Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Independent in House 36

Could House 36 get interesting?  I’ve pretty much assumed it’s a safe Democratic seat, but yesterday I was told that Mary Ann Drape, a Kansas City attorney “has filed, and been certified to run as an Independent.”  She had originally started a committee to run as a Democrat (see the paperwork here), but having lost the special election nomination will now run a third-party race.


Hensley Records First Big Check

Teresa Hensley, running for the Democratic nomination for attorney general against Jake Zimmerman, recorded her first large ($5K+) contribution today.  It’s $7,000 from the pipefitters.  While labor support is a good sign, it’s also a reminder how far behind Zimmerman she is starting the money race.

Zimmerman’s last quarterly report showed $921K on-hand.


Bockelman Mulls Running?

PROMO sent out a press release yesterday saying that their long-time executive director AJ Bockelman was planning to step down next month.

From the press release: Accomplishments: PROMO Fund recently completed a successful merger with SAGE Metro St. Louis to expand support and advocacy for older LGBT adults across Missouri.  PROMO is actively working with Gov. Jay Nixon and his administration to ensure rapid implementation of the historic Obergefell ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court…. PROMO has built a coalition of more than 1,000 Missouri businesses that actively support passage of the Missouri Nondiscrimination Act, which would protect Missouri workers from being fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender…. Steph Perkins, the current Deputy Director, will take over as Interim Executive Director of PROMO.


But Jo Mannies gets the real news… that Bockelman may run for office. See it here.

Pull Quote: He has two upcoming chances to take his mission to Jeff City. Bockelman lives where Rep. Michele Kratky will term out in after 2016 and Sen. Joe Keaveny two years later. "So I will give some thought to that," Bockelman said.


Marijuana IP Follow-Up

One reader says that there are two big components to look for as the marijuana initiative moves forward.  First, “who gets the marijuana?” A medical marijuana proposal can essentially be a legalization bill depending on the vagueness of the conditions it’s allowed for.

Second, “how many can grow it and sell it?... The fewer growers allowed, the more the licenses are worth. Then you get rumors of political favoritism, who’s going to get rich etc…”


Charter School Teachers to Unionize?

Post-Dispatch’s Elisa Crouch reports on a charter school in St. Louis City where the teachers will now be represented by AFT?  See it here.  This would be removing one of the major distinctions between charter and “regular” public schools.

Pull Quote: Teachers at Grand Center Arts Academy gathered at an undisclosed location Tuesday and started down a road that staff at only one other charter school in the city has attempted in more than 15 years. They moved to unionize.  The St. Louis chapter of American Federation of Teachers issued a press release Wednesday morning stating that the "overwhelming majority" of the 64 eligible teachers and staff had signed union authorization cards. Teachers and staff are partnering with AFT Local 420 in hopes of quickly negotiating a contract with the school’s governing board. Grand Center Arts Academy is performing arts middle and high school in Grand Center, around the corner from the Fox Theatre. It’s one of five charter schools that make up Confluence Academy, whose campuses are scattered throughout the city. St. Louis University is the sponsor… For some time, teachers at Grand Center Arts have been frustrated about the lack of due process whenever anyone is fired from the school. “People just get walked out” without explanation, said Jake McDaniel, business representative. Also, “They are concerned about pay scale. There seems to be no rhyme or reason how much people get paid or why some get raises.”


Auditor Announced Rules for Auditing SB5 Compliance

The press release: Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today announced additional steps her office is taking toward reform and accountability in the municipal court system.  As part of these efforts, the Municipal Courts Initiative is being expanded to include all municipal courts audited by the office and rules have been filed to implement municipal court reform legislation…

Under the Municipal Courts Initiative, auditors place a larger emphasis on examining statistical information on warrants, tickets and other penalties, and investigating activities related to unfair treatment and other practices that may impair impartiality or damage the court's credibility with citizens.  An additional component of the office's court reform initiative includes a series of rules filed today by the State Auditor's Office. The rules are designed to guide local governments in implementing new requirements set forth in Senate Bill 5, which went into effect Aug. 28 and provides additional tools to identify problem areas in municipal court operations…

See the proposed rules here.  Public comment on them will be open until November 2.


Supreme Court Issues Interim Report from Municipal Work Group

From the report…

The work group has noted the following issues that may be appropriate for study:

  1. Conflicts of interest by judges and staff serving multiple municipal division roles;
  2. Establishing rules for defining "indigency;"
  3. Consolidation of municipal divisions;
  4. Financial incentives when municipalities derive revenue from law enforcement and court activity;
  5. Selection and supervision of municipal judges and staff;
  6. Proper access to court proceedings and access to and maintenance of court records;
  7. Use of warrants;
  8. Remedies for nonpayment and enforceability of judgments;
  9. Alternatives to monetary sanctions and use of diversion;
  10. Increasing public understanding of court processes;
  11. The effects of Senate Bill No. 5 on municipal budgets and recent rule changes;
  12. Ensuring adequate time and space for court proceedings.


Hoberock Videos Off YouTube

The videos which I wrote about yesterday slamming Republican Reps. Anne Zerr and Shiela Solon for their anti-RTW stances have been taken down apparently.

We’ll see if they resurface as digital ads, and if a non-committee expenditure report is ever filed…


Messenger Battles Cancer

Post-Dispatch editorial page editor Tony Messenger tweets about his on-going starting chemo, and his battle with cancer… ‏@tonymess: One treatment down. Thirty to go. Let's do this. #BeatCancer



The mighty Jason Rosenbaum writes that St. Louis County won’t be joining the City of St. Louis in raising the minimum wage.  See it here.  County Executive Steve Stenger’s reason: It treats different geographic areas of the county and the workers therein differently on the basis of where they work – which is not really fair to workers.


Sen. Eric Schmitt hunting.  See it here.


The Gate Way Group put up a video of their new colleague, former Sen. Tom Dempsey, delivering the commencement speech at Lindenwood University.  See it here.


After the resignation of his treasurer and deputy treasurer, John Diehl is now serving as his own treasurer.  His April report showed more than $230K on-hand.  And his July report was Limited Activity, indicating he didn’t raise or spend more than $500.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Tony Dugger Breakfast – Sheila’s Place, 915 S Marshall – Marshfield – 7:30AM.

Sen. Mike Cunningham / Rep. Lyndall Fraker Golf – Marshfield Country Club – 8:30AM.

Rep. Donna Pfautsch Reception – Lake Shore Plaza – Lake Lotawana – 6PM.


Lobbyists Registrations

Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, and Susan Henderson Moore added Automated Health Systems Inc.

Michael Krug added Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Linda Luebbering deleted Missouri Office of Administration.

Angela Heffner Robyn deleted Office of State Treasurer.


$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for John Brunner - $5,100 from Kevin Childress.

Lewis & Clark Ozarks Mountain Forum - $25,000 from Gerald Cook.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $6,500 from Professional Fire Fighters of Eastern Missouri Local 2665 PAC Fund.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from C H Parsons.

Teresa Hensley for Missouri - $7,000 from Pipefitters Local Union 533 Volunteer Political Fund.



Happy birthday to Jennifer Martin.