Monday, March 16, 2015

“Her Dad is Wayne Baker”

Post-Dispatch reports on the clubby world of the St. Louis County municipal courts.  Prepare to be disheartened when you read it here.

Pull Quote: The email in Keith Cheung’s inbox was from a judge asking for a favor. The subject line: “Help!!!”  The sender was Wes Dalton, then an associate circuit court judge in Warren County. It was about a case in Frontenac Municipal Court, where Cheung was prosecuting attorney. The defendant was Dana Baker, 18, one of three teens who had been written summonses for illegal possession of alcohol.

Dalton’s email said that the 18-year-old was the daughter of “our connection” to Porto Cima, a private golf club at the Lake of the Ozarks, the resort area where the annual Missouri Bar Association conference is held. “Her Dad is Wayne Baker (owner of Warrenton Oil and a ----load of other stuff),” Dalton wrote. “Can we make this one go away??? By the way, we’re hooked up for golf at Porto Cima at the Conference!!! (is no cost okay???)!!”

The email was dated May 2. The police report indicates that a disposition of “nolle prosequi” was entered on the case the next day. It meant the daughter would not be prosecuted.


Weekly Poll Cross Tabs

The cross tabs from the MOScout Weekly Poll can be seen here in the Special Reports section.

Missouri’s Promise proposal garnered 56% approval based on the cigarette tax going up to 90 cents a pack.  That’s some cushion, but it could quickly vanish if the usual opposition rallies against it.

Missourians want to keep daylight saving time, and support the effort to require a civics test of high-schoolers.

With regard to the St. Louis County small munis mess, they’re undecided (46%) whether the best course of action is to simply dissolve the villages.


The Return of John Wright

Despite losing his state representative race last fall, John Wright appears to be seriously considering a statewide run in 2016.  The latest evidence is a $55K check from himself to his campaign committee.  For Dems, a self-funder is likely welcome to their still undefined slate.


Progress Missouri Asks Senate to Follow Sunshine Law

The liberal organization Progress Missouri has been having trouble videotaping some Senate committees.  This is hardly about left or right politics though.  It’s a good government issue.  There’s no reason a government in America should be squelching citizens from recording public meetings.  Progress’ attorney sent a letter restating their position.  See it here.


Auditor Appointment Talk

Post Dispatch says that Governor Jay Nixon should appoint one of Tom Schweich’s staff to be the new State Auditor.  Dems say, “Huh?  Voters didn’t’ vote for a Democratic governor so he would appoint a Republican to a statewide office.”

eMailbag on Auditor

Reader 1: “There's only one acceptable appointment the Women's Political Caucus and the Missouri Women's Leadership Coalition will stand for.  The chairs to those groups had plans to run the Democratic party, chair and ED, if Susan Montee had been elected Lt. Gov., so putting Susan back in as Auditor gives the chairs of those groups another bite at the apple. Trish Vincent will not be an acceptable appointment to them.”


Reader 2: “The letter from the Women’s Political Caucus was amusing.  Apparently doing everything they can to get women in statewide office doesn’t include a woman running for the office… Literally any woman could have run as a Democrat and had a free shot.”



Post Dispatch endorsed Treasurer Clint Zweifel’s Missouri Promise proposal.  Read it here.


The Center for Education Reform says that Missouri’s charter school laws are 12th strongest in the nation.  They give Missouri a “B.”  See it here (page 52).


Freshman Rep. Kevin Corlew gets a pretty big bill to handle for Kansas City.  HB 1044 would create an “Armed Offender Docket Pilot Project” in Jackson County.  It has a hearing today in Rep. Elijah Haahr’s Emerging Issues Committee.


eMailbag: on MedMal Reform as Affordable Care

“Was Tom Dempsey joking when he gave his ‘affordable health care’ speech regarding med mal caps?  Medicaid expansion is bad but if we can save docs money we'll have affordable care for all?  I really like Dempsey, but that is the biggest heap I've heard out of JC in some time…”


Help Wanted

Special School District of Saint Louis County seeks Director, Student Compliance Liaison.

“The Special School District’s (SSD) Legal Department is seeking experienced attorneys or other experienced candidates holding a juris doctor interested in a non-traditional legal role for its Director, Student Compliance Liaison position.  Responsibilities include: Drafting responses to complaints made to various governmental agencies, serving as the Section 504 Coordinator, responding to internal grievances, coordinating with outside counsel on scheduling Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mediations and due process hearings and mediations… SSD is the largest public school district in the state of Missouri and has been an icon for special education and technical education services for more than the past fifty years. Today, SSD educates about 23,000 students with disabilities at sites throughout St. Louis County, including 265 public schools operated by the other 22 public school districts in St. Louis County...”  See the ad here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Caleb Jones Reception – Jefferson City Country Club – 6-7:30 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

Trent Ford added Johnston And Associates, Inc. On Behalf Of Bluebird Network.

Mark Habbas deleted Realm of Caring Foundation.

Peter Levi added Olin Corporation.

Gary Wheeler deleted Biodiesel, and Bioenergy.

Mark Stahlhuth deleted Armstrong Teasdale LLP.

Kate Casas deleted Astellas Pharma Us Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

MO State Council of Fire Fighters PAC - $6,403 from Missouri State Council of Fire Fighters.

Margo McNeil for State Representative - $6,653 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $55,000 from John Wright.

Greitens for Missouri - $25,000 from Tim Noonan.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Melissa Randol, Tom Villa (the big 7-0), and Jon Dolan.