Thursday, May 28, 2015

Normal programming will return tomorrow.  I already have a few bits and nuggets for Friday.  But today is the dreaded Legislative Grades….




Mike Parson: B. Bonding bill accomplished, went from no name senator to candidate for Governor based on an impassioned floor speech about how dirty politics in Missouri is.  All of this was a couple of months before the InternGates broke.


David Pearce: Incomplete.  Probably would be in the A ballpark for finally passing the mandate to include treatments for eating disorders covered in insurance.  But a final grade awaits the governor’s decision on the student transfer bill.


Maria Chappelle-Nadal – Incomplete. See Pearce above.


Eric Schmitt: B+.  He exercises leadership and put his hard work behind municipal court reform. Schmitt could teach a clinic on how to keep your name in the news.  He took two issues (Macks Creek, EPA) and started a parade on both issues.  He continues to raise money and dodge a tough opponent for 2016.


Will Kraus: C. Picked up a big time primary opponent in his SOS race and hasn't been able to leverage his office into the news.  See Schmitt above.


Jamilah Nasheed: B+.  Continued to work her magic from the minority party, for example her ability to convince a Republican committee to reverse course and pass her "ban the box" bill.


Tom Dempsey: B-. There’s the case for being in the A range as he moved quickly to pass a transfer bill and Ferguson legislation, managed the numerous Senate egos adroitly, and weathered the RTW storm.  But in the end the question is: is the king of the soft touch too soft? It'll be a hell of a contrast when Ron Richard's iron fist takes over.


Ron Richard – C.  It’s easy to second guess the Senate floor leader because the body can be so mercurial.  It will get worked up and snagged over minor disagreements then let something huge slide through with hardly a second’s glance.  Still, using the dreaded PQ on Right to Work when no serious observer thinks there’s any path to a gubernatorial override.  We’ll see how much radiation there is in the fall-out from using the nuclear option. Right now it (ill will for no actual legislative achievement) looks like a bad trade.


Joe Keaveny – B.  Always hard to grade the minority leader because they’re explicit power is so minimal.  But judging by results, they did OK this session.  Sure they got PQ-ed but on something that won’t become law, and in the meantime some real GOP priorities dropped away.


Scott Sifton and Jason Holsman – A.  The two stepped forward and showed how destructive the PQ can be.  While everyone in the minority caucus pitched in to some extent, these two were the workhorses in shutting down the Senate.


Jill Schupp and Bob Onder both showed that they can be impact players in their first session without overstepping the boundaries and becoming noxious to their senior colleagues.



HOUSE Grades

Scott Fitzpatrick: A. Without completely hijacking the budget from Tom Flanigan, Scott was obviously the guy driving the bus in the House.  Easily on track to be a four year budget chair in the House, and a very important player down the line.


Caleb Jones: A-.  He lost a race for Speaker and is still the most effective member of the House at passing amendments.  We used to have an omnibus local government bill, an omnibus tax bill,

and an omnibus economic development bill.  Now, we have Caleb Jones.  With Diehl gone, his influence only rises.  The minus?  It’s because he's being held off by Stephen Webber for the Senate seat.


Todd Richardson - A+.  Managed to salvage what was left of this session while gaining support of both caucuses for Speaker. And obviously contrasts very well with his predecessor (see above).


John Diehl: D-.  Didn’t even finish his first session as speaker.  And despite speechifying about taking full responsibility, he did opposite: he ran away and left the House in a swamp of questions about whether they fulfilled their duties with an appropriate investigation.  And while supporters point to his legislative achievements over the past six years, the fact that they cite the most political one (the redistricting map) as his grand accomplishment only diminishes his legacy.


Elijah Haahr: B+.  Cemented himself as leadership material.  Solid first year as a chairman, moving a number of bills through the House and even a few through both chambers.


Jon Carpenter: B. Lots of potential as he continued to show leadership among a caucus with few leaders. He tangles the GOP in floor debate and stays out of caucus politics.  A good recipe in these times.


Denny Hoskins: B-. An opening occurred, but his caucus passed him over. Sometimes still shaky on the dais. But the Senate bid looks favorable.


Stephen Webber: A-. Manages to be a liberal's liberal (gay rights, pay equity, etc) while keeping a somewhat moderate persona. Fights the right fights and stays pretty clear of any 3rd rails.


Jeremy LaFavre: Incomplete – Talented (bipartisan work on the Civics Education act), yet can be his own worst enemy (calling out everyone for defunding legislative research).  The future is his.



Justin Alferman: High expectations fall on staffers who make the transition to elected official. He handled the transition with skill, has proven himself a smart legislator, but also hasn't become resented by his freshmen class because he is close to leadership. A freshmen to watch as he moves through the system.


Obits: A Conservative and a Conservationist

Martin Duggan passes.  See it here.

And Leo DreySee it here.


Help Wanted

House seeks Budget Analyst.  “This position will draft and review legislative appropriation bills and track relevant legislation. Job responsibilities include data entry, public speaking, preparation of fiscal and statistical data for use in budgetary evaluation, and review of agency budget requests and Governor’s budget recommendations for accuracy. Additionally, this position serves as the main budget liaison for members of the Missouri House of Representatives and is also responsive to state departments of government and the general public. The position is located in the Missouri State Capitol Building, Jefferson City. Applicants must have the ability to remain objective, nonpartisan, and professional regarding all legislative matters and work well under pressure with minimal supervision… Salary range begins at $3,624 per month with actual starting salary commensurate with applicable education and experience…”  See it here.



Lobbyists Registrations

Richard AuBuchon added Guidepoint Security LLC.

Charles Miller added Corrigan Station LLC.

Cruz Giovanni added CNU Online Holdings LLC; and deleted Jackson Vaughn Public Strategies LLC.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Mark Parkinson - $50,000 from Mark Parkinson.

Parson for Missouri - $10,000 from David Furnell.



Happy birthday to Rep. Elijah Haahr (33).