Wednesday, October 19, 2016

PSC Staff Open to Reg Reform

The Public Service Commission staff released its opinion on the Working Case to Consider Policies to Improve Electric Utility Regulation. Much of the discussion has focused on the issue of “regulatory lag.” Utilities would like to be reimbursed for their outlays more quickly. Staff seems open to making changes to address the issue. See the 85-page opinion here.  The Commission is expected to publish its opinion at the beginning of December.

Pull Quote: Many of the proposed investment opportunities may provide improved reliability, safety or security, but more likely, will automate the Missouri grid using the latest technologies and changing consumer needs.  Therefore, Staff recommends some reform to the current regulatory environment. Staff  is not opposed to the following approaches if in conformity with the general ratemaking principles and under the specific conditions outlined later in this Report: shortened  rate case processes, a continued true-up  period, certain trackers/riders, interim rates, partially forecasted test years that are trued-up within the pendency of a rate proceeding, an electric infrastructure system replacement surcharge (“ISRS”), an electric rate case adjustment proceeding process, decisional pre-approval with post-construction review, a grid modernization incentive mechanism, net metering and solar modifications, security and diversity supply modifications, alternative financial instruments, a low income rate or additional residential rate  classes, shared rate case expense.

Later (page 70), staff outlines its conditions.  Among them:

Any re-examination of regulatory lag issues should be focused on the context of increased plant modernization/infrastructure replacement initiatives that may go beyond adherence to the traditional “safe and adequate” service standard…  

The ability of the Commission to review and audit the books and records of utilities operating under its jurisdiction should be preserved…

If the risk faced by Missouri utilities is materially changed by enactment of policy initiatives to reduce regulatory lag, this change in risk should be taken into account in setting the utilities’ authorized returns.

Any changes should preserve current incentives for utilities to operate efficiently, and not serve to effectively guarantee the utilities a particular return or profit level…


Rumorville: Greitens Deposed Today?

Tipster says that in the Michael GoguenJohn Brunner lawsuit, Eric Greitens and his campaign treasurer Jeff Stuerman are scheduled to be disposed by Brunner’s lawyers today – Stuerman at 9AM and Greitens at 10AM.

More tantalizing though is that this source believes that the transcripts of the deposition will quickly be made public.

If this source is correct, who knows what might come out?  All one could reliably expect is that in this setting none of it would be flattering to Greitens.  For starters, it could reveal how much they knew about the allegations of against his huge donor Goguen, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Goguen on how to deal with the public relations mess of his contribution.  Or were there any conversations about how to obscure additional contributions to avoid the publicity?

Could there be a bombshell revelation or October surprise in the offering?  I doubt it. But of course, we’ll see…


MOScout reader: Not sure if you noticed this, but Greitens and Stuerman are being represented by long-time Hanaway lieutenant Matt Schelp at Husch Blackwell.


Rowden On the Air

That Dog Won’t Hunt.  That’s the title of Rep. Caleb Rowden’s ad attacking Rep. Stephen Webber in Senate 19.  It shows dogs hunting for Webber who’s missing in action because he missed 900 votes.  See the ad here.


Parson Carnahan On the Air

Yesterday, looking at remaining cash on-hand, I wrote that I thought the difference between the lieutenant governor candidates was inconsequential.  I wrote this despite Sen. Mike Parson having twice as much on-hand as Russ Carnahan.  That’s because with the US Senate and gubernatorial races pouring millions upon millions onto TV and with the inflated ad prices, I don’t think they can do much with their couple hundred thousand dollar buys.

It made me wonder if they might try an alternative method of voter contact.  However, scanning through ad contracts, it looks like they are both going to be on TV. See a Parson ad contract here.  See a Carnahan ad contract here.


Blunt Internal Memo

In a memo to supporters, Blunt deputy campaign manager Derek Coats outlines some talking points…

Jason Kander decided to ignore the issues, he is viciously attacking Roy Blunt’s family.  His campaign is designed to insinuate that each member of Roy Blunt’s family is a lobbyist walking the halls of Congress. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

  1. Abby Blunt is an employee of the Kraft Heinz Company, like 2,000 other Missourians. Her role is work with public officials globally on behalf of Kraft Heinz, and she has voluntarily adopted a practice of not discussing legislation related to Kraft Heinz with Roy or any other member of the United States Senate.
  2. Matt Blunt, Missouri’s 54th governor, leads the American Auto Policy Council, which is a group founded by Chrysler, Ford, and GM. Most of Governor Blunt’s work is focused on making sure that American-made cars and trucks and the people who make them have access to foreign markets for their products. The U.S. exports more cars and parts than any other product, and that means thousands of jobs for Missourians.
  3. Amy Blunt is a lawyer in Missouri and has one client that she represents in Jefferson City. Andy Blunt is also a lawyer in Missouri with his own firm in Jefferson City, which has multiple clients. Neither of them lobby the U.S. government or Congress.

Please feel free to share these facts with our hundreds of volunteers….


London Kids For 3?

The Yes on 3 forces rolled out a new commercial saying that politicians don’t like the proposal because they can’t touch the money.  See it here.

But others were dissecting the video notice how the commercial was made.  “The kids in the beginning are from London.”  See it here“This is the source of the woman in lobby.  Looks like foreign film.”  See it here“After $8 million from Reynolds can’t they afford to come to Missouri and… do a film shoot?”


Here’s the latest anti-3 ad.  It’s called Playground.  See it here. “Big Tobacco needs your help young man…”


HUB Against 3

HUB Inc spent $30,000 to help set up and maintain a website against Amendment 3   See the non-committee expenditure report here.  Who is HUB?  A family tobacco business.  See their website here.


HUB Inc. should not be confused with R S Hubbard Family Tobacco LLC.   That’s an LLC registered by lobbyist Rodney Hubbard on August 11, 2016 for a cigar business he’s been mulling for some time.


Sweeney for Sweet Potato

David Sweeney registered to lobby for the Sweet Potato Project earlier this week. It was started by former Post-Dispatch columnist Sylvester Brown as a grassroots way to reach young people.  It’s urban agriculture but really it’s much more about fostering entrepreneurism and building self-confidence. See it here.


I thought of Sweet Potato project when I read yesterday’s column by David Brooks.  If you have 5 minutes, read it here.

Pull Quote: Poverty up close is so much more intricate and unpredictable than the picture of poverty you get from the grand national debates. The kids can project total self-confidence one minute and then slide into utter lostness the next.


Hussey For 4, Against $200 in Haircuts

From the press release: [T]he Executive Board of St. Charles County Municipal League provided a unanimous vote to support Amendment 4… “If a service sales tax would ever be implemented based on the current sales tax rate, my family would spend just shy of $200 in sales tax just for haircuts within a year’s period,” stated [Robert Hussey [President of the St. Charles County Municipal League / Alderman for The City of Wentzville]. “It doesn't seem like much, but then you add doctor and dentist visits, car repairs, banking, heating and cooling repairs, daycare, etc. – a service sales tax would cost my household $3,367 in a year’s time…”



Rex Sinquefield is voting for Donald TrumpSee it here.


The Missouri Study Commission on State Tax Policy holds a public hearing at 1PM at the Wainwright Building in St. Louis.  “The Commission is undertaking a comprehensive review of Missouri’s tax structure and identifying potential improvements.”


Josh Hawley rolled out his Ethics Reform Plan.  See it here.  Among the bullet points: no gifts from lobbyists; no campaign contributions from during legislative session.


Press release: “According to seasonally adjusted data released by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, Missouri's nonfarm payroll employment grew by 6,700 jobs in September. The state's unemployment rate for September was 5.2 percent.”


Animals are People Too

The City of Springfield issued an RFP to build animal pound/adoption center.  See it here.

And one observer says that Springfield’s not alone… “I think Kansas City will be putting out an RFP for a shelter soon, too, if they haven't already.  Mayor Sly James and Kansas City Pet Project just had a huge announcement two or three weeks ago that they were finally going to build a ‘state of the art’ shelter for the city….”


eMailbag: Opportunism Disappoints

It is safe to say we have entered an age where political opportunism outweighs the values candidates indicate they have. A perfect example of this has occurred over the last week in the U.S. Senate race. While I am still voting for Sen. Blunt, I am a little disappointed in the following development…

Last week, the KC Star indicated the Blunt campaign had been pushing a story about Jason Kander being sued by an employee for a Human Rights Act violation and this line of attack is up on a website dedicated to hitting Kander.  [Yet the] ad the NRSC has released attacking Kander for siding with trial attorneys on changes to the Missouri Human Rights Act (HB 1219 from 2012). While some would say this is a brilliant political move, it just leaves me wondering where Sen. Blunt stands on the issue.


eMailbag on Slay Contribution

Did you see Francis Slay give $500 to Alderman Megan Green?  Talk about a slap in the face.   She accuses those in the labor trades of attempting to bribe a "loved one" during the NFL stadium process.  In return, the Mayor gives $500 from his labor-filled coffers to her re-election?


New Committees

Mike Barton formed a committee to run for sheriff as a Democrat in Ripley County.  See it here.

Janet Sheffield formed a committee (exemption) to run for House 128 as an Independent.  See it here.


Committee Changes

Jim Cox is the new treasurer of the Henry County Democratic Committee.  See it here.

Gary Parker is the new treasurer of the Fifth Ward Democratic Organization. See it here.

Jim Pepper is the new deputy treasurer for Citizens for Wiemann. See it here.

Brad Davis is the new treasurer of the Lewis County Central Republican Committee.  See it here.

Jeff Schwentker, who lost the House 108 Republican primary, changed his committee to a debt service committee.  See it here.

John Sheehan is the new treasurer of Missouri Association of Health Plans PAC.  See it here.

Stacey Skinner is the new treasurer of American Family Political Action Committee-MO. See it here.

Ron Moss is the new treasurer of the Nodaway County Republican Central Committee. See it here.

Claudine Sterner is the new treasurer of the Christian County Republican Central Committee.  See it here.


Today’s Events

Powered by Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Jay Ashcroft Reception with Tom Cotton – Drury Hotel, Brentwood MO – 5:15PM.


$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $35,000 from Page for Missouri.

Greitens for Missouri - $25,000 from Lewis & Clark Northern Missouri Forum.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Missouri Hospital Association.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from David Jackson (Frankfort, KY).

Friends of Todd Richardson - $10,000 from MO Optometric PAC.

Koster for Missouri - $50,400 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Iron Workers Local #396 Voluntary Fund.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Arch ATM Inc.

Friends of Rob Vescovo - $22,650 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $6,200 from Rucker for Missouri.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $135,000 from Koster for Missouri.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $15,000 from Citizens for Vicki Lorenz Englund.

Koster for Missouri - $175,000 from AFSCME.

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,465 from UFCW Local 655.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $44,000 from Missourians for Mike Cierpiot.

Citizens Committee for Soil, Water and State Parks - $7,000 from The Nature Conservancy.

Hawley for Missouri - $10,000 from Sean Fieler.

Committee to Elect Gary Myers Judge - $30,000 from Gary Myers.

McDaniel for State Representative - $14,744 from House Republican Campaign Committee.

McDaniel for State Representative - $12,650 from House Republican Campaign Committee.

Missourians for Fair Taxation - $161,000 from National Association of REALTORS.

Greitens for Missouri - $500,000 from Sarah Humphreys Atkins.

Henderson for Missouri - $17,953 from Missouri House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from KJ Texas Properties LLC.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $51,000 from Teresa Hensley for Missouri.

MO Republican Party - $10,000 from Committee to Elect Randy Jotte.

MO Republican Party - $75,000 from Friends of Caleb Rowden.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Physicians Professional Indemnity Association.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Global Tel Link Corporation.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from HG Development LLC.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from J&J Ventures Gaming of Missouri LLC.

Friends of Steve Helms - $26,350 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Friends of Steve Helms - $34,945 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Citizens for Stephen Webber - $10,247 from Missouri State Democratic Committee.

Friends of Caleb Rowden - $25,000 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Citizens for Vicki Lorenz Englund - $7,779 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Citizens for Vicki Lorenz Englund - $17,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Campaign for Children, Youth, and Families - $22,000 from Children’s Services Fund Coalition.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri – 38,014 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $7,500 from IBEW Local 124 Voluntary Political Fund.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Patricia Pike, and former Sen. John Lamping.


Funeral Arrangements for Sam Diehl

With great sadness and in accordance with the wishes of the Diehl family, House Speaker Todd Richardson today shared the funeral arrangements for Samuel Anderson Diehl. Diehl, who is the son of former House Speaker John J. Diehl, Jr., unexpectedly and tragically passed away Wednesday, October 12.

Richardson said family and friends can pay their respects during a visitation scheduled for Thursday, October 20 from 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Our Lady of the Pillar Church, which is located at 401 S. Lindbergh Blvd., Creve Coeur Mo 63131.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday October 21, 2016 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of the Pillar Church with internment at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery immediately following. After the ceremony, close friends and family will gather at the Diehl family home to celebrate Sam's life and legacy.

Richardson said the Diehl family is asking that, in lieu of flowers, any contributions be made to the Second Lieutenant Samuel A Diehl Memorial Scholarship Fund c/o Chaminade College Preparatory School 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis MO 63131 or the St. Louis Military Officers Foundation.