Monday, December 29, 2014

Onken Exits

It’s said that Margaret Onken has left the Chris Koster campaign.  Onken has been a pillar of Democratic fundraising for decades as she was Governor Jay Nixon’s go-to person.

When Koster hired Onken it was seen as one more piece of Koster’s 2016 inevitability.  And Koster – always a prodigious fundraiser – has managed $500K+ quarters years in advance of his 2016 gubernatorial run.

Onken was listed on his October quarter – earning $10K a month – so her departure must be a relatively recent event.

It’s said that she will continue to fundraise, but will be working largely outside politics for corporate and non-profit clients.  One of the assets Onken brings is that although she works for Democrats, she was able (in part because of Nixon’s centrist tendencies) to also corral normally Republican money from the business community.

The January fundraising quarter ends this week.


Readers’ Poll: Lobbyists

The end-of-year Readers’ Poll on Lobbying can be found here.  The nominations are almost entirely (I added a few of my own) from readers.  Thanks!


After you vote send me your nominations for tomorrow’s Legislator’s Poll… Best Legislator on the Floor (House and Senate categories); Legislator Who Does His/Her Homework; Most Likely to Ascend to Leadership; Legislator Most Likely to Get Something Done (Republican and Democrat categories), and… Incoming Freshmen to Watch.


Kraus on Brownback

Politico ran a story on Republicans tip-toeing away from Kansas’ tax cuts which have resulted in red ink.  Sen. Will Kraus is quoted.  See it here.  Pull Quote: “Kansas did too much too fast, so at this point we’re continuing to look at our tax policy to make sure it’s competitive. But we’re not jumping — not following Kansas,” said Missouri state Sen. Will Kraus, a GOP tax writer who in 2013 pointed to Kansas as the reason tax cuts were needed in the Show Me State.


Cady to MOFreedom

Jeremy Cady has joined the Missouri Alliance for Freedom as legislative director.  He was previously the Technology Director of the Missouri Republican Party, and before that was chief of staff to Shane Schoeller during Shoeller’s tenure as Speaker Pro Tem.


In a tweet last week, Missouri Freedom sides against Rep. Caleb Rowden’s HB 188 which would aid transparency in campaign contributions by require non-profits to disclose their funders.  “‏@MissouriFreedom: It's disappointing that .@johndiehljr supports a law that could have a chilling impact on political speech. #MoLeg …



KCStar reports on The “Raise Your Hand” movement looking at a tobacco tax increase for kids’ health.  Read it here.


Skimming around the web this morning, I noticed that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pursuing consolidation of many school districts, “arguing that reorganizing the state’s 700 districts would cut costs and increase educational opportunities for students.”  See it here.  I’ve heard from politicos before about some incredibly shrinking rural school districts in Missouri, questioning their sustainability.  One wonders whether this is on the radar for DESE at all.  One downside of merging rural districts is increased travel time for the kids.


Governor Jay Nixon appointed Mary Nelson to the University of Missouri Board of Curators. Nelson previously served Nixon as director of boards and commissions, and then as commissioner for the Administrative Hearing Commission, before joining St. Louis Community College as their general counsel.


Help Wanted

The Associated Press seeks Newsperson.  AP seeks “a temporary reporter (beginning 1/5/15, for 21 weeks) to cover state government and politics in Jefferson City, Mo.  Reporting to the Missouri Kansas News Editor and the supervisory correspondent, this temporary reporter will focus on political and government news from Missouri that has relevance both inside the state and across the globe. He/she should be able to produce content in multiple formats (text, photo, video and audio) and will work with the Missouri Kansas News Editor to set the beat's agenda and produce reporting for the AP's newspaper, online and broadcast markets…”  See the ad here.


eMailbag: on ROE

“To compare ROEs of companies in a competitive market with ROEs of government granted monopolies is also inappropriate. A more accurate comparison would be other utilities such as KCPL, Empire, American Water, etc…”


eMailbag on Future of Lobbying

“In terms of the changing dynamics of lobbying, I am surprised there is so little mention of two Speakers leaving office with million dollar campaign chests that appear not to be used any time soon for their own campaigns.  There have not been many million dollar Missouri PACs, if any, pre-Sinquefield, and now there are two with officials leaving the General Assembly with essentially million dollar PACs.  That will change the landscape at some point in the future.  Not sure if positively or negatively. (Not sure PAC is the correct term but you know what I mean.)”


New Committees

Katherine Bromfield, Elena Franco, Joseph Locascio, Todd Wilcher, Anne Labella, and Ardie Bland, all running for Kansas City municipal judgeships, filed exemption committees with MEC.


Lobbyist Registrations

Noah Reandeau deleted Mylan Inc.

Christopher “Kit” Crancer deleted StudentsFirst.


$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Monsanto Company.

A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $10,000 from UAW V CAP.



Happy birthday to Julie Gibson Sally (41).



To Victory Enterprise’s Joe Lakin and HRCC’s Emilee Mudd on their engagement.


MOScout News

This week is another holiday week before we hit full-speed-ahead for legislative session.  Look for Daily Updates on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.  (Thursday is New Year’s Day).

Because this is generally a slow news week, we’ll be running the end-of-the-year Readers Polls.  Today is Lobbyists; Tuesday, Legislators; and Wednesday is JeffCity.  Send me your nominations!

Finally Weekly Poll this weekend.  That will resume in January.  Also, the Saturday Rummage is being elimated; that information (new committees, employee changes, and new data points in the pipeline) will be sprinkled throughout the week in the Daily Updates.