Nixon in Retreat
It was a head scratching day yesterday as Governor Jay Nixon retreated on two fronts after brief skirmishes with the legislature.
He accepted the critique of Sen. Kurt Schaefer that the special session to provide funding for the National Guard was unnecessary, and he rescinded his previously announced cuts to blind persons’ pensions.
The special session flip brought this tweet from House Democrat Jeremy LaFaver: Friday: "We don't have $$ to pay the troops!!!" Monday: "Just kidding. Here's the money right here, in the budget."
On the one hand this could just be the new reality for the term-limited governor. The Democrats suffered losses in the legislature which cemented the Republicans’ super majority. That together with the approval of Amendment 10 have severely weakened his political power.
But on the other hand, Nixon, apparently no longer in the mix for a higher office or presidential cabinet spot, would seem to have nothing left to lose. He should be able to lead – and when necessary fight with the legislature – without fear of political consequences.
Silvey Nabs Willard?
Word is that Aaron Willard will be joining Sen. Ryan Silvey’s office as chief of staff in the coming legislative session.
Willard worked in the speaker’s office for Steve Tilley, and then for Congresswoman Ann Wagner, before helping launch Rex Sinquefield’s Grow Missouri organization.
Silvey is considered to be in line to take over the chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee in January 2017 when Sen. Kurt Schaefer is termed.
Says one politico: “I think it’s a great move. Especially when you consider that Silvey is not a ‘Rex guy’ at all. Silvey’s an R who would be a great statewide candidate once the crazy subsides…”
Pre-Filing Legislation Starts
Ferguson dominated the news of prefiling. Post-Dispatch’s Alex Stuckey looks at Sen. Jamilah Nasheed’s bills and Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s “omnibus law enforcement” bill. See it here.
Also, Sen. Eric Schmitt filed legislation taking aim at the operations of municipal courts and traffic ticketing schemes that have come under fire.
Sen-elect Bob Onder, who ran against Obamacare in his Senate primary, follows through on his campaign, filing a bill to “strengthens Missouri's existing Health Care Freedom Act by protecting Missourians and Missouri businesses from Obamacare insurance mandates. Specifically, the bill would require insurers to follow the Obamacare law as written and not accept federal subsidies. Those insurers who accept subsidies in violation of the law would have their license suspended by the state.”
Obama on Ferguson
Yesterday President Barack Obama met with a broad group of constituencies about various aspect of the Ferguson crisis.
Excerpts of Obama Remarks
As I said last week in the wake of the grand jury decision, I think Ferguson laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area, and is not unique to our time, and that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color. The sense that in a country where one of our basic principles, perhaps the most important principle, is equality under the law, that too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly… And one of the most powerful things that happened today was I had the opportunity to meet with some young people, including a couple of young outstanding leaders from the Ferguson community, Brittany Packnett and Rasheen Aldridge, who both served on the Ferguson committee, who live in the area, and I think have been hearing from a lot of young people in that area…
[O]ne of the issues that came up during the response to Ferguson back in August was the issue of military equipment being utilized in the face of protests that may be taking place in the community. It raised a broader issue as to whether we are militarizing domestic law enforcement unnecessarily, and is the federal government facilitating that? I have now received the review that I ordered from all the agencies involved in this program, the 1033 program. I will be signing an executive order that specifies how we are going to make sure that that program can help, how we’re going to make sure that that program is transparent, and how are we going to make sure that we’re not building a militarized culture inside our local law enforcement.
Third, I’m going to be proposing some new community policing initiatives that will significantly expand funding and training for local law enforcement, including up to 50,000 additional body-worn cameras for law enforcement agencies. And I look forward to working with Congress to make sure that in addition to what I can do administratively with the resources that we’ve already gotten, that we are in a conversation with law enforcement that wants to do the right thing to make sure that they’re adequately resourced for the training and the technology that can enhance trust between communities and police….”
Tipster: “Chris Koster is the first statewide with holiday cards hitting mailboxes (arrived Dec. 1)… And no mention of Christmas, for those paying attention to political correctness.”
Add former Jason Crowell staffer Ryan Nonnemaker to list of 2015 parents to be... He and wife Julie are expecting in June.
Today’s events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar:
Orientation of New Senate Members.
From the Gate Way Group website:
Thomas P Curran deleted County Executive Charlie Dooley; and added County Executive Steven Stenger.
Michael R Gibbons and Tricia Workman added Truman State University.
Bryan C Bacon deleted Van Matre Harrison Volkert and Hollis PC.
Kevin W Caveny deleted American Water.
Becky Dunn deleted Linn State Technical College; and added State Technical College of Missouri.
James Harris deleted Northside Regeneration LLC.
Todd Miller deleted Missouri Golf Council.
Randy J Scherr deleted Allied Waste, Energy Transfer Partners, and Republican Services Inc.
Mark Allan Vanzandt deleted Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Larry Rohrbach deleted Missouri Insruance Coalition.
Heath C Clarkston deleted Tesla Motors Inc.
Neal English deleted Missourians for Compassionate Care, and Realm of Caring Foundation.
Jeffrey Earl added Missouri State Auditor.
James Chris Long added Unspam Technologies Inc.
Rob Monsees added Missouri Hospital Association and Healthcare Services Group.
Jonah Baer Ragsdale added Washington University in St. Louis, and Missouri Education Alliance.
Sheilah Garlandolaniran, Jason Stabile, Marti Smith and Jan Rodolfo added National Nurses United, and California Nurses Association.
Jeffery N Brooks, Bill Gamble, Cynthia Gamble, Jorgen Schlemeier and Sarah Topp deleted Swedish Match North Americ Inc.
Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Dempsey for Missouri.
Happy birthday to Stephen Bough (44).