Monday, July 7, 2014

Nixon Vetoes Abortion Bill

In the time honored political tradition of burying news in a holiday weekend, Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the 72-hour abortion wait bill, HB 1307.  It’s a step leftward for the right-center governor, and that step was especially apparent in the veto letter.


Nixon spends two pages of arguing that the bill would increase the suffering of rape and incest victims.  Then on the third page the governor declares that even if the legislature had put an exemption for rape and incest in the bill, he still would have vetoed it.


Observers will see this a move to put Nixon’s position on abortion more in line with the National Democratic Party as he reviews his post-gubernatorial options.  I agree with this assessment.


The bill passed 111-39 in the House, and 22-9 in the Senate.  Sen. Mike Cunningham was absent for the vote.  Assuming he’s there at veto session, and everyone holds their position, the bill is ripe for an override.



Schmitt Claims Treasurer Spot

The other big news out of last week was Sen. Eric Schmitt declaring his candidacy for state treasurer.


“Conservative State Senator Eric Schmitt, a champion of economic growth and taxpayer advocate who authored two of the largest tax cuts in Missouri history, announced his candidacy today to become Missouri State Treasurer…”


The move gets Schmitt out of a potentially destructive three-way AG primary into the relatively safe harbor of the treasurer’s race.  There has been minor talk about Rep. Paul Curtman running for treasurer, but he will likely scurry away at the sight of the big foot of Schmitt.


Additionally there’s no Democratic incumbent in the slot, and Schmitt’s early announcement may lessen the attractiveness of that race for potential Democrats.


Speaker Tim Jones and Sen. Kurt Schaefer now can fix their AG staring contest on one another to see who blinks first.  The obvious solution would be for Jones to slide over to the secretary of state slot where a heavy donor like Rex Sinquefield would salivate over the prospect of a hard right conservative in the office.  However, with incumbent Jason Kander ably raising money, that looks to be a tough race.



ACLU Sues on Early Voting

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri sues last week, saying that the early voting ballot summary language from the General Assembly was untrue because it doesn’t inform voters that the early voting would only happen after a state appropriation.


We’ll see…



Carpenter’s Car

Insurgent Edward McFowland, Democratic Candidate for Recorder of Deeds, has been hitting incumbent Sharon Carpenter every week with pointed questions about her administration of the office.


His latest email draws reference to her use of the taxpayer funded car, and her refusal to release records concerning it…


I have been trying to get copies of the mileage logs for St. Louis City Recorder's City-issued car from January 1, 2011 thru March 31, 2014. I have hand delivered two requests to Recorder Sharon Carpenter's office, including one a week ago, June 25th.


Comptroller Darlene Green has sent me the mileage reported by Recorder Carpenter for IRS purposes. These records show a great deal more in commuting miles to and from work than what is generally held to have been Carpenter’s infrequent visits to her City Hall office over recent years. My hope is the mileage logs will shed some light on her use of the taxpayer funded car.


Recorder Carpenter agreed to maintain a Vehicle Use Log for the car as a result of the January 2010 Audit by Missouri State Auditor Susan Montee.



Hodges for City Administrator

Rep. Steve Hodges is running for City Administrator in Mississippi County.  See his Facebook page here.




Steve Stenger lassoed the Planned Parenthood endorsement, one more constituency he’s pulling away from incumbent St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.



Budget Director Linda Luebbering released the 2014 Fiscal Year revenue numbers.  They were down 1%, falling from $8.08 billion to $8 billion.  The final month shows a 288% spike in refunds, resulting in an 8.4% increase in refunds for the year, from $1.18 billion to $1.28 billion.



Claire for Prez? National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar says that Senator Claire McCaskill or Governor Jay Nixon should take on Hilary Clinton for the predsiedental nomination.  Read it here.   Is this serious? Nope this is just the “feeding the beast” syndrome of punditry, where they have to write something…



Jen Yaple, director of senate communications, is leaving in August.



Help Wanted

Joint Committee on Legislative Research seeks Program Evaluator.

“Qualifications:  Requires a bachelor’s degree and/or at least two years of experience as a researcher or analysis, preferably in government agencies with experience in the education field (a graduate degree in a relevant discipline may be offered as a substitute).


“Job Duties: Participate in the preparation of fiscal notes for the General Assembly, compile and analyze data, conduct research as needed and study background material relevant to the agencies being evaluated or reviewed, develop a working knowledge of state government agencies, their functions and interrelationships.”



Fundraising Calendar

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

Rep. Caleb Rowden Golf – Columbia Country Club.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Nikki Broadfoot added Novartis Vaccines.

Cynthia Gamble added Lutheran Senior Services.

Francis E. Flotron deleted Missouri Hospital Association.

Susan Brown deleted Brightergy Solar.

Annamarie E Kostial deleted Concerned Women for America of Missouri.

Tim Green deleted Arnold and Associates, and LINQ3.



$5K+ Contributions

Schupp for Senate - $20,000 from Clint Zweifel for Missouri.

Schupp for Senate - $20,000 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Schupp for Senate - $10,000 from Simmons Hanly Conroy.

Scott Sifton for State Senate - $10,000 from Simmons Hanly Conroy LLC.

Committee to Elect Jeff Roorda - $20,000 from Missouri State Democratic Committee.

Spooner for Senate - $10,000 from Spooner Law LLC.

Ashcroft for Missouri - $20,000 from Janet Ashcroft.

MO Republican Party - $21,335 from Apex Oil Company Inc.

Missouri AG PAC - $15,000 from Protect the Harvest.

Missouri AG PAC - $75,000 from Parson for State Senate.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $25,000 from Missouri Transportation PAC.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $25,000 from Foley Industries Inc.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $100,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $20,000 from Missouri Asphalt Pavement Assn Political Action Committee.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $10,000 from Conco Companies.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $35,000 from HDR Engineering Inc.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $100,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers Local 513.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $25,000 from HNTB Corporation.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $12,500 from D&S Fencing Co Inc.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $40,000 from The AGC MO PAC.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $10,000 from Missouri Construction Industry Advancement Fund.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $7,500 from Con-Agg of MO LLC.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $10,000 from John Fabick Tractor Co.

Missourians for Excellence in Government - $100,000 from Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield.

Schmitt for Missouri - $250,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

Schmitt for Missouri - $5,001 from Orville Middendorf.

Schmitt for Missouri - $5,001 from Western Oil.

Schmitt for Missouri - $10,000 from Midwest Petroleum.

Schmitt for Missouri - $15,000 from David Spence.

Committee to Elect Charlotte Feather - $9,379 from REALTORS Political Action Committee.

Citizens to Elect Brooke Hoob - $31,878 from REALTORS Political Action Committee.

Realtors Political Action Comm MO - $66,370 from National Association of REALTORS.

Committee to Eelct Greg Hasty - $10,000 from Lake of Ozarks Properties Inc.

CWA District 6 – Political Education Committee - $34,650 from CWA COPE.

Friends of Glen Kolkmeyer - $8,128 from Kolkmeyer for Senate.

Friends for Mike Reuter - $9,000 from Michael Reuter.



Notes on Money

In Senate 24, there weren’t so many big checks from donors as I expected to see at quarter’s end.  Rep. Jill Schupp took $20K from State Treasurer Clint Zweifel and $20K from the State Democratic Party.  Jay Ashcroft got $20K from his mom; and Jack Spooner gave himself $10K from his law firm.



The pro-transportation sales tax forces logged another $400K+ in contributions for their campaign.  They appear to engaging in a highly targeted campaign right now.  One example: a billboard on Highway 70 touting “Want a third lane on Hwy 70? The vote YES on Amendment 7.”

Schmitt, in declaring his candidacy for state treasurer, recorded $285K in contributions, the bulk of which ($250K) was from Rex Sinquefield.



Sinquefield also tossed $100K into the Missourians for Excellence in Government campaign account.  Who could be against excellence in government?  This is a committee that Sinquefield uses to contribute to elected officials in the St. Louis region.  Nancy Rice is the treasurer.



The Realtors are playing in local elections.  Charlotte Feather is running for Recorder of Deeds in Jasper County; and Brooke Hobb is running for Collector of Revenue in Greene County.



Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to former Reps. Fred Kratky (72) and Gayle Kingery (75), Ryan Hobart (31), and Eddie Roth (56).




Former state representative, and now executive director at Missouri Association for Social Welfare, Jeanette Mott Oxford married her long-time partner, Dorothy Gannon.



And Gateway Group’s David Jackson was engaged to Claire Vatterott.



And – happy anniversary to me.  Yesterday, 12 years married to my lovely wife.