Friday, January 29, 2016

Lombardi’s Bag Man

Chris McDaniels, formerly with St. Louis Public Radio and now with Buzzfeed, has a bombshell of a story.  He reports that Missouri Department of Corrections has been paying the company which executes death row inmates… wait for it… wait for it… IN CASH.  Over $250,000 worth of cash.  And maybe they didn’t report it to the IRS. See it hereSee the spreadsheet of cash payments here.

Pull Quote: Missouri Director of Adult Institutions David Dormire has handed out nearly a hundred envelopes filled with cash since November 2013. Over that span of time, Dormire delivered $284,551.84 in cash to the small group of individuals who help the state carry out the death penalty, according to a BuzzFeed News review of receipts, an audit of the payments, a spreadsheet showing cash withdrawals, and memos marked “confidential” in which the payments were discussed.  “It seems very strange to me,” said Sandy Freund, a law professor at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. “How could they possibly be paying in cash? That seems so ridiculous.”  In fact, several experts who spoke with BuzzFeed News said the state’s methods raise serious questions about whether the state has followed federal tax law.

 

Bradshaw Out

Less than a week after Brad Bradshaw reacted with bravado to the entrance of Russ Carnahan, sent out a fighting letter, and signed contracts to run TV ads, Bradshaw has reversed course.  Yesterday he sent out a statement, throwing in the towel. The statement hints at what have been whispers: that Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Koster recruited Carnahan for the LG slot.  The thinking is that Carnahan – with his previous political experience and name ID – is a well-vetted statewide candidate who won’t require direction or resources, and keeps the seat in play for Dems.

Filing is about a month away, and Rep. Tommie Pierson still remains as a primary opponent to Carnahan.  We’ll see if he sticks.

Bradshaw Statement

I want to thank all of the people who have supported my campaign and initiative petition efforts. Words cannot express how deep my appreciation.  However, the hard analysis of the recent developments of Russ Carnahan entering the Lieutenant Governor's race, the relationship between Carnahan and Koster, and several competing medical marijuana initiative petitions have caused me conclude that this election cycle is not the best for either a campaign for the Lieutenant Governor's office or for the medical marijuana initiative. I am therefore suspending both campaigns for this election cycle. I wish all of my supporters the best, the best for our state and nation, and hope the outcome of this election moves us in that direction.

 

Graham Not Endorsing Harris

I received a forward of a text exchange between Jeff Harris and former Sen. Chuck Graham in which Harris asks to list Graham on his endorsements.  I called Graham who confirmed that this was indeed his response to the request…

Good to hear from you. What's it been? Seven years? And thanks for accepting my Facebook friend request. Been so long I don't remember sending it. Facebook probably still had "flair" on their pages. Anyway, I have two rationale I utilize when endorsing candidates. The first is friendship and loyalty. You've shown neither of those two things to me since I welcomed Chris Koster to our caucus, even though I stuck by my endorsement of you for Attorney General, which is perplexing. When I was unemployed and was looking for opportunities to serve you were nowhere to be found. Don't worry, I had other people that did help and am doing great.

The second is that I support the most qualified candidates. In this race, you are certainly not close to being the most qualified candidate. I don't know how much you've been in a courtroom, but Circuit Judge isn't a starter position. It's critical we have someone with more judicial experience. Therefore I have to decline your request for my endorsement and will be endorsing Deb Daniels wholeheartedly. Chuck

 

KC Slips Schaefer’s Sights

Sen. Kurt Schaefer dropped Kansas City from his bill to eliminate earning taxes in Missouri cities, leaving St. Louis as the sole target.  See SB 575 here.  The move comes after what one hall-walker described as an “icy” meeting Schaefer had with Kansas City Mayor Sly James earlier in the week.

 

Senate Passes Muni II

The Senate passed Sen. Eric Schmitt’s SB 572 to end “taxation by citation” by a vote of 25-6.

See the Post-Dispatch article here.

 

NAACP on Police Station Polling Places

The Missouri NAACP State Conference and the St. Louis County NAACP Branch are deeply concerned following the recent report issued by ‘Better Together’ highlighting the startling impact of polling places in St. Louis County being located  in municipal police departments. The City of Ferguson put on display the egregious effects of policing for profit; sadly, the report issued by ‘Better Together’ merely highlights the consequences of a community saddled with warrants for often times minor traffic offenses… The right to vote is one that should be protected not hindered. Voters should not be fearful of being toted to jail for exercising their constitutional right, due to the greed of revenue driven municipalities…       

 

House Committee Changes

Minority Leader Jake Hummel made a few changes to Democratic representation on House committees.  Rep. John Rizzo was removed from the Select Committee on Budget and Rep. Randy Dunn was added.  Rep. DaRon McGee was added to the Committee on Local Government.  Rep. Jon Carpenter was removed from the Committee on Ways and Means, and Rep. Deb Lavender was added.

 

Judge Pool

The press release:  [A]pplicants for the vacancy on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, created by the January 2016 resignation of Judge Patricia L. Cohen to become a federal magistrate judge… Colleen Dolan, Joel D. Ferber, Richard A. Gartner, Patrick L. King, James R. Layton, Benjamin A. Lipman, Levell D. Littleton, James R. McAdams, Shawn R. McCarver, Erwin O. Switzer, Joan M. Tanner, Robin R. Vannoy, Kenneth K. Vuylsteke, Stanley J. Wallach, and Carl M. Ward…

The commission will conduct interviews from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Monday, February 8… The commission will meet beginning at approximately 3:30 p.m. February 8 in the same location to select the three nominees from this applicant pool for the governor’s consideration.

 

New Committees

Friends of Angela Malone was formed.  It’s the candidate committee for Malone to run for Commissioner At Large District 1 Jackson County.

Grade A For Change was formed.  It supports Connie Harge for the Fer-Flo School Board.  See the paperwork here.  The treasurer is Judy Ferguson Shaw.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Christopher Martin added Missouri Innovation Corporation, Southeast Missouri University Foundation, and Southeast Missouri State University.

Michael Grote added Ebay Inc, Missouri Juvenile Justice Association, Cummins Inc., and American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

Salvatore Panettiere added Everytown For Gun Safety Action Fund.

Steven Johnston added St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.

Dawn Nicklas added Jackson County Legislature.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Friends of Fred Wessels - $25,000 from Friends of Fred Wessels.

Holsman for Missouri - $16,000 from Safe Families for Missouri.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Reps. Craig Redmon and Tommie Pierson, Brian Schmidt, Wayne Bledsoe, Rory Riddler, and Allison Bruns.

Saturday: Chuck Caisley.

Sunday: former Sen. Robin Wright-Jones.