Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ballot Issues Set

Last week Governor Jay Nixon announced when the various ballot issues passed by the legislature would come before voters.

On the August primary ballot will appear: right to farm, veterans lottery tickets, securing 2nd Amendment, securing 4th Amendment, and the transportation sales tax.

In November will be three questions.  One to allow “relevant evidence of prior criminal acts to be admissible in prosecutions for crimes of a sexual nature involving a victim under eighteen years of age.”  One to tighten the “governor’s fiscal management authority.”  And the legislature’s “early voting” proposal.

This surprised many observers. 

For starters, the transportation tax campaign is expected to be run by Tightline Strategies.  That’s the firm of Ken Morley and Jac Cardetti, both is ties to the Nixon administration.  Therefore there is the expectation that Nixon would place that issue wherever they would have the best chance for passage.  And the conventional wisdom was that a higher turnout – i.e. November – was more favorable because the No voters tend to show up under any circumstances.

Perhaps the strategy here is to strike while the iron is not cold.  That is, maybe they have some polling that shows they could pass it today, and they figure why give opponents an extra three months to coalesce.  If they have a three or four point margin right now, why burden yourself with extra time to protect that fragile lead?

The other surprise was the early voting.  The 6-week version, which is working through the initiative petition process now, will be on the November ballot (assuming it makes it through the hoops).  Now the legislature’s 6-day version will also be on the same ballot.

This may aid the six-week version because when voters have a chance to see the two side-by-side, if you’re in favor of early voting, you’re probably in favor of a whole slice of it, rather than just a crumb.  Furthermore, it will require some kind of magical surgical messaging to push the six-day version while trashing the six-week version, potentially debilitating the Republicans’ campaign plans around this issue.

Nixon to Veto Student Transfer Bill

Governor Jay Nixon also announced on Friday that he would be vetoing the student transfer bill. Although there were wishful reformers in the halls cheerfully pitching an opposite outcome during session, this is no surprise to anyone as Nixon telegraphed this previously.

See Nixon’s statement here.

The governor will be addressing the Lindbergh High School graduation ceremony tonight, perhaps using the occasion to talk about his veto.


While the Senate has enough votes to override, the House is nowhere near being able to override.  So on this issue it’s… See you in January….

CEAM Statement

“Governor Nixon vetoing the transfer fix, tells me that it is business as usual.  The CEAM team will again host town hall meetings to inform parents about their right to transfer to an accredited school.  All children deserves access to high quality education now, and we will continue to fight for that by knocking on as many doors as we can in Normandy, Riverview and Kansas City telling families about their rights.” Says Lorna Kurdi, the Director of Advocacy and Outreach.

Lant: Good Trade in Senate

Rep. Bill Lant reflects on the legislative session, in particular the deal in the Senate to drop the effort for paycheck protection in return for passing the 72 hour wait.  See it here.

“I'll trade saving babies lives for an uncertain ballot initiative on a labor issue any old time!”


Silvey Misses the Bell

The session is over but Sen. Ryan Silvey continues to jab Sen. John Lamping over twitter.  Concluding an argument about – what else Medicaid expansion – Silvey pokes Lamping’s residency:  “@RyanSilvey: @tonymess @bshelly @JohnLamping This Twitter fight is silly. Why don't we discuss this like adults...at a coffee shop in Johnson County, KS?”

eMailbag: Congress to Gov Debate Continued….

“Kasich left Congress and became a media star on Fox before coming back to run for Governor, Brownback was a Senator so he had won statewide, Jindal had run for Governor and lost, ran for Congress won and then ran for Governor a second time with everyone thinking he should have been in the Governor's office when Karina hit.  I'll give you Deal, Pence, Otter and Fallon pending further review, I think some of them served in statewide offices before moving to Congress. One thing for sure that path has never worked in Missouri see Talent in '00 and Hulshof in '08…”

Filing News

Courtney Blunt, a Republican, was disqualified from Senate 4.  The incumbent is Democratic Sen. Joe Keaveny.

Natalie Vowell, a Democrat, was disqualified from House 78.  The incumbent is Democratic Rep. Penny Hubbard.



Help Wanted at Newspapers

The Kansas City Star seeks an investigative reporter… “We’re looking for someone who knows how to ferret out wrongdoing and hold people in power accountable. Top-rate news judgment is a must. Likewise, this reporter will be a self-starter who has excellent skills researching diverse topics, developing sources and writing with authority and flair.”  See the ad here.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is seeking a journalist to tackle the business of healthcare. “First and foremost, we are looking for a watchdog journalist with investigative and explanatory abilities who has experience covering for-profit and nonprofit entities. We need a reporter who can understand complex issues and write fairly, clearly, accurately and authoritatively. The candidate must be able to juggle breaking news, blog posts and longer-term enterprise.

“St. Louis is a major medical hub in the Midwest, with a range of national and regional hospital groups based here. The business health care reporter will cover a wide array of topics that extend beyond the core hospital industry, including private insurers, Medicare, Medicaid, and the uninsured. The reporter also will cover major health-related companies, such as Express Scripts and Centene. Further, St. Louis has two renowned medical schools, Washington University and St. Louis University, which makes St. Louis a center for cutting-edge medical research. The business health care reporter will follow the commercial development of new drugs, medical devices and the emergence of new medical companies.”   See the ad here.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is seeking a reporter with knowledge of business in general and economic development in particular. “The successful applicant should be comfortable covering both business and government because a lot of news will happen at the intersection of the public and private sectors… Most importantly, you must be a critical thinker who knows how to cut through the acronyms and double talk to explain what's working and what's not -- be it tax credits, tax-increment financing, labor force trends or business recruitment efforts…  This reporter must develop solid sources in local, state and federal agencies, and local business organizations, that ensure we're first on stories involving plant expansions, closings and startups…”  See the ad here.

Fundraising Calendar

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

Rep. Gail McCann Beatty Reception – Grand Street Café, 4740 Grand, Kansas City – 6-8 p.m.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Rodney S. Bland added Kansas City Public Schools Retirement Systems.

Aaron G. March added White Goss, and Red Legacy LLC; and deleted White Goss Bowers Marchs Schulte& Weisenfels, Red Development LLC, Y Bannister Two LLC, and Bob Gamer.

$5K+ Contributions

Shelter Insurance Company State PAC - $15,000 from Shelter Mutual Insurance Company.

Slay for Mayor - $6,145 from Eagle Golf.


Happy birthdays to Sen. Bob Dixon (45) and Scott Leiendecker (38).