Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Just bits this morning…

Look for St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s team to announce their campaign manager soon.  It’s said that Damion Trasada will be stepping into the role.  Trasada have served various roles in the Nixon administration (most recently Community & Economic Development Manager for the Missouri Housing Development Commission.  Before that, Deputy Director of Boards and Commissions), after having been Nixon’s political director during the 2008 campaign.

Governor Jay Nixon will be at the St. Louis Planetarium today to sign the Boeing subsidy/jobs bill.  Last night St. Louis County approved a massive add-on subsidy package to lure Boeing’s 777x production.  The mighty Jason Rosenbaum, now with the local public radio team, has the story.  See it here.

Rosenbaum was – along with revered Jo Mannies – at the St. Louis Beacon, a start-up non-profit news website.  In Silicon Valley, start-ups take millions in stock from Facebook or Google as an exit strategy.  Here, the exit was a merger with the local public radio station.  There’s no stock to exchange, but it no less remarkable to build something from scratch and have the incumbent see enough value (and inability to reproduce) that they “buy you out.”

Reaction to the news of Ted Wedel’s exit from the House Dems had one lobbyist concerned not about the Democratic caucus, but about the House as whole.  He worried that Wedel was one of the few remaining knowledgeable sources who could help the term-limited institution unknot thorny problems when they arose.  Who will fill that role going forward?

In tax-cut land:  the “new HB 253” is said to be in legislative research getting a fiscal note.  So we’ll see… One of the matters that the new version will try to resolve is that problem of ambiguity about what counts as “business income.”   For example: is rent counted as business income?  The answer to that question can make a big impact on the fiscal note.  And it can arouse sudden shifts in supporters or oppositions (hello, realtors…) depending on how the bill addresses it.

Rep. Jeff Roorda is keeping his eyes on the prize.  Supporters of his Senate 22 bid were cheered by his senatorial demeanor in the special session, backing the procedural move to make the quick “fix” at the last moment.   This is not the same guy that nearly went Clubber Lang on Tim Jones back in 2010.  

See Roorda’s pre-filed bills here.  His opponent, Rep. Paul Wieland, hasn’t pre-filed any bill yet.

More Dems have joined the chorus calling for the resignation of Chris Nicastro.  See the KC Star article here.  But the State Board of Education appears to be holding firm.  In an AP article this morning (my thanks to the peerless John Combest), “Gov. Jay Nixon says it is a good time for the state Board of Education to "monitor and evaluate" concerns raised about Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro.”  

File under “war of ideas”:  Rep. Jay Barnes starts his explanation about why he voted against the Boeing bill with a pithy “Legislative haste makes taxpayer waste.”  And he concludes by saying something which I hear now more and more – from Democrats as well as Republicans… “Instead of picking winners and losers, I believe the best way to grow our economy is to cut taxes for everyone… It's time for Missouri government to change its economic development model. Rather than a top-down focus aimed at companies like Boeing, we should aim to grow our economy from the ground up with lower taxes for everyone.”  This is almost becoming the conventional wisdom, and yet it’s such a radical departure from the Department of Economic Development’s hodge-podge, grab-bag, laser-show-and-fog approach, no one has a politically the path to get make the change.

King Koster… Every 2016 Republican statewide wannabe has to be nervous about what some observers see as an inevitable future… not just Governor Chris Koster, rather Koster winning with Nixonesque margins.  Because if you’re down-ticket and Koster is ringing up double digits, maybe approaching twenty points on a “Tom (looks pretty nerdy next to Koster) Schweich” or a “Catherine (who?) Hanaway,” what’s your strategy to overcome that and close the gap on your race?

Post-Dispatch reports that former mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. mishandled some legal fee and may be in hot water with his law license.  See it here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Christopher Crancer added StudentsFirst.

Stephen R Wells deleted HNTB Corporation.

Karen Strange deleted Missouri Pet Breeders Association Inc.

Mark J Rhoads deleted US Travel Insurance, and Uncited Rentals; and added Patriots Land Group LLP, and Kathi Harness o/b/o/ Worth Harley.

John Kristan Jones deleted Sprint Nextel.


Swearingen for Missouri - $5,100 from International Association of Fire Fighters Local 42 PAC.

Stand Up Missouri - $38,000 from World Acceptance Corporation.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc - $7,343 from Associated Genera Contractors of St. Louis.


Two surprise here.  First, Jay Swearingen gets on the board.  The first big check I can remember seeing for him since he announced he’d be running for auditor next November. 

And the first day in a long time that Steve Stenger hasn’t reported a large contribution.  It’ll be interesting to see if Charlie Dooley can play catch up in the final three weeks of the quarter.

With Christmas in about two weeks, candidates have to make their final push now.  Those checks will be hard to pick up in the final week of the quarter…