Tuesday, January 21, 2014

And Then There Were Four in Senate 2?

On hold to your hats… Is former state representative Cynthia Davis contemplating a comeback?  That appears possible.  Yesterday PoliticMO’s Eli Yokley retweeted her tweet which went unnoticed when she originally sent it into the cybersphere Saturday…

@CynthiaLDavis Jan 18 “My senator just announced he is going to resign from office early. Mulling over my options.”

Davis ran against Sen. Scott Rupp back in 2010 and garnered a surprisingly high 45.4%.  She is often mocked by the left as consistent Daily Show fodder in her right-wing crusades; she wouldn’t have the ability – like Rupp – to handle major pieces of legislation successfully.  But could she win a four-way primary?  You betcha she’s a threat.

The other side of the case on Davis would go like this:  that was four years, and except for a billboard on Highway 70, she’s had no visibility.  She has no money and her opponents have been working hard for six months.  Finally her strong (but unsuccessful) showing was four years ago at the height of the Tea Party fervor immediately after Rupp had just spearheaded the decidedly un-Tea Party mandate for insurance companies to cover autism treatment.  It was a perfect storm for her then, and that storm has passed.

But

The talk on Rupp for Public Service Commission is apparently everywhere now.  It’ll be interesting to see if it comes up at the Gubby Appointments Committee hearing on Wednesday morning (8:30am, Senate Lounge) when Daniel Hall’s PSC nomination is up.  (Also former Rep. Sara Lampe will be part of the group that morning.  She’s up for  the Missouri Commission on Human Rights.)

And

When Rupp moves on – thought to be in mid-March – who will get the chairmanship of Small Business?   Sen. Mike Parson is the vice-chair, and it makes the most sense for him to take over for the remainder of the session.  That would give him two committees, but there’s great confidence in Parson as a legislative workhorse.  Remember Sen. Rob Schaaf was shut out from a chairmanship, so this would open a slot for him.  However he’s not even on Small Business, and I don’t see a mid-session massive shuffle.

More Right to Work Bills

The House Workforce Development and Workplace SafetyCommittee will hear two more right to work bills this morning (8am, Hearing Room 7).  Probably we’ll hear the same testimony as last week.  And remember, this bills aren’t where the action is.  The current thinking is that the House will go the route of resolution ultimately to avoid the governor’s desk and put the question directly to the voters.

The bills

HB 1053 – sponsored by Rep. Donna Lichtenegger, co-sponsored by Speaker Tim Jones.

HB 1143 – sponsored by Rep. Bill White, co-sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison.

What’s Nixon Polling About?

The disclosure in Governor Jay Nixon’s January quarter that he paid $30K for a poll has people wondering what the term-limited governor is polling about.  Some think it might have to do with a ballot initiative that Dems are working on for November.

But maybe if in tonight’s State of the State address we get a hot new idea from governor, that could be the answer.  Most folks expect tonight’s speech to focus on his budget priorities, and drawing some lines in the sand against the agenda of the Republican legislature – which he just KOed in veto session.  His veto threats now – with Republican vacancies – have extra punch…

CEAM: Riverview Gardens Requirement Is a Barrier

Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri denounced a new requirement – an in-person appointment – from Riverview Gardens School District regarding students who wish to transfer out of that failing district.

"Unfortunately, this new requirement will serve as a barrier for students and parents who wish to transfer," said Kate Casas, state director, CEAM. "A lot of parents aren't aware of this new step and will be in danger of missing this critical deadline, which will mean that their child won't be able to exercise their right to transfer, as guaranteed under the Outstanding Schools Act."

Wednesday is Student Transfer Day in Senate Education Committee

The agenda for the Senate Education Committee this week (Wednesday 3pm, Senate Lounge) has all the student transfer bills up a hearing.  Chair David Pearce will likely consolidate the ones from the St. Louis County delegation which are essentially similar.

Here’s the listing:

Sen. Scott Rupp – SB 485

Sen. Eric Schmitt – SB 495

Sen. Scott Sifton – SB 534

Sen. John Lamping – SB 545

Sen. Gina Walsh – SB 595

Sen. David Pearce – SB 493

Dem Battle in House 112?

Robert Butler’s team sent out a press release touting his January quarter, and endorsements.  Butler is running in House 112, being vacated by Rep. Paul Wieland.  It’s a swing district and ripe for Dems to pick up.  But one wonders if a primary will get in the way.

Butler raised $17K and has $14K on-hand.  His campaign is being managed by former Rep. Sam Komo.  Here’s part of the release:  “Robert Butler has managed to receive financial and other support from a host of Labor and Democratic activists. Among these are: Randall Harris - Director of Midwest LECET program for LiUNA, Teamsters Local 600 , Glaziers, Architectural Metal and Glassworkers Local Union 513, Painters and Allied Trades District Council 2, and United Steel Workers Local 7686… Butler has also received financial support from Safer Families for Missouri (MATA) and JoePAC MO, a statewide progressive Democratic PAC that provides matching money to their slate of candidates. Key Democratic endorsements in his district have come from the Chair of the 112th Legislative District Democratic Committee - Dan James of Imperial Township, Vice-Chair Fran Newkirk - Imperial Township, Jo Ann Karll - Committeewoman of High Ridge Township, Carl Hayes – Committeeman High Ridge Township, Tammy Vent - Committeewoman Rock Township, and Helge Puchalla - Committeeman Rock Township.”  Plus they tout “early support” from Reps. TJ McKenna and Mike Frame.

That’s all fine and good.  Except that just a few months ago, I received a press release from Larry Steinkamp’s team touting him, and his support from Sen. Ryan McKenna and Rep. Jeff Roorda – two heavies in the area.  Here’s that release (note the second paragraph):

“Steinkamp, a life-long Jefferson County resident, recently retired as a Deputy Chief from the Antonia Fire District after serving 36 years for the Department which covers much of the House District. For decades, Steinkamp served as the fire district's public relations officer and fire safety officer making him a fixture in the community… He served 12 years on the Board of Directors of the Rock Ambulance District in central Jefferson County, much of that time as the elected board's chairman... Steinkamp announced today the endorsements of Jefferson County State Senator Ryan McKenna and State Representative Jeff Roorda, the presumptive Democratic nominee to fill McKenna's Senate seat when McKenna vacates the office due to term-limits in 2014…

“When asked about the potential for a Democratic primary in the seat, Roorda observed, ‘Bob Butler is a great guy and most of all, he's very smart. I've been talking to him extensively and I'm hopeful that he'll see that dropping-out and supporting Larry is the best thing he can do for this community. Bob's only downfall as a candidate is that he's an unknown commodity in the district. For Larry, the exact opposite is true. He can't walk into a store or a school or a barber shop without being swarmed by people who know and like him. He's not a politician; he's a local celebrity.’”

Steinkamp filed a Limited Activit report, meaning he didn’t raise more than $500.

Meanwhile Republicans have Rob Vescovo as their candidate.  He raised a little over $10,000, including a $2,500 contribution from Dave and Suzie Spence.

Guernsey Hosts Coffee for Fordyce

“Representative Casey Guernsey will be hosting a morning coffee event in his office for newly appointed Director of the State Agriculture Department, Richard Fordyce” this morning 7:300-8:30am, inviting fellow representatives to come by and meet Fordyce.

I had a Democrat grumble to me that Fordyce was a Republicans, and couldn’t Governor Jay Nixon have found a Democrat to do the job.  A quick look at Fordyce’s political giving on the Missouri Ethic Commission confirms he’s probably a Republican…

11/6/2012 - $250 to Citizens for Guernsey.

11/19/2012 - $250 to Citizens for Brad Lager.

9/30/2008 - $500 to Hulshof for Governor.

If Nixon can appoint someone who gave to his opponent, seems like Dems should be able to get over it as well…

Shoe Hosts Meeting for Missouri’s Food for America

Former state senator Wes Shoemyer’s new PAC, Missouri’s Food for America, will hold a meeting today at the Capitol (1pm, Hearing Room 7).  They’re fighting the “right to farm” constitutional amendment headed to the ballot in November.  Shoemyer is casting the battle as one between Big Farm, and the small farmer…

From the release:

Constitutional Amendment 1, also known as "Right to Farm" does not protect Missouri's family farmers.  It is intended to protect factory farms from abiding by any future regulations, regardless of how modest and reasonable they may be… Right to Farm will inhibit the state's ability to enact environmental and animal welfare controls on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and compromise our food integrity and safety… Right to Farm will take away the state's ability to enforce zoning ordinances related to agriculture, pollution and contamination restrictions on factory farms, and urban farming.  Property values will sharply decline in areas where CAFOs exist now and in the future.  If these bills pass we, as citizens, will have no recourse to make sure that industrial farms don't pollute our water, to keep multinational corporations from bullying family farmers out of business, or to stop a 20,000 head hog factory farm from being built in our community or our back yard.

Finally

Senator Claire McCaskill’s condo is for sale.  Post-Dispatch has the story here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Jacqueline M Bardgett, John E Bardgett Jr, Carol Kemna, Erika Leonard, Kim Tuttle and John Parris added The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, and Walgreens.

John E Bardgett Jr and Steven Tilley added Healthcare Fraud Shield.

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $5,500 from Joseph Treadway.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Farrah Fite, and Mindy Brissey.