Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Tobacco Tax Follow-Up: The Poison Pill

The poison pill in the MO Petroleum + Convenience Stores Association’s tobacco tax proposal was one of the reasons that Raise Your Hands for Kids decided not to partner with that organization.

The so-called “poison pill” language is complicated. It takes up what’s looks to be nearly half of the text of the proposal.  But it appears that the tobacco tax that MO Petroleum is backing could easily be reversed.  This would happen under several scenarios: another statewide tobacco tax increase gets placed on the ballot; any city council places a tobacco tax on the ballot in any local election; or voters place a sales tax increase on a local ballot.

The poison pill nullifies the tax increase in any of these cases – regardless whether they are successful or not.  They need only get to the ballot for the tobacco tax to be nullified.

In this respect, supporters of using a tobacco tax to fund roads should be equally suspect of the MO Petroleum proposal.


Readers’ Poll Results: Lobbyists

Most Effective In-House Lobbyist: Tom Krewson, Comcast  (51.41%).

Most Effective In-House Association: Tracy King, MO Chamber (28.35%) (Close second - Sara Schuett, MATA  26.80%).

Most Effective In-House Non-Profit: Colleen Coble, Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (37.17%).

Happy Warrior Lobbyist: Scott Swain (39.90%).

Lovable Curmudgeon: Sam Licklider, Missouri REALTORS (38.86%).

Curmudgeon In-Training: Brent Hemphill, Hemphill & Associates (38.12%).

If Your Lost Cause Is Going to Have Any Chance, Hire...: Gibbons Workman (43.29%).

If you absolutely, positively, have to kill something, hire...: Bardgett & Associates (39.34%)

Up & Coming Lobbyist: Chris Molendorp (33.77%).

Best Supehero Duo: Mike Gibbons and Tricia Workman (41.34%).


End-of-the-Year Readers’ Poll: Legislators

And on to the poll on Legislators… Take it here.  Tomorrow’s topic is Jeff City – favorite restaurant, hotel etc.  Send your nominations…


Greitens Donor Hearts Bermuda

The New York Times ran an article about the ultra-wealthy’s techniques for lowering their tax bill.  Steven Cohen – who gave Eric Greitens $100,000 earlier this year – makes the lede… See it here.

Pull Quote: The hedge fund magnates Daniel S. Loeb, Louis Moore Bacon and Steven A. Cohen have much in common. They have managed billions of dollars in capital, earning vast fortunes. They have invested millions in art — and millions more in political candidates. Moreover, each has exploited an esoteric tax loophole that saved them millions in taxes. The trick? Route the money to Bermuda and back.


Fox News on Pagedale Fines

Fox News reports on the “nitpicking” fines of the City of Pagedale, the “cottage industry of overzealous city inspectors.”  See it here.


MO Family Hearts Schaefer of the Year

The press release:  MO Family Champion for the Year 2015: Senator Kurt Schaefer… The Senate Sanctity of Human Life Committee, chaired by Senator Kurt Schaefer of Columbia, discovered even more disturbing information about Missouri's Planned Parenthood affiliates. Senator Schaefer and his staff uncovered a sordid relationship between the University of Missouri and the Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Columbia. Using tenacious skills becoming of a private investigator, Senator Schaefer obtained internal documents revealing longstanding collaboration between University of Missouri officials and staff members at the Columbia abortion clinic. Because of his masterful leadership of this Senate Committee probe, the Missouri Family Policy Council is saluting Senator Kurt Schaefer as Missouri Family Champion for the year 2015...


Schaefer Contra Blunt?

Eli Yokley, writing in the Joplin Globe, looks at Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s hit on Josh Hawley and says that Roy Blunt could be collateral damage.  See it here.

Pull Quote: In a statement to the Columbia Daily Tribune, Hawley said, “By the time they came to my firm, Hogan Lovells, they had long since voluntarily disarmed, given up any kind of military action and were aiding the U.S. in material ways,” and they had the support of Blunt, former Missouri Sen. Kit Bond and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Schaefer’s push comes at a precarious time for Blunt, who is attempting to stave off criticism from his Democratic opponent, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, that Blunt — who has served on committees overseeing intelligence and the military for all but two years of his nearly two decades in Congress — is weak on national security.

But in the rhetoric that surrounds harsh, competitive Republican primary campaigns like Schaefer’s, it is every man for himself.


Get Your Passports Ready…

Post-Dispatch reports on the impending consequences of Missouri rejecting “Real ID.” See it here.

Pull Quote: Less than a week after the federal Department of Homeland Security warned that the state’s exemption from federal identification rules would end Jan. 10, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, said he has directed his top attorney to investigate a possible fix… House Speaker Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said House staffers are already working to try to address what could become a significant headache for some Missourians beginning next month… Amid concern that the federal Real ID program would result in a national identification card, Missouri lawmakers blocked changes through the passage of legislation in 2009. Last week, however, the Department of Homeland Security said Missouri drivers licenses and identification cards would not be acceptable forms of identification to enter federal facilities after Jan. 10. That maneuver spurred further speculation that Missouri residents eventually will face hurdles trying to board airplanes….



Sen. Rob Schaaf on Facebook: In 2009, as a state representative, I voted to prevent Missouri from putting our drivers license source documents on a database and to prevent giving the federal government facial-recognition-quality digital photos of our citizens. At the time, we knew full well that we were eventually going to be on a collision course with the federal government. That day has come. Now, we can either stand as the sovereign state we are and refuse to cooperate, fighting whatever comes, or buckle under to a slowly restricting surveillance…

LG Peter Kinder: "The real-world implication of a nationalized ID system, with biometric photo data that allows for long-distance identification and tracking of residents, is disturbing. That's why in 2009 the Missouri General Assembly passed HB 361 to stand athwart the federal government's continued encroachment on Missourians' liberties… The stated purpose of Real ID is to make us safer.  The same federal government that says we must let so-called Muslim refugees into our nation without an effective vetting process now threatens Missourians who don't comply with its intrusive Real ID law. The Missouri General Assembly was right to oppose this law… I urge Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill and Missouri's Congressional delegation to stop Homeland Security's strong-armed tactics against the citizens of Missouri. I also call on Governor Jay Nixon and Attorney General Chris Koster to stand with Missourians against this intrusive and misguided federal law."


Federal Filings

Owner-Operated Independent Drivers Assn Inc PAC’s December filing showed receipts of $1,923 and $58,521 cash on-hand.

Commerce Bancshares Inc PAC’s December filing showed receipts of $4,206 and $84,650 cash on-hand.

Kansas City Southern Employee PAC’s December filing showed receipts of $0, and $63,910 cash on-hand.

Hallmark Cards PAC’s December filing showed receipts of $4,007 and $141,848 cash on-hand.

ANN PAC’s December filing showed receipts of $13,500 and $53,577 cash on-hand.

Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc Political Action Committee’s December filing showed receipts of $37,330 and $1,093,988.

Enterprise Holdings Inc Political Action Committee’s December filing showed receipts $217,043 and $1,292,263 cash on-hand.

Emerson Electric Co. Responsible Government Fund’s December filing showed receipt $17,544 and $139,047 cash on-hand.

Centene PAC’s December filing showed receipts of $43,792 and $792,488 cash on-hand.

Missouri Republican State Committee-Federal’s December filing showed receipts of $21,366 and $16,577 cash on-hand.


Help Wanted

Administrative Hearing Commission seeks Staff Attorney.  “The Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission, a quasi-judicial administrative agency, has an immediate opening in its Jefferson City office for a Missouri licensed attorney.  Staff attorney responsibilities include preparing draft decisions/orders, providing legal advice to Commissioners and staff, and responding to public inquiries…” See the ad here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Matthew Roney added Union Electric Co. DBA AmerenUE, Ameren Services, Ameren Corp.


$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Peter Kinder - $10,000 from James Hebenstreit.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Frank Jay Steed.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Thomas Smith.

New Approach Missouri - $10,000 from Nicholas Peckham.

Greitens for Missouri - $15,000 from Mark Gerson.

Greitens for Missouri - $20,000 from ELX83 LLC.

Citizens to Elect Charlie Norr - $5,001 from CHIPP Political Account.



Happy birthdays Irl Scissors, Jared Brown and Martin Casas.