Monday, October 7, 2013

Zamkus Called Up

Sorry I missed this last week… Jason Zamkus has been tapped to replace Daniel Hall as Nixon’s legislative director.  Here’s the release: “Gov. Jay Nixon today named Jason Zamkus, the Deputy Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, as Legislative Director for the Office of the Governor. He replaces Daniel Hall, who was appointed by the Governor to the Public Service Commission last week and who had held the position since January 2009.”

Rust Uncomfortable, But OK

In his Sunday commentary column, Southeast Missourian’s Gary Rust admits to being “uncomfortable” with Peter Kinder’s recent decision to explore the congressional primary.  “Peter knows this puts me in an uncomfortable position, as both are friends, but I can be uncomfortable and still make decisions…”  See it here.

Pro-Jason Smith supporters are cheered by this: “Cape establishment should be (Kinder’s) base.  If he has to convince them then he’s already starting off behind.  Also, it shows the work Jason has done in building relationships…”

Butler for House

Robert Butler started a campaign committee to run in House 112 as a Democrat. Butler is an attorney.  The current incumbent, Republican Rep. Paul Wieland, is running for state senate.  It’s a lean Democratic district.  So it’s potential pick-up for Dems.

Wright: 50 DPI Ain’t 50 DPI in 2014

According to notes by Rea Kleeman of a meeting Rep. John Wright had with progressive advocates, he’s anticipating a tough environment in 2014.

From the notes: “53 % is the new 50% DPI… We have a big Democratic turn out problem. 10 Republicans will come out and vote to 7 Democrats coming out to vote. You can take 4-8 points away in a non-presidential year.”

But there is reason for some hope… “The Democrats are hopeful that the new technology that the Obama team used for the National election will help Mo. Dem. Legislators in 2014.”

And, “When the populace gets angry you get a better turn out. It's said that Rex Sinquefeld is going to have ballot initiatives to cut out teacher tenure and initiate school vouchers. Wright is sure that this will really arouse the Education groups and get out more voters…”

A Pause Amid the Bits to Remind You…

Shutdown, Schmuckdown.  The real cataclysm would be debt default…

From Politico’s Playbook: “NO NEGOTIATIONS going on, we're told by both parties in both chambers. And the markets are going to HATE, HATE what they heard on the shows today. DEFAULT IS MORE POSSIBLE than conventional wisdom suggests, we're told from the very top of both parties.”

From Politico’s Morning Money:  “For the issuer of the world’s reserve currency, whose interest rates form a global benchmark, to default would be nothing short of catastrophic, according to the U.S. Treasury.”

And “CATASTROPHE AWAITS - Bloomberg's Yalman Onaran: Anyone who remembers the collapse of Lehman... knows what a global financial disaster is. A U.S. government default, just weeks away if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling as it now threatens to do, will be an economic calamity like none the world has ever seen. Failure by the world's largest borrower to pay its debt - unprecedented in modern history – will devastate stock markets from Brazil to Zurich, halt a $5 trillion lending mechanism for investors who rely on Treasuries, blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the U.S. and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression.”

A Few Thoughts Peeking Ahead to January

Economic Development

Those interested in economic development have to feel intimated by the big backlog on the wish list: Angel tax credit, New Market tax credit, Data Center tax credit, MOSIRA, Kelly billion-dollar bond issue, global tax credit reform, and the transportation sales tax,  to name a few…

If Speaker Tim Jones is skittish about the “largest tax increase in history” tag that was applied to the transportation sales tax by its opponents, he might look at pairing it with last year’s income tax cut in some form.  The downside on that strategy is that if it resembles the Sinquefieldian “fair tax” too much, it arouses a whole different group of opponents.

Education

The biggest question here is whether the student transfers find their own solution, or whether it leads to a fundamental shift in coalitions across other education issues.

Generally the reformers have attempted to insert market forces – merit pay, school choice (via charters and virtual, or through student transfers) – into the educational industry.  While the incumbent interests – MNEA, School Administrators, MSTA etc – have resisted changes noxious to their members. 

That’s led – generally – to trench warfare with Suburban Republicans and some Urban Democrats deadlocked against Rural Republicans and Suburban Democrats.

The student transfer issue has the potential to disrupt those coalitions, especially if rural districts fear that they’ll soon be facing unaccreditation and therefore the transfer issue themselves.  Would they be willing to make a deal with “reformers” for some accommodations?

Bits

“Gov. Jay Nixon announced the appointment of Associate Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Garrett III as a circuit judge for Division 2 of the 16th Judicial Circuit, which covers Jackson County. The position became available upon the retirement of the Honorable Michael Manners.”

Developer Paul McKee continues to work the TIF process for his huge north St. Louis City development plan.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

$5K+Contributions

Missourians for Koster - $7,500 from Larus Corporation.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $10,000 from Kenneth McClain.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from The Doe Run Company.

Lewis & Clark Ozarks Mountain Forum - $25,000 from Gerald Cook.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer - $10,000 from Sterling Bank.

Freedom Incorporated - $25,000 from Brad Bradshaw.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Jon Dolan added Reliant Care Management Company LLC, and Health Systems Inc.

Gary L. Burton, Chris Liese, and Jim Foley deleted Hawkeye Land Company. 

Lisa Hough deleted Propel Financial Services LLC.

Dawn Nicklas deleted W T Dawson, and City of Sugar Creek.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Jeff Harris (49), Tim Jones’ Kenny Ross, former Rep. Zach Wyatt (29), and Sam Barbee.