Friday, July 11, 2014

Kraus Reaction

Yesterday, the folks I heard from were mostly all negative on Sen. Will Kraus’ announcement of running for secretary of state.  One noted that he’s in the middle of re-election.  True, he’s unopposed, but he’s basically telling his constituents that he’s really only interested in serving two year of his four-year term.


Another mentioned that St. Louis County and St. Charles County on the east side of the state and Springfield on the west side of the state are richest with Republican votes.  And assuming Kraus receives a primary challenge, he might not be in a very strong position.


Finally, coming on heels of last week’s announcement by Sen. Eric Schmitt, it appeared more reactionary than well-considered.  It was as if Kraus was worried the music would stop and there wouldn’t be a seat for him, so he plopped down quickly.



Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Former congressman Todd Akin continues to make headlines with his new book – hitting book stores (wherever those are nowadays) next week.  Post-Dispatch reports that he regrets apologizing for his views on a woman’s ability to “shut the whole thing down.”  Read it here.


Is this one piece of Republicans squandering an opportunity in 2014.  That’s what Politico writes this morning (see it here): "Republicans promised this campaign season would be a disciplined march to retaking the Senate, but the summer stretch is turning into a sad political circus. Todd Akin is un-apologizing for old comments on rape. Glenn Beck's getting hammered for providing teddy bears and food to illegal child immigrants. A New York tabloid blasted Eric Cantor for spending time in the Hamptons ... And the Wall Street Journal wants Republicans to stop talking about Sarah Palin’s call for impeachment. Republicans are wrapped up in bizarre political sideshows that Democrats are eager to make the main event, a repeat play from 2012…”



MDC in Legislature’s Crosshairs?

Here’s the reaction from one legislator to my suggestion that Governor Jay Nixon was looking for conservation allies to pressure the legislature to sustain his vetoes in order to spare their budgets:  “If the Governor’s plan is to gain additional allies to stop an override of the tax bills and try and bring on the MDC to help, then he really is tone deaf. Every Ag bill passed by the legislature this year gave a big middle finger to the MDC (captive cervid language) and let everyone know that the legislature is done playing nice with the MDC. There is already talk amongst legislators about tinkering with the MDC budget next year to bring the MDC to the table, get it to stop ignoring legislators, and quit acting like it is a big chore for the MDC to account to the legislature how it spends its money. Bringing the MDC into this fight over the tax bills will only hurt the Governor's chances; not help.”



Nixon Vetoes Pay Day Loan Bill

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a pair of bills dealing with the pay day loan industry.  See the governor’s press release here.


“The Governor pointed out that under the bill payday lenders could still charge 912.5 percent for a 14-day loan…”   This is a problem – and not just for compassionate conservatives.  The argument that it’s about access to capital is ridiculous as those levels.  There’s simply no way to put capital to productive use at those rates.  And if it’s not about productive use of capital, then what are you enabling?


SB 694 passed in the House 112-39 and in the Senate 27-3.  I think it will be hard for Republicans to override in the House as Democrats come home in the face of the governor’s message.


SB 866 passed in the House 128-14 and in the Senate 28-3.  Again although they have the numbers now, Republicans will have to work to override this one as well as Democrats who voted in favor probably heed the governor’s call.




And now some 2014 Watch…


Senate 2: Concerned Women for Onder

The press release: “Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee has announced its endorsement of Dr. Bob Onder in the 2014 State Senate race in Missouri's 2nd  District.”


It’s unclear how many concerned women live in Senate 2, but I guess it can’t hurt.



House 34: Cierpiot for Roeber

Missouri Times reports that Assistant Floor Leader Mike Cierpiot is backing Rebecca Roeber in the three-way Republican primary to succeed Rep. Jeff GrisamoreRead it here.


And where is term-limited Grisamore, that long-time advocate for the developmental disabilities community, headed?  No word yet, though one rumor is that he’s open to joining the Nixon administration in some capacity, and continue to build bipartisan consensus on the issues he cares about.



House 41

Rep. Bryan Spencer declares on Facebook that he’s all-in for Randy Pietzman’s bid in House 41.  “To all my Lincoln county friends, this is a great candidate. Has raised an outstanding family, owner of a successful mom and pop business, pro 2nd amendment, endorsed by Missouri Right to Life etc....a public servant and not a politician…”


Pietzman is facing Alexandra Salsman in a Republican primary.  This is Rep. Ed Schieffer’s seat.  He’s the Democrat running in Senate 10; so it’s a potential pick-up for the GOP is they can get the right match-up.  Salsman is more of a Tea Party candidate, so Pietzman is better for the general election.


Salsman meanwhile whined on Facebook recently, “The same night my opponent's yard signs go up mine go missing all over town...hmmmm”


It might be a good time for everyone to review the peerless John Combest’s Ten Campaign Commandments.   Here’s #9…  IX. Candidates: Despite what you may think, you opponent does not have a grand, diabolical conspiracy to steal your yard signs. You know the cliche of the guy who has a bad day at the office, so he comes home and kicks his dog and yells at his wife? When someone feels like they’re losing control of the big things in life, they start to obsess about the minor details and minor annoyances. There is no conspiracy to steal your yard signs. So quit whining like a little baby, get on the phone, and raise some money.



House 47: First Things First

Is Rep. John Wright getting ahead of himself with talk of 2016?  A tipster writes, “I have also heard that John Wright has been floating his name for Treasurer in 2016, but he does have to survive reelection first.  HRCC would love to take him out.”



House 110: Free Pass Mathews?

Democrats have until 5pm today to file someone to run in House 110.  Otherwise Kirk Mathews – pop-in-law to Victory Enterprise’s Dave Hageman – will get a free pass directly to Jefferson City.  No primary or general elections.   This is Speaker Tim Jones’ district, by the way, so Dems don’t’ have a fighting chance to actually win the heavy GOP area, just a matter of whether you put a name on the ballot or not.



House 139: Taylor in Front?

It’s gotten wild in House 139, the race to replace Rep. Kevin Elmer.  Recently Mike Hope’s wife was accused of criminal activity, leading to a whole lot of back-and-forth.


One observer with a close eye on the race thinks that Jered Taylor benefits from the turmoil,  “(Taylor) Works hard. Knows all the right people.  Doesn’t have a ton of money but probably the best positioned.  Clayton Jones has been behind all the negative stuff on Hope.  It may turn into Jones and Hope whacking each other and Taylor will be everyone’s second choice.”



House 149: Osbourne Disses Boyd

Neal Boyd, running in House 149, reacted with class after finding out that America's Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne doesn’t think he’s state rep material.  He said, “Sometimes friends let you down...Love them anyway...”  See her diss him here.



House 156: Open For Contributions

Better late than never… in House 156, Ron Herscend has formed his campaign committee.  And this reminds me of Combest Commandment #2 (see above).


II. Candidates: When I ask you, “How much money have you raised?” do not tell me, “We’re going to run a grassroots campaign.” When you answer my question that way, not only are you disrespecting me by not giving me a straight answer, but you’re also telling me that you have not raised any money, you are not putting any effort into raising money, and that you have no real plan to raise money. In other words, you have accepted the fact that you are going to lose and now you’re wasting everyone’s time. Instead of coming up with excuses of why your fundraising numbers are so bad, get on the phone and raise some money.




Shannon Woodcock, St. Louis, and Lauren Martinez, Columbia, have been confirmed as the newest members of the Missouri Coalition for Oral Health’s Board of Directors.



Pew Research says that there are fewer reporters covering state politics now, and – gasp – more of them are like me… “non-traditional.”  Conclusion: bad news literally and figuratively.  Read it here.



In the St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds race, the city counselor is apparently siding with the incumbent than she can stall turning over her vehicle log to a sunshine request.  See it here.



The St. Louis Regional Business Council endorsed Amendment 7, the transportation tax: “Business growth depends upon access to a modern multi-modal transportation system to effectively and efficiently deliver people and products to their desired destinations.”



Washington Post reports on a man serving a life sentence in Missouri prison because of a marijuana charge.  Will Nixon grant clemency?  Read it here.



And finally… take ten minutes this weekend and read NYTimes’ columnist David Brooks’ thoughts on how life is more like soccer than baseball.  Find it here.



Reparations for Yokley

It’s a god-awful sad affair… Last session during a late night at the Senate, a millennial-sort-of, hot-rod laptop of PoliticMo’s Eli Yokley was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Specifically it was on the press table while the Senate was in session – and when Sen. David Pearce accidentally spilled coffee on it.


Unlike the battle-hardened machinery of say a Blackberry, Yokley’s Apple-manufactured gem of a computer immediately short-circuited after the caffeine attack, and stiffened like a dead armadillo on the side of the road.


Yokley then embarked on a journey of justice seeking to be reimbursed for the damage caused by the Senator from Johnson’s fumbling hands.  Earlier this week, a resolution was reached and both parties will hopefully find some closure.


The Yokley tweet: Just received $400 from the @MissouriSenate to replace my computer due to one member's carelessness. (I'm still out $800.) #MOLeg



eMailbag: Don’t Underestimate Curtman

“Don't underestimate Paul Curtman. He has cultivated a rock star following among conservatives. He is a weak fundraiser but he does not need to match any opponent dollar for dollar to win the primary voter turnout model.”



eMailbag: Don’t Overestimate Will Kraus

“Kraus. Seriously. For a GOP dominated legislature, we keep sending doozies to statewide ballot. No wonder Ds keep winning statewide office. He's a fringe candidate and a lightweight.”



Fundraising Calendar

Tomorrow’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Bob Burns Breakfast – The Pasta House, 6214 S Lindbergh, St. Louis – 9-11 a.m.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

James C. Bowers, Jr. added Marvin Maples, and Westwood Partners LLC.

William B. Moore added Sherman Associates Inc.

Michael T. White added Domus Development Group.

Brad Bates and Wayne Cooper deleted Missouri Hospital Association.

Paul K Kincaid deleted Missouri State University.

Tom Voss deleted Ameren.



$5K+ Contributions

Realtors Political Action Comm MO - $28,165 from national Association of REALTORS.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $7,500 from Terra Commercial LLC.

Free and Fair Election Fund - $50,000 from David Humphreys.

Lewis & Clark – Northern Missouri Forum - $10,000 from Golden Eagle Distributing Co.

Citizens for Torpey - $10,000 from Chipp Political Account.



Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Sen. Wayne Wallingford and Century Link’s Claudia Sands.


Saturday: Former Rep. Melissa R. Leach (54) and James W. Knowles III.


Sunday: Former Reps. Tim Meadows (56) and Brent Lasater (54), Gary Marshall, Jeff Craver, and Cory McMahon.