Friday, February 20, 2015

Who is Eric Greitens?

Bill McMorris writes a piece about Eric Greitens impressive resume in the Washington Free BeaconRead it here.  You’ll get a sense of the dude, but I won’t bury the lede… it’s in the final paragraph: Greitens will begin travelling the state on book tour in two weeks, evangelizing his doctrine of renewal and self-reliance and meeting the constituents he hopes will put him in the governor’s mansion. The primary is August 2016.



And that Republican gubernatorial primary that Greitens may be joining is heating up in advance of this weekend.  I haven’t heard the radio spot myself, but a tipster writes: “I assume you heard that Citizens for Fairness in Missouri launched radio ads in Kansas City today against Tom Schweich. The ads uses a voice similar to Kevin Spacey and plays the theme music to ‘House of Cards.’ The voice refers to Schweich as ‘Barney Fife…’  Well produced ad. The Now or Never PAC, ran a similar ad in the Kansas US Senate Primary to attack Pat Roberts opponent. Catherine Hanaway’s treasurer James Thomas, CPA was treasurer of Citizens for Fairness in MO until earlier this week…”


Ashcroft of SOS = Very Bad News for Kraus

Jay Ashcroft, who weeks earlier started a campaign committee to run for a statewide office in 2016, declared the office he will seek is… Secretary of State.  This came the day that the current incumbent, Jason Kander, may it official that he’d be vacating for US Senate.

Ashcroft becomes the immediate favorite to win the Republican nomination, and observers can start a poll on how long until Sen. Will Kraus – the previously declared Republican candidate – waves the white flag and starts exploring alternative 2016 paths.

But can Ashcroft win a general election?  Put me in the agnostic camp.

Democrats, meanwhile, haven’t landed on a replacement for Kander.  One name floated is Judy Baker.  The Dem party leadership would like a woman on the ticket, but Baker elicits groans from some who view her as too tied to the lead zeppelin ObamaCare issue.

Another view from Dems is to let either Sen. Scott Sifton or Jake Zimmerman detour their AG ambitions to the SOS office.



As long as we’re running through these things… a tipster says it does look like former Rep. John Wright is leaning toward the lieutenant governor’s race, where incumbent Peter Kinder got dinged yesterday for being out-of-touch with working Missourians (see below).


Here’s the line-up so far – feel free to send me what I’m missing.

US SENATE – Roy Blunt (R) – Jason Kander (D).

GOVERNOR – Catherine Hanaway (R), Tom Schweich (R), possibly Eric Greitens (R), and maybe John Brunner (R) – Chris Koster (D).

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR – Peter Kinder (R), Bev Randles (R) – Brad Bradshaw (D), and possibly John Wright (D).

SECRETARY OF STATE – Jay Ashcroft (R), Will Kraus (R).

TREASURER – Eric Schmitt (R).

ATTORNEY GENERAL – Kurt Schaefer (R), and possibly Josh Hawley (R) – Scott Sifton (D), Jake Zimmerman (D)


Kinder’s Impoverishment

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder took some flack for saying that he was facing “gradual impoverishment” and that he should have a per diem, like legislators, added to the budget. See the AP article here.  It received ridicule from Dems who noted that his salary - $86,000 – was about $40,000 larger than the median household income for Missourians.

It didn’t help that it came the same day pundits were lauding Wal-Mart for pledging to increase the pay of its employees to $9/hour… about $18,000/year.

The Washington Post weighed in with a withering blog post.  See it here.


Hoskins for Senate 21

Amid the pre-Lincoln Days rush to announce here’s the press release…

“Rep. Denny Hoskins (R- Warrensburg) has announced his intention to file for the state senate seat currently held by Sen. David Pearce. Hoskins serves as a state representative in Johnson and Pettis Counties.  In addition, Hoskins serves as the Speaker Pro tem of the Missouri House. Hoskins hopes to replace a term-limited Sen. David Pearce (R-Warrensburg) in 2016. The district includes Caldwell, Carroll, Howard, Johnson, Lafayette, Livingston, Ray, and Saline Counties.

"The legislature needs a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)," said Speaker Pro Tem Hoskins. "Taxpayers want government to live within its means just like we do in rural Missouri. I will fight for measures to protect and promote small businesses and work toward continuing to grow Missouri's vibrant agriculture economy..."


Martin to Dunn

KC Business Journal reports that Richard Martin has been hired as JE Dunn’s new government relations exec.  See it here.

Pull Quote: Martin said his departure from Husch Blackwell is amicable and he will keep working with the firm as an independent consultant, for at least the next three months, to fulfill the obligations he has to his clients. He said his clients will not experience any interruption due to the move.  Martin will succeed government affairs consultant Woody Overton, who is retiring at the end of March after 14 years with the company.


Senate Will Get Transfer Done

Floor Leader Ron Richard told the chamber yesterday afternoon before adjournment that in consultation with the SB 1 bill sponsor Sen. David Pearce, and Minority Leader Joe Keaveny, the Senate would work on the student transfer bill next week until it got done.  He added to be prepared to work nights to reach the goal.


Dempsey on RTW

President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey issued a statement on “right to work” and the approach he’s going to take with the legislative.  I’m reprinting the statement in full because there are some nuances to his position…

"For the first time in legislative history, a right-to-work bill has advanced out of one chamber in the General Assembly. While this is an enormous accomplishment, I still have doubts of our ability to get right-to-work signed into law.

I have a lot of relationships with people I've grown up with and people who I have represented over the last 15 years, and a number of them are union members or are from union families. I've worked on a lot of legislation that labor would not have supported, but I thought it was a good issue that needed to be addressed, like the Second Injury Fund or issues we have solved in Workers' Compensation. Those relationships have never gotten in the way of me doing my job, and they won't in this case.

I believe that there is a reason for the formation of the unions. There were people back in the 1900's who exploited workers. Those workers needed a voice, and the unions helped provide the impetus for improving working conditions. But, I also look at the State of Missouri and the competition we face both with other states and internationally to try to lure companies to Missouri, keep those companies, and help Missouri grow. There are projects that I believe Missouri has lost out on because we are not a right-to-work state.

I look at this issue from a couple of different directions: one as the senator from the 23rd District; one as the President of the Senate; and one as a Republican head of the Senate. As far as Tom Dempsey, the senator from the 23rd District, I have not decided how I will vote on right-to-work. As one of the Republican leaders of the Senate, I know Republicans who represent the entire outstate Missouri and are very supportive of right-to-work. I have not been someone who has been an unabashed supporter of right-to-work. I know this issue is important to them. It's a tough one for me, but I won't use my position to block something other members care about. As far as the Senate President position, I will send the bill to the Committee on Small Business, Industry and Insurance. The committee will consider the measure and possibly move it forward, and then ultimately, I will be willing to place it on the calendar for consideration by the body on the floor of the Senate. I'm committed to doing both of those things.

The House vote, while significant, was short of receiving enough votes to overturn a possible veto. I have said in the past, and I still believe, that until a new governor is elected, sending right-to-work to the ballot is the only way for it to become law. The governor has repeatedly said he will veto this bill.

There are a lot of important measures we want to get done this year, like the student transfer bill that we're working on this week. Right-to-work is still an important issue that is moving through the Missouri Legislature, and it will receive its due consideration."


New Committees

Josh Mareschal started a campaign committee to run for Council Person Zone 2 City of Springfield.  It is a non-partisan office.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Hazelwood - $10,000 from Hazelwood Industrial Development Authority.

Hanaway for Governor - $10,000 from Cape Radiology Group.


Lobbyist Registrations

Jim Foley, Gary Burton, and Chris Liese added National Vision Administrators LLC; and deleted Discount Smoke Shop Inc.

Michelle Caraballo added Wal-mart Stores Inc.



Happy birthdays to former Sen. Matt Bartle (the big 5-0), former Rep. Kenny Biermann (59) and Doug Galloway.


Saturday: Jo Mannies, former Sen. Harry Kennedy (63), Alderwoman Donna Baringer, and former Rep. BJ Marsh (75).