Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hicks Gets Hit With Calls

Rep. Ron Hicks, a Republican state representative from St. Charles, says that a pro-right to work interest group has been making calls into his district.  His dad received a call, as have other constituents.  It’s not know right now who was paying for the calls.

The calls had supporters of RTW then patched through to Hicks’ home phone so they could tell the representative how they felt.  Hicks of course is in Jefferson City right now, but apparently his wife fielded the calls for a while before unplugging the family phone.

Hicks is a No vote on the issue and the calls were clearly not going to change his mind.

What Does Grover Know

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, tweeted yesterday: Missouri House will vote to put "Right to Work" on the August ballot next week. Need simple majority of House and then Senate. IN, MI now MO

A Quick Right to Work Debate?

When right to work does finally come to the House floor for debate, it may not be as lengthy or spirited as the debate was against paycheck protection.  In fact on theory holds that the Dems might not offer any debate at all.  They all know how they’re voting and they know they aren’t likely to change any minds with sharp talking pointing.  Instead perhaps they would sit and let the competing factions of Republicans thrash it out on the floor?

Missourians for Compassionate Care

Neal English and Mark Habbas recently registered for Missourians for Compassionate Care.  What is that organization?  They’re behind the push to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri. 

Sen. Jason Holsman’s bill had it hearing this week in the Senate General Laws Committee and received very serious consideration.  I had expected that the Republicans on the committee would be dismissive, but they were not at all.  Sen. Rob Schaaf noted he supported the bill; and Sens. Doug Libla and Gary Romine asked serious questions.

And Sen. Jamilah Nasheed recalled the hazards of the funky weed as well, recalling her own younger days and the time she “couldn’t find her keys even when they were right in front of [her].”

State March 2014 General Revenue Report

The state released its March revenue numbers saying that they decreased by .7% from March 2013.  Overall state revenues are up slightly, 1.7%, year to date.

Testy Exchanges Yesterday

The Senate drama was on display yesterday in two testy debating exchanges.  One came when Sen. Ryan Silvey and Sen. John Lamping were debating about the prospect of Medicaid expansion.  Silvey has put forth a proposal to reform Medicaid – full of sweeteners for conservatives like price transparency and “any willing provider” – but Lamping is resistant to anything that would expand the number of people entering the assistance program under “ObamaCare.” 

The debate riveted the floor.  But also apparently those listening over the internet as one texted me, “Funny how Lamping was using pragmatic as a dirty word when that is exactly how he sold himself to the voters of the 24th four years ago.”

The other heated exchange was between Sens. Jamilah Nasheed and Maria Chappelle-Nadal over Nasheed’s bill which would severely limit what legislators could take from lobbyists.

It’s interesting that these heated exchanges take place between members of the same party in the Senate.

Bridgeton Landfill Issue Heats Up

A new group, Coalition to Keep Us Safe, which includes the Missouri Chamber and elected officials like Reps. Glen Kolkmeyer and Robert Cornejo, has organized, They’re opposed to excavation and transportation of the materials at West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton through rural Missouri. The Coalition supports the EPA’s remediation plan to encapsulate the site without delay.

And

The Post-Dispatch has an article about a Sen. Kurt Schaefer bill that activist fear will impact the future of the landfill.  Read it here.

Slay’s Cousin Is Spooner Donor

Jack Spooner, Republican attorney running in Senate 24, has received $50,000 so far from Jeanne Rhodes.  She’s the daughter of the late Gene Slay, cousin of Mayor Francis Slay and described in his obituary as political powerbroker whose “money and backing helped underdog Democrat Joe Teasdale win a surprise victory for governor in 1976.”  See the obituary here.

What’s the daughter of a late Democratic power-donor doing giving to a Republican state senate candidate?  One Dem shrugs it off saying there’s probably some non-political connection, maybe her attorney knows Spooner etc…

Pull Quote from Obit

In 1984, Mr. Slay and five others were indicted on federal corruption charges in the awarding of a St. Louis cable TV franchise. Mr. Slay was accused of hiding his ownership in the cable company.

 

A photo in the Post-Dispatch showed Mr. Slay puffing a cigar, wearing handcuffs and a big smile. His lawyer said Mr. Slay wasn't worried.

 

As it turned out, he didn't have to be.

 

Mr. Slay testified that he had legally put together a group to buy the franchise.

 

He later said that the most embarrassing part of the trial was having to listen to a government witness testify that Mr. Slay had asked for a $65,000 bribe.

 

"That's peanuts," Mr. Slay told columnist Bill McClellan. "I'm not bragging, but I'm a big taxpayer. One of the biggest in the area. That's fair to say."

Fundraising Calendar

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

Rep. Tim Jones’ Scotch & Cigars Reception – Ritz Carlton – St. Louis – 6-8 p.m.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Janet Engelbach added Missouri Eagle Forum.

Jewell D. H. Patek added Swallow Tail LLC.

Jim Lembke deleted United for Missouri.

$5K+ Contributions

Professional Firefighters of Central St. Louis County PAC - $7,500 from Creve Coeur Firefighters Outreach Fund.

Missourians for Koster - $28,000 from Marathon Administrative Company Inc.

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from Kenneth McClain.

Citizens to Elect Mike Kehoe - $25,000 from Citizens for Jay Wasson.

Hanaway for Governor - $10,000 from Kansas City Power & Light.

Friends of Harry Roberts - $5,800 from HAR Business Development Consulting LLC.

Friends of EMS - $7,000 from St. Charles County Paramedic Association.

Citizens to Elect Gatewood - $14,000 from Missouri Republican Party.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Ron Schieber (54), Ron Richard’s Dusty Schnieders, and former Rep. Charles Portwood (51).