Friday, September 13, 2013

Missouri To Refund Millions in Tobacco Money

Wednesday night – while all eyes were on the legislature – Attorney General Chris Koster issued a statement with some bad news for Missourians.  “A three-judge arbitration panel has ruled in favor of more than 30 cigarette manufacturers in their claims against Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania… Missouri’s share of the tobacco companies 2003 MSA (Master Settlement Agreement) payment was approximately $150 million.  Koster said his office was reviewing the order to determine the exact amount of the refund… The tobacco companies’ settlement offer required all states to pass legislation called the ‘Allocable Share Release” (ASR).  Forty-five state previously passed ASR. Missouri refused.”

Koster sent a letter to the legislature warning about this issue.   I reported it here.  And then published the retort of lobbyist Andy Arnold.  See that here.

How Did No Pay, No Play Slip By?

I was surprised that HB 339 made it through the House.  The bill says that if you don’t have auto insurance, you can’t sue if you’re in an car accident.  I had assumed it was a core Democratic issue – as I imagine its impact will be on poor people who, in a money squeeze let their auto insurance lapse, then find themselves frozen out of the courts.

So how did Dems not stand strong and gain a few lawyer Republicans to sustain the veto?

Clearly Governor Jay Nixon was focused on HB 253.  And Attorney General Chris Koster was engaged in the HB 436. 

Some conservative Dems defected – Reps. Keith English, TJ McKenna and Ed Schieffer, for example.  It’s said that Rep. Linda Black wanted to hear from the second floor on the issue, and didn’t get the proper attention.

Rep. Penny Hubbard crossed lines.  She does it common enough, but because her son was lobbying for the insurance coalition it lead to a Post-Dispatch article…

Hub-bub About Hub

Post-Dispatch’s Virginia Young – who will take a break from the political beat (see it here) – wrote an article asking if hiring lobbyist Rodney Hubbard was an avenue to secure the support of his mother, Rep. Penny HubbardSee it here.

And

St. Louis City recently added Hubbard as a lobbyist.  They city is hoping to push for educational reforms next session, given the potential new coalitions available after this year’s student transfer situation.

Ingredients to Doe Run Override

How did Doe Run go from 94 votes in regular session to 110 votes in the House in veto session?  Truly an amazing piece of lobbying by the Stinson duo of Mike Gibbons and Tricia Workman

The 94 number was artificially low.  Because the bill got its start mid-session, the lobbyist hadn’t had time to work the whole general assembly.  They worked toward passage in regular session, and felt like they would be able to find more votes.  So they drew up a list of legislators – mostly Dems – who would be susceptible to their arguments either based on labor sympathy or geographic concerns.

Gibbons and Workman did the majority of the “conversion work” over the summer, taking some legislators on a tour of the area de-demonize the Don Run company.

And they had help.  Their colleague Jane Dueker was on the case.

To help man the mayhem of veto session an keep tabs on all their commitments they hired additional lobbyist.  Flotron and McIntosh came on-board.  As did Nancy Giddens and Shannon Cooper.  It’s said their Giddens has done a particularly good job of befriending a lot of the Republican freshmen.  Term-limits means relationship building is a never-ending job.  And Rodney Hubbard who could help work the St. Louis City reps.

After the House, when a previous Senate spat threatened to blow up Dow Run, Gibbons stepped in and able to parlay his unique history as a former Senate pro tem.  He talked the angry Republicans – initially intent on getting revenge on Sens. Wayne Wallingford and Gary Romine for their paycheck protection votes – down off the ledge, and brought the override home.

Maria’s Money

Rep. Stacey Newman missed the veto session as her husband was undergoing spinal surgery.  However according to her active twitter feed she was following the proceedings.

When Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal took to the Senate floor to explain she was changing her position on Doe Run, Newman tweeted:  “Follow the money trail.@ajost: Chappelle-Nadal says she's switching her vote on #HB650 to vote yes.”

I looked through the last few quarters of Chappelle-Nadal’s fundraising, and nothing from Doe Run.  A long $500 check from the Building Trades is the only possible connection I could find.  But it’s massively off-set by thousands and thousands of dollars from trial attorneys…

JOE PAC

Rea Kleeman’s JoePAC MO is rampign up operations.   The plan for the nascent progressive political action committee is to raise $100K this cycle, and fund ten candidates with $10K each.

The first candidate is Rep. Jill Schupp, running in Senate 24.  JoePAC will host an event for Schupp on September 22, at her home.

JoePAC also sent out a zinger email admonishing Rep. Jeff Roorda for voting present on the gun bill. 

The Case for the Pragmatic Present

Despite the desire of the left, there’s a solid case to be made for someone like Roorda walking the tightrope.  Voting present has the same practical impact of voting No in an override vote where Republicans need to get to 109.  And yet it also might soften the political consequences during a tough senate race.  We’ll see….

Swearingen Follow-Up

Rep. Jay Swearingen is planning on an early October kick-off to his auditor’s campaign.  While he’s not a CPA, he’ll point out that neither is incumbent Tom Schweich.  And unlike Schweich Swearingen has “had to make payroll.”

With the auditor at the top of the ticket, there are no good turn-out models upon which to rely.  Swearingen notes that Schweich underperformed Republican standard bearer Roy Blunt four years ago.  And Swearingen could check a break if a Democratic hot-button issue like “right to work” were to make the ballot in 2014.

He’s tentatively planning on a $1.2 million budget.  That’ll be quite an increase from what he’s had to raise in his state representative campaigns.

Barbee Exits MADA

After 21 years with the Missouri Auto Dealer Association, Sam Barbee has left the organization.   No details on the split.  It sounds like the classic “pursue other opportunities” situation.  No one has immediately taken Barbee’s position at the top of the group.

Lockland to Lead MACA

Heather Lockard will be the new executive director of the Missouri Association for Community Action, a statewide organization representing all 19 of Missouri's Community Action Agencies which make up a strong network of anti-poverty organizations. 

Lockland has been MACA's Training and Development Manager since 2008.  She takes the place of retiring director, Elaine West.

Veto Journals

Looking for who voted what in Veto?  House Journal is here.  Senate Journal is here.

$5K+Contributions

Citizens for Jake Zimmerman - $10,000 from Thompson Coburn LLP.

HealthPAC - $220,000 from MHA Management Services Corporation.

A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $5,100 from Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562 Voluntary Political Fund.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

David Winton added Maximus.

Vincent C Currao Jr deleted Talisen Technologies Inc.

James Klahr deleted Missouri Department of Public Safety.

           

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Congresswoman Ann Wagner.

Saturday: Jon Dalton (52).

Sunday: Rep. Holly Rehder (44).