Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Transportation Tax Campaign Gets Rolling

After failing to get the legislature to put their measure on the ballot, proponents of a ten-year, one-cent sales tax to fund highway improvements are moving ahead.

However the direction they’re moving remains a mystery. 

This week they started a campaign committee to support the tax on the November 2014 ballot.  The committee treasurer is Bill McKenna.  McKenna a former state senator who served with former speaker Rod Jetton on a “blue ribbon” commission to consider highway funding.

The name of the committee is Missourians For Safe Transportation & New Jobs Inc.  The deputy treasurer is lobbyist Jewell Patek who represents the Missouri Transportation Alliance.

What’s unclear is if backers of the proposal have decided which path they pursue to get the tax on the ballot.  Will they try the general assembly again?  Or will they go the initiative petition route?  Or will they start down both avenues and see which one is more favorable? 

The difference of course is that the petition effort would require lots of money to go out and gather the signatures. 

UPDATE (7am) - I am told that they also filed an initiative petition with the Secretary of State's office last yesterday afternoon.   More tomorrow...

Lewis & Clark Ozark Mountain Forum

Yesterday I noted three large checks to the Lewis & Clark Ozark Mountain Forum. This new organization is in Springfield and will be modeled on the Lewis & Clark Regional Forum in Washington/St. Charles.  That is, it will be a place for business leaders to come together and work on their political agenda: pro-business with some emphasis on regional interests.

The three checks were from Neal Ethridge (also the treasurer of the PAC), John Gentry, and James Combs.

One would expect that David Barklage will be the advisor/consultant to new Lewis & Clark forum as he is with the original one.

Dooley and Labor

The St. Louis Beacon reported yesterday that three labor leaders met with St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley after holding a vote among themselves, and told him that they weren’t with him in his re-election.  They cited the fact that Dooley has made appointments to boards and commissions without their input.  See it here.

While the meeting signals the deterioration of Dooley’s political standing, the old adage in politics still stands: you can’t beat somebody with nobody.  And right now these folks are left with nobody to take him out in a primary.

I had previously floated the name of the ever-respected Clint Zweifel, but others say he has a residency problem having since moved to Columbia.  The other name mentioned is Steve Stenger who still lacks the fundraising and ground game to depose the incumbent.

Bottom-line: Bad news for Dooley, but hardly fatal by itself.

Jones Calling the 15

After the heated rhetoric of ideological purity, Speaker Tim Jones is working his way through the fifteen Republican representatives who voted against HB 253 to reach out and mend fences.  His message: you’re still on the team, and your committee chairmanship is safe.  We need you in the caucus and respect you.


Over the weekend, Jones spent two hours with the Beacon’s Jo Mannies going over all his LLC paperwork.  He showed her every bank statement from the LLC’s inception, in an effort to make sure the veteran political was satisfied that he wasn’t hiding anything.

DESE to Ask for $6.8 Million for Normandy

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s FY 2014 supplemental budget request includes a line item for $6,808,506 to assist Normandy School District. 

“On June 11, 2013 Missouri Supreme Court decision affirmed the right of students in unaccredited districts to transfer to accredited districts with the home district paying tuition to the receiving district. This request for funding will enable Normandy school district to meet its transfer/tuition obligation and provide educational programs to remaining district students for the remainder on FY 2013-14 only.”  See it here.

Missouri Solutions

Reached by phone, legislator-turned-lobbyist Tim Green declined to explain the new Missouri Solutions PAC, saying only “I wanted to start a committee.”  Stay tuned, I guess…

MO Film Credit Not Competitive

On Facebook yesterday, Rep. Denny Hoskins, a member of the Missouri Film Commission, shared this email he received:


I wanted to give you all an update on our progress in filming Simple Kind of Man in the great State of Missouri. We collected all of your wonderful letters of support along with our own materials and submitted them to the Dept. of Economic Development, which now handles all film incentives.


We were awarded a small incentive for our project; unfortunately, it was only 8% of our projected $1.5M in-state spend. As you all know, that's simply not competitive with neighboring states that offer between a 25-35% incentive. We just wouldn't be doing the necessary due diligence for our financiers if we accepted such an offer, and further discussions with the DED clearly showed negotiation was not an option. In fact, I cannot see how any film project would warrant their advertised incentive, now that I understand how the DED is judging the economic impact of film production. It's not high on their list, to be diplomatic….


Justin Wolske

Creative/Line Producer

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Andrew B Blunt and Jay Reichard added Computerized Vehicle Registration.


Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,000 from Thompson Coburn.

MO Drive Fund - $12,500 from Drive Committee.


Happy birthdays to Sen. Mike Parson (58), and Rep. Tom McDonald (67).