Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rumorville: Drummond to MHA?

A good source says that Jane Drummond will be headed to the Missouri Hospital Association as their new general counsel.  According to Drummond’s LinkedIn profile, she’s currently the “recruitment coordinator” for Stephens College.

Her previous jobs include five years as partner at Schreimann, Rackers, Francka & Blunt, LLC, and leadership positions (director and general counsel) at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, as a well as a stint as Governor Matt Blunt’s general counsel.

 

Schwartz to Join Blunt?

And it’s said that Sen. Ryan Silvey’s brain, Mark Schwartz, will be leaving the senator’s staff before session begins, and headed to… join Andy Blunt’s firm….

 

AFL-CIO Endorses Koster for Gov in 2016

Yesterday at their meeting, the Missouri AFL-CIO delegates endorsed Attorney General Chris Koster for governor in 2016.  It’s an endorsement that’s wayyyy out in front of the election.  That’s an indication of a few things: first, Koster has always been good on labor issues, even during his Republican days; and second, all of the real and rumored Republican candidates (Hanaway, Schweich, Greitens, and Luetkemeyer) offer no compelling reason to keep the endorsement in play.

 

And

Despite every politico’s desire for drama, US Senator Claire McCaskill tells Public Radio she’s not running for governor.  See it here.

Among the quotable McCaskill nuggets: “What Rex Sinquefield wants to do is, he wants to buy the legislature and put in his vision, which is no income taxes and really high sales taxes… I think there is a direct frontal attack on the middle class in Missouri right now.”

“I’ve looked at Rick Stream’s record in the Missouri legislature. His record looks like Todd Akin’s record.”

 

Nicastro to Retire

DESE Commissioner Chris Nicastro announced yesterday that she would step down at the end of the year, citing a desire to spend more time with her family. Read Elisa Crouch’s article on the announcement here.  Missouri schools have had no shortage of crises; and Nicastro has had no shortage of critics, The State Board of Education will hire her replacement.

 

Goldman Bullish on NOR

As the talk of rehearing Noranda’s opponents to the move are pointing to a Goldman Sachs stock upgrade last week.  See it here.  Their analyst acknowledges concern about Noranda’s balance sheet, but likes the play with strengthening aluminum prices…

Analyst Sal Tharani said, "Our bullish stance is based on three main reasons: (1) NOR has significantly lagged its aluminum peers (up 5% vs. CENX up 110% since 4/1/14) despite a strong recovery in commodity fundamentals and its high leverage to prices; we expect its share price to catch up with peers. (2) NOR’s power rate case uncertainty is behind it, so we expect investors to focus on its earnings power that is growing with recovering aluminum prices. (3) Concerns about NOR’s balance sheet should diminish as improved commodity fundamentals support strong earnings growth and operating cash flow."

 

KS “Experiment” May Get Cut Short

NYTimes reports on Kansas Governor Sam Brownback’s shaky re-election campaign. Read it here.  Some Missouri conservatives have pointed to Kansas’ tax policy as a reason for Missouri to change it tax structure.

Pull Quote: In his 40 years living in Kansas, Konrad Hastings cannot remember voting for a Democrat. He is the type who agonizes over big purchases, trying to save as much money as possible. He is against stricter gun laws, opposes abortion in most cases and prefers less government involvement in his life. But when he casts his ballot for governor in November, he plans to shun the leader of this state’s conservative movement, the Republican incumbent, Sam Brownback, and vote for the Democratic challenger… “We’re going to be bankrupt in two or three years if we keep going his way.”

 

1332 Waiver

Governing Magazine reports on the Barnesian approach to Medicaid expansion/reform being taken with an eye on federal waivers.  Read it here.

Pull Quote: At a time when most Republicans are more focused on dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Arkansas Republican state Sen. David Sanders is focused instead on reshaping the existing law along conservative lines. Sanders wants to use a provision under the ACA to transform the entire health-care system in Arkansas… [T]he additional waiver, known as the section 1332 or state innovation waiver, would allow Arkansas and other states starting in 2017 to drop major portions of the law, including the individual mandate or the insurance exchange requirement, if they have a viable plan that maintains at least the same level of coverage at the same cost to the federal government. As long as states can do that, which is no small feat, they can take the federal money they would have received and use it how they see fit.

 

Bits

Erin Schulte, who ran unsuccessfully against Rep. Chrissy Sommer in the House 106 Republican primary, was fined $100 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for failure to put “paid for” information on her signs.  See it here.

 

Secretary of State Jason Kander certified the results of the Amendment 1 (right to farm) recount, showing that it did indeed pass.

 

Post-Dispatch reports that the grand jury convened for Officer Darren Wilson’s fatal shooting of unarmed Michael Brown will have until January to reach a decision.  Read it here.

 

eMailbag: Teacher Tenure Mistake

The "don't let one man buy the state's education policy" argument only plays on Amendment 3 because of the teacher evaluation section that was included which is viewed as turning over control of schools to DESE by educators and the anti-Common Core advocates. When the anti-amendment 3 message is "we must protect our local schools from being turned over to Jefferson City politicians", it becomes too easy to add in "a St Louis billionaire."

Now because there will not be a pro-Amendment 3 campaign, it sets up an open field for teachers groups and their $2+ million to define the message with Rex included in it. If the amendment simply repealed teacher tenure, the local control argument goes away and it becomes much more difficult to attack Rex effectively.

 

Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Don Gosen Golf – The Landings at Spirit, St. Charles.

Reps. Jeff Roorda and Michael Frame Reception – 36 Gravois Station, House Springs – 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Rep. Jill Schupp Reception – Ces & Judy’s, 10405 Clayton Rd., Frontenac – 6-8 p.m.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Jeffery N Brooks and Jorgen Schlemeier added KCTG.

Katherine Casas added RAI Services Company.

Brent Hemphill and Kristian Starner added Civics Proficiency Institute.

 

$5K+ Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $6,000 from Jake Hummel Campaign Fund.

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to former state senator Joan Bray (69), Jim Kottmeyer, and Nicole Brown (29).