Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Primary Day… Polls open...


The Big Stories of Today

Missouri Club for Growth versus Four Flimsys

In March Rex Sinquefield funded the Missouri Club for Growth with a $973,000 check.  It appears the low-tax, less-government advocacy group has pretty much spent it all, with $73K left as of their 8-Day Report.


Their four targets: Nate Walker (House 3); Jeff Messenger (House 130); Paul Fitzwater (House 144); and Lyle Rowland (House 155).  Will all four survive?  Does it matter?  Does the willingness of Sinquefield to spend nearly a million dollars trying to defeat four Republicans who took a “bad” vote help instill discipline in the Republican House Caucus?  Or does it backfire and inspire more Lyndall Frakeresque middle-finger-type responses?  Could Sinquefield’s toxicity, already implanted on the Democratic side of the aisle, seep across to the Republican side?  And what of Rep. Messenger’s ad (see it here).  He, like Walker, calls Sinquefield a “St. Louis billionaire” and then runs against St. Louis.  It’s a time-tested strategy for rural Missouri Republicans to shovel some hate towards St. Louis.  Does Team Sinquefield care about such collateral damage?


Transportation Tax

A coalition of construction companies and organized labor raised over $3.4 million – most of it in just the last six weeks.  From its start in the halls of Jefferson City, folks moaned about the issue’s lukewarm polling.  But it appears the consultants landed on a thread-the-needle strategy.  They’ve delivered a quiet below-the-radar campaign.  Thus they avoided provoking any deep pocketed opposition – while targeting their message as precisely as possible.  Will it work?  If it fails, does that create the political will to solve transportation funding through a gas tax or toll roads, or does it kill any additional effort for the next decade until memories fade?


Right to Farm

The language in the Right to Farm Amendment seems innocuous enough, and yet it’s given rise to the most spirited TV ad war of the cycle.  With hundreds of thousands of dollars pouring in from the various farming group, and the US Humane Society on the other side, the befuddled citizens might ask, what’s really at stake here?  And the answer seems to be that farming interests want a legal roadblock.  Amendment 1 changes nothing, but creates a first line of legal defense, a platform from which to sue and challenge any new regulations.
Senate 2

With no Democrat on the ballot, the winner here well be senator until 2022.  Bob Onder is the favorite. But Chuck Gatschenberger and Vicki Schneider – both having chaired the Local Governments Committee in the House which involves a lot of in-the-weeds government actions – would probably be considered easier for lobbyists to work with than the more ideological Onder.  However the reaction from lobbyists on this race has been mostly a shrug.  They’ve dealt with a Crowell or a Schaaf, they can deal with an Onder.


St. Louis County Executive Race

It’s hard to take out an incumbent, but the consensus seems to have moved into believing that Steve Stenger has done just that with a potential upset occurring today.  Count me agnostic on the race.  The most important part to watch might be the speeches or the morning after.  Will there be lingering resentment?  If Stenger loses, will he – and his allies – be able to forgive Charlie Dooley’s ridiculous sex trafficking ad? Or will labor trudge away in a tiff?  If Dooley loses will it deflate African American turnout in November in the state’s largest Democratic county?


The Lesser Stories of Today

Labor’s Gambits

In addition to the St. Louis County Executive’s race, labor has been playing in come primaries – House 102 and House 148 in particular.  If they’re able to knock off an incumbent, will that allow them to speak a little softer yet be heard more clearly in the halls next session?


Carter versus Clay

In House 76 where Chris Carter Sr. and incumbent Rep. Josh Peters are dueling, it’s really more of a blood feud between the House of Carter and the House of Clay.  And truth is, it doesn’t matter who wins this round, these two stalwarts of St. Louis politics are going to be scheming and plotting against each other for years to come…


MCN Plays in Primaries

Sen. Maria Chappelle Nadal, with an ample warchest and no opposition this cycle, has chosen sides in a few Democratic primaries, sending money and using her bully pulpit.  In House 76 she’s with the Carters.  And in House 86 she’s against Joe Adams.  She may come out of today with a few new allies in the lower chamber, or a few unhappy Reps – depending how the vote falls.


Senate 24

Can an Ashcroft be beaten?  That’s the question in Senate 24 Republican primary.  The person trying to do it is Jack Spooner.  He has political guru David Barklage on his side, giving impassioned Facebook testimonials (See below).


Even Lesser (Insidery/Junkie) Stories

House 18 – This is a very divisive Democratic primary to replace Jay Swearingen.  Lauren Arthur is a favorite of progressive women and some establishment types; but Kevin Garner gets more of LGBT and labor constituencies.  If the Dems had a boss, they’d have been able to find spots for both these folks instead of having them run against each other.


House 20 – Former Rep. Brent Lasater takes the first step in trying to regain his seat.  Can he make it past Bill E. Kidd to make on Rep. John Mayfield in November?


House 34 – A hot three-way race to replace termed Rep. Jeff Grisamore, featuring former Rep. Bob Johnson, the only Republican House candidate endorsed by Planned Parenthood this cycle.  Will Johnson lead the beachhead of a more moderate GOP in Missouri?


House 41 – Democrat Ed Schieffer is headed into a state senate race, and Republicans hope to pick this House seat up.  Alexandra Salsman is trying to run to the right of Randy Pietzman, but he has better money and organization.


House 67 – A four-way Democratic primary to fill the seat where Rep. Steve Webb resigned.  Former Rep. Sylvester Taylor might be the favorite, though I’m picking Alan Green in a tight race.


House 98 – With Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst termed, his wife Rea is trying to take his seat.  Her strongest challenge is coming from Shamed Dogan, an alderman in Ballwin.


House 113 – Rep. Jeff Roorda is headed into a state senate race.  Republicans would love to take his seat.  Jason Fulbright seems more moderate and might be a better November candidate for them, but some Republicans think they pick it up either way.


House 139 – Rep. Kevin Elmer vacated with plans to become a judge, creating a three-way primary.  Once Michael Hope’s campaign imploded when his wife was charged with thefts, Jered Taylor became the favorite.


House 157 – Some speculate that Nixon’s folks helped recruit Julie Ruzicka, wife of former Rep. Don Ruzicka. The incumbent is Rep. Mike Moon.  (Don’s a Nixon appointee… Moon filed impeachment papers against Nixon… see the dots? Who knows if they actually connect...)


St. Louis City Races

In the City License Collector race, appointed-incumbent Mavis Thompson tries to hold off a challenger by Alderman Jeffrey Boyd.  And Sharon Carpenter, who recently resigned as the City’s Collector of Deeds for breaking the anti-nepotism laws, is seeking to win another term.  Despite the usual good judgment of the voters it’s still a likely outcome.


Remington Polls Debuts

Axiom Strategies Jeff Roe’s polling company Remington Research Group (see the website here), released a few snapshots ahead of tomorrow election (like Stenger up 15 points)… Will his polls nail the outcome or give fodder to critics of robopolls?


Primaries With No Generals

Here are the folks who face a primary, but don’t have any general election.  If they win tonight, they’ll be in Jefferson City in January:

Senate 2 – Republicans Bob Onder, Vicki Schneider, and Chuck Gatschenberger.

Senate 16 – Republicans Bernie Mowinski, and Dan Brown (incumbent).

House 3 – Republicans Nate Walker (incumbent), and John Bailey.

House 7 – Republicans Mike Lair (incumbent), and Dennis McDonald.

House 22 – Democrats Brandon Ellington (incumbent), and Daniel Edwards.

House 27 – Democrats Bonnaye Mims (incumbent), and India Williams.

House 28 – Democrats Tom McDonald (incumbent), and Ryan Meyer.

House 62 – Republicans Bruce Sassmann, and Tom Hurst (incumbent).

House 74 – Democrats Sharon Pace (incumbent), and Don Houston.

House 76 – Democrats Chris Carter, and Joshua Peters (incumbent).

House 77 – Democrats Bill Haas, and Kimberly Gardner (incumbent).

House 86 – Democrats Fareedah Sidqui, Joe Adams, Dawn Price, and Mary Ann Merz.

House 98 – Republicans Carol Veillette, Shamed Dogan, and Rea Scharnhorst.

House 103 – Republican Kyle Schlereth, Alexander McArthy, and John Wiemann.

House 125 – Republican Ethan Newman, and Warren Love (incumbent).

House 130 – Republicans Jeff Messenger (incumbent), and Loren Hunt.

House 139 – Republicans Clayton Jones, Michael Hope, and Jered Taylor.

House 144 – Republicans Paul Fitzwater (incumbent), and Ron Bohn.

House 148 – Republicans Duston Stone, and Holly Rehder (incumbent).

House 155 – Republicans Lyle Rowland (incumbent), Mike Lind, and Jason Frodge.

House 156 – Republicans Ron Herschend, and Jeff Justus (incumbent).


Barky Makes Personal Endorsement on Facebook

David Barklage: Only one other time have I personally recommended an individual on Facebook, but I am making a rare exception and endorsing Jack Spooner.


Too often voters are directed to a laundry list of issues and check off which candidate supports the issues most important to us. The problem is that politicians know this and cannot wait to tell us what we want to hear whether it is true or not. Then they spend great resources convincing us the other person is wrong on the issues, whether that is true or not.




What if we actually picked a candidate because of their integrity, character or ability to make good decisions?


I do not know how JACK SPOONER will vote on every issue. But I do know he will study, listen and learn until he has a good understanding of the problem to find the best solution. When he makes his decision it will be because it is the right decision - not because it was the easiest or most expedient thing to do…


He does what is right when no one is looking. I have seen it time and again in his actions and how he treats people. Everything JACK has is because he worked hard for it. Nothing has ever been given to him. JACK’S decision to run was based on his desire to serve, not ambition for higher office. My final reason why you should support JACK SPOONER-he would rather have dinner with his wife and children, rather than lobbyists.


And Don’t Forget

Sen. Brian Nieves is in a Republican primary to continue his political career this time as the Collector of Deed in Franklin County.


Finally, The Most Under-Reported Story of the Cycle?

Former Rep. Sam Page makes a start to a comeback tonight running for St. Louis County Council… he’s potentially a future St. Louis County Executive, folks… It might be years off, but you heard it here first…



As a reminder, my predictions on every House and Senate race can be found here.


And Republican strategist and radio personality John Hancock made his predictions via twitter…

Gonna make some predictions on tomorrow's elections... DISCLAIMER: "the views expressed are often WRONG but never in doubt..."

STL County Exec - Democrat. Steve Stenger 56%, Charlie Dooley 44%.

Right to Farm: YES, 53%, NO 47%.

Transportation Sales Tax: YES 43%, NO 57%.

Open Carry: YES 49%, NO 51%. #stlouiscountyturnout

State Senate District 2: Onder 48%, Gatchenberger 28%, Schneider 24%.

State Auditor: Democrat, 0%.

State Senate District 24: Ashcroft 63%, Spooner 32%, OtherGuy 5%.

Lottery for Veterans: YES 73%, NO 27%.

Electronic Privacy: YES 82%, NO 28%.

GOP County Council District 7: Young 35%, Paul 33%, Harder 32%

GOP County Executive (moderate to heavy GOP crossover in Dem Primary): Pousosa 54%, Stream 46%.

GOP County Executive (light GOP crossover in Dem primary): Stream 52%, Pousosa 48%.


eMailbag: Lay Off Spooner’s Daughter

After working 9 hours on Friday and over 60 for the week Jack Spooner’s daughter took a well-deserved evening off and came back to work Saturday morning.


Help Wanted

City of Joplin seeks Planner.  “Under general direction, performs planning, zoning and community development tasks and functions for the City of Joplin. Reports to the Director of Planning and Community Development… Researches items, prepares agendas, organizes meetings and summarizes data for the Historic Preservation and Planning and Zoning Commissions. Compiles and summarizes the data for special use permits, rezoning requests, historic preservation requests, zoning variances and exceptions. Prepares project data and distributes to commission and council members…. Salary Range: $34,552 - $50,137, with starting salary $34,552 with excellent benefits…”   See the ad here.


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Kathleen Markie deleted The Curators of the University of Missouri.

Warren Kent Wray deleted Missouri University of Science and Technology.


$5K+ Contributions

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,483 from United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Republican Chesterfield Committeewoman Jennifer Jordan Kelly, and Republican St. Louis City Committeeman Mike Chance.