Monday, June 2, 2014

Rumorville: Atkins Eying English?

Former Rep. Bert Atkins who was unseated by Rep. Keith English is apparently open to the idea of staging a comeback.  There had be some talk in the Capitol that Dems – furious with English’s override vote – would seek revenge.  Atkins could be an attractive candidate.  He’s a well-known commodity with labor, has some residual name ID in the district, and clearly has an issue on which to run.

It’s thought such an attempt would require Atkins to run as an Independent against English in November, not an easy task in a Democratic district.  However with the right backers – surely even the famously stingy governor might be able to free up some of his six-figure largess for the chance at political payback – it seems a doable prospect.

We’ll see….

Senate Minority Leader Talk

Right now the only two names making the rounds in the Senate to run for Minority Leader are Sen. Joe Keaveny and Sen. Paul LeVota.  Sen. Scott Sifton, previously mentioned, appears to be fading as he considers other possibilities (AG, anyone) in 2016, and maybe also yields to the ambitions of the senior senator from St. Louis.

The contrast between Keaveny and LeVota is entirely temperament as there’s no real difference on where they stand a particular issues.

Keaveny is thought to be more in the model of recent minority leaders… reasonable, conciliatory, a negotiating partner with which they can work.  Meanwhile LeVota, perhaps from his days in the House, is thought to have a more confrontational approach. Furthermore, hallway observers say that LeVota and Floor Leader Ron Richard aren’t exactly best of buddies.

The Democratic caucus’ precarious position of super-minority status means that they rely on an ethos of Senate courtesy to prevent being steamrolled.  Within a framework of bipartisan respect, the minority party can stall, reduce, dilute, and even stop items on the majority party’s wish list.  But it must happen within the context of a willingness to negotiate and an acknowledgment that elections have consequences.  The entire majority party’s agenda cannot be fought on every front with fall-on-the-sword filibusters.  Otherwise the Zamboni will roll out and clear away the accumulated traditions of Senate decorum…

St. Louis Cool to Transport Tax?

The Sunday Post-Dispatch features a stinging editorial under the headline: A Tax to Hate.  It then listed ten reasons to vote against the August sales tax increase.  Read it here.

This comes amid a general murmur of discontent among St. Louis politicos about the tax – it’s regressive, it’s too rural in its distribution without enough mass transit.

And it doesn’t help that it comes on the heels of the income tax cut override.  As Alderwoman Lyda Krewson tweeted last week: Cutting income tax and raising sales tax makes no sense. Leave inc tax same and raise gas tax.

One wonders how much of the turnout model being used by supporters relies on St. Louis Dems to vote for the tax increase.

Rex Talk Follow-Up

The reaction to Rex Sinquefield’s calling Governor Jay Nixon was swift.  Here’s a sampling from my in-box.

I am thinking it is petty for Rex to call the Governor an idiot. I am not a fan of Nixon but to just arrogantly sit there like he knows everything and say the Nixon is an idiot isn’t particularly productive.

For the last few years many in the Capitol have questioned how much longer Rex Sinquefield would continue to throw good money after bad. Until SB 509/496, Travis Brown had never notched even the smallest of victories in the Capitol. The praise that Rex heaped on Travis and his “army of lobbyists” offered a vivid glimpse in to the rose-colored lenses in which he is viewed by his boss. With the 509/496 win, it’s safe to say that the ride won't end any time soon. Though it’s interesting that the win finally came when Travis removed himself from the Capitol.

Sinquefield – through a spokesperson – said he regretted the name-calling.

Fundy Follow-Ups

Speaker Tim Jones’ St. Albans event last week was said to be mainly grassroots attendees, raising a little over $10K… next up for the speaker is a June 23 Golf Tourny.

And Rep. Jill Schupp’s campaign opening saw a drop-in from former Rep. Sam Page who ran for the seat in 2010.  His primary opponent Barbara Fraser is on Schupp’s host committee for an upcoming fundy, showing that the Democratic factions of the past are united to bring this seat back to the D side this cycle.


Help Wanted

Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri and Affiliated Corporations (PPSLRSWMO) seeks a President and CEO.  “PPSLRSWMO has been the leading provider, educator, and protector of reproductive healthcare in the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri for over 80 years… With a total staff of 160, an annual operating budget of $10M and a dedicated Board, PPSLRSWMO is a highly successful organization. The current CEO is retiring after 25 years and leaves the organization financially sound and with a strong reputation locally and nationally.”  See the ad here.




Multinational Tobacco Co seeks Corporate Affairs Manager

“Our client is multinational Tobacco co. looking for a Corporate Affairs Manager Please send your CV to Samar Said,

Main Accountabilities :

- Enhance the governmental and media monitoring in order to create an Early Warning System for major challenges and opportunities. Drive and monitor Corporate Affairs consultants to ensure their contribution to overall objectives, strategies, and activities.

- Develop arguments on major issues, communicate them effectively, and do lobbying with targeted groups in order to influence the decision making process.

- Secure the guidance of industry groups along the lines set by the Co-ordinate with the industry group member companies to establish unified position regarding the industry issues and to enhance the ability for effective lobbying and communications.

- Maintain and enhance contacts with the tobacco growers, exporters, and retailers. Establish close contacts with the business community and organizations.

- Create or identify opportunities for corporate contributions, cultural sponsorships and company public relations in order to enhance the company image as a good citizen.

- Establish and maintain a strong relationship with policy-makers and political organizations on a national basis and with local political authorities.”

Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Capitol Commission Legislative Golf – Golf Club at Old Hawthorne, Columbia.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Shirley Breeze deleted Missouri Women’s Network.

Mary Mosley deleted Missouri Women’s Network, and MO National Organization for Women.

Greg Johnston added The Florissant Development LLC; and deleted Office Depot Inc, Learngreen, and Veritec Solutions.

Jim Cooper deleted Midwest Independent Coin Payphone Association.

$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $5,100 from Citizens for Gary Cross.


Happy birthdays to Rep. Dean Dohrman, and MO Association of Counties’ Dick Burke.


To Minority Leader Jake Hummel and Sarah Martin who were married last weekend.