Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Raise Your Hand Files Complaint

Raise Your Hand for Kids’ lawyer Eddie Greim filed an ethics complaint against Ron Leone and the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store PAC.  See it here.

The complaint charges that Leone never amended the purpose of his group’s PAC to indicate they were opposing the RYH4K cigarette tax increase, did not file “direct expenditure” reports, and did not report all in-kind contributions.

But really what’s most revealing in the 21-page complaint is the no-holds-barred nature of the fight.

For example, “Little Tobacco” figures it might be able to argue that the petition was unconstitutional because folding the Coordinating Board for Early Childhood into a newly created fund would be an appropriation of revenue.  But the problem with the argument is that it’s impossible because the CBEC is empty.  To solve this, lobbyist Andy Arnold wrote a personal check of $100 to the Department of Social Services.  His wife, Janie Arnold, signed the check and he attached a note explaining they were contributing to the CBEC.  When someone from DSS called and asked if it could be deposited into another fund where it could be used, he responds that it’s only for CBEC.

As my friend, Brian Marston, used to say: “never mess with another man’s rice bowl.”  And the Little Tobacco coalition fears that the closing the Master Settlement Agreement loop-hole in the RYH4K petition would doom their business. They’re using every means possible to sink the RYH4K effort.


Galloway: SBRFB Poor

State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit of the Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board, giving it the dreaded “Poor” rating. See it here.

From the summary: The SBRFB is not functional and is not achieving its primary objective of monitoring regulations that impact small businesses. The SBRFB has not provided state agencies with input regarding proposed regulations affecting small businesses. The Board did not review all proposed regulations during the 2 years ended June 30, 2015, and the lack of a full Board has caused higher than normal workloads for each member, becoming a burden for volunteers.  The board also lacks any formal systems to monitor which regulations have been reviewed and what action may be necessary.

The SBRFB did not take sufficient steps to solicit input from small businesses and received no comments from small businesses for a two-year period.

Board members had been notified of proposed rule and regulation changes by an online subscription service, but the Department of Economic Development (DED) allowed the contract to expire without informing Board members…

The SBRFB has multiple extended vacancies. The Board had four vacancies as of March 2016, although members asked the General Assembly and the governor's office to fill vacancies. Members also reported the former chairperson did not communicate regularly and held limited meetings. The state budget has not included appropriations for staffing….


MOChamber’s Dan Mehan: “I’d like to thank Auditor Galloway for making this a priority and I’d call on the governor and our legislative leaders to urgently address the deficiencies on this board. We must do everything we can to make sure small businesses can thrive and create jobs in Missouri.”


Border War

Pull Quote: In major metropolitan areas, using tax incentives to lure businesses from one part of the region to another can sometimes seem like a big family fight… But the net gain to the metro area is negligible, save the temporary work created by new construction.  In nowhere does this chess match seem more futile than in Kansas City, which sits in both Kansas and Missouri. The two states have long competed with each other to woo businesses across the state line. AMC Theaters, Applebee's and JP Morgan Retirement are just a few businesses that have crossed the border in recent times. So much money is involved that the tax incentives battle has been dubbed the Kansas City Border War... Since 2009, about 5,700 jobs in the Kansas City area -- thanks to tax incentives -- have moved from Missouri to Kansas, and nearly 4,000 jobs have moved from Kansas to Missouri.

MOScout reader: This may be one of the first tests of the next Missouri governor: will he/she double down on bad policy or demonstrate statesmanship and find a truce to this senseless war…

Governing Magazine reports on the Kansas Missouri border war.  See it here.


Politico on Clinton Negatives

Politico reports on the two highly unpopular nominees. See it here.

Pull Quote: With all the talk of Trump potentially dragging down Republicans and costing the GOP the Senate majority, Republicans say everyone’s overlooking the damage that Clinton — whose high unfavorables rival Trump’s, according to a slate of recent polls — could do to down-ballot Democrats. Republicans believe voters will chafe at candidates aligned with the former secretary of state, and they’re laying the groundwork to make Clinton’s high negatives a centerpiece of their strategy to defend their narrow 54-seat majority in purple and blue states… [S]ome Democrats are subtly angling for some daylight from Clinton…. Jason Kander, who is challenging Sen. Roy Blunt in Missouri, opposed the nuclear deal with Iran that most Democrats reluctantly accepted….


NYTimesDavid Brooks on why Clinton is unpopular.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Clinton gives off an exclusively professional vibe: industrious, calculated, goal-oriented, distrustful. It’s hard from the outside to have a sense of her as a person; she is a role. This formal, career-oriented persona puts her in direct contrast with the mores of the social media age, which is intimate, personalist, revealing, trusting and vulnerable. It puts her in conflict with most people’s lived experience. Most Americans feel more vivid and alive outside the work experience than within. So of course to many she seems Machiavellian, crafty, power-oriented, untrustworthy.



The press release: “Gov. Jay Nixon will lead a delegation of Missourians representing agriculture, business, education and government on a trade mission to Cuba from May 29 to June 1. With the recent progress toward normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba, the trade mission will focus on growing Missouri exports to the island nation of 11 million, especially agricultural products. The delegation will include First Lady Georganne Nixon, Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Richard Fordyce and Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Mike Downing. Other members of the trade delegation include Dr. Carlos Vargas, President of Southeast Missouri State University; Gary Wheeler, of the Missouri Soybean Association; Silvia Hollis, of Mid-Continent Aircraft, Hayti; Thorstein Holt, of Holtec Gas Systems, Chesterfield; Brady Moses, of SatCommX, Lampe; Jeffrey Fort, of MOM Brands Sales, St. Louis; and several representatives of Martin Rice, of Bernie.”


Missouri Development Energy Association filed an independent expenditure report showing $25K for legal services to oppose a statewide initiative petition.  See it here.


Randy Dinwiddie, running in the House 59 Republican primary against Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, filed an exemption committee, indicating he won’t raise or spend more than $500.


Lobbyists Registrations

Robert Gustafson added Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals Services LLC, and deleted Lundbeck LLC.

Mark Habbas deleted Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Fred Weber Inc, Maco Development Company LLC, Center for Competitive Politics, Supermarket Merchandising, Phoenix Home Care, Strategic Capitol Consulting LLC, Gardner Capital, Lundbeck LLC, US Term Limits, Uber Technologies Inc, and Human Rights Campaign.


$5K+ Contributions

Contreras for Treasurer - $5,001 from Raul Claure.

HCA Missouri Good Government Fund - $50,000 from Mid America Division Office.

Grietens for Missouri - $10,000 from Jean-Paul Montupet.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Roger Keech.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Ed. Emery, Rep. Rebecca Roeber, and former Speaker Tim Jones.