Monday, December 16, 2013

McKenna to Labor; Fowler to Probation

On Friday, Governor Jay Nixon appointed Sen. Ryan McKenna to be director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Rep. Dennis Fowler to the Board of Probation and Parole.

It’s thought that McKenna will have no problem being confirmed.  But Fowler – one of the three original Republicans dissenters to HB 253 – might face more scrutiny as his seat’s vacancy diminished the House Republican majority below the magic veto override number of 109.

Nixon played up Fowler’s qualifications: “Fowler served as a law enforcement officer for 38 years, before being elected in 2012 to represent District 151 in the Missouri House of Representatives. His law enforcement experience includes serving as the superintendent of detention at the Stoddard County Juvenile Detention Center from 2005 to 2012 and as a deputy sheriff with the SEMO Drug Task Force and Probation and Parole from 1993 to 2005.”

On the Move: Furey to Centene

Shawn Furey will be the new Vice President of Legislative and Government Affairs for Home State Health Plan, which is Centene’s Missouri subsidiary.  Furey has legislative experience. He previously served as chief of staff to Eric Schmitt before spending several years at Jeff Roe’s Axiom Strategies consulting corporate clients on a wide variety of issues. 

Expect to see Furey back in the halls this session.

Benz to Ag?

According to the lobbyist registrations it looks like Tony Benz is going to work for the Nixon administration, perhaps as the Department of Agriculture’s legislative liaison?  Benz previously worked with in the office of Frank Barnitz.  Barnitz lost to Sen. Dan Brown in 2010.

Dooley Aide: Transparency A Liberal Fetish

Mike Jones, a suddenly tone-deaf senior policy adviser to St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, calls transparency as “overrated” at a time when Dooley and Chris Nicastro don’t need any more enemies.  Jones sits on the State Board of Education.

One wonders what the Steve Stenger campaign will do with this quote…

“I think public officials need to be accountable,” he said. “I don’t think there is a decision you make as a public official that you don’t have to account for your rationale and how you got there. But the process of making the sausage is a different issue. I’m big on accountability. I think transparency is fairly overrated. Transparency is a liberal fetish. It’s way overemphasized.”

Read the whole article here.

Burns to OA

Ryan Burns has joined the Office of Administration as their public information officer.  She’d previously been with the Jefferson City Convention & Visitors Bureau, and before that with Advantage Capital Partners.

Lieb: 3 Ways Boeing Special Session Will Affect Next Year

AP’s David Lieb looks at potential impacts the special session may have.  Read it here.

They are: legislature looks good to business types for getting something done; Nixon getting serious about reining in tax credits; and a reason for Speaker Tim Jones to push right to work when Boeing doesn’t come here.

Post Dispatch Looks at Teach for America

On today’s front page (Read it here): “Twelve years after coming to St. Louis, Teach for America has grown into a formidable player in local urban education with 150 teachers in 69 area schools.  About 11,000 children in the region attend classes led by the program’s educators.

Most corps members — 97 of them — work in St. Louis Public Schools. Others are in the Normandy, Riverview Gardens and Hazelwood school districts, plus charter schools.

“Corps members arrive in classrooms without education degrees. Instead, they complete an intense five-week training program (it becomes seven weeks next summer), and earn certification after completing their two years. Corps members are district employees who are paid the same as first- or second-year teachers, and receive Americorps benefits to help cover college debt. Private funds cover training and other support.  Teach for America arrived in St. Louis at a time when city public schools were suffering from a shortage of qualified teachers in special education, math and science. Mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis Public Schools teamed up to to raise $730,000 in private donations and set aside $50,000 in city money to jump-start the program.

“Today, the organization remains a lightning rod among educators. Many veteran teachers argue that corps members lack training needed to be effective. However, research generally backs up the organization’s success…”

More Marijuana IPs

Dan Viets filed several more initiative petitions, variations on legalizing marijuana in Missouri.  See them here.

Just Tell the Truth, Apologize and Move On

Post-Dispatch columnist Bill McClellan does a follow-up on Rep. Casey Guernsey in which it comes to light that Guernsey “couldn’t remember” when he had just gotten his expired license plates changed a half-hour after having them changed…  Read it here.


eMailbag: No Sanders Peters-Baker Primary

Jean Peters-Baker was appointed Jackson County Prosecutor by Mike Sanders. She would never run against him in any primary… People over here are growing frustrated with Sanders too.  Make up your mind dude!”


Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

William "Tony" A Benz added Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Matt Hill added Weston Tobacco.

Michael Shawley added StudentFirst.

Alexander B Curchin deleted Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.


Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $7,500 from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City Political Action Committee for Missouri

Elect Shawn Sisco - $16,000 from Shawn Sisco.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from David Steward.

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from Missouri Drive Fund.

Missourians for Koster - $50,000 from Supporters of Health Research & Treatments.

Notes on Money

Sisco is a Republican seeking to replace Jason Smith, who vacated to go to Congress, in House 120.


Happy birthday to Rep. John Carpenter.