Wednesday, September 10, 2014

BOOM Goes the Supreme Court

Yesterday the Missouri Supreme Court effectively threw out caps on punitive damages saying it violated the state constitution’s right to a jury trial.  See the case summary here.


Because section 510.265 violates the right to a trial by jury, the trial court erred in applying this statutory cap to reduce the punitive damages the jury awarded to Lewellen for her fraudulent misrepresentation claim against Franklin. Section 510.265 provides that no award of punitive damages against any defendant shall exceed the greater of $500,000 or five times the net amount of the judgment the plaintiff is awarded against the defendant. Article I, section 22(a) of the Missouri Constitution provides that the right to a jury trial “shall remain inviolate.” In its 2012 decision in Watts v. Lester E. Cox Medical Centers, this Court held that this constitutional phrase means that any change in the right to a jury determination of damages as it existed when Missouri first adopted its constitution in 1820 is unconstitutional….


Koster: No Constitutional Overrides on Line Items During Veto Session

The attorney general’s office, answering a query from Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, offer an opinion about the procedure for overriding line items vetoes by saying a strict constitutional interpretation would forbid the legislature from taking any action until January.  See it here. So Republicans can now decide whether they’re strict constitutionalists or not?


Also it’s not the worst ruling in the world for a future Gov. Koster….  The real question is: when will the legislature learn to stop throwing Koster curveballs… the dude knows how to hit curveballs!


Diehl Seeks Ideas

The future speaker of the house wants YOUR ideas about what to do… Seriously.  The Republican Party – once the party of ideas – is asking Missourians for ideas about what to tackle next session.  See it here.  This should be fun to watch…  The State of Missouri needs a “sound money” bill passed through the legislature that gives our citizens the ability to use US minted gold and silver coins in our everyday transactions as a medium of exchange. Gold and silver coins are constitutional money, and where made constitutional by our founders to protect the people from the massive transfer of wealth that takes place through paper money printing. Missourians need a way to protect themselves from the dangerously inflationary fiat paper money monopoly of the Federal Reserve that causes economic business cycles and an ever decreasing standard of living. Missouri needs sound money.


Dems Seek to Akin-ize MO GOP Over Wait Period?

Are some Democratic strategists quietly twisting their mustaches in anticipation of tomorrow’s vote on the abortion-waiting period?  Stealing a page from the Claire McCaskill manual?  Was the Senate deal cut back in May to protect labor really a two-fer with a way to tie Republican candidates to Todd Akin?


Missouri State Democratic Committee email blast


This week, Missouri Republicans will be launching another attack on women’s health. Governor Nixon took a stand for Missouri women by vetoing the mandatory 72-Hour delay for basic reproductive health services - but as long as the Missouri GOP has a veto-proof majority in the General Assembly, his vetoes are vulnerable.

We need to make a statement. SIGN our petition calling on the Missouri GOP to FINALLY respect the health care rights of women.

This bill is so extreme, it doesn't even allow exceptions for victims of rape and incest. The Party of Todd Akin has once again ignored the interests and needs of Missouri women.


TeachGreat Calls Off Campaign

TeachGreat, the organization that was spearheading the ballot initiative to dismantle teacher tenure, announced yesterday that they would cease their campaign.  AP’s David Lieb reports that poor polling was behind the reversal.  See it here.

One potential implication of this decision is the loss of a possible mobilizing issue for Democrats in two months.  Teachers’ unions would have turned out their members and families to vote against his measure will not be as motivated now.

And of course, this will be cheered by opponents of Rex Sinquefield.  He was the prime funder behind the measure, and this retreat amounts to another defeat for his efforts at education reform.

Perhaps more importantly, it could be the first time that Sinquefield’s team has shown any price sensitivity.  This decision to abandon the effort stands in stark contrast to recently defeated transportation sales tax which was pushed despite lukewarm polling. It appears that Sinquefield is getting solid advice here.



In the lobbyists’ registrations (below) Casas joins the Gate Way Group.  That means she’ll potentially be lobbying for more than just education reform agenda…


Farm Amendment Recount

You can see the on-going recount for Amendment 1 here on the secretary of state’s website. I just skimmed it, and there doesn’t seem to be enough movement to overturn the results.


Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Gina Walsh Breakfast Reception – Bone’s – 7:30–9am.

Rep. Mike Cierpiot Coffee & Danish – Downtown Diner –7:30–9am.

Sens. Gary Romine, Bob Dixon, Dan Hegeman, and Reps. Dave Hinson, Paul Wieland Breakfast – JCCC – 8-9am.

Sen. Will Kraus Coffee Break – Coffee Zone, 130 E High – 8-9:30am.

Rep. Denny Hoskins Coffee – Yanis Coffee Zone – 7-8:30am.

Rep. Paul Curtman Coffee & Donuts – 310 Monroe St. – 8-9am.

Rep. Eric Burlison Coffee – Café via Roma – 8:30-9:45am.

Reps. Jeff Roorda and Vicki Englund Breakfast – 730 West Main – 9-11am.

Missouri Democratic Party Reception & Roast (Retiring Senators), Senate Project – Madison’s – 5-7 pm.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee Sens. Tom Dempsey, Ron Richard, Mike Kehoe, Jay Wasson, Mike Cunningham – Dessert by Pool – Kehoe’s – 8pm.


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Richard A McIntosh added Central Baptist Theological Seminary.

Carol A Curtis deleted Astrazeneca Pharmaceuticals, and Carol Curtis.

Katherine Casas added Gate Way Group, and all of its clients.



Happy birthday to Paul Woody (35).