Friday, April 3, 2015

Brunner Preps MO Gov Entry

Businessman John Brunner announced yesterday that he was forming an exploratory committee to run for governor.  He joins Eric Greitens in this stage of unofficial candidacy.

Two things from Brunner’s announcement: First, a focus on economic opportunity.  “Missouri ranks near the bottom of the economic ladder. Our high school and college graduates are leaving Missouri to find their future. Lack of leadership equates to lack of opportunity. Continuing to do more of the same and expecting different results is the hallmark of Democrat politicians. I believe Missourians deserve better. With tested and proven leadership, Missouri again can show the nation how to grow its economy, create new jobs, and provide world-class education for its children…”

And second, a promise in the wake of the Schweich tragedy, to a kinder, gentler campaign.

“It is time to change the caustic culture of campaigning. As a candidate, I make the following pledge: I will not personally participate, nor will I condone any person employed by my campaign to engage in a campaign of personal destruction…”

Brunner Bits

His exploratory committee immediately records two large contributions.  One is from Peter Herschend, who was one of the signees of Sam Fox’s “Message to Common Folk from the Party VIDs (Very Important Donors).”

The other was from August Busch III who, as I have previously mentioned has also given to Catherine Hanaway ($25K), Chris Koster ($10K), and Eric Greitens ($50K) in the past year.  (Randy Asbury go get your check!)

And one source with ties to the Brunner camp says that Schweich treasurer Joe Passanise has already promised the Schweich cash stash (about a million Americanas) to Brunner.  This is different than what I wrote yesterday, but not incompatable.  I’m told that Passanise does favor Brunner, but that there is dissention about that decision within Schweich’s former inner circle.

Furthermore, it’s said that Brunner is not planning on self-funding this time around, so he will be on the hunt for contributions and that million dollars is an important jump-start.

 

Zimmerman Antes Up

At the close of the quarter, St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman donated $200,000 to his attorney general campaign.  Days earlier his family had contributed $50,000.  At this point in the campaign, there’s no need to expend a lot of money, so the contributions are part of the ongoing psychological war between Zimmerman and his primary rival, Sen. Scott Sifton.

 

 

Harmon for CA?

Brunner wasn’t the only one forming an exploratory committee yesterday.  So did attorney Steve Harmon.  His treasurer is father, former St. Louis City Mayor Clarence Harmon.  And his paperwork says he’s exploring the city Circuit Attorney position, currently held by Jennifer Joyce.

 

HB 766 Referred

President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey referred Rep. Caleb Jones’ HB 766 to the Senate Insurance Committee yesterday.   It might be one to keep an eye on as it was the subject of this fun little exchange a few weeks ago…

 

From: Bill Shoehigh

Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 7:51 PM

To: John Diehl; Todd Richardson; Caleb Jones

Cc: Steve Walli

Subject: Registering our profound disappointment re: HB766

 

Mr. Speaker, Leader Richardson, Representative Jones:

On behalf of my client, our 2,700 Missouri employees and 1.12 million Missouri members, I am writing to register our profound disappointment with the action taken today by the Missouri House of Representatives in giving first round approval to a bad piece of legislation that we deem hostile, House Bill 766.  Our position has been consistent on this for over a decade.  That is well documented.

We can only hope that history repeats itself, as the last time the Missouri House considered this ill-conceived idea was on May 10, 2006, before any of you were in the body.   Representative Shannon Cooper was the sponsor and his motion was defeated on third read on a roll call vote of 101-55.  Rest assured we will continue to educate your members about this bill and the provisions that we consider to be harmful to consumers, providers, taxpayers, and the competitive marketplace, and we consider this roll call vote to be a seminal event.

I am available at any time to discuss these issues with you, and Mr. Walli, our President and CEO, will likewise make himself available to travel to Jefferson City or to meet with you anywhere else in the state that you deem convenient.  Absent that dialogue we will redouble our efforts should the bill be elevated to the Senate where we remain confident it will be met with considerate deliberation. In fact, this bill has been introduced in four previous sessions and each time it has failed (2003, 2004, 2005,  2006) and we opposed it each time.

Regretfully,

William Shoehigh, registered lobbyist

UnitedHealthcare

573-230-2940

 

From: John Diehl

Date: March 19, 2015 at 2:36:45 PM CDT

To: Bill Shoehigh Todd Richardson, Caleb Jones

Cc: Steve Walli

Subject: Registering our profound disappointment re: HB766

 

Bill

    Thank you for your email today.    After receiving the email, my office researched this subject.   According to our records, the legislation you referenced was filed January 29, 2015.  We referred it to committee on February 18, 2015.   A hearing was held on the bill on February 25, 2015.    According to committee records,   you personally testified on behalf of United Health Care in favor of the bill.  I have enclosed a copy of the committee records for your reference.  The bill summary has been online since the committee hearing.  In speaking with the Floor Leader and bill sponsor, it is reported that none of us (including my office) have heard that UHC’s position has changed since you testified in favor of the bill at the hearing

     We applaud United Healthcare’s presence in this state; however it is not helpful to bring objections forward hours before a third read vote after the bill has been referred, passed out of committee (after you provided testimony in support), sat on the calendar and been perfected.

    If I have misunderstood something in this email please let me know.

Sincerely

John J. Diehl, Jr.

Speaker of the House of Representatives
MO Supreme Court Seeks Comments on St. Louis County Muni Mess

Here’s the call for comments… “Recent events have raised issues about practices and procedures in the municipal courts of Missouri. The Supreme Court of Missouri is soliciting comments from members of the public concerning their experiences in particular municipal courts and their suggestions as to any practices or procedures that might improve those experiences. Members of

the public are invited to send their suggestions to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by Friday, May 1, 2015….”  See it here.

 

Koster Vs the Shack

The press release from the AG’s office:  Radio Shack, the national consumer electronics retailer, has proposed selling personally identifiable information for 117 million of its customers -including Missouri consumers - as part of its ongoing bankruptcy in a federal bankruptcy court in Delaware.  Attorney General Koster announced today he has written Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in support of that state's legal objection to the plan.

Koster said Radio Shack promised its customers that identifying information would never be sold. Yet, in bankruptcy filings, the company proposed to do just that. The information at issue includes names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and other consumer activity. Missouri joins thirty other states and the District of Columbia in the objection filed by Texas.

 

 

Reports

Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future (MBEF) released a report card grading five categories related to Missouri’s energy infrastructure. The combined “grades” averaged a lower-than-expected score of “Needs Improvement”.  MBEF judged Missouri’s energy infrastructure based on power generation, transmission, distribution, clean and renewable operations, and infrastructure policies, resulting in “Needs Improvement” for the first three and a “Satisfactory” and “Unsatisfactory” for the remaining two respectively.  See the report here.

 

Better Together released the first in a series of reports that will give information on how police service is provided throughout St. Louis City, St. Louis County, and the 90 municipalities therein. This report provides a basic overview of each department, with the exception of those in Beverly Hills, Country Club Hills, Hillsdale, Kinloch, Lakeshire, St. Ann, Vinita Park, and Wellston.  These departments have yet to provide the information requested under the Missouri Sunshine Law on November 4, 2014.  The resources available for policing in the St. Louis region vary greatly from department to department as well. In total, the St. Louis region spends over $468 million or $355.20 per capita on police service. To put those numbers in context, Indianapolis-Marion County spends $224,665,041, or $242.02 per capita, for its police service, while Louisville-Jefferson County spends $194,549,857, or $257.06 per capita.   See the report here.

 

 

Bits

According to Politico, Larry Sabato’s famous Crystal Ball moved Missouri’s governor’s from “leans Republican” to “tossup.”

 

Government Magazine looks at whether protests (like in Ferguson) lead to greater voter engagement and turnout.  See it here.

 

State revenues in March were strong…. “State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced today that 2015 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased 6.8 percent compared to 2014, from $5.57 billion last year to $5.95 billion this year.

Net general revenue collections for March 2015 increased by 25.22 percent compared to those for March 2014, from $532.6 million to $667.0 million.”

 

The Senate passed the prescription drug monitoring program bill 24-10.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Lana Ladd Baker deleted Alkermes Inc.

Rodney Boyd, Kelvin Simmons, and Brian Grace deleted Lyft Inc.

David Williams deleted Actavis PLC.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Choose ISD Kids - $10,000 from Centerpoint Medical Center.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,500 from Energizer Holdings Inc.

MO Republican Party - $5,001 from K&A Littlefield Family LP.

Citizens for Jake Zimmerman - $200,000 from Jake and Megan Zimmerman.

Kander for Missouri - $24,310 from Missourians for Kander.

Missourians for John Brunner - $15,172 from August Busch III.

Missourians for John Brunner - $25,000 from Peter Herschend.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Reps. Ron Schieber (55) and Charles Portwood (52), Richard’s Dusty Schnieders, and Eapen Thampy (31).

Saturday: Rep. David Wood, Matt Villa (46), and Theresa Garza Ruiz.

Sunday: Bill Phelps (81).