Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dems Close Committees, Consolidate Campaign Structures

The Senate Democrats and House Democrats terminated their campaign committees.  (See the Senate Democratic Campaign Committee termination papers here.  See the House Democratic Victory Committee termination papers here.)

SDCC sent the Missouri Democratic Party a little $100K.  And HDVC sent about $120K to the Party.

With this move Dems have consolidated their operations for the 2014 election cycle in Missouri, presumably with Party Chair Roy Temple at the top.

One Dem noted that both Senator Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Chris Koster have been making contributions to the Party, and Secretary of State Jason Kander and Treasurer Clint Zweifel are on-board with the renewed attention and focus on legislative races.

Flimsy 15 Look Firm

In the immediate aftermath of last year’s veto session there was much gnashing of teeth among hard-core conservatives over the defection of fifteen Republican legislators who helped sustain Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of the tax cut bill.  They were dubbed the “flimsy 15.”

At the time there were cries for “consequences” from folks like Tea Party radio host Dana Loesch.  The Missouri Times immortalized a tweet from Missouri Club for Growth: “Want to help get rid of Missouri RINOs? Donate $15 today to help us oust the #Flimsy15 http://www.moclubforgrowth.org/about/”  See it here.

Yet so far not a single member of the “flimsy 15” club has a primary opponent.   Aside from Rep. Dennis Fowler who was mauled in the appointment process by the Senate, there have been no consequences.

And as one of the “flimsies” told me, they think leadership learned they can’t be bullied.  “We got their attention…”

Flimsy 15

Sue Entlicher – unopposed.

Paul Fitzwater – unopposed.

Dennis Fowler – retired after failed appointment.

Lyndall Fraker – unopposed.

Elaine Gannon – unopposed in the primary, has Democratic opponent.

Kent Hampton – retired.

Jeff Messenger – unopposed.

Lynn Morris – unopposed in primary, has Democratic opponent.

Donna Pfautsch – unopposed.

Lyle Rowland – unopposed.

Don Phillips – unopposed.

Craig Redmon – unopposed.

Mike Thomson – term limited.

Nate Walker – unopposed.

David Wood – unopposed.

Senate Stalls on Raising Bond Cap

Sen. Mike Parson’s SB 723 was laid over yesterday without action after a few senators engaged in a lengthy debate.  The bill (see it here) would have raised the amount of revenue bonds that could be issued by the state to repair aging buildings.  Sens. Rob Schaaf and John Lamping both rose in opposition to the bill on the grounds that there were better way to finance the maintenance of buildings.

Infrastructure has long been considered a legitimate function of government – even for deep conservatives.  But the stalling of this bill leads to an interesting question: whether their opposition will form the basis of similar objections to be made against the transportation tax bill.  That bill is expected to come from the House this year…

Sidqui Jumps First in House 86

On the heels of Rep. Rory Ellinger’s announcement that he’d not be seeking re-election, Fareedah S. Sidqui is the first Democrat to file for the seat.  A quick internet search yielded little information about Sudqui.

Bits

Governor Jay Nixon nominated former Rep. Bill Deeken to the Missouri Ethics Commission.  The appointment must be approved by the Senate.

Spotted in Downtown Jefferson City last night… Monica Combest with the Focus St. Louis Leadership class learning about the capital’s nightlife.   She’s wife, of course, to the peerless John Combest.

“State Budget Director Linda Luebbering announced that 2014 fiscal year-to-date net general revenue collections increased 2.0 percent compared to 2013, from $4.94 billion last year to $5.04 billion this year.  Net general revenue collections for February 2014 increased by 17.3 percent compared to those for February 2013, from $397.2 million to $466.1 million.”

Doc Day in the Building

“Doctors from all over the state will descend upon the Missouri Capitol in their white coats on Wednesday, March 5, asking legislators to rein in lawsuits in an attempt to control medical liability insurance premiums.  Doctors will take a day off from their practices and travel to Jefferson City to ask lawmakers to enact a commonsense, bipartisan tort reform measure, the linchpin of which is a reasonable $350,000 limit on non-economic damages…

“The cap was lifted by a deeply-divided Supreme Court in 2012.  That ruling eviscerated Missouri's successful tort reform law that was enacted in 2005.  The bills are SB 589, sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown, and HB 1173, sponsored by Rep. Eric Burlison. The White Coat Rally Day will begin at 9:00 a.m. in rotunda of the first floor of the Missouri Capitol.”

Fundraising Calendar

From Mary Scruggs’ indispensable events calendar:

Home Builders Association Lobby Day

Missouri Propane Gas Association Lobby Day

St. Louis Regional Chamber Breakfast – Capitol Plaza Hotel, Jefferson City – 7-8:30 a.m.

Rep. Rick Stream Reception – REVEL (old G2), Jefferson City – 5-6:30 p.m

Rep. Mike Colona Reception – Bone’s, Jefferson City – 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Rep. John Mayfield Reception – 223 Madison St, Jefferson City – 6-8 p.m.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Gate Way Group website:

Matthew A. Forck and Tina Shannon added Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois.

Ann Bickel deleted Lewis, Rice & Fingersh LC.

Aaron G. March deleted Karbank Family Foundation, Clariter Group, and Karbank Real Estate Company LLP.

Michael Ponder deleted University of Missouri System.

John Temporiti deleted Pelopidas.

$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Steve Stenger - $10,000 from Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union No. 36 Political Education Account.

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,438 from United Food and Workers Local 655.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Reps. Paul Fitzwater (55) and Rochelle Walton Gray.