Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wear Sneakers Today Folks

A word from American Cancer Society’s Stacy Reliford… “Today (Wednesday) is the American Cancer Society Suits & Sneakers day at the Capitol. Don’t forget to sport your sneakers today! All staff, legislators and lobbyists are encouraged to participate by wearing sneakers with their dress attire… Cancer touches everyone – 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will develop cancer in their lifetime. In 2015, over 34,000 Missourians will hear the words, “you have cancer.”  The unusual sight of advocates, legislators, and Capitol staffers wearing sneakers with their suits serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of cancer prevention, early detection through screening and research in the fight to help save lives…”


Danforth Eulogy

Jack Danforth gave a heartfelt eulogy yesterday, saying that he believed the harsh words of others did lead to Tom Schweich’s suicide.  As he put it “words kill.”  And he called on Missourians to aim for a high standard of civility.



Following the service, Schweich’s spokesperson Spence Jackson called for John Hancock to step down as Party Chair, based on Schweich’s belief that Hancock was anti-Semitic.  My understanding is that Hancock doesn’t plan to step down, but rather will release a lot of character endorsements from across the political spectrum.  He may also challenge anybody to come forward with actual evidence or testimony of his alleged anti-Semitism.


Post-Dispatch’s Bill McClellan echoes my sentiments today.  “I cannot say what was in Schweich’s mind any more than I can say what was in Hancock’s heart. But Hancock has been in public life for 30 years without ever being accused of something like this. That should count for something. Anti-Semitism is a career-killer, and it should be. If Danforth can produce evidence of this “whisper campaign,” maybe bring forward a few people who can say that yes, Hancock whispered into their ears, then I’ll join the mob. But if the evidence consists of Schweich’s suspicions, I’ll let the mob go ahead without me.”



The political talk has centered around what impact these events will have on the campaign of Catherine Hanaway.  I think a great deal depends on facts yet to be discovered.

Was there anything else involved in Schweich’s suicide?

Who paid for the money for the radio ad?  How closely involved is/was the producer of that ads, and the donor for that ad, to Hanaway?


Feds: Ferguson Bias

According to the Washington Post, the Justice Department will release a report today saying that “blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, are disproportionately subject to excessive police force, baseless traffic stops and citations for infractions as petty as walking down the middle of street.”

Read the article here.

“With scathing findings of a months-long investigation being released, attention now turns to Ferguson as the city confronts how to fix racial biases that the federal government says are rooted in the police department, court and jail… Similar federal investigations of troubled police departments have led to the appointment of independent monitors and mandated overhauls in the most fundamental of police practices. The Justice Department maintains the right to sue a police department if officials balk at making changes, though many investigations resolve the issue with both sides negotiating a blueprint for change known as a consent decree… The report is based on interviews with police leaders and residents, a review of more than 35,000 pages of police records and analysis of data on stops, searches and arrests.”


Formula Debate

The Senate debated Sen. David Pearce’s SB 424 yesterday which pushes off for two years a looming deadline in the foundation formula, preventing hold harmless districts from having their funding cut.

Several senators spoke against the bill, saying that their hold harmless districts should in fact be held harmless from the underfunded formula.

Sen. Eric Schmitt mentioned other possible reforms which the Senate could take up to “fix” the formula including stopping payment for “phantom kids,” that is counting more students than actually attend a district; and implementing a more realistic “dollar modifier” so that districts in lower cost-of-living areas receive less.  He noted that there’s not much appetite for these types of reforms.

The bill was laid over.


Jones to Omaha

In the lobbyist changes below, Ben Jones deleted his Union Pacific registration.  That’s because he’s been promoted.  Jones is now Union Pacific’s Sr. Director of Policy and Partnerships, a job that is taking him to the corporate headquarters in Omaha, NE.  Replacing him as the Public Affairs Director for Missouri and Kansas is Lindsey Douglas.



The Senate will make up on committee work this morning, and will convene late again at 4pm today.


LATimes writes about the political education of ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft.  Read it here.


See St. Louis City Democratic primary results for board of aldermen here.  Spoiler: One incumbent lost.


Today’s Events

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Missouri Math & Science Coalition STEM Day – 3rd floor Capitol rotunda.

MAIA & MOAHU Reception – Capitol Plaza, Jefferson City – 6-8 p.m.


Lobbyist Registrations

Franc Flotron, Doyle Childers, Dan Shuette, Richard McIntosh, Earl Pabst added Timberland Forest Products

Cynthia Gamble added Engagepoint Inc., American Tort Reform Association, and Midwest Special Needs Trust.

Jewell Patek added Continental Casting LLC

Ian Dunlap added Department of Public Safety.

Zach Brunnert added The Nine Network of Public Media; and deleted Cheyenne International LLC.

Rose Marie Hopkins added Norcal Mutual Insurance Company.

Deirdre Hirner added AFT Missouri.

William Moore added HCA Centerpoint.

Craig Johnson added Otelco Mid Missouri LLC; and deleted Northeast Missouri Rural Telephone Co., Mid-Missouri Telephone Co., Sho-Me Technologies LLC.

James Bowers Jr. added Brogoto’s Auto And Truck Center, LLC, Buckner’s Heating and Cooling Co., Richard E. & Sandra S. Mcleod,

Amrita Singh added Americans United For Separation Of Church And State.

William Brown deleted Barry Real Estate, Broadway Square Partners, Kokam America Inc, Bran Wagner, and Spectrum Consulting Group LLC.

Anthony McDuffie deleted Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Mark Rhoads deleted Govdelivery, DDC Advocacy, Stifel Nicolaus & Company Inc.

Randy Scherr deleted Central Plains Cement Company, CenturyLink and Audubon Materials LLC.

Bill Stouffer deleted Barklage & Knodell.

Benjamin Jones deleted Union Pacific.


$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Airport Investment Co Inc.


Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Sen. Dan Hegeman (52), and Maria Walden.