Thursday, March 3, 2016

Health Groups Against Tobacco Tax Increase

In a textbook case of making the perfect the enemy of the good, a coalition of the American

Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in Missouri, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Health Care Foundation of

Greater Kansas City and Tobacco-Free Missouri issued a statement poo-pooing the proposed cigarette tax increase… “It is alarming and deceitful for the tobacco industry to support two insufficient tobacco tax proposals in our state under the guise of concern about education and transportation funding. Small increases to the tobacco tax – like the proposals being considered – will generate new revenue, but will not keep kids from becoming addicted to cigarettes or help adults quit. Tobacco taxes work when the price increase is substantial enough to motivate current smokers to quit and prevent kids from starting. A dime here or there is not sufficient…”


Maybe I’ve been watching it all for too long, but having watching so much fail (like the last two tobacco tax increases), I see wisdom in incremental victories.


Early Childhood Education Initiative, a campaign committee to support the cigarette tax increase, was formed yesterday.


Earning Tax Update

Post-Dispatch reports on yesterday’s earning tax hearing. See it here.

Pull Quote: If the tax went away, Slay said, “We’d have to cut everything. It certainly would have to be police and fire. We also have parks, recreation and forestry. There are a lot of services we provide. It would not be an easy thing.”  Kansas City Mayor Sly James said his city and St. Louis are the economic engines of the state.  “Why are you jacking with us when you don’t need to?” he asked members of the panel. James said the Sinquefield-backed group is already running radio ads in Kansas City.

And Just a Reminder

Expertise is not a transitive property.  Yes Rex Sinquefield had an insight that investors would like passive investments as an option, an insight which made him fabulously wealthy.  But that doesn’t mean his “insights” about business creation are correct.  In fact he’s demonstrated he doesn’t really understand real-world economics, why businesses move locations.  He has asserted that taxes are the driving factor, in this case a 1% tax.  That’s ludicrous.  In general, the driving factor for business location are proximity to product inputs (capital, labor, material) and/or proximity to the product’s market.


Sinquefield put $600K into his anti-earning tax campaign committee yesterday.  See the large contributions below.


Correction on Senate Paycheck Vote

I wrote yesterday that the Senate passed the paycheck protection on a party-line vote.  It wasn’t.  Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal voted with the Republican majority in favor; and Sen. Paul Wieland cross over the other way, voting with the Democrats against.


Dem Prez Ad Buys

The Democratic presidential candidates have started their Missouri ad buys.  See a Bernie Sanders’ contract here.  See a Hillary Clinton contract here.


Colona Responds

After Ben Murray’s feisty email, Rep. Mike Colona responds on Facebook: I want the next representative of the 80th District to be someone who is a proven community leader, shares our progressive values and has the skill set to get things done in Jefferson City. That’s why I have endorsed Peter Merideth for state representative…. It was a tough choice. Another candidate served as my campaign treasurer and I’ve considered him a friend for years. It’s difficult to tell a friend you cannot support them, and last month I met with him to discuss why… Peter is a proven community leader. He’s served as president of Shaw Neighborhood Association, has sat on the boards of the 8th Ward Democrats and the Garden District, is a fixture of his parish, and his neighbors go to him for legal counsel. He's pro-choice, pro LGBT, pro-labor and a practicing neighborhood lawyer…. While I may have let a friend down last month, I am confident I made the right choice to support the most qualified candidate to serve the community I care for so much….


Senate Perfects Beer Bill

Sen. Eric Schmitt’s SB 919 to allow beer companies to lease cooler units to convenience and grocery stores ran into trouble from his primary opponent, Sen. Dan Brown, earlier in the week.  Yesterday it was perfected after an amendment from Sen. Mike Kehoe.  But it was narrow vote, 17-15.  The majority of Republicans voted against it. But a bi-partisan coalition of Dems (except for Sen. Jill Schupp) and Republicans mustered the 17 votes.


Swearingen for Presiding Commish

Former Rep. Jay Swearingen formed a committee to run for Clay County Presiding Commissioner as a Democrat.  He ran unsuccessfully for the post in 2014.


New Candidate Filings

Jerome Barnes filed to run in House 28 as a Democrat.  Barnes joins two other Democrats, creating a three-way primary. This is Rep. Tom McDonald’s seat.  He’s term limited.  It’s a safe Dem seat.

Dean Hodge filed to run in House 65 as a Libertarian.  This is Rep. Anne Zerr’s seat.  She’s running for state senate.  There’s a spirited Republican primary in this district, and former Rep. Kenny Biermann is running as a Democrat.  Could a Libertarian siphon off enough votes to help Dems retake the seat?  I don’t think so, but it’s one to watch.

Michael Dorwart filed to run in House 106 as a Democrat against Rep. Chrissy Sommer.  This one could be interesting.  David Humphreys’ vendetta committee has a target on Sommer for voting against right to work.  See it here.  But she voted for paycheck protection this session…

And a morning video from the Karate Kid school of wisdom.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

STEM Day at Capitol – 3rd floor rotunda

Peter Merideth Reception – Stupp Ctr. In Tower Grove Park – STL – 5:30PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Kelvin Simmons, Brian Grace and Rodney Boyd added Amerihealth Caritas.

Noel Torpey added Missourians for Compassionate Care, and Fair Trade Missouri.

Kathryn Ann Harness added Fair Trade Missouri.

Sandie Benen added Glaxosmithkline.

Scott Marrs added Tri-state Water Resource Coalition.

Charles Hatfield deleted Missouri Charter Public School Association, Mid-America Transplant Services, and Monsanto.

Guy Black deleted Saddlebrook.


$5K+ Contributions

Operating Engineers Local 101 Political Fund - $100,000 from Engineers Political Education Committee.

Vote NO on the E-Tax - $618,306 from Rex Sinquefield.

Hawley for Missouri - $100,000 from Peter Thiel.

Koster for Missouri - $15,000 from Strong Garner Bauer.

Reinvest STL - $10,000 from Regional Business Council.

Progress KC PAC - $25,000 from H&R Block.



Happy birthdays to Heath Clarkston, Maria Walden, and Brooke Foster.