Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Return of Jim Lembke

Former state senator Jim Lembke is said to be slated for a return to the building next session.  He’ll be chief of staff to Dr./Sen. Rob Schaaf.

It’s a combination rife with possibilities in that Schaaf has been one of the independent voices / thorn in the side of some; that’s a role which Lembke played as well during his term in the Senate.

Both are staunch conservatives who tend to pepper their arguments with references to the US Constitution and the call of Freedom.

Has Lembke mellowed over time? Or will he push Schaaf – who is now term limited – into even more strident positions? Regardless it would seem to make the uphill path to Medicaid expansion even steeper…


Other Job Moves

Chris “Dunn Deal” Dunn, previously chief of staff to Schaaf, is headed to the House side where he’ll staff appropriations for the majority caucus.  House budget could be a hot spot next year as it will be the first time that the legislature has the new “voter-approved” Amendment 10 powers.  Dunn’s new job had been held by David Willis.  Willis will be joining Floor Leader Todd Richardson’s office.

And Kenny Ross will be in the speaker’s office holding down legislative policy.


Those who asked about Bubs Hohulin’s future with Patrick Baker taking over the staffing reins at Team Parson… it’s said that Bubs is retiring.

And Sen. Ryan Silvey looks like he’ll be overhauling his staff.  Mark Schwartz recently joined the Blunt-Reichard lobbying team, and Tammy Corrigan appears to be gone from his office as well.


2016 Watch: Zerr to Have Company?

It look like Rep. Anne Zerr could face at least one challenger as she tries to go from the House to the Senate in 2016… Rep. Mark Parkinson has a Facebook page touting “Parkinson for State Senate.”  See it here.  He’s using the tag-line “Proven. Conservative. Leadership.”

Zerr is the favorite, but Parkinson would likely to be to her right – which is usually the best strategy in a primary.


Jami to Guv: Rescind State of Emergency

Sen. Jamilah Nasheed ask Governor Jay Nixon to rescind the state of emergency he declared a few days ago.  Here’s part of her statement: “It is the governor’s job to ensure the safety of the citizens of this state. This illegally mandated state of emergency will only further feed the mass hysteria we are so desperately trying to avoid. We need to think about the people that call this area home, and how we can best provide safety and security for our neighbors. Setting our communities up for failure before we are given a chance to respond peacefully is not the solution.”


Breaking Down the County’s Vote

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies published a nifty map of St. Louis County with the county executive election result broken down by township.  See it here.

Steve Stenger won Ferguson with 62% of the vote to Rick Stream’s 24%.  Write-in’s spiked in that township to 6.1% of the vote.  But otherwise it was basically in line with the rest of north St. Louis County.  As the article notes, Stenger lost most of south and west St. Louis County, but his margins in the north carried him into office.


Koster Announces New Ethics Rules For Himself

After the front page New York Times article that raised questions of conflicts of interest, Attorney General Chris Koster yesterday announced new ethics restrictions on his campaign contributions.

From the press release

“These new restrictions are the strictest conflict-of-interest provisions of any elected attorney general in the United States,” said Attorney General Chris Koster. The restrictions announced today are not required by Missouri law.

Specifically, the new policy:

·      declines contributions from individuals and entities with litigation currently pending against the Attorney General’s Office or that has resolved in thepast 90 days;

·      declines contributions from lobbyists, attorneys, and their law firms, personally engaged in the representation of individuals and entities with litigation pending against the Attorney General’s Office or that has resolved in the past 90 days;

·      declines contributions from anyone employed by the Attorney General’s Office.

·      Additionally, Koster announced that he would no longer accept gifts of any value from registered lobbyists.

Mike Wolff, Dean of St. Louis University’s School of Law, and former Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court, said of the policy, “The transparency standards adopted by Attorney General Koster’s campaign substantially raise the bar for ethics in our state.  I hope other elected leaders will follow Koster’s example and adopt conflict-of-interest policies that increase confidence in our state’s political system.”

In issuing the new policy, Attorney General Koster called on the Missouri legislature to implement similar reforms for all branches of state and local government.


How Money Contributes

This article lets you look at political contributions at the county level for each election cycle from 1980 to 2012.  It also breaks it down by Democratic and GOP.

A few interesting tidbits:

In 1980, Cass County residents gave zero dollars to GOP candidates or party committees.  In 2012 that had risen to $177,849.  (They only gave $325 to Democrats in 1980, $136,342 in 2012).

Platte County residents donated nearly four times as much as Clay Countians in 1980; in 2012 Clay Countians gave about double those in Platte.

Total contributions in Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass (MO) and Johnson, Wyandotte and Douglass (KS) were $653k in 1980, 69% from Jackson Countians, 22% to Democrats; in 2012 the total was more than $18 million, 47% from Jackson County and 41% to Democrats.



“The Office of Administration today announced the issuance of an initial $92 million in bonds to support the rebuilding of Fulton State Hospital. The project will replace aging facilities with a state-of-the-art mental hospital that will be safer and more conducive to modern treatment.”


Did Amendment 9 “Electronic Privacy” undermine the enforcement mechanisms for the no-call list?  That’s what a new lawsuit claims.  Read it here.


“The Citizens' Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials suggested an 8 percent raise for most statewide elected officials — including the governor, attorney general, treasurer, auditor and secretary of state — in fiscal year 2016 and again in 2017.”  Read it here.


$5K+ Contributions

St. Louis Police Officers Accos PAC - $6,000 from St. Louis Police Officers Association.

Gregory K Allsberry For Judge - $14,000 from Juniper Investments LC.

Home Builders Assoc of Greater KC PAC - $7,185 from National Association of Home Builders.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays former governor Matt Blunt (44), Reps. Myron Neth (46) and Sharon Pace, and former Rep. Mike Vogt (51).