.

Jake Zimmerman - 2000 South Country Club Dr., Columbia, MO, 65201 – 5PM.

Religious Liberty Rally with Josh Hawley and David Barton – Evangel University – 5:30PM.


$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Veterinary Medical Political Action Committee - $11,893 from Ceva Animal Hospital.

New Approach Missouri - $10,000 from New Health Solutions LLC.

New Approach PAC - $100,000 from New Approach PAC (Washington DC).

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Scott Rozier.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from J Michael Hanagan.

Boone Count for Cavanaugh - $10,000 from Garrett Baum.



Happy birthdays to Brad Robinson, Dave Leipholtz, and Lori Rasmussen.