Friday, April 11, 2014

Grisamore to Drebes: I’m Not Flipping

Rep. Jeff Grisamore texted to tell me that he’s is in cement on not voting for right to work.  Doesn’t matter if leadership is one vote shy and the weight of the world is crushing down on his skull.  He’s told leadership he won’t be there for them, and he’s not flipping no way, no how.

It appears that there’s a duel of sorts going on right now.  Speaker Tim Jones and proponents of the right to work legislation are angling to move their vote total from 78 to 82 to secure the third read and passage of the bill.

Opponents are working to keep everyone frozen where they are.

But it’s been pointed out that the close favors the opposition.  The right to work proposal was heard in committee on the third day of session, and yet here were are locked in a tug-of-war in the House with five weeks left.

If proponents do succeed in flipping a few representatives, the battle will move to the Senate.  And depending on how much time if left, the only real option for passage will be invoking the previous question.  One assumes that opponents’ first task – if it’s not already accomplished – is to peel off enough senators from that motion to take it off the table.

We’ll see…

RTW Bits

Washington Post reports on Missouri’s right to work battle.  Read it hereGrover Norquist is quoted, “When people realize you’re more likely to lose a Republican primary than a general election on a vote like this, the number of Republicans willing to vote for Right to Work will get closer to 90 percent.”  And so is Rep. Ron Hicks: ““The bullying is just not going to stop… I think I should still be able to vote the way my constituents want me to vote. This one time I’m going outside the box to stick up for my constituents and all the sudden I’m a RINO? I’m a Democrat? I’m a zombie in Democrat clothing?”

The difference in how representatives treat the RTW issue in their reports back to constituents varies according to their position.  Rep. Marsha Haefner’s Capitol Report this week makes no mention of right to work legislation.  Haefner’s an unopposed Republican in a swing district who was absent for the vote this week.  Rep. Mike Leara, who voted in favor of the legislation, mentions an in-district survey showing 64% in favor to 31% against.  And Rep. John McCaherty who voted against it explains, “While many in the state believe they would see increases in job growth, here in the St Louis are we undoubtedly would see a drop in wages.”

Brownfield Audit

Auditor Tom Schweich released an audit of the state’s brownfield tax credit program with an unusual “poor” rating.  See the audit here.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.  Apparently there’s a dearth of controls on the program.  No requirement to take lowest bidder, no independent verification the sites are cleaned up properly, no clawback when jobs projected don’t materialize as they apparently often don’t etc…

Missouri Times, however, notes the silver lining in the audit… no fraud was uncovered.  Read it here.

English, Mayfield, Kolkmeyer in MMA Fight?



Subject: MMA Kickboxing Fundraiser


April 29th, starts at 7:30 p.m., Capitol Plaza


Round tables, $25

8 Middle tables, $50

Ringside tables, $65


Proceeds benefit Children of Fallen Soldiers


For sales, Contact:


Shelly in Rep. English's Office:  Room 116A-2; 751-9628

Jessica in Sen. Nieve's Office:  Room 423, 751-3678


*Reps. English, Kolkmeyer and Mayfield will be participating in matches that night.


Matt Wills was named executive director of the Missouri Republican Party.  He replaces Shane Schoeller.

Big names in Jefferson County are lending their names as treasurer for some campaigns there.  Bill Alter is the treasurer for, Leslie Hanson running for JeffCo Collector of Revenue.  And Bill McKenna is the treasurer for Jim Kasten, running for District 5 Council Person.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Andrew B Blunt and Jay Reichard added National Canine Research Council Action Fund.

Scott Penman and David Winton added Missouri Retailers Association.  


Happy birthdays to Dave Leipholtz and Sarah Ann Penilla Drebes (9).

Saturday: Rep. Courtney Curtis (33).


To Rep. Jeremy LaFaver and his wife, Stephanie, on the birth of their daughter, Caroline Hope LaFaver.

Ellinger Funeral Arrangements

There will be a service to celebrate Rep. Rory Ellinger’s life at the Ethical Society of St. Louis 9001 Clayton Rd., Richmond Heights on Saturday, April 12 at 2:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials appreciated to the Rory Ellinger Scholarship Fund.  Please make checks payable to: University City School District, Attention: Katy Jane Johnson, 7401 Balson Ave., St. Louis 63130.

The family will receive friends at THE LUPTON CHAPEL 7233 Delmar Boulevard, University City on Friday, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.