Thursday, November 14, 2013

Still Waiting on Webb

Rep. Steve Webb, accused of stealing from campaign contributions for personal use, still hasn’t resigned from leadership or his Democratic State Party committee seat – much less his state representative seat.  We’ll see if there will be efforts to oust him from those positions in the future…

PSC Chessboard

When the legislature reconvenes in January, the Senate will have the Public Service Commission nomination of Daniel Hall to consider.  They’ll clearly reject him if Governor Jay Nixon doesn’t pair his nomination with a Republican nominee for the vacant Republican slot. 

Despite the narrowing timeline, there’s not much in the way of rumors about who the Republican nominee could be.

One name mentioned in the past was Rep. Doug Funderburk.  As chair of the Utilities Committee he would presumably have the policy knowledge for the spot.  However there are some who wonder if – looking ahead to the 2014 veto session – the Senate will be reluctant to confirm nominees who would reduce the House’s override ability.

One possible side step around this objection – with the same result for the Nixon administration – would be to nominate a popular senator, and then count on the vacancy coming from the House when that senator’s seat is filled through a special election in the Spring.

For example, if Sen. Scott Rupp was nominated for PSC, he’ll be a relatively easy nominee to confirm.  Then one move up the election of his seat to a special in the Spring, and if a House member wins, leave their seat vacant through veto session.

Nixon’s Border Speech Follow-Up

On Kansas City politico on why Governor Jay Nixon’s jump-to-the-front-of-the-parade “Border War” speech annoyed the KC business class: “Nobody in the business community was anything other than disappointed or upset that Nixon grandstanded on their few years of work and progress being just about at the finish line.  They all agree with him as to the issue and it needs to get fixed. (But) the tactics are getting old especially on something this important to them.”

And

Speaker Tim Jones was quoted in yesterday’s NYTimes piece on the speech.  “We’re very happy to finally welcome Governor Nixon to this discussion, which we’ve been having for over two years. I just hope that folks don’t get fixated on the fact that Governor Nixon has suddenly popped out of his rabbit hole and engaged in this discussion.”    See it here.

 

Torpey Sutton Rematch?

In House 29 John Sutton has started a campaign committee to run for House 29 as a Democrat – again.

He lost to Rep. Noel Torpey last year (53.7% to 46.3%).  The district is heavily Democratic, about a 60-40 Dem district.  But Torpey still won re-election through a combination of hard work, affability and strategic middle-of the-road positions, especially on labor issues.

Torpey, however, did support the tax cut bill, HB 253, so we’ll see if Dems can parlay that proposal’s unpopularity with the education establishment into a more fruitful campaign this cycle.

Obamacare Debacle

The enrollment numbers for Obamacare were released yesterday, and they will far far below expectations.   See the AP article here.

Pull Quote: “According to a state-by-state breakdown provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, just 751 Missourians have completed the enrollment process. Missouri is among states that rely on the federal website rather than a state-run system.”

And even those paltry numbers may be overstating enrollments.  From Politico: “The administration practically pulled out the air freshener for the Obamacare figures. Officially, 106,185 people 'selected a plan' - meaning they had picked one out, and might or might not have paid for it. You're only enrolled if you've paid for a plan, but Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says it's not surprising that not everyone paid their first premium, because they don't have to do that until Dec. 15. ...”

Jami: No More Travel and Tickets On Lobbyist Dime

Here’s the press release:

Missouri State Senator for the 5th District, Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, announced today that she will no longer accept any entertainment tickets or travel from lobbyists, and that she will file a bill banning all legislators from accepting travel and entertainment tickets from lobbyists.

 

In acknowledging that she has in the past been a recipient of lobbyists' tickets for entertainment events, Sen. Nasheed stated, ‘Although I think the influence on elected officials of baseball or other tickets from lobbyists is, in reality, insignificant, I can appreciate that it gives the perception that lobbyists have an unfair advantage, which causes public distrust. Consequently, I think this practice has to stop, and I'm starting with myself.’

Additionally the bill (see it here) would cap contributions at $2,600.

And

Brad Ketcher’s ethics initiative petition is up at the secretary of state’s website, and open for public comment. See it here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Melissa F Freeman added Cerner Corporation.

$5K+Contributions

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

Citizens for Responsible Research - $20,000 from Brad Bradshaw.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $25,000 from Sam Fox.

Notes on Money

Stenger continues his streak of consecutive days with large checks recorded… Brad Bradshaw is probably finishing up paying bills for the opposition to the Jackson County research tax… and Kinder is back raising money…

Birthdays

Happy birthday to St. Louis Alderwoman Lyda Krewson.   And Comcast turns fifty… Read it here.