Cats and Dogs Living Together…
The Post-Dispatch reports that Ameren is working with Noranda crafting a legislative agenda which would help both the utility and the troubled aluminum maker. See it here.
Pull Quote: [T]he St. Louis utility, faced with the closure of a Southeast Missouri aluminum smelter that buys roughly 10 percent of its power, said Tuesday that it is working with state lawmakers to help the company that has stymied many of the Ameren’s legislative initiatives.
In return, sources tell the Post-Dispatch... Ameren Missouri wants a regulatory regime similar to that of Illinois, where its sister utility is allowed near-automatic, annual rate increases in exchange for more investment in the electric grid. Such a change would give the Missouri Public Service Commission less discretion over the utility’s rate structure and require it to approve rate adjustments if utilities meet certain criteria.
Campaign Against Expanding the Sales Tax
Missourians for Fair Taxation, which describes itself as a grassroots coalition led by the 20,000-member Missouri Realtors, is launching their campaign for a state constitutional amendment to forbid any expansion of the state sales tax to include services. See their website here.
The press release: Missourians for Fair Taxation is circulating petitions for signatures to place the proposal on the November 2016 General Election ballot…. Sales taxes on services would increase the cost of services Missourians use every day - from haircuts and manicures to rent and health care, from services of doctors, accountants and bankers, to services of landscapers, mechanics and tattoo artists.
Sales taxes are already high, exceeding a dime on the dollar in many parts of Missouri. Still, expanding the sales tax base to include services has been recently proposed by lawmakers and special interests. With most of Missouri's population living within 30 miles of state borders, Missouri cannot afford to lose its competitive edge with sales taxes on services.
The Missourians for Fair Taxation proposal would add constitutional security to stopping sales taxes on services…
What It Means
This looks like the Realtors getting out ahead of the curve. There’s been concern that Rex Sinquefield’s well-known dislike of the state income tax would someday result in a shift toward using a broader based sales tax to fund state government. This would keep services safe from such an expansion.
Nixon on Sanders
The New York Times reports on Hilary Clinton’s “alarmed” supporters taking sharper jabs at Bernie Sanders. One of those supporters is Governor Jay Nixon. See it here.
Pull Quote: “Here in the heartland, we like our politicians in the mainstream, and he is not — he’s a socialist,” said Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri, who is term-limited and working to elect a Democratic successor. “He’s entitled to his positions, and it’s a big-tent party, but as far as having him at the top of the ticket, it would be a meltdown all the way down the ballot.”
From a Democratic legislator: “You have to respect his analysis because Nixon is an expert on leading a meltdown all the way down the ballot….”
Senate Perfects Expert Witness Bill
The Senate perfected Sen. Mike Parson’s bill to change the law concerning how folks qualify to be an expert witness in court by a vote of 19-12 with Republicans Sens. Gary Romine, Rob Schaaf, Eric Schmitt and Ryan Silvey joining the Democrats in opposition.
Randles Hit Number?
Looking back through my end-of-quarter emails, it’s appears that Bev Randles’ $5,861 fundraising total for the quarter was right where she wanted to be….
Subject: Seriously, thanks
From: Bev Randles <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, January 4, 2016 5:20 pm
I just want to tell you THANKS for helping us reach our end-of-year fundraising goal.
So many joined our team and pitched in the final days of the quarter and we can't tell you how much it means to us.
We have just over 11 months until Election Day and because of you, we're in a strong position to win….
Carter in Senate 23?
Michael Carter, a municipal judge for the City of Wentzville, put out a press release last week, touting his own possible entry in the Senate 23, and comparing himself to Donald Trump. Here’s an excerpt:
With the help of proponents of Right-to-Work, businessman Bill Eigel has been receiving large donations, including one for $50,000, in a race to try to match the fundraising head-start enjoyed by State Representative Anne Zerr. Zerr has opposed passage of Right-to-Work legislation in Missouri as did former State Senator Tom Dempsey who resigned to accept a position in the private sector.
But the rush to try to tip the scales in favor of Eigel could be upset by the potential entry of local attorney and municipal judge Michael Carter.
Carter has been signaling for months an interest in the position and, like Donald Trump, could self-fund his own campaign and not have to rely on the myriad special interests lining up to do battle for this open seat… Carter says he is still considering whether to get in the race when filing opens in February…
Meet Women’s Policy Network
We are pleased to announce the formation of the Women’s Policy Network of Missouri, a non-partisan and non-profit group created to support and empower women in politics and public policy. Our purpose is to connect and inspire women throughout their careers by reaching across the aisle, government levels, and industry sectors to support fellow women professionals through mentorship and education.
We hope you will join us for a kick-off reception celebrating women in politics and public policy: Tuesday, January 26th, 5PM at Revel, 102 E. High St., 2nd Floor.
The event is free and open to any woman working in Missouri politics or public policy: legislators, staff members, interns, lobbyists, etc. We would appreciate it if attendees would refrain from lobbying at this event -- it is meant to be purely a networking and relationship building opportunity.
Special thanks to legislative leaders of both chambers and parties for sponsoring this event: Rep. Hummel, Sen. Keaveny, Sen. Kehoe, Sen. Onder, Sen. Richard, and Speaker Richardson.
Launch Committee: Ali Appleton, Leann Chilton, Monica Combest, Ellie Glenn, Jessica Grove, Tishaura Jones, Jennae Neustadt, Jessica Pabst, Christine Page, and Linda Rallo.
St. Louis Bits
Auditor Nicole Galloway shredded St. Louis City’s Democratic Recorder of Deeds with a “poor” rating. Recorder Sharon Carpenter appears to have been very focused on redecorating her office. See the audit here.
In the race to succeed Jennifer Joyce as St. Louis Circuit Attorney: Mary Pat Carl raised $30K and now has $190K on-hand; Patrick Hamacher raised $21K and now has $20K o-hand; Rep. Kimberly Gardner raised $20K and now has $55K on-hand; and Steven Harmon raised $45K and now has $51K on-hand.
Democrat Bryon DeLear had a good quarter in his bid to replace Rep. Bill Otto in House 70. DeLear raised $33K and now has $44K on-hand. The other Democrat with an active committee in that race, Howard Abrams, only raised $292 and now has $1,798 on-hand.
Post-Dispatch reports that “A Missouri native who has helped organize marijuana legalization efforts in Missouri is being sued by three of his former business partners…” See it here.
And Rudi Keller reports that one of the marijuana reformation efforts created a non-profit so that their contributions are hidden from public view. See it here.
Governor Jay Nixon’s State of the State Address takes place at 7PM tonight. If the snow is keeping you away from Jefferson City, you can watch it at: www.MO.gov.
Former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman endorsed Mike Parson for Lieutenant Governor.
eMailbag: on Webber’s Donor List
From one observer scanning through the financial reports… “Sort of thinking Rep. Stephen Webber is a fundraising freak of nature. [He has so many donors.] I clicked on his report. 37 pages. Schaefer 18 pages. Schmitt 25 pages. Fundraising freak…”
Republican Governors Association – Missouri was formed. It’s a PAC that will act as a conduit for the national group to bring money into the state. The treasurer is Tony Feather. He served as treasurer for a similar PAC last cycle.
From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:
St. Louis Chamber Lobby day & Reception – Revel (old G2) – JC – 4:30PM.
Missouri Realtors Reception – Capitol Plaza – 5PM.
Missouri One Call & Partners Legislative Reception – Capital Plaza – 5PM.
Quintin Hull added Construction Employers Coalition, Hallmark Cards, Missouri Park and Recreation Association, American Express, and Advantage Metals Recycling LLC.
Scott Penman added Missouri School Counselor Association.
John Bardgett Jr. added Environmental Operations, Inc.
Steven Tilley, Mark Habbas and Shawn Rigger added US Term Limits.
Andrew Blunt, Jay Reichard, Chris Moody and Mark Schwartz added Maritz Motivation Solutions Inc., Southeratrans Inc., and Evicore Healthcare.
Andrew Blunt added Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
Kenneth Menges added Missouri AFL-CIO and Kenneth R Menges; and deleted Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation (SMART Transportation Division).
David Overfelt deleted Missouri Juvenile Justice Association.
Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Lisa and Greg Nichols.