Monday, January 12, 2015

MEC Fines Webb $100K

The Missouri Ethics Commission fined former Rep. Steve Webb $100,000 for a mess of campaign finance violations.  It’s a little hard to make sense of.  See the consent order here.  But it appears that there were a dozen bank accounts involved (Friends of Steven Webb, Webb ’08, Missouri Black Caucus, SW Portrait, Steven and Shalonda Webb, St. Louis Spartan Basketball Club…), and among them contributions and expenditures were not accurately reported.  Also Webb withdrew over $48,000 in cash in increments exceeding the $50 limit.


Rep. Mark Parkinson was fined $2,700 by the Missouri Ethics Commission as well. See it here.  He was late reporting some contributions.


Good Session Ahead for Small Ball

I think this session may end up being a very productive session for the experienced worker-bee legislators.  Here are the factors at play…

For starters, there’s no big battle brewing to suck the air out of getting more modest bills passed.  In recent sessions we’ve had armies already marshalling around issues like right to work or an Ameren-Noranda fight.  Famous last words, but there’s no big wrestle royale on the horizon right now.

Second, and similarly, there’s hardly any top-down agenda.  The opening day speeches were devoid of any specific wishlist (Diehl: Yay firefighters?).  While a push from the top is invaluable (last year’s second injury fund fix, or the commitment to reforming the criminal code), the top-down agenda can also crowd out the smaller items.

Finally, the legislature is planning to pass the budget earlier.  That should relive some pressure during the final month when the crunch begins to limit the ability of legislators to get floor time to pass their items.


Jones Offered to Refund Donors

In early December former speaker Tim Jones sent a letter to donors, offering to refund their contributions to his political campaign committee.  As Jones enters the next phase of his public career, one it seems which will have more to do with media and speaking out than elective office, he’ll likely be the target of those who disparage his huge campaign horde.  It was built when Jones seemed to be a certain 2016 candidate.

In the letter Jones writes, “I plan to continue to support the candidates and issues I have supported in the past… I feel it appropriate to offer the donations back to those who have given to my campaign in anticipation of those dollars being spent to elect me to higher office. Some of those dollars have been spent, some of them donated to other candidates, and some of the money remains in my Committee.  While your donation… was to my Committee,  I don’t know if you wished for that to be spent on my specific election, or to elect people with our same political and philosophical beliefs.  That is why I am offering it back to you at this time.  Please let me know in the next couple of weeks if you would like your donation, or any part of it, returned…”

With the January reporting date straight ahead, we will soon get a look at how many did opt for a refund…


Swearingen Registers

In the lobbyist registrations (below) see that former Rep. Jay Swearingen has registered to be a lobbyist.  His first clients are Bison Aviation, and Osage Aviation.


Sutherland to MO Budget

From their email blast: “The Missouri Budget Project is pleased to welcome Mike Sutherland as our new Policy Director.  Mike replaces Jay Hardenbrook, who has moved to the Missouri AARP.  Mike served in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2002 through 2010 where he was Chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee for six years and Chairman of the Joint Committee on Tax Policy…”


Hodes Heads MOCorn’s Development

Joe Hodes is now the Director of Development for the National Corn Growers Association.

He’ll manage NCGA fundraising efforts, including state corn check-off support, corporate sponsorship, and grants applications.  Hodes was previously the marketing manager.


Help Wanted

Missouri Public Service Commission seeks General Counsel. “The General Counsel provides legal advice to the Commissioners and represents the Commission in all external litigation matters. Duties include but are not limited to: defending Commission decisions on appeal, representing the Commission in cases before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and representing the Commission in personnel matters… The successful applicant will have detailed knowledge of the Missouri and Federal rules of evidence, civil procedure, public records administration, trial and appellate practice, administrative procedure, and general practice procedure before judicial and administrative tribunals... Experience in public utility regulation is preferred, but not required… The annual salary is $90,000.”   See the ad here.



“Funny and sad: Jay Nixon has put more time into the Rams issue than he did during the first few weeks of Ferguson…”


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Missouri Optometric Assn. Cinnamon Roll Day & Reception – Capitol Plaza, Jefferson City – 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Rep. John McCaherty Reception & NCAA Championship watch party – Bones, Jefferson City.


Lobbyist Registrations

Alan Robert Mauk added Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma

Madison McMillian, Sarah Sachs, Madison Silvey, Emma Smoctunski, Kate Hargis,

Steven Chaffin Jr, Adam Bryant, and Alan Bingham added The Associated Students of the University Of Missouri

Anita Parran added AARP.

Michelle Pleus added Missouri Energy Development Association; and Michelle Galloway deleted Missouri Energy Development Association.

Jeremy Cady added Missouri Alliance for Freedom.

Jay Swearingen added Osage Aviation, and Bison Aviation

Jeff Brooks, Bill Gamble, Sarah Topp, and Jorgen Schliemeier added American Tort Reform Association.

Jorgen Schlemeier and Jeff Brooks added City of North Kansas City.

Bill Gamble and Sarah Topp deleted Murchinson Oil and Gas Inc.

Kathy Lloyd added Supreme Court of Missouri.

Irl L. Scissors added Simmons Hanly Conroy, and Express Medical Transporters; and deleted Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd, LLC.

Henry Gallagher and Heath Clarkston added National Popular Vote.

Kimberly Akin, Henry Gallagher and Heath Clarkston deleted Associated Contractors of Missouri.


$5K+ Contributions

Bradshaw Exploratory Committee - $50,000 from Brad Bradshaw.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $5,001 from People for Solon.

Schmitt for Missouri - $15,000 from Davis, Ketchmark, McCreight, & Ivers PC.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to former Rep. Scott Largent, and Democratic consultant Jim Ross (57).