Wednesday, December 3, 2014

eMailbag: Nixon Won

Some readers took the contrary view about the special session showdown/retreat, seeing Governor Jay Nixon as coming out on top.


Reader 1: “I wouldn't be too quick to conclude Gov. Nixon ‘backed down’ on a special session. It was by no means clear where he could tap the necessary funding for the Guard but by playing the special session card...he avoided any dispute with the legislature as they responded by publicly not only okaying the expenditures but also told him where he could find the money. Presto… no fight no sweat.”


Reader 2: “At first I thought Nixon got played too.  But think about this, they took away all of his ‘Es’ in order to restrict him moving money around at will.  Then he calls a special session because of it.  No one wants to come for session so they throw a fit.  Then they basically write him a letter and give him authority to do exactly what he wanted to do all along… They gave him the damn E without actually having it in the budget and they think they ‘showed him!’”


Willard Follow-Up

The news that Aaron Willard was leaving Grow Missouri and headed back to the building brought a fair amount of chatter.  One politico called it “one of the more bizarre moves in recent memory. Guy leaves the second best job in all of MO politics (second only to his boss') to work for a state senator. Goes from doling out six-figure checks like its candy to grubbing steak dinners in Jeff City from lobbyists….”

It does seem to hint at a level of dissatisfaction that Willard must have been feeling at the organization he left, that he is presumably taking a pay-cut, but most observers think it’s a good lasso for Sen. Ryan Silvey.  Says one lobbyist, “Huge pick up for Silvey. He’s very much a candidate for higher office and now has the capacity to build that operation.”

Silvey’s obstacle to statewide office is his moderate, pro-labor positions, presumably a primary vulnerability.


November Net Revenues Slow

The November revenue report showed November net general revenues up 1.3% compared to November 2013.  State revenues are up 3.7% in the fiscal year-to-date.

Inside the numbers, sales tax revenue was flat (-.1%) for the month, tracking national Thanksgiving/Black Friday sales numbers.  And the bellwether individual income tax collections showed steady growth (+4.4%), while the volatile refunds (+16.1%) cut into the net number.


Lloyd Named State Court Administrator

The press release: After conducting a national search, the Supreme Court of Missouri is pleased to announce it has selected Kathy S. Lloyd to become Missouri’s new state courts administrator, beginning January 1, 2015. Lloyd currently is the court administrator for the 13th Judicial Circuit (Boone and Callaway counties). The state courts administrator, who reports to the clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri, is responsible for leading a staff of approximately 220 people in supporting the work of all of Missouri’s state courts.  See it here.


WSJ: Hundreds of Uncounted Killings by Cops

This morning the Wall Street Journal is reporting that gaps in reporting mean that there’s no way to know how many American citizens are killed each year by their police force.


“A Wall Street Journal analysis of the latest data from 105 of the country’s largest police agencies found more than 550 police killings during those years [2007-2012] were missing from the national tally or, in a few dozen cases, not attributed to the agency involved. The result: It is nearly impossible to determine how many people are killed by the police each year. Public demands for transparency on such killings have increased since the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Mo. The Ferguson Police Department has reported to the FBI one justifiable homicide by police between 1976 and 2012….

Three sources of information about deaths caused by police—the FBI numbers, figures from the Centers for Disease Control and data at the Bureau of Justice Statistics—differ from one another widely in any given year or state, according to a 2012 report by David Klinger, a criminologist with the University of Missouri-St. Louis and a onetime police officer.

To analyze the accuracy of the FBI data, the Journal requested internal records on killings by officers from the nation’s 110 largest police departments. One-hundred-five of them provided figures.  Those internal figures show 1,825 police killings in those 105 departments between 2007 and 2012, 47% more than the FBI’s tally for justifiable homicides in those departments’ jurisdictions, which was 1,242, according to the Journal’s analysis. Nearly all police killings are deemed by the departments or other authorities to be justifiable.  The full national scope of the underreporting can’t be quantified. In the period analyzed by the Journal, 753 police entities reported about 2,400 killings by police. The large majority of the nation’s roughly 18,000 law-enforcement agencies didn’t report any…

The Journal’s analysis identified several holes in the FBI data.

Justifiable police homicides from 35 of the 105 large agencies contacted by the Journal didn’t appear in the FBI records at all. Some agencies said they didn’t view justifiable homicides by law-enforcement officers as events that should be reported. The Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia, for example, said it didn’t consider such cases to be an “actual offense,” and thus doesn’t report them to the FBI…

In recent years, police departments have tried to rely more on statistics to develop better tactics. “You want to get the data right,” said Mike McCabe, the undersheriff of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan… Big increases in the numbers of officer-involved killings can be a red flag about problems inside a police department, said Mike White, a criminologist at Arizona State University. “Sometimes that can be tied to poor leadership and problems with accountability,” he said.

Read it here.


Ferguson Bits

Politico reports that the White House considered a presidential visit to Ferguson, but decided a trip would be “too messy.”  Read it here.


New York Times reports that Michael Brown’s step father is under investigation for his exhortation to arson on the night the grand jury non-indictment.  Sen. Jamilah Nasheed is quoted.  Read it here.


Washington Post gets into the weeds on the police body camera… privacy issues, how long you keep the footage etc.  Read it here.


Sen. Jamilah Nasheed was added to the Joint Committee on Government Accountability.  See it here.  The joint committee is a potential vehicle for a legislative investigation into the governor’s handling of the Ferguson crisis.  Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal also sits on the committee.


New IPs

Two new initiative petitions open for public comment include campaign contribution limits and marijuana legalization proposals.  See IPs open for public comment here.


Changes in Lobbyist Registration

Ashley McDonald added Missouri Farm Bureau.

Ginger Steinmetz added Missouri Recycling Association.

Steve Robino deleted Coventry Health Care of Kansas Inc.

Tyler Deaton deleted American Unity Fund.

Megan Browning deleted Tesla Motors Inc.

Jonah Baer Ragsdale deleted Washington University in St. Louis.


$5K+ Contributions

Hanaway for Governor - $10,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

Committee in Support of Public Education - $78,954 from Committee in Support of Public Education.