Monday, December 28, 2015

Raise Your Hands Gets $1 Million

The possibility of a tobacco tax increase took an intriguing turn over the Christmas holiday as R.J. Reynolds donated $1 million to Raise Your Hands for Kids.

This is a significant development in that it provides the Raise Your Hand folks with a huge start to fund their initiative petition signature collection process.

“Little tobacco” has been making significant contributions to the MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Association PAC, and they are collecting signatures for a smaller tax increase which would benefit roads.  Their proposal also has “poison pill” provisions which would nullify the tax increase if additional taxes were levied.

In the past few months, those companies have contributed about $400,000 toward that campaign.

The split between “big” and “little” tobacco appears to hinge on a difference in the taxes that the two class of tobacco companies pay.  Big tobacco’s products pay a higher rate because of their inclusion in the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement.  Little tobacco – not included in that settlement – pays a lesser rate.

Raise Your Hands’ proposed increase would level the taxing field.  With this contribution from RJ Reynolds, it appears “big tobacco” has calculated that the higher overall rate is acceptable if it also puts them on an equal taxing level with their competitors.

The next move in this game of chess is now with little tobacco.  Do they buck up for an all-out fight against Raise Your Hands’ proposal or do they push ahead with their smaller tax increase hoping it is more popular with voters (or confuses them into a No vote)?

We’ll see…

FYI

RAI Services Company (Reynolds American) has several lobbyists in Jefferson City.  They are: Steve Jackson, Gate Way Group’s David Jackson, Katie Casas, Dave Berry, and Deanna Hemphill, and Gallagher’s Kim Akin, Harry Gallagher, and Heath Clarkston.

 

Schroer for House

Nick Schroer started a campaign committee to run for House 107 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Rep. Ron Hicks, is not running for re-election; he’ll be running for mayor of St. Peters. Schroer is an attorney.

 

Edmonds for Schmitt

SPOTTED at Sen. Eric Schmitt’s fundraising event last week… former St. Louis Cardinals Jim Edmonds and his Real Housewives of Orange County wife Meghan King Edmonds.

 

Nixon Declares Emergency

The press release: Gov. Jay Nixon today declared a state of emergency in Missouri as heavy rain, flooding and flash flooding continue to impact much of the state. Heavy rains have led to widespread flooding and at least eight fatalities have been reported. More heavy rain and additional flooding is expected through Monday, and river levels are forecast to continue to rise over the next several days.

Since the latest round of severe weather began, the Missouri State Highway Patrol has conducted dozens of water rescues, and assisted in the evacuation of residents from flooded areas.  Multiple roadways have been closed due to floods and the Governor urged Missourians in flood-affected areas to avoid travel if possible…

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Noel Torpey added Boulevard Brewing Co.

Thomas Robbins added Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.

Elizabeth Smith, Aaron Montano, and Leon Richardson added Alliancebernstein.

Alex Franco added Mead Johnson Nutrition Company; Mead Johnson & Company LLC.

Michael Wood added Michael Wood and Associates.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Eastern MO Laborers Education & Benevolent Fund - $17,000 from Laborers Local 849 Voluntary Political Fund.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $25,000 from Givco LLC.

New Approach Missouri - $20,000 from Stephen Phillips.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $25,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Gil Bickel.

Raise Your Hands for Kids - $1,000,000 from RAI Services Company.

Podhola for Missouri - $25,000 from International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, PAT PAC.

Bill Kidd for State Representative - $5,001 from CHIPP Political Accoutn.

UTU-PAC - $6,500 from United Transportation Union PAC.

Koster for Missouri - $20,000 from United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, AFL-CIO.

GO MO - $32,557 from Brad Bradshaw.

New Approach Missouri - $10,000 from The Bourgeois Family LLC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Sue Entlicher, former Rep. Mike Spreng, LuAnn Madsen, and Renee Hulshof.

 

MOScout News

In this slow news week, we’ll do the end-of-the-year Reader Polls…  Tomorrow the topic is Lobbyists, Wednesday: Legislators; and Thursday: Jeff City.  Send you nominations to dave@moscout.com.

There will be no Daily Update on Friday (New Year’s Day), and then the following week the legislative session starts….