Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Webber for 19

With Jason Kander’s large check hitting the other day to Rep. Stephen Webber’s campaign account, some considered the possibility that Webber would eschew his state senate bid, and instead reach statewide and try to take Kander’s spot at secretary of state.

A reliable sources says: Nope.  Webber is locked into the Senate 19 race.


This talk does hint at the mild anxiety gripping MO Dems right now.  One of the ingredients to their statewide success has been self-organizing to avoid primaries and put a single strong candidates in each slot.  Right now however Dems are struggling to find that magic across nearly the entire slate… LG (a primary between a rep loser and an unknown doc?); SOS (Kander’s jump leaves a hole); Treasurer (no one itching to take on Schmitt); AG (primary between a brand new senator in a swing district, and a county assessor). It aint looking pretty, but it is still early.


McCaskill Returns from Cuba, Time for Change

The press release: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is calling for an end to the embargo that restricts trade between the United States and Cuba, following a trip to the island nation last week aimed at boosting agricultural, job, and business opportunities for Missouri.  "Lifting the embargo won't just be a boon for Missouri jobs-it'll also strip the Castro regime of its biggest excuse for why its people aren't free and prosperous," McCaskill said. "Ending the embargo and normalizing relations will be a complicated process, but it's one I'm confident is worth doing-for Missouri's farmers and ranchers, and for the Cuban people."


Liberty = Local Control or Liberty > Local Control?

A New York Times article this morning mentioned the proclivity of state legislatures to override issues once the domain of “local control.”   Read it here.

Pull Quote: [P]re-empting the power of local governments is becoming a standard part of the legislative playbook in many states where Republicans who control statehouses are looking to block or overturn the actions of leaders, and even voters, in municipalities that are often more liberal.

So-called pre-emption laws, passed in states across the country, have barred cities from regulating landlords, building municipal broadband systems and raising the minimum wage. In the last two years, eight Republican-dominated states, most recently Alabama and Oklahoma, have prevented cities from enacting paid sick leave for workers, and a new law in Arkansas forbids municipalities to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination. Already this year, bills introduced in six more states, including Michigan, Missouri and South Carolina, seek to do the same. At least five states have pre-empted local regulation of e-cigarettes. And in New Mexico, the restaurant industry supports a modest increase to the minimum wage only if the state stops cities from mandating higher minimums.

Often these efforts are driven by industry, which finds it easier to wield influence in 50 capitols than in thousands of city halls, said Mark Pertschuk, the director of Grassroots Change, which opposes the pre-emption of public health measures.

The strategy was pioneered by tobacco companies 30 years ago to override local smoking bans. It was perfected by the National Rifle Association, which has succeeded in preventing local gun regulations in almost every state….

Pre-emption invokes a paradox for conservatives, like Mr. Abbott, who have long extolled the virtues of local control in some areas, like education, but now say uniform standards are necessary in others.

“It has seemed hypocritical that the state wants the federal government to give the states more power, yet at the state level, they want to take power away from cities and counties,” Mr. Hodges, the Fort Stockton official, said in a telephone interview.

James Quintero, the director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said the pre-emption of city power was “new to the conservative movement here in Texas.” Still, he was ready to counter accusations of hypocrisy: “What we’re arguing is that liberty, not local control, is the overriding principle that state and local policy makers should be using.”


Medicaid Poll: Very Complex

I had a few requests for the full memo I wrote about yesterday, so I put it up in the Special Reports section.  See it here.


MO Freedom Alliance Hearts Silvey’s SB 460

While MO Freedom Alliance previously did a poll poo-pooing Sen. Ryan Silvey’s proposal to expand Medicaid for veterans and their families, they’re cheering Silvey’s bill to keep Governor Jay Nixon from unilaterally move forward on a new stadium to keep the Rams.  No permanent allies or enemies, only permanent interests?...

The press release: SB 460, as sponsored by State Sen. Ryan Silvey, is an act that specifies the executive branch does not have the authority to extend existing bonds or issue new bonds, including bonds for the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority, without legislative or voter approval. The Missouri Alliance for Freedom fully supports SB460’s promotion of good governance.


Senate Passes New TANF Restriction

The Senate passed Sen. David Sater’s SB 24 which added new restrictions to those receiving TANF benefits.  However the changes to the bill and the compromises made during the process drew praise from Democratic senators, including Sens. Jill Schupp, Jamilah Nasheed and Jason Holsman.  Holsman even voted for the bill, giving it a bipartisan shine.  Holsman concluded that TANF recipients would be better off with some of the new services provided in the bill.



Governor Jay Nixon nominated Robert Hartnett to the Missouri Board for Architects, Professional Engineers, Professional Land Surveyors, and Professional Landscape Architects, and Jade D. James to the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts.


Post-Dispatch reports that “New information from Anthem Inc. shows one in three Missourians’ personal information was compromised in computer hackers' recent cyberattack on the health care giant…”  Read it here.


The Missouri Coalition Against Domestic And Sexual Violence continues to raise its positive profile for hard issues, launching radio public service announcements about the "No More" campaign. The coalition's veteran executive director, Colleen Coble, is consistently one of the most knowledgeable and credible of Capitol lobbyists. Strictly nonpartisan, Coble is known for candor and patience in telling tough, real-life stories about sexual violence and domestic abuse. The PSAs feature a rare in-state voiceover by media relations guru Scott Charton.


Help Wanted

Missouri Department of Social Services seeks Attorney for Children's Division.  “The Department of Social Services, Division of Legal Services has an immediate opening in its Jefferson City, Missouri office for legal counsel to work with the Missouri Medicaid program, also referred to as MO HealthNet (MHN).  The major duties of this position include providing legal advice and representation to the Department of Social Service’s MHN with special emphasis on Medicaid cost recovery, estate recovery and subrogation programs… Annual salary range for this position will be $40,000-65,000, depending on experience. This position is a non-merit, unclassified, employee-at will position. It qualifies for full benefits.”  See the ad here.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar listing:

“Meet the STARS in Northeast Missouri Arena” – Capitol Rotunda, 3rd flr – 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Sen. Will Kraus Breakfast – Downtown Diner, 127 E. High, Jefferson City – 7:30-9 a.m.

Rep. Anne Zerr Reception – Madison’s Café, Jefferson City – 5:30-7 p.m.

Sen. Jeanie Riddle Reception – Cork, Jefferson City – 6-7 p.m.

Reps. Tila Hubrecht, Andrew McDaniel, Don Rone Reception – HRCC, 305 Jefferson, Jefferson City – 6-7:30 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

Charles Hinderliter added St. Louis Regional Chamber.

Kristian Starner added Brent Hemphill & Associates.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Sonya Anderson, St. Louis City Alderman Stephen Conway (56), MOChamber’s Tracy King, former Sens. Jolie Justus (44) and Chuck Graham (the big 5-0).