Thursday, April 6 , 2017

Rumor: Wagner Prepping Kick-Off?

Word is circulating that Congresswoman Ann Wagner is planning to announce her Senate exploratory as early as Monday.  It’s said that she’s waiting for the incumbent, US Senator Claire McCaskill to cast a No vote on the Gorsuch nomination.

And – one observer reiterates the consensus that well be seeing a Republican primary.  “Wagner is far from a consensus GOP choice…”

Here’s the Washington Post’s timeline on a Gorsuch vote.

 

About the Long Rumor

MOScouter: That rumor (of Congressman Billy Long getting a Trump appointment) has been floating around for a while so Sen. Jay Wasson is ready to go and Sen. Ron Richard has agreed to be his campaign treasurer. IF there is any announcement Jay will declare within minutes….

 

Blunt Never Meddled in House Leadership Races

Three former staffers to Governor Matt Blunt disputed the account that the former governor ever meddled a House leadership race.  “What in the world are you about Blunt trying to find someone to run against Rod Jetton?  That is totally false…”

 

Why Schaaf Retreated on PDMP

Sen. Rob Schaaf's sudden reversal earlier this week on the prescription drug monitoring program that he has fought for years had a lot of people scratching their heads.  The best theory I’ve heard to explain his change of heart is this:  He’s decided to focus his energy on fighting managed care.  He realizes that he can only hold so many fronts at once, so he’s abandoning PDMP in order to concentrate on stopping the budget unless managed care is stripped from it.  Also – one believer of this theory thinks Schaaf might have attempted to use his concession on PDMP to recruit an additional soldier in his fight against managed care.  We’ll see…

 

Greitens Meets with Sen GOP

Governor Eric Greitens met with the Senate Republican Caucus yesterday in an attempt to ease tensions over his family leave policy.

Republicans in the Senate were upset by the executive order.  Because it requires an appropriation, some feel that it was an unconstitutional order – or at the very least the legislature should have been consulted beforehand.

The Senate has been holding up some of Greitens’ appointments to demonstrate their frustration.

Word is that several senators were candid with the governor about their dislike of the executive order.  And the meeting ended without resolution, but with the expectation than an accommodation on the family leave issue would be explored.

 

 

HB 433:  Liquor War II

Rep. Robert Cornejo’s HB437 is heating up.  Both sides are gearing up – though so far there hasn’t been the lobbyist armies that accumulated the last time there was a major change in alcohol laws before the legislature.

The Missouri Retailers Association and Missouri Grocers Association wrote to legislators “on behalf of retailers with hundreds of Missouri locations and tens of thousands of employees.”  They strongly support the bill, calling it a 1st Amendment issue and explaining that current law is “bizarre censorship [which] dates to the repeal of Prohibition in the 1930s, but conflicts with the last 40 years of U.S. Supreme Court rulings upholding commercial free speech…”

Opposition meanwhile thinks that the legislation will mess with the three-tier system which has been at the heart of alcohol regulations and protects mom-and-pops.  They point to Cornejo’s recent interview on KMOX.  Listen to it here.  A little a minute into the clip, Cornejo seems to criticize the three-tier system, saying that the current situation is “a little absurd.”

This looks like one of those issues which won’t break along traditional party lines or geographic lines.

 

Panel for Wallace Vacancy

The Twenty-First Circuit Judicial Commission announced the panel of three nominees to be submitted to Governor Eric Greitens to fill the circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County created by the retirement of Judge Barbara W. Wallace as circuit judge. Those nominated by the commission are: Matthew H. Hearne, Bruce F. Hilton, and Mary E. Ott.

 

Bits

Mike Ferguson (from Missouri Viewpoints) is Show-Me Institute’s new Communications Director. Rick Edlund will still be helping in a consulting capacity.

 

ProPublica reports insurance companies charge higher rates in minority neighborhood. See it here“But a first-of-its-kind analysis by ProPublica and Consumer Reports, which examined auto insurance premiums and payouts in California, Illinois, Texas and Missouri, has found that many of the disparities in auto insurance prices between minority and white neighborhoods are wider than differences in risk can explain. In some cases, insurers such as Allstate, Geico and Liberty Mutual were charging premiums that were on average 30 percent higher in zip codes where most residents are minorities than in whiter neighborhoods with similar accident costs.”

 

Post-Dispatch reports on an email offering contributions for legislators on her side of the issue.  See it here.  The lede is buried.  One legislator apparently wasn’t interested in a contribution, but instead asked for a job!

 

Medical marijuana moves forward. Rep. Jim Neely’s HB437 was voted do pass by House Health & Mental Health Committee 8-1.

 

RTDNA (Radio Television Digital News Association) named Dan Shelley their new executive director. “He began his career at KTTS-AM/FM in Springfield, Missouri… Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, RTDNA works to protect the rights of electronic journalists throughout the country, promotes ethical standards in the industry…”

 

Help Wanted

St. Louis Development Corporation seeks Major Project Manager II.  “Manages all aspects of assigned major project areas to ensure successful development completion… Assists in representing SLDC on economic development boards and committees, and other issues as assigned… Meets and works with innovation/technology development programs, citizen committees, special interest groups, non-profit organizations, and neighborhood groups concerning economic development issues and problems…Salary Range: $55,000 - $65,000/year”   See the ad here.

 

eMailbag on Greitens for Rehder

It seems odd that a Governor who is trying to cast himself as an outsider would allegedly back arguably the most insider candidate possible for Speaker.  Rep. Holly Rehder, a product of the Emerson political machine who has long held political aspirations, put in time as a consultant to the Congresswoman’s campaign and as a registered lobbyist for the telecommunications industry before running for the House…

 

Lobbyists Registrations

John Bardgett Jr. and Erika Leonard added Behavioral Health Holdings LLC.

Christopher Mitton added American Forest & Paper Association.

Steve R Carroll deleted Lashley & Baer.

James Garrett deleted Missouri Farm Bureau.

Daniel Landon deleted Healthcare Services Group.

 

$5K+ Contributions

STL Votes! - $9,000 from Great St Louis Inc.

Make Saint Louis Safe - $8,500 from Great St Louis Inc.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. John McCaherty, lobbyists Mark Jones and Craig Overfelt, and liaison Daniel Bogle.