Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Auditor’s Office Dings Koster

The Auditor’s office released it audit of the Attorney General’s office handing Koster a “fair” rating… The hit: “Accepting items from individuals or entities while the AGO has legal actions pending against them, or is investigating them for potential legal action, gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.  In November 2014, the Attorney General announced he will no longer take contributions from people or companies under investigation by his office, either currently or in the previous 90 days, or from lobbyists or attorneys representing those individuals or companies; and will not accept gifts from registered lobbyists.  As of February 2015, the AGO has yet to adopt this directive in a formal policy.”   See it here.

Koster’s Rebuttal

“The audit’s summation inaccurately represents the implementation of the conflict of interest policy. The Missourians for Koster Committee has implemented the most stringent conflict of interest policy of any Attorney General in the nation. This policy was adopted by the Committee November 19, 2014 and restricts contributions from individuals and entities or those representing individuals and entities with litigation before the Attorney General’s office or litigation resolved in the previous 90 days. The Committee continues administering this policy."

 

Koster Kaplan Crop

One reader pointed out the difference in coverage between the St. Louis Post Dispatch and the St. Louis Business Journal on Attorney General Chris Koster’s involvement in the battle of the estate of Robert Kaplan.

In the Post-Dispatch, they ran a picture of the widow Christine Kaplan with Koster, and mentioned him by name.  In the Business Journal, a photo of them was cropped so there was no Koster, and he wasn’t mentioned by name.

 

MML Against SB 266

The Municipal League sent out an “action alert” yesterday concerning Sen. Kurt Schaefer’s SB 266.

This bill provides that no municipality may, from the effective date of this legislation, begin to offer a service that is being offered by at least one provider in your municipality, such as:

  *   solid waste collection,

  *   water or sewer service, gas, electricity, or

  *   wireless service and broadband

within the boundaries of the municipality without a vote of the people. This could affect current municipal contracts as they come due and future annexations.

Please contact your Senator….

 

McCaskill on MO Roads

The press release: U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today discussed with Missouri’s transportation chief and a top federal transportation official the importance of infrastructure investments to make the state’s roads and bridges safer, and spur economic growth.

At the Senate Commerce Committee’s Surface Transportation Subcommittee hearing on the reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Act, McCaskill questioned Dave Nichols, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), on the need for a long-term federal funding commitment to transportation infrastructure and the challenges Missouri faces in meeting its cost-share obligations as state funding for infrastructure dwindles.

“Missouri has the 7th largest highway system in the country, and yet we’re 46th or 47th in revenue,” McCaskill said. “We have one of the lowest gas taxes in the country—the gas tax in Missouri hasn’t been raised in over 20 years, and so I know that [Dave Nichols] didn’t plan this, but he is going to be retiring at the apex of a crisis in our state…”

 

Bits

Governor Jay Nixon appointed Robert M. Heggie as Associate Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit, covering St. Louis County.

 

According to the House website Rep. Paul Curtman has a new LA, Gabrielle Foster. His former assistant Sean Grove is now Director of Education at the Missouri Humanities Council.

 

New Committees

Bill Burlison formed a campaign committee to run for Senate 25 as a Democrat.  See the paperwork here.  The current incumbent is Sen. Doug Libla.

 

Curtis Trent formed a campaign committee to run for House 133 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Rep. Eric Burlison, is termed.  It appears that Trent is an attorney.

 

Help Wanted

CEAM – Children's Education Alliance of Missouri – seeks Development and Projects Manager.

“The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in educational issues, the required skills to manage development efforts, and the interpersonal skills to be part of a diverse and dedicated team of staff, students and volunteers. Understanding education policy issues and knowledge of education reform efforts are essential to have or learn quickly. A commitment to all Missouri children is at the heart of our work.”  See the ad here.

 

Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Paul LeVota Birthday Party – Tim’s Pizza - Independence - 5-7 p.m.

 

Lobbyist Registrations

Shawn Rigger added Missourians For Compassionate Care, Missouri Career Fire Protection Districts, and Strategic Capitol Consulting, LLC.

Gina Hakenewerth added Ameren Missouri; and deleted Laclede Gas Company.

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Sens. Doug Libla and Jason Holsman (39), Rep. Robert Cornejo (32), and the Senate’s Carol Barry Newton.