Wednesday, October 29, 2014

NYTimes: AGs for Sale?

Front-page New York Times has everyone buzzing.  Read it here.  Attorney General Chris Koster figures as an example of lobbyists having access to state attorney generals as they decide whether to take action against corporations or not.

Here’s the lede…

When the executives who distribute 5-Hour Energy, the popular caffeinated drinks, learned that attorneys general in more than 30 states were investigating allegations of deceptive advertising — a serious financial threat to the company — they moved quickly to shut the investigations down, one state at a time.  But success did not come in court or at a negotiating table.

Instead, it came at the opulent Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel in California, with its panoramic ocean views, where more than a dozen state attorneys general had gathered last year for cocktails, dinners and fund-raisers organized by the Democratic Attorneys General Association. A lawyer for 5-Hour Energy roamed the event, setting her sights on Attorney General Chris Koster of Missouri, whose office was one of those investigating the company.

“My client just received notification that Missouri is on this,” the lawyer, Lori Kalani, told him.

Ms. Kalani’s firm, Dickstein Shapiro, had courted the attorney general at dinners and conferences and with thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. Mr. Koster told Ms. Kalani that he was unaware of the investigation, and he reached for his phone and called his office. By the end of the weekend, he had ordered his staff to pull out of the inquiry, a clear victory for 5-Hour Energy.

The quick reversal, confirmed by Mr. Koster and Ms. Kalani, was part of a pattern of successful lobbying of Mr. Koster by the law firm on behalf of clients like Pfizer and AT&T — and evidence of a largely hidden dynamic at work in state attorneys general offices across the country…

And

Deeper in the article we find that Koster himself drinks 5-Hour Energy…

 

Rex Money to JeffCo Labor

It was surprising to see Rex Sinquefield money go to a labor organization earlier in the week.  The Missourians for Excellence in Government – which received two checks from Sinquefield ($100K and $250K) earlier in the year – sent $70,000 to the Jefferson County Labor Political Committee.

Although there is no known organization chart of the Sinquefield operations in existence, it’s believed that the “Excellence in Government” committee is working on his efforts to implement good government practices in St. Louis region (city re-entering county, charter reform etc) which would accommodate the eventual phase-out of the city’s 1% earnings tax.

In that context the money to the JeffCo Labor Club might be going into the competitive Jefferson County Executive race with an eye toward helping the Democrat who might be more sympathetic to regional cooperation.

However with a half-dozen competitive legislative races including the hot dog-fight of Jeff RoordaPaul Wieland (Senate 22), one expects that any effort to help Democrat Sam Rauls would have collateral damage to other Republicans in the area.

 

Money Bits

Yet another $50K from US Senator Claire McCaskill (personal money by the way) into the coffer of the Missouri State Democratic Party brings her giving total to $640,000 to the Party this year.  Additionally she sent $10K to Rep. Jill Schupp’s Senate 24 bid last week.  McCaskill offered gratitude to Missouri Democrats for not giving up on her when she was left for dead in 2012 – before her historic Todd Akin primary gambit and the ensuing Shut-It-Down gaffe.  In recalling that comeback, McCaskill vowed that she wouldn’t disappear for six year to Washington but that she would help the Party.  She has.

 

Interesting to see the HRCC come in with two helper infusions to Rep. Mark Parkinson.  Dems have said that they have a long-shot there.  It’s a Republican district and Parkinson’s a veteran (in the term-limit era anyway) legislator.

 

Money continues to flow into House 47 where according to the 8-Day Report, Rep. John Wright has spent $371K already…

 

Other Bits

Here’s the clever and quirky Jake Zimmerman ad that I mentioned yesterday.  See it here: http://vimeo.com/110214094

 

One more reason to go to Kristin Starner’s going away party tomorrow night… Dr. Zhivegas will be playing at Madison and High Street, so it’ll be perfect viewing for the show…

 

eMailbag on County Exec

Rick Stream has raised enough money to remain on cable/network/radio through Election Day. No debt. He’s raising $15-20K a day. People believing he pulls it off…”

 

$5K+ Contributions

Schupp for Senate - $32,500 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Schupp for Senate - $25,000 from Nixon for Missouri.

Schupp for Senate - $6,000 from Citizens to Elect Jamilah Nasheed.

Schupp for Senate - $6,864 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Committee to Elect Becky Ruth - $8,300 from House Republican Campaign Committee.

Friends of Cloria Brown - $11,921 from HRCC Inc.

Michael McGirl for St Rep Dist 118 - $7,922 from House Republican House Committee Inc.

Ashcroft for Missouri - $12,000 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Citizens for Shane Roden - $7,099 from House Republican Campaign Committee.

Friends of Rob Vescovo - $6,694 from House Republican House Committee Inc.

Wieland Now - $5,001 from Missouri Deer Association Political Action Fund.

HealthPAC - $14,000 from HEAL PAC Missouri.

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

Friends of Gina Jaksetic - $14,785 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Friends of Shaul - $6,694 from House Republican Campaign Committee.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Friends of Caleb Rowden.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $7,500 from Enterprise Holdings Inc PAC.

Committee to Elect Jeff Roorda - $32,500 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Committee to Elect Mike Whitworth Judge - $7,000 from Mike Whiteworth.

Butler for Prosecution - $6,000 from Ben Butler.

Citizens to Elect John Wright - $34,425 from John Wright.

Citizens for Sommer - $9,108 from House Republican Campaign Committee.

Citizen to Elect Rauls - $10,000 from CHIPP.

MO Democratic State Committee - $50,000 from Claire McCaskill.

MO Democratic State Committee - $11,500 from Gina Mitten for State Rep.

MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Duvall for Missouri.

Citizens to Elect Mike Kehoe - $10,000 from Pyramid Home Health Services.

Unite Here TIP Missouri State and Local Fund - $10,000 from Unite Here.

Friends for Chuck Basye - $52,271 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Frame for the House - $6,680 from Missouri Democratic Party.

Wieland Now - $8,400 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Mallard LLC.

Friends of Rick Stream - $10,000 from Andrew Puzder.

Citizens for Mark Parkinson - $5,029 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Citizens for Mark Parkinson - $8,020 from House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

Committee to Elect Jeff Roorda - $16,235 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.

Friends of Don Rone - $39,625 from House Republican Campaign Committee.

Citizens for Kevin Corlew - $5,010 from Missouri House Republican Campaign Committee Inc.

 

Happy Birthday

Happy birthdays to Rep. Gail McCann Beatty, KCPL’s Cara Hoover, and Chip Casteel.