Friday, November 21, 2014

Zimmerman Does NYC

Team Zimmerman tips that Jake Zimmerman is in Manhattan today and tomorrow meeting with supporters about his potential bid for attorney general.  Zimmerman will likely be tapping his ties from his Harvard Law days….

 

GOP Folks to Schweich: You’re Perfect. Please Run!

Team Schweich released an open letter urging Auditor Tom Schweich to run for governor.  It starts… “Congratulations on your overwhelming reelection as Missouri State Auditor. As you mentioned in your Election Night remarks, Missouri must now confront the serious challenges facing our great state.  By virtue of your experience and talents we believe that you are the perfect candidate to provide the critical leadership as Missouri’s next Governor…”

It’s sign by over a hundred Republican stalwarts.  Among them: Rep. Kevin Austin, Rep-elect Chuck Bayse, Jack Bodine, Joe Brazil, Kevin Childress, Jerry Cook, Jane Cunningham, Jack Danforth, Bill and Virginia Darr, Rep-elect Shamed Dogan, Rep. Tony Dugger, Steve Ehlmann, Rep. Kevin Engler, Neal Ethridge Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, Rep. Paul Fitzwater, Sam and Marilyn Fox, Rep. Lyndall Fraker, Rep. Kent Hampton, Bill Hennessy, Peter Herschend, Jim Hoft, Jack Jackson, Sen. John Lamping, Rep. Jeff Messenger, Darrell Moore, Rep. Lynn Morris, Sen. Mike Parsons, Rep. Lyle Rowland, Jim Talent, Carl Vogel, Rep. Nate Walker, Bert Walker, Dee Wampler, Ray Weter, and Rep. Bill White.

 

Among the politicos, there are a fair amount of businessmen and women.  It bodes well for Schweich future fundraising.  Meanwhile one wonders: Does Rex Sinquefield’s $750K dump plus weekly $10K stipend hurt Catherine Hanaway’s ability to raise money?  Does she appear to potential donors the way a self-funding candidate does… why give when she already has access to plentiful resources?

 

eMailbag on Koster Policy Holes?

I don’t usually give the eMailbagger’s this much space, but thought it raises some interesting points…

 

Reader on Attorney General Chris Koster’s new ethics vows: I thought that a major point of the NY Times article was that these lobbying connections shut down investigations before any litigation can be initiated. That is certainly what Dickenstein Shapiro is selling its clients. However, Koster's policy doesn't do anything to address this (if I'm right about what "litigation" means) in the first two points of the policy. I'm assuming that "litigation currently pending against the AGO" means that an actual case has been initiated in court. If that isn't right, why wouldn't the policy say "litigation or potential litigation...," "investigation or litigation...," etc. So the Koster policy wouldn't keep him from making the 5-hour Energy or AT&T calls.

 

Further, I thought that the other big issue highlighted by the NY Times was that companies and lawyers get an uncomfortable amount of access to AG's through DAGA and RAGA events. Presumably, Koster's fourth point ("Koster announced that he would no longer accept gifts of any value from registered lobbyists"), is designed to address this concern. However, the article notes that most of the people engaging in this practice aren't registered as lobbyists. That is certainly the case in Missouri. The people mentioned in the NY Times article -- Bernard Nash and Lori Kalani from Dickenstein Shapiro, and Markus Green from Pfizer -- aren't registered lobbyists in MO. It seems like Koster could still take the trips condemned by the Times without running afoul of his conflict-of-interest policy… 

 

Finally, I'm sympathetic to Koster's position. Without contribution limits, he has to raise a ridiculous amount of campaign money to even keep his current job -- more if he wants to be governor. Companies, lobbyists, law firms and individual lawyers are the only donors with sufficient money and motivation to fill his war chest. The more robust you make a conflict-of-interest policy, the more you are handicapping yourself later down the line. In a world where his Republican opponent doesn't implement a similar policy, any policy at all (much less a strict policy) puts Koster at a competitive disadvantage…

 

eMailbag: The Calebs like the Brians?

Regarding a possible Senate 19 showdown… “I know the Calebs (Rowden and Jones) are supposedly friends but that doesn’t mean they won’t run against each other… Remember the friends Bryan Pratt and Brian Yates?...”

 

Bits

From Politico’s Influence: NEW LOBBYING REGISTRATIONS: (Firm: Client)… Gephardt Group Government Affairs: BlueSpark Technologies

 

Inspired by Twitter one reader lovvvves the idea of a Trump-Blunt 2016 ticket…. Matt Blunt tweets, @MattBlunt: “Enjoyed visiting w/ @realDonaldTrump regarding currency manipulation. He understands USA workers are harmed by it.”   See the twitter pic of the two of them here.

 

President Barack Obama nominated Roseann A. Ketchmark for the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.  “Roseann A. Ketchmark has been an Assistant United States Attorney in the Western District of Missouri since 2001 and currently serves in the Fraud and Corruption Unit… Prior to joining the United States Attorney’s Office, Ketchmark was a First Assistant Prosecutor for Platte County, Missouri, from 1995 to 2001. She began her legal career as an Assistant Prosecutor in Jackson County, Missouri, from 1990 to 1995…”

 

The search for Lynn Messer continues.  According to Kerry Messer Facebook page a week or so ago, new FBI investigators are working on it.  “[W]hen the caravan of vehicles came to a stop in front of our home I was pleased to see a 12 count team of newly engaged FBI agents gathering outside my door, along with the detectives from the sheriff’s office. It was a mixed blessing, but one that I embrace. They were here to sift through anything and everything as a whole new team of “fresh eyes”. The hope is that by bringing in an entirely new team, they might find the slightest clue to give the sheriff’s office a fresh direction in their search. However, this means a whole new set of interviews. Much the same types of questions, just worded differently by new faces.”

 

USS Jefferson City submarine “stranded!” One reader says that this would never have happened when Ike Skelton was keeping a watchful eye in Congress.  Read it here.

 

$5K+ Contributions

A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $10,000 from Peabody Investments Corp.

Working Families Committee - $10,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to lobbyists John Valenti (45), and Ginger Steinmetz.

Saturday: Former Rep. Therese Sander (66).

Sunday: Former Rep. Cynthia Davis (55), lobbyist Sam Wiles (31), and Kinder’s Brian Bunten (30).

 

Congratulations

To Laclede Gas’ Larry Pleus and MEDA’s Michelle Galloway on their engagement.