Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hedge-Funders “Investing” in Governors

There’s a pretty important article at International Business Times (see it here) which mentions Eric Greitens, and serves as a reminder of the public policy dangers posed by his hiding the identity of his largest contributor – SEALs for Truth.

Pull Quote: At the close of an election cycle that has seen more than $1 billion spent on state and local races, one of the government’s top regulators delivered a stark warning: Law enforcement is stepping up efforts to protect public pension investments from being influenced by campaign cash, he said. With millions of teachers, firefighters, police officers and other public workers relying on those pensions for their retirement, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Andrew Ceresney said the threat of corruption must be taken seriously…

This IBT/MapLight report is the latest in a series looking at how anti-corruption rules are being systematically circumvented, ignored and unenforced… Much of the money flowing around the SEC’s rule has come from executives at hedge funds, private equity firms and others in the “alternative investment” industry. The flood of cash comes as state pension funds are facing intensifying pressure to sell off their alternative investment holdings because, critics argue, the returns do not justify their high fees. Decisions by gubernatorial appointees to resist such pressure can be the difference between alternative investment firms continuing to make millions off pension fees — or losing out on those profits…Under the 2011 pay-to-play rule, firms whose executives donate to public officials that control pension funds are barred from earning fees off of those pension systems… An SEC official told IBT/MapLight that while direct donations to public officials are covered by the pay-to-play restrictions, contributions to outside political groups “are independent expenditures that do not trigger” the rule.  Even as they put the rule in place, though, regulators suspected politicians and financial firms might look for routes around it….. At the same time, IBT/MapLight’s review — which used Center for Responsive Politics data and focused on donors who gave more than $50,000 — found many instances of the RGA accepting funds from Wall Street pension managers, and spending big to help governors. Those governors in turn appoint pension overseers…


Amendment 4 on the Air

Amendment 4 is on TV with a statewide advertising buy that runs through Election Day.  Statewide radio had already been underway.  See the first TV ad here.  Entitled “Storm” it uses the same imagery and argument that the radio ads have been advancing.


New Schmitt Ad

Sen. Eric Schmitt released his second commercial TV.  See it here“As treasurer I will focus on investing Missouri dollars in Missouri banks who lend to Missouri small businesses.  It’s time we focused on Missouri and growing our state, not growing Wall Street banks.  I will always put Missourians first when it comes to investing and protecting their hard-earned dollars.”


Judy Baker is buying TV.  See an ad contract here. I’d thought since she was massively out-gunned (her October cash on-hand was $350K versus Eric Schmitt’s $2.4 million) she might try an alternative means of reaching voters.


No Charges Against Roberts

Post-Dispatch reports: No charges will be filed after a candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives said she was sexually assaulted by a fellow candidate, a special prosecutor said Tuesday.  Cora Faith Walker, 31, of Ferguson, a Democrat running unopposed in a North County district, outlined her claim in a letter she sent Sept. 30 to Missouri House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, and other legislative leaders. She made her accusation against Steven Roberts Jr., of St. Louis, who also is unopposed in his bid to become a Democratic representative for a city district.

But on Tuesday, St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar, who serves as a special prosecutor in the case, said, "We're not going to file charges against Mr. Roberts. There simply wasn't enough credible evidence that sexual relations between these two people were anything but consensual."

See it here.


Messenger Hits Dueker

Tony Messenger dings Jane Dueker for saying that she’s “never gotten one dime from predatory lenders.”  And “I have not now nor ever been paid or hired by pay day loan industry.”

Turns out that she represented payday loaners in front of the Missouri Supreme Court.

Her response when Messenger mentioned this: “I totally forgot about that.”

See it here.


Koster Asks Stations to Yank Greitens Ad

Chris Koster asked radio stations to pull an Eric Greitens ad.  “The Greitens radio advertisement contains demonstrably false statements that mislead the public.  Hillary Clinton did not give Koster for Governor $500,000.  The Greitens ad is not entitled to FCC protection for making false statements because it is not a “use” – there is no positive appearance by Greitens in the ad.  Your station should exercise its obligation to protect the public by not running Greitens’ false, misleading, and deceptive advertisement.

See the letter here.


Greitens Contra Missouri Plan

Eric Greitens announced that he was opposed to the Missouri Court Plan, a late policy announcement from a guy who hasn’t made many policy announcements.  See it here.  It garnered all sorts of cynicism: “[Considering] the money that Humphreys gave him to it just reeks of more of the same crap when he is supposed to fight against that.”  “Clearly chasing Humphreys money, but if you propose this, the next logical question is: give us some names of judges you would appoint to the Supreme Court.  Does he have a list of possible judges?”


Bubs for Carnahan

Russ Carnahan’s latest TV ad features former Capitol fixture Bubs Hohulin, a Republican and former staffer to Mike Parson. See the ad here.

This email from a lobbyist pretty much summed up the response I heard from folks inside the building… “Bubs has to be one of the biggest a**holes of all time.  He got fired and instead of taking it like a man he's making ads for Democrats!”

Putting that sentiment aside, I’m not sure how effective the ad actually is.  Neither of the people in the ad are household names, and the ad doesn’t seem like it has the zing to cut those the cluttered ocean of ads already on the air.


Senate 17 Interviews

KCUR interviewed Sen. Ryan Silvey and his Democratic opponent Ranen Bechthold.  Listen to it here.   The host brings up a restraining order against Bechthold from 2004.  He takes responsibility for it in an almost refreshing manner:  “Well there was… I had a girlfriend that we’d broken up and I didn’t take it so well. I was young and was like 22 at the time and so I made threatening statements.  So she went and got a protective order, rightfully so…”


Jones Forms Committee

City Treasurer Tishaura Jones formed her long-awaited committee to run for St. Louis City mayor.  She is up for re-election next month, but I guess she didn’t want to wait two more weeks before taking this step.

She seeded the new committee with $10K from her current committee.


eMailbag: Shhhh, Greitens Done

Real Clear Politics average has [Koster] +5 which is consistent with all of the internal polls I am seeing. Don't fall victim to the internal Republican PR efforts, with Trump falling daily, they need to keep their base convinced that Greitens still has a chance, albeit slimmer every day, least their base doesn't turnout. US Senate & LG races in the balance.


eMailbag on Higdon for Senate

You just reminded me that we only have 2 more years of Rob Schaaf. God bless term limits.


eMailbag on GOP Sending $200K to Lasater

Ron [Richard] would have been better off sending $200k to [Mike] Parson and try and win the race for president of the senate then waste that money on a seat they have no shot of winning.


Scott Sifton is crushing it and Stephen Webber is up by a crazy number. I just think they have nowhere else to spend their money and if they don't spend it people will say they didn't try.



Right to Vote – the committee opposing the Voter ID constitutional amendment – has started running radio ads.


Teresa Hensley announced three Republican sheriffs endorsed her campaign.  They are: Paul Vescovo (Clay County), Mark Owen (Platte County), and Dwight Diehl (Cass County).


Department of Conservation is bidding out a Systematic Bat Survey of Northern Missouri “to document the presence and usage of the Department of Conservation’s Conservation Areas by the federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) and the federally threatened northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis).   The Department of Conservation’s goal for this project is to have surveyed all potential M. sodalis and M. septentrionalis habitat on the Department of Conservation’s Conservation Areas within the high-likelihood zone for presence/absence and maternity roost tree location so that avoidance and minimization decisions can be made by the Department of Conservation with much higher confidence.  Due to the enormity of the project, the survey effort is expected to span multiple years.” 


Committee Changes

Raymond Draper formed a committee to run for Sheriff of Jackson County as a Republican.  See it here.

Mike Price is the new treasurer of the Jefferson County Democratic Central Committee.  See it here.

Barbara Mahoney is the new treasurer of the Gentry County Democratic Central Committee.  See it here.

Dave Altis filed an exemption committee for his write-in gubernatorial candidacy.  See it here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Derek Bush added Allergan USA Inc.

Sam Wiles added Mercy Healthcare Systems.

Brian Handshy added Renovate America Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

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

Missouri Freedom PAC - $200,000 from Republican Attorneys General Association.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $192,500 from Cheyenne International LLC.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $150,000 from Koster for Missouri.

The Committee to Protect MO Families PAC Fund - $75,000 from CHIPP.

Returning Government to the People - $70,000 from Fred N Sauer.

Greitens for Missouri - $50,000 from Jerry Kent.

Vote Yes on 3 for Kids - $42,000 from RAI Services Company.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $20,776 from Friends of Martha Stevens.

Shelter Insurance Missouri PAC - $20,000 from Shelter Mutual Insurance Company.

Greitens for Missouri - $20,000 from Brad Bedell.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $20,000 from William Danforth.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $15,000 from The Slay Committee.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $15,000 from Scott Sifton for Missouri.

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

Democratic Attorneys General Association Missouri - $15,000 from national Automobile Dealers Association.

MO Republican Party - $12,000 from Kansas City Missouri Republican Senate PAC.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from New Prime Inc.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Daniel Drury.

Russ Carnahan for Missouri - $10,000 from Unite Here TIP Missouri State & Local Fund.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Comprehensive Health Systems Inc.

Tishaura O Jones for Mayor - $10,000 from Citizens for Tishaura O. Jones.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from IBEW OAC Voluntary Fund.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Cyril Wrabec.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Kansas City Structural Steel Inc.

MO Architects PAC - $8,000 from American Institute of Architects of Missouri.

Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $7,733 from The Cheshire.

The Committee to Protect MO Families PAC Fund - $7,500 from Safer Families for MO.

Missouri Democratic State Committee - $6,880 from Rucker for Missouri.

Missourians for Byron DeLear - $5,828 from Missouri State Democratic Committee.

Schmitt for Missouri - $5,001 from Gary E Metzger.

Rizzo for Missouri - $5,001 from Committee to Elect Jake Hummel.



Happy birthdays to Ruth Ehresman, Jennifer Bukowsky, and Lauren Hieger.