Thursday, February 9, 2017

Good Lobbyists Vs Bad Lobbyists

The Greitens team has a policy of no contract lobbyists in the governor’s office.  It’s not no lobbyists.  It’s no contract lobbyists. In-house lobbyists are quite fine as indicated by this photo – featuring a dozen or so registered lobbyists.

The distinction is lost on some building denizens – and might be lost on voters too.


Why So Slow on Dept Heads?

One theory circulating about why Governor Eric Greitens has been so slow in filling his cabinet is that he’s fixated on bringing in folks from outside Missouri.

There are those who attribute this to his “do different” philosophy.  But another explanation which also makes sense is that Greitens imagines a national campaign next, and he’s using these appointments to increase access to networks in other states…


Greitens Names Fire Marshall

The press release:  Governor Eric Greitens announced his picks for State Fire Marshal and State

Emergency Management Agency Director at the St. Louis Fire Academy….

Ernie Rhodes, SEMA Director

Ernie Rhodes has 32 years of experience in emergency management and law enforcement. He currently serves as the Fire Chief for the West County EMS and Fire Protection District, the Operations Section Chief for FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Blue Incident Support Team, and is a member of Missouri Task Force-1. For ten years prior, Mr. Rhodes was the Director of Emergency Management for St. Charles, MO.

Tim Bean, Fire Marshal

Tim Bean is the Fire Chief for the West Plains Fire Department and also serves as the Howell County Assistant SWAT Team Leader and Reserve Deputy. He has a combined total of 32 years in fire safety and administration. Prior to becoming Fire Chief, Mr. Bean started as volunteer firefighter.  He also served as the West Plains Public Safety Officer, Assistant Fire Chief, Reserve Police Officer, and SWAT team member.


Senate Perfects PLA Bill

The Senate perfected Sen. Bob Onder’s SB 182 dealing with project labor agreement after days of Democratic speaking against some provisions of the bill.  A couple of amendments from Sen. Gina Walsh were adopted making the bill less noxious to the minority party.


Strengthening Marriage Law

Rep. Jean EvansHB270 “marriage bill” was heard in the Families and Children Committee.  According to the information present, Missouri has the one of the “weakest” marriage laws in the country. Evans’ bill would prohibit recorders from issuing a marriage license to anyone under the age of 17.  It’s now 15.

Lobbyist David Winton, who represents recorders of deeds and he said that people will fly girls into Kansas City and then go to Platte County to get a marriage license. They have seen 30-year old men take 15-year old girls in to get married. I guess they have their parents

permission or something but the thinking is that parents are selling the kids to

these older guys.

Missouri KidsFirst director Emily Van Schenkhof, not mincing words said: “You can bring your child to Missouri and force her to marry her rapist”

Still Rep. Mike Moon indicated opposition.  He said he knew a couple that had a baby when they were both young and they are still together now.  He would not want to discourage marriage in certain instances…


Senate Budget Skeptics

In Senate Appropriations, there have been some voices of dissent over a few of Greitens’ budget proposals so far.

Three items that have been flagged so far.  There’s skepticism that the “Blue Alert” system actually makes a measurable impact in the public safety environment – instead of being expensive window dressing.

And second, folks are miffed – as they always have been and ever will be – when governors cut necessary transportation funding for school districts and then insist that they have protected education funding.

Finally, Sen. Rob Schaaf questions whether managed care will actually reduce costs over the long-term.


None of the Above?

Rep. Bart Korman has introduced a bill (see it here) which puts “None of the Above” on ballots.

If NOTA “wins,” the bill would require a special election.  The candidates who were beaten by NOTA would be barred from running the special.  And there’d be no None option in the special.


Wrong EcoDevo Target?

There was a joint House and Senate economics development hearing earlier this week where they heard from an executive who helps companies in selecting site for expansion.  He shared insights on right to work: more perception than reality, but the perception is important because it helps you get looked at.

Most interesting was his belief that growing existing business is more important to a state’s economic well-being than attracting outside companies.

So why do we spend so much money on luring businesses?  Folks love the splash of a big announcement. It’s more exciting than the thousand little firms each adding a handful of employees here and there.


Readers Weigh In on Supreme Court

Reader 1: Former Senator, and current Circuit Court Judge, Jack Goodman seems to be well positioned for the spot. Impeccable resume with prosecutorial, legislative, and judicial experience that has let him handle over 10,000 cases while on the bench. He is well vetted, and still very popular in southwest Missouri, even though he has had to stay out of politics while on the bench. He is also very well-regarded on both sides of the aisle.

Goodman focused much of his legislative career on strengthening the Missouri Criminal Code, conservative issues (without being on the fringe), and economic development. Things that would have to be attractive to a Governor who campaigned on those issues, and is wanting to have a conservative legacy beyond his time in office…

Reader 2: I'd say Doug Gaston has the inside track if he makes the panel which I predict he will...


Lobbyists Registrations

Joseph Treadway added McManus Construction.

Richard AuBuchon added Empire District - Liberty Utilities Central; and deleted Empire District Electric Company.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Jered Taylor and Ryann Summerford.