Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Missourians For Better Transportation Solutions

A new committee has been formed to oppose the transportation sales tax.  It’s called Missourians for Better Transportation Solutions.

The treasurer, Thomas Shrout, is the former executive director of Citizens for Modern Transit.  That’s a St. Louis-based organization which has been a long advocate for more progressive transportation policies. 

It’s unclear how much money the new group will be able to raise, but if opposition – which has been mainly press conferences and grumbling until this point – can coalesce and marshal their resources, it could be very bad news for the proposal.

Meanwhile, although my generation seared by the wisdom of Donald Rumsfield will always remember that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it’s been quiet on the pro-tax front.  One wonders when and if the proponents will launch their campaign.  With under two months, they’ll likely have to take a hard look at their recent polling before deciding whether to flood millions into the quest.

We’ll see…

Utility War Hearings

The Missouri Times reports that pro-Noranada folks packed the first public hearing last night.  See the article here.  And the Post-Dispatch preps the second hearing to take place tonight in St. Louis with an article this morning.  Pro-Noranda FERAF has been knocking doors and making phone calls to encourage their supporters to attend.

As I wrote yesterday, the staff of the Public Service Commission filed documents recently that it did not support Noranda’s request for relief.  However one source sympathetic to the aluminum giant thought that too broadly… “the staff isn’t supportive of the $30 request at this time, but isn’t saying that some relief isn’t needed.  The staff and Noranda’s number is just different, can still easily resolve that…”

We’ll see….

Senate 24: Spooner to the Right?

Can Jack Spooner get to the right of Jay Ashcroft?  Recent sightings have him headed in that direction…  Spooner went to Rep. Paul Curtman’s "Defense of Liberty" event. Then he followed it up with a trip to the Bridgeton Gun Show…. Regardless hope Republicans might have had to avoid a primary seem to be dissipating as at the very least, Spooner doesn’t look like he’s dropping…

Big Names for Dogan in House 98

Shamed Dogan, running in House 98 (current represented by termed Rep. Dwight Scharnhorst), announced that he’ll have some big names at this upcoming fundy… “I'm excited to let you know that the special guests at my June 25 fundraiser will be Auditor Tom Schweich, State Rep. Sue Allen, and State Rep. Paul Curtman! They are three of Missouri's most effective conservative elected officials…”

In Dogan’s unsucceful 2008 House bid, he had heavy endorsements as well, but was ultimately out-door-knocked by an unknown Andrew Koenig.  That three way race was Koenig 44%, Dogan 34% and Chris Howard 22%.

We’ll see if Dogan has figured out what he needs to do to win this one.  Scharnhorst’s wife, Rea is also a candidate.

Roe Reflects

On Facebook the middle-aged political consultant looks back…

Jeff Roe: 20 years ago last Friday, June 6th, 1994 I was hired by Sam Graves to be a field rep on his campaign for State Senate. Since that day I have been in politics full time, from the campaign, to the Missouri State Capitol, back to the campaign, then to Congress and finally founding Axiom Strategies. What a ride! Thanks to all of you who have been on the ride with me. If I knew then what I know now I would have done it all exactly the same...

New Committees: Citizens for Tilley

Jason Tilley, brother to former speaker Steve Tilley, formed a campaign committee to run for Associate Circuit Judge Perry County as a Republican.  He ran unsuccessfully for this position in 2010.

New Committees: Friends of Jennifer Florida

The talk has been coming for a long time, but St. Louis alderwoman Jennifer Florida filed paperwork with the Missouri Ethics Commission, starting a campaign committee to run for President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

A career in politics is certain to hold many twists and turns and this is no different.  When the current incumbent, Lewis Reed, ran a long-shot challenge against then President Jim Shrewsbury, Florida was one of his biggest and most active supporters.

Reed, hailing from a central corridor ward, and Florida from the near southside, offered hope that the widening integrated middle of the city could represent a new progressive politics in the city.  However after Reed’s upset, the two’s chummy political friendship deteriorated.  And by the time Reed ran against Mayor Slay, Florida was wholly against his ambitions. 

Now, completing this circle, Florida, who is married to Slay staffer, and former alderman Stephen Gregali, will attempt to oust Reed next year.

File Under “Painful to Watch”

As of this morning only a little over 3,000 views, but one imagines it could leap viral… A video clip from the deposition of Archbishop Robert Carlson saying he didn’t know it was a crime for an adult to have sex with a child.  See it here.  And see the related Post-Dispatch article here.


Want a piece of history?  Personal notes, letters pictures of Ike Skelton are being auctioned off.  See it here.

Minority Leader Jake Hummel mentions on Facebook that he “just finished what maybe my last day of electric work ever. While I will not miss the Bridgeton landfill, I will miss seeing my friends everyday. This trade has been so good to my family. I will always be an IBEW member and couldn't be prouder of my affiliation with such a great group of men and women!”  Hummel is headed to the AFL-CIO.

In Mary Scrugg’s calendar (below) tonight is the first of three receptions around the state being held by Reps. Sue Allen and Tom Flanigan.  Tonight in Kansas City, tomorrow in Springfield and then Thursday in Jefferson City.  Flanigan is in line to be the House Budget Chair next session.

eMailbag: on Lamping Exit Interview

“I have to somewhat disagree with your assessment about Sen. John Lamping.  Maybe because I know that he desperately contacted Senator Kit Bond the Thursday before the last day of session to try and make a so-called ‘compromise’ on Medicaid expansion.  So, he didn’t quite lay it all on the table in this interview.  Don’t get me wrong, I agreed with much of what he said, we need more candor; he pointed out much of what is wrong about our state government.”

Fundraising Calendar

Today’s fundraising events from Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Rep. Ed Schieffer Golf – Woods Fort Golf Course, Troy.

Rep. Paul Wieland Golf – Deer Creek Golf Course, House Springs.

Reps. Noel Shull and TJ Berry Golf – Shoal Creek Golf Course, Kansas City.

Rep. Joshua Peters Reception – Joe Buck’s, 1000 Clark, St. Louis – 5-6:30 pm

Rep. Bryan Spencer Reception – Uncorked, Wnetzville – 6-8 p.m.

Reps. Sue Allen and Tom Flanigan Reception – KC Marriott Downtown, Muehlebach Tower, Kansas City – 5:30-7 p.m.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Steve Garner deleted Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

Jon C Gubera deleted The College Board. 

Daniel P. Kolditz deleted Anheuser-Busch Companies.

$5K+ Contributions

Slay for Mayor - $7,500 from Steven Stogel.

MO Democratic State Committee - $100,000 from Missourians for Koster.

MO Democratic State Committee - $15,000 from Ameren Missouri.

Teamsters Local Union No 688 Political Action Committee - $11,632 from DRIVE Committee.

MO Insurance Coalition PAC - $10,000 from FEAPAC.

Laclede Political Action Committee - $26,047 from MGE Employee PAC.

Missourians for Koster - $15,000 from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas City PAC for Missouri.

MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Rollins Capital Management LLC.

Citizens for Hazelwood - $25,000 from Hazelwood Industrial Development Authority.

Ashcroft for Missouri – $10,000 from Sharpe Holdings Incorporated.

Committee to Elect Ron Richard - $10,000 from Roy Pfautch.

Saint Charles Organization of Republicans - $25,000 from Saint Charles County Republican Central Committee.

Missourians Against Unfair Taxes - $25,000 from St. Charles County Regional Leadership Fund.