Friday, May 23, 2014

Legislature Would Send Nixon Same Bill In a Special

Last night Rep. Rick Stream said that if Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the transfer bill and then called a special session, the legislature would just send him the same bill.  This is why Nixon won’t call a special, by the way.

The mighty Jason Rosenbaum tweets: ‏@RickStream says if @GovJayNixon calls a special session on #motransfers, the #moleg will send the same bill back to him. #StayTunedSTL

Normandy Conspiracy Theory

After July 1, the state board can accredit Normandy’s successor district thus minimizing the transfer issue.  Could Nixon be using his influence on the state board toward this end?

With a veto of the transfer bill a “near certainty” in the view of some observers, this would potentially limit the transfer issue going forward.


Why This Normandy Solution Will Fail?

Reader:  I have watched the General Assembly face very hard issues time and time again. Almost all of these involve an inadequate number of employees trying to achieve a very difficult task with inadequate tools and resources. The most common solution is to rename the agency or program and/or move it around.  


I watched this repeatedly between 1987 and 2000 with the Department of Mental Health - after a few years, the last "fix" would be abandoned; then there'd be a new name and new way to group or map things (by zip code, by discipline area, by interdisciplinary team, yada yada). The current Family Support Division"reorganization" and the Normandy School District are DSS and DESE examples of the same "solution."


Could it be that the Hancock amendments have made it politically impossible to address Missouri's most serious issues? Governors and legislators, faced with putting revenue increases on the ballot, simply give up and say "you have to make it work with less people and less money." Very well-meaning people are always involved. They truly want tomake it work with inadequate staffing, computers, phone systems, and other tools. The problem is some things truly are impossible. Real change starts with rigorous honesty and facing reality.


The Case for Luetkemeyer

Reader for Blaine: Actually, Members of Congress regularly are elected governor. As an example, at least five current governors were previously Members of Congress and if you add Sam Brownback and John Kasich it increases to seven, though both had served in Congress earlier in their careers.


Nathan Deal (Georgia), Butch Otter (Idaho), Mike Pence (Indiana), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), and Mary Fallin (Oklahoma) all went from Congress to being Governor of their respective states.


More difficult though, is for a St. Louis County Republican like Tom Schweich and Catherine Hanaway to be elected governor. The last time a St. Louisan was elected to the office of Governor was the 1940 election, when Forrest C. Donnell won office.  While he spent most of his life in St. Louis, he did have the benefit of ties to outstate Missouri; he grew up in Maryville where his family was well known.


Republicans I know are concerned that Schweich and Hanaway will beat each other up, left unable to compete with Chris Koster.  What I hope is that Blaine can clear the field, avoiding a Primary. There is a big desire to follow the Dems lead and coalesce around a single candidate. At a meeting last week, Luetkemeyer spoke about discussions he has had with big donors who stated that they were sitting out the race as long there was a contested primary. Luetkemeyer explained that it was his opinion that there was no way for the GOP to win the Governorship if they have a highly contested primary.


Schweich and Hanaway are both unable to beat Koster. The donors are realizing that. Activists will be the next to realize this fact, and will join the donors in looking for a strong candidate that can beat Koster.  I believe that Luetkemeyer will their choice…

Who Would Run for Luetkemeyer’s Congressional Seat?

Two names are rising higher than others in the quick water cooler game for a CD-3 Republican primary should Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer really abandon DC for a gubernatorial run in 2016.

First, Pro Tem Tom Dempsey.  I had three different people note that he’s in the district; he has the ability to raise money; and he’s term limited in 2016.

Second is Sen. Mike Kehoe.  Says one observer, “I will guaran-damn-tee that if Luetkemeyer makes it official that he is running for Governor that Kehoe will be the first to announce he is running for Congress.  I think his plan all along was to bide his time in the Senate until Skelton was done with Congress.   Hartzler ruined that plan but didn't take out his desire to be in DC.  Plus he won’t have to give up his Senate seat to do it. That's a pretty sweet Mike Kehoe deal.”

Of course an open congressional seat will attract a lot of interest, so we’d be looking at free-for-all territory.

Senate Winners

Welcome to the Senate… where (almost) everyone’s a winner…

Tom Dempsey – The steady hand guided the Senate to one of its most productive sessions, and for the second time in a row delivered the Senate’s top priority to the governor’s desk.

Jolie Justus – Helped keep the Democrats stalwart constituencies – organized labor and trial attorneys – safe from harm; avoided the PQ; and passed the major criminal code reform.

Joe Keaveny – Maybe a breakout session for the St. Louis senator, Keaveny passed his early childhood education bill, and is now in the running to become the next minority leader.

Mike Kehoe – Seemingly in the middle of most things controversial, Kehoe came to the Senate to play, not sit on the sidelines.  But his affection for the big play, has deprived him of the small ball wins over the years.  Having been shut out, he finally scored big this year with the transportation sales tax.  

Maria Chappelle-Nadal – After previously established her credentials as a bomb-thrower, this session she hunkered down into the student transfer bill and worked on being a bridge builder, helping to construct the overwhelming Senate consensus on the bill, and seeing it through to completion.

David Pearce – As Education Chair he gets the ultimate credit for keeping the coalition together to pass the student transfer bill.  Pearce is the sort of consensus builder who leads by example, accepting provisions he’s not fond of in order to keep moving forward, and doing it all cheerfully and building good will.  That spirit is necessary in the most thorny of issues.  Pearce embodies it.

Mike Parson – Put two local government bills on the Governor's desk, was promoted to Chair of the Insurance committee after Rupp’s appointment, but most impressively was helping to pass the bonding authority package out of a Senate full of conservatives that usually kill legislation like that. 

Eric Schmitt – Helping pass the Hemp Oil bill is a legacy bill which may change the lives of families; but he’s also unlocked the economic development puzzle to some extent by eschewing the big and tangled “global” monstrosities for a tax cut bill here, a tax credit there.   

Will Kraus – two words: tax cut.

Senate Losers

Ron Richard – Floating the PQ possibility and then yielding the whip on it to lobbyists was viewed as a transgression of the Senate Way by some rubbing them the wrong way.  Those sort of moves will guarantee that he has a challenge for Pro Tem in two years…

Brian Nieves – In the end he didn’t secure the people’s critically important 2nd Amendment right against its phantom foes, and lost the cape of principled crusader by engaging in the wink-and-nod games over his Senate seat.

Mathews in House 110

Filing is now closed in House 110.  That’s Speaker Tim Jones’ home district.  The sole Republican nominee is Kirk Mathews.  As previously mentioned, he’s on the board of the Missouri Club for Growth.  But how about these potatoes, he’s also father-in-law to Victory Enterprise’s Dave Hageman.  (Rep. Mike Lair is James Harris’ father-in-law, for those keeping score at home…)

Between the Rex Sinquefield money connection at MOCFG, and the political savvy of former HRCC stalwart Hageman, Mathews is poised for the fast track for leadership.   One observer notes that Victory Enterprises is the consultant for Dave Schatz, and helped him elbow (ok maybe it was more of a body check) Jones out of the Senate 26 race.

It’s a testament to Jones’ not holding a grudge that Mathews ended up without any Republican opposition.  Democrats have Christine Alt on the ballot in House 110.

Good night Tea Party

The Tea Party is sputtering…  Why?  Read it here.

Pull Quote: Partly it's because the GOP learned from bitter experience in 2010 and 2012 that untested conservative insurgent candidates such as Todd Akin can cost the party its shot at a Senate majority… But a good deal of the current political trend is the result of a very different fiscal and economic background from 2010 and 2012. The soaring deficits that drove the rise of the tea party in 2010 are now half the size they were and getting smaller (at least for the next few years). The economy is expected to grow at a 3 percent or faster clip the rest of this year and the unemployment rate is trending down, especially the short-term rate, which is back to where it was before the financial crisis…

Help Wanted

Office of the Missouri Secretary of State seeks Chief Enforcement Counsel.  “The Chief Enforcement Counsel manages the Enforcement Section of the Securities Division and supervises the investigators and auditors who staff it. The Chief Enforcement Counsel assigns and manages investigations for the Division and reports directly to the Assistant Commissioner.  

Starting Salary: $4,167 - $5,417…”   See the ad here.

Missouri Housing Development Commission seeks Staff Attorney.  “Work closely with underwriters, architects, accountants, legal staff and other professionals to facilitate the production of rental housing; Review and draft legal documents including but not limited to real estate documents and memoranda… Assist General Counsel in all legal matters involving or affecting MHDC as may be requested from time to time, including preparation of memoranda generated to advise General Counsel on questions regarding single and multi-family lending, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HUD regulations, general contract matters and other Missouri State law issues…”   See the ad here.


eMailbag: Regarding “future representative Travis Fitzwater”

Don’t count Gracia Backer out in House 49. A lot of Republicans in the district are her old friends – and they love that she is fighting Jay Nixon over her inappropriate firing.

eMailbag: Sad About House Winners and Losers

“Sad that there were no women winners or losers (in the House).”

eMailbag: House Winners Feedback

Tim Jones may not be a loser, but he was certainly not a winner. He did not accomplish any of his priorities and he got punked out of a Senate seat by one of his rank-and-file members.


I would have called out Jake Hummel more specifically as a loser, instead of lumping him in with all of the D leadership. He is the minority leader and he takes responsibility.


Tony Dugger was a winner. He passed more bills than anyone in the House and set himself up to be one of speaker John Diehl’s top guys.


Interesting perspective on Tim Jones. On paper he is probably one of most successful speakers we have had, but you cannot discount on the only thing he cared about, RTW, he lost. Speakers are not supposed to fail to get their priorities out of the House.  And it happened to Jones last year also with education bill.

Conventional wisdom is that John Diehl is a winner this session, but the transportation thing could hurt him.  At least a couple of Republican senators share Nick Marshall’s sentiments (that Diehl went back on his word).

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Brendan J Cossette added Missouri Primary Care Association; and deleted Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

$5K+ Contributions

Hanaway for Governor - $27,587 from Citizens for a Stronger Missouri.

Lewis & Clark – Northern Missouri Forum - $10,000 from Chester Bross Construction Co.


Happy birthdays to Zach Monroe.

Saturday: Minority Leader Jake Hummel (38), Sam Page (49), and Gregg Christian (34).

Sunday: Speaker Tim Jones (43), Sen. Ed Emery (64), Gus Wagner, and Amy Blouin (45)