Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sinquefield Re-Ups on Schmitt

Rex Sinquefield contributed $500K to Sen. Eric Schmitt yesterday.  He gave Schmitt an initial $250K when Schmitt originally announced for treasurer in the summer of 2014.

Schmitt’s primary opponent Sen. Dan Brown received $250K from David Humphreys earlier this year.

Schmitt finished last quarter with $2.1 million.

This brings Sinquefield’s total political giving this year to $2,927,295. (We’re in March remember).  Last year he gave $600,000; and in 2014, he gave $10,353,000.


Some Republicans have noted that Sinquefield and Humphreys – both very big Republicans – seem to find themselves opposing each other quite a bit.

Sinquefield is backing Sen. Kurt Schaefer for attorney general while Humphreys supports Josh Hawley.  Sinquefield has made education and lower income taxes his priorities; Humphreys focuses instead on changes to the legal system and labor issues.

There may also be some cultural differences between the two heavy donors. Sinquefield keeps a home in St. Louis, and Humphreys is from Joplin.  Sinquefield made his own money; Humphreys took over his grandfather’s company.


McCaskill for Razer

In House 25, Democrat Greg Razer tweeted that he received a contribution from his old boss, Senator Claire McCaskillSee the twitterpic here.

One observer: Not necessarily news from a money standpoint, but her support in her old legislative district would, I would think, discourage others from jumping in if they were thinking about it at the last minute…


Missouri Times Troubles

Terry Ganey writes about Missouri Times being behind on bills.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Scott Faughn and two of his publications, the Missouri Times and SEMO Times, owe more $17,000 on overdue bills for state taxes and commercial printing, according to creditor lawsuits filed recently in Cole County Circuit Court. Petitions, lawsuits and tax liens show $7,842 is owed to the state of Missouri for taxes, and $9,518 is owed to the Central Missouri Newspapers, Inc. for printing. Some of the unpaid bills go back to 2014….


ACLU Touts Sunshine Victory

The ACLU sent out a press release happy with a court victory that the Department of Corrections violated the Sunshine law when it withheld information from Chris McDanielSee the court order here.

Press Release: [T]he Circuit Court of Cole County affirmed its rulings in two separate cases that the Missouri Department of Corrections (MODOC) knowingly violated the Sunshine Law by failing to release the name of the pharmacy that supplies its execution drugs (*The Reporters Committee, et al v. Missouri Department of Corrections*) and refusing to release uncensored documents regarding the state’s execution witness selection protocol *(ACLU of Missouri, et al v. Missouri Department of Corrections*). In both cases, the MODOC was ordered to release the previously requested documents and to pay applicable fees and penalties.



Follow-Up on Trumphobia

Yesterday I noted that some observers think a Donald Trump candidacy could create a disaster for Republicans, electorally.

One reader pointed to the DailyKos website saying that at the congressional level “Democrats failed to recruit enough quality candidates to take advantage of wave…” See it here.

Pull Quote: [A] House takeover has seemed so remote this cycle, the party has struggled to land strong candidates in a large enough number of potentially competitive districts to even contemplate overcoming its 30-seat deficit. The prospect of a Trumpocalypse has only started to feel real quite recently, and it's somewhat late in the game to mount a serious campaign against an incumbent. What's more, filing deadlines have passed in 37 percent of the nation's 435 House districts, so even if legitimate contenders wanted to take a second look, in many cases, they couldn't.


At the state level one wonders if Dems might face similar regrets for not fielding more candidates in the legislative races.  So far – filing ends next week – there are 108 Democrats filed for House seats versus 158 Republicans.  .


Follow-Up on Know Ink

Last week I wrote about a campaign contribution from Scott Leiendecker to St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, noting that his company, Know Ink, was listed on the MAP website’s “who is not paying” list.

Turns out it’s a paperwork snafu.  From Leiendecker:  “It was my mistake on my part, but do not owe anything... had to fill out some paper work to update my account.”


SCOTUS 4-4 on MO Case

Post-Dispatch reports on U.S. Supreme Court deadlock of Missouri case.  See it here.

Pull Quote: A Missouri case became the first to demonstrate the effect of the late Antonin Scalia’s absence on the Supreme Court, a vacancy that has roiled Congress and inflamed campaigns for the Senate and the presidency. The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued its first tie vote since Scalia died on Feb. 13, leaving in place a lower court ruling that barred two Missouri women from suing a suburban Kansas City bank for loan discrimination.  The justices divided 4-4 in a case that considered whether the women could bring claims under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act after a bank required them to guarantee their husbands’ business loans. The law is intended to protect loan applicants from bias based on marital status.



Town Hall on Court Reform

Tonight there will be a discussion on “recent developments and barriers to municipal court reform, the Municipal Division Work Group report to the Supreme Court of Missouri, and the solutions and pathways that exist for moving forward.  Panelists will include: Kimberly Norwood of Washington University School of Law, Municipal Division Work Group; Thomas Harvey of Arch City Defenders; and Marius Johnson-Malone of Better Together.”

6PM at St. Louis Public Library Central Auditorium.


Ferguson Commission Co-Chairs Starsky Wilson and Rich McClure issued a statement.  See it here.

If the Supreme Court does not act, we call for the Department of Justice, in line with its letter regarding unconstitutional court practices sent to chief justices and court administrators across the country on March 14, 2016, to again intervene on behalf of the people of St. Louis county… While the Municipal Division Work Group reported that these issues seemed isolated to the 21st Judicial Circuit, it is clear from the statewide, national and international coverage of St. Louis county’s municipal courts that isolation does not matter. The state and the court’s reputation are at stake. More importantly people’s lives and livelihood are at stake. There is significant consensus on the solutions. We call on the Supreme Court of Missouri to step out of the game of “Pass The Buck” and step up on behalf of the people of Missouri.


New Filings

O.C. Latta filed to run in House 5 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Republican Rep. Lindell Shumake.  According to LinkedIn, Latta is a mortgage loan originator at Mid Nation Mortgage Corporation.  Latta likes Corvettes by the way.


And Travis Maupin re-filed, changing his race to House 58.  He’s the Democrat in that race.


New Committees

Alex Stafford started a committee to run for House 58.  He’d already filed with the secretary of state.  He’s one of three Republicans in that primary, including incumbent Rep. David Wood.  Stafford’s committee is an “exemption committee,” meaning he won’t be filing reports because he won’t be raising or spending more than $500.

This reminds me of John Combest’s second commandmentII. Candidates: When I ask you, “How much money have you raised?” do not tell me, “We’re going to run a grassroots campaign.” When you answer my question that way, not only are you disrespecting me by not giving me a straight answer, but you’re also telling me that you have not raised any money, you are not putting any effort into raising money, and that you have no real plan to raise money. In other words, you have accepted the fact that you are going to lose and now you’re wasting everyone’s time. Instead of coming up with excuses of why your fundraising numbers are so bad, get on the phone and raise some money.


Today’s Events

Powered Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. DaRon McGee – Boulevard Brewing, Kansas City – 5:30PM.

Ben Murray Trivia Event - Grbic Restaurant, St. Louis – 6PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Chris Molendorp added W.E. Shoehigh LLC on behalf of Expedia Inc.

Mark Levison added Airport Taxi Council LLC.

Andrew Hee deleted MSD Partners LP, and MSDC Management LP.

Amy Niederhelm deleted Missouri Department of Transportation.


$5K+ Contributions

St. Louis Association Realtors Issues Mobilization - $16,500 from National Association of REALTORS.

United Transportation Union Political Action Committee – $6,000 from United Transportation Union Political Action Committee.

Schmitt for Missouri - $500,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

Progress KC PAC - $10,000 from Saint Lukes Health System.



Happy birthday to former Rep. Tom Loehner.