Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jones Reconsidering?

Various observers “heard” yesterday that Speaker Tim Jones may decide not to run for Senate 26 after all.  In the last week or so, the conventional wisdom in the building has grown to see the state senate race as a losing proposition for Jones.  “Even if he wins, he loses,” was the common chorus.

Though the contrarian case came yesterday via text: “what’s a free shot in 2016 and 2020 worth?” Meaning that as a state senator from District 26, Jones would be able to run statewide in either cycle without risking his senate seat.

Assuming that the current round of talk is true and Jones will pass, all eyes turn for former state senator Jane Cunningham who has expressed interest in the race.  Cunningham was redistricted out of her seat.  She has maintained her public profile with a seat on the Monarch Fire District Board.  Her campaign account had $83K in it last quarter.

Cunningham would face the same challenge that Jones faced – not being from Franklin County, the population center of the district.  And she would presumably have an ally and endorsement from the current incumbent Sen. Brian Nieves.

And

Candidate filing closes in one week, and still no Democrat filed for auditor…

Cynthia With Vicki?

Rumor out of the St. Charles Lincoln Days is that Vicki Schneider has added a Cynthia Davis as her campaign manager in that hot Senate 2 primary…

Rex-Fair Trade Connection?

Does Fair Trade Missouri have a larger, Sinquefieldian purpose?  

Fair Trade Missouri is the group pushing to amend the Master Settlement Agreement – which would bring more money into the state coffers.  As a result they’ve built a coalition which includes the “social do-gooder groups,” though the effort itself is presumably financed by Big Tobacco which wants to level its tax field with Little Tobacco.

It’s been noted previously that Fair Trade Missouri’s team is largely Team Rex, as in Rex Sinquefield.  They have said that the Fair Trade effort is separate from Sinquefield.  Still, because of his tax cutting agenda, it raises concerns to some.  “The difference this time is the cynical and disingenuous pretense by Rex & Co that they care about preserving vital state services…”

Under Fair Trade Missouri’s “frequently asked  questions” on its website, the issue of income tax reduction pops up…

How are you funded?  Fair Trade Missouri is a statewide coalition, established as a 501c4 to advocate leveling the playing field among all tobacco and tobacco-related manufacturers and fund a state income tax reduction.

The question, then, is whether Fair Trade Missouri has lured in social service allies with the prospect of new money while their ultimate goal is to use the new money to lower the state income tax.

Adding to this concern is the presence of ballot issues tying tobacco and an income tax reduction.  There has been no mention of ballot issues in the Fair Trade Missouri news releases.

Yet once again there are hints of a connection.  Fair Trade Missouri was established by Sinquefield’s ballot issue attorney Marc Ellinger – apparently a long-time attorney for Big Tobacco interests – as a non-profit on January 24, 2014, with Ellinger as the registered agent.  Around the same time Ellinger filed IPs with the Secretary of State’s office on tobacco – which would also reduce the state income tax.

And at the bottom of the Fair Trade Missouri’s website: For questions regarding this and/or other ballot petitions, call Marc Ellinger at 573-634-2500.

Meanwhile

Kansas City Star reports that a group with connections to Rex Sinquefield is running TV ads in the KC metro area telling businesses to hop over the state line to Kansas.  See the article hereSee TV ad here.

Filing News: Lasater Back

Former state representative Brent Lasater filed to run for his old seat yesterday.  It’ll be a rematch with John Mayfield.  Mayfield is the Democrat and it’s a Democratic district, but Lasater is a maniac door-knocker.  He lost to Mayfield by 178 votes last time.

Also filing yesterday in House 20 on the Republican side is Bill E. Kidd.  That sounds like a prank, but I guess it’s not…

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Doyle Childers, Franc Flotron, Richard McIntosh, and Bill Stouffer added Missouri Clean Energy Funding LLC.

Grover A. Gamm deleted Poet Biorefining Macon.

Peter S Levi deleted Trails Properties II Inc.

Gregory Porter deleted FMC Corporation, Major Bands Premium Beverage Distributors, Midwest Hemophilia Association, Brewer Science, Evolutions Enterprises, Northside Regeneration LLC.

Greg N Johnston deleted SafePlans, ES Medical, and Innerguide Technologies.

Daniel R. Pfeifer deleted Ricoh USA, Lollo Bros. Livestock Market, and Missouri Manufacturing Works.

$5K+ Contributions

Local 41 Political Action Fund - $10,651 from DRIVE Committee.

St. Charles Association of Realtors Political Action Committee - $6,821 from National Association of Realtors Fund.

Missourians for Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc. - $50,000 from Industry Advancement Fund Heavy Constructors.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Mayor Francis Slay, and McCaskill’s Tod Martin.