Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Gatschy Sees Schneider, Onder Raise

Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger put $220,000 of his own money into his campaign account. His cash on-hand number badly trailed his rivals, former Reps. Vicki Schneider and Bob Onder, when April fundraising quarters were announced.  Now he – like they – has put in $200K+ into the poker game of a state senate primary.  The three are fighting to succeed Sen. Scott Rupp.

Three candidates, each pumping this kind of money into their campaigns…. It’s a consultant’s dream…

Senate Starts Budget Debate

The Senate passed five of the thirteen budget bills yesterday, moving the process along.  Senate can finish their bill this week; we’ll have conference committees and meet the constitutionally mandated deadline of next Friday May 9.

See the KWMU article here.  And the Missourinet article here about Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal’s amendment to cut the salary of Chris Nicastro.

Water ISRS Passes House

After ISRS becoming a divisive and acrimonious acronym last year, “water ISRS” passed the House yesterday (see the bill here), though it limped by with a 86-59 vote.  Too late to expect it going anywhere in the Senate this year.

Three Weeks Left

Where we are on some of the big issues…

Right to Work – still waiting….  With apparently no PQ possible on this issue in the Senate (according to various observers) the speaker’s number one priority is basically in a ditch by the side of the road.   Chances of passage: 2%

Tobacco Settlement Changes – This issue is jammed and not moving.  Pro Tem Tom Dempsey sent a letter to Attorney General Chris Koster.  They met.  A week later, Dempsey sent another letter.  This is the slow-dance.  And it means it sucks the life out of this bill one day at a time. Chances of passage: 10%

Student Transfers – Where will the House and the Senate meet?  Can they find a hodge-podge of reforms and fixes that are acceptable to both chambers and their coalitions?  Time is becoming a big factor here as well.  Chances of passage: 50%.  But the larger question looming is a Nixon veto, and chances of an override which make the percentages drop significantly on this issue.

Tax Cut – Waiting on the override message.  Where will Rep. Jeff Roorda be?  Does the governor’s office have any more jokers up its sleeve to play?  Chances of Override: 30%

Transportation Tax – The unknown card at the river of this issue is Sen. John Lamping.  I have one observer saying that he’s gathered up a filibuster team.  And another saying that he won’t be standing long because he’s received assurances that Medicaid expansion won’t come back to the floor. Chances of passage: 40%

Medicaid Expansion – Once again, a new effort made.  Each and every week there’s another charge with the ramming rod (Kit Bond, a new coalition member, a Nixon program announcement etc.), but it’s not making a dent. Chances of passage: approaching zero…

Tort Reform – It’s said that a “reasonable cap” compromise was reached amid the many negotiations, but that the doctors balked at the number.  Whenever issues are about numbers, not philosophical (see Medicaid above), it’s either ego or lack of political will that prevents an accommodation.  That means there’s still a chance this issue gets worked out.  Chances of passage: 15%.

Ethics Reform

It’s like none of these term-limited legislators realizes this is the perfect legacy issue.  Change the way the game is played.  Instead every year they punt.  It sounds like each chamber may pass a version of “ethics” reform, without any anticipation of final passage.

Praying for Jones

From the In-Box….

The Speaker of the House has a lot on his mind. Metropolitan Congregations United acknowledges the hard job of balancing faith and politics, of considering bill after bill and judging which are worthy of consideration....and which are not. Join us in prayer for the Speaker:

Tuesday, April 29, 4:30pm

Most Sacred Heart Catholic Church

350 4th Street

Eureka, MO 63025

--

*Rev. Susan E. Sneed, organizer*

Geography Matters

Looking around the corner to next year’s Senate minority leadership race, I’ve heard from a couple of folks who indicate that east versus west actually matters to some within the caucus.  After having had back-to-back minority leaders from the western side of the state (Victor Callahan and now Sen. Jolie Justus), there are some who’d like to see a return to the eastern side of the state.  That would bode well for Sen. Scott Sifton’s chances at the spot.  But I still hear talk that he’s mulling a statewide run.  Most likely the Dem Senate caucus would want a full-time minority leader, not someone campaigning across the state.  We’ll see…

Rex Hires Jim

From yesterday’s Politico Influence: CHESS CLUB HIRES TWO FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis has brought on some major Missouri political heft. The St. Louis-based nonprofit has retained the public relations firm of former Sen. Jim Talent, and the lobbying firm of former Missouri Rep. Earl Thomas Coleman. According to a lobbying registration filed this week, Coleman will lobby on "opportunities for

client to testify before a committee of Congress and the secure sponsorships for H. Res. 169." The resolution H. Res 169 would designate S. Louis as the 'National Chess Capital.' It was introduced by William Lacy Clay Jr. and currently has 28 co-sponsors. Sen. Claire McCaskill has  introduced a Senate version of the resolution that has just one co-sponsor. "We've been working very diligently to try to showcase chess as a great educational tool," said a spokesman for the chess club about their public affairs and advocacy efforts.

Rex Sinquefield is the founder and prime funder of the Chess Club.  He also employs Jim Talent’s wife, Brenda Talent, at his free market think tank, Show Me Institute.

Bits

House Dems elected Rep. Kim Gardner as caucus policy chair.   According to the press release, she was “chosen by acclimation without opposition. The role of the policy chair is to assist in the development of Democratic legislation and prepare members for bills expected to be debated in the House of Representatives.”  Rep. Rory Ellinger held this position before succumbing to cancer earlier this month.

Consultant track: Dave Hageman’s Victory Enterprises is on-board with the Jay Ashcroft campaign.

The New York Times was taking photos in the Senate yesterday… national story forthcoming?...

eMailbag: Transfer No Wedge for Nixon’s Dems

“Which allies of Nixon’s support the transfer bill? No one in public education...and they are the allies enlisted to fight tax cut bill…”

Fundraising Calendar

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar

Rep. Dave Schatz Reception – Gumbo Bottoms, Jefferson City – 5-6 p.m.

Rep. Rick Stream Reception – Gumbo Bottoms, Jefferson City – 6:30-8 p.m.

Charity Event I-70 Grudge Match (Boxing & MMA) – Capitol Plaza, Jefferson City – 7:30 p.m.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Brandon Butler added Conservation Federation of Missouri.

Shannon Cooper, and Nancy Giddens added Davita Healthcare Partners Inc.

Richard McIntosh, Francis E. Flotron, Earl Pabst, Dan Schuette, Bill Stouffer and Doyle Childers added C3 Green Energy LLC.

Nagaraj V Kunda added Brightrock Capital Group Inc.

Kay McMurtrey added Missouri K-8 Schools Association.

$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Roundtable for Life - $6,500 from Fred Sauer.

Gatschenberger 4 MO - $220,000 from Chuck Gatschenberger.

Citizens to Elect Paul Curtman - $10,000 from Janell Brunner.

Citizens to Elect Paul Curtman - $10,000 from John Brunner.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Rep. Belinda Harris (63), and lobbyist Brad Bates.