Friday, December 12, 2014

St. Louis Business Journal: Our State or Rex’s?

The final line of publisher Ellen Sherberg’s editorial in today’s issue of the St. Louis Business Journal may become a refrain as Rex Sinquefield’s enormous political contributions stir up a backlash.  Read it here (subscription required).

Pull Quote:  There is much to be said for revising the Missouri tax code, and Mr. Sinquefield's voice deserves to be heard. But there's a huge difference between buying a ticket to the dance and buying the ticket to the executive branch of state government… This amount of money so early in the race is obscene. It drives the cost of doing (political) business, tarnishes the independence of the candidates, renews calls for ethics reform and constitutional campaign financing limits and turns the race from the finances of the state to the finances of the candidates. It distorts the political process so it's no longer the Republican slate but rather Rex's slate. The question is do we want it to be our state or his?



It’s said that Team Rex has become more involved in the Republican Governors Association, and we’ll be seeing them play a bit more at the national level…


Zweifel to Push QAP Changes?

Treasurer Clint Zweifel is asking for a review of low income tax credit policies in the aftermath of Ferguson.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

At its heart, Zweifel seems to be asking a larger question of whether concentrating low income projects adversely affects quality of life conditions and creates an environment ripe for tragedies.

The Post article links to a previous article of theirs showing a “booming” of low income housing in north St. Louis County.  See it here.

Zweifel’s concerns could signal the first step in a change in the Qualified Allocation Plan that MHDC uses for their guidelines of future developments.

This is classic Clint.  While so many go emotional or look for a populist angle, Zweifel digs in and seeks to reshape the long-term public policy underpinnings of an issue.


Gov Accountability Meets

The Joint Committee on Governmental Accountability held its first hearing yesterday, and appears to be focused on determining how resources could have been deployed better to limit the chaos and destruction that followed the Darren Wilson grand jury announcement.

There’s clearly an opportunity for legislators to do some Monday morning quarterbacking, but Pro Tem Tom Dempsey pledged, “We will go into this investigation without any preconceived notions and let the testimony of those involved tell the story.”

One Republican tips they think they’ll have law enforcement testimony fingering Governor Jay Nixon as bungling the effort.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer is chairing the committee.  According to the Senate press release, “the investigation will take months.”


No Nixon at Mizzou

My thanks to the peerless John Combest for his morning links.  This morning he caught this story I hadn’t heard about.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer filed a bill that would bar governors from being appointed to a job by the board of curators which they have appointed.  Read Rudi Keller’s story here.

Pull Quote: “That is not aimed at Nixon specifically,” Schaefer said. “I just think it is good public policy to make sure curators do not feel pressured to do certain things.”  Speculation about the future of outgoing governors is nothing new, and the presidency of the university has often been part of the chatter.


MOSERS Suffers Breach

Here’s the notice that was on the website yesterday…

Dear MOSERS Member,

We wish to make you aware of unauthorized access to a limited number of MOSERS member records. On December 5, 2014, we confirmed four successful attempts beginning last month to fraudulently complete an online form for active members of MOSERS. In these cases, the perpetrators gained access to information contained on the individual member homepages for those four members. We have contacted the four affected members and provided them specific information regarding what happened. We are taking this matter very seriously, and we are working with state and federal law enforcement officials to identify and bring to justice the guilty party(ies). We can report that this fraud was detected and that no funds were erroneously disbursed.

An unfortunate result of such cybercrime is the inconvenience it causes for you, our members. Effective immediately, and out of an abundance of caution to avoid any potential data breaches, we are rescinding the online passwords and security questions for all MOSERS members. All member homepages on the login portion of our website will be disabled from 8:00 a.m. on December 11, 2014 through 8:00 a.m. on December 16, 2014. The next time you wish to log on it will be necessary for you to go through a process of setting up a new password and security question just as if you were a new member…

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We remain vigilant in protecting your data.

Gary Findlay


Prepping for 2015

Speaker Tim Jones cleaned out all his personal stuff from the speaker’s office…


Help Wanted

Minority Floor Leader's Office seeks Legislative Coordinator.  “Job responsibilities require extensive research and analysis of legislative issues as requested by House minority leadership or caucus, preparation of reports on the impact of legislation and facilitating the drafting of legislation and amendments.  Applicants should have a strong ability for independent work, self-direction and motivation and the ability to ascertain and meet deadlines under pressure… This position is located in Jefferson City and is eligible for full state benefits. The starting salary is expected to be in the mid $40s.”  See ad here.


House Operations - Publications Office seeks Publications Specialist.  “Duties include formatting, incorporating amendments and proofreading of House bills; processing the House Journal and other documents pertinent to the legislative process; designing, formatting and editing of House publications and other miscellaneous jobs. Excellent grammar, proofreading, organization and computer skills required with proficiency in word processing, database and desktop publishing software. Must be willing to work nights if needed. Salary range begins at $2,473.00 monthly with starting salary commensurate with education and experience.”  See ad here.


Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court seeks Court Administrator.  “Work involves planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and monitoring the work of all services under the direct control of the circuit court, including those of the juvenile division, through the use of departmental supervisors and support personnel. Work is performed under the general direction of the presiding judge and the court en banc and is reviewed on the basis of conferences, written reports and work results… Salary Range: $72,000-$92,000.”  See ad here.


Lobbyist Registrations

Scott Marrs added Mercy; and deleted St. Johns Regional Health Center.

Sarah Wood Martin and Irl Scissors added Missouri Association of Marriage and Family Therapy.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Noel Torpey (43), Celeste Banks-Rueter, Chris Girouard, Sal Martinez, and Kelly Sarka.

Saturday: Rep-elect. Dan Shaul (House 113), and Former Reps. Curt Dougherty (58), and Gary Fuhr (67).

Sunday: Cheryl Dillard.