Thursday, December 4, 2014

Torpey Follow Up

Yesterday’s stunning rumor – which appears true by the way – that Rep. Noel Torpey will be resigning, and taking a job with the pro-Noranda, pro-consumer group FERAF produced various reactions.

One politico notes his bipartisan appeal: "Very good hire. They've been eating Ameren's lunch for years now and this could very well continue that. A few gray hairs for a very well run org. Liked by Ds for his political style and Rs for his political skills. Coming out of KC he'll be able to continue momentum against Ameren et al as the St. Louis bogeymen."

But another lobbyist thinks “doors will close” to Torpey, invoking the criticism of Rep. Linda Black when she switched affiliations immediately after her election.  How do you ask for people’s votes, pledging to represent them, and then a month later say a better offer came along?




Interesting to note that under various “ethics reform” proposals, Torpey’s move would be forbidden.  Whether a six month, year or two year timeframe, they would all ban legislators from hopping to the lobbying corps so quickly.


Early Childhood

Over at the peerless John Combest this morning, he has a link to an article about the return of home visits for preschoolers in the Normandy School District.  Read it here.

It reminded me of the Raise Your Hand for Kids effort.  They’ve been floating a 50-cent tobacco tax increase that would raise $250 million in grants that would go to counties based on population of children 0-5.  Parents as Teachers would be a group that could qualify for these grants.

They’ve been doing community conversations… Columbia, St. Joe, and Poplar Bluff.  They had one at the St. Louis Regional Chamber yesterday and are having one today at Maryville University.  Next week, they’ll hit Cape Girardeau, and Kansas City, with Branson and West Plains slated the week after that, and wrapping up in January with Springfield, Joplin, Kirksville and Rolla.

What they’re hearing is that in places like Poplar Bluff we learned that PAT is hugely popular.  The program works but they need more funding...


Ferguson Agendas

Various 2016 statewide candidates are weighing in on Ferguson through their legislative filings. Sen. Scott Sifton filed legislation to rein in the municipalities traffic fine collecting.

This follows Sen. Eric Schmitt’s bill aim at the same problem.  Schmitt’s would reduce their ceiling of collections from 30% of their revenue to 10%. See it here.

Others however have yet to weigh in… Nothing from Sens. Will Kraus or Kurt Schaefer yet.  It may be viewed by some in the legislature as a St. Louis problem, which I think is a mistake.

And the potential gubernatorial candidates have also been mostly mum on the issue.  This, from one Democratic reader: “Last time I checked the Chief and Highest Law Enforcement official of the state is who? That's right, the AG who never seems to appear in a story regarding Ferguson. Things that make you go hmmmm!”



Former state senator Jeff Smith at St. Louis Pizzeria Pi tonight 7:30pm.  Go and find out how exactly you sign an e-book.  See Ferguson in Black and White here.


Coming Next Week

Arguments before the Supreme Court on whether a ban on felons owning guns is constitutional.  See it here.

“[A]rgues section 571.070 violates both the state and federal constitutions because it is an absolute ban on his constitutional right to possess a firearm, as guaranteed by article I, section 23 of the state constitution as well as the second and 14th amendments to the federal constitution… He asserts there is no substantial relationship between banning all convicted felons under all circumstances from possessing firearms for life and protecting the public’s health, safety, morals or welfare…”


Changes in Lobbyist Registration

Mark Rhoads added DDC Advocacy, and Multistate Associates Inc On Behalf of United Rentals; and deleted TW Telecom Of Kansas City LLC, and Kathi Harness O/b/o Worth Harley Davidson.

Kelvin Simmons, Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace, and David Smith added Anthem, Inc. And Its Affiliates Dba Healthlink, Inc.; and deleted Healthlink, Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, LP, Amerigroup Corporation, and McDaniel Hazley Group.

Brian Bernskoetter deleted Republic Services, Inc., Allied Waste, and Energy Transfer Partners.

Reginald Edgar McElhannon deleted Missouri Department Of Social Services.

Jarrod Forbes deleted United Healthcare Services Inc.

Jeffery N Brooks, Cynthia Gamble, William A Gamble, Jorgen Schlemeier, Sarah Topp deleted General Cigar Company Inc.

Kevin Houlihan deleted his lobbyist registration.


$5K+ Contributions

CWA District 6 Political Education Committee - $8,725 from CWA COPE.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $9,500 from Friends of Elijah Haahr.



Happy birthday to St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Jennifer Florida.