Monday October 19, 2015

MOScout Weekly Poll

The topline results of the MOScout Weekly Poll:

Q: President Obama is seriously considering circumventing Congress with his executive authority and imposing new background-check requirements for buyers who purchase weapons from high-volume gun dealers.  Under the proposed rule change, dealers who exceed a certain number of sales each year would be required to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and perform background checks on potential buyers.

Do you support or oppose this proposal by President Obama?
Not sure…………………….8%



Q: A new proposed Constitutional Amendment would allow state-licensed physicians to recommend marijuana for medical purposes to patients with serious illnesses and medical conditions. Missourians would have the right to use medical marijuana for treatment under the supervision of a physician.
Do you support or oppose this new Constitutional Amendment?

Not sure…………………………5%
Q: In 2006 Missourians approved a Constitutional Amendment that granted Missouri patients and researchers access to any method of stem cell research, therapies and cures permitted under federal law.  It also set limits on any stem cell research, therapies and cures, including banning human cloning or attempted cloning.
Do you support this Constitutional Amendment?
Not sure………………………19%

Q: There is a proposal to reduce the number of State Representatives in Missouri.  Currently, there are 163 State Representatives.  Proponents are advocating to reduce this to 123.
Do you support or oppose this proposal?
Not sure……………………….21%


Inside the crosstabs of these four issues, I found it interesting that except for gun control, three  of the four “controversial” issues were relatively bi-partisan.  Republicans only opposed the Obama action on gun control (34% in favor versus 58% opposed), while they were OK with medical marijuana (57% in favor), reducing the number of state representatives (49% in favor versus 34% opposed), and they were equally split on stem cell research (40% in support and 40% opposed).

eMailbag on Poll

The gun issue differential has to be fear motivated.  It's amazing how the Republicans have such a fear of minor checks when no one has tried to take anyone's guns away…  


Rove’s Group Buys MO Ads

Springfield News-Leader has the story.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Sen. Roy Blunt’s campaign is getting a big-time boost from an influential Washington advocacy group, which plans to spend nearly $800,000 on a TV and radio ad blitz supporting the Missouri Republican.

The group buying the pro-Blunt ads is called One Nation, and it’s part of a network of GOP organizations affiliated with American Crossroads, a super PAC founded with the help of Republican strategist Karl Rove.

One Nation’s foray into Missouri — more than a year before the 2016 election — may be a sign that the Show-Me State Senate race is becoming more competitive.
Democrat: The Blunt campaign can pretend they're not nervous all they want, but since the PPP poll came out showing Senator Blunt is the most unpopular senator up for reelection in the country, outside groups have now spent over $1 million on TV ads supporting him. A year out before the election. If Karl Rove is nervous about this race, Senator Blunt is too.


The Target on Webber?

While Rep. Stephen Webber had a very nice fundraising quarter, his opponent Rep. Caleb Rowden can probably expect a lot of help to level that playing field.  First, there just aren’t any other competitive senate districts this cycle – especially if Republicans whiff at recruiting as strong Senate 1 candidate.  So their resources and focus will be on Senate 19.

Second, one observer imagines that Pro Tem Ron Richard dreads the idea of having a Webber-like liberal joining the Senate and might put some of his war-chest toward the effort to defeat him.

We’ll see….


eMailbag: on Webber

Lobbyist 1: Something in the House fundraising totals was striking. Out of the top 15 fundraisers in the House the only Democrat was Rep. Stephen Webber at #2. Webber trailed the Speaker of the House but was leading the majority leader and raised more than twice as much as the various House Republicans running for the Senate.  One conclusion: Webber is damn good and should win relatively easily… 

Lobbyist 2: I think Webber is really tough to beat on this one.  Great candidate, lifelong district resident other than his military service in Iraq.  I find it hard to believe that money will determine here because Webber will spend a lot of dough and at some point it doesn't matter.  Presidential year with a 55% or higher DPI.  If a R could win here wouldn't Caleb Jones have run?  You have to think he took a hard look at the numbers and came to some tough realities about the district…


Efforts to Unseat Anti-RTW GOP Sens?

News to me, but according to Rolla Daily News, “The four Republican senators who in May voted against the right-to-work legislation — Ryan Silvey, Paul Wieland, Gary Romine and Tom Dempsey — are in trouble as efforts have already started to find Republicans who will unseat them next election, according to [Sen. Dan] Brown and [Rep. Keith] Frederick. Dempsey has since resigned from the Missouri Legislature….”    See it here.


In the House Trenches

In House 47, Susan McClintic is the Democrat running against incumbent Republican Rep. Chuck Basye. McClintic out-raised Basye last quarter.  She raised $19,210, and has $17,297 on-hand. Basye raised $10,829 and has $13,318 on-hand.

In House 94, former Rep. Vicki Englund, the Democrat running against Republican Rep. Cloria Brown, outraised the incumbent also.  Englund raised $33,550, and has $25,184 on-hand.  Brown raised $2,800 and has $5,908 on-hand.

The facts of Missouri political life though mean that the House Republican Campaign Committee will certainly backstop Republican House incumbents with as much cash as they need.

However, fundraising in addition to be a necessary ingredient to run a race can also be an indicator of local support.  McClintic press release touts “159 contributions – over 90% of those contributions came from individuals or local businesses….”  That shows a candidate working the district.


Other Quarterly Fundraising News

Sen. Wayne Wallingford showed $47K cash on-hand in his October quarter.  But a press release from his campaign notes that he had an event after the deadline and “the committee now has $89,450 on hand, nearly doubling the $47,000 on the most recent report….”


Fred Sauer has made regular appearances in my daily rundown of large contributions.  He’s the sole funder behind Returning Government to the People.  That’s the committee vehicle to support his initiative petition to limit campaign contributions.  He proposes a $2,600 cap, with adjustments for inflation.  See the petition here.  Sauer put in $362K last quarter.  Almost all of it has gone to National Ballot Access to collect signature for the petition.


The Senate 23 race is a fault-line for Republicans.  Some are supporting Rep. Anne Zerr who has been a faithful Republican except for her support of organized labor.  Others are backing Bill Eigel.  And it seems from the last quarter Eigel and Zerr are sucking most of the money away from Rep. Mark Parkinson’s bid.  On Eigel’s report this quarter: Dave Spence


Danforth Spoken Words Versus Written Checks

Last week on the Diane Rehm Show, former Senator Jack Danforth was the guest.  Listen to it here.  He sounded as he always does – very moderate – leaving everyone to head-scratch how he writes checks to GOPers like Ed Martin, and recently, Josh Hawley.

Danforth: With regard to the Kentucky clerk, when you’re elected to public office, particularly to an executive position as the clerk was, your sworn duty is to execute the law.  It’s not to try to foist your opinion on the rest of the public… I think that she should have functioned in her office as the law required her to function in her office and not act as an independent contractor.  Or if she couldn’t do it, then she should have resigned.


eMailbag on Danforth’s Hawley Contribution

Hawley is not notably a Danforth type Republican.  Nor, for that matter, was Clarence Thomas.  But all three are Yale Law graduates. Do old school ties trump ideology?


Dogan in WaPo

Rep. Shamed Dogan was quoted in the Washington Post last week on issues of race in politics. See it here.

Pull Quote: Shamed Dogan, a Republian state representative in Missouri, noted that there are few black voters in the Republican primary electorate and he didn't see it as a major failing that the issue received little attention in the GOP debate. "It's a little more relevant in the Democratic primary because the voters ... are more likely to be minorities," he said. "But if you look at the records of Republican governors and senators, a lot of them have interesting and good things to say about those issues."



No surprise: Missouri Right to Life’s endorsements for next month’s special elections are all Republicans.  Brian DeMoss (House 29), Nola Wood (House 36) and Dean Plocher (House 89) get the nod


Post-Dispatch looks at the underfunded public defenders.  See it here.  Pull Quote: Low-income Missourians have had the right to a public defender for half a century — it’s a right relayed during every arrest made. But with funding at its lowest level in four years, the state’s 376 public defenders are overworked and underpaid, statistics suggest. Some experts blame it on politics…


$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for John Brunner - $10,000 from John Ferguson.

Friends of Rob Vescovo - $6,000 from Rivertown Enterprises Inc.

MO Republican Party - $15,000 from HRCC Inc.

Friends of Kip Kendrick - $5,001 from Carpenters’ District Council of Greater Saint Louis and Vicinity (CHIPP).



Happy birthdays to Rep. Patricia Pike, and former Sen. John Lamping.