Rumorville: Tilley, Bardgett to Help AFL-CIO?
Rumors in the halls have the Missouri AFL-CIO broadening their lobbying team to include John Bardgett and Steve Tilley.
If true, it represents a big escalation of firepower ahead of potential legislative battles over right to work. Tilley, a former Republican speaker, and Bardgett, one of the top lobbyists in the building, could help transform the House vote from a fait accompli into something to watch.
Bowman to Curls’ Office
Former state representative John Bowman is back – again. After he left the House, he returned to the building as Robin Wright Jones’ chief of staff. She lost to Sen. Jamilah Nasheed in 2012. Bowman now has joined the staff of Sen. Kiki Curls.
Guernsey: No Hearings After Childhood Neighbor Wins Ag Appointment
AP reports that Rep. Casey Guernsey, chair of the Bipartisan Investigatory Committee on State Department Workplace Abuse, is shutting down the committee because Governor Jay Nixon appointed Richard Fordyce as the new agriculture director. See it here.
Pull Quote: Guernsey said Fordyce was his childhood neighbor in northwest Missouri and a sponsor for his Future Farmers of America program in high school.
Guernsey’s position – before the appointment of his childhood neighbor: “We have heard enough to have reason to believe inappropriate behaviors were commonplace within the department and a direct manifestation of the managerial style of the former director. In addition to the already-reported allegations, I have received word of other alleged improprieties that warrant a full investigation,” said Guernsey, R-Bethany. “The bottom line is that the employees with the Missouri Department of Agriculture deserve better, and the people of Missouri deserve better. I will work with my committee to shine the light of truth on what happened within the department and to take steps to make certain similar abuses are not allowed to occur in the future.”
Change Coming to MO GOP?
Eli Yokley wrote about the Missouri State Republican Party’s fundraising woes. It included some quotes from spokesperson Matt Wills blaming bad contracts and “bad blood” between former party chair David Cole and current party chair Ed Martin. Read it here.
Critics have been unhappy with Martin’s fundraising, and the latest financial report gives them more fodder. One Republican tipped that the Republicans’ Lincoln Days gathering might be an occasion for the disgruntled to take action against Martin. This person said that there’s at least one potential opposition candidate “making calls.” If those calls go well, you might see a vote of no confidence taken at next month’s state committee meeting.
Nichols Testifies On Oral Chemo Parity Bills
Lobbyist Ross Nichols testified yesterday in the Small Business Committee about Sens. Ryan Silvey and Brian Munzlinger’s bills which would require insurance companies to create parity in out of pocket costs between oral and intravenously administered chemotherapy treatments. Nichols explained how the oral chemotherapy was allowing him to maintain some normalcy in his life during his treatment.
One hallway observer reminded me yesterday that after Jon Dolan left the Senate, his Transportation chairmanship didn’t fall to the vice-chair. Instead it went to Bill Stouffer who was a freshman on the committee. Similarly, when Rupp leaves, could his Small Business Committee pass to Sen. Wayne Wallingford, who’s on the committee instead of Sen. Mike Parson who already has a chairmanship?
Lobbyist Sees Both Sides
Rep. Anne Zerr held a hearing for her big tax credit bill last night in the House Economic Development Committee. (See it here). One observer texted me afterwards that the expansive bill apparently made testifying tricky for lobbyist Jim Farrell who “testified in support of the bill on behalf of CORTEX because of Angel credits, and against the bill because of cuts to Historics on behalf of Partnership for Downtown St. Louis.”
Follow Up on Advantage Capital
I wrote on Monday that the Advantage Capital crew had “reunited” at InState Partners. They are all still at Advantage Capital, and InState is simply a new subsidiary they’ve formed in partnership with another national firm.
Brissey for House 18
Mindy Brissey started a campaign committee to run for House 18 as a Democrat. That’s where Jay Swearingen is exiting. Brissey worked with American Federation of Teachers, and her Linkedin profile lists her as a government relations / public policy professional.
Missouri Union Membership Drops
Governing Magazine breaks down union membership rates by state. Missouri trails only Michigan for the largest drop in the last ten years. In 2003, 13.2% of Missouri’s workforce belonged to a union. In 2013 that number was estimated at 8.6%. See it here.
Governor Jay Nixon denied clemency to Herbert Smulls, scheduled for execution last night. But the US Supreme Court stepped in, Justice Sam Alito stayed the execution. See the AP story here.
Pull Quote: Smulls' lawyer, Cheryl Pilate, had made last-minute pleas Tuesday to spare his life, focusing on the state's refusal to disclose from which compounding pharmacy they obtain the lethal-injection drug, pentobarbital. Missouri has argued the compounding pharmacy is part of the execution team — and therefore its name cannot be released to the public… Pilate contends that the state's secrecy makes it impossible to know whether the drug could cause pain and suffering during the execution process.
Cynthia Nixon (of Sex and the City fame) was spotted at the Doubletree Hotel in Jefferson City. She’s reportedly in town filming an episode of a TV show where a famous person traces their genealogy.
From the Pelopidas website:
Mark J Bruns, Jim Foley, and Gary Burton added Missouri Electrical Conference.
Scott Penman and David Winton deleted StudentsFirst.
Happy birthday to Reps. Craig Redmon (55) and Tommie Pierson (68), and MOWonk’s Brian Schmidt (31).