The front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton fortified their leads yesterday as each added to their delegate count. Republicans are still scrambling. Ted Cruz won three states and Marco Rubio won one.
Trump is a real wildcard if he’s on the November ballot. Some Republicans think it’d be a disaster as mainstream voters would either defect to the Democrats or stay home on Election Day. Others see Trump as increasing turn-out, doing for rural white America what Barack Obama did for urban African American turnout in 2008. And some imagine a legitimate third-party candidate… a self-funder ala Mitt Romney or Michael Bloomberg.
I wrote yesterday about the anti-Trump PAC, Conservative Solutions PAC. They made a $367K TV ad in the St. Louis market. See the contract here.
House Perfects PDMP
After a passionate debate on both sides of the issue, the House perfected Rep. Holly Rehder’s prescription drug monitoring program bill, HB 1892 with 91 votes in favor, 68 against. A majority of the House Republicans voted against the bill, but with most of the Democrats voting in favor, the bill passed its first hurdle.
Engler Gets Insurance
As rumored, Speaker Todd Richardson appointed Rep. Kevin Engler as Chairman of the Select Committee on Insurance. Don Gosen was chair before he resigned. Taking Engler’s place as chair of the Select Committee on Rules is Rep. Donna Pfautsch.
Moon Against Immigrants
Rep. Mike Moon filed a trio of bills aimed at making life harder for immigrants. HB 2652 would eliminate funding to help immigrants learn English; HB 2653 would eliminate grants for resettling refugees and legal immigrants; and HB 2654 would make resettlement organizations liable for any crime committed by an immigrant.
Campaign Against St. Louis E-Tax
The campaign committee underlying this group is opposing the earning tax in both St. Louis City and Kansas City, but its website so far looks like it’s focused on St. Louis. See the website here. Hopefully Rex Sinquefield isn’t planning to show real world comparison between the two cities after one eliminates its tax; we saw how well that worked out for Kansas.
From an opponent of the tax comes this reasoning… “The way that it is being implemented is REALLY unfair… cutting deals to let law firms and others exempt their way out of the E tax when they threatened to move out of the city… I’m really frustrated with it. I think we need an open and honest discussion on how we should fund city government and this is the first step…”
Senate Passes Paycheck Protection
Last night the Senate spent hours debating the House’s paycheck protection bill, HB 1891. In the end it was passed by a party-line vote 23-8. Sens. Jamilah Nasheed (who kicked off the evening by calling the bill “bullsh*t”) and Gary Romine were absent by the final vote. 23 votes is enough to override a veto.
New Utility Bill
Among the bills filed yesterday, Sen. Gary Romine offered a bill that would allow for Ameren and Noranda to set their own electricity rates (see it here).
New Candidate Filings
Fred Wessels filed to run for House 81 as a Democrat. That’s Minority Leader Jake Hummel’s seat; he’s term limited. Wessels was a long-time St. Louis City alderman.
Rep. Jay Barnes still hasn’t strolled down the street to the secretary of state’s office to file for re-election.
Mike Staton formed a candidate committee to run in House 58 as a Republican. Staton hasn’t filed as a candidate yet, but he’d be the second Republican in that race in addition to the incumbent Rep. David Wood, making that a three-way primary. Staton is a real estate agent.
Safe Neighborhoods Now was formed as a PAC. Its treasurer is Denis Postel from Independence Missouri. According to LinkedIn, Postel is a Reserve Police Officer at Claycomo Police Department.
St. Louis Joins Violence Reduction Network
The White House press release: Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates and Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason of the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced that New Orleans, Louisiana, St. Louis, Missouri, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will join 10 existing sites which have adopted crime-fighting strategies as part of the Violence Reduction Network (VRN). The initiative is a comprehensive approach to reducing violent crime that complements the Attorney General’s Smart on Crime Initiative and leverages existing Justice Department resources in communities around the country… Through VRN, the Justice Department enlists tactical and operational expertise available from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Executive Office of the United States Attorneys, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services and the Office on Violence Against Women.
Van Eaton to LUV
According to LinkedIn, Jason Van Eaton is now Vice President Governmental Affairs at Southwest Airlines.
Also on LinkedIn, former Sen. Paul LeVota is now Loan Specialist at Mortgage Lenders of America.
February state tax revenues looked flat, leaving the fiscal year-to-date number at about +3%.
KC Star’s Jason Hancock reports on Rep. Mike Colona’s bills to allow St. Louis to secede from Missouri. See it here.
I wrote yesterday that Sen. Ed Emery knocked a bill off the consent calendar. It would have named a part of a highway for LeRoy Van Dyke. Van Dyke is still alive (86 years old) and Emery apparently doesn’t think you should name things for people still alive, just in case. Think of the Mark McGwire fiasco a few years back.
Future’s Bright? Former Public Service Commissioner Robert Kenney argues that the younger generations should be looking at careers in the energy industry. Read it here.
Fox’s St. Louis affiliate does a story on the capitol culture. See it here.
St. Charles County seeks Director of Community Development.
“Starting Salary: $102,076-$160,361 per year…. This is an appointive position and is not covered by the County Merit System… Plans, develops, coordinates, guides and implements all aspects of growth and development within the unincorporated area of the county including long range and current planning, zoning, building inspections, code enforcement, public improvement plan reviews, MS4 activities, Neighborhood Improvement (NID) projects, and community services and administration related to CDBG and locally funded programs...” See the ad here.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
Missouri Podiatric Medical Reception – Bones – 5:30PM.
Mary Schantz added KC Regional Home Care Association, and Missouri Adult Day Services.
Cori Menkin added Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund.
Trent Watson added Steven Carroll; and deleted Multistate Associates, Inc. on Behalf of United Rentals.
Jeff Rainford added Rockwood Asset Management.
Holly Borgmann added ADT LLC dba ADT Security Services.
James Harris deleted Missourians for Open and Accountable Judicial Selection, and Bommartio Auto Group.
Noel Torpey deleted Fair Energy Action Fund (FERAF).
Anne Silea deleted Lutheran Family And Children`s Services Of Missouri, and Adoption & Foster Care Coalition of Missouri.
John Bryan deleted The Poultry Foundation.
Pam Henry deleted MODOT & Patrol Employees’ Retirement System.
Citizens for Sheriff Hardwick - $25,000 from Robert and Coe Ann Hardwick.
Citizens for a Better Columbia - $10,000 from Plaza Commercial Realty.
Citizens for a Better Columbia - $10,000 from Forum Development Group.
Koster for Missouri - $25,000 from Potts Law Firm.
Koster for Missouri - $7,720 from Central Bancompany PAC.
Freedom PAC - $10,000 from RRG LLC.
Happy birthdays to Titus Bond, Greta Bax, William “Buddy” Hardin, Greg Harrison, and Rob Monsees.