Friday, February 7, 2014

Senate Kills Dollar Nomination

In a lengthy debate yesterday the Senate refused to allow the governor to withdraw his nomination of Tim Dollar to the Conservation Board, thereby killing the nomination – and preventing Dollar from ever being reappointed.

Dollar, a former president of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, was caught in the crossfire between Sen. Brian Munzlinger, and the governor’s office.  But it probably didn’t give some in the Republican majority any heartache to be deep-sixing a Democratic donor.

Munzlinger has been pouting for some time that northern Missouri was lacking in representation on the Conservation Board.  His office communicated to the governor’s office that this was a priority for them.  Dollar didn’t meet the geographic diversity criteria.

Still Munzlinger and his allies feared that if they simply blocked the nomination and allow Dollar’s name to be withdrawn, Nixon would wait until the end of session and reappoint Dollar as a recess appointment.

Sen. Jason Holsman started an improv mini-filibuster to defend Dollar from being unfairly targeted.  However he was unable to navigate an exit to any scenario other than an up/down vote on sending Dollar’s nomination back.

The voice vote was impossible to discern and the ever-fair Sen. David Pearce hesitated before gaving the Ayes the call from the chair.  Sen. Brad Lager immediately asked for a standing division.  (A standing division is where senators stand to indicate their vote; the chair counts those standing.  It is as precise as a roll-call, but the individual votes aren’t recorded so they’re not “on the record” in the Senate Journal). In the standing division the Ayes were defeated 14-16, and Dollar’s nomination was killed.

House Presses Reset on Budget Bills

House Republicans have decided to start their budgeting based on last year’s budget rather than the governor’s recommendations as they traditionally have. It’s as much about framing as anything else.  Instead of cutting funding from the governor’s proposal, they’ll be adding funding from last year’s base.   Marshall Griffin has the story.  Read it here.

Pull Quote: House Budget Chair Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, says their budget bills contain none of the governor's spending proposals for the fiscal year (FY2015) that begins July 1.  "In the past, usually we've used the governor's recommendations," Stream told reporters Thursday in Jefferson City. "This year, we just felt would put the committees in a terrible position of trying to cut a lot of things."

Morning Read: KC Business Journal 5 Reasons on BorderWar

This morning’s Kansas City Business Journal lists the 5 reason the border truce will stick… and the five reasons it won’t.  Some reasons are little thin  “the future favors truce, but the past point to war…”  But it’s worth a read.  Here.  Heavy quoting from Sen. Ryan Silvey.

Impeachment Fever Grips House

The Post-Dispatch has an article about the various House members who wish to impeach Governor Jay Nixon.   They have different reasons for wanting to do so.  Read it here.

Read Rep. Nick Marshall’s articles of impeachment here.

Meanwhile Rep. Mike Moon’s impeachment crusade is because he wants Nixon to move faster in calling special elections.  Republicans have the high ground on that issue, but it’s quickly squandered when they let the fringe take the lead on the issue.

Speaker Tim Jones usually supports his right flank, but at some point he’s going to have to school them about getting to far out on an issue.

Minority Leader Jake Hummel’s statement: “"The filing of bogus articles of impeachment against Gov. Jay Nixon is further proof, as if any was needed, that the crazy wing has taken over the House Republican Caucus. There are many serious issues facing Missouri that will require serious people to solve. These aren't serious people…”

eMailbag: Diverse is Different Than Broad

“In reference to your ‘broad coalition’ statement because StudentsFirst and CECM testified in favor of Sen. David Pearce’s student transfer bill, it is important to note the coalition may be diverse because it includes SF, CECM, and Pearce, but it is not broad. As you may recall all the education associations (admins, school boards, teachers) testified ‘for informational purposes only’ but really they only had opposition arguments. Their choice to testify for info only is presumably because they didn’t want to run the risk of angering Chairman Pearce…”

The Senate Graveyard

Ever Friday I’ll update the “graveyard.”  These are bills which have been brought to the floor, debated, with some opposition and then laid over to the informal calendar.  Remember just because something looks dead, it’s never dead in the Missouri legislature, it’s just waiting to be resurrected…  I’ll also try to keep track of the main players responsible for it be ditched.

SB 518 (Sen. David Sater sponsor) – expanding managed care – killed by Sen. Rob Schaaf.


$5K+ Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $5,500 from Democratic Victory Committee.

Missouri Health Care Association PAC - $133,000 from Missouri health Care Association.

Missouri Early Voting Fund - $10,000 from Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562.

CWA District 6 Political Education Committee - $15,000 from CWA COPE.

CWA District 6 Political Education Committee - $8,770 from CWA COPE.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Steven R Carroll added Mehlville Fire Protection District.

Curtis Griffith added UCB Inc.


Happy birthdays (Saturday) to Rep. Kathie Conway (59) and former Rep. Terry Swinger (73).