Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Senate PQ

The Democrats filibustered Sen. Bob Onder’s SJR 39 throughout the night.  This brought the filibuster total time to around 39 hours.  Yesterday when Republicans and Democrats did debate the bill, as opposed to Democrats holding the floor and filibustering, they seemed to be talking past each other with neither seeing the other’s point of view.

Republicans want wedding vendors to be able to deny their services to same-sex couples due to their religious beliefs; Democrats see the legislation as creating an environment where shop-owners put up “No Gays Here” signs in their window.

A little after 5AM, the Senate went into recess and the Republican senators’ caucused.  They came back at 7:15AM and proceeded with a PQ.

The PQ motion closes off debate and is considered a traumatic event in the Senate where senators are presumed to have the right to speak as much as they want on any bill.

One lobbyist felt that the national news of the Missouri filibuster was detrimental to the two sides finding a compromise.  There was an easy compromise available – make the exemption for clergy only – yet somehow that eluded the senators.

What It Means

It’s very risky for the Republicans majority to use the previous question.  There’s a real chance that Democrats will gum up the chamber and slow down anything much getting passed for the rest of session.  And for what?  So businesspeople can say No to a gay couple?  This isn’t as bad as the English Only PQ, but it’s pretty darn close. To use the nuclear option and poison the workings of the Senate is dangerous from a legislative standpoint

What It Really Means

Pro Tem Ron Richard’s temperament will again come under question.

His ruling on a point of order from Sen. Scott Sifton was a little too fast; his calling of the voice vote was a little too fast.  It felt a lot like the House this morning, where the rules of the chamber are bent according to the will of the majority.

One Republican told me it was – after a hundred years – the destruction of the Senate, where a minority member of the body isn’t recognized because the majority doesn’t want to hear from them.

The problem is that the budget is ahead of the body.  Assuming that the Senate has now devolved into a hostile situation – you need a rollcall vote now to make an announcement, forget about introducing special guests – the only way you pass a budget is with PQs.

Richard must be planning on a lot of PQs for the rest of session, and that will transform the chamber into a mini-House.


House Budget

The House worked through the budget bills yesterday.  The morning hours spent a great deal of time on Higher Education.  One interesting amendment was Rep. Lauren Arthur’s which would have deleted lines in barring scholarships for the so-called Dreamers (kids who were brought to America by their parents and are not “legal” citizens).  The amendment failed 46-112, but four Republicans did join the majority of Democrats in voting for it.  They were Reps. Kevin Corlew, Caleb Jones, John McCaherty, and Joe Don McGaugh.


The other interesting amendment showed how the House is displeased with the University of Missouri.  Still wary of cuts which would “hurt the students,” Rep. Jay Barnes’ proposed cutting from the administration’s discretionary funds account, taking a $1 million from that account and adding to the monies to Lincoln University’s agricultural program. The amendment passed 83-75.


2016 Watch

In her latest fundraising email, Republican Catherine Hanaway portrays herself as the strong woman of the race, “From rioting in Ferguson to the unrest at the University of Missouri, our state's great reputation has become tarnished in the national news. The rising murder rates in St. Louis, Kansas City and across this great state only go to show that the policies of the Democrats in Jefferson City need to change. We need a strong leader in the Governor's mansion who will bring law and order to the state of Missouri and show the nation how great of a state we are…”


In the treasurer’s race, Democrat Pat Contreras put out a new video trying to rally his coalition.  See it here.


In the secretary of state’s race, Jay Ashcroft makes the case for a Republican in that office, “For 21 of the past 25 years, Missouri Democrats have held the keys to the office of Secretary of State. During these years, we have seen misleading ballot language, voter fraud, and a lack of leadership. It’s time for someone who will uphold the integrity of the office, ensure fair elections, and secure our most fundamental right – voting. It’s time for Jay Ashcroft….”


Candidate Filing News

Despite his numerous billboards along I-70 and his website (see it here), Lester Turilli has yet to file for governor as an Independent.


Brownback to Poach The American Royal?

Over in Kansas, Hawver Capitol Report writes that “Gov. Sam Brownback… signed the session's initial budget bill, but line-item vetoed a prohibition of new issuances of Sales Tax as Revenue (STAR) bonds in Wyandotte County…The STAR bond provision applies only to Wyandotte County, where the governor is hoping to lure the American Royal to Kansas from Missouri… STAR bonds are paid for by diverting state and local sales tax revenues to repaying bonds for the developments which are supposed to draw tourists, jobs and income to the STAR bond districts. The bonds cost the state millions of dollars in lost sales tax revenue each year, a prime reason for the Wyandotte County bond shutdown passed by the Legislature…

So it seems that the Brownback tax code change wasn’t enough incentive, they still have to use millions of dollars of subsidies…


Follow-Up on Pelopidas Suit

One source says that Rachel Keller filing of a lawsuit against Pelopidas is a matter of money.  She’s claiming that she hasn’t received her distributions from the company.


AG: Top Complaints

Attorney General Chris Koster’s office release the top ten categories of complaints…

  1.     No-Call and illegal telemarketing complaints (41,517)
  2. Solicitation scams (3,528)
  3. Debt collectors, online lenders, and other financial complaints (2,353)
  4. Automotive repair and missing car titles (1,962)
  5. Identity theft (1669)
  6. Phone billing, cramming, and other communications complaints (1657)
  7. Home repair and other real estate complaints (1300)
  8. Retail purchases (1258)
  9. Travel and timeshares (1125)
  10. Health clubs and medical billing (1040)


Not Much of a Secret

Phyllis Schlafly says a secret society is trying to stop Donald Trump’s candidacy…

"In 1957, I discovered that a secret group of business leaders, political and elected officials, and media elite were meeting off the coast of Georgia...  The Bilderbergers, as they came to be known, were globalists who sought to undermine the sovereignty of America by deeper involving.  Over the coming decades they served at the highest levels of government, business, and media.  They were the Kingmakers who sought to influence the nominees of both major parties….  This past weekend, the new Kingmakers met off the coast of Georgia.  This time the carefully selected group of powerful Americans, assembled by the American Enterprise Institute, included the CEOs of Apple and Google, media titans Arthur Sulzberger and William Kristol, and top political leaders including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The main goal of everyone present was to stop Donald Trump from obtaining the Republican presidential nomination, and the highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Karl Rove on how to achieve that objective…”



Lobbyist Brian Treece is buying TV for his bid to become mayor of Columbia.  See the contract here.


This Thursday the St. Louis Young Republicans meeting will feature Senate 23 candidate Bill Eigel and the new state treasurer candidate, Sen. Dan Brown.


Former St. Louis aldermanic candidate Chelsea Merta has joined Trophy Properties and Auction.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

St. Louis Association of Health Underwriters Reception – Capitol 3rd FL Rotunda – 3PM.

Rep. Robert Butler Reception – McGurk’s Public House – STL – 6PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Nancy Giddens and Shannon Cooper added Distilled Spirits Council of the US.

Eapen Thampy added Students for Sensible Drug Policy – University of Missouri-Columbia.

Andrew Rothe, John Whatley, and Gaurav Parikh deleted National Restaurant Association.

Earl Pabst deleted Garnett Wood Products Co Inc.

Todd Houldworth deleted Johnson & Johnson Health Care System Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

Schmitt for Missouri - $5,001 from Anne C Nativi Walton

Russ Carnahan for Missouri - $10,000 from Michael Staenberg.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer Attorney General - $10,000 from Lathrop Gage LLP.

Missourians for Affordable Energy - $100,000 from Consumers for Energy Fairness.

Consumers for Energy Fairness - $100,000 from MEDA PAC.

Hawley for Missouri - $10,000 from JT Stephens Jr.

Hawley for Missouri - $25,000 from Virginia James.

Schmitt for Missouri - $10,000 from Lathrop & Gage LLP.

Progress KC PAC - $20,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City.

Freedom Incorporated - $17,500 from Progress KC PAC.



Happy birthday to Rep. Nathan Beard.