Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Tale of Two Chambers

The Democrats of the Senate once again objected to a waiver of the reading of the Journal, engaging in the slow-down tactics to demonstrate their anger at the previous week’s proceedings.  Mondays are normally a short day in the legislative week since the body doesn’t convene until 4PM.  Today we’ll see if they are intent on burning another legislative day or if their hard feelings remain a potent motivator to obstruct any progress.

The guess is that this week will see minimal action on the Senate floor, with the hope being that everyone can come back from Spring Break and play nice.

Meanwhile, the House continues to chug along – as is the tradition in that body.

This dynamic may create an asymmetry of calendars with lots of House bills on the Senate calendar and few Senate bills on the House side.


Primary Day

Here’s your primary day tidbit from the St. Louis Business Journal…. Which candidates’ voters have the best and worst credit scores?  See it here.  SPOILER: John Kasich voters have the best credit score and Hillary Clinton supporters have the worst.

Trump Effect

A recent group in the Capitol had a chance to meet with Governor Jay Nixon.  According to one participant, “someone asked Nixon about funding for the public defenders and Nixon jumped all over the person saying that there are other priorities that need funding and then he apologized for being terse and said “I didn’t mean to go all Trump on you.”

This conforms with Scott Charton’s tweet last night - ‏@ScottCharton Via @ABC17News - Woman pleading to Jeff City Council says she is watching her language so as not to "go all Donald Trump." #MissouriPrimary – that Trump is now part of our cultural lexicon.


Consumer Group Opposes Utility Regulatory Changes

The press release… Two witnesses are prepared to give Missouri senators details about how drastic changes to electric utility law in Illinois that are similar to those being proposed in

Missouri have negatively affected consumers.  The witnesses will appear Tuesday, March 15, at a hearing on Senate Bill 1028. The witnesses will testify on behalf of Consumers Council of Missouri.

John Coffman is utility consumer counsel for the group and a former head of the state utility consumer advocacy office.  Michael Brosch is president of Utilitech, a firm based in Kansas City that focuses exclusively on utility regulation.  Both witnesses have extensive experience in the regulation of utility rates in Missouri and Illinois….


Greitens $500K Contributor Makes Headlines

Michael Goguen, who contributed $500,000 to Eric Greiten’s gubernatorial campaign, is embroiled in a lawsuit now from a woman claiming sexual abuse.  See it here.

Pull Quote: A lawsuit filed 8 March in San Mateo county superior court in California claims Goguen abused Amber Laurel Baptiste “sexually, physically and emotionally for over 13 years”. Goguen signed a contract to pay Baptiste $40m as compensation, but after paying her $10m Goguen refused to honor the rest of his agreement, according to the lawsuit. In a statement sent by his law firm, Goguen said the matter was purely personal, with no connection to Sequoia, and that he would file a cross complaint on Monday.


Let the Sun Shine

AP’s David Lieb writes about legislators’ reluctance to provide their emails under the Sunshine laws. See it here.

Pull Quote: Standing in front of dozens of editors and reporters, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard was asked whether he believed the emails and daily schedules of legislators should be open to the public under the state's Sunshine Law.  "All you have to do is ask for it, and I'll give it to you. I don't care," Richard responded.

Yet when The Associated Press submitted an open-records request for a week's worth of Richard's emails and daily calendars, his "yes" changed to "no." The Senate administrator responded on Richard's behalf with a written denial, asserting individual senators are not subject to the law.

The AP received similar denials for records from Senate Minority Leader Joe Keaveny and House Speaker Todd Richardson. House Minority Leader Jake Hummel was the only one of Missouri's top four lawmakers to provide the information.


Press release out yesterday:  Secretary of State Jason Kander today recognized Sunshine Week by highlighting efforts to increase the transparency and accessibility of his office.  

“As Missouri’s secretary of state, I place a high value on the transparency and openness of government at all levels,” Kander said. “Sunshine Week is a great opportunity for all of us in government to renew our dedication to making sure Missourians always have access to their government and an opportunity to make their voices heard.”


Kelley Prayer Request

Rep. Mike Kelley on Facebook: Personal prayer request: Two weeks ago I was at the doctors office and I had lab work done, since they found out I'd never had any done. My hemoglobin came back very low so nurse Kim wants to rule out any internal bleeding so tomorrow I will be knocked out and have both a colonoscopy and a EGD done in Jefferson City to rule out internal bleeding. While nurse Kim feels strongly that I'm just a mixture of naturally anemic and have a low iron diet we must rule out any other causes. Prayers appreciated because after that to start my morning off I'll have afternoon and evening sessions on the floor tomorrow.


Tweet of the Day

Former Governor Matt Blunt… ‏@MattBlunt: Very grateful to be celebrating my 19th wedding anniversary with @MelanieBlunt.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Presidential Primary.


Lobbyists Registrations

Jay Reichard and Mark Schwartz added Johnson & Johnson Services Inc.

Jay Reichard, Mark Schwartz, Andy Blunt and Chris Moody deleted Grasslands Consultants LLC, and Missouri Retailers Association.

Jay Reichard, Mark Schwartz and Andy Blunt deleted Evicore Healthcare.

Jay Reichard and Andy Blunt deleted Caremed Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Sam Wiles added Project Elysim LLC.

Richard McIntosh and Bill Stouffer added Ecap Bioenergy LLC.

Neal English and James Foley added Western Missouri Transportation Development District Association.

Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace and Kelvin Simmons deleted Wipro Infocrossing.

Kelvin Simmons deleted LMK Technologies, and The Fremont.

Shawn Furey deleted Nurtur Health Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

Koster for Missouri – $25,000 from Operating Engineers Local 101 Political Action Committee.

Koster for Missouri – $100,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers Political Education Committee.

Koster for Missouri – $25,000 from Starboard Track Marketing.

Koster for Missouri – $25,000 from Davis, Bethune, & Jones LLC.

Missourians for Affordable Energy - $42,000 from MEDA PAC.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Creekside Developers LLC.

New Approach Missouri - $10,000 from Thomas Smith.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Enterprise Holdings Inc. Political Action Committee.

Missourians for John Brunner - $25,000 from Peter Herschend.

Citizens for Good Government - $6,000 from Lincoln County Professional EMS Association.

Progress KC PAC - $10,000 from Missouri NEA Ballot Issue Crisis Fund.

Progress KC PAC - $10,000 from Briarcliff Development Company.



Happy birthdays to Kehoe’s Adam Gresham and Gary R. McElyea.


Last Call

Send your presidential primary predictions in by 11AM.  Republican and Democrat candidates with predicted percentages.  Send to dave@moscout.com