Thursday, December 5, 2013

Special Session Bits

Lots of waiting and not so much drama in the Senate yesterday.  There was some hurry applied, as they both perfected and approved the bill in the same day, allowing them to get it over to the House in the same day.  That allows the House to give final approval on Friday.  It’s said that the supporters feeling the benefits of momentum were anxious to avoid a weekend delay which might let the opposition to coalesce.

Behind the Senate hawks’ capitulation is said to be a deal with the governor’s office.  AP’s David Lieb has the story here.

Pull Quote: The Senate vote occurred after Nixon met earlier in the day with five Republican senators who had wanted to offset the Boeing incentives with reductions to existing tax credits benefiting the developers of low-income housing and historic buildings.

The senators who attended the meeting told the AP that Nixon assured them he would work aggressively on a broader tax-credit overhaul during the regular legislative session that starts Jan. 8. Although Nixon didn't commit to a specific action, the senators expressed hope that the governor would use his executive powers to slow down the issuance of tax credits - thus exerting leverage on reluctant lawmakers to pass a tax-credit overhaul bill that has stalled in years past.

"I think the governor is on board in terms managing tax credits in such a way that people realize he's serious about reform," said Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, who was in the meeting.

Governor Jay Nixon announced another piece of the bid…. “that five community colleges in the greater St. Louis region have formed a Missouri Aerospace Training Consortium and committed to train thousands of Missouri workers for advanced manufacturing jobs at Boeing and other aerospace companies.  The Governor said the consortium, which includes East Central College, Jefferson College, Mineral Area College, St. Charles Community College and St. Louis Community College, would give Missouri another competitive advantage in its efforts to win production of the Boeing 777X.”

Lack of a closing fund a problem?  Says one observer: “Other states have something called ‘opportunity funds’ (read: slush funds) and they use those to lure companies instead of passing legislation… These states with these funds - well they can deal quietly – and that’s why we aren’t hearing about all the other states that putting something forward.”

The quiet chorus in the halls and gallery… “finally a functional legislature!”

The No Votes in the Senate: Sens. Dan Brown, Ed Emery, Will Kraus, Brad Lager, John Lamping, Brian Nieves, Rob Schaaf, and Kurt Schaefer.   Schaefer’s interesting because his potential AG competitors are on the other side.  Sen. Eric Schmitt is the bill sponsor. And Speaker Tim Jones will make the vote happen in the House.  The potential upside for Schaefer is an anti-corporate giveaway position.  But the downside according to hyperbolic observer: “Schaefer just ended his statewide run by voting against the entire east side of the state, and the best employer we have… Voting against this today to attempt to curry favor with a small section of the right wing fringe was ridiculous…”

Why we might get the wing production… It’s said that one of Boeing overall strategic plans is to diversify their production – politically.  That is spread their manufacturing across “as many congressional districts and senators” as possible.  It gives them more voices in Washington DC where their real political risk/reward occurs.

The fetishness of international corporation?  Are the civvies going after Boeing 777x the way they go after an NFL team?  It seems like the weighing of incentives against actually economic benefits is less important than the psychological aspects of landing a big new monument to declare to the world that St. Louis is capable of playing on the big boys’ field.

Meet the Gate Way Group

David Jackson announced the formation of the Gate Way Group.  See the website here.

The Gate Way Group is the lobbying and association management arm of the larger Pelopidas network.  Pelopidas is expanding into other area outside of politics in media and event management that is less visible to the political crowd.

Pelopidas principal Travis Brown is said to be spending more time traveling as a commentator on tax policy.  That puts Jackson managing the day to day operations in Jefferson City with Deanna Borland (hired from Winter Scherr).

In addition to lobbying, Gate Way Group is managing associations with an emphasis in healthcare: MO Society of Anesthesiologists, MO Dermatology Society, and MO Surgery Center Association. 

Mittens for Vice Chair

Tipster says that Rep. Gina Mittens will run for Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, and that Caucus Chair is in the bag for Rep. Chris Kelly.

Bits

Paywall coming to the Post-Dispatch?  January or February… Read it here.

New initiative petitions open for public comment would legalize marijuana. See them here.

Governor Jay Nixon appointed for staffer (and former Post-Dispatch editorial writer) Christine Bertelson to the 21st Circuit Judicial Commission.

Follow this one… Back in July, the College Station, Texas, paper reported speculation that the departure of Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin - who will be introduced Thursday as Mizzou’s next chancellor - could provide a job opening for Aggie alum Rick Perry, who isn’t running again for Texas governor. So… Governor Nixon, who sparred with Governor Perry on job poaching, named a UM Board of Curators that hired a UM president who hired a Mizzou chancellor from Texas A&M, creating a Texas job opening for Governor Perry...

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

David Michael Jackson, Dave Berry and Ward Cook added Gate Way Group.

Deanna L. Hemphill deleted Scherr Winter LLC, and added Gate Way Group, and its clients.

Jason Lamb added Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.

David Overfelt deleted Environmental Industry Associations, Recycle Missouri Inc, MC Power Companies, and added National Waste & Recycling Association.

Ginger Steinmetz added Normandy School District.

Zachary Brunnert, David McCracken, Richard A McIntosh, and Bill Stouffer added Goff Public for Polaris Industries.

Peter Kaaloehukai Kamakawiwoole Jr deleted Home School Legal Defense Association.

Rebecca Stanfield deleted Natural Resources Defense Council.

Richard I. Martin deleted Missouri health Care Association, and added Kansas City Southern Railway Corporation.

Lowell D Pearson added Kansas City Southern Railway Corporation.

$5K+Contributions

MO Financial Services PAC - $6,000 from Tower Loan of Mississippi LLC.

Rupp for Missouri - $7,500 from Lewis & Clark Leadership Forum.

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $5,001 from Electrical Workers Voluntary Political.

A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $15,000 from Peabody Corporation.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $20,000 from Steve Roodman.

A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $16,875 from Michael Ketchmark.

Lewis & Clark Ozarks Mountain Forum - $15,000 from Joe Passanise.