Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Blunt Ad: Kander is a Liberal

Senator Roy Blunt’s latest advertisement uses footage of his opponent Jason Kander apparently at a rally with activists.  He doesn’t actually say anything damning, but the message is clear: he’s as liberal as the activists he’s talking to.  See the ad here.


New Greitens Ad: Jobs Will Be Top Priority

The machine guns are gone now and Eric Gretiens is standing in warehouse explaining that “unlike the career politicians my number one priority will be creating jobs not running for one.” See it here.


Koster Gets NRA Endorsement

Chris Koster pulled down the NRA endorsement yesterday.  See the endorsement letter here.  I think this was already expected and baked into the cake of expectations for the governor’s race.  We’ll see if Koster can leverage the endorsement plus the MO Farm Bureau’s endorsement to undermine the normal support Republican candidates enjoy in rural Missouri.

Koster’s biggest weakness isn’t the “career politician;” it’s that he shares party affiliation with the least popular person on the ballot in November… Hillary Clinton.

Eric Greitens has yet to press this attack, and Koster has yet to move to inoculate himself from it.

We’ll see…


Backer Rebman Lawsuit Trial Date Set

There are folks who think that there could be some unsightly revelations from this trial.  Bob Watson reports on Gracia Backer’s discrimination lawsuit.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Former state Rep. Gracia Backer's discrimination lawsuit against Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and former state Labor Director Larry Rebman is scheduled to go to a jury trial Sept. 30…

Much of the 105-page lawsuit provides details of actions Brown alleges show Rebman's bias against Backer and other older, female department employees, while giving preference to younger, male employees… Still, Brown alleged about 50 pages later in the lawsuit, "Plaintiffs have now learned of a same and similar pattern of conduct of plausible deniability with regard to the discharge of Patricia Kerr from the Department of Public Safety, wherein she too was subjected to a hostile environment based upon her gender and age created by her supervisor, Larry (Kay)."


LaunchCode Lobbies Up

Last week LaunchCode hired Danny Pfeifer’s lobbying firm Catalyst.  LaunchCode (see their website here) trains people in coding, and then helps match them with a job.  It’s captured the imagination of many civvies because it appears to demonstrate that a 21st century trade like computer coding can become an accessible occupational field to normal folks – not just the computer nerds and geeks.

Jeff Mazur – formerly a Nixon staffer and AFSCME leader – joined LaunchCode last year.

The best guess is that LaunchCode isn’t seeking any change in Missouri statute, but rather would be exploring if their services could fit with a state job training or job placement program.



Strate To Retire

In the “Help Wanted” below is an announcement for an opening as head of the Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association (MBWA).  It appears that after 36 years, the association’s CEO, Mary Strate, is retiring.  Now she can finally have some time to sit back, relax with family, friends and a cold beer….


English Residency Problem?

Democrat Jay Mosley filed a lawsuit challenging Rep. Keith English qualifications to remain on the ballot based on the residency requirement.  Post-Dispatch has the story here.

This accusation had been swirling for a while.  Tommy Siam, a Florissant Councilman, wrote a letter about this a few months ago.  See that here.


Eagleton: No Residency Issue

On his website biography Democrats’ Senate 15 candidate Steve Eagleton offers this: Mr. Eagleton has always kept his home in St. Louis and has even kept season tickets to both the Blues and Cardinals for dozens of years. Despite the desperate attempts by his opponents to use residency as an “issue” Mr. Eagleton has always been a resident of the St. Louis area, voted in Missouri, kept his driver’s license in Missouri and pays taxes every year in Missouri. The confusion seems to of come about because Mr. Eagleton’s wife is an educator in Georgia where she has a large family.

See it here.


Politico: Grant for MO to Test VMT

With the seemingly inexorable increase of fuel efficiency of automobiles, some thought leaders are looking to replace the gas tax.  Politico reports: With $14.2 million in grants awarded to seven states, FHWA has started to roll out its small FAST Act-funded program to test out vehicle miles traveled as a replacement for the gas tax. Concerns over electronic reporting, privacy and fairness to rural areas have held back any plans for nationwide use of a VMT fee. But states now have federal backing to experiment with pilot programs, our Tanya Snyder reports for Pros. California, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon and Washington state will have some tough issues to figure out — including revenue collection, interoperability, public skepticism and how to phase out the gas tax.  See it here.


STL Mayoral COHs

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s 30 Day After report showed that she kept her campaign expenses to a minimum and finished with $274,000 in the bank, as she eyes a mayoral run in the spring.

And City Treasurer Tishaura Jones also continued cruising to re-election while using very little money.  She has $83,850 in the bank.

Other possible mayoral candidates: Lyda Krewson ($353,159 from the July report), Lewis Reed ($220,318 from 30 Day After report), Gregg Daly ($630,392 from 8 Days Before report), Antonio French ($3,329 from 30 Day After report), and Sam Dotson (no committee filed).


Jones Converts Campaign Committee

Former speaker Tim Jones has terminated his candidate committee and sent all the remaining money ($688K) to the Leadership for America PAC.  Some of the expenses have migrated over to the new PAC as well.  For example, Survey Saint Louis – run by former Jones staffer Tom Smith – received $2,250 for financial reporting on Leadership for America’s latest report.  It’s the first time in six months the PAC has incurred that expense, though Survey Saint Louis had previously been paid $2K/month from Jones’ candidate committee.


Randles’ Campaign Car

You know the cliché that a car loses 10% of its value when you drive it off the lot?  Well add this nugget to that wisdom: a car loses 40% of its value when you drive it around the state for a year.

According to the campaign reports, the Bev Randles campaign bought a car on July 13, 2015 for $29,015.  Their recent 30 Day After filing shows that they sold it for $17,500.  That’s a 40% decline in value.


Ranking the Senate Race

Politico ranks MO Senate Race #10.  Democratic Secretary of State Jason Kander remains one of this election’s most heavily praised Senate candidates, with even Republican operatives conceding his biography and Army background set up a good contrast against Blunt’s long history in Washington. Polls consistently show Kander behind, but right on the edge of the margin of error against Blunt…See it here.

And The Hill doesn’t put the race in their top tier, but gives it an honorable mention.  Blunt still leads in the polls, but at the top of the ticket, Clinton is polling close to Trump in the deep red state. See it here.


Sharp Targeted?

KSHB reports: Police are investigating an early Thursday morning drive-by shooting that happened at the home of former [Kansas City] City Councilman John Sharp.  Police said at least half a dozen shots were fired from a car around 1 a.m. on Thursday on East 103rd Terrace. Outside of the home on Friday, a shattered rear-windshield could be seen on a car in Sharp's driveway, as well as a bullet hole in the garage door… After serving the community for over 20 years and recently helping in a campaign, the time and location of the shooting has led Sharp to believe he was targeted.  "I don't think it was to kill me, but to intimidate me," explained Sharp, who served two nonconsecutive terms on City Council from 1983 to 1991 and 2007 to 2015. Sharp's home was not the only house hit by gunfire early Thursday morning…

See it here.



As expected Governor Jay Nixon moved to “shake up” the St. Louis City Election Board.  He appointed Erv Switzer and Al Johnson to the board.  See the press release here.  And interestingly left Ben Phillips, whose term has also expired, on the board.


The St. Louis County Council voted to make 21 the age at which individuals can buy tobacco products in the county. Councilman Sam Page was the sponsor.  See it here.


The trial to determine if Rep. Rob Vescovo is eligibility has been moved back one day from September 15 to September 16.


7th Ward Committeewoman Marie Ceselski looks at a petition in the City of St. Louis to move its municipal elections to higher turn-out dates.  See it here. Ceselski believes that unintended (or intended) consequence of this petition would be to reduce turn-out when Rex Sinquefield’s anti-earning tax vote occurs, and improve his chances for victory on that front.


Those in favor of re-working the utility framework to incentivize modernizing the grid point to Florida Power and Light response to Hurricane Hermine as proof that the investments pay off.  See it here.  More than $2 billion worth of investments in FPL's smart grid is resulting in a faster restoration process…


NYTimes reports on the efforts of subprime lender OneMain Financial to lobby at the state level.  See it here. In Missouri, OneMain is represented by Burton Liese.


This Ed Martin-Eagle Forum controversy ain’t going away folks.  See the latest here.


eMailbag on Ed Martin and Phyllis Schlafly

He is going to try and fundraiser off her for years.


eMailbag on Bechthold’s Report

More important than Ranen Bechthold’s wife taking a paycheck, she is listed at the Jackson County address in question, that is not in the 17th Senatorial District.  [This could be] significant for [Sen. Ryan] Silvey’s appeal.


Help Wanted

Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association (MBWA) seeks Chief Association Executive.  Role will be responsible for serving as chief association executive, recommending and participating in the formulation of policies, and planning/directing the staff, programs and activities of the association.

Build and maintain relationships with key industry and government stakeholders.

Excellent written & verbal communications skills.

Qualifications:  BA/BS Degree, Five (5) years of Association Management or Alcohol Industry Experience. Government Relations Experience and strong negotiating skills a plus.

Cover Letter and Resume should be submitted by September 23, 2016.

Send all Correspondence, Resumes to:  MBWA, 13535 Bahnfyre Drive, St. Louis, MO 63128


Independence Power & Light seeks Lobbying Services. “PRIMARY SERVICES: Provide consulting, advising and lobbying services to IPL on an as-needed basis, as IPL deems appropriate for State Legislative issues.  As directed by IPL and/or City personnel, the individual or firm selected will identify, research, analyze, and advocate on state issues that may impact IPL. The proposer shall have working knowledge and provide consultation to IPL regarding state legislation, regulations, and policies affecting IPL…”  See it here.


Kansas City Area Transportation Authority seeks Governmental Affairs Manager.  “Under general direction, the manager represents the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and the Board of Commissioners, if applicable, with legislative lobbyists, legislators, legislative aides and governmental staff at local, state and federal levels; initiates, prepares, reviews and monitors legislation and administrative regulations; identifies and reviews potential sources of governmental funding; coordinates with project managers in applying for and pursuing public funds for projects; researches and prepares speeches and reports; prepares testimony and testifies at legislative hearings; and manages staff; may direct the Public Affairs, including community relations/public information program, special events, media relations activities and advertising program; and performs related duties as required…”  See it here.


Changes in Lobbyist Registrations

Richard McIntosh, Franc Flotron, David McCracken, Zach Brunnert, and Bill Stouffer added Rockwood Management Corporation LLC.

Franc Flotron added LeadingAge Missouri.

Richard McIntosh added Allen Law Offices LLC.

Richard McIntosh and Zachery Brunnert added Image API.

Richard McIntosh and Bill Stouffer added Drivewyze Inc.

Rodney Boyd and Brian Grace added Wyman Center Inc

Sarah Nesbitt added Reproaction.

BJ Tanksley added Missouri Farm Bureau.

Becky Hershbach added Productive Living Board.

Grover Gamm deleted Nemo Grain Processors LLC, and Gamm Inc.

Matthew Roney and Kit Bond deleted Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


$5K+ Contributions

Koster for Missouri - $20,000 from McBride & Son Properties Inc.

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

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Joseph Stieven.

Lewis & Clark Leadership Forum - $15,000 from Drury Development Corp.

Greitens for Missouri _ $25,000 from Onshore Technology Services Inc.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $7,000 from Citizens to Elect Bruce DeGroot.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Southern Glazer’s Missouri PAC.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from QC Holdings Inc.

Missourians for Byron DeLear - $10,000 from Walter DeLear.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Sheila Solon, and former Rep. Kathlyn Fares.