Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trump: Blunt Called, I Helped

In transcript of President-elect Donald Trump’s interview with the NYTimes yesterday he describes bailing out Senator Roy BluntSee it here.

[I]f you look at Missouri, [Senator Roy] Blunt, he was down five points a few days before the election, he called for help, I gave him help, and I think I was up like over 30 points in Missouri. I was leading by a massive amount, 28 points. I gave him help and he ended up winning by four points or something…


Wagner Prepping Senate Run?

Eli Yokley, writing for Morning Consult, says that Congresswoman Ann Wagner has jettisoned some of her leadership duties as preparation for a run at Claire McCaskill’s Senate seat in 2018.  See it here.


Also Starting Their 2018 Engines…

Sara Walsh started a committee to run as a Republican in House 50.  This is the district of Rep. Caleb Jones who is entering his final two-year term.  See her website here.


Damon Haymer started a committee to run for House 76 as a Democrat.  The current representative, Josh Peters, is not termed.  Haymer is committeeman of Ward 27.  Follow him on twitter here.


State Revenues

As Eric Greitens mulls withholds, state revenues look anemic so far this month. Both individual income tax and sales tax revenues are showing lethargic low single digit growth, and corporate income tax continues to decline.  The month’s net revenues right now are negative compared to last year.  There’s a big holiday weekend ahead of us so maybe it turns around….


Corrections Needs Correcting

Here’s one more thing to add to Gov-elect Eric Greitens’ to do list… clean up the Department of Corrections.

Former KC Star reporter Karen Dillon looks at lawsuits of employees – lots of them – of the Department and paints a picture of a zoo of terrible misbehavior.  See it here.  It’s a pretty brutal piece that will leave you shaking your head.


Passed Peak Sinquefield

It’s feeling like we’ve passed peak Sinquefield.

For several years the mega-donor was dominant on Missouri’s political landscape.  Although he notched few wins, he seemed to set the agenda in Jefferson City. Opponents of his free market philosophy – particularly in education – were always playing defense. And even in his losses, there was a wariness.  Rex Sinquefield is a chess player.  Is he sacrificing a pawn here and there to advance a position that would later reveal a devastating blow?

As we move toward the end of this year, it seems clear that there was no grand strategic plan. This year Sinquefield suffered a series of setbacks while his standing in Missouri’s political world has been eclipsed by a different Republican donor, David Humphreys.

Sinquefield’s year started with defeats in St. Louis and Kansas City for his proposal to eliminate those cities’ earning tax.

Sinquefield spent about $2.1 million on the Say No On E-Tax campaign.  His opponents spent about 1/20th that amount.  Still even with that limited effort they scored a rout, winning the vote by a huge margin, 72% to 28%.

The defeat was so resounding one wonders whether Sinquefield will muster an attempt when the issue come back up for consideration in five years.

Then came the Republican statewide primaries.  If things had gone Team Rex’s way there wouldn’t have been any contested races.  Sinquefield gave big and early to Republicans. In 2014, Sinquefield gave Catherine Hanaway nearly a million dollars; Sen. Kurt Schaefer $250K to run for attorney general; Sen. Will Kraus $100K to run for secretary of state; Sen. Eric Schmitt $250K to run for treasurer; and Bev Randles $1 million to run for lieutenant governor.

If the shock and awe check writing was intended to freeze out potential opponents, it failed. Only Schmitt avoided a primary race.  All the others had opponents.

So Sinquefield shoveled more money into their campaigns.  In 2016 he put another $3.3 million into Hanaway’s campaign; another $2.9 million into Schaefer’s campaign; and another $1.5 million into Randles campaign.  They all lost.

When the November elections came around, perhaps licking his primary wounds, Sinquefield’s checkbook was closed for the first time in a long time. As it turned out, this was exactly the wrong time to sit on the sidelines.  Republicans romped to victory, sweeping the statewide elections.  And they did it without Sinquefield.  Instead it was David Humphreys who wrote the big checks.  Now it’s no shock that it’s Humphreys’ issues – right to work, tort reform – that are mentioned as the legislature’s top two priorities.

Furthermore, Sinquefield didn’t spend a penny to oppose two initiative petitions that may hem in his agenda in the future.  The first was a proposal pushed by the realtors’ organization: a constitutional amendment to prohibit any expansion in the sales tax.  Sinquefield dreams of eliminating Missouri’s income tax to spur economic growth.  The only way to cover the lost revenue from the income tax is to increase sales tax revenue.  And because people would balk at a sales tax rate in the teens, the thinking is to broaden the tax base, expand what’s taxed to include services.  The realtors just boxed out that option.

The second initiative petition was the campaign contribution limits.  Fred Sauer’s proposal passed overwhelmingly, and while there are expected to be legal challenges, it would change the way folks like Sinquefield do business.  No more million-dollar checks to a single candidate.  Sinquefield’s team claims there will be loopholes to exploit, but that suggestion just emphasizes the weakening of their position.

Finally, Pelopidas, the lobbying organization for Sinquefield, watched two of its rising star depart for more traditional lobbying firms.  David Jackson joined Gamble and Schlemeier; and Kate Casas joined Dentons.  Each probably had specific reasons for making the move, but you never want to lose talented folks.

All in all a tough year for Sinquefield.


New IPs

Two new initiative petitions were filed with the secretary of state’s office See another medical marijuana IP here.  And a medical marijuana IP to fund research here.

As I’ve previously written, some believe there’s a rush to file IPs among some groups before Jason Kander leaves office.


Schmitt Transition Team

The press release: Treasurer-Elect Eric Schmitt today announced his transition team. The transition team will be led by former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman and World Wide Technology Chairman, David Steward. Former State Senator Jason Crowell and Academic Director for Entrepreneurship at Washington University Olin Business School Cliff Holekamp will also join the transition team.

That’s gig #2 for Steelman who’s also on the inside of the Greitens team.


Engemann Moves On

Dan Engemann who recently left his position as policy director of MOSoy was named executive director of the Coalition to Protect the Missouri River.  Engemann is also now listed on Sen. Mike Cunningham’s staff.  See it here.


Pfizer Announces New Facility

The press release: Gov. Jay Nixon today announced a plan to support the building of a new, state-of-the-art facility in Chesterfield to be leased by Pfizer Inc…. The company expects to create more than 80 new jobs through the Chesterfield project over the next few years. To support Pfizer's new facility, the state has offered a strategic economic incentive package that the company can receive if it meets strict job creation criteria. The expansion is also being made possible through local incentives offered by St. Louis County.

Construction of the $200 million facility is expected to begin in mid-2017 and be completed by 2020. St. Louis-based CRG together with Clayco will be the developer and owner of the new facility in Chesterfield….

Pfizer’s lobbyists are: Drue Duncan, David Winton, Scott Penman, and Jessica Petrie.


College Grads

NYTimes has a graphic showing states that are losing college graduates. See it here.

Pull Quote: One reason that inland states have a reasonable case for disappointment at not keeping their young college graduates: They’re helping to pay to educate them. A majority of college graduates get their degrees from public universities, which are partly funded by state governments. Of course this doesn’t diminish the other important benefits that public universities bring to each state’s economy, but if states are losing more college graduates than they are holding or bringing in, they’re effectively subsidizing other states’ skilled labor forces….


New Tax Credits

$201,460 in MDFB credits to Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (St. Louis) Forest Park Forever in Senate 5 / House 78.

$82,500 in Affordable Housing credits to Drumm Center for Children Inc. in Senate 11 / House 29.

$15,510 in Affordable Housing credits to Rise Community Development in Senate 5 / House 79.

$10,725 in Affordable Housing credits to Family Violence Center DBA Harmony House in Senate 30 / House 130.

$2,750 in Affordable Housing credits to Angel’s Arm in Senate 15 / House 96.

$2,200 in Affordable Housing credits to Habitat for Humanity of St. Francois County Inc in Senate 3 / House 116.

$1,650 in Affordable Housing credits to Show-Me Central Habitat for Humanity in Senate 19 / House 50.

$948 in Affordable Housing credits to The Light House Inc in Senate 7.


eMailbag on Greitens Squeezing Donors

That's exactly what's been happening: the squeeze. So unseemly weeks after election. I've gotten it….


Help Wanted

Minority Floor Leader’s Office seeks The Legislative Coordinator.  “Job responsibilities require extensive research and analysis of legislative issues as requested by House minority leadership or caucus, preparation of reports on the impact of legislation and facilitating the drafting of legislation and amendments.  Applicants should have a strong ability for independent work, self-direction and motivation and the ability to ascertain and meet deadlines under pressure. Applicants need strong written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills with an understanding of the legislative process and an ability to exercise confidentiality and discretion. Must be able to work long hours during session, from January through May….”  See it here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Robert Reed added Missouri Department of Transportation, and Robert L. Reed.


$5K+ Contributions

Baker for Missouri - $20,000 from Teresa Hensley for Missouri.

Vote Yes on 3 for Kids - $6,500 from RAI Services Company.

Vote Yes on 3 for Kids - $60,000 from RAI Services Company.

Democratic Governors Association Missouri - $18,500 from Democratic Governors Association.

Democratic Governors Association Missouri - $81,500 from Democratic Governors Association.



Happy birthday to Brian Bunten, Sam Wiles, and former Rep. Cynthia Davis.

Thanksgiving B-Days: Sen-elect Bill Eigel, Former Rep. Dennis Wood, and Ryan Nonnemaker.

Friday: Former Rep. Bill Deeken, Willis Jones and Joe Lakin.

Saturday: Jane Dueker.

Sunday:  Ward Cook.


MOScout News

Off Tomorrow, and Friday also… Happy Thanksgiving! See you Monday….