Friday, June 26, 2015

How Long Can GOP Run Against ObamaCare?  One More Time At Least

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law March 2010.  But judging from the immediate reaction to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision (see NYTimes review of presidential candidates response here), this may be the fourth cycle in which the health care law will be a campaign issue.


Nixon To Announce Action on HB 42 Today

The consensus is that Governor Jay Nixon is vetoing the transfer fix bill, HB 42, when he visits Ritenour High School in St. Charles today.

There’s serious frustration from the legislature which feels like they gave the governor what he asked for, and now he’s decided that’s not enough.

His veto last summer of the previous session’s gave four reasons for his disapproval.  The legislature felt like they met all his criticisms. A memo on the matter outlines this position.

First: The private school option. (HB42 does not have the private option)

Second: There was no requirement that transportation from unaccredited to accredited districts be provided. (HB42 does have this requirement, it also creates the Student Transfer Transportation Fund)

Third: He did not like the incentive provided to receiving districts who agreed to accept lower tuition for students from unaccredited schools. SB493 would have allowed receiving districts to avoid counting transfer students’ scores for 5 years if the receiving district accepted a reduced tuition amount. (HB 42 addresses this issue.)

Fourth: The Governor felt that the hardship transportation provision in the bill was unrelated to the transfer problem. (HB42 does not change the existing transportation hardship provision)

In response, the legislature took note of the governor’s objections and worked to craft a bill that would address the transfer issue in a way that would be likely to gain the governor’s approval.


Additionally, the governor’s office provided a memo and in person guidance for what the new legislation should contain.  This included items like accreditation by school, a mechanism for receiving districts to limit the number of transfers.  The legislature felt like they fulfilled the governor’s office requests.

And yet, here comes a veto.  There’s going to be a cry that the governor’s office didn’t negotiate in good faith.


Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s Statement

"This veto is indefensible and unfathomable," Chappelle-Nadal asserted.  "Governor Nixon's complete lack of leadership is staggering."

For the second year in a row, the governor will veto bipartisan legislation designed to bring statutory order to the chaotic student transfer process and help students trapped in failing schools... 

"Governor Nixon has again demonstrated his lack of concern for the Black community," Chappelle-Nadal lamented.  "From attempting to end the St. Louis desegregation program as Attorney General to his administration's botched response to the events in Ferguson, this veto of legislation designed to give educational opportunities to the least among us is part of a larger problem… Tomorrow, Governor Nixon will inform another generation of Black children that he does not care about their education."


Jones Golfy

Rep. Caleb Jones held a golf event yesterday.  It was reportedly packed (“ran out of golf carts”) with 29 teams of golfers taking to the greens.

From one attendee: Lots of lobbyists and reps there. John Diehl was all anyone talked about, definitely some buyers’ remorse about Caleb losing (the speaker’s race to Diehl)…


Greitens Lands Another $100K Check

Amid a flurry of new checks, Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens is now over $500K in contributions for this quarter.   Yesterday he recorded his second $100K check.

But… here comes the fire… from a Republican operative… Can you see the negative ad already?... “Today, Greitens for Missouri reported receiving $100,000 from Steven Cohen of Point72 Asset Management.  Point72 was formerly known as SAC Capital Advisors, a hedge fund that was rebranded after pleading guilty to securities fraud in 2013.  The New York Times notes that while Cohen was not charged personally, “federal prosecutors in New York have investigated Mr. Cohen…”  SAC was under investigation for 7 years and was hit with a record $1.8 billion settlement, and Bloomberg notes that the organization “pleaded guilty to reaping hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal profits and fostering a culture of criminality that encouraged brazen insider trading by its employees.”  The SAC scandal is the largest-ever insider trading scandal, and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (whose office initiated the lawsuit) was quoted as saying, “When so many people from a single hedge fund have engaged in insider trading, it is not a coincidence.  It is, instead, the predictable product of substantial and pervasive institutional failure.”


Another Republican dubs Greitens the “new Tommy Sowers,” referencing the Democratic “outsider” who got smoked by Jo Ann Emerson a few cycles back… “lots of fanfare, veteran, raised a ton of out of state money, ended up being an empty suit and getting crushed.”



The Missouri School Board Association gives a plug for the Raise Your Hand for Kids initiative.  See it here.


State AGs Take Spotlight

Governing Magazine has an article about how state attorneys general have become a force.  See it here.

Pull Quote: “There’s strength in numbers. No one understands that better than state attorneys general. Over the past two decades, AGs have banded together to launch dozens of lawsuits. The resulting settlements have not only brought billions into state coffers, but also changed the regulatory landscape in areas such as health care, banking and energy… The shift began with the massive settlement with the tobacco industry back in 1998. Having failed to get a deal through Congress, state AGs got cigarette makers not only to pony up more than $200 billion, but also to agree to change their marketing strategies… Regardless of party or target, it’s clear AGs will continue to view litigation not only as a tool for enforcing the law, but also as one to shape national policy.”


eMailbag: on Nixon and Burke

Lobbyist 1: Only Nixon can turn the Britney Burke story away from Diehl and back on himself. Geez. How about "she worked here from X to X, earned $42,000 per year and worked to pass an expansion of Medicaid so we could draw down $2 billion from the federal government instead of allowing the Republicans to send that money to other states. She did a good job and her project was over.”  But instead… “uh, we want to give you a response that makes it obvious we are either incompetent or have something to hide, we will let you decide which you like the best. We need more time to fuck this up even more, and keep us in the news and shift the story away from the poor speaker who has really endured enough, don't you think. I mean really, it’s not like this is Ferguson or anything. Love Jay”

Lobbyist 2: It is standard operating procedure, when receiving a Sunshine request, to delay fulfilling the request as long as possible, in the hope that the newsworthiness wears off, and it's legal as long as the response that "we need more time" is made within three days.


eMailbag on Senate 1 Being Pretty Darn Democratic

From a Democrat: MO Senate 1 is 59% Dem index, beyond “leaning Dems.”


eMailbag on Cig Tax

From a Curmudgeon: Most ballot initiatives would not attempt to move forward without strong support in the 50s.  Especially against the tobacco folks who have one clear message.  Also about 1 in 5 adult Missourians is an active smoker.  There is nothing here that indicates a different outcome than the last four attempts.

eMailbag on Zumsteg

Alex Zumsteg is a great hire for MRP and a rising star in the Missouri GOP. With a mix of campaign and official side experience working for HRCC and in the House, she's a great addition ahead of 2016.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Mike Cierpiot – Downtown Diner, 127 E. High – JC – 8AM

Rep. Kathy Swan Golf – Dalhousie Golf Club – Cape Girardeau – 11AM registration.

Rep. Rob Vescovo Crawfish Boil – Vescovo home – Arnold – 3PM

Rep. Kevin Corlew Ice Cream Social – EH Young Riverfront Park – Riverside – 5-6:30PM.


$5K+ Contributions

Greitens for Missouri - $100,000 from Steven Cohen.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,500 from Mark and Patty Mantovani.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Mike Gerson.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from James Henry Cooper.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $7,500 from W Bryan Magers.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Lawrence Chapman.

Parson for Governor - $10,000 from Howard Wood.

Citizens for Stephen Webber - $10,000 from Simmons Hanly Conroy.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from MACO Development Company LLC.

Greitens for Missouri - $25,000 from Carl Bolm.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Robert Kaplan.

Greitens for Missouri - $10,000 from Michael Lukacs.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Glazer’s Missouri PAC.



Happy birthdays to Reps. Steve Cookson (57), Kurt Bahr (36), and Kirk Mathews (58), Mark Coulter (the big 4-0), and Dick Aldrich.

Saturday: MO Lottery’s May Scheve Reardon (51), Ross Branson, and former Rep. Bob Hilgemann (65).

Sunday: Nancy Rice (62), and Benjamin DeClue.