Wednesday, February 22, 2017

VoteCountPro: New Tool for MOScouters

Good morning.

This week I’m beginning the roll-out of a second website which I hope will be helpful. It is a web-based version of vote count sheets.

I spoke to some lobbyists last year who told me that when they’re working on a big issue coordinating with other lobbyists can be messy.

On this site, you will be able to create a folder for an issue or bill – then create multiple whip sheets – one for committee, one for the House vote, another for the Senate vote, etc. – within that folder.  And then share that sheet with other lobbyists who are working it with you.

In addition to marking legislators’ vote commitment, legislators can be “assigned” to lobbyists, and notes can be made.  And all of this is shared between team members working the vote.

The website is VoteCountPro.  It will be password protected.

I will be adding folks this week.  Let me know if this is a tool you would like to use and I will set up a password for you.

As with all new things like this – I’m expecting you’ll find some bugs or features that could/should be added or work better.  Just send along any feedback and we’ll start making the improvements.


And email me if you wish to be added to VoteCountPro.  It will take me a bit to get folks in the system; I’ll do first-come, first-serve starting this afternoon.


Galloway to Greitens: Get Moving on Family Leave Policy

Auditor Nicole Galloway sent a letter to Governor Eric Greitens criticizing his administration for being slow to implement changes to the family leave policies.  See it here.

Statement: Auditor Galloway issued the letter after learning the administration informed the state's Personnel Advisory Board meeting on Feb. 14 that it was not moving ahead with the changes. The proposals were unanimously approved by the Board in December of 2016.

These family-friendly policies were designed to provide additional flexibility to parents by allowing employees to use earned sick leave for parental bonding after the birth or adoption of a child. The policies also expand parental leave allowances for parents in cases where both parents are state employees. Auditor Galloway urged the Governor to reconsider the halting of these policies, which would benefit employee health and welfare, at no additional cost to the state…

Unlike the executive branch workforce, which is under the control of the governor's office, other statewide office holders have the authority to approve their own internal personnel policies. Auditor Galloway has taken steps to ensure these beneficial family leave policies apply to employees of the State Auditor's office. She also highlighted a recent change to allow her staff to use sick leave or shared leave in situations involving domestic violence…


AG Ashcroft

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was interviewed on Fox Business News to offer his views on President Donald Trump’s draft of a new executive order banning travel.  See it here.  The host – after initially introducing Ashcroft as secretary of state – seems to get confused by the end of the interview.  He asks Ashcroft how other state AGs feel about the issue and then actually refers to Ashcroft as “attorney general of the great state of Missouri.”


Hawley Rejects Anti-RTW Referendum

Attorney General Josh Hawley rejected the initiative petition from AFL-CIO president Mike Louis on technical issues.  The IP seeks a public vote on right to work.  See Hawley’s letter here.  Louis tells the Post-Dispatch he will re-file the IP with the technical corrections.


As if to show they didn’t pick on Mike Louis’ petition, four days later they did the same thing to another petition. See it here.


Pence VisitGreitens and the Veep

Press release: On Wednesday, February 22, Vice President Mike Pence will travel to St. Louis, Missouri to participate in listening discussions with American workers and employees of the Fabick Cat equipment and engine dealer, a 100 year-old family owned and family operated business. During his visit, the Vice President will discuss America's economic comeback. After the listening discussions and a tour of the facility, the Vice President will provide formal remarks.


MissouriNet’s Brian Hauswirth tweets that “Spokesman @parkerwbriden says Gov. @EricGreitens will welcome VP @mike_pence at Lambert Field tomorrow, before heading to Fabick.”


Greitens Will Lead Volunteers at U-City Cemetery

Press release: As many of you know, yesterday Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in St. Louis was vandalized… My team and I will be there [Wednesday], and I'd invite you to join us. If you'd like to help, please be there ready to work at 3:00 PM. If you have supplies to spare, please bring what you can of the following: rakes, large garbage cans and garbage bags, work gloves, five-gallon buckets, non-chlorine bleach, and wash rags. The cemetery is located at 7550 Olive Blvd, University City, MO, 63130. We will be working until the close of the cemetery at 4:00 PM.

There are many of you that cannot join us but who still want to help. The Jewish Federation of St. Louis has put out a call for donations for the restoration and security of the cemetery. Please consider a contribution:


Reisch Offer Ride

Rep. Cheri Toalson-Reisch says if someone needs a ride to get a government ID in order to vote, she’ll give them a lift.  See it here.

Pull Quote: "In the media and from some of" the voter ID opponents, "I hear the word 'disenfranchised voter,' " Reisch said. "I would like to know where these disenfranchised voters are. I’ve never met one, I’ve not seen one, and so I want to help these disenfranchised voters. I don’t want them to be disenfranchised. I want them to be inclusive and to be a part of the process, not excluded at all."

She said she will drive residents to government offices to get documentation. She has offered to pay for the documentation for at least the first person who responds.

"I will pay for — I don't know if I want to say everybody's — but at least the first person's" documentation, she said. "I would just wait and see how many people would take me up on my offer."


Off the Consent Calendar

Dog fight? Sen. Brian Munzlinger knocked Sen. Denny HoskinsSB376 off the consent calendar.  It would make Old Drum the state’s “historical” dog.  I’d thought Hoskins’ predecessor David Pearce had already achieved this important piece of business, but I guess it never made it to Nixon’s desk.

And – Sen. Rob Schaaf asked for Sen. Paul Wieland’s SB275 to be taken off the consent calendar.  That bill would says “that life insurance providers may include suicide exclusion clauses in riders, endorsements and amendments to exclude death benefits for suicides occurring within the one year period following the issuance of the rider.”


Jeff Roe is a Winner

The press release: Axiom Strategies, the largest Republican political consulting firm in the country, was honored last week with 5 prestigious Reed Awards at the annual awards ceremony hosted by Campaigns and Elections magazine in Las Vegas.

Axiom received 4 Reed Awards for outstanding direct mail and targeting - the most of any firm. Additionally, Axiom won a Reed Award for campaign strategy in the category of "Best Bare-Knuckled Street Fight Victory" for their work on Senator Ted Cruz's Wisconsin Presidential primary win.



In the large contributions below, St. Louis mayoral candidate Antonio French nabs a nice check from the former COO of Twitter.


St. Louis City is seeking vendors for the “Wharf Vending District” as part of the continued riverfront enhancements.  See it here.


According to LinkedIn, Barry Bennett – who was once with House Communications – has joined Victory Enterprises.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

MSGC Membership Seminar & Pizza – HR 2 – 5:30PM


Lobbyists Registrations

David Jackson added Missouri Small Telephone Companies Group, and MO Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.

Aaron Baker and Kristian Starner added Heavy-vehicle Electronic License Plate Inc. (Help Inc).


$5K+ Contributions

Friends for Hardy Billington - $65,000 from Hardy Billington.

Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $30,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $25,000 from Sam Fox.

Progress KC PAC - $25,000 from Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Friends of Antonio French - $7,500 from Adam Bain

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from 5051 Southwest LLC.