Greitens Names DNR Director
The press release: Carol Comer served as the Commissioner of Indiana's Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) under Vice President-elect Mike Pence. In that role, she led an agency with 850 employees, five functional offices (air, land, water, program support and legal counsel) and five locational offices (lab, northwest, north, southwest and south).
Still waiting on the rest of the cabinet. One lobbyist muttered in disbelief that the former Democratic Senate Minority Leader Ken Jacob was now running the Department of Labor because there’s been no new appointment and other top officials have left. Another wondered how it is that John Huff – who resigned weeks ago – is still running Department of Insurance; and that Wood Miller is in charge at Department of Revenue.
It does explain Governor Eric Greitens executive order of a six week freeze on regulations. On its face, a six-week freeze is meaningless. But now it appears to have been a stop-gap measure while they assemble their cabinet.
House Perfects RTW
The House perfected right to work legislation by a vote of 101-58. Look for final passage tomorrow.
Rep. Jeanie Lauer who’s a possible candidate for Senate 8 in 2018 voted against right to work. The others expected to look at Senate 8 include Floor Leader Mike Cierpiot, and Rep. Gary Cross. They both voted in favor. One would think an Aye vote is the correct vote in that primary.
Meanwhile, former Rep. Sheila Solon is apparently out. Word is that she and her husband have moved to St. Joe. Does that derail her possible Senate 8 run? Certainly. But it does open up the possibility of a Senate 34 run….
Sen. Dan Brown who has carried this legislation in the Senate calls passing right to work a “live or die situation.” Hear it here.
Reading Wagner Tealeaves
Although Congresswoman Ann Wagner earlier declined to run NRCC, it’s now reported that she’ll be heading up their fundraising (see it here). What does this say about what has been the conventional wisdom that she’ll be running against Senator Claire McCaskill in 2018? It would seem like it’s hard to both raise money for NRCC while running for Senate.
Bockelman to Empower Missouri
A.J. Bockelman on Facebook: Proud to announce, as of today, I'm joining the Empower Missouri team as Assistant Director! Looking forward to once again working directly with a dedicated organization to advance equity and justice!
Watts to Legalization Movement
Democratic consultant Mike Watts – who worked for Kyle Garner state representative campaign – is now the executive campaign consultant for the Missouri Marijuana Legalization Movement and their associated PAC and initiative campaign.
Observer: It looks like Dems may be looking to leverage this issue for turnout in 2018…
Follow-Up on Drebes Conspiracy Theory
Turns out it’s a popular theory actually. Folks in the building believe that Governor Greitens is definitely going to look at privatizing some government services – and most of them wouldn’t be surprised if his mystery donors would benefit from the move.
This from a MOScout reader – slightly different take, but same basic thrust: “My conspiracy theory is his line about protecting teacher pensions. See this article.”
Pull Quote: “In Missouri, for example, state records show hedge funds Elliott Management and AQR Capital manage more than $1 billion worth of state pension money, earning the two firms more than $11 million in fees last year. Paul Singer, the founder of Elliott Management, has given $3.1 million to the RGA since 2013, including $500,000 this election cycle. AQR’s co-founder, Cliff Asness, has given $150,000 to the RGA since 2014. The RGA has moved $5.8 million this year to its Missouri account, which has delivered $5 million to Republican candidate Eric Greitens’ gubernatorial campaign…”
When Governor Eric Greitens’ SOTS speech included the line: We must repeal our state’s version of the Davis-Bacon act, which drives up the cost of important construction work that needs to get done….
One hallway denizen wondered “where he got that idea.” It was odd because no one refers to it as the Davis-Bacon Act here; it’s “prevailing wage.” It was as if Greitens was speaking to a national audience, not the legislators in front of him. And maybe it’s inclusion came at the behest of was his mystery out-of-state donor…
A full repeal of prevailing wage is not even supported by some business groups. They worry that doing so would attract more out-of-state contractors and hurt Missouri businesses. Instead these business interests favor a more modest reform to the prevailing wage framework – perhaps an exemption for smaller projects.
Jefferson City News Tribune reports on Greitens’ plans to reduce the state payroll. See it here. Sen. Jeanie Riddle weighs in: she's heard about some state employees who collect good paychecks but "who never come to work. I think those are the places where we need to start" looking at cutting the number of employees.
Who knew Missouri Department of Conservation is running helicopter hog-gunning flights… See it here.
Tipster writes… Chuckling tonight on the Jeff City cocktail circuit: folks are scrambling to get newly-inaugurated Missouri GOP Governor Eric Greitens a ticket to the Trump inaugural. Evidently Greitens wasn't on the list of governors, who traditionally receive invitations. Perhaps Jay Nixon has it tucked into his pocket in U-City, and is laughing heartily as Georgeanne shakes her head...
Kristian Starner and Aaron Baker added Safe and Strong Missouri, and Missouri Values Project.
Jack Cardetti added Lyft Inc, and deleted Centerpointe Hospital.
Lynn Schlosser added Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities.
Tom Dempsey added Children’s Education Council of Missouri.
Jason Zamkus added Flotron & McIntosh LLC.
Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $50,000 from Rex Sinquefield.
Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $5,549 from St. Louis Union Station.
Happy birthdays to Rep. Michael Butler, former Rep. Michele Kratky, and Scott Faughn.