Thursday October 24, 2013

The Case Against a Kinder Victory

“Kinder up 30 is so ridiculous it doesn’t warrant a response,” texted one Jason Smith sympathizer.  But then came further elucidation:  “Admittedly not knowing if either side has polled I would guess that your ‘Kinder by 30’ number is way off.  You have to remember we’re talking about just Republican primary voters and they’re pretty well dialed in right now.  I’m guessing Jason has decent name ID with them and probably a pretty high favorability considering his tea party positions.  Something else to consider as well, the special election in the 8th Congressional was the only election going on, so Smith was probably able to connect well with the voters during the run up.

“Any first-term freshman who announces a $250k fundraising quarter and an impressive grassroots leadership team in the same week is going to be a formidable candidate.  I’m sure Peter has considered this and that’s why he’s being careful in his decision making.”

Follow up on MRP Oct Quarter

Those looking closer at the Missouri Republican State Party campaign finance report may find that it’s worse than first glance indicated.  For example it appears that the $29K check from the House Republican Campaign Committee was not sent immediately to the vendor but instead held until after the September 30 deadline to boast the cash on-hand.   Without it, they’d have been at $17K on-hand, not $46K on-hand.

The MRP cash on-hand four years ago – at this point in the cycle – was $309K.

Transportation IP

With the transportation tax initiative petition now in the “open comment” period before the Secretary of State Jason Kander’s office writes the summary ballot language, opponents of the tax worry that the “comments” of former Nixon aide, Jac Cardetti will hold extraordinary weight.

Cardettti is a lobbyist with the Missouri Transportation Alliance and works at Ken Morley’s Tightline Strategies which ran Kander’s 2012 election campaign. 

How would proponents of the tax like the ballot language to look?  It’s unclear since it’s a pretty straightforward proposal.  But one source suggests that the strategic subtraction of a word or two would make it more appealing.  For example summarizing the question as a sales tax, instead of a sales tax and a use tax.  Or maybe just calling it a “temporary tax” instead of “ten-year tax”

It’s said that sometimes the effect of one minor word change can be seen in polling.  We’ll see…

Angry Vicki

An email forwarded to me shows the bad blood between two Senate 2 candidates…

From: Vicki Schneider

Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 03:00 PM


Subject: FW: Chuck Gatschenberger




I want to bring you aware of a situation that transpired in March and/or April of this year that involved your current colleague, State Representative Chuck Gatschenberger.


I ran for City Council in my home town of O’Fallon where I was defeated by Mike Snowden.


In my campaigning efforts, it was brought to my attention that two negative mailers went out against me.  Naturally, these mailers surprised me for more than one reason.  First, it becomes a personal attack against my character which represents falsities and, second, this race was a small city wide race that, in my opinion, required little publication, much less the added expense in attempt to demean a candidate.


After checking into these mailers, I was able to get all information needed; who came up with the idea, who printed the mailers as well as who’s postal number was used in the actual mailing.  It was determined that an “un-named” individual along with Chuck Gatschenberger formulated the idea and brought it to fruition.   It was stated that “if I can keep Vicki from wining this city council seat, then I can keep her from winning the senate seat”.


Not only was this an attempt to keep me from winning the senate seat, of which my campaign is in full gear, but he has told several untruths as it relates to the mailings and subsequent moral turpitude.  Just imagine that this was you running for a city council seat and you found out that your “friend” Chuck was attempting to smear your name…and then not being truthful about it.


As it should, the truth came out.  In an attempt at an apology, more atrocities came from Chuck.  He attempted to lie again, this time to my face. 


I write you informing you of this situation solely because, in my opinion, you have one among you who is not acting in a moral or ethical manner in which the elected position he holds requires.  Afterall, we are of the same political affiliation.  If Chuck is willing to go to the lengths he did to keep me from being seated in a council seat, what else is he capable of?


These are not the qualities of a Republican that should be in a leadership position.


Your Friend,


Vicki Schneider

Former State Representative

Protect Missouri Families Presages RTW Fight

The Committee to Protect Missouri Families has started rolling out pre-messaging against a potential right to work campaign.  See their website here.

The committee raised $170K, mostly from the Carpenters’ PAC which consistently gave Protect Missouri $5,000 checks throughout the quarter.  Because you only have to report checks over $5K, these didn’t show up in the usual large check scan.

Protect Missouri spent most of their money last quarter on items like billboards, buttons and t-shirts.

New Non-Profit Funds Campaign Against Research Tax

Less than two weeks away from Jackson County’s research tax election day, a new committee has been formed.  Citizens for Fairness is against the tax.  They received a $196,000 check from a non-profit, Government Policies Foundation, which was formed last month. 

Operating this way allows these tax opponents to hide whose funding their activities since the non-profit doesn’t have to disclose its donors.    It’s a clear violation of the spirit of the law, and the legislature has been remarkably slow to address this loophole.

What Sort of Year 2014?

One of the biggest factors in next year’s legislative races will be the national political environment.  Conventional wisdom holds that the president’s party suffers in off-year cycles.  That’s bad news for Democrats.  But they were buoyed recently by the Republican default/shutdown debacle.

As that episode fades however, the fumbling roll-out of Obamacare may take center stage in voters’ minds. 

The New York Times today reports that in rural areas there isn’t enough competition to bring healthcare insurance rate down, and make them more affordable – the prime purpose of the federal law.  This “broken promise” may only exacerbate the trend of rural areas being dominated by Republicans.

Pull Quote: “As technical failures bedevil the rollout of President Obama’s health care law, evidence is emerging that one of the program’s loftiest goals — to encourage competition among insurers in an effort to keep costs low — is falling short for many rural Americans.”  Read it here.

Student Transfer Law Puts Districts in “Quandary”

Post-Dispatch reports on the on-going financial troubles of the districts which are losing students because of unaccreditation.  Read it here.

Pull Quote: As 2,200 of their students have migrated elsewhere, Riverview Gardens and Normandy are hemorrhaging money under a law that requires them to pay tuition and transportation for students who leave for higher performing districts. Each district is losing about $15 million.

The expenses leave both districts in a quandary. More than 80 percent of their children didn’t leave, making across-the-board cuts difficult. Enrollment in many classrooms, for example, has dropped by just a handful of students. To lay off a teacher, school officials must reassign students across multiple classrooms, increasing class sizes. And even then, cuts might not be enough.

Mark Your Calendar

Tonight – Brian Schmidt aka MOWonk will present “Diving Into Big Data for Policy & Politics” at the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis.   He’ll be giving a preview of the county

executive primary, as well as a way to use statistics to predict who will become House speaker in the future.   RSVP to or (314) 875-WONK (9665).


Citizens for Fairness - $196,000 from Government Policies Foundation.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Dennis Daniel Carrigan Jr deleted Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights.

Tina Gallagher added Gallagher Healthcare Solutions LLC.



Happy birthdays to Sen. Jay Wasson (57), Chuck Hatfield (47), Brian Wahby (48), Jon Galloway, and Craig Stevenson.