Wednesday April 27, 2016

Nolte Ridgeway Mix It Up

The Northland News reports on “growing tensions” between Clay County Presiding Commissioner (former Rep.) Jerry Nolte, and Eastern Commissioner (former Sen.) Luann RidgewaySee it here.

Pull Quote: The Northland News has been covering the Clay County Commission since late June of 2015. Over the last couple months, there has been growing tension between Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte and Eastern Commissioner Luann Ridgeway.

The primary issue at hand has dealt with questions Nolte has been asking of County staff. In late January, Nolte asked for a specific timeline of the outside financial audit that Clay County is to undergo. Instead of receiving the timeline, he was told by County Administrator Dean Brookshier that it would require a majority vote of the County Commission to provide the information.

Clay County Commission rules dictate a majority vote for requests such as this. According to conversations at previous meetings, the rule exists due to issues on past Commissions in which Commissioners inundated county staff with requests.

In conversations with Commissioner Nolte, he has indicated that he feels he is just fulfilling his elected duty by over-sighting a process that experienced cost overruns last year. Commissioner Ridgeway has indicated through comments at Commission meetings that Nolte is interfering in a process that is supposed to remain independent.

Nolte has tried to change the County rule, but Commissioner Ridgeway and Owen have thus far prevented any rule change….


Data Centers

It feels like every year the legislature has a data centers incentives bill… (Rep. TJ Berry and Sen. Ryan Silvey are carrying this year’s bill.)

New York Times looks at how data centers are being pursued –especially in Texas. See it here.

Pull Quote: State and local leaders across the country have increasingly made data centers a target of their community development strategies, often by offering tax incentives and other inducements. While data centers, with relatively small staffs, are not a big source of jobs, they contain millions of dollars of components that provide a lucrative source of tax revenue, even with abatements.


Jindal Hearts Hawley

Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal endorsed Josh Hawley for attorney general… “Our country is at a crossroads and we need a change in direction... Josh is a conservative outsider who has fought the Obama Administration in court and won. He is well equipped to lead the fight in defense of our Constitution and the conservative principles Missourians hold dear, including especially religious liberty…”


House Perfects Bill to Prohibit Police From Releasing Health Info

HB 2473 was perfected yesterday in the House.  It would “prohibit law enforcement from releasing records containing personally identifiable health information, unless such information is redacted or a court orders disclosure.”

Rep. Genise Montecillo gave an emotional account of her experience to a quiet and somber chamber.



It’s been calm in the Capitol with some big issues still waiting to take the spotlight…

SJR 39 has been sitting in committee. Some think it could be amended in order to pull the necessary votes to move it.

The utility regulatory framework is expected to be debated by the Senate.

And the paycheck protection override vote still looms as a possibility in the House.


St. Louis City To Create Another PDMP?

Post-Dispatch reports that St. Louis City Board of Aldermen is exploring creating their own prescription drug monitoring program – like St. Louis County – in the absence of action by the state. See it here.

Pull Quote:  The bill, sponsored by Alderman Lyda Krewson, would track the distribution of prescription drugs. The proposal would be tied to a similar program now in force in St. Louis County.  "The county executive has expressed support for consolidating and coordinating prescription drug monitoring services with the city of St. Louis to have a combined prescription drug monitoring program," Krewson said.


Trump To Get Trumped in Second Round Voting?

Politico mentions Missouri in Ted Cruz’ efforts to prepare for a convention fight.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Indeed, if Trump keeps winning primaries as polls suggest he will, he’ll secure enough delegates — 1,237 — to win the nomination without a contested convention. But it’s clearer than ever that this is his best — and perhaps only — shot at the nomination because of his ineffectiveness at lining up loyal delegates. The evidence that Trump would struggle on subsequent ballots is mounting…

In Missouri — a state Trump narrowly won — Cruz is poised to dominate local and state-level contests for 49 delegates. Insiders there say six of the state’s eight congressional districts, which award three delegates apiece, are tilted toward Cruz. “At county caucuses, they were able to get more of their people in in many cases,” said Carl Bearden, who chaired Cruz’s campaign in Missouri. “Some Trump slates of delegates were elected as well. But overall it appears the Cruz camp has been able to motivate and activate supporters to come out to county caucuses to elect delegates to the next level of conventions.”


Donald Trump might lock down the nomination beforehand.  And it’s time to get serious about the impact of a Trump candidacy on the Missouri races.  It could be very bad for Republicans.  From Politico’s Morning Money: [Trump’s victory speech] said: "I think the only card [Hillary Clinton] has is the women's card. She's got nothing else going for her." ... This is, of course, both wildly sexist and quite insane… Plus Clinton is a former senator and Secretary of State. She has a couple credentials other than "woman."

According to Gallup, Trump currently has a 70 percent unfavorable rating among women, who made up 53 percent of a 2012 electorate that handed President Barack Obama an easy reelection victory. Romney beat Obama among men by 7 percent but lost women by 11 percent….  


Eagle Forum to Court

Ed Martin’s email blast yesterday… “In response to a lawsuit filed by six individuals against Eagle Forum and its officers, Phyllis Schlafly will be in Madison County, Ilinois court today to defend the organization that she founded.  The lawsuit is part of a continuing coordinated effort by the six individual plaintiffs to take control from Phyllis….”

The suit – to which Post-Dispatch links (here) – gives numbers which is always more interesting.

Numbers: Martin earns $150K for his labors with the Eagle Forum 501c3 and 501c4; The Eagle Forum email list is approximately 41,000 strong…



Can you spare a dime?...  It’s Melissa Click’s GoFundMe page… “All the funds previously donated have been used to pay Melissa’s legal costs incurred thus far. New contributions will be used to help Melissa and her family support themselves and pay for the legal costs of her case against the University of Missouri in the months and potentially years ahead….”  See it here.


In addition to those who interviewed for the Judge Ribaudo and Judge Watkins vacancies, here are the new candidates for the newly created associate circuit judge position in St. Louis County: Michael A. Becker, Amy Bender-Levy, Dennis M. Devereux, Bruce F. Hilton, Mark W. Kiesewetter, Diane M. Monahan, Mary D. Morris, and Nicole S. Zellweger.


St. Louis Business Journal reports that “The Laclede Group Inc. has agreed to acquire EnergySouth Inc., the parent of Mobile Gas and Willmut Gas, from a unit of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) for $344 million…”


Help Wanted

St. Louis Post-Dispatch seeks Civic watchdog reporter.

“This reporter will be responsible for covering powerful civic, business, sports, nonprofit and cultural institutions and their leaders, especially when it comes to spending of public tax dollars. He or she must have experience evaluating, explaining and investigating development projects and strategies, as well as tax subsidies and incentives…” See it here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Administrative Assistants Day

Missouri Electric Cooperatives Fish Fry – South lawn of Capitol – Noon to 1:30PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Thomas Robbins added Human Rights Campaign.

Irl Scissors added Keat Properties.

Michelle Turano deleted Missouri Care (aka Wellcare Healthplans Inc).


$5K+ Contributions

Sharp for Sheriff - $5,001 from Michael Downs.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Tony Dugger, and Labor Department Director Ryan McKenna.