Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nixon Declares Emergency

Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in anticipation of possible unrest over the possible non-indictment of Officer Darren Wilson’s killing of unarmed Michael Brown.  It was classic over-correction.  After being pelted with criticism that he was too slow to react when the initial unrest hit over the summer, Nixon now is trying to get in front of the action.  But this too was criticized as premature.  Declaring a state of emergency before any emergency struck some as creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, setting the expectations for law-breaking.


Then there was this.  In a tele-press conference yesterday evening, Nixon fumbled then bungled and then flopped on a question: does the buck ultimately stop with you…?  Listen to it here if you can handle one of the most painful two-and-half minutes answers I have ever heard any politician give.  It’s utterly untranscribable, or I’ll try to.


Rumors May Come Fast and Furious Today…

Like this tweet earlier this morning from Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal… “@MariaChappelleN: Courts are closing at noon today I'm being told. #Ferguson”


AG Race Bits

One observer thinks that the danger to Sen. Kurt Schaefer from a Josh Hawley primary isn’t Hawley, but that he could create a troublesome vote split.  “I think the Hawley thing is interesting. If he were to be competitive in Central Missouri, then Schaefer would have a tough time winning against a credible candidate from St. Louis or Springfield in a Republican primary.”


And Sen. Scott Sifton trying to build the momentum in his duel with St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman released his first wave of endorsements.  They include Sens. Joe Keaveny and Jason Holsman, Reps. Michael Butler, Jon Carpenter, Vicki Englund, Ben Harris, Michele Kratky, Mary Nichols, Charlie Norr, Tommie Pierson, Ed Schieffer, Clem Smith, Jay Swearingen and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Councilman Sam Page.


Reader Feedback on 2016 Senate Races First Look

Senate 1 – A Democrat views Senate 1 as safe as Senate 22 in terms of its voting index.  Obviously since Dems just lost Senate 22, maybe that’s not too safe.  But a few factors are at work.  First, the 2016 presidential cycle will help Dems maintain turnout, and South St. Louis County isn’t suffering the same sociographic changes that Senate 22 is.
Senate 15 – Could Senate 15 be a free-for-all?  One Republican says that since redistricting it’s no longer in play for Dems; it’s not a safe Republican seat.  Or, in his words, it’s now a “primary seat.”  And a second reader confirms that accordingly many Republicans are mulling the seat… “If Stream does not get in the race for the Senate 15, then Rep. Don Gosen does (and becomes the frontrunner in place of Stream).  Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst and Rep. Andrew Koenig also said to be eyeing a run for the seat.”
Senate 19 – One Republican says Rep. Caleb Jones isn’t necessarily a lock for the GOP nomination here… “I wouldn't count Rep. Caleb Rowden out yet… He just won a second term to a really tough house seat with 63% of the vote, and almost certainly has the highest name ID in that Senate district of the potential candidates due to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been spent in his last two House races.  In addition to that, he has led his class in fundraising by quite a bit, and has done a good job building bridges and messaging on tough issues, which bodes well for him regardless of the path he takes.  While it looks like he is laying the groundwork for a leadership run in the House, I'd say SD 19 is still a real possibility…”


Job Moves

Beverly Cain, former Senate 2 legislative assistant to Scott Rupp, will be working in the Secretary of the Senate’s office in the coming session.


Patrick Baker has left his post as Legislative and Regulatory Director at Missouri Dental Association.  It’s said he may be headed to work on the Senate side of the building.


And it looks like OA Director Doug Nelson’s son, Trey Nelson, has joined the governor’s office as deputy director of scheduling.  He’d previously been in the Department of Social Services.



A quick scan of the Missouri Accountability Portal shows that since leaving the Senate (with its $32K salary) Maida Coleman has consistently won promotions (and raises).

In 2011, she was “Designated Principal Asst Div” in Labor and Industrial Relations earning $56,874.

In 2012, she moved, mid-year to “Principal Asst Board/Commission” in the Department of Economic Development earning $69,903.

She stayed there in 2013, but now as head of the newly created Office of Community Engagement, she’ll earn $120,000.


Help Wanted

“The Sixteenth Circuit Judicial Commission is accepting applications for the office of circuit judge, Division 12 of the 16th Judicial Circuit (Jackson County), to fill the vacancy created by the impending retirement of Judge Edith Messina after 30 years of distinguished service on the court.  Citizens are encouraged to nominate well-qualified candidates for the commission’s consideration. The Missouri Constitution, article V, section 21, requires that a circuit judge be at least 30 years old, licensed to practice law in Missouri, a citizen of the United States for at least 10 years, a qualified voter of Missouri for the three years preceding selection, and a resident of the 16th Judicial Circuit for at least one year… The commission will meet on January 20, 2015, at the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, to conduct public interviews of the applicants and select a panel of three nominees for the vacancy. Thereafter, Governor Jay Nixon will have 60 days to appoint one of the three nominees as circuit judge in Division 12. Members of the commission are Alok Ahuja, chief judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District; attorneys Scott S. Bethune and Teresa A. Woody; and lay members William C. Gautreaux and Pastor Eric D. Williams…”  See the ad here.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Reps. Brandon Ellington (34) and Randy Dunn (32), Tim Person, and former House candidate Neal E. Boyd (39).