Thursday, October 9, 2014

End of an Era: Spieler to Retire

Word is that Terry Spieler, the revered Secretary of Senate, will retire in December.  Spieler has been the quiet guiding hand to the Senate proceedings for decades.  Respected and trusted by Republicans and Democrats alike, she untangles any thorny legislative questions and keeps everyone on track with poise and confidence.

I perused the Senate rules, but was unable to find how the Secretary of the Senate is chosen.  Instinctually I assume that Pro Tem Tom Dempsey will find a qualified candidate who has the consensus approval of the senators.  But we’ll see…


Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan Accepts Same-Sex Spouses

On its website, the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan announced that with the Kansas City judicial ruling, it was now accepting enrollment from same-sex spouses.  See it here.

The announcement: On Friday, October 3, 2014, a Jackson County Circuit Court Judge issued an order that requires same-sex couples who were legally married in another state, to be recognized by the state of Missouri. On Monday, October 6, 2014, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office announced that the state of Missouri would not appeal the judgment. Accordingly, MCHCP will begin accepting enrollment of same-sex spouses with a valid marriage certificate. MCHCP can accept online enrollment, faxed or mailed enrollment forms.


Orthwein Gay Marriage “Most Critical Issue Ever”

I wasn’t sure, but now it’s official: gay marriage is even worse than flag burning. Missouri Family Policy Council’s Joe Ortwerth explains: “Attorney General Chris Koster has decided to abandon his responsibilities as the state's chief legal officer on the most critical issue ever addressed by Missouri's court system… Judge Youngs has issued an arrogant and abusive decision that violates Missouri's Constitution, Missouri state statutes, federal law, and U.S. Supreme Court precedent.  Yet the man charged with defending the rule of law in Missouri is now refusing to fulfill his legally prescribed duties.

Why is that?  Well, the answer is pretty simple.  Chris Koster badly wants to be elected as Missouri's next Governor.  It is an article of faith in his political party that any candidate for higher office must genuflect at the altar of the homosexual rights movement…”


New Rick Stream Ad

Republican Rick Stream’s latest campaign commercial features Sen. Maria Chappelle-NadalSee it here.

MCN: “When the most vulnerable were threatened by massive state budget cuts, Rick Stream as House Budget Chair didn’t let party lines get in the way of doing what was right.  Rick balanced the budget while working with us to protect our local schools, Head Start, Meals on Wheels and more. He was a godsend to the common sense and compassion in a sea of disaster…”

What It Means

There aren’t enough Republicans in St. Louis County to elect Stream county executive.  He needs to grab Independents and Democrats.


Another Fatal Police Shooting

This one was in the City of St. Louis by an off-duty policeman.  The kid had a gun.  Read Post-Dispatch article here.


Please Take a Moment to Locate the Nearest Exit

Washington Post reports on the importance of clawback provisions in tax breaks.  Read it here.

Pull Quote:  Eleven months ago, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed a package of tax breaks and incentives aimed at keeping tens of thousands of Boeing jobs in the Puget Sound region. Valued at $8.7 billion over 27 years, the set of bills amounted to the single largest tax break any state has ever given to a single company. Now, policymakers who feel they bent over backwards to accommodate the aerospace giant feel burned: In the past two weeks, Boeing announced it would move thousands of jobs out of Washington State…


Non-Profits Hiding Political Donors Breaking the Law?

In this News Tribune article about the secret money coming into the 19th Circuit judicial race, the question is raised: does it violate no just the spirit of the law, but also the letter.  They quote the statutes: “No contribution shall be made or accepted and no expenditure shall be made or incurred, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, in the name of another person, or by or through another person” in any way that conceals “the identity of the actual source of the contribution or the actual recipient and purpose of the expenditure.”


Excerpts from Obama’s Ebola Conference Call

THE PRESIDENT:  Hey, everybody.  Thanks for joining the call.  Obviously, in your states and communities, you guys are on the front lines of public health every single day, working to keep the American people healthy and safe.  And I thank you for that. 

Right now, a lot of people’s attention is focused on our efforts to prevent an Ebola outbreak in the United States.  And I want everybody to know that from day one, this administration has made fighting Ebola a national security priority.  We don’t think this is just a humanitarian issue or a public health issue, this is a national security priority.  And we are working aggressively to stop the epidemic in West Africa, to stop any cases in their tracks here at home….

Because we’ve got a world-class medical system, because we’ve put in place tough safety measures, because of the work that many of you have done in conjunction with organizations like the CDC and dealing with infectious disease generally, and because of the nature of Ebola and the fact that it’s not something involving airborne transmission, the chance of an Ebola outbreak in the United States remains extremely low…

So for the governors and the mayors and the county officials on the line, I’ve instructed my teams to do whatever federal assistance they can to make sure you’re ready to respond should someone be diagnosed with Ebola in your state.  We’re going to have to be partners in this fight.  Anybody who has any questions, information or suggestions, that’s why my team organized this call….


And now let’s let the readers have a turn, shall we?....

eMailbag on Maxwell

Reader 1, Rural: “Out state candidate? Maxwell is a Vice President at Humane Society of United States.  That’s not going to play well in rural Missouri. Amendment #1 did well in his home area and his organization requested a failed recount that cost the state money. I'm sure Maxwell would get a lot of attorney and HSUS money but I'm not certain a lieutenant governor from 10 years ago is as relevant as some would like to think.”

Reader 2, Democrat: “It would be really great if we could move past the nostalgia of Joe Maxwell.  There are many folks who are of voting age now who don't even know who he was, let alone who he is. We need more fresh diverse and energetic faces if we want to move MO to a more moderate (not even saying Democratic) place.”


eMailbag on 15th Ward Special

Machine Needs Operator: I wouldn't go as far as to say the Democratic ward machines don't work anymore... I would say that if you are a committeeperson it doesn't mean you don't have to work to get elected.  Missy Pinkerton did not reach out to any of the usual folks for support of her race, the winner did.”

Props to Murphy: “Good write up on the 15th ward seat. I would add that Ben Murray who ran Kelly’s campaign deserves huge props. I think he donated his time, but he advised her brilliantly. Her messaging and targeting were spot on and I think the old school City Dem consultants should watch out for him.”


eMailbag: on Tomorrow’s GOP

Democrat: “It is a mistake for Tom Dempsey and Ron Richard to comment publicly on Chris Koster's refusal to go forward. The national Republican leadership was silent on the issue because they realize that it is not politically smart. Over 80% of young voters support marriage equality. They, not the over 60 set, are the future…”


Fundraising Calendar

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

Rep. Genise Montecillo Reception – IAFF Local 73 Hall, St. Louis – 5-8 p.m.

Rep. Mike Colona Reception – McGurk’s, St. Louis – 5-7 p.m.

Rep. Bill Lant Reception – Crowder College, Buffalo Rm.  – 6-8 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Deirdre K Hirner added Regulatory Environmental Group for Missouri.

Rodney D Gray, Tami Holliday, and Susan Henderson Moore deleted R.L. Polk Company.

Trevor Santos deleted National Rifle Association of America.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for a Better Columbia - $10,000 from Crockett Engineering Consultants.

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $42,000 from John Wright Farms LLC.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $7,350 from Friends of Robert Cornejo.

MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Citizens for Vicki Lorenz Englund.

Committee to Elect Bill Otto – 5,415 from Missouri Democratic Party.

Friends of Rob Vescovo - $10,000 from Six State Rental Inc.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Electrical Workers Voluntary Political.

Schupp for Senate - $12,708 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Friends of Rob Vescovo - $5,001 from Jim Plunkett Inc.

Committee to Elect Matt Judkins - $13,228 from Missouri Democratic Party.

Duvall for Missouri - $5,100f rom Missouri Democratic Party.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Caroline Pelot Battles, Lewis Reed (52), Cathy Sherwin, Josh McCarroll, and Erin Elliott.