Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SJR39 Hearing

Post-Dispatch reports on the House’s hearing on SJR 39 hearing last night.  See it here.

Pull Quote: The House Emerging Issues Committee hearing coincided with the launch of, a nonpartisan website listing more than 100 businesses, chambers of commerce and other entities that oppose the measure…

“Missourians are going to resent being bullied by corporate elites,” [Bob] Onder said at the hearing Tuesday night... State Rep. Anne Zerr, R-St. Charles, wondered why the House couldn’t strip the provisions business leaders disagree with… “Time is fleeting,” [Peter] Kinder said. “Four weeks remain after this in the session. I think you know that the — we’re trying to put something on the ballot this year so that people can hear a debate.”

Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield and the committee chairman, said he was hesitant about amending the bill.  Democrats have charged that Republicans are trying to put the measure on the ballot to increase conservative voter turnout during a presidential election year. Republicans have denied that…

The Future Leadership Tilts Toward Social Conservatives?

What’s most intriguing about this battle is that it now involves two legislators who are mentioned as future leaders in their chambers.  Rep. Elijah Haahr is talked about as a potential successor to Speaker Todd Richardson; And Sen. Bob Onder, currently Assistant Floor Leader, is mentioned as a potential Pro Tem of the future.

But since Republicans seized control of the legislature, their leaders have always been pro-business, bending on the social issues where the two came in conflict, for example on stem cell research.  And business interests have been large donors to Republicans campaigns, helping to sustain and build their majorities.

Maybe this battle is an indication that Republican legislative leadership of the future might tilt toward the social conservative position in these situations in the future.


Budget Bits


HB2002: Sens. Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Nasheed; Reps. Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Bahr, Kendrick and Montecillo.

HB2003: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Nasheed; Flanigan, Rowden, Lichtenegger, May and Butler.

HB2004: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Hough, McCann Beatty and Butler.

HB2005: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Ross, McCann Beatty and Newman.

HB2006: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Redmon,  McCann Beatty and Kendrick.

HB2007: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Hough, McCann Beatty and LaFaver.

HB2008: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Conway (104), McCann Beatty and Butler.

HB2009: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Conway (104), McCann Beatty and LaFaver.

HB2010: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Haefner, Kirkton and Mims.

HB2011: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Haefner, Kirkton and LaFaver.

HB2012: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Ross, McCann Beatty and Newman.

HB2014: Schaefer, Silvey, Brown, Curls and Walsh; Flanigan, Fitzpatrick, Allen, McCann Beatty and Montecillo.


Here’s the conference committee worksheet showing differences.  See it here.


Jami Doesn’t Rule Out Mayoral Bid

One lobbyist texted me that I’d misread Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s statement on her intentions regarding next year’s St. Louis City mayoral race.  He noted that she only says that her focus is on re-election.  She could win re-election to her Senate seat this year, then pivot to a mayoral run next year.  Such a race would be a “freebee” in that she would retain her Senate seat even if she lost.

One indication of whether Nasheed is seriously thinking about running… watch to see how much of her campaign bleeds beyond her Senate lines to cover the whole city – radio, maybe TV?, mailers and appearances outside her district?  We’ll see….

That statement

“In response to all the inquiries I have received about my potentially running for mayor of the City of St. Louis, I wish to reiterate that my focus is entirely on being re-elected to serve as

Senator for the 5th District. My hope, though, is that those who aspire to be mayor will make bridging our city's racial divide a top priority, and make the redevelopment of our impoverished areas an imperative. We cannot continue to be a tale of two cities and be a progressive city.”


See Nasheed’s speech at Harvard here.  Starts at 42-minute mark.


Other Mayoral War-Chests?

Two others mentioned as possible candidates: Collector of Revenues Gregg Daly and Alderwoman Lyda Krewson filed their April quarters.  Daly has $653,122 on-hand; and Krewson has $226,639 on-hand.


Employer-Worker Bills Pass House

The House passes a pair of bills that could affect the relationship between employers and workers in Missouri: Rep. Kurt Bahr’s HB 1756 which helps employers who are wrangling over whether they can classify a worker as an independent contractors instead of an employee; and Rep. Kevin Corlew’s HB 1718 which makes changes to arbitration processes.

Bahr’s bill passed 84-68, and Corlew’s passed 86-68.


Bike Protest

The News Tribune reports on a recent protest at the Capitol.  See it here. The cyclists were complaining about a Rep. Jay Houghton bill (see it here) that would require them to attach a 15-foot flag pole to their bikes while riding on the road.

Former building denizen: While I agree with them that such a requirement might mess with their balance, not to mention simply be a pain to comply with, reading about their protest just made me shake my head as I remembered the countless conversations I've had with advocates like this over the years. So many people come down to the Capitol one afternoon a year to discuss their single issue. Their commitment and knowledge about the topic is almost always commendable. However, the advocates just tend have an incredible ability to assume that easy solutions without any trade-off to them are the only reasonable course of action, while simply ignoring the underlying concerns that prompted the discussion in the first place.

It’s a perfect example of why some advocates would better serve their cause by not traveling to Jefferson City in the first place. At the outset, Houghton's bill hasn't moved at all, so really the best the cyclists can get out of this is drawing the attention of people who may be supportive of the legislation (i.e., the Streisand Effect).

It amazes me how few non-political people are involved in government, and how many of those who do try to get involved dramatically miss the forest for the trees.


Martin: I’m Still President

A post-midnight email from Ed Martin was signed as “president” of Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum the day after an apparent majority of the organization’s board voted to oust him. See the latest Post-Dispatch article here.

Pull Quote:  It's the latest twist in a plot of intrigue surrounding Schlafly, the 91-year-old conservative icon, and the Alton-based organization she founded in 1972 to oppose the Equal Rights Amendment and other liberal causes… Schlafly wasn't removed, and board members vehemently denied they were targeting her, but in her public statements after the meeting she continued to claim they are. In one statement, she declared that the meeting itself was procedurally improper and its decisions invalid. Martin, in his radio interview today, made the same point…  Schlafly said in an interview that she isn't sure whether Martin is still officially president of her organization. "I think that's an open question," she said. But she added: "I consider him president."



On the floor yesterday, during a discussion on global warming, Sen. Jill Schupp signaled some skepticism on the new regulatory framework being proposed for utilities.  The comment was just an aside in her inquiry with Sen. Jason Holsman.  Still she said she’s “not sure that’s the way” to keep consumer cost down.


Ashley Jost announced on Facebook that she’d been hired by the Post-Dispatch: I am beyond excited to share why I'm moving to St. Louis, aside from the great baseball and good friends. Next month, I join the St. Louis Post Dispatch team as a reporter for nine months! I am so privileged for this opportunity to work at my hometown paper and I will not take it for granted - not for a second…


Peabody Coal filed for bankruptcy protection.  See it here.  Pull Quote: Peabody Energy Corp., the world's largest privately owned coal producer, filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection on Wednesday in the wake of a sharp fall in coal prices that left it unable to service a recent debt-fueled expansion into Australia.  The St. Louis-based company listed both assets and liabilities in the range of $10 billion to $50 billion, according to a court filing.


Rep. Jay Barnes writes on his blog why he disagrees with Sen. Ed Emery’s SB 847 concerning tort reform.  See it here“Unfortunately, personal responsibility is a value that politicians often preach, but don’t always vote that way. The most prominent recent example involving health insurance is Obamacare… Senate Bill 847 shares features of Obamacare…”


Jackson County Democrats announced that Geoff Gerling was hired as their new Executive Director.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

American Cancer Society Suits & Sneakers Day.


Lobbyists Registrations

Rodney Hubbard added Missouri Cable Telecommunications Association.

Caleb Colbert added Brown Willbrand PC.

Harry Gallagher and Heath Clarkston added Copart.

Mackenzie Ledet added Stonehenge Capital Company LLC.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Responsible Government - $15,375 from Better Government for Missouri.

UAW Region 5 Midwest States Political Action Committee - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $60,000 from Cheyenne International LLC.



Happy birthday to Rep. Clem Smith.