Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Follow-Up on Gun Rumor

It ends up the rumor of bathroom gun was true: Dave Evans, new to the speaker’s staff, accidently left his loaded firearm in the bathroom.  And it was loaded!  Post-Dispatch’s Elizabeth Crisp gets the story.  Read it here.  She also links to the Capitol police report (here).

Because we’re all used to crowds of school kids in the building, the most immediate response was something along of the lines of this email I received: “Any child might have discovered, picked up and fired the weapon accidentally.  Because no tragedy happened doesn’t make this episode frightening as hell.”

Another more pointed criticism: “Tim Jones owns this in several ways. Evans is his hire and his staffer. Jones also joined 124 House colleagues on May 13, 2011, in giving final approval to the bill allowing legislative staffers with conceal carry permits to carry their firearms inside the Capitol – in this case, fully loaded.”  See the summary of the 2011 bill here.

Finally, this from a veteran Capitol observer: “Good thing HB436 went down, or the excellent Post-Dispatch reporter Elizabeth Crisp would have subject to charges for identifying gun owners, a concept that is so nutty and unconstitutional that I remain grateful for reasonable Senate leadership in halting that hot mess.”

Kinder and Smith Circle Each Other

Kinder Continues His ObamaCare Assault

Following his op/ed over the weekend, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, on a conference call, continues his attack on Obamacare on the eve of its implementation.  Read the Missouri Times’ article here.  

Kinder said that he hoped Missourians would resist using the new federal health care apparatus.

And he also criticized Congress for having a different healthcare plan, “It’s not right for them to avoid putting on themselves this same pain they’re putting on Americans.”  Was this a swipe at Congressman Jason Smith, in advance of a primary challenge?

Just In Case Jason Smith Parries

“Today, Monday, September 23, 2013 Congressman Jason Smith highlighted his original co-sponsorship of H.R. 3076 the James Madison Congressional Accountability Act. This act amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to require that the President, Vice-President, executive branch political appointees, employees of congressional committees, and employees of leadership offices in Congress also have to participate in the American Health Benefit Exchange (a state health insurance exchange created by PPACA). The requirement already applies to Members of Congress and their staff. The act prohibits any government contribution to, or subsidy for, the health insurance coverage of such officials and employees…”

SOS Sends AG Summary Language on New Court IP

Here is the summary statement for possible new court plan initiative petitions that the secretary of state’s office has sent the attorney general’s office for review.  There are two versions of the initiative petition.  One would have the judges elected from Congressional districts; the other from appellate districts.  You may recall that the last court plan change – put on the 2012 ballot by the legislature – was defeated 24% to 76%.

Dear Attorney General Koster:

 Pursuant to Section 116.34, RSMo, the Secretary of State is submitting its proposed summary statement for the petition submitted by John Elliott on August 23, 2013 relating to amendingArticle V, version 1.  The language for the proposed statement reads as follows:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to:

• repeal the nonpartisan court plan used to select Missouri Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges;

• require such judges to instead be elected in partisan elections, with political parties nominating party candidates in the primary election prior to the general election;

• allow judges or judicial candidates to solicit, receive and make any legal campaign contributions or expenditures that benefit their own campaigns;

• decrease Supreme Court and Appellate Court judges’ terms from 12 years to 8; and

• increase the number of Supreme Court judges from 7 to 9?

Please review the proposed language to determine that it is "neither intentionally argumentative nor likely to create prejudice either for or against the proposed measure," as required by the statute referenced above…

And

I’m told the fiscal note for both versions is $7.32 million.

Judgment in Teacher Evaluation Petition Suit

Judge Jon Beetem issued a ruling last week concerning the teacher evaluation initiative petition.  See the petition’s summary language here.  Opponents to the petition – including Missouri National Education Association and Missouri Association of School Administrators – had argued that the summary language and fiscal note was inaccurate.  For example Auditor Tom Schweich went with DESE’s fiscal note, $0, though MNEA and MASA recommended a fiscal note of $5.5 billion.

Beetem rejected their arguments and stuck with Secretary of State Jason Kander’s ballot language and the auditor’s fiscal note. 

Sutherland to Kraus’ Office

Chris Sutherland, who did a stint with senator John Griesheimer before lobbying, has joined the Sen. Will Kraus’ office.

Sisco in House 120

Shawn Sisco declared for House 120 as a Republican.  He joins Mardy Leathers for a primary in that district, previously held by Congressman Jason Smith.  See Sisco’s placeholder website here.

Sisco is the owner of  http://lakesiderolla.com/.

Bits

Dems lead in the generic congressional ballot poll.  See it here.

Sen. Eric Schmitt unequivocally says No to running for St. Louis County Executive. No.

Help Wanted

Secretary of State seeks supervisor in state library.  See it here.

St. Louis Board of Elections seeks Assistant Deputy Democratic Director of Elections.  See it here.

$5K+Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from James Nutter Sr.

Committee to Elect Jake Hummel - $10,000 from Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Reps. Kevin Wilson (55), and Terry Witte (61).