Thursday, August 4, 2016

Barrett to Nixon: Here’s Your Case

Missouri State Public Defender Director Michael Barrett sent an extraordinary letter to Governor Jay Nixon on Monday.  Extraordinary.  See it here.  He lays the blame for being underfunded and short-staffed at Nixon’s feet and then proposes an extraordinary first step to a solution.

“Seven years ago, your office vetoed Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill No. 37, which would have provided caseload relief to an overburdened public defender system… you have repeatedly cut funding for an indigent defense system that continues to rank 49th…  I can only hire attorneys when I have funding to do so.  Because you have restricted that funding, MSPD must hold a significant number of vacant positions… To avoid having to close one or more offices, the remaining option is to consider the use of Section 600.0042.5, which gives the Director of the Public Defender System the authority to ‘[d]elegate the legal representation of any person to any member of the state bar of Missouri’… [I]t strikes me I should begin with the one attorney in the state who not only created this problem, but is in a unique position to address it... I hereby appoint you, Jeremiah W. (Jay) Nixon, Bar No. 29603, to enter your appearance as counsel of record in the attached case…”


Koster Introduction Ad

Chris Koster released his first ad.  See it here.  The minute-length introductory ad is quite different than Eric Greitens’ first ad, shooting guns.  Koster talks about his start in elected office – Cass County Prosecutor in Harrisonville, the small town where there “were no lobbyists” and where he stayed for ten years – as the formative time of his public service.  This might be the opening salvo of a contrast to the uber-ambitious Greitens who had previously reserved domain names like “”  We’ll see…


Early Lines

Here’s the Drebes early line on the legislative races…

Dems +1 in the Senate.  I’m guessing they pick up Senate 19 and hold Senate 1. These will both be very competitive.  Also, if it were possible to parachute in a good campaign manager and if Steven Eagleton would work, I’d entertain adding Senate 15 to the watch list.

Dems +3 in the House.  Truth is, I think I’ve started the last three cycles thinking that Dems were due to finally pick up seats because Republicans had stretched their majority as far as possible, and each year I have to revise as Republican superiority in recruitment, fundraising and execution rules the day.  But truly we’re at the point where Republicans have many more defenses and very few opportunities.


Was Nixon Jiggling the Refunds?

Kind of looks that way….

From the opening month of the fiscal year, net revenues were 7.2% higher.  And part of what drove it higher was a 34% decrease in refunds.  Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick had thought the spike in refunds at the end of last fiscal year was suspicious because it lowered net revenue enough to avoid a tax cut.


Kander Cheers Toss-Up Rating

From his latest fundraising blast…

This is big… Real Clear Politics just moved our race into the “Toss Up” category.

This is officially anybody’s race. Two recent polls have us statistically tied with Senator Blunt. Now with the special interests paying close attention to our race, we have to keep pushing -- harder than ever…


Black Loses By One

I missed this story on Election night.  Former Rep. Linda Black lost her race for commissioner of St. Francois County by one vote (1,588 to 1,587).  See the tally here.


Former Rep. Kevin Elmer lost his bid Circuit Judge, getting 30% of the vote to Jennifer Growcock’s 58%.  See the back story here.


Disunity GOP?

The Republican unity meeting that was supposed to happen today in St. Louis was cancelled.  The event would have shown all the candidates (losers included) with a press conference to show unity.  One source says that John Brunner was going to be a no-show, so the meeting was “postponed.”

We’ll see….


Zerr Reflects on Loss

On Facebook Rep. Anne Zerr wrote about her loss…

“I want to thank the hundreds of volunteers who helped on my campaign for State Senate. You were my rock in a tough campaign…

During the past eight years I have done my best to represent St. Charles County in the Missouri House, and I think we did some very good things over those past eight years. I leave this job knowing that I voted and acted with integrity and with dignity, always voting the way I did because it was the right thing to do, not because it was the popular thing to do. I leave with no regrets.

Plainly and simply, a very narrow special interest brought almost a million dollars from outside St. Charles County to work against me. Ads were mean, hateful, and lies. I have never been treated with such disrespect, and that means the St. Charles County community that has supported me for almost 40 years was treated with disrespect too. I'm pretty protective of my county.

I have a good life. There are many doors available to me, and I'll land in a good place. It's been my honor to serve the people of St. Charles County in the Missouri House; one of the greatest honors of my life. Thank you all so much.”


Jake Zimmerman Concession

This isn’t the note we were hoping to send you today. Yesterday’s election did not come out the way we had hoped, as we lost a close primary race.

We are incredibly disappointed. We put our heart and soul into this campaign, but came up short. Does it hurt? Sure…

This morning, Gabriel woke up with the usual wide smile on his face.  And while racing around on the carpet, he played one of his favorite games. He dropped to the floor, then jumped up into Mama’s lap, and squealed: “I fell down!  I get up!”  And then he giggled hysterically.

We aren’t doing so much giggling today, but we do agree with his sentiments.  We fall down, we get up. We are sustained by the power of your kindness, your friendship, your support, and your good wishes. 

The fight for fairness goes on. I congratulate Teresa Hensley on a hard-fought campaign, and I look forward to supporting her as our Democratic nominee to be the next Attorney General. She and others have important campaigns to win in November. We all still have work to do….

What Went Wrong For Jake?

One Dem offers these critiques… “1. He spoke to camera… 2. 15-second ads are the most inefficient use of TV money. They aren't half price and have less impact… 3.  He started on TV early but didn’t put enough points behind the early ads….”


Obama Commutations

Yesterday President Barack Obama granted commutations to 214 individuals.   Here are the ones with a Missouri connection…

Annette Maria Canania – DeSoto, MO

Offense: Conspiracy to possess pseudoephedrine knowing it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine; possession of pseudoephedrine knowing it would be used to manufacture methamphetamine (two counts); Eastern District of Missouri

Richard Lawrence Davis – St. Louis, MO

Offense: 1. Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Eastern District of Missouri

  1. Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime; Eastern District of Missouri

Charles Franklin – St. Louis, MO

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute over 50 grams of cocaine base (crack); possession with the intent to distribute heroin; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; Eastern District of Missouri

Michael L. Franklin – Kansas City, MO

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Western District of Missouri

Thomas R. Fuller – Kansas City, MO

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine; aiding and abetting to distribute crack cocaine; possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine; possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime; felon in possession of a firearm; Western District of Missouri

Randy P. Green – Sikeston, MO

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine; Eastern District of Missouri

Marcell Hogans – St. Louis, MO

Offense: Distribution of cocaine base; Eastern District of Missouri

Frederico Johnson – Kansas City, MO

Offense: Distribution of five grams or more of cocaine base; Western District of Missouri

Reba L. McIntyre – Hayti, MO

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base; Eastern District of Missouri

Candido Ortiz-Martinez – Pagedale, MO

Offense: Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine; possession of firearm during the commission of a drug trafficking crime (two counts); distribution of cocaine; Eastern District of Missouri

Lonnie Dwayne Payne – St. Louis, MO

Offense: Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine; interstate transportation of a firearm by a felon; Eastern District of Missouri

Noriel K. Snider – St. Louis, MO

Offense: Possession with intent to distribute cocaine base; Eastern District of Missouri

Damion M. Wilson – Caruthersville, MO

Offense: Distribution of five grams or more of a substance containing a detectable amount of cocaine base; Eastern District of Missouri


Kansas Conservatives Falls

In what is being cast as a backlash against Governor Sam Brownback, several conservative Republicans lost on Tuesday. See it here.

Pull Quote:  A top Senate leader and at least 10 other conservative Kansas legislators have lost their seats as moderate Republicans made GOP primary races a referendum on education funding and the state's persistent budget woes. Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce was among the lawmakers ousted amid a backlash against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and his allies…

Kansas has struggled to balance its budget since the GOP-dominated Legislature slashed personal income taxes in 2012 and 2013 at Brownback's urging to stimulate the economy. That's created concerns among educators about future spending on schools, even as many Republicans see the $4 billion-plus a year the state now spends as generous….

Some Brownback critics focused more on the Republican primary for House seats. Ousting conservatives would further their goal of building a governing coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats on key education and budget issues…


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

4-6  HRCC Summer Caucus – Branson.


$5K+ Contributions

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $20,000 from EMILY’s List.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Iron Workers Local 10.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $15,000 from AT&T.

Eigel for Missouri - $5,001 from Friends of Eric Burlison.

Committee to Elect Reed - $15,000 from David or Thelma Stewart.



Happy birthdays Robin Carnahan, Don Soph, and Dick Wiles.