Friday May 15, 2015

The Last Day

It’s been an unprecedented final week.  The grinding halt in the legislative process was truly unique.

The other day, standing in the rotunda, the full circus was on display….

The Senate was stopped dead in the water with Dems filibustering who knows what (the reading of the journal maybe?); the halls echoed with the chants of protestors seeking Medicaid expansion (a bill which was DOA this year, same as last year); there was guy dressed as Salt (apparently it was “Low Sodium Day?”); tables were set up and some organization was making free banana splits for the capitol denizens; Rep. Gina Mitten had a scrum of reporters around her as she called for the speaker to resign; and in the House they were twiddling their thumbs, with their speaker under siege and without a legislative partner since the Senate was busted.

Between the Senate’s PQ bomb and the House speaker’s implosion, this has been the absolute least productive final week of session in the history of the state.

 

eMailbag on Senate Standstill

Lobbyist: Democrats are telling us to blame Republicans. Republicans are telling us to blame Democrats. We weren't born yesterday. If nothing else passes this week, equal blame lies with both sides of the Senate.

 

Speaker Richardson

House Republicans chose Rep. Todd Richardson to become the new speaker.  The formal process will require the full House will have to vote on it today.

Richardson is widely respected.  This put Richardson on track to be a three year speaker.

 

Diehl’s Resignation Statement

“In my time in the General Assembly, I’m proud of my long legislative legacy that was built upon being honest with members and doing what is in the best interest of our caucus and this body. I am proud to have led us to the largest Republican majority in state history, the first income tax cut in nearly one hundred years, and an override of the governor’s veto of Missouri’s congressional redistricting map.

I have acknowledged making a serious error in judgment by sending the text messages. It was wrong and I am truly sorry. Too often we hear leaders say they’re sorry but are unwilling to accept the consequences. I understand that, as a leader, I am responsible for my actions and I am willing to face the consequences.

I appreciate those who have stood beside me and the overwhelming number of caucus members that have offered continued support; but for the good of my party, the caucus, and this state, I’m not going to further jeopardize what we have accomplished this year and what can be accomplished in the future. Therefore, I will be resigning the position of Speaker of the House and the office of State Representative in a way that allows for an orderly transition.”

 

Intern’s Statement

“I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me during this difficult time.  Your support means a lot.  This is extremely difficult for both families, and I hope everyone can begin the healing process. I strongly support the Missouri Capitol internship program, and hope it remains a positive experience for other students in the future.”

 

Diehl: I Have a Life

Eli Yokley writes on InternGate in the New York Times.  See it here.  Diehl is quoted sounding decidedly unashamed… “Unlike some other people, this isn’t my entire life,” he said Thursday. He added, “I think I’ve got as good of a legislative record as anybody since term limits.”

And

Meanwhile the spunky New York Daily’s lede had a different tone: A pervy Republican lawmaker in Missouri resigned Thursday hours after he was caught in a lurid tryst with a college-aged internSee it here.

 

Lingering Effects?

One Republican called the quick ditch of John Diehl to be a classic way to handle the scandal and move on, but Dems hope there might be lingering damage.

In particular, Rep. Marsha Haefner was quoted in AP’s article supporting Diehl “100%.”  That sounds like a tailor-made mailer against Haefner when she runs in Senate 1.

 

Bits

Christine Murray-Kaplan widow wins a ruling in the estate battle.  See it here.

 

Charlie Cook in National Journal doesn’t mention Missouri as a competitive Senate race this cycle.  See it here.

 

Front page of this morning’s St. Louis Business Journal is Steve Stenger, dubbed as the Lone Ranger… the lede: Steve Stenger has been St. Louis County’s executive officer for five months, but he hasn’t hired a chief of staff, skips events and has made only a handful of appointments, making himself virtually invisible.  He has gained a reputation as a Lone Ranger.

 

eMailbag: Everybody Loves Daily Papers

“I really enjoyed your ode to the daily paper today, thanks for including that.”

“Nice comments on the daily paper…”

“I just wanted to tip my hat to you for your ode to the Daily Paper in today's MOScout.  Excellent piece, and classy.”

“Very well done Dave. Especially the part about the role of the press and newspapers. God help us without them.”

“Of everything you published this morning, your daily paper remarks were the best. Thanks for all you do.”

“Your meditation on daily newspapers is classy.”

 

$5K+ Contributions

KCP&L Power PAC Missouri - $10,000 from KCP&L Power PAC Federal.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,500 from Nestle Purina Pet Care Company.

Bradshaw for Missouri – 5,005 from Century Lumber & Supply LLC.

Bradshaw for Missouri - $20,000 from Hosmer & Wise PC.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Deanna Hemphill (Saturday).

Sunday: Former Rep. Doug Funderburk (59).