Wednesday April 20, 2016

Greitens on SJR39

Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens took a position against SJR39 yesterday.  It puts him at odds with his rivals, and against the majority of Republican voters in Missouri.  And his laborious and pained route to articulating a position undermined any claim to political courage.

It started – as so much does – with the mighty Jason Rosenbaum at St. Louis Public Radio.  Rosenbaum ask the gubernatorial candidate for their position on the constitutional amendment.  Everyone weighed in except Greiten who went radio silence.

Days afterwards he gave a non-statement to the Missouri Times, agreeing with both sides.  Finally in the face of ridicule, he came out opposed to SJR39.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.


Should Brunner Pounce Now?

John Brunner’s campaign put out a press release slugging their nemesis.  “Eric Greitens traveled cross-country to cheer Barack Obama at the Democrat National Convention. He switched political parties to run for office as a Republican. But today, he's back with the Democrats in their fight against our 1st Amendment religious liberty…”

But he could disqualify Greitens before the primary even heats up, if he went on the air and spent some real money on this now.

The MOScout poll from a few weeks ago showed 65% of Republicans supporting the amendment with 18% against.

One observer: Brunner has developed a reputation for not being able to make decisions on campaign strategy. So will he pull the trigger and use Grietens' opposition to SJR 39 to make the aggressive contrasts now or will he waffle and let the opportunity slip away?


SJR39 Bits

KMBC editorializes against SJR39.  See it here.


One hallway denizen thinks that SJR39’s passage at the polls is hardly a given.  The MOScout poll put the question at 43% in favor, 35% opposed, and 22% undecided.  That’s not a start starting point if business groups put some money into the issue, they could definitely keep it from passing.


One observer hints that HB1729’s road bump yesterday was related to SJR39.  HB 1729 prohibits political subdivisions from adopting any ordinance or regulation relating to the labeling, cultivation, or other use of fertilizers or soil conditioners.  This observer thinks it’s a bill Monsanto would like and maybe their vocal opposition to SJR39 gave an extra motive to assassins on the Senate side to keep it from being perfected, but instead sidelined to the informal calendar.  We’ll see….


The Richardson Opportunity

In the age of term limits, speakerships are fleeting episodes.  As a result, there’s no meaningful legacy from any of the recent ones.  Quick! What was Tim Jones’ big accomplishment?  What did Ron Richard leave behind?

For Steve Tilley it might be the congressional redistricting, but listen to the House floor these days and you’d think it was his decision to not run for lieutenant governor and keep his campaign account.

The lucky ones have no legacy.  The unlucky ones… well for John Diehl it’s “Munich is a cool place.”  For Rod Jetton….

And here is Speaker Todd Richardson with an opportunity to help shape the Missouri Republican Party for the years to come; he has the chance to be a beacon in the Missouri history books.

But you can’t do that by doing nothing.  And you can’t do it with a legislative sleight of hand – amend something to kill.  You have to take step forward, take the heat and exercise your political power.

Imagine a press conference where Speaker Richardson explicitly said that his Missouri Republican Party welcomes gays and lesbians who believe in Republican principles: less taxes, smaller government and more economic opportunity.  And then says SJR39 isn’t coming for a vote because it doesn’t cut taxes, reduce government or create opportunity.

Maybe that’s not how Richardson feels.  I don’t know.

Some folks in the building always have their eyes on the next race, aiming to finesse an extra trick or thread a perceived political minefield.  But the truth is it doesn’t take too many year to pass until no one remembers those folks.

We extol courage because it’s such a rarity.


Flanigan Off Budget Conference

In the House Journal:  Representative Tom Flanigan removes himself from the conference committees on SCS HCS HBs 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2014, and is replaced by the following members.

HB 2002 – Representative Elaine Gannon     

HB 2008 – Representative Ken Wilson

HB 2003 – Representative Jeanie Lauer

HB 2009 – Representative Ken Wilson

HB 2004 – Representative Chuck Basye

HB 2010 – Representative David Wood

HB 2005 – Representative Jeffery Justus

HB 2011 – Representative Sue Allen

HB 2006 – Representative Don Rone

HB 2012 – Representative Jeffery Justus

HB 2007 – Representative Chuck Basye

HB 2014 – Representative Justin Alferman


SLPS Suit Could Sink Charter Schools

Post-Dispatch’s Elisa Crouch reports on a new lawsuit which threatens to undermine the city’s charter schools.  See it here.

Pull Quote: St. Louis Public Schools is seeking to recover more than $42 million in local sales tax revenue paid to charter schools over the past decade, threatening the survival of a system of independent public schools in the city… The current legal battle centers on whether charter schools — which are tax-funded but independent public schools — are entitled to a share of the desegregation funds…. If successful, the legal challenge could result in the closure of charter schools, which now educate about a third of public school students in St. Louis… As charter schools have increased in number and enrollment, the amount they've received in desegregation tax revenue has risen almost every year. Altogether, close to $9 million in proceeds from this tax are going to 35 charter schools.



As if on cue from my writing yesterday, Sen. Dan Brown transferred his Senate campaign committee funds to his new Treasurer campaign committee….


On Linkedin, former Will Kraus LA Megan Wolfe has a new job as an accountant at Missouri Farm Bureau.


The House perfected its “medical marijuana” bill yesterday.


eMailbag On the Withdrawals

When a candidate withdraws it reopens fling for five days so those Democratic candidates may have been placeholders… if the Dems have their act together….


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rice Day at the Capitol – 2nd FL inner hallway on Senate side – 11:30AM.

Missouri Pawn Brokers Assn. BBQ luncheon – House 3rd floor alcove – Noon.


$5K+ Contributions

Jeff Harris for Circuit Judge - $10,000 from Nixon for Missouri.

Dr. Dan Brown for Treasurer - $376,970 from Dr. Dan Brown for Senate.

Dr. Dan Brown for Treasurer – $25,000 from Herzog Contracting.

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

Raise Your Hand for Kids - $82,952 from RAI Services Company.

Raise Your Hand for Kids - $91,261 from RAI Services Company.



Happy birthdays to Chris Mood, Chris Roepe, Pam Dixon, and Amanda Latty.