Thursday, July 24, 2014

PSC to Rule Against Noranda?

In the twitterfeed of Kevin Gunn yesterday… “Five PSC Comms indicated at their Agenda session that they would reject Noranda's request for a special rate. Final order in a couple weeks.”


Gunn is a former Public Service Commissioner.  He now runs Paladin Energy Strategies.  See the website here.


Gunn noted in his next tweet that “Hearing on Noranda's overearning complaint against Ameren starts Monday at the PSC.”



Non-Profit Hiding Donors

Kansas City Star reports that folks are still using non-profit organization to hide the source of political contributions in Missouri.  See it here.


The Republican majority in the legislature has failed to close the loop-hole that allows this happen, while still maintaining that there is transparency to the no-limits system.  This makes plain that there isn’t.



Rural $$$$

White House press release: “This week, the White House Rural Council will host the inaugural

Rural Opportunity Investment Conference (ROI) to promote potential investment opportunities that exist throughout rural America… In conjunction with this event, the White House Rural Council is announcing a $10 billion dollar investment fund to promote rural economic development. This fund will continue to grow the rural economy by increasing access to capital for rural infrastructure projects and speeding up the process of rural infrastructure improvements…. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the creation of an investment fund earlier this year that will help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America. The new rural equity fund will facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-related businesses. Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners, which will manage the new fund, and nine Farm Credit institution partners, have pledged to invest over $150 million into the new effort….”



Lottery $$$$

Following a front page story in the Post-Dispatch last weekend, Governor Jay Nixon announced that he would “conduct a comprehensive review” of the state’s lottery operations to figure out why it’s not contributing more of its dollars to the education budget.


See the Post-Dispatch story here.


Nixon’s statement:  “For more than two decades, Missourians have counted on the lottery to help provide the resources our schools need to deliver the high quality education our kids deserve,” Gov. Nixon said. “Today, we have a responsibility to make sure the lottery keeps its promise to our public schools in an efficient and effective manner. This comprehensive review will help ensure the Missouri Lottery continues to fulfill its mission of providing a stable funding source for Missouri schools now and for years to come.”  In 1992, Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment under which Missouri Lottery revenues are earmarked solely for public education.  In Fiscal Year 2014, the percent of lottery revenues going to education dropped to 23 percent, its lowest point in at least a decade, while lottery ticket sales continued to increase.


One observer wondered the lack of any mention of Lottery Director May Sheve Reardon in the statement presaged a lack of confidence or a possible scapegoating… We’ll see…



Schweich Against Thieving Politicians

In an interview yesterday, Auditor Tom Schweich called political corruption “pervasive.”  See it here.


Pull Quote: We know there is a lot of waste in government, people who don’t do their jobs well. That’s been well documented but the number of people who just steal cash is just startling.” Schweich told KMOX’s Mark Reardon on Wednesday. Everyone from clerks, to tax collectors to sheriff’s deputies have stolen money. Since Schweich took office less than four years ago, 28 public officials were caught embezzling.



Senate 2: Onder Hits Opponents on Obamacare

The mighty Jason Rosenbaum does a home recording of a new Bob Onder ad running on television.  See it here.


The ad says that his opponents Vicki Schneider and Chuck Gatschenberger are “bringing Obamacare to Missouri.”  I suppose it’s a reference to the vote where nearly the entire Missouri house voted in favor of setting up guideline for the state exchange.   (The bill was spiked in the Senate by Jane Cunningham later, and Missourians instead used a federal exchange.)


The ad works for Onder in a variety of ways.  First, Obamacare is presumably a very potent issue with Republican primary voters.  Second, it plays up his resume as a physician.  And finally, and maybe best of all for Onder, it’s a two-fer for Onder in that he can punch both opponent with one ad.



Senate 24: Spooner Mailer

Jack Spooner running in Senate 24 Republican primary against the Ashcroft sprig sent his first mailer, touting himself as a constitutional conservative.  One source driving through the district says that Spooner signs exceed Jay Ashcroft signs.


I’m picking Ashcroft to win the primary because no amount of signs can overcome that last name in a Republican primary.



Graves to Get Highways?

St. Louis Business Journal’s morning email passed along this item that Congressman Sam Graves is in line to take the chairmanship of the Highways and Transit Subcommittee.  See it here.



Nelson to RCGA

Hart Nelson joined the St. Louis Regional Chamber as the new Director of Public Affairs and Issue Management.  See his Linkedin profile here.



eMailbag: Drebes Hearts Koster?

Reader, obviously jealous of my affections toward Chris Koster, writes: “Chocolate melting radio voice?... I think you have a crush on Koster!”



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Randy McGinley added Bayer Corporation.

Wm. Randolph Weber added City of St. Peters, and Kindred Healthcare Inc.

Andy Blunt and Jay Reichard deleted Normandy School District, and Palladian Health.



Fundraising Calendar

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

MO Black Caucus Golf – Norm K. Probstein Course, St. Louis.

Reps. Noel Shull and TJ Berry Golf – Shoal Creek Golf Course, Kansas City.

Sen. David Sater Reception – Comfort Inn, 203 S Wildwood Dr., Branson.

Rep. Glen Kolkmeyer Whole Hog Dinner – Arcadian Moon Winery, Higginsville.



$5K+ Contributions

Jim Plunkett for Commissioner - $5,001 from David Picco.

Friends of Mark Ellebracht - $13,600 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Freedom Incorporated - $6,500 from KC Citizens for Safety.

Freedom Incorporated - $50,000 from Heavy Constructors Association Industry.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $15,000 from Daniel Devereux.

Friends of Rob Vescovo - $7,500 from Six States Rental Inc.

Friends of Rob Vescovo - $7,500 from Lee Mechanical Contractors.

Connect KC - $10,000 from VanTrust Real Estate LLC.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc – $10,000 from Norris Asphalt Paving Co.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc – $50,000 from Laborers International Union of North America Laborers Local No 110.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc – $7,500 from Missouri Asphalt Pavement Assoc.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc – $7,500 from Polsinelli.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc – $15,000 from Witte Bros.



Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Senator Claire McCaskill (61), lobbyist Betsy AuBuchon (39), former Sen. Jim Lembke (53), and former Rep. Kevin Threlkeld (48).