Tuesday, September 30, 2014

S.O.S. at DSS?

At a hearing yesterday the Department of Social Services tried to explain why citizens are finding their department frustrating.  The director apparently thinks he’ll have things fixed by “the beginning of 2016,” a mere fifteen months away. See the story here.


Pull Quote: That's leading to abandoned customer calls at a high rate- people are waiting too long and hang up. In just one month, Social Services had 250,000 calls and 150,000 of them hung up. Kinkade said, "When you operate a call center there will always be some calls that people for whatever reason are not going to hang on the phone and wait.  That will always be a part of a call center process.  I would guess over the next month or so we'll see that abandonment rate fall off."  Kinkade then offered advice for people needing help through DSS.  "They have access to our local offices.  They should avail themselves to that and trust that as we learn of their situation we will work very quickly to resolve their issue," said Kinkade. During the hearing Kinkade told lawmakers they now have his attention.  He expects everything to be fixed completely by the beginning of 2016.


SOS Shuffle

It looks like Jason Kander’s consigliere, Abe Rakov, has been bumped up to the title of “deputy secretary of state,” with Casey Clark taking his place as chief of staff.


Follow-Up on MRP Discontent

Following up on the bit yesterday of Committeewoman Sarah Walsh requesting financial records from Missouri Republican Party Chair Ed Martin, Republicans are circulating the “unaudited financials” of the state party.  It shows the cause for concern… $411,395 raised from January 1, 2014 through September 15, 2014… and $456,071 spent.  With a starting balance of $31,967 that deficit left the party with a negative cash balance of $12,709.


MRL Rebuts Endorsement Criticism

Missouri Right to Life PAC is happy to provide context and clarification to comments attributed to unknown sources in the Missouri Scout blog.

MRL PAC works very hard to determine endorsements each election cycle.  We count votes on the Floor and in Committees.  We consider those who make particularly strenuous efforts to advance pro-life language.  And we are very grateful for the passage of excellent bills that provide support for the unborn and their mothers in need.

It is no secret that MRL PAC uses a four year voting record when compiling votes for or against the pro-life position.  We retain the right to "weight" votes due to the gravity of the issue in question.  There have been votes that disqualify endorsement based on the prospects of unborn life being put at risk despite strong advocacy, or opposition, voiced by the pro-life community including MRL.

Many times, endorsements are not given simply because the candidate or incumbent in question chooses not to be endorsed by not returning a Legislative Candidate Questionnaire to MRL.  Many on the "list" are still being contacted in hopes of endorsements being published.  While there are a few that are not eligible due to voting records, most are still welcome to submit the surveys.  MRL PAC has not and does not endorse those without surveys due to the changing nature of issues, language, and emerging concerns in the legislative arena.  We also consider

endorsements to be a two-way street.  MRL endorses a candidate, and the candidate endorses MRL's goals.  Bottom Line -- endorsements are still able to be issued for most.

As for the State Senate comments, there are a few factors to consider.  In the past few years, MRL has fought to have "pro-life protective" language included in bills where Biotech and Business intersect with tax dollars.  Only bills that have human research elements are considered for MRL involvement.  MOSIRA in 2011 and HB 1495 in 2014 have had particular impact on these records.  Most recently, the Dixon language in the Senate Sub for 1495 contained language specifically reinforcing the Clone and Kill Amendment from 2006.  The Senate passage of this language was deeply hurtful to the pro-life cause and strongly opposed by MRL.  We had asked for the inclusion of the language of Mo Revised Statute 196.1127 in the bill and were soundly rejected.

Another issue in the Senate is the number of votes.  Since the Senate has imposed a strict limit on how many pro-life bills are "allowed" to be debated, it has only served to increase the weight of the bad votes in the record of most senators. 

MRL PAC has endorsed many senators over the years, contributing to the fact that theMissouri Senate has enjoyed a conservative majority in recent sessions.  We do not always agree, but it is hardly arguable that MRL PAC has had a positive impact on the election of most of those in the Capitol. 

If anyone has questions or concerns about our endorsement policies, please do not hesitate to contact me directly at dave.plemmons@sbcglobal.net or call our Jefferson City office at 573-635-5110.

Dave Plemmons


Strenger: Stream is Extreme

Steve Stenger, the Democratic nominee for St. Louis County Executive, released the second television commercial.  See it here.  The ad punches Republican Rick Stream for his voting record as state representative.  While Stream is likely to focus on his role as Budget Chairman – balanced budget, fiscal responsibility, etc – the Stenger ad hits him on minimum wage, taxes, gun control and abortion, each issue where he’s to the right of the broader St. Louis County electorate.


Ferguson City Hall Follies

Unrest seems to continue on a smaller scale night by night in Ferguson.  And meanwhile the City Hall still can’t seem to shoot straight.  The latest nonsense is ridiculous billings for freedom of information requests.  See the KMOX story here.  Perhaps they’re trying to make up for the lost revenue now that they’re reforming their traffic operations?


Uber To Start Up in St. Louis

Mayor Francis Slay tweeted the news yesterday, that St. Louis City had reached an accommodation with ride sharer Uber… “@MayorSlay: We worked @Uber to find ways to move forward together. The effort was worth it. Uber will launch here in Oct. #fgs”  Read the St. Louis Business Journal’s article on it here.


From the Facebook Feed

McMahon Drops House 45 Bid (in 2016)

Cory McMahon: I want to take an opportunity to thank those of you who have offered your words of support and encouragement throughout the year as I've explored the idea of running as a Republican for Missouri House District 45 in 2016. In recent days, I have participated in open and honest discussions with family, close friends and lawmakers, and have determined that now is not the time to pursue a legislative run. I am, however, continuing to evaluate my options. While I cannot commit to anything at the present time, I can say that I will remain active in politics, and do what I can to assist Missouri's GOP at a local, legislative, party and campaign level.


Dabreu Reflect on 25 Years

Shawn Dabreu: 25 years ago, today, my life was changed. It was a cloudless day when a classmate and i were attacked by seven strangers, without provocation. i was defending myself when i felt sharp pain in my back. Time and sound seemed to lapse, as i floated downward. "Bullet time", in more ways than one.  On impact, everything rushed forward while i remained, my body feeling inflated like a balloon. My body indifferent to my commands. There was a dispute about what happened as we waited for the ambulance. It wasn't until i arrived at the hospital after they cut off my sweater and i saw the blood that i knew i'd been shot. And thus the adventure began.  i don't talk a lot about this experience. Not because i'm ashamed or still dealing with it. This was a significant occurrence in my life but not the summit experience of my life. i've literally been through worse since then.  i never wanted to be defined by September 29th, 1989. Never wanted to talk so much about being shot that that's all anyone saw or heard of me. Fate is imposed, but destiny must be seized. i don't believe in fate. "Beyond the mountains, more mountains" goes the proverb. To see the other heights to be ascended, i had to summit this experience, thank God for strength and grace...and keep climbing. So on this day, i want to express gratitude to the Lord, for sparing my life and so much more. He is merciful, gracious and kind and through this experience His loving character is confirmed to me more and more each day. Great is His faithfulness…



Kansas City pols attending the Sporting KC reception at the White House tomorrow include Larry Jacob of Dover Strategy and Richard Martin of Husch Blackwell.


The chatter surrounding Grow Missouri’s fumbling attempt to buy journalists to be anonymous bloggers has centered on the question: “Who is Reporter #5?”  The Riverfront Times reports that five journalists were solicited, but only four have comes forward…


St. Louis Business Journal reports that Boeing is moving 500 defense related jobs to St. Louis from Washington State.  See it here.


Politico reports that Rick Santorum is considering a 2016 presidential bid.  See it here“Still, several Republicans said Santorum’s 2012 experience could propel him further next time. He won 11 primary contests — dealing embarrassing losses to Romney in Missouri and in the Minnesota and Colorado caucuses.”  And – the current Missouri Republican Party executive director, Matt Wills, was Santorum’s Missouri political director in 2012…


Last day of the quarter folks… you might be getting a last minute pitch or plead…


In Senate 24, Rep. Jill Schupp is sprinting beyond the quarterly deadline with successive fundys planned – October 2 (Treasurer Clint Zweifel headlining) and October 10 (AG Chris Koster headlining).


Help Wanted

Senate seeks Computer Information Technology Specialist.  “The Missouri Senate Computer Information Systems department is seeking a Computer Information Technology Specialist to work in a nonpartisan, fast-paced, multifaceted legislative environment. The employee in this position will apply technical expertise to the development, implementation, support and maintenance of applications and web design.”  See the ad here.


House seeks Legislator Assistant.  “The House of Representatives is accepting resumes/applications for the position of Legislator Assistant. This is a highly responsible, professional administrative position providing general public information and office support to a Member of the Missouri House of Representatives. Duties include extensive contact and correspondence with district constituents and the general public, creating and maintaining calendars, coordinating and scheduling meetings, maintaining files and databases on a variety of legislative topics, and general office assistance…. The salary range for this position begins at $2,235 per month.”  See the ad here.


National Association of HomeBuilders seeks Manager, Membership Development & Relations.  “Location: Washington, District of Columbia.  “Great opportunity for an association professional to develop and implement a membership recruitment and retention plan for a specialized segment of an industry on the rebound. Key duties include supporting local chapters around the country, and scouting out best places to develop new ones. This position will create plans for supporting new chapters, and create products and services to support and grow established chapters… Successful candidates will be able to manage multiple job priorities, work under pressure and work collaboratively with department staff and member volunteers.”  See the ad here.


Fundraising Calendar

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

Midwest Energy Policy Conf. – Eric Newman Educational Center Wash U Campus, St. Louis.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $25,000 from I.U.O.E. Local 513 Political & Educational Fund.

Citizens for Jake Zimmerman - $5,500 from Stone, Leyton & Gershman.

MO Republican Party - $10,000 from Anheuser Busch Companies.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Rep. Dave Muntzel (64), and Chris Benjamin (39).