Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Rumor: Swearingen Out

It’s said that Rep. Jay Swearingen will announce that he is ending his bid for auditor today.  While Swearingen’s January quarter hasn’t posted yet, the assumption is that his fundraising has been lackluster.

Although this could be bad news for incumbent Tom Schweich since Democrats might be able to find a stronger candidate than Swearingen, there isn’t a ready alternative.  In fact no names are mentioned yet.

And

It’s said Swearingen won’t be seeking his state representative seat either…

Schweich Lands Big Check

Auditor Tom Schweich recorded a $100,000 check from Republican mega-donor Sam Fox (see $5K+ Checks below) yesterday.  Fox has given to Attorney Chris Koster in the past, but this seems to indicate his allegiance is with Schweich should the two meet in a 2016 gubernatorial contest…

Koster Preannounces

Attorney General Chris Koster sent an email blast to supporters yesterday touting a strong fundraising quarter… over $600K raised.  Given his burn rate, that’ll put his cash on-hand number around $1.6-1.7 million.

In the email (below) Koster calls himself “fiscally conservative, socially moderate.”

Email

Subject: A Very Solid Start

 

First, let me extend a happy new year to you and your family. I hope your holidays were enjoyable and you had time to savor Mizzou's Cotton Bowl victory.   Second, I wanted to thank you again for your generous support during 2013. Because of your friendship, our campaign efforts for 2016 are off to a very solid start.

 

With your assistance and the help of many friends around Missouri, our campaign team raised over $600,000 dollars in the fourth quarter of the year and more than two million dollars during 2013.    This success, I believe, is a testament to your support for strong law enforcement values and for fiscally conservative, socially moderate leadership for the future of this state…

Other January Quarters

State Treasurer Clint Zweifel raised $48,850 and has $259,818 on-hand.  He is term limited.

Sen. John Lamping raised $3,000 and has $9,877 on-hand.  While he hasn’t officially said he’s not running for re-election, this quarter might pass as such a statement.

The whisper number for Jake Zimmerman, running for St. Louis Assessor, and mentioned as a possible 2016 statewide candidates for Dems, is $260K+ cash on-hand.

MCN Files Remonstrance Against Nicastro

In a continuing escalation between Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro and her detractors, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal filed a remonstrance, saying repeatedly that Nicastro was “less than truthful.”   You can read the full remonstrance in the Senate Journal here.

Read the Post-Dispatch article here.

Pull Quote: “My constituents are angry and I’m fed up,” Chappelle-Nadal said…

 

Like a bill, a remonstrance needs to be approved by a committee before coming before the Senate for a vote. It would not go to the House of Representatives. Even if passed, a remonstrance has no force of law; rather, it expresses the opinion of the Senate.

 

Chappelle-Nadal’s remonstrance has not made it to a committee yet. In the last 10 years, only three remonstrances have been filed in the Senate.

Kelly Takes Caucus Chair for House Dems

The press release: The House Democratic Caucus today elected Rep. Chris Kelly as caucus chairman, Rep. Gina Mitten as caucus vice chair and Rep. Rory Ellinger caucus policy chair. The elections were necessary due to vacancies in those caucus leadership positions.

2014 Watch

In House 56, a tipster writes, “Patty Johnson, the attorney who was the Democratic candidate last time, has indicated she plans to run again.”  That’s where Republican Chris Molendorp is abdicating…

Walking Around the Halls

Aaron Baker, former chief of staff to Bill Stouffer and field representative for Congressman Sam Graves, has been in the building lately.  Word is that he will be joining Axiom in their nascent lobbying business which is being headed up by Kristen Blanchard.

Daniel Hall was meeting with senators ahead of his confirmation.  Nixon, after withdrawing Hall’s name during the special session, is re-appointing him to the Public Service Commission.  And – rumors remain that Sen. Scott Rupp may be tapped as the Republican for the PSC; but in the same breath the whisperers say that Rupp isn’t going anywhere soon.  “He wants to serve out his term,” says one source; “April at the earliest,” says another.  We’ll see…

Lon Lowery, who represented Novartis in the hallways for decades, is back again.  He’s lobbying for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation.  Lowery is commuting from his new home in… Texas.  As Travis Brown would tell you: no income tax, no property tax in Texas.  (Just a lot of oil revenue…)

MEDA Means Lutz’s!

Today is MEDA Day in the rotunda.  MEDA investor-owned electric, natural gas, and water members will be in attendance to continue to highlight the importance of investing in Missouri's energy infrastructure future.  But as important as the policy points… Lutz’s BBQ will be providing lunch.  In addition, MEDA will be among those sponsoring a welcome reception for members of the legislature at the Capitol Plaza Hotel from 6-8pm…

$5K+ Contributions

SITE Improvement Association of Missouri PAC - $5,800 from SITE Improvement Association of Missouri.

Dempsey for Missouri - $25,000 from Grow Missouri.

Dempsey for Missouri - $7,500 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas Ciry PAC Missouri.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $100,000 from Sam Fox.

Missourians for Fair Taxation - $20,000 from Missouri National Education Assoc Ballot Issue Crisis Fund.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Brian Bernskoetter and Randy Scherr added Missouri Self Storage Owners Association.

Jessica Hodge added Missouri Victim Assistance Network.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to former Rep. Esther Haywood, and former St. Louis City Comptroller Virvus Jones (76).