Tuesday March 21, 2017

Doherty Retires

Dick Doherty is retiring from lobbying.  He’s been semi-retired for a few years but has decided to give up his presence in Jefferson City.

Doherty started lobbying in the mid-1960s as part of the "loan an executive to the KC Chamber" while working at ARMCO Steel.  He is known around the Capitol as a man of his word and a true gentleman.


Wagner Gets Subcommittee Chairmanship, Makes Video

Close-up of shots of the gavel, slow-motion walking with staffers a step behind, some hip dance music in the background, and Congresswoman Ann Wagner looks directly into the camera to deliver her line…. See it here.

We’ll see how it’s received.  It’s the sort of thing that could be easily mocked in the Twitterverse….


The Russian Connection

While national media was transfixed by the FBI chief’s testimony yesterday, Springfield News-Leader reports on Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s effort to rid state retirement plans of investments in Russia.  Is this the new topsy-turvey world where Dems are Russian hawks and the GOP is dovish?  See it here.

Pull Quote:  The Public School and Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri has more than $118 million worth of investments in Russian companies, legislative researchers said Tuesday in a memo to a Democratic state lawmaker wanting to eliminate the Show-Me State's investments in Moscow.  Research conducted by nonpartisan Senate research staff at the behest of Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, shows that this sum constitutes less than half a percent of the state teachers' pension system, which has a market value of at least $38.3 billion…

Chappelle-Nadal's bill, which would ask voters whether to prohibit Missouri from investing in Russia or its occupied territories, has been referred to the Senate Insurance and Banking Committee…


Elbert Disciplinary Action Gets Supreme Court Hearing

On the Supreme Court of Missouri’s scheduled docket for oral argument next week is the disciplinary case involving St. Louis County power-broker Elbert Walton Jr.  See the St. Louis Business Journal’s previous reporting about this case here.

Walton has successfully backed many candidates in North County over the years – and has had a few controversies as well.


Private Lawyers to Help PubDefs

Post-Dispatch reports that some private attorneys are pledging to volunteer to help the state’s overworked public defender corps.  See it here.

Pull Quote: A new nonprofit group, the Missouri Coalition for the Right to Counsel, has proposed a system where younger attorneys in the private sector try certain jury cases in the circuit courts of St. Louis and St. Louis County, where they can gain trial experience and reduce the caseloads for public defenders. More than a dozen St. Louis area firms have pledged to provide volunteers, who will undergo training from public defenders in April and then begin assisting with their overwhelming workload….


Henderson on Charter Bill

Freshman legislator Rep. Mike Henderson gave a long interview with his hometown paper about the passage of Rep. Rebecca Roeber’s charter school expansion bill.  See it here.

Pull Quote:  "Although I didn't vote for it, I will say that it is 100 percent better than it was," he said. "It's still not something I could support, but much better than it was three days ago and we worked extremely hard getting it to that point. We met with Speaker of the House Todd Richardson and I was still a no vote, but there was enough resistance by me and many others that the bill changed dramatically in two days. I believe it was not only a very bad bill for public education, but also a really, really bad bill for kids because charter schools have not been proven to be successful."

During Wednesday's debate, Speaker Richardson proposed an amendment he said would add accountability to the charter process. His addition would allow the state to provisionally renew a charter's application for poor performance. If performance doesn't improve, the state can refuse to accept the application.

"Charter schools have never actually had any accountability — none," Henderson said. "In this bill the charter schools get a pass for five years basically because they say you've got to give them two years to get up and running and scores coming in for a three-year period. Now, after that, if they perform 60 percent or below for any two-out-of-three years, they will be closed. They get eight years and so they'll be there a while, but if you've got a chronically underperforming one, the bill at least provides a mechanism to get rid of it."


Springfield Mayoral Race Splits GOP

It looks like big-time GOP media man John Thompson and Nathan Adams, who aided Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, are helping Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky instead of the well-known Republican Ken McClure


Pollies Pride

Press release #1: TJP Strategies, a new Democratic political consulting firm based in Missouri, was recognized this year by the American Association of Political Consultants for winning a Gold award for “Support Your Library”, a newspaper insert for Mid-Continent Public Library’s Proposition L campaign. Prop L was a local ballot initiative to support a levy increase for the Mid-Continent Public Library district, which spanned across Jackson, Clay, and Platte County….

Press release #2: National political, communications and technology firm Victory Enterprises (VE) received two prestigious *Pollie Awards *at the American Association of Political Consultants Awards in Huntington Beach, California. VE received awards in the "Best Overall Digital Campaign" category for the successful "34 No More" digital effort to defeat Mike Gronstal, a 34 year incumbent and the Iowa Senate Majority Leader on behalf of the Republican Party of Iowa. VE also received a Pollie in the "Get Out The Vote Mail" category for a Missouri voter guide produced on behalf of national evangelical engagement group the American Renewal Project.


Lobbyist Registrations

Bill Gamble, Jeffery Brooks, Cynthia Gamble, Kathryn Gamble, David Jackson, Jorgen Schlemeier, and Sarah Topp added BankLiberty.

Amy Haste and Rachel Merlo added Google Inc.

Richard Doherty terminated his lobbyist registration.  His clients were: Consumer Funeral Assurance, Doherty & Associates LLC, Fred Dreiling LLC, AFLAC, Builders Association of Missouri, Burns & McDonnell Engineering, City Utilities of Springfield MO, KCATA, Hope House, Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities, Missouri Association of Oral Surgeons, and Missouri County Treasurers Association.


$5K+ Contributions

Committee to Elect Cris Bohinc - $6,400 from Branson Grayline.



Happy birthdays to Thomas Long, Clay Rodgers, and Trent Summers.