Milton in House 90
Republicans have recruited Mark Milton (see a bio here) to run in House 90. This is Rick Stream’s old district which Democrats grabbed last cycle when Rep. Deb Lavender took 51.5% of the vote.
Milton is an attorney at Husch Blackwell, and while the district has been moving Democratic over the years, this is a signal that Republicans aren’t conceding any ground without a fight.
In the Arena
One insider predicts that the legislators who have started to coalesce against using public money for a new St. Louis stadium are prepping to launch a fresh attack on the project. We’ll see…
Clay – MCN 2016 Stare-Off
The Post-Dispatch has an article about Congressman Lacy Clay and Ferguson. (See it here. My thanks to the peerless John Combest for the link). Pull Quote: Said Elbert Walton, a longtime Democratic operative in St. Louis and onetime ally who has had a falling-out with Lacy Clay for reasons the two disagree on. “Maria (Chappelle-Nadal) was on the streets. Lacy Clay was visibly absent in the Ferguson demonstrations. … When he had an opportunity to come out and be out front on an issue that was critical to constituents, he was nowhere to be seen.”
Said Chappelle-Nadal: “Everybody says, ‘Where has he been?’ Every constituent that I have encountered, when his name comes up unprovoked, that is what they say.”
She did not rule out challenging Clay in 2016.
She would face tough odds. Clay has been an electoral powerhouse since his first election to Congress in 2000, with a long procession of victories with 70 percent of the vote or more…“In this stage of my career, I would look forward to (a challenge from Chappelle-Nadal) because of the entertainment value of it alone,” Clay, 59, said. “This,” Clay added, chuckling, “is not my first rodeo.”
In the Fight For Hawley Email…
Rudi Keller reports that the University is saying no personal emails will be subject to the Sunshine law. See it here.
Pull Quote: “When an employee sends or receives a personal email, we do not consider that to be a record retained by or of the University of Missouri,” system spokesman John Fougere wrote in an email to the Tribune. Other agencies in state government operate on a different standard…
“I do think that if an email resides on a server of a public governmental body, it is clearly a public record, and there is no expectation of privacy that a public governmental body employee has in the emails that they exchange,” [Jean] Maneke said.
Hawley is the target of several open records requests filed by Kevin Elmer of Nixa, a former legislator who supports state Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, for the GOP nomination for attorney general. The university has begun releasing the records sought by Elmer, who paid almost $5,000 for the documents.
And University Blames ObamaCare for Ditching Benefit
Megan Favignano reports: Graduate students employed by the University of Missouri will have a harder time paying for health insurance after MU told students Friday it is taking away subsidies that help with premium costs. MU Associate Vice Chancellor for Graduate Studies Leona Rubin said the change is the result of a recent IRS interpretation of a section of the Affordable Care Act… If the university continued to do so, Rubin said it could be fined $36,000. “We’re trying to comply with the interpretation of federal law,” Rubin said. “We’re not trying to hurt” students. See it here.
Says one Dem: “May become a larger issue given potential costs and impact to thousands of university students. Only the university could have a two week run that end with GOP and Dem leg members infuriated.”
Emery Asks for Prayers
On Facebook… August 15 at 1:08pm Urgent Prayer Request for Senator Ed Emery.
Please intercede for healing and answers for our dear friend and brother in Christ, and for Rebecca who also needs the strength of God. From Rebecca: "Please send out some information for us. Ed has lost sight in his right eye. Doctors are concerned about why this has happened. We are running tests today and Monday. We are trusting the Lord."
InternGates to Nudge Ethics Reform?
KC Star’s Jason Hancock reports that the House may try to temper the “anything-goes atmosphere.” See it here.
Pull Quote: The push to repair the damage from internship scandals also has breathed new life into an issue that has bedeviled lawmakers for years — legislative ethics reform.
The two issues may appear unrelated at first blush. But to many lawmakers, Missouri’s status as the only state with no campaign contribution limits, no limits on lobbyist gifts and no restrictions on legislators becoming lobbyists contributes to an anything-goes atmosphere underlying the sexual harassment of interns.
“Ethics reform needs to be a top priority for the legislature,” said House Speaker Todd Richardson, a Poplar Bluff Republican. “There’s not a silver bullet that can magically make everything better, and there’s not a direct causal link, but ethics reform is something that can help improve the culture and also the public perception of the Capitol.”
Rep. Robert Cornejo throws a punch at the Missouri Promise proposal in the Post-Dispatch (see it here): Tax increases like this are a bad deal for our state. They take more money from taxpayers and create spending obligations that we just cannot sustain.
The Post-Dispatch surveys the current Republican gubernatorial field. See it here. No new broken in the article. They do list Rep. Bart Korman among the contenders
Jennifer Toppins resigned as deputy treasurer of John Diehl’s campaign committee. This follows the resignation of Dean Plocher as treasurer a week or two ago.
From Politico’s Pulse (see it here): The DOJ announced that the Mercy Health Springfield Communities and Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities in Southwest Missouri have agreed to pay $5.5 million to settle allegations that they violated the False Claims Act. DOJ alleges that the providers engaged in improper financial relationships with referring physicians.
eMailbag: on Barnes’ PDMP Compromise
Lobbyist: Rep. Jay Barnes’ PDMP compromise exists only in his mind. It does nothing to solve the problem of doctor shopping by individuals virtually all of who do not fall in the categories he describes.
eMailbag on Rexphobia
Lobbyist: Is it really Rex Sinquefield paranoia when he seems to be both taking from the legislature and sending people to the legislature as staff?
Susan Henderson Moore added Clean Line Partners.
Koster for Missouri - $20,000 from Operating Engineers Local 101 Political Action Committee.
Koster for Missouri - $25,000 from Gori, Julian & Associates PC.
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $111,784 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
Returning Government to the People - $50,000 from Fred N Sauer.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $7,600 from Friends of Elijah Haahr.
Happy birthdays to Vernon Scoville and Gate Way Group’s David Berry.