Monday, May 19, 2014

Sorry, sorry, the session recap – with “winners” and “losers” will wait another day, and the ever-popular “legislative grades” coming later this week…

Instead today it’s just a few items, most of them interesting though I think…

Keaveny for Floor Leader

I wrote last week that I’d heard from a few different folks – looking toward next session – who thought that Sen. Joe Keaveny was best qualified to be the Senate Democrats’ new minority leader.

I also wrote that I didn’t know if Keaveny was interested in the position.  It’s not exactly a great job.  You have to subordinate your own agenda for the caucus, and you have no more meaningful additional political power because of the position.

However I am told that Keaveny is pursuing it.

With their caucus as diminished as it is, the vote counting shouldn’t be too hard.  Some think geography will play a role as the last two minority leaders have come from the western side, it’s time for the leadership to return to the eastern side.

I have heard Sen. Scott Sifton’s name mentioned. He and Keaveny would split the eastern side. If it fell along those lines.  But perhaps he would defer to the more senior Keaveny.

And of course the outcome of Senate 22 (possible Sen. Jeff Roorda) and Senate 24 (possible Sen. Jill Schupp) could influence the leadership election.

Schweich Nears $1 Million COH

Last week I reported in the large contributions that David Humphreys contributed $111,111 to the campaign of Tom Schweich

Schweich finished last quarter with $834,747 on-hand.  That math would seem to mean that he’ll be hitting the million-dollar mark for cash on-hand by the end of the current quarter.

Tesla Issue Not Dead

While legislative action on the “Tesla issue” may have been averted with Friday’s legislative adjournment, look for the auto dealers to stick with this issue.  They position appears to be that the standing law is on their side, and has been misapplied in Tesla case.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see them a new front through litigation.  It could be the stick that gives Tesla an incentive to find common ground.  We’ll see…

Blank Leaves AP

Chris Blank, one-half of the most experienced full-time news team based year-round in the Missouri statehouse (with David Lieb), is leaving The Associated Press.  Blank, a Mizzou journalism grad, will be shifting careers to pursue a master’s degree in public health at Saint Louis University with emphasis in biosecurity and disaster preparedness and epidemiology. Blank started with the AP in Jeff City in 2005, and before that he worked in the Mizzou statehouse reporting program led by Phill Brooks, making the just-completed session his 10th. Blank and his boss Lieb are together two of the nicest, most popular and most low-key members of the press corps, all the more notable because of the global reach of their coverage.

2014 Looks “Grim” for Dems?

In Politico this morning a new poll which they say is ugly for Dems.  See the poll here.

Pull Quote:  Both Obama’s job approval and the partisan ballot matchup are markedly more negative for Democrats in this poll than other national surveys — a reflection of the political reality that the midterm campaign is being fought on turf that is more challenging for Democrats than the nation as a whole.

 

The poll reveals that voters — even in the more conservative midterm states like Georgia and Arkansas, and tossup House districts in states such as Illinois, West Virginia and California — still lean in a liberal direction on several issues Democrats have championed this year, including immigration reform, pay equity for men and women and background checks for gun purchasers.

 

But none of those issues comes close to approaching health care as a major concern for midterm voters. Nearly nine in 10 respondents said that the health care law would be important to determining their vote, including 49 percent who said it would be very important.

 

By comparison, only 28 percent said that immigration reform was “very important” to determining their vote, and 16 percent who said the same of male-female income disparity.

Help Wanted

Missouri Office of the Public Counsel seeks Senior Public Counsel.  “The Missouri Office of the Public Counsel is a state agency representing the public and the interests of utility customers as a class in proceedings before the Missouri Public Service Commission and in court appeals. As a representative of utility customers, a Senior Public Counsel must possess a strong dedication to public service and consumer advocacy…”  See the ad here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

James C. Bowers, Jr. deleted Pat and Rosemary Hannan, James Owens, Christopher & Loretta Storm, Mary & Jane O’Dell, Andrew Armato, Quality Hill Productions, and Robert “Bob” Johnson.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Gary Cross (59), and Chuck Purgason (54).