Friday, March 28, 2014

Sinquefield Funds MO Club for Growth

In the large contributions, below, Rex Sinquefield deposited $973,000 into the Missouri Club for Growth campaign committee.

Based on past behavior, one could expect for the MO Club for Growth funding to find its way into the 2014 cycle – most entirely on the side of Republicans who support their less government, lower taxes philosophy.

However they also have played in Republican primaries.  For example, they spent money opposing Sen. David Pearce in his primary with Mike McGhee.

It would surprise me if they didn’t direct some resources to oppose Rep. Nate Walker, a “flimsy 15-er,” who has a primary challenge.  (They supported Walker in 2012).

We’ll see…

Nixon: No Tax Cuts Without Tax Credit Reforms

In a statement yesterday Governor Jay Nixon drew his line in the sand against tax cuts – saying they were a “nonstarter” without tax credit reform…

“There is overwhelming evidence and growing bipartisan consensus on the need to rein in wasteful tax credit expenditures.  Just this month, two reports by the State Auditor found unequivocal evidence that these programs squander taxpayer dollars and fail to generate sufficient returns for our economy.  Until the General Assembly takes action to protect Missouri taxpayers and reform this out-of-control spending, discussion of tax cuts is a nonstarter.”

Chris Kelly: Ignore Governor’s Warning on Criminal Code Bill

Rep. Chris Kelly sent an open letter to House members rebutting the position of Governor Jay Nixon that the criminal code reform bill was too long to be good public policy.  (See that story here.)

An open letter to my colleagues:

 

I see by the papers that Governor Nixon has expressed reservations regarding the revision of the Criminal Code and has threatened to veto it.  He says that the very size (more than 900 pages) of the legislation (HB 1371 & SB 491) makes it likely that a mistake will occur.

 

In order to determine whether the Governor's trepidation is well founded we need to evaluate the process.  The Missouri Bar has long been advocating a revision in our outmoded and clumsy Criminal Code.  The Bar appointed a committee to consider and recommend improvements.  That committee studied the issue for almost five years and sent it to the Bar's Board of Directors, which approved it and asked the General Assembly to enact the Committee's work as a complete revision of the Code.  Three years ago Chairman Cox introduced the Bar recommendation almost verbatim as did Senator Justus, ranking minority member. Both Judiciary Committees conducted hearings but, understanding that any legislation this extensive needs time to marinate, no action was taken.  Last year Chairman Cox and Senator Justus both reintroduced the bill. In the House Chairman Cox broke the bill into three parts, appointed three subcommittees and charged them to conduct hearings and evaluate their individual portions of the legislation. Senate Chairman Dixon embarked on a similar course of thorough review.  I believe I have heard Chairman Dixon say that between his Committee and the Joint Interim Committee, upon which Cox, Justus and Dixon served, there were seventeen separate work sessions on the bill and that was exclusive of the sessions conducted by either the House Committee or its Subcommittees.  As ranking member on Chairman Cox's Judiciary Committee, I have participated in the development of this legislation and am not sure that I have ever seen a bill so meticulously vetted…

 

During my eighteen years in the General Assembly I have seen many long and complex bills but I have never seen one with this degree of initial vetting and post passage review.  Mistakes are always possible but in this case the General Assembly and the Missouri Bar and Bench have done all that is reasonably possible to provide comfort to even the most timid politicians.

 

It is also worthwhile to evaluate what will happen if the bill does not pass this session.  We all recognize that the Criminal Code is significantly outdated and unwieldy.  Reform is long overdue.  Of the four people who know the most about the code revision-Chairman Cox, Chairman Dixon, Senate Minority Leader Justus and myself, the House ranking minority member-three of us will not be returning next year.  If we do not pass it this year, it almost certainly will not happen in the foreseeable future.

 

Reasonable caution in Governors and Legislators-even legislators who are running for statewide office-is prudent.  We should not, however, allow political timidity to derail the passage of this long overdue, thoroughly vetted, and vital legislative reform.

 

Chris Kelly

Politico: MO Dems Have Thin Bench

Politico has a piece reporting on Democrats’ retreat from the top of the ballot this year by not filing any candidate for the auditor position. Read it here.

The article has some oddities though like “Many Democrats assume [Jay Nixon will] run for U.S. Senate in 2016 when GOP Sen. Roy Blunt is up for reelection.”

Huh? Reporter Juana Summers must have talked to A LOT of Dems to find many who would assume that.  I don’t think I could find a single one. 

Don’t Answer the Phone this Weekend

April fundraising quarter ends on Sunday, March 31…

Senate 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 player responsible for it be ditched.

SB 491 (Sens. Jolie Justus and Bob Dixon) – criminal code – killed by Governor Jay Nixon.

SB 501 (Sen. Joe Keaveny) – trustee-attorney privilege – killed by Sen. Kurt Schaefer.

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

SB 519 (Sen. David Sater sponsor) – abortion wait period – killed by Sen. Jolie Justus.

SB 543 (Sen. Brian Munzlinger) – capping ag land tax increase – killed by many.

SB 589 (Sen. Dan Brown) – tort caps – killed by Sen. Scott Sifton.

SB 599 (Sen. Will Kraus) – red light camera regulations – killed by Sen. Jason Holsman.

SB 712 (Sen. Gina Walsh) – day off work for domestic violence victims – killed by Sen. Doug Libla.

SB 790 (Sen. Bob Dixon) – penalty for murder change.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Harry Gallagher, Heath C Clarkston, and Kimberly Akin added Luminus Management.

Doug Amacher and Andrew Hee added MSDC Management LP.

Ryan Johnson added Missouri Alliance for Freedom.

Paul S Lewis added D & L Rideout Service.

Andrew B Blunt and Jay Reichard added American Traffic Solutions Inc., and deleted Propel Financial Services LLC.

Lorenz Hart and John F Nelson III added American Conservative Union.

$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Anheuser-Busch.

Kander for Missouri - $10,000 from Tri-County Seed

Kander for Missouri - $25,000 from David, Ketchmark, McCreeight & Ivers PC.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Citizens to Elect Mike O’Mara.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $9,800f rom Friends of Dolan.

Missourians for Koster - $7,000 from Central Bancompany PAC.

Spooner for Senate - $20,000 from Rich Galocki Jeanne Rhodes.

Dooley for St. Louis County - $25,000 from Clayco.

Missouri Club for Growth - $973,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc – $5,001 from Friends of Elijah Haahr.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc – $6,000 from Fitzpatrick for House.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc – $10,000 from Friends of Caleb Jones.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to former Reps. Joe Fallert (61) and Scott Lipke (45).

Saturday: Zach Brunnert (27), Paul Curtman’s Sean Grove, and former Reps. Ellen Brandom (72) and Neil St. Onge (59).

Sunday: Sen. David Pearce (54), Rep. Jeff Roorda (49), and former Sen. Wes Shoemyer (53).