Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Zweifel Rolls Out Missouri Promise

In an op/ed in today’s Post-Dispatch State Treasurer Clint Zweiel introduces a potential legacy idea… The state pays full tuition for Missouri kids to Missouri colleges.  BOOM!  Read it here.

Pull Quote: It is time to make this promise to Missouri families: If your child gets a 3.0 in high school, performs community service and maintains a 3.0 in college, Missouri will pay tuition and fees for your student to attend Missouri colleges. Missouri Promise is about creating a culture of expectations, one that includes an element of responsibility for both parents and students. It empowers students early on to work hard, get good grades and demonstrate good citizenship. When we encourage meaningful investments in families, we also make a promise to Missouri employers that we will have a ready supply of high-quality human capital available to compete in the global workforce.

Left unsaid in the piece is how to pay for the promise.  Word is that Zweifel, like others, is looking at an increase in Missouri’s lowest-in-the-nation tobacco tax.

 

Galloway for SOS?

Two Dems say that in the wake of Jason Kander’s decision to seek the US Senate seat, Nicole Galloway is mulling a run at secretary of state.

Galloway is the Boone County Treasurer.

Galloway is in the exploration stage.  She’s not “in.”  One Dem says that she’s sussing out the possibility because... “she’s not stupid.  She’s not going to 1. Create a primary for no reason and 2. Run with no commits.”

Galloway would be a nice contrast with a potential Jay Ashcroft on the Republican side.  And assuming the “commits” (read: $$$) were there, she should be the considered quite formidable as she’d secure the Democratic base and win swing voters against the younger Ashcroft.

The Galloways populate the Jeff City arena of public service.  Her father-in-law is Doug Galloway, CenturyLink’s man in the capitol.  Her brother-in-law, Chris Galloway, works for Missouri Chamber heading up their popular GovWatch service.  And her husband, Jon Galloway, worked for Treasurer Clint Zweifel before moving over to We Are Veterans United. And Democratic consultant Patrick Lynn is her uncle.

 

Student Transfer Bills

The House and Senate both perfected their respective versions of the student transfer fix yesterday.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

The chambers will presumably pass the bills out and head down the road toward ultimately conferencing on their differences.  However getting both bills done in February – and without outcry or war drums from either the “reformers” or the “establishment” – bodes very well for the likelihood of success.

 

Greitens in, then Kehoe?

With the seeming consensus that Eric Greitens is in – the Post-Dispatch writes about the rumor today (my thanks, as always, to the peerless John Combest for the link) – there’s a chance that the Republican gubernatorial race could widen into a beautiful free-for-all.

The rule of thumb in politics is: the more that get in, the more that get in.  That is, each time the field increases, every wannabe takes another look at the race, and math (plus imagination) usually makes it easier to justify taking a shot.

With Greitens in we’re at four – Catherine Hanaway, Tom Schweich, Randy Asbury being the other three.  Might a fifth join in?  How about Sen. Mike Kehoe?

A larger field benefits Kehoe in one very large way: it makes him less of a target.

The biggest hit on Kehoe is his support for the transportation tax.  It will be billed as “the largest tax increase in Missouri history.”  If he’s in a one-on-one, he gets dinged with it early and often.  And in a Republican primary that tag could be fatal.

But if he’s in a five-way or six-way, the other candidates might spend the campaign glancing sideways at one another asking if someone else will do the deed.  And it’s possible, if he doesn’t have a lead in the polls, that he gets by without them throwing the punch.

And in five-way, you could win a squeaker with 28% or so of the vote.

Just thinking out loud…

 

McCaskill Will Vote to Override on Keystone

The press release: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today expressed disappointment with President Obama’s veto of a bill authorizing construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and announced she will support an effort to override his veto: “When our own State Department review shows that this oil is coming out of the ground, it’s only a question of how, then the decision to be made is this—what is the safest way to move it to market? Pipelines are better than barges or trains. That’s common sense, and I will vote to override this veto.”

 

Bits

Reminiscent of Charlie Shield’s Rebooting Missouri initiative, Politico’s Morning Money reports that The Fiscal Times today kicks off a new series on broken government: "Like an old computer trying to run the latest software, the U.S. government functions with archaic internal systems - from personnel policies to regulatory regimes to the budgeting process - that are ill-suited to a fast-moving 21st century world. ... a year-long conversation that brings together some of the smartest minds to explore ways to reshape the rudderless U.S. government…"  See it here.

 

Gazonkers!  Wondering if Washington University in St. Louis is a world-class university? Look where they rank in endowments… in the top 50.  With an endowment of about 5.6 billion, that comes out to $821,342 per undergraduate student.

 

Possible presidential candidate Martin O’Malley will be in Kansas City next week. The invite:  Richard Martin, Woody Overton, Kelvin Simmons Cordially invite you to a lunch reception with honored guest Governor Martin O’Malley Former Governor of Maryland on Saturday, March 7… 1:30 PM at O’Dowd’s Little Dublin… O’PAC supports results-oriented candidates across the country that share Governor O’Malley’s ideals of expanding opportunity, spurring job creation and moving America forward…

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable calendar listing:

Reps. Kevin Corlew & Nick King Breakfast – Downtown Diner – 7:30-9 a.m.

Mo Propane Gas Assn. Day

Home Builders Association Legislative Day

MCCA Lobby Day

 

$5K+ Contributions

Stand Up Missouri - $25,000 from American Financial Services Association.

Citizens for Stephen Webber - $25,000 from Robert Pugh.

Stocker for JeffCo - $12,000 from Barbara Stocker.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Carol Hudspeth added Missouri Alliance for Home Care.

Joseph Cohn added Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Sen. Rob Mayer, and Jaime Ordway.