Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Silvey: Ellebracht’s Charge “Worthy of Investigation”

In an interview on Statehouse blend (listen to it here) Sen. Ryan Silvey doesn’t back away from a recent assertion made by Rep. Mark Ellebracht that Pro Tem Ron Richard has “been bought by campaign contributions.”

Silvey says “[The charges are] worthy of some consideration and investigation.  I mean the facts are what they are. I’m not willing to go so far as to say that Senator Richard violated the law, but I’m also not a law enforcement agency…. The facts are: he received large contributions, he filed legislation that would dismiss a lawsuit against the people who made those large contributions.  Now, it’s not for me to determine motive, it’s not for me to determine if that was a quid pro quo.  If someone wanted to look into it, I don’t think anyone would be surprised… There’s been a pattern of behavior with this leadership team that certainly would lead you to conclude that people who made significant contributions got their legislation put to front of the line of consideration when you look at how the calendar was ordered this year, when you look at how certain bills have been handled…”

Silvey and Richard have been on the outs since Silvey voted against for labor reform bills.  Things got worse after Richard chose Sen. Dan Brown to chair the Appropriations Committee over Silvey.  Still this is a remarkable statement from any legislator about another legislator, even more so to be aimed at one’s own party.

And

Richard doesn’t like his ethics questioned.  Watch was his response to the original charge levied at him by Ellebracht.  (And Richard’s “kiss my ass” retort is just a variation of Ike Skelton’s “stick it up your…” which Vicky Hartzler used to unseat him in 2010).

 

Draft Hawley

While some Republicans were waiting for the entry of Congresswoman Ann Wagner into the 2018 US Senate race, others unveiled a “Draft Hawley” movement to unseat her as the presumptive front-runner.  See the Dear Josh letter here.  Being about 90 days since he was sworn into this office, the letter offers some cover to suddenly leap for higher office.  And one MOScouter says the Hawley feels an urgency to do it now because he can still run as an outsider if he does it now, and couldn’t if he spend any amount of time actually holding office.

 

Excerpt from the Please Run Letter

Dear Josh:

This letter is to urge you to become a candidate for United States Senate in 2018. Noting that you led the ticket in the last election, we are convinced that you would be the strongest candidate for Missouri’s Senate seat. You have exceptional qualities of character and intellect that would bring honor to our state and leadership to our nation…

You are off to an impressive start as Missouri’s Attorney General, and you have made clear your

commitment to excellent service in that important office. Ordinarily we would not suggest that you take any other course. But these are not ordinary times. The federal government is clearly broken and the Senate is the place to begin fixing it.

For these reasons we respectfully urge you to become a candidate for the United States Senate.

Sincerely,

Jane Cunningham

Jack Danforth

Neal Ethridge

Peter Herschend

David Humphreys

Peter Kinder

Doug Russell

 

From Cunningham’s Lake Lincoln Days Speech Introducing Josh Hawley

My name is Jane Cunningham.  I'm a former state senator and have spoken a few times at your chili suppers.  Although I represented a district in St. Louis County, my husband Gary and I have had a home at the lake since the 1980s.  Our heart is here and we are in the process of moving here permanently. 

I'm very privileged to introduce a man I believe to be the most perfect candidate I have seen since John Ashcroft.  He shares many of the same characteristics we all know John has....highly intelligent, profoundly well educated at ivy league schools, solidly conservative, very articulate, married to a brilliant and accomplished woman, a talented public servant, and a man who lives his well-grounded faith…

 

One Dem’s Take

Hawley is both a serious Challenger and a wing nut. Danforth, who may be less smart than his public image, has a fatal weakness for graduates of the Yale Law school. See, e.g., Clarence Thomas…

Hawley, I am told, was quietly looking for big Republicans to urge him to run. Jack Danforth took the bait…

As Attorney General, Hawley has established a federalism unit whose purpose is to sue the federal government. The original game plan to become famous for suing President Hillary Clinton. Now the rationale is to sue Trump so that Trump can be free to be Trump….

 

Calzone Vs Hawley

Meanwhile non-lobbyist Ron Calzone has the Freedom Center working a 4th Amendment case.  Watch his lawyer, Dave Roland, explain the case here.

From their fundraising letter

Last Thursday Ron Calzone and I were at the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, where the Freedom Center argued in favor of a very simple constitutional principle: The Fourth Amendment prohibits law enforcement officers from pulling people over unless the officer has an articulable and reasonable suspicion that the vehicle or its occupants are in violation of a law… For people hiring ordinary attorneys, getting a case to the Eighth Circuit likely would have cost them at least $100,000 - an amount that most people could not possibly pay. Jenifer and I started the Freedom Center to make sure that Missourians like Ron Calzone and Maty Fall would

have the chance for top-notch, principled, pro-liberty legal representation, even if they could not pay for someone to represent them. Your donations are what makes it possible for us to continue fighting to advance freedom in our state and federal courts….

 

Galloway: TDDs Full of Conflicts

Post-Dispatch reports on Auditor Nicole Galloway’s audit findings concerning transportation districts.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Transportation development taxing districts in Missouri are riddled with conflicts of interest and have no oversight to prevent self-dealing, state Auditor Nicole Galloway said Monday.  Many of them also appear to be in violation of state law when it comes to businesses failing to notify the public of special sales taxes being collected, Galloway said.  “A lot of this isn’t illegal, but it should be,” Galloway said at a news conference at the Wainwright state government building in downtown St. Louis.

 

Bits

Governor Eric Greitens appointed Barth L. Fraker, a Republican from Webster County, to the State Board of Senior Services.

 

Close race in KS?  Washington Post reports “Thompson was not supposed to win — or even come close — in this largely rural 4th District, which picked Donald Trump for president by 27 points. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R) vacated the seat to lead the CIA, and Republicans expected to hold it easily. But in the final days before Tuesday’s special election, Republicans reacted to weak polling and turnout data by rushing resources to southern Kansas. A GOP super PAC rolled out robo-calls over the weekend from Vice President Pence, and on Monday from President Trump, in support of candidate Ron Estes….”

 

Tesla now has a bigger market capitalization than General Motors.  See it here“The luxury electric-car company Tesla has yet to turn a profit, losing hundreds of millions of dollars last year alone. But on Monday, the darling of Silicon Valley became the most valuable American car company, surpassing General Motors, the Detroit granddaddy with $10 billion in sales on nearly 10 million vehicles… Musk’s company produced just 84,000 cars last year, with starting prices of $68,000.”  Tesla’s lobbyists in Jefferson City are Catalyst Group’s Danny Pfeifer, Becky Lohmann, Greg Porter, and Alex Eaton, plus Steve Tilley and Shawn Rigger.

 

The state is bidding out an IT Consulting Services contract, but from the RFP it doesn’t appear to be incorporating any massive upgrade technology.  Governor Eric Greitens had criticized the state of technology in his State of the State address, specifically calling out agencies still using COBOL.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Blue & Green Day at Capitol in support of “Donate Life”

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Katherine Casas added Mobilitie Services LLC.

Randy Scherr added City of Branson, and Tradewind Energy; and deleted Justice Institute for Missouri, and Missouri Cement Committee.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Democratic Committee for Missouri 32nd Senatorial District - $5,400 from Communication Workers of America COPE PCC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Dave Leipholtz and Heidi Kolkmeyer.