Wednesday March 12, 2014

Another Reason Jones Shouldn’t Run… The Cost

Gaming out the situation in Senate 26, there are several folks who think it’s not smart for Speaker Tim Jones to run.

For Jones the worst case scenario would occur if he spends a few hundred thousand dollars and loses to Rep. Dave Schatz.  If that unfolds, then he has fallen behind his potential competitors for attorney general, has no platform, and looks like a loser who can’t win a state senate seat, much less a statewide contest.


To avoid that worst case scenario, it’s thought that he’d go overkill against Schatz, potentially spending in the ballpark of $700K. 

Remember Schatz is around $350K right now, and on a trajectory to be somewhere in the $500K neighborhood.  He has more of the senate district, and is allied with Rep. Dave Hinson who also has a chuck of the district.

The guess is that by the end of this fundraising quarter, Speaker Tim Jones will have a million dollars in the bank.  If Jones spends $700K and beats Schatz, he’d have drawn down his war-chest to $300-ish.  In the process he’d have ceded his fundraising lead to Sens. Kurt Schaefer and Eric Schmitt, both of whom can make stronger cases to donors in terms of being a winnable general election candidate.  That might make him too far behind to make a viable 2016 play. 

In other words, the question before Jones right now might not just be about the next two years before a statewide bid.  It might be either/or.  It might be: run for AG 2016, or go into the Senate until 2020.   

And Schatz

Schatz attacking perceived weaknesses in a Jones candidacy opened a new line of attack yesterday, vowing to serve a full term.

And Cunningham

If Jones does decline a Senate 26 run, I’d look for former state senator Jane Cunningham to consider jumping in…

Emison for Conservation Board

Governor Jay Nixon nominated James Kent Emison as a member of the Conservation Commission.  This nomination follows the Senate’s refusal to confirm Nixon’s last choice, Tim Dollar.

Dollar was a former president of the Missouri Trial Attorneys Association.  Interestingly, so is Emison.

Sen. Brian Munzlinger has been adamant that he won’t accept any nominee who does not hail from the northwest quadrant of the state – an area which feels they have been under-represented on the Conservation Commission.  Emison, from Lafayette County, is not in that area.

So expect a little drama here….

Civics Lesson For Normandy Kids

Yesterday the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to cut emergency funds being sent to keep Normandy afloat.  The House Budget Committee had slated $5 million, and the Senate committee sliced it to $1.5 million.

Today, they may hear from the kids it’s impacting.  St. Louis’ Fox News Station reports that “Normandy students and school district leaders plan to caravan to Jefferson City Wednesday morning. The group is trying to rally support for Normandy Schools from state lawmakers.  A spokesperson for the Normandy School District is calling this a historic educational journey. The group planned to leave from Normandy High School at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday… We are told more than 100 Normandy students are making this trip along with Normandy superintendent Ty McNichols, school board members and community supporters.”  Read it here.

Follow-Up on Ethics Investigation

Yesterday I wrote the rumor of the FBI getting involved in the investigation of the old House Democratic Campaign Committee ethics complaint that implies either sloppy book-keeping or missing money.

The Missouri Ethics Commission recently sent a letter to Minority Leader Jake Hummel declaring that he was not a subject of their investigation into the matter. 

Brattin Files Article of Impeachment

It’s the latest fad among Republican legislators… to file articles of impeachment against the Democratic governor when he does something they don’t like.  Now comes Rep. Rick Brattin starting impeachment proceedings against Governor Jay Nixon for his handling of the scanning scandal last year.  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

Statement from Minority Leader Jake Hummel

“The crazy wing of the House Republican Caucus strikes again. Missourians have no tolerance for Washington-style political shenanigans or the elected officials who engage in them. Give it a rest, fellas. You're embarrassing yourselves.”


Filing News

Larry Davis Jr filed to run a Democrat in House 67.  He’s the third Dem to file, including former Rep. Sylvester Taylor II.  This is the Steve Webb seat.  

Natalie Vowell filed to run in House 78 as a Democrat.  She’ll be challenging the incumbent Rep. Penny Hubbard.   See Vowell’s website here.

John Callahan filed to run in House 102 as a Democrat.  Rep. Kurt Bahr is the current incumbent, and the district is solidly Republican.

Jason Jarvis filed to run as a Republican in House 111.  Jarvis is the second Republican to file.  He joins Shane Roden in that primary.  Jarvis’ Facebook page for state rep is here. The current incumbent is Rep. Michael Frame, a Democrat.  He won last cycle with 50.7% over Derrick Good.

Marlee Yant filed to run as a Democrat in House 131.  Rep. Sonya Anderson, a Republican, is the current incumbent.  A quick internet search reveals that Yant is a senior citizen who like to read.  It is a solid Republican district.

Wednesday House Hearings of Interest

BudgetCommittee – Hearing Room 3, 8AM

Public Hearings for Chairman Rick Stream’s HB 1242 to close the Tobacco Settlement loophole.

Elementary and Secondary Education Committee – Hearing Room 6, 8AM

The committee will vote on Rep. Rick Brattin’s HB 142 which “requires schools teaching the theory of evolution by natural selection to have a policy on parental notification and a mechanism for opting out of such instruction.”


Jane Cunningham’s announcement on whether to enter the St. Louis County Executive race could come next week.  Her preference is to give other candidates and potential candidates some lead time before the filing deadline.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll holds bad news for Dems looking ahead to November.  In addition to President Barack Obama registering his lowest yet approval rating, there’s this nugget: “Republicans hold a one-point edge over Democrats on which party registered voters prefer to control Congress, 44 percent to 43 percent. While that’s within the poll’s margin of error, Republicans have traditionally fared well in elections when they’ve held a slight lead on this question.”

eMailbag: To Paraphrase Reagan…

“dear sir, I am writing a kindly but critical note about the way your MISSOURI SCOUT publication operates. You must stop blocking my browser. THE INTERNET IS NOT YOURS TO TURN ON AND TURN OFF. Your actions may well be adverse to federal law. I will check this aspect out.… You are making money (?) by charging for an intangible product on the "free" and pubic Internet. To paraphrase former President Reagan, who said something like "Mr, Gorbachev, tear down this wall" - I ask you to give consideration to tearing down your DATA WALL...”

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Jonathan F Dalton deleted Lewis, Rice & Fingersh LLC; and added Armstrong Teasdale LLC.

Matt Hill added Aqueous Vapor LLC.

Patricia R. Jensen added Chris Willsey, Hunt Martin Materials, The Spanos Corporation, and Zona Rosa Community Improvement; and deleted Patricia Miller.

William B. Moore added Cass Villa Owners Association LLC.

Michael G Winter deleted Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.

Nancy Seelen deleted Saint Luke’s Health System.


Fundraising Calendar

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Sen. Scott Sifton Breakfast – Downtown Diner, Jefferson City – 7:30-9 a.m.

Missouri Grape & Wine Alliance Legislative Day at Capitol

Reps. Rocky Miller, Elijah Haahr & Shawn Rhoads Reception – Prison Brews, Jefferson City – 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association Day and “Cooking with Beer Reception”– DoubleTree Hotel, Jefferson City – 5:30-8 p.m.


Happy birthday to Schmitt’s Kack Haslag.