Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Today It Begins

We kick of the legislative session today with some speechifying from leadership of the chambers and then a party.

Following election years, things usually start a little slower as forming committee and assigning the new legislators takes some time.

The Senate side should move faster than usual as their leadership was unchanged.  But the House side might move a little slower as the much anticipated John Diehl overhaul of committees promises some major revisions.

 

Five Things That Wouldn’t Surprise Me in 2015

These are not predictions of course because my predictions never some true…

#1. Open warfare in the MO GOP as an anti-Rex Sinquefield coalition coalesces, bristling at his single-handedly deciding what the 2016 slate will be.

#2. Ed Martin exits the MO GOP Party without much of a fight.  Rumors of money woes and others who think they can do the job better…

#3. St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter resigns as the FeeBees investigate the multiple allegations of wrong-doing that surfaced during her re-election.

#4. Governor Jay Nixon slides back to the center as he realizes he’s up against a stronger force in the Republican supermajorities.  And considering what he’ll do next he reverts to a decidedly Missourah style politics.

#5 No Claire McCaskill for governor.  I only hear Republicans talking about this.  They want Dems to have a gubernatorial primary too….

 

Anything you'd add to the list.... send me an email or text...

 

Time to Talk Gas Tax?

I’m sure there will be bricks coming through my computer screen, but… as long as we’re talking about transportation funding shortfalls and the possibility of tolls, is there a case for higher gas taxes?…  Read it here.

 

Rams Talk Bad for Hanaway?

The Republicans’ biggest knock on Catherine Hanaway from her days in the legislature is her vote on the conceal carry.  But the other issue that rankles some conservatives is her support for a tax-payer financed stadium in St. Louis.

In that regard the continued headlines about the Rams leaving for the west coast could be bad news for Hanaway.  The usual equation goes like this: “Tax-payer funded” + “St. Louis” = rotten eggs in rural Missouri.

 

Bockelman Takes Family Leave

PROMO’s AJ Bockelman posted on Facebook: As many of you know, I lost my Father last month. My parents were together for 62 years and had a wonderful life together. My Mom, who is now 87, has had her ups and downs over the last couple of months. She fell and broke 4 ribs and has mended fairly well. We anticipate she will be released from rehab care sometime next week…

With the blessing of our board and staff, I am taking a short, self-imposed leave of absence from PROMO. Just a short one, but a needed one. I anticipate being back in the office and Jefferson City later this month. In the meantime, Stephanie Perkins, our Deputy Director will be in charge.

 

New Senate Staff

According to the Senate’s staff pages here are some changes in personnel…

June Isenberg joined Sen. Jill Schupp’s staff.

Candace Rosen joined Sen. Brian Munzlinger’s staff.

Jacob Scott joined Sen. Rob Schaaf’s staff.

Zac Sweets joined Sen. Jason Holsman’s staff (previously reported).

 

 

Complaint Against RSLC Closed

The Missouri Ethics Commission closed a case against RSLC- Missouri PAC.  The complaint was that they used a different name – Republican State Leadership Committee – on their mailers in the 19th Circuit Judicial race.  See the letter to James Thomas III, treasurer for RSLC here.

 

Bits

Really pretty fascinating what’s happening in NYC, the police are basically on strike because they didn’t like something the elected mayor of the city said.  Read it here.

 

Jamey Murphy, former LA to Jim Lembke, who achieved a burst of mini-fame in the building when he exploded on a Twitter rage during redistricting, is running for school board in Mehlville.

 

eMailbag: Drebes Confuses Reader

Dave, I've been confused by your two day coverage of the Competitive Energy legislation. Each of the last two days you printed a story about this group as the 'second' lead. I don't get it. If you followed this issue last year you will know that they had a hard time finding a bill sponsor because it's not good policy for Missouri. The sponsors they did find (Lamping and Guernsey) are both gone. Tilley was on contract last year too. This new supporter, nr-something, no one has heard of them either! The problem with this issue is it's bad policy for Missouri for a couple of reasons. First, this policy has only been recently passed in one or maybe two states. Missouri is seldom an early adopter. Next, it was passed where electric rates were very high...Missouri has some of the lowest rates in the country. Finally, the MO Public Service Commission already has very detailed procedure to ensure lowest cost from utilities. This is a classic case of solution looking for a problem.

 

eMailbag: Reader Questions UnveilinGate

The Columbia Tribune quoted [MOTimes publisher] Scott Faughn as saying “he checked with the Missouri Ethics Commission and believes that lobbyists are not required to report the money spent for refreshments at the parties.” Faughn can have the last laugh if he got that advice in the form of a written ethics opinion.  Did he request such an opinion? From whom and when?  If not, why not? And if not, why would he leave both the sponsoring lobbyists and the attending lawmakers hanging exposed in that way? The Tribune reported: “The law requires lobbyists to report all spending to benefit public officials and does not make a distinction between benefits provided directly or through a third party, said Betsy Byers, director of business services for the ethics commission. “Even if a lobbyist isn’t there,” the lobbyist “needs to report what he spent on that,” she said.” So it appears some lobbyists need to hustle up revisions to their Ethics reports.

 

New Committees

Jim Billedo started a campaign committee to run for House 140 as a Democrat.  Billedo lost last cycle to Rep. Lynn Morris 80%-20%.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

My lobbyist registration scraper showed dozens of lobbyists as terminating their registration.  I think there may be a paperwork issue, so I’ve tried to weed those out, but I’ll check back tomorrow and the next day to see if the status changes. (For example, lobbyists that MEC now shows as having terminated their registration as of December 31 include Jim Cooper, Thomas McCarthy, Steven Glorioso, and Whitney O’Daniel.  I’m assuming these folks haven’t retired).    Below are the changes I think are legit.

 

Brad Ketcher added Konica Minolta Business Solutions USA Inc.; and deleted Hawkeye Land Company.

Jacqueline Bardgett added McBride & Son Homes, Inc.

Mike Grote added Boone County Missouri.

Kyle Piccola added PROMO.

Michele Roberts-Bauer added Heart of America Chapter Associated Builders and Contractors.

Jewell Patek deleted Logoize LLC, SF Industries LLC, National Kitchen and Bath Association,

 

$5K+ Contributions

People for Lester Turilli Jr - $20,000 from Meramec Caverns Enterprises Inc.

 

Who is Lester Turilli Jr?  He’s running for governor in 2016 as an Independent.  See the paperwork here.  The address listed for Meramec Caverns Enterprises is the same as Turilli’s so that appears to be his business.

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday to Gentry Trotter.