Tuesday, January 5, 2015

Green to MO Chamber and Other Moves

Former Dempsey staffer Brad Green has joined Missouri Chamber.

Pro Tem Ron Richard hasn’t found a replacement for him yet.  But Josh Foster from Sen. Ed Emery’s office will be pitch in temporarily to help with gubernatorial appointments over the next month.

And Deanna Gesch is joining Richard’s office as legislative assistant.


Carnahan Terminates Committee

Years after her political career abruptly ended, Robin Carnahan has terminated her campaign committee.  She filed the termination yesterday, and donated the remaining funds - $128K – to a PAC, Democracy 2.0 that was started last month, and of which Carnahan is named as an officer.  See the paperwork here.

What is Democracy 2.0?  I don’t know.  This from the internet… “Robin Carnahan continued her seminar series, "Democracy 2.0." She discussed with special guest Sen. Claire McCaskill: In purple states such as Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, and Colorado, how can left- or right-leaning candidates achieve appeal across the political spectrum?”


New LeVota Vehicle?

Leadership for Missouri PAC was formed. The treasurer is Nancy LeVota.  She is the wife of former Sen. Paul LeVota.  She was also the treasurer for his campaign committee.  Will this new PAC be the recipient of LeVota’s remaining campaign funds ($94,391)?  We’ll see…
Reverse Merger

Lake News Online reports on “reverse merger” bill filed by Rep. Diane Franklin to move the Water Patrol back out of the Highway Patrol.  See it here.

This followed the drowning death of a twenty-year old, and subsequent charges filed of involuntary manslaughter against the arresting officer.  See the Kansas City Star article about that here.

Some have been critical about the merger, saying that it was foolishly untaken in the name of streamlining government and cost savings, when the difference between the two “patrols” (one on water, one on cement) didn’t lend itself to a merger.

The fear in this particular case is that the trooper wasn’t properly trained in water protocol.

Excerpt from Nixon’s Speech March 11, 2010 to Springfield Business Development Corporation

There’s a major challenge staring us in the face in state government. Three months after we prepared next year’s budget, our economic models are becoming clearer.

While our state economy is starting to tick upward, state revenue is not. And it probably won’t for some time. That means we’ve got a $500 million hole in next year’s budget… To get the savings we need, we must right-size state government by cutting programs, trimming the workforce, and consolidating departments while maintaining excellence in our services….

We need to find more savings by consolidating functions. Wherever we can reduce the bureaucracy and streamline services for the taxpayers, we must do it – and we will.

Let me give you a few examples…

State law enforcement can be made more efficient as well. Missouri has one full-time agency that enforces state laws on our highways 365 days a year, and an entirely separate agency that enforces state laws on our waterways.

We need to consolidate the Highway Patrol and the Water Patrol, so that our dedicated law enforcement agents can provide the citizens of Missouri with seamless protection, whether they’re traveling our highways or floating our lakes and streams.  We can achieve these administrative efficiencies while maintaining the full force on our roads and our waterways…


Richard: I’m Mr. Nice Guy

Marshall Griffin interview Pro Tem Ron Richard who pay homage to the institution of the Senate and says he’s not a “grumpy old man.”  See it here.

Pull Quote: “I’m not as unapproachable as many would say and I’m not as grumpy (as they would say), (but I get) a little frustrated sometimes with the lobbyists and bureaucrats, (and) if they’d let us do our jobs we’d be a lot better off. I’m a little older than most in this building, and with social media this whole thing has changed. … We’ve got so many (Senate) members that are glued to their phones and the perception of what people are saying about them, rather than just doing their business and their job. … I’m walking down the hallway and I get a few people run into me because they’re too busy looking on their cell phones, and I’ll chastise them and tell them to pay attention to what you’re doing.

I expect my staff to be the model of every staff in the state of Missouri and around the country. I don’t drink anymore, since I was elected. … I had my share before, so I’m pretty much caught up. I am approachable, but I’m here to do business, so if you want to horse around go somewhere else.”


Better Together: We Have Many Donors

Better Together scoffed at the charge that they are a subsidiary of Rex Inc, pointing to their broad donor base… “While it is true that Rex Sinquefield is one of our funders, we have nearly 100 donors including some prominent organizations like Civic Progress, Regional Business Council, World Wide Technology, Monsanto, Centene, Emerson Electric, John McDonnell and Bert Walker…”

See all their donors listed on their website (See it here) at their various giving levels.


Schupp Rips Schaefer

Sen. Jill Schupp let rip a zinger of a press release yesterday tearing into Sen. Kurt Schaefer for his leadership of the Interim Committee on the Sanctity of Life.

A vast majority of the committee’s time has been used to attack the University of Missouri System, with which Chairman Schaefer has a well-publicized political grievance concerning his bid to become Missouri’s next Attorney General.  Schaefer’s only opponent in that race was recently granted a year of unpaid leave by the University to run his campaign.

Among the many subpoenas and information requests issued to University officials, a letter from Schaefer dated Oct. 30, 2015 attempts to repress a graduate student’s research project on the effects of Missouri’s new anti-abortion laws.

“This committee has sunk to the level of suppressing academic freedom,” Schupp stated. “Unable to discover any wrongdoings by Planned Parenthood, the committee has mutated into a crusade against women’s healthcare, the University system and academic freedom.  The Chairman is literally combing through academics’ research, looking for ‘illegal’ academic inquiries. The transition from medical ethics to criminalizing educational research is deeply troubling.”

Senator Schupp also took issue with the manner in which the committee report was constructed.

“The committee never met to discuss any aspect of the report,” the Senator noted.  “Then one day an email appeared that literally said ‘Here’s the report, respond with approval.’  There was no semblance of proper process; no discussion, no edits – just unilateral dictates.”

Senator Schupp joined Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal, the only other Democrat on the committee, in refusing to sign the report.


Obama on Guns

President Barack Obama will unveil new executive actions today to “reduce gun violence and make our communities safer.”

Gun violence has taken a heartbreaking toll on too many communities across the country.  Over the past decade in America, more than 100,000 people have been killed as a result of gun violence—and millions more have been the victim of assaults, robberies, and other crimes involving a gun.  Many of these crimes were committed by people who never should have been able to purchase a gun in the first place… the Administration is announcing a series of commonsense executive actions designed to: Keep guns out of the wrong hands through background checks; Make our communities safer from gun violence; Increase mental health treatment and reporting to the background check system; Shape the future of gun safety technology….

Today, the Administration is announcing the following executive actions to ensure that all gun dealers are licensed and run background checks, and to strengthen the background check system itself: Clarify that it doesn’t matter where you conduct your business—from a store, at gun shows, or over the Internet:  If you’re in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks… 

Shaping the Future of Gun Safety Technology

Tens of thousands of people are injured or killed by firearms every year—in many cases by guns that were sold legally but then stolen, misused, or discharged accidentally.  Developing and promoting technology that would help prevent these tragedies is an urgent priority.  America has done this in many other areas—from making cars safer to improving the tablets and phones we use every day.  We know that researchers and engineers are already exploring ideas for improving gun safety and the tracing of lost or stolen guns…  As the single largest purchaser of firearms in the country, the Federal Government has a unique opportunity to advance this research and ensure that smart gun technology becomes a reality—and it is possible to do so in a way that makes the public safer and is consistent with the Second Amendment….


MOScout Poll on Gun Control

When the prospect of executive action on guns was floated a few months ago, we polled it.  See the poll here.  It showed 54% of Missouri voters in favor of the action and 38% opposed.  It was supported across every age demographic, though only a third of Republicans approved as opposed to 80% of Democrats.


Washington University study maps where children are injured and killed by guns in the St. Louis area.  See it here.


Missouri American Water Rate Increase Hearings

AP reports on upcoming hearing for Missouri American’s rate increase case.

“The Missouri Public Service Commission will hold a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin. Other sessions will be in Jefferson City, Branson, Warrensburg, St. Joseph, St. Louis County and in other areas served by Missouri American…

Missouri American filed water and sewer rate cases last July with the commission seeking to increase annual operating revenues by roughly $51 million statewide.”

See it here.



According to LinkedIn, Chastity Young is now “Outreach” at Koster for Missouri.


New Year’s Resolution: I will be fall into lazy habit of believing interest groups are monolithic… From Politico’s New York bureau an article about the differences between various charter school interests.  See it here.


St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger released the “top-to-bottom” audit of St. Louis County government.  See it here.


Floor Leader Mike Cierpiot’s tentative schedule for the House is convening tomorrow at Noon, then Thursday at 10AM.  And Monday starts at 4PM.


eMailbag: on Real ID

What's missing from the Real ID discussion is that Governor Jay Nixon signed the bill. His default position is to veto everything. I'd like to see a reporter push him for a statement. This would also be a good question for the gubernatorial candidates.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Denny Hoskins Reception – Gumbo Bottoms – 5PM.

HRCC Reception – 305 Jefferson St. – 5PM.

Rep. Anne Zerr Reception – Madison’s Café – 5:30PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Donald Kaufmann added Productive Living Board.

Jim Foley, Mark Bruns, and Andrew Foley added Missouri Trucking Association.

Gary Burton, Don Soph, Andrew Foley, Jim Foley, Mark Bruns, and Chris Liese deleted City of Woodson Terrace, and City of Edmundson.

Jim Foley deleted City of Sugar Creek.

Tricia Workman and Mike Gibbons added Missouri Soybean Association; and deleted Physicians Professional Indemnity Association.

Rashaan Gilmore added Promo.

Rodney Boyd, Kelvin Simmons and Brian Grace added Lyft Inc.

Kelly Stuck added University of Missouri

Mike Grote added Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association.

David McCracken added Morphotrust USA.

Dawn Nicklas added Osage Beach Fire Protection District, and Missouri Recycling Association.

Patrice Minear deleted Lilly USA.

Marti Smith deleted California Nurses Association, and National Nurses United.

Patrick Baumhoer deleted Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.

Tim Fischesser deleted Saint Louis County Municipal League.

Jack Todd deleted Trinity Industries Inc.

Joyce Prage deleted Productive Living Board.

Heath Clarkston and Harry Gallagher deleted Tracfone Wireless, Inc.

Earl McKennon deleted Pyramis Global Advisors Holding Corp.


$5K+ Contributions

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Andrew O’Brien.

The Committee to Protect MO Families - $100,000 from CHIPP.

Ameren Missouri Political Action Committee - $100,000 from Ameren Missouri.

Progress KC PAC - $10,000 from Hunt Midwest Enterprises Inc.

Progress KC PAC - $10,000 from Kansas City Chiefs Football Club.

Democracy 2.0 - $128,135 from Robin Carnahan for Missouri.

Koster for Missouri - $7,200 from Boyce and Bynum Pathology Laboratories PC.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Joe Adams, and former Rep. Sara Lampe.