Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nieves for Something in Franklin

Sen. Brian Nieves indicated on Facebook that he was considering a Franklin County elective office…

Once again, the people of "Citizens for Nieves,"... The good people who've supported the hard work, and tough choices I've made during my time in the Missouri Legislature, have demonstrated an outpouring of grace and support as we move closer to putting the pieces in place to launch a county wide race!..


I've been talking with normal every day folks as well as connected political insiders about the NEED for a Hard Core, Pit Bull Conservative to serve in Franklin County government and how I may be able to help with that. There are just a couple more things I need to get put in place so that I will know with 100% surety that I can SERVE and be Helpful in Franklin County…


Can't wait to start this new chapter of service to The People and am looking forward to being the Conservative Standard Bearer at the Franklin County Government Building!

See the Franklin County Board of Elections Candidates Filed here.

Cunningham for Something

Post-Dispatch says Jane Cunningham is expected to announce for St. Louis County Executive today… Read it here.

Mid-Session Grades: House


Speaker Tim Jones – C+ – Serious loss of stature after getting districted by a possible state senate bid, yet seemingly outmaneuvered by two members of his own caucus. Now comes the second half where speakers typically check out and find fewer levers to control their chamber.  Jones saving grace are his continued fundraising, and his escape from the Senate 26 trap.



Floor Leader John Diehl – A- – The House has given off the appearance that they are passing bills, but really the calendar is just loaded up on our side with Diehl holding all the chips as we stare down our Sine Die deadline. In other words, the mid-session power-shift from term-limited Speaker to Floor Leader/Speaker-elect is basically complete.  One indication of this is the rumor that John Watson has been developing a relationship with Diehl…



Speaker Pro Tem Denny Hoskins – B – Doing a more than capable job as Speaker Pro Tem. Still rough on the dais, but doing all the inner-caucus things great (bill prep, open-door policy, etc.).



Todd Richardson – A – Passed two HJRs, help with Oral Chemo Parity. Continues to be the go-to guy for caucus members seeking advice.  He will easily be elected Floor Leader this fall. Republicans hope he can lead them forward from the bondage of dysfunction, Democrats pray he will spoil with power, and lobbyists are quietly nervous about what the House might be like with that type of talent in a powerful position.



Dave Schatz – A – Relatively unknown state representative parlayed the power of information and harnessed a fundraising network outside of the usual Jeff City denizens to put himself into the driver’s seat for a Senate seat no one thought would be open six months ago.



Dave Hinson – A- – Fearless in the Senate 26 drama, but more impressive was his tackle the tough issues.  Got the red-light camera bill through even though it had a lot of Rs votes.  After the break he’ll likely have to repeat that performance with one-cent transportation sales tax.



Jay Barnes – B+ – It’s a different Jay Barnes than last year.  After keeping Medicaid expansion alive as an issue, he’s wisely handed it off to Noel Torpey, who unlike Barnes has no enemies.  And after being in the middle of SB 125 last year, he’s been quiet in the transfer debate this year.

However the old Jay Barnes is back in the middle of floor debate this year – and with a possible exemption for Conservative on his JCAR Constitutional Amendment, he might have a ballot question before voters yet.



Caleb Jones – B – Didn’t fall into the depressed, just-lost-a-leadership-race funk.  Proving himself to continue to be effective as General Laws Chair and found a way to work with John Diehl.  In fact any Caleb Jones / Diehl fallout has been invisible or non-existent.



Kevin Elmer – B – For a guy who is running for Judge back in Christian County, Elmer is in the middle of a great streak of fortune. Leading the charge for the pro-life agenda can only help back home and Elmer’s 72 hour abortion waiting period legislation has dominated news in SW Missouri.



John McCaherty – C – A little heavy on the fire and brimstone, McCaherty has been aggressive in dealing with witnesses in committee hearings as well as fellow Republicans (in tanning bed debate for example).  Not the way to play nice with others for someone allegedly considering a leadership run next year.



Freshmen Republicans – B – The ones to watch are the members who ascended to vice-chairmanship (that’s Rocky Miller on Eco Devo Approps, and Glenn Kolkmeyer on Transportation), were named to powerful committees (Elijah Haahr on General Laws, and Kathy Swan on Professional Registration), or passed out bills with veto proof majorities (Miller on abortion notification; and Robert Cornejo’s search warrant bill).




Minority Leader Jake Hummel – B+ – Grading on a curve here as he had the worst hand in the building.  No leverage during regular session in dealing with the Republican supermajority, and no leverage in dealing with this own caucus.   Still have kept their caucus mostly unified, and even Penny Hubbard is not acting up.



Jeremy LaFaver – B – May still draw a few snickers for his pot arrest, but he hasn’t withdrawn from engaging in committee or on the floor. To that extent he’s a force within the caucus.



John Carpenter – B – Great potential among the Democratic freshmen class.  Influenced a news cycle and forced debate onto his tax cut bill (an achievement for any member of the minority party) showing he is one to watch.



Gina Mitten – B – The well-liked and well-regarded freshman is the first from her class to move into a leadership position within her caucus. 



John Wright – B – The low-key personality has gained admiration in the Democratic ranks and from the state party for hunkering down with grunt work on candidate recruitment.  Time to speak up on the floor.

AARP and CCM Support Public Counsel’s Motion

AARP and the Consumers Council of Missouri weighed in on a motion by the Public Counsel to make public documents regarding Ameren’s earnings.

“AARP and CCM wholeheartedly support this Motion.  The allegation that Ameren Missouri’s electric rates are currently generating significantly excessive earnings is a matter of extreme interest to the rate-paying public.  However, as long as the Surveillance Monitoring Report is allowed to remain secret, the very consumers who pay these disputed electric rates are prevented from fully understanding the magnitude of what is at stake in this proceeding.  Even though undersigned counsel is allowed to personally review surveillance monitoring reports due to participation in previous Ameren Missouri rate cases, attorney client communication is severely hampered due to the secrecy surrounding the report that is the basis of the allegations in this case…”

Filing News

Lots of Dems showed up yesterday to file for seats…

In Senate 26 – Brian Nieves not running for re-election – Lloyd Klinedinst filed to run as a Democrat.  See his book club’s website here.

In House 27 – Rep. Bonnaye Mims for re-election - India Williams filed to run as a Democrat, creating a primary in the safe Democratic district.

In House 33 – Rep. Donna Pfautsch for re-election – Chris (C.J.) Hicks filed to run as a Democrat.  Hicks appears to be a councilman in Pleasant Hill.

In House 40 – Rep. Jim Hansen for re-election – Lowell Jackson filed to run as a Democrat.  Last cycle Dem-incumbent Paul Quinn lost to Hansen, 51-48.

In House 61 – Dave Schatz for Senate – Tom Smith filed to run as a Democrat against Republican Justin Alferman.  Tom Smith appears to be the person who tangled with Sen. Brian Nieves years ago earning the epithet from the senator of “Sub-Human” and “Very Dangerous man.”  See it here.

In House 71 – Rep. Sue Meredith for re-election – Jim Cain filed to run as a Republican.

In House 109 – Rep. Paul Curtman for re-election – Barbara Bollmann filed to run as a Democrat.  She lists the same home address as Lloyd Klinedinst (Dem running in Senate 26).

In House 119 – Rep. Dave Hinson for re-election – Susan Cunningham filed to run as a Democrat.  Here is a YouTube of her talking about clean energy.

In House 135 – Rep. Lincoln Hough for re-election – Angie Filbeck filed to run as a Democrat.  She ran for Greene County Commissioner District 2 in 2012, scoring 32% of the vote.

In House 145 – Rep. Shelley Kenney for re-election – Charles Elrod filed to run as a Democrat.  Elrod appears to be a member of Laborers' International Union of North America.

In House 147 – Rep. Kathy Swan for re-election – Gary Gaines filed to run as a Democrat.  Here is his 2012 candidate questionnaire.

In House 151 – Dennis Fowler’s old seat – Ryan Wm. Holder has filed to run as a Democrat.  Holder ran unsuccessfully in 2012, taking 34% of the vote.  Here is his candidate questionnaire from that race.  There are three Republicans already filed.

In House 161 – Bill White for re-election – Charles (Hugh) Shields filed to run as a Democrat. Shields is a product engineer who lost his home in the Joplin Tornado.

In House 163 – Rep. Tom Flanigan for re-election – Michael Jarrett has filed to run as a Democrat.  His Linkedin profile lists him as “HP Account Sales Rep at MarketSource.”

The Case for Medical Marijuana

Bryan Cave Strategies’ Matt Jessee’s wife posts on a blog following the progress of their baby daughter…

After considerable thought, we have decided to move to Denver, Colorado later this year to start June on Charlotte’s Web, a strain of medical marijuana that is showing promising results in children who have failed all the FDA-approved pharmaceuticals available to treat epilepsy. It is unfortunate that we have to move our family all the way to Colorado to get June this much-needed medication, but the state of Missouri legally prohibits us from accessing this medicine so we have no choice.   Read it here.

James Stowers Passes

James Stowers Jr., a prominent philanthropist and founder of Kansas City-based American Century Investments, died of natural causes on Monday at age 90.  Read it here.

eMailbag: Don’t Underestimate The Cost of Being Out of It

“People are grossly underestimating the effect of being out of office for two years for Speaker Tim Jones.  He will be fighting with other politicians to get headlines and he won’t get them. People won’t return his calls like they did.  It is why people like Jane Cunningham are willing to take any elective office they can.  I know he has a million bucks but people have really short attention spans and move on quickly.  Catherine Hanaway is going to find she has exactly the same problem.”



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:


Paul A Agathen added Missouri Landowners Alliance.

Brian Brookshire added Missouri Forest Products Association.

Bethanne Cooley added CTIA – The Wireless Association.

David Kirby added Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

$5K+ Contributions

Emersons Missouri Responsible Government Fund - $30,000 from Emerson Electric Co.


Happy birthday to Kim Becking (43).