Friday, January 30, 2015

Best Rumor of the Day

I know, I know, my lead story is a rumor, have I no shame?  But it’s such a good rumor, I must pass it on.  Ready…  Jason Kander for US Senate… pass it on…

 

Schaaf Strong-Arms Senate

It was a wild Thursday in the Senate.  The resolution disapproving the legislative pay raise – presumed dead on Wednesday – was resurrected when Sen. Rob Schaaf produced a PQ petition.  In a move he said was not disclosed to leadership, he then held the floor as he asked whether other senators would sign the motion.

The required five senators did, creating a tense situation.  The PQ is a famously divisive procedure which cuts off debate, stripping senators of what many view as one of their inherent privileges.

I was surprised that Pro Tem Tom Dempsey and Floor Leader Ron Richard allowed the maneuver.  The precedent here is that any Republican senator can now flourish this disruptive motion – the PQ – on the Senate floor, and see whether they can muster others to move a piece of legislation will take blow up the Senate

By signing the petition, there are senators – Ed Emery, Mike Kehoe, and Kurt Schaefer – who signaled they are ready to dispose of the chamber’s long-standing tradition of taking pains to avoid the PQ showdown.  Now it’s game on folks.  If something largely about perception and with such tiny public policy implications rises to the level of shutting off debate, what doesn’t meet that standard?

And what was Sen. Jamilah Nasheed thinking when she signed the PQ?  Why would a Democrat in the minority to go along with a PQ motion designed to cut off the debate of two of her caucus members?

One aghast observer: “The inability of Leadership to prevent the entire Senate from being held hostage by a surprise PQ motion, and worse members of Leadership enabling Schaaf and assisting him to get what he wanted, has shown the rest of the Senate that the way to get what you want is to ambush your colleagues.”

One non-aghast observer: “Schaaf's efforts today make him a hero to taxpayers and to some degree state employees too. Salaries, per diems, and mileage stay the same for a couple of years saving taxpayers several million dollars, while elected officials and judges avoid looking like hypocrites taking a raise while 50,000 other state workers get nothing next year.”

 

Schweich’s Speech

I watched Tom Schweich’s announcement speech on YouTube.  See it here.  It’s something.  The first four minutes in an introduction from former state senator Jane Cunningham.  And then he recites the usual rah-rah-why-I’m-great stuff.

Around minute 16 of the video, Schweich starts outlining this platform. Yes, there’s some of the vague platitudes – cutting down on waste, protecting Missourah’s agriculture.  But he also has specifics in it. He says he’ll follow his “roadmap” provided by his audits to cut from the tax credit programs; he supports accrediting individual schools within districts, and supports the transfer program; he says he’s provide economic incentives for Missouri’s many tint school districts to consolidate.

Then at the 24 minute mark he shifts into attack mode.  And boy does he attack… Catherine Hanaway’s “fundraising was among the worst in history of modern governor’s races so she sought and received a bailout from St. Louis billionaire Rex Sinquefield… and made her campaign entirely dependent on him.”

Then he goes after Sinquefield… Schweich recounts a conversation with an unnamed state legislator, asking why he sponsored legislation, the reply was: “Because Rex asked me too.”  It’s one of a long laundry list that Schweich recites of Sinquefield’s controversial actions (“buying members of the legislature, buying the governor, buying the courts, buying the media, attacking safe incumbent Republicans, funneling money through unions to Democrats, hiring suspended attorneys, setting up fraudulent Facebook pages and shaming our voters…”).  Then he attacks Sinquefield’s agenda saying that his effort to reduce the income tax is only a shift of the burden from the wealthy to the middle class, and that his attack on teacher tenure is wrong.

By the 30 minute mark, it’s as if he’s running against Sinquefield.  They “not an army of patriots, this is an army of mercenaries.  Our campaign is about Missouri; theirs is about money.  We are about policy; they are about power. We are about transparency; they are about trickery… These are not Republicans; they are Rexpublicans…”

 

And

See the $5K+ Contributions a flood of Schweich contributions.  All those checks add up to a little over $365K.  Inside the Schweich camp they say there were even more checks collected, and when you add in the smaller denominations that weren’t above the reportable $5K+ threshold, the single day total was around $400K.  They say if you take Hanaway’s Rex Sinquefield money, they matched her entire 2014 fundraising total in a single day.

 

Greitens Will Run

A strong source says that Eric Greitens is in.  He’ll be running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

And watching the ferocious Schweich speech followed by Catherine Hanaway’s snippy response, it might just be the perfect environment – two politicians throwing mud – for an outsider, a fresh-faced non-politician.  We’ll see…

 

House Files Budget Bills

Budget bills were filed in the House. Find them here. The House took the governor’s recommended decreases, but not his recommended increases. Odds are some of the governor's cuts will be restored by the House and Senate.  We’ll see….

 

Curtis To Defect?

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder tweeted this teaser yesterday… “@PeterKinder: ANOTHER party switcher next week? #moleg”

Inside the Dem caucus, folks say they wouldn’t be surprised if Rep. Courtney Curtis goes the way of Keith English.  Curtis has expressed unhappiness, and Dems were surprised when he filed an anti-labor bill earlier. We’ll see…

 

Not That Bradley Harmon

Yesterday I mentioned that the Missouri Ethics Commission fined Bradley Harmon $41,000 for failure to file an 8-Day Before report, relating to Propositions A, B, C, D in Clayton Missouri.  See it here.

I heard form Bradley Harmon, president of the Communication Workers of America Local 6355, that he’d got some calls about it, and to clarify, he is not that Bradley Harmon.

The Bradley Harmon who was fined is different fellow, a St. Charles Republican who operates multiple PACs, allowing money to flow through for various interests.  Here’s a citizens expose posted online about his committees.

 

Lobbyists Registration Changes

Alex Eaton added ACLU of Missouri.

Jane Dueker deleted Centene Corporation and Home State Health Plan.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Friends of Tom Schweich – $10,000 from Friends of Thomas Long.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $10,000 from Mark Eggert.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $10,000 from John Danforth.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $15,000 from Roger Miller.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $20,000 from Barnett Helzberg Jr.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $25,000 from Rosalie OReilly.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $25,000 from Jesse Bodine.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $50,000 from Steven Trulaske Sr.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,001 from Kevin Childress.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,100 from Peter Goldschmidt.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,100 from Patrick Finneran.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,100 from Schmitt LLC.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $6,000 from Donn Sorensen.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $7,500 from John Qualy.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $7,500 from William Maritz.

Friends of Tom Schweich –  $10,000 from Jerry Sumners Sr.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,000 from Fredna Mahaffey.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,001 from William Darr.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,001 from Penn Enterprises Inc.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,001 from Integrity Home Care.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,010 from George Walker III.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,100 from Joe Delong III.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,100 from H E Whitener.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $25,000 from Peter Herschend.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $5,001 from Larry Petersen.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $37,500 from Marilyn Fox.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $37,500 from Sam Fox.

Friends of Tom Schweich – $10,000 from David Grossman.

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $23,900 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Bradshaw Exploratory Committee - $5,050 from Roger Johnson.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Chuck Caisley.

 

Saturday: former state senator Robin Wright-Jones (65).