Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rumorville: G-Men on the Case?

A rumor from a credible source says that the Federal Bureau of Investigations has taken an interest in ethics complaint filed last year against the House Democrats’ campaign committee.

The complaint appeared to center on financial troubles of their old campaign committee – the House Democratic Campaign Committee.  After the last election cycle HDCC admitted to finding a $47,000 discrepancy between their filings and their bank account. 

Sloppy book-keeping is a recurring motif of Jefferson City life, but if this rumor is true it might involve the old campaign committee’s dispute with their primary mail vendor last cycle, Mad Dog Mail Inc.

Mad Dog’s attorney sent an email claiming that many of HDCC checks bounced.  Those checks were reported as expenditures on HDCC’s reports.  If the checks bounced, the question would be: where did that money go?

Nieves Flips on Facebook

Two weeks after declaring on Facebook he was signing “me and my family up for four more years! Four More Years and then I'm checking OUT!” Sen. Brian Nieves returned to the social media page to announce a change of direction...

“We, as a family, feel it may very well be time for me to find a way to fight the battle in a way that doesn’t require my wife to be sort of like a “single Mom” for five months out of the year, and doesn’t require my kids to automatically know that Dad just isn’t gonna be able to make that special event that occurs between January and June of each year. Maybe it’s time for me to serve in a different capacity.”

And to signal his support for Speaker Tim Jones to take over for him…

“Prior to Lincoln Days I will make my announcement but please know this…. If I take my name off the ballot I will give my FULL, Un-throttled support to the man that has treated me and my family with honor and respect – a man who is a True Blue Conservative and Activist… a man who I hope to one day call governor but for now will just call him Tim Jones!... I’m less than a week from announcing my FINAL decision and when I do…. Well, I just hope you’ll allow Tim Jones to become your next senator!”

The Case Against Jones Running

This rumble between Rep. Dave Schatz and Speaker Tim Jones seems destined to happen.  Still some think it’s not in Jones’ interest to get into a scrum with Schatz.

First, Schatz has demonstrated that he can raise enough money to put up a real fight.  And one line of attack – which he’s already making on Twitter – is that Jones isn’t as pro-life as he is.  Schatz – unlike every contemporary speaker – has voted with Missouri Right to Life on the language they try to stick on every economic development bill.   Jones can certainly make the case that he’s pro-life – he is – but does he really want to spend a couple of hundred thousand dollars debating that question in mailers and on TV?

Which brings up to our second point… Jones is basically untested in this arena.  As speaker he’s clearly taken more than his share of hits in the media and in the building.  However he’s never been in a tough primary fight.  And you never know how you’ll react in those circumstances.

As Mike Tyson observed, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Governor Adds $$$ to Utilicorp

Responding to outcry that he had shifted money for the urban core away to cover the crisis of propane prices in rural Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon took action yesterday.

The press release:  “Gov. Jay Nixon today amended his supplemental budget request for the current fiscal year to include $3.5 million in general revenue for the Utilicare program, which provides fuel and utility assistance for low-income Missourians… The General Assembly will now consider the Governor's request as part of the Fiscal 2014 Supplemental Budget. Utilicare is administered through the Department of Social Services….”

No Welsch in House 86?

A Dem donor called to tell me the rumors of University City Mayor Shelley Welsch running for Rory Ellinger’s seat are “totally false…”

Hinderliter to St. Louis Regional Chamber

Charles Hinderliter joined the St. Louis Regional Chamber as their new Manager of Advocacy Outreach.  Hinderliter was recently the political director for Rep. John Diehl, and before that campaign manager for Rep. Rick Stream’s re-election.

Filing News

Rod Sturgeon filed to run as a Democrat in House 42.  Rep. Bart Korman is safe in this very solid Republican district.

Tuesday Senate Hearings of Interest

Rules Committee, Senate Lounge at Noon

SB 512 – This is Sen. John Lamping’s ethic reform bill.  Among its many provisions it imposes a “cooling off” period for legislators before they can lobby – and does the same for staff, though a shorter period.  It requires political consultants to register much like lobbyists and file their list of clients.

Small Business Committee, SCR 1 at 1pm

SB 846 is Floor Leader Ron Richard’s bill to cap what attorneys can charge.

Commerce Committee, Senate Lounge at 3pm

Last year ISRS was a dirty word for some.  There’s no buzz about this water ISRS bill though.  Chairman Brad Lager’s SB 862.

 

Tuesday House Hearings of Interest

General Laws Committee, Hearing Room 5 at Noon

The freedom agenda comes to the front lawn… Rep. Kurt Bahr’s HB 1364 would prohibit a “property owners’ association from preventing a property owner from placing political yard signs on his or her property.”

Transportation Committee, Hearing Room 7 at Noon

Chairman Dave Schatz’ HB 1866 is non-controversial.  The only hope would be for co-sponsor, Speaker Tim Jones, to show up and sit next to Schatz during its presentation…

Ways and Means Committee, Hearing Room 1 at 5pm

Executive session on Rep. Paul Curtman’s HB 1269 and Rep. Eric Burlison’s HB 1688 which would exempt income below the poverty line from state income tax.

Pig Virus

Read all about it here.

Pull Quote: “A fast-spreading and extremely infectious virus is killing piglets across Missouri. It’s known as porcine epidemic diarrhea, and it can kill 80 percent of piglets that contract it… Nationwide, the virus has killed 4 million to 5 million pigs—about 4 percent of the pigs that would go to market later this year.”

Help Wanted

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit seeks Staff Attorney III.  “The Eighth Circuit Office of Staff Attorneys is based in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, the seat of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Staff attorneys support the Court as a whole rather than individual judges, assisting the Court in its review of decisions appealed from the district courts in the seven states that make up the Eighth Circuit, and from federal government agencies… This is a full-time, permanent position located in Saint Louis, Missouri… Minimum salary is $66,093”  See the ad here.

Missouri Public Service Commission seeks a senior level attorney for its Office of Staff Counsel located in Jefferson City. “The successful candidate will have experience demonstrating readiness to assume first chair responsibilities in administrative litigation and will demonstrate willingness to put in the time necessary to develop a thorough grasp of issues relating to the regulation of the water and sewer industry.  Starting salary range: $63,360 - $66,060…”  See the ad here.

Missourian Publishing Co seeks Managing Editor.  “The Warren County Record, an award-winning, weekly newspaper is seeking a seasoned managing editor to oversee coverage of county and municipal beats, courts and general news. This position requires substantial reporting responsibilities and fluency in digital and social media… Sick of working for a chain? Come to work for a family-owned and oeprated newspaper that values enterprise journalism and rewards hard work. We are a 4,000 paid circulation paper with a great team-orientated staff located 50 miles west of St. Louis in Warrenton, MO.”   See ad here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Jennifer Bruning added Saint Luke’s Health System.

Rodney Boyd, Brian Grace, and Kelvin Simmons deleted Choicepoint Inc, and Auctor Corporation.

Rodney Boyd, and Brian Grace deleted Kaplan Higher Education, Pinnacle Entertainment Inc, and Plaze.

Kelvin L Simmons deleted Willco Technologies Inc, and Amereso Inc.    

William Gamble, Jeff Brooks, Sarah Topp, Jorgen Schlemeier and Cynthia Gamble deleted General Electric Company.

William Gamble, Jeff Brooks, Sarah Topp, and Jorgen Schlemeier deleted Drury Development Corporation.

Jorgen Schlemeier deleted Midwest Adult Day Care Services Inc.

Mark S Bryant deleted American Water, American Water Services Company, Sparrow Community Development Corporation, National CW Portfolio JV LLC, and Swope Community Enterprises.

K Andrew Weber deleted Schaefer Family, and Jay Davidson.

Michael T. White deleted Central Fiber, and Visions Building Corporation.

$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Tim Jones - $7,500 from August Busch III.

Fundraising Calendar

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Financial Literacy Fair & Lobby Day at Capitol

Missouri Ambulance Association. Lobby Day

Sen. Ryan Silvey Reception – Madison’s Café, Jefferson City – 5-6:30 p.m.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Jay Reichard (42).