Monday, April 28, 2014

Start with Combest

Just head over to Combest this morning.  Lots of good stories up…

First, the front-page Post-Dispatch story about Rep. Caleb Jones moving the hemp oil legislation through the Republican-dominated legislature against all early odds. He was made aware of the issue by his friend, Bryan Cave lobbyist Matt Jessee, whose daughter might benefit from the treatment.  Read it here.

Also on the Post front-page is a story about the student transfer bill which points to the provision allowing tax credit to go to private schools as a potential poison pill in the bill.  Read it here.  The article notes that “Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has threatened to veto a bill that sends public dollars to private schools.”  One rumor our of Kansas City – not mentioned obviously in a “real news” kind of paper – is that there may be a lawsuit emanating from there complaining that there are still too many barriers to transfers in KC despite Turner being repeatedly upheld.  One observer notes that Nixon is trying to hold all his Democrats together to sustain his expected SB 509 veto (see below).  Therefore he might be reluctant to sink the student transfer bill so many of them want.  We’ll see….

Then there’s an AP article that says that Speaker Tim Jones will be appearing with Americans for Tax Reform’s Grover Norquist and former Rep. Carl Bearden to support the recently passed tax cut bill SB 509.  Read it here.   One Republican legislator bemoaned this move to me in a text: “I’ve talked to several caucus member none of whom think (the fly-around) helps our override cause.  If you want to get a Dem to vote for this thing, having Norquist as the mouthpiece is not the best course of action…”

Ashcroft Fundy

An upcoming Springfield event for Senate 24 Republican candidate Jay Ashcroft shows the power of the newcomer’s last name as he’s nabbing a lot of top donors. The May 8 event is hosted by Mom and Dad Ashcroft, and lists loads of names. 

Some of the prominent ones: James Combs, Harry Cooper, Jerry Cook, William Darr, Sen. Bob Dixon, Neal Ethridge, Howard Fisk, Peter Herschend, Rep. Lincoln Hough, Glenn Larson, Ken McClure, Joseph Passanise, Darrell Proctor, Shane Schoeller, and Dee Wampler.


Anecdotal report from the field on the recent Ashcroft poll…  Tested messages: Ashcroft’s his father was a US Senator (only – not the other positions John Sr. held);  Ashcroft is a lawyer;  Ashcroft is a tea party member….

McCaherty For Asst Floor: Leadership Not Always Connected With Caucus

Rep. John McCaherty emails his caucus announcing he’s in for assistant floor leader.

Dear Colleagues,


In the upcoming months many of us will face challengers to our seats in the Missouri House. First and foremost, this letter is to let you know that I and many others within our caucus are committed to seeing each of you return and will help in any way possible. So, keep up the fight and do not be afraid to ask when you need help or guidance.


*This is also the time of year when we will begin to decide who will lead us next session by picking those to serve our caucus in leadership. I would like to add my name to that list by serving as your Assistant Floor Leader.*


Over the last few years I have watched and learned many things about our caucus and its leadership styles. I have chosen this position for a variety of reasons. Primarily, leadership has not always connected with the caucus on important issues. This is no fault of anyone, many times the business of the leadership team does not allow for the personal interaction they desire.  Our current leadership has done a good job within the guidelines they have been given. However, we can do better!...

Morgan: Nobody Home

In a Steve Kraske column over the weekend, Democrats are still grumbling that Governor Jay Nixon did so little – or nothing – to help legislative candidates in 2012.  And they point out that an extra Dem or two in the House would make his life a lot easier.   Read it here.  In a funny coincidence, Kevin Morgan is a Democratic candidate who gets a lot of the quotes. (“Blind alley… nobody home… He’s looking out for himself...”).  He’s dad to Courtney Cole, herself a one-time House candidate, who’s helping Senate Dems year.


Of course I must mention that the same math holds for this cycle.  If Republicans can pick up another seat or two, Nixon’s veto pen next session is a lot less intimidating than if they lose a seat or two…

Mayors Slay and James: Uphold Constitution

In an op/ed over the weekend (see it here) St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Kansas City Mayor Sly James take aim at HB 1439, the gun nullification bill.

“Simply put, House Bill 1439 represents a reckless attempt by narrow ideological interests to coerce us and other law-abiding local officials into violating our oaths of office… We will not be coerced… Missouri lawmakers also take an oath of office. They solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States… We intend to abide by our oaths. We expect Missouri’s lawmakers to abide by theirs.”

Disqualified Candidates

The Missouri Ethics Commission, at its April 24 meeting, determined that the candidates listed below failed to file a Personal Financial Disclosure statement by the twenty-first day after the last day of filing.  Accordingly, they have been disqualified from the August 5 election.

Donald Sherwood, Presiding Commissioner of Buchanan County.

David Morton (Democrat), House 6.  Rep. Tim Remole’s seat, now no Democratic primary.

Sherbaz Khan (Republican), House 36.  Inconsequential development in the Rep. Kevin McManus seat.

Denise Jefferies (Republican), House 76.  Jefferies was the only Republican running in this strong Democratic seat, currently represented by Rep. Josh Peters.

Amanda Jordan Brooks (Republican), House 151.  This reduces the Republican primary to replace Dennis Fowler to a two-way primary.

Fundraising Calendar

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Floor Leader John Diehl Scotch & Cigars – Jefferson City Country Club – 7-8:30 p.m.

Reps. Ken Wilson, TJ Berry & Ron Hicks Reception – Gumbo Bottoms, Jefferson City – 6:30-8 pm.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Christopher Kratzer added ACT Inc.

Todd J Jacobs deleted Missouri Gas Energy.

$5K+ Contributions

CWA District 6 Political Education Committee - $6,200 from CWA COPE.

Chrismer for Good Government - $25,000 from Rex Sinquefield. - $750,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

Notes on Money: Another huge Sinquefield check to  They’re working on dismantling teacher tenure at the ballot box this year.


Happy birthdays to Ameren’s Tina Shannon, and former Rep. Brian Yates (39).