Monday, September 30, 2013

Hall to PSC

Friday afternoon Governor Jay Nixon appointed Daniel Hall to the Public Service Commission.  Hall has been Nixon’s legislative director.

The immediate feedback centered on two questions.  First, who will the Republican be?  There’s also a Republican slot open on the powerful commission.  The Senate is unlikely to confirm Hall without a Republican nominee with which to pair him.  It’s said that Rep. Doug Funderburk (Utility Committee chair) has expressed interest.

Second, will the Senate rebel against Nixon placing his team in these spots?  Last month, for example James Klahr was appointed as executive director of the Missouri Ethics Commission. As we enter the final half of the Nixon tenure, will his starting team be given landing spots throughout state government, while the bench is called up to staff the governor’s office?

But there’s a third, potentially more volatile, question yet to surface… where is Hall on the utilities/ FERAF divide?  FERAF is the Fair Energy Rate Action Fund, a coalition of industrial giants and consumer groups that opposes higher utility rates.  One of their lobbyists is Jac Cardetti, also formerly of the Nixon inner circle.

Mad Dog Mail Growls at House Dems

The mail house that the House Democratic Campaign Committee used during the 2012 cycle claims that they’re still short a hefty amount.  This is disputed by House leaders and things have escalated to lawyer letters.

According to Dems I spoke to, Mad Dog Mail hasn’t given them sufficient documentation for them to believe that their figures are believable.

Mad Email

From: Michael Dolce, Esq.  

Sent: Friday, September 27, 2013 3:29 PM

To: Ira Anders; Gail Beatty; Linda Black; Bob Burns; Michael Butler; Jon Carpenter; Mike Colona; Pat Conway; Courtney Curtis; Randy Dunn; Rory Ellinger; Brandon Ellington; Keith English; Vicki Englund; Michael Frame; Kimberly Gardner; Rochelle Gray; Ben Harris; Steve Hodges; Penny Hubbard; Jake Hummel; Chris Kelly; Jeanne Kirkton; Michele Kratky; Jeremy LaFaver; John Mayfield; Karla May; Tom McDonald; TJ McKenna; Kevin McManus; Margo McNeil; Susan Meredith; Bonnaye Mims; Gina Mitten; Genise Montecillo;  Judy Morgan; Stacey Newman; Mary Nichols; Charlie Norr; Bill Otto; Sharon Pace; Joshua Peters; Tommie Pierson; John Rizzo; Jeff Roorda; Joe Runions; Ed Schieffer; Jill Schupp; Clem Smith; Jay Swearingen; Stephen Webber; Steve Webb; John Wright

Subject: Notification to Caucus

 

L E G AL   N O T I C E

 

September 27, 2013                                                              

Members of the Missouri House Democratic Caucus

 

Dear House Democratic Caucus Members:

 

As you should have been informed from prior correspondence sent to Leader Hummel, this firm has been hired by Mad Dog Mail, Inc., to file suit against the Missouri House Democratic Caucus.  At issue are unpaid invoices and bounced checks totaling over $125,000for campaign services rendered in the fall 2012 campaign season.  A draft of a lawsuit was sent in June, but to date, nobody on behalf of the Caucus responded or returned telephone messages.

 

At this time, we intend to expand the lawsuit to include as defendants the individual Democratic House caucus members who were in office as of February 2012 when the Caucus signed the contract for services with my client.  It is our position that because the Caucus was not incorporated, liability for Caucus debts now falls on its individual members.

 

You would be well advised to respond without further delay.  Mad Dog Mail acted in good faith by providing valuable direct mail services and products during the 2012 election campaigns without requiring advanced payment.  In return, its trust was "rewarded" with multiple bounced checks totaling tens of thousands of dollars and disregarded invoices for tens of thousands more.  Lawmakers should certainly understand that passing bad checks is at the very least dishonorable, and at worst a crime, and ignoring lawful debts is equally disrespectful.  Under Florida law, given the check amounts, the offenses could well be four separate third degree felonies.

 

Also at issue are substantially false campaign finance reports filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission.  Those reports falsely report tens of thousands of payments to Mad Dog Mail that were never actually delivered, as well as reporting as "paid" monies that were actually part of the bounced checks.

 

Our intent has been to try to resolve this problem without having to file suit.  But if we do not receive a response forthwith, we will be instituting appropriate legal action.

 

Sincerely, 

 

Michael Dolce, Esq.

Dolce & Paruas

Gun Accidents

Front page, above the fold, Sunday New York Times printed a deeply research article about chronic under-reporting of gun accidents killing and injuring children.  Read it here.

The .45-caliber pistol that killed Lucas Heagren, 3, on Memorial Day last year at his Ohio home had been temporarily hidden under the couch by his father. But Lucas found it and shot himself through the right eye. “It’s bad,” his mother told the 911 dispatcher. “It’s really bad.”

 

A few days later in Georgia, Cassie Culpepper, 11, was riding in the back of a pickup with her 12-year-old brother and two other children. Her brother started playing with a pistol his father had lent him to scare coyotes. Believing he had removed all the bullets, he pointed the pistol at his sister and squeezed the trigger. It fired, and blood poured from Cassie’s mouth.

 

Just a few weeks earlier, in Houston, a group of youths found a Glock pistol in an apartment closet while searching for snack money. A 15-year-old boy was handling the gun when it went off. Alex Whitfield, who had just turned 11, was struck. A relative found the bullet in his ashes from the funeral home.

 

Cases like these are among the most gut-wrenching of gun deaths. Children shot accidentally — usually by other children — are collateral casualties of the accessibility of guns in America, their deaths all the more devastating for being eminently preventable.

 

They die in the households of police officers and drug dealers, in broken homes and close-knit families, on rural farms and in city apartments. Some adults whose guns were used had tried to store them safely; others were grossly negligent. Still others pulled the trigger themselves, accidentally fracturing their own families while cleaning a pistol or hunting.

 

And there are far more of these innocent victims than official records show.

On the heels of the Dave Evans’ gun in the bathroom incident, this is a moment for introspection among the Second Amendment devotees.   One wonders if responsible gun owners – not unlike school choice activists who found a moral imperative to support de-chartering failing charter schools – will support laws to impose penalties for negligent gun owners. 

If it’s a crime to leave an airtight container in a place accessible to children, shouldn’t leaving a gun lying around also be a crime?

Murphy Pulls Plug on House Bid

One month after starting his committee to run for House 108, Jamey Murphy, former staffer to Jim Lembke, has decided that it’s not the right time for him – and his family.  He says he’ll be returning donations and closing his campaign account.

St. Louis County Exec Bits

The head of Wachovia, Danny Ludeman, caused a minor stir on Friday when he resigned and mentioned “a calling” to public service.  Read it here.

Tony Pousosa, the only declared Republican candidate for County Executive, may have read it as others did – a possible name float for the position.  Pousosa set up a Facebook page to “like” and was seen at CPAC handing out stickers for this bid.

And Rex Sinquefield told KMOX he was sticking with Democratic incumbent Charlie Dooley – if that’s what his advisors recommend (see it here)…

 

Killeen: “Are you going to be giving any more large donations to Charlie Dooley?”

 

Sinquefield: “I don’t know.”

 

Killeen: “What would weigh into your decision at this point?”

 

Sinquefield: “Uh, advisers.”

 

Killeen: “Are you waiting to find see how the investigations come out?”

 

Sinquefield: “That will probably be a factor, but it’s my advisers who I’m going to rely on primarily.”

Medicaid Bits

Rep. Jay Barnes announced his schedule of hearing for his House Interim Committee on Medicaid Transformation.   See it here.

And AP reports that “Arkansas became the first state on Friday to win federal approval to use Medicaid funding to purchase private insurance for thousands of low-income residents under the federal health care law, clearing the way for a model that several other states are eyeing.”  See it here.

$5K+Contributions

Committee for Research Treatments and Cures - $100,000 from The Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $25,000 from Lewis & Clark Ozarks Mountain Forum.

Committee for Research Treatments and Cures - $10,000 from St. Luke’s Foundation.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Centene Management Company LLC.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from August A Busch III.

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from Clayco.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Gephardt Group Government Affairs LLC.

Missourians for Koster - $7,500 from Integrated Mental Health Services.

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from Pyramid Home Health.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Bridgeway Health Solutions Arizona LLC.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Dollar, Burn & Becker LC.

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from Express Scripts Inc.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Summit Management Group.

Citizens for Colona - $6,000 from Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC.

Notes: Koster adds $100K+ in a last minute blitz.  Expect more today and tomorrow as the deadline hits.

And Mercy gives the research tax campaign $100K.  That’s peanuts compared to what they’ll receive if it passes.  They’re in line for 50% of the proceeds, and it’s expected to raise $40 million annually for the next twenty years.  Do the math.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Richard A McIntosh added Fresenius Kabi, and Hannegan Landau Poersch Advocacy.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Reps. Dave Muntzel (63) and Randy Pike (60), former Jetton staffer Chris Benjamin (38), and candidate Bill Haas (69).