Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Berry Rehired

Ron Berry, who was fired by Paul LeVota just before he resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment, was rehired by the Senate to staff the now vacant Senate 11 district.

AP has the story. See it here.

It is a vindication for Berry who LeVota ironically accused of not following the Senate’s sexual harassment policy.


Smith’s Brother Missing

Congressman Jason Smith’s brother was reported missing yesterday.  See the Southeast Missourian’s story here.

Pull Quote:  The sheriff's office describes Billy Smith, 41, of Salem, Missouri, as a 5 foot, 10 inches tall, weighing 315 pounds with blue eyes, very short hair and a goatee. He also has a tattoo of a teddy bear on his left shoulder with the name "Angelea" on a ribbon and tattoo of a Tasmanian devil on his right forearm. He last was seen Monday morning at the Ameristar Casino in St. Charles, Missouri…


Oops! Student Holds CID FATE in Her Hands

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that a community improvement district now has a single voter in it, who will decide their tax increase proposal.  And she’s got some concerns… See it here.

Pull Quote: A mistake by representatives of the Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District means a sales tax increase the district needs to thrive will require approval by a single University of Missouri student.  On Feb. 28, Jen Henderson, 23, became the sole registered voter living within the community improvement district, or CID, meaning she is the only person who would vote on a half-cent sales tax increase for the district…. CID Executive Director Carrie Gartner said when CID officials contacted the Boone County Clerk’s Office about holding the election, they found out Henderson registered to vote with her Business Loop address in February…. Gartner “tried to get me to unregister, and that’s pretty manipulative,” Henderson said. “The district plan and the district border is manipulative, too.”  Gartner said she did nothing illegal when contacting Henderson and was surprised Henderson viewed her contact negatively… Henderson said she doesn’t plan to give up her right to vote and feels negative about an increased sales tax — but has not made a decision about how to vote. Henderson said her concerns include vague project outlines, Gartner’s pay, Business Loop improvements she said will help businesses but not nearby residents and how an additional sales tax would affect low-income people purchasing groceries and other necessities.  “Taxing their food is kind of sad, especially when” Gartner “is going to be making like $70,000 a year off of this whole deal,” Henderson said. “These people make a quarter of that. They can barely afford to go buy food, and you’re taxing their food.”


Romine’s Stadium Play

Sen. Gary Romine recently announced his opposition to using state-backed bonds to pay for a new football stadium.

Some observers think that the move could impact his leadership race with Sen. Ron Richard.  In the past, Richard has been glad to “carry the water” for St. Louis business establishment.  But as important is the sense that Richard has been willing to box in his caucus members, by putting tough votes – PQ, RTW – to the floor, and also through his unpolished statements to the press.

Romine’s announcement on the stadium probably is in-line with the majority of Republican senators.  That signals that he would be a pro tem like Tom Dempsey: less about advancing a personal agenda and more about fulfilling the wishes of the caucus.

We’ll see how it plays out, but I think the vote count is probably tight right now between Romine and Richard, each might have ten or so relatively solid votes with a half-dozen senators up in the air.


If, Then

If Richard were to lose the pro tem race, would he retrench to his floor leader position, or would he view it as a vote of no confidence and support Sen. Mike Kehoe in that spot?


New Committees

Missourians for Peter Kinder was formed.  Peter Kinder had amended his last committee to show he was running for governor, but now he has a new committee with a new treasurer.  Perhaps he is just starting a clean slate, related to his July report statement: “The Money On Hand reflects the actual bank statements of the Committee as of the date of this filing. Previous reports will be reviewed and, if necessary, will be amended.”


Mike Allen, husband of Rep. Sue Allen, started a committee to run for House 100 as a Republican.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

House Dems Summer Caucus - Tan-Tar-A Resort – Osage Beach


Lobbyists Registrations

Aaron G. March added Westport Today/saint Luke`s Foundation; and deleted St. Luke's Hospital Of Kansas City, Inc.

Jeff Grisamore added SMJ Real Estate, LLC.

Deanna Hemphill added Luminus Management, LLC.


$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for John Brunner - $5,001 from Gregory Delaney.

HealthPAC - $6,000 from Health Care Leadership Committee Federal Account.

HealthPAC - $10,000 from Health Care Leadership Committee State Account.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from John Danforth.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Anne Zerr (61), and former Rep. Ray Salva (68).