Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Good morning…

I am new again, after spending all day in bed yesterday with some sort of stomach bug.  It’s amazing how little one can get done in a 24-hour period.  Too tired to even watch TV.


Follow-Up on Chesterfield Pooling Suit

Friday’s filing by Chesterfield to throw out the decades old St. Louis County sales tax pooling system apparently rests on the fact that the legislation was written specifically for St. Louis County.  They argue that makes it unconstitutional.  Never mind that this is the regular course of business of the legislature every single session.

If the courts ruled this unconstitutional, there’s no local government bill which would survive a similar challenge.

However, don’t think that makes this challenge a phantom menace.  Their attorney is the mighty wizard himself, Chuck Hatfield, and that makes it a serious challenge regardless of the fact it would overturn the modus operandi of the legislature for the past hundred years.


This is a reminder of the off-session lobbyists Mike Gibbons and Trish Workman split from Stinson.  Gibbons and Workman have to lobby the legislature, and the task might be tough when they were teamed up with the firm which was suing the legislators – and making their life tougher.


Enforcement Part of the Problem?

Ferguson Commission holds meeting on St. Louis County’s broken traffic and court system. Read it here.  Pull Quote: They all said that municipalities routinely violate the state law that limits revenue from fines to 30 percent of the cities’ budgets, but almost always go unpunished.

When Ferguson Commission Co-Chair Starsky Wilson questioned them about who in state government was responsible for enforcing that particular law, none of them could provide a clear answer.


Ethics Reform

Reps. Caleb Rowden and Jay Barnes filed what will be the starting points of the House’s ethics package.  Rowden’s bills include: $500+ contributions must be reported within 48 hours (HB 221); Corporations which spend 25%+ of their money on political activity must file all ethics reports required for a candidate (HB 222); Tightens gubernatorial appointments (HB 225).

Barnes’ bills would mandate lobbyist expenditures incurred out of state must be reported with 14 days (HB 226); require an individualized itemized listing of all lobbyist expenditures made on behalf of elected officials made outside of the capitol building (HB 227); and a 1-year wait for legislators before they can lobby (HB 228)

Obviously what’s missing is campaign contribution limits.  It remains a non-starter with House Republicans.

Not so on the Senate side… where Sen. David Pearce pre-filed a limits bill (SB2): $5K for the statewide offices; $2,500 for state senators and $1,250 for state representatives.

Meanwhile Sen. Ron Richard’s ethics bill (SB11) would have a 2-year wait on the lobbyist revolving door; including superintendents and school board members as public officials; limit lobbyists’ “group” expenditures; and ban lobbyists’ expenditures for food, beverage and entertainment when it occurs outside of the state.


Smoking Front

Governing Magazine looks at the fight against smoking.  After years of declining smoking rate drops, anti-smoking advocates worry that they’ll give back some of their gains. Read it here.

And KC Star editioral today talks about Missouri above average smoking rate.  Read it here.



Jean Carnahan interviews Claire McCaskill about eating and cooking on her food blog… See it here.


Governor Jay Nixon gives tour of the Capitol, not the one the school kids see, and says there’s a $40-75 million cost to repairing the building. See it here.  Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard sounds like he’s on-board.


Rep. Vicky Hartzler will be the new chairwoman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.


Public Radio interviews Sen. Scott Sifton here.


Today 11AM, Governor Jay Nixon and Boeing leaders “break ground” on the future site of 777X work.


David BrooksNYTimes column (Read it here) talks about Elizabeth Warren and what it means about the state of mind of Democrats.  “But, today, even for those of us who disagree with Warren fundamentally, it seems clear that she does have a significant and growing chance of being nominated.  Her chances are rising because of that word ‘fight.’ The emotional register of the Democratic Party is growing more combative…  Events like the Brown case in Ferguson and the Garner case in New York have raised indignation levels across the progressive spectrum. Judging by recent polls, the midterm defeat has not scared Democrats into supporting the safe option; it’s made them angrier about the whole system.,,”


Lobbyist Registrations

Nancie McAnaugh added Coalition For Quality Senior Care.

Steven Tilley added Missouri Career Fire Protection Districts.

Rodney Gray, Tami Holliday, and Susan Henderson Moore deleted Element Power US LLC.


$5K+ Contributions

Shelter Insurance Company State PAC - $10,000 from Shelter Mutual Insurance Company.

Hanaway for Governor - $10,000 from Rex Sinquefield.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Rep. Jon Carpenter, and Cunningham’s Doris Broeker.