Wednesday August 10, 2016

Four IPs Certified for the Ballot

The secretary of state’s office certified four initiative petitions for the ballot: the Sauer’s proposal on campaign contribution limits (see a lawsuit filed against it below), the Raise Your Hands for Kids cigarette tax increase proposal, the convenience stores counter cigarette tax increase proposal, and the realtors’ proposal to prohibit any expansion to the sales tax.  See official ballot language here.

The medical marijuana wasn’t certified.  As mentioned yesterday they have filed suit to go through their signatures again.  I was astounded to look at the number of signatures submitted versus those which were valid.  The biggest discrepancy was in Congressional District 5 for the medical marijuana petition.  They submitted 116,766 signatures from that district; only 34,031 were deemed valid which exceeded the necessary amount for that district – 26,726.


AMEC Files Suit on Limits IP

Super lawyer Chuck Hatfield filed a lawsuit on behalf the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and Legends Bank asking to reverse the secretary of state’s certification of the campaign contribution limits initiative petition.  See the lawsuit here.

Their main beef is that the way the proposal is written some businesses are prohibits from making campaign contributions.  It’s unclear why some are prohibited while others are not, but could have just been a drafting error by Fred Sauer’s team.

The suit says that the proposal violates free speech.  “[T]he Proposed Measure specifically prohibits political action committees from receiving contributions from any entity other than "individuals; unions; federal political action committees; and corporations, associations and partnerships formed under chapters 347 to 360, RSMO."  Section 23.3 therefore prohibits Missouri state chartered banks formed under chapter 362, such as Legends, and state political action committees, such as AMEC-PAC, from making contributions to political action committees.  Section 23.3 also prohibits the chapter 394 members of AMEC from making contributions to AMEC-PAC.”

The suit also says that the IP violates the equal protection clause.  “[T]he Proposed Measure treats similarly situated entities differently in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 2 of the Missouri Constitution. There is no rational basis for Section 23.3 of the Proposed Measure's disparate treatment of corporations, associations and partnerships formed under chapters 347 to 360, banks formed under chapter 362, political action committees, and foreign corporations.”


Meanwhile Koster Comes Out for Limits

Attorney General Chris Koster released the following statement regarding the campaign contribution limit ballot initiative certified today:  “In 2006, when Missouri last approached the issue of contribution limits, I voted to increase transparency and accountability in our electoral process.  Since then, we have seen our federal regulations thrown out by Citizen’s United and now seven-figure checks from anonymous donors are reported with increasing regularity. The confluence of a gutted federal finance system and unlimited donations has made Missouri the wild, wild west when it comes to regulating campaign finance… This is why I support the passage of the proposed constitutional amendment to impose campaign contribution limits.”

Others Have Made Similar Reverses

On Twitter the mighty Jason Rosenbaum notes other politicians who voted to remove limits have also concluded they were wrong…

Some other ppl besides Koster who changed course after 08 donation limit votes: @Scott_Rupp, @SenatorNasheed, @robschaaf & @RodneyRHubbard.

Rodney Hubbard ‏@RodneyRHubbard: I Admit It was the Worst Vote I could have taken was Presiding as Speaker during Vote 😔

Scott Rupp ‏@Scott_Rupp: Worst vote I ever made. I regret it to this day.


Also Koster Against RYH4K

Last week, Koster told the mighty Jason Rosenbaum that he opposed the cigarette tax increase for early childhood programs… “I am very much in favor of the spirit of the proposal, but I am not in favor of it in the concrete fashion that it has been put forward. There are several problems with it. The first is, it is an increase in the cigarette tax that is paid for by cigarette companies. The second problem is that it creates a new educational bureaucracy in our state. We already have one educational bureaucracy in our state.  I don't think that we need two Departments of Education and it really, it pains me really to say this, because I support the underlying idea aggressively for early childhood education...”  Listen to it here.


Barrett Refutes Nixon on Unspent Money

Director of Public Defenders Michael Barrett stays on the attack against Governor Jay Nixon.  On Twitter he disputes Nixon’s talking point that there was money left unspent in the public defenders budget.  See it here.


Harris Doesn’t Understand Trump

McClatchyDC reports on the latest Donald Trump controversy with a quote from Missouri political operative, James HarrisSee it here.

Pull Quote: “I don’t understand it. Why can’t he stop saying stupid things?” said James Harris, a Missouri Republican political strategist. “He needs to very quickly get his act together.”

Harris added: “It can’t always be, ‘Oh, crap, Donald Trump said’ and then fill in the blank.”

Tweet of the Day

‏@aliemalie: Can we go back to a time when the biggest scandal was @SarahPalinUSA saying she could see Russia from her house?


Silvey for Approps?

This is from last month, but I never did link to it, and it’s pretty interesting.  It’s an interview Sen. Ryan Silvey did on Statehouse Blend.  He makes the pitch for why he should be Appropriations Chair next year.  Listen to it here.

Pull Quote: “I don’t think you’ll ever see me being president of the Senate, getting votes from my colleagues to be in leadership, because they don’t necessarily feel like I’m the best team player I guess all the time on their issues.  But as far as getting re-elected and talking to that folks back home, that’s what they want from me…

I was [chair of the Budget Committee in the House] and I’m vice-chair in the Senate and the chairman is now term-limited.  So my hope is to chair that appropriations committee next year… when it comes to a term-limited environment, there is no one in Jefferson City who’s had more appropriations experience than me and I would hope that trumps any particular vote on any particular issue…”


Morris Contra Vaccines?

Rep. Lynn Morris on Facebook encourages folks to buy tickets to the movie Vaxxed, playing in the Ozarks on Tuesday August 23.  Morris says that he has “a bill that I am prefiling this year called ‘The Vaccine Protection Act of 2017.’”

From Wikipedia… Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe is a 2016 American film alleging a cover up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of a purported link between the MMR vaccine and autism. According to Variety, the film "purports to investigate the claims of a senior scientist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who revealed that the CDC had allegedly manipulated and destroyed data on an important study about autism and the MMR vaccine"; critics derided it as an anti-vaccine propaganda film. The film was directed by discredited anti-vaccine activist Andrew Wakefield, who committed scientific fraud under an undisclosed financial conflict of interest, for which his license to practice medicine in the United Kingdom was revoked.

And – see the Washington Post’s 7 things about vaccines and autism that the movie Vaxxed won’t tell you here.


STL Mayoral Hopefuls

Lewis Reed, President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, announced he’d be running for mayor with a 5+ minute video (see it here).

This comes after Alderman Antonio French sent an email saying he was mulling a bid as well. (See French’s 2+ minute video here).  French asks supporters to contribute (here) now, and their credit cards will only be charged if he enters.


Ferguson Suit

Post-Dispatch reports on a federal lawsuit against the city of Ferguson for wrongfully arrests.   See it here.

Pull Quote: Four people arrested at or near protests days after Michael Brown’s 2014 death sued Ferguson in federal court on Tuesday alleging various constitutional violations and malicious prosecution. The suit, filed by the nonprofit legal organization Arch City Defenders and the Dowd & Dowd law firm, seeks $20 million in damages. The 31-page suit claims that the four plaintiffs were wrongfully arrested and prosecuted, despite a dearth of evidence that they had committed any crime…


Danforth Bros Split on Gubby Race

In the large contributions (below) William Danforth contributed $10K to Chris Koster’s campaign; yesterday Jack Danforth was recorded contributing $6K to Eric Greitens.



File under “Why the Grid Matters:” That’s been a lot of talk about the need for Missouri to keep its grid up-to-date with smart grid technology to enhance reliability. Here’s another reason why: a power outage in Atlanta felled Delta’s computer system this is just another reason why.  “More than 700 flights were canceled and thousands were delayed… Aside from the toll on passengers, the airline is grappling with refunds, emergency accommodations and other expenses as yet untallied. Southwest Airlines estimated its costs from a similar problem a few weeks ago at ‘tens of millions of dollars.’”


On Facebook yesterday: Julie Bochat celebrating 30 years of working in the Senate…


On Casenet, Rep. Linda Black filed a petition in circuit court against the St. Francois County Clerk.  I assume this is asking for a recount in her commissioner race that she lost by one vote last week.


Lobbyists Registrations

Kiernan Keating deleted Takeda Pharmaceuticals America.

William Maurer deleted Institute for Justice.


$5K+ Contributions

Protect our Neighborhoods Committee - $10,000 from 1712 Main St LLC.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from William Danforth.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Union Pacific Railroad Company

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Anheuser Busch Companies.

Seniors Count Campaign Committee - $15,000 from Lutheran Senior Services.

Pharmacist Political Action Committee of Missouri - $55,464 from Pharmacy Political Action Committee.

Henderson for Missouri - $6,000 from Engler for Missouri.

Friends of Todd Richardson - $8,000 from Express Scripts Inc.

Friends of Todd Richardson - $10,000 from Retail Services & Systems Inc.

Missouri Realtors PAC Inc - $5,125 from Diana Sutherland.

Freedom Incorporated - $15,000 from Missourians for Kander.



Happy birthdays to former Sen. Gary Nodler, former Rep. Jason Grill, Cheryl Dozier, and Mindy Mazur.