Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Aint Gonna Be No Rematch?

The Post-Dispatch’s new Jeff City report, Kurt Erickson, lands his first nice scoop… it’s fisticuffs between Democratic Reps. Courtney Curtis and Michael Butler outside of a bar last week.  See it here.

Pull Quote: “He was the aggressor in the situation,” said Curtis, who told the Post-Dispatch that his shoulders still hurt from the incident. Although Jefferson City police confirm Curtis filed a police report, Butler isn’t talking… “It was a real fight. I was defending myself. It was fighting and wrestling at some point,” Curtis said.


McMurray for House 19

Clifford McMurray started a committee to run for House 19 as a Democrat.  He becomes the third Democrat pursuing his seat which is being vacated by Rep. John Rizzo.  Rizzo is running for Senate 11 where Paul LeVota resigned following accusations of sexual harassment.

McMurray’s LinkedIn profile describes him as a “Policy Analyst and Advocate.”


Senate Perfects Schmitt’s Muni II Bill

Yesterday the Senate perfected Sen. Eric Schmitt’s SB 572 that expands the types of municipal fines included in last year’s cap.  The intent is to prohibit “taxation by fines,” that is keep smaller municipalities from funding their operations from aggressive fining of citizens.

It’s now one vote away from passage and heading over to the House.


Death Penalty Repeal Gets New Life

Sen. Paul Wieland’s SB 816 had it hearing yesterday.  It reportedly was a spirited discussion, but Wieland’s sponsorship of the bill is an important boast for the bill.  If this bill was carried by a Democrat it could be dismissed as – to borrow a John Combest phrase – “hippy dippy.”

A Republican can make the anti-death penalty argument more persuasively in the Republican-dominated legislature.

While actual passage is probably nearly impossible, one thought experiment for those who love the hypothetical: what would Governor Jay Nixon do if it landed on his desk?


Who’s in a Greitens Cabinet?

Two weeks ago Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens announced his “statewide leadership team.”  The list included many stalwart conservatives and may help assuage the fears of those who question his credentials.

But there’s also been speculation about how Greitens the outsider would staff the governor’s office.  Can the outsider put together a team to effectively run the state’s bureaucracy better than the “career politician?”

Would the state leadership team be in his inner circle?

Could Greitens supporter Jane Cunningham find a place in his administration?  Running DESE perhaps?  Jim LembkeSarah or David Steelman? Rep. Jay Barnes?


Holsey’s Solar Bill

Sen. Jason Holsman’s SB 631 was heard in the Commerce Committee yesterday.  The bill would prevent homeowners’ associations from prohibiting the installation of solar panels on residences.  The most compelling testimony came from a woman who described herself as a die-hard Republican who would “never never never” vote for a Democrat.  She revealed she’d been in litigation for years spending over $100K on her battle with her association.

In addition to her favorable opinion of Holsman’s bill, the senators on the committee couldn’t help but find evidence for their opinions about legal reform including the recent expert witness legislation.


Drawing Lines

On Monday the Public Service Commission building had protesters outside of it ahead of a hearing on a proposed Ameren transmission line in north Missouri.  See an article about it here.


One Small Step for Transparency

Rep. Tony Dugger’s amendment (see it here) to his HB 1474 would make personal financial disclosure forms electronic, and theoretically, much easier for the public to review.


Slow and Focus?

One observer thinks that Speaker Todd Richardson is taking his time now getting bills to the Senate after the initial rush on the first wave of ethics bills.

In this line of thinking Richardson wants to make sure that the Senate gets to the House’s top priority first without a clutter of other House bills around it.


Better Together on Low Turnout

The latest Better Together report looks at citizen disengagement… “In the most recent municipal election, only 9.41% of the voting-age population cast a ballot. This number is particularly alarming when compared with the national average for participation in local elections, which is 21%. In reviewing the data, Better Together found that 29 of the municipal mayors in St. Louis were elected with just 100 votes (or fewer) cast.  Additionally, the very location of polling places leads to disenfranchisement. Eighteen polling places in St. Louis County are co-located with a police station – effectively discouraging any resident with an outstanding warrant from walking in, giving his or her name and address, and voting. (There are currently 450,000 warrants stemming from our region’s 52,000 municipal ordinances.)”   See the report here.


April Election: St. Louis City Taxes

Post-Dispatch reports that in addition to a renewal of the city’s 1% earnings tax, there will also be a property tax hike on the ballot in April.   See it here.

Pull Quote: [T]he Special Administrative Board, which oversees St. Louis’ public schools, voted Tuesday to put a property tax increase of 75 cents per $100 in assessed value on the April 5 ballot. The measure would generate about $27.8 million annually. It’s the first time since 1991 that the board has requested a permanent property tax increase… The 75-cent tax increase would mean an additional $142.50 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home.


Kinder Touts Support from Hardworking Missourians

From Peter Kinder’s latest fundraising email blast… “This past quarter we had the largest number of contributors inside Missouri and the most contributions $5,000 and under. The message is clear - our support is from hardworking Missourians who want a fighter.”


Press Release Bits

On Thursday, January 28th, Navy SEAL and Conservative Outsider Eric Greitens will be in Springfield for the grand opening of his campaign office. This is the first field office the Greitens campaign will open across the state. Several additional offices will be established throughout the next month ahead of the August 2nd primary.


Yesterday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee unveiled a new, five-figure web advertising campaign highlighting Senator [Roy] Blunt’s out-of-touch comments about the conflicts of interest in his campaign… The ad campaign focusing on Senator Blunt’s comments will run on Facebook and Twitter.


Gov. Jay Nixon will lead a delegation of Missouri government and business leaders on a trade mission to Colombia and Peru next week, with the goal of continuing to create jobs by increasing exports and recruiting new investments by international companies to Missouri. The trade mission will take place from Jan. 30 to Feb. 5.


Gov. Jay Nixon announced the appointment of Jason M. Sengheiser, of St. Louis, as Associate Circuit Judge for the Twenty-Second Judicial Circuit, which covers the City of St. Louis. He will fill a vacancy created when the Honorable Michael W. Noble was appointed as Circuit Judge.


Today’s Events

From birthday girl Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Springfield Missouri Salute to Legislators – Capitol Plaza – 4:30PM.

Mo Conf. on Transportation Reception – Capitol Plaza – 5:30PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Deanna Hemphill and David Jackson added Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

David Jackson deleted Atkins North America Inc.

Kim Tuttle deleted Jackson County Legislature.


$5K+ Contributions

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $80,000 from Xcaliber International LTD LLC.

Parson for Missouri - $6,750 from Sam Fox.

Parson for Missouri - $6,750 from John McDonnell.

Raise Your Hand for Kids - $6,350 from Mosaic Life Care – Heartland Health.

Go MO - $20,000 from Brad Bradshaw.

Bradshaw for Missouri - $20,000 from Brad Bradshaw

Norwood Township Democratic Club - $10,000 from Associated Insurance Group AIG Agency Inc.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Jill Schupp and AMEC’s Mary Scruggs.