Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ethics Bills Get Going

Rep. Jay Barnes’ Government Accountability had its first hearing on ethics bills.  It voted to pass out four bills: Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskin’s HB 1452  (See it here) which requires filing of personal financial disclosure forms twice a year instead of once a year.  (How about requiring the Missouri Ethics Commission to put the PFDs online – and in a searchable format.  Right now people must find the MEC office and spend hours in an old fashioned paper chase.  If PFDs are important, make them accessible, folks!); Rep. Shamed Dogan’s HB 1983 (See it here) which makes it illegal to be compensated as a political consultant while serving in office; and Rep. Caleb Rowden's HB 1575(See it here) concerning reporting travel expenses, and HB 1979 (See it here) which is a one-legislative session wait before legislators can become lobbyists.  Rowden’s wait bill also includes state-wide office holders, and gubernatorial appointees which received Senate approval.  For example, Public Service Commissioners or Highway Commission or Board of Healing Arts members, would be subject to the wait.

There was some grumbling that Rowden’s wait bill only applies to new legislators.  And while that criticism is valid, the school of political reality says get it done however you can.

What’s Missing

There will be more ethics bills coming, but what I’d like to see is disclosures from legislators of any employment discussions.  A job offer should be reportable.

 

Greitens’ Ethics Plan

Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens unveiled his ethics wishlist…

#1: Term Limits for Every Statewide Office Holder

#2: Ban all Gifts from Lobbyists

#3: Close the Revolving Door Between Legislators and Special Interests

“[F]or every year you serve in office, you have to wait a year before you can do paid lobbying in Missouri.  If you serve one year, you have to wait one year before you can lobby. Serve two, then you wait two. And if you're a career politician who has been in office for twenty years, then you wait twenty years before you can engage in paid lobbying.”

#4: End Campaign Contributions while the Legislature is in Session

#5: Stop Politicians from Pocketing Campaign Money

#6: Report All Government Handouts

[A]ll candidates and elected officials will report every penny of government tax credits, contracts, salaries, and special interest handouts that they, their companies, and their families have received from the Federal and State government…

#7: End Donations from Companies Under Investigation

[N]o company that is subject to a state lawsuit or investigation will be able to make campaign contributions to any officeholder or candidate for office.   

#8: Stronger Ethics Enforcement

The Missouri Ethics Commission should have more robust power to conduct independent investigations. There will be a prosecutor in the Ethics Commission with the authority to impose stiff penalties…

 

Muntzel V Farm Bureau

On Casenet (11CO-CC00016-02 ), there’s a lawsuit filed by Dave Muntzel last week against the Missouri Farm Bureau, and Ray Mabury.  According to LinkedIn, Mabury is a sales manager at Farm Bureau Insurance. Muntzel’s House biography notes that he “dedicated 12 years of his career as a District Manager for Missouri Farm Bureau Insurance Services, Inc.”  It appears to be an employment discrimination suit.

 

Meet Missouri Freedom Foundation

Tomorrow morning The Missouri Freedom Foundation has its first policy breakfast.  “This series is directed toward Missouri State Legislators and their staff.  Our Foundations in Freedom series will feature scholars from Missouri and across the nation, experts in the policy areas you are likely to cover during the 2016 and future Legislative Sessions. Please consider attending and enjoy a breakfast of bacon and eggs while delving into the public policy issues that affect your constituents…. Education Reform with Michael McShane of the Show-Me Institute, Wed, Jan 13 at 7 am, Double Tree Inn of Jefferson City, Rose Room…”

Missouri Freedom Foundation looks like a 501(c)3 arm of Missouri Alliance for Freedom.  Whole lot of freedom happening….

 

Rumorville: E-Tax Lawsuit Coming

Rumor is that there may be lawsuits filed in both Kansas City and St. Louis against those jurisdictions’’ earnings taxes.  If it happens it will presumably be based on the Supreme Court’s Wynne decision (see it here; and see a helpful FAQ here) which has become a talking point among opponents of the taxes.

We’ll see if it happens and if it’s part of Rex Sinquefield’s long-standing efforts to dismantle those taxes.  Right now – thanks to Sinquefield – voters have the opportunity to end the tax, but they haven’t chosen to.

 

Bits

It’s the State of the Union speech today… which means be careful on twitter tonight, lotsa ridiculous rhetoric will be fire around…

 

On the Senate website Barry Dalton was added to the Communications staff.

 

Humana says that they’re “expanding its use of telemedicine in its Medicare Advantage offerings… in 12 states starting this year — Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri…”  See it here.

 

GOP LG candidate Mike Parson preannounced raising “in excess of $211,000 from 255 donors during the fourth quarter of 2016, ending the year with more than $1,000,000 cash on hand…”

 

New Committees

Cathy Richards started a committee to run for House 46 as a Democrat.  This is Rep. Stephen Webber’s seat; he’s running for state senate.  There’s also another Democrat running already, Martha Stevens.  The roll-out was a little bumpy with a campaign violation right out of the block.  See the Columbia Tribune article here. (My thanks for the link, as always, to the peerless John Combest.)

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

MCTA Reception – Doubletree Hotel – JC – 5PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Steven Carroll added Medical Solutions Supplier.

Bridget Sharpe added Professional Beauty Association.

Jeff Glenn added Mercury Alliance.

Chris Moody added Statehouse Strategies LLC; and deleted Schreimann, Rackers, Francka and Blunt, LLC.

Bennie Lewis added Energy Co. Partners.

Michael Stern added Ace Group – North America.

Cheryl Dozier added The Dozier Group International.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,500 from Edward Jones.

MO Democratic State Committee - $28,500 from Democratic Governor Association.

Greitens for Missouri - $25,000 from MacLean-Fogg Company.

Robinson fotr Judge - $10,000 from Long & Robinson LLC.

KCS Rail PAC - $10,000 from Kansas City Southern.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Scott Largent and Jim Ross.