Friday, July 31, 2015

Sifton Blinks, Then Gives Middle Finger

Sen. Scott Sifton announced yesterday that he would forgo his attorney general bid and instead run for re-election.

Rep. Vicki Englund, who was all-set for a Senate kick-off event, was forced to rescind her plans and said she would battle again for her old House seat.

This was great news for Democrats.

Sifton and St. Louis County Jake Zimmerman were set to blast hundreds of thousands of dollars of resources at each other in a primary, while leaving Senate 1 vulnerable to a possible Republican pick-up.  But with Sifton yielding, Zimmerman could have a clear shot to the general election and Sifton would be a strong bet to hold the Senate seat


Then a half-hour later, it was not such great news.  Former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley announced that she was jumping into the AG race.  And… from the email blast announcement… Shortly after her announcement, Missouri State Senator Scott Sifton and former candidate for Attorney General offered his endorsement, “Teresa Hensley has the prosecutor experience we need in our next Attorney General. Her experience as a prosecutor far exceeds that of the other candidates in the field.”


And so Dems have an AG primary again…



Englund and Republican Rep. Cloria Brown will resume their grudge match, with Englund having the wind at her back in the way of presidential cycle turn-out which has aided her in the past.


Coleman to PSC

Governor Jay Nixon announced he was “appointing former Senator Maida Coleman, of St. Louis, to serve on the Missouri Public Service Commission effective Aug. 10. Coleman, a former state representative and senator, is currently the director of the Missouri Office of Community Engagement (OCE). Former St. Louis City Municipal Judge Marvin Teer, currently the deputy director of the OCE, will serve as the office's new director…”


Coleman replace Robert Kenney who announced a month ago he would not seek re-appointment when his term was up.  She should not have any trouble receiving confirmation in the Senate. With Coleman the PSC now will have four former state senators.


FERAF Applauds

"Maida Coleman has a long history of valuable public service to Missouri that we believe will translate to her being an exceptional Missouri Public Service Commissioner,” said Noel Torpey. FERAF Executive Director.


eMailbag: Drebes too Easy on Hinson

Dave, a DWI is a big deal.  People have lost elections over them.  I wouldn't know Representative Hinson if he danced on my head, so this isn't personal. I'm just surprised at your reaction.  Perhaps covering the General Assembly has blunted some of your vice-radar!!


Hinson Pleads Guilty on DWI, But Then Tells Rudi Not Really

Rep. Dave Hinson pled guilty to DWI charges yesterday.  See the Columbia Daily Tribune article here.

Pull Quote: After entering his plea before Associate Circuit Judge Thomas Sodergren, Hinson said he had a drink with dinner that night but was not impaired… Sodergren accepted the deal struck between Hinson’s attorney and Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Richardson to pay a fine of $500 plus court costs. “He gave me basically three options, and that was the best of the three evils,” Hinson said of Richardson. He did not say what the other possible charges being discussed were.  “The other options were worse,” Hinson said. “You had people from the administration that was pushing for the worse options.”


Drebes Gets Tough On Hinson

Earth to Hinson: Jay Nixon doesn’t sit around scheming about plea bargains for state reps. A Republican county prosecutor offered your attorney a deal that you accepted.  You went into a court of law and said Yes you were guilty.  Don’t five minutes later tell the world you were innocent.  That’s called LYING.  Either in court or to the world.  If you’re not guilty, say not guilty.


Some judges find this sort of duplicitous behavior so offensive they’ll haul the fella back into court… See an example here.


Follow-Up on Dempsey Rumor

With the rumor that Sen. Tom Dempsey may resign at some point, here’s a look at the potential leadership succession in the Senate, if the rumor comes to reality.

The best guess is that we’ll see the ascension of Floor Leader Ron Richard into the Pro Tem spot, and Assistant Floor Leader Mike Kehoe would move to into the Leader’s role.

The last leadership election featured a divisive race between Sens. Richard and Mike Parson for the Floor.  However one observer looked at Parson’s recently unveiled LG endorsement list, and noted that Richard was featured prominently, concluding that the two had reached an accommodation.  Therefore the expectation is that there’d be no organized resistance to a Pro Tem Richard from those previously aligned with Parson.

Also this scenario would create the second vacant Senate seat, as Sen. Paul LeVota recently submitted his resignation.  It’s unclear whether Governor Jay Nixon would call a special election as he did for the three vacant House seats.  But political calculations would argue against the Democratic governor filling them before the 2016 election.


Help Wanted

“The Missouri State Employees' Retirement System (MOSERS) is recruiting for an ambitious individual to fill the Deputy Executive Director (DED) position.  MOSERS is a multi-billion dollar statewide public pension plan located in Jefferson City, Missouri… The DED will be responsible for directing and managing the general administrative and management functions of the agency, including budget planning, quality assurance, member communications, fiscal and facility management, information technology, benefit administration and education, and strategic planning….”  See the ad here.


Metro seeks Manager of Long-Range Planning.  “The focus of this position will be to develop and maintain Metro’s long-range transit planning function. This strategic position will identify opportunities for enhancing and sustaining the Metro System, and will work collaboratively with Planning and Systems Development staff to analyze, plan, and execute transit service enhancements…”


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Justin Hill Reception – Budweiser Brew House Crown Rm – Ballpark Village – 5-7PM.


$5K+ Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Operating Engineers Local 101 PAC.




Happy birthdays to Wendell Bailey (75), and Rodney Gray.

Saturday: Rep. Bill Reiboldt (67), and Shannon Weber (35)

Sunday: Rep. Kimberly Gardner, former Reps. Mike Talboy (38), Tom Todd (68), and Jim Viebrock (48), lobbyist Dawn Nicklas, and Ferguson Commission’s Starsky Wilson.