Thursday, January 22, 2015

Nixon’s Promise (or Threat): I’ll Be Coming ‘Round

Best quote from Governor Jay Nixon’s speech was aimed squarely at the audience in front of him, not Missourians across the state: “Let's… leave Missouri better than we found it. That means working together.  Now, I'm willing to do my part.  Rumor has it that I don't spend enough time on the third floor. I hear you ... and I'll be coming around more often.”


Nixon also dinged Rex Sinquefield’s initiative petition while acknowledging the need for reforms: “Last fall at the polls, voters overwhelmingly rejected a wrong-headed attack on public school teachers with more than 76 percent of Missourians voting against it. That initiative, bankrolled by a narrow special interest, lost in every single county of the state… And if we're completely honest about where our schools stand ... we've still got work to do….”


See full text of State of the State here.  And Speaker John Diehl’s Republican response here.  (Maybe the first time “hellhole” has been used in a statewide broadcast speech?) Thanks to the peerless John Combest for his morning links.


eMailbag on Nixon speech… “Sounds like Nixon wants to be the next Executive Director of the Boy Scouts of America…”


Missouri Local Leaders Launches

A press release announces the formation of a new coalition… “A united voice of local elected officials has been launched in the State Capitol: The Missouri Local Leaders Partnership, comprised of the Missouri Municipal League, the Missouri Association of Counties and the Missouri School Boards’ Association. The three statewide organizations have combined memberships of nearly 9,000 local elected officials… MoLLP is built on support of common priorities and principles that together provide a constructive vision for the communities served by our thousands of elected members statewide. These principles include:

--Supporting strong local decision-making authority and accountability.

--Promoting sound economic policies at all levels of Missouri government.

--Preserving and building the quality of life in our communities.

--Protecting the safety of our neighbors and all Missourians.

The first legislative issue the Missouri Local Leaders Partnership supports is Senate Bill 15, introduced by Sen. Bob Dixon, R-Springfield, and co-sponsored by Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence…

HOW MANY OFFICIALS DOES MoLLP REPRESENT? There are about 9,000 local elected officials in the three statewide organizations: Roughly 3,900 city officials, about 1,400 county officials and more than 3,600 school board members from across Missouri. The statewide associations have long-time presences in the halls of the Capitol, and the united voice of the new partnership will multiply the state policy making impact of our respective memberships…”


While these aren’t groups that you see donate a lot campaign dollars, when you think of the combined firepower of their grassroots memberships, and imagine simultaneous legislative action alerts to all 9,000 members, they could be a force.


Noranda on Ameren’s Proposal

Here’s Noranda’s reaction to Ameren’s recent proposal on their rates…

“We are aware that in written testimony to the Missouri Public Service Commission (the "PSC") on Friday, January 16, 2015, Matt Michels, Senior Manager of Corporate Analysis for Ameren Missouri stated that ‘Ameren Missouri is willing to enter into such a wholesale contract with market-based pricing and a term of five years beginning with the effective date of new retail rates.’ To our knowledge, no testimony or proposals have been filed with the PSC that define a rate structure for this "market-based pricing". Therefore, Mr. Michels' testimony falls quite short of a workable proposal and we can't really comment on it. We are pleased however, that Ameren seems to recognize the need for action to reduce and stabilize the New Madrid smelter's rates. Achieving a sustainable power rate at the smelter is vital for Noranda, the hundreds of families depending on the smelter for their livelihood, and the Southeast Missouri economy.”



Boyd, Grace, Simmons going Chinese???  WSJ reports that Dentons is merging with China’s largest law firm… Read it here.

Virginia Young reports on yesterday’s committee hearing of Sen. Eric Schmitt’s bill limiting traffic ticket revenue.  See it here.


New Committees

A new PAC was started.  Firefighters for MO Governor 2016. The treasurer is Tony Kelley.  He’s the president of the Missouri State Council of Firefighters

Betsy Peters started a committee to run for Columbia Council Ward 6.  This is non-partisan.  Her treasurer is Scott Brundage.

Rodney Norman started a committee to run as a Democratic for Ward 26 in the City of St. Louis.


Help Wanted

Executive Director for Governor’s Council on Disability “is responsible for the administrative, fiscal and supervisory responsibility for coordinating, planning and implement the activities of the Council.  The Executive Director reports to, and is supervised by the Governor’s Council through the Chairperson of the Council and is responsible to facilitate the board functions of Council members. Work hours are Monday – Friday 8:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.  Salary is $54,864.00 to $55,946.00 annually, commensurate with qualifications.”  See the ad here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Joint Session – State of the Judiciary Address – House Chamber – 10:30 a.m.


Lobbyists Registration Changes

Shannon Weber added County Executive Steven V Stenger.

Robert Dixon added Missouri Community College Association.

Shirley Breeze added Missouri Women’s Network.

Phillip Snowden, Mary Nelson, and Maurice Graham added University of Missouri Board of Curators.

Charles Ballard added Agape Boarding School.

Dustin Brighton added Stateside Associates.

Thomas Burner added Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce

Dale Ludwig added Mid-America Regional Development Institute; and deleted Paseo Biofuels LLC, and Mid-America Biofuels LLC.

Mike James added Missouri Hospital Association.

Brian Schmidt added Raise Your Hand For Kids.


$5K+ Contributions

UAW Region 5 Midwest State Political Action Committee - $9,284 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.

UAW Region 5 Midwest State Political Action Committee - $6,000 from UAW Region 5 Exchange Account.

Schupp for Senate - $5,819 from Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union No. 36.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Lynn Morris (66), Jay Hahn and Mike Lodewegen (both hitting the big 3-0), Amber Watson (32), and Michelle Colbert (47).