Thursday, February 19, 2015

Kander Set to Announce

A tipster shares that Secretary of State Jason Kander is set to make his intentions to run for US Senate public today.  The announcement will likely include a first round of endorsements.

Earlier reports on Kander’s interest had timelined the summer for a launch, but perhaps the feedback he’s received from the float, plus fundraising considerations (i.e. the limits on federal contributions), has accelerated the schedule.

I consider Kander a serious and credible challenge to incumbent Roy Blunt, and I think the race will be determined largely by the environment of 2016.  That is, Kander will win if it’s a Democratic year; Blunt will hold in a Republican year.

Others, however, are more inclined to shrug off Kander, one citing the 2012 election figures in which Claire McCaskill, Jay Nixon and Chris Koster all coasted to double digit wins while Kander’s win was within 2%.

We’ll see…

 

Onder’s Virtual School Amendment

The Senate spend a large portion of the day debating this year’s student transfer bill.  The field of play has been defined by the second floor.  It’s said that Governor Jay Nixon – who vetoed last year’s bill – has said he’s disapprove any bill with a “private option,” that is public money going to the cost of private school tuition.  In return, the governor’s office would accept expanded charter and virtual schools as an option.

Senate Education Chair David Pearce is in favor of virtual schools as an option for students in failing schools, but others want to expand virtual schools.  Leading the charge is Sen. Bob Onder.  He proposed to allow any student to enroll in a virtual school is they will in a failing district – or in a county adjoining a failing district.

Aside from the merits of the debate – it’s nice to see freshmen willing to step up just a few months into their term.

The matter appeared to resolve itself with the compromise: that virtual schools would be open to students who are in failing district, even if their particular school is not failing, but the “adjoining county” phrase was dropped.

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal further added a section to limit Missouri’s overall student population in virtual schools to 1%.

 

House Passes Photo ID

The House passed HB 30, requiring photo ID to vote.  Independent Rep. Keith English voted for it with the Republicans.

 

Five for the Future Follow-Up

Here’s a collection of the feedback I received on my peering into the future looking for the speaker after Todd Richardson

“I think Caleb Rowden tries too hard to be all things to all people. In the end, he's not strong enough to lead. Elijah Haahr is definitely the top pick, in my view.”

Kevin Corlew, a potential four-year speaker, being groomed by John Diehl…”

“How some you never mention a woman?”

“You’re missing Holly Rehder on your leader list.  Look at fundraising and big issues.  She’s right there.”

“Your potential Speaker list is accurate. This is the first class in a long time where the list was longer than 2 in their 3rd year, so the race could get interesting.”

To that point, another observer mentions that recently the House Republicans have elected their speaker early, with the outgoing class voting on the position as well.  However, looking ahead, that particular outgoing class is term-limited enlarged, and would have a near-majority of votes to determine the next speaker – who they wouldn’t even serve with.  The alternative, eliminating them from the process, would make the vote count much smaller, and open the race a bit to anyone who could bring a few dozen votes to the table.

We’ll see…

 

Pre-Lincoln Days Bits

On the eve of the Lincoln Days gathering in which Republicans will choose a new Party Chair, John Hancock is hosting a conference call tonight, inviting committeemen and women to ask him questions about his plans if he’s elected.

 

A supporter of Sen. Kurt Schaefer pushes back on the notion that Josh Hawley will be able to mount a credible challenge to Schaefer for AG… “Hawley has committed to teaching through the end of this year, so he can't announce for Attorney General yet. Apparently Mizzou won’t let him teach and run for office at the same time. By the time Hawley can announce in January Schaefer will have $2 million in the bank, and the entire 2016 session serving again as Budget Chair which provides a huge statewide platform. I doubt Hawley can make up the lost ground in that amount of time.”

 

Committee Changes

Reps. Rocky Miller and Steve Cookson swapped committee, putting Miller on Committee on Conservation and Natural Resources.

 

New Committees

Neosho Good Government Committee, a PAC, was formed.  Its treasurer is Roy Shaver.

Jake Loft started a committee to run for Council Person Ward 1 City of Columbia.  It is a non-partisan postion.

 

$5K+ Contributions

Association of MO Electric Cooperatives PAC - $10,000 from Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace and Kelvin Simmons added The Fremont.

Jewell Patek added Braco Acres LLC, and COS Action.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Rep. Rodney Schad (61), Ron Gladney (66), Jay Kanzler (54), Lynne Schlosser, and Alex T. Eaton.

 

Congratulations

To Corey Jackson and his wife, Jennifer, on the birth of Nora Ayers Jackson (7lbs 9oz and 20 inches long).