Thursday, August 21, 2014

PSC Formally Denies Noranda Rate Design Request

The Public Service Commission yesterday denied Noranda’s request for a rate cut from Ameren.  The commissioners had telegraphed this action with earlier comments.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.   Pull Quote: “Taking pains to emphasize that they understood the smelter’s importance to the economically depressed Bootheel region, the commission’s order said it was unconvinced that Noranda faced a liquidity crisis.”


The second complaint by Noranda – that Ameren has “overearned” – is still before the commission.



With the ritualistic speculation on committee chairs, here’s are some mentioned as possible House Utility Committee Chair (in no order folks): Rocky Miller, Tony Dugger, Lyndall Fraker, Holly Rehder.


Ferguson Bits

Reports are that last night was the most peaceful night yet… perhaps in part due to a rumbling thunderstorm…


The Washington Post has a blog post about US Senator Claire McCaskill’s interaction with the unfolding Ferguson crisis.  It details her response from use of the her Washington connections to her use of social media, her meeting with protestors, as well as her early call to de-militarize the police.  Read it here.


The New York Times reports on the lack of an established local leadership, and the sense that no one is in charge amid the responses from various levels of government.  Read it here.


On Twitter, Scott Charton notes that the list of demands circulated by the coalition of protesters indicates that the “protesters trust AG Chris Koster & Auditor Tom Schweich, both white, to do their jobs.”  The coalition leaders include: Sens. Jamilah Nasheed, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Yaphett El-Amin, Esther Haywood, and Mike McMillan.  Their demands include the resignation of the Ferguson mayor and police chief, the firing of Darren Wilson, the removal of Bob McCulloch, and an audit by Schwiech.  See it here.


And over in the St. Louis City shooting, a cellphone video of that shooting has emerged, though the recorder seems to look down in the critical moments.  See it here.


Morrow to Lead Springfield Chamber

Matt Morrow, former head of the Springfield Home Builders, has been tapped as the new CEO of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.  See it here.


Donors Protection Agency?

What will be the impact from the transportation tax defeat?  Is there any buyers’ remorse from the donors of the $4 million campaign after tis double digit loss?  It reminds me of the Kansas City civic effort to raise a sales tax for “translational research” which raised $2 million and then went down in flames.


Is the lesson that the heavy donors need to start doing their own due diligence on the feasibility of their wish list items?  That their desire for a better world can create a gullibility in which they pursue unattainable ballot issues, believing in the magical words of consultants who might see a path, but downplay the steepness and narrowness of that path.  Do donors needs to hire independent pollsters? Devil’s advocates? Old-time veteran pols to say what they don’t want to hear?


No on 3

A new campaign committee was formed, No On 3, with David Larson as treasurer.  Larson appears to be a tax preparers in Jackson County. Amendment 3 is the teacher tenure question on the ballot in November: Shall The Missouri Constitution Be Amended To Require Teachers To Be Evaluated By A Standards Based Performance Evaluation System?


This does not appear to be the main opposition committee.



Seen Wednesday at Cardwells in West St. Louis County, a reliable source says… former US Senator Jack Danforth, and Auditor Tom Schweich lunching with Kevin O’Malley, President Barack Obama’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Ireland.  Seems O’Malley, a Democratic, reached out to other St. Louisans who have had the rank of ambassador for some tips.  Danforth and Schweich obliged.   As it turns out, all of the current St. Louis residents who have served as US ambassadors are Republicans.  Not present – because they were out of town or otherwise occupied – Ann Wagner, Steve Brauer, Bert Walker and Sam Fox.


eMailbag on Rex $$$

From a Republican: You questioned recently if there was any impact to Rex Sinquefield’s bankrolling candidates who ran against four of the flimsy 15.  In my experience, one of the highest (if not the highest) priorities of legislators was ensuring an easy re-election.  Even though Sinquefield’s heavy influence makes people mad, my guess is they will think about it long and hard before they part with the caucus or cross Rex… It is interesting to me that most of these people who shake their fist at Sinquefield, take orders (literally) from their local superintendents and teacher organizations in opposition to what they will even admit is right to do for kids. They do that to ensure an easy re-election.  Why don’t we see legislators complaining about the outsized influence of superintendents, most of whom are the highest paid individuals in town.


Fundraising Calendar

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

Rep. Bob Burns Happy Hour – River City Casino Events Ctr. – St. Louis – 5-7 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Shawn D`Abreu added Midwest Center for Civil and Religious Liberty.

Jennifer Bruning deleted Saint Luke’s Health System.


$5K+ Contributions

Committee to Elect Tom Flanigan - $5,975 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Elect Bill White - $5,975 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Friends to Elect Bill Lant - $5,975 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Schmitt for Missouri - $5,001 from Lewis & Clark Northern Missouri Forum.

Missouri Farm Bureau’s Fund to Protect Farming & Ranching - $9,100 from Missouri Farm Bureau Federation.

Friends of Rick Stream - $10,000 from Thompson Coburn LLP.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $12,500 from Patterson Place LLC.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Kansas City Power & Light

Clean Water Healthy Communities PAC Missouri - $25,000 from American Water Company

Missouri for Charlie Davis - $5,975 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to lobbyist Jim Cooper, consultant David Hageman, and former Rep. Shane Schoeller (43).


Apologies to Chuck Gross

I rudely added a decade to his age in the “Happy birthdays” section yesterday.  Back to remedial math for me…