Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Swearingen For Auditor

Rep. Jay Swearingen is said to be interested in running for auditor in 2014 against Tom Schweich.

Democrats have lacked a candidate so Swearingen stepping up is welcome in that respect.  However the initial reaction is that he faces an uphill battle: Schweich has greater name ID, fundraising capacity, and all the auditors in recent history have either been a CPA or attorney; Swearingen is neither.

Weber Joins AFL-CIO

“The Missouri AFL-CIO is pleased to announce the hiring of Shannon Weber as Campaign / Political Director.

“Missouri AFL-CIO President Hugh McVey noted her experience and knowledge of the political environment in Missouri as keys to his selection: ‘Shannon Weber is a stranger to no one in the labor movement, and has been an effective voice for Missouri workers in the halls of the statehouse. Her extensive knowledge of Missouri politics and dedication to working people will be a great addition to our team at the Missouri AFL-CIO.’”

Crowded Halls Today?

Look for a lot of pro-gun folks and a lot of pro-tax cut folks in the Building today.  This is culmination was some mass grass-rooting over the summer.  One staffer describes the volume of calls their office is getting on the gun bill (HB 436) and the tax cut bill (HB 253) as similar to the puppy mill debate at its zenith.

However despite the rallying bth measures look like they’ll be falling short as of this morning…

Gun Bill

The Ron Richard interview continues to reverberate, with the Senate now seriously in doubt if the bill did make it across the rotunda to their chamber.  It’s not expected to get out of the House however. 

And we won’t know until we see the board, but the best guess right now is that Rep. Jeff Roorda – poised for a tough Senate fight next year – will hit “present” when the bill comes up.  We’ll see….

Tax Cut Bill

HB 253 is clearly short.  But now how far?  Supporters face some jitters that the bottom could fall out as anyone who’s skittish now see no reward for voting in favor. 

Grow Missouri Continues

The Grow Missouri coalition however is expected to continue beyond the vote today.  The best guess is that they work during the next four month to have a new – clean – proposal ready when the legislative session opens in January 2014.

Furthermore, one assumes that tax cut supporters would prefer to pass the tax cut early next session.  That way they can deal with a veto override during the spring instead of after a summer when the governor dominates the news cycle every night.


I’ll save the post-mortem on how Grow Missouri spent $2 million fruitlessly for another day – like tomorrow.

But I will mention that despite being shown strong polling from Grow Missouri many legislators apparently chose to defer to their superintendents.  It’s noted that in most cases the superintendent is the head of the largest employer in their district, so it’s not irrational.

However, I haven’t recalled a case where a state representative race hinged on an endorsement from a superintendent. 

Doe Run Looking Confident

Of all the bills, the supporters of an override on Doe Run (HB 650) seemed to be the most confident on the eve of veto session.

Doe Run added lobbyists Nancy Giddens, Shannon Cooper and Rodney Hubbard for the final push (see registrations below).  Cooper and Hubbard are both former representatives from Henry County and St. Louis City respectively.  Giddens has strong ties to the Kansas City area.  It’ll be interesting to see if they’re working these geographic areas for a final few votes on this issue. 

Sometimes an interest will add a lobbyist the way a baseball manager brings in a pitcher from the bullpen for a single batter.


Doe Run override looks okay on the Senate side, assuming it gets there.  This is due, in part, to the attorney/labor split on the bill, and the fact that the Senate has lost attorneys during the past cycle. 

Becky’s Backkkk

Rep. TJ McKenna can start worrying now.  His 2012 nemesis will make a return in 2014.  Becky Ruth has started a campaign committee to run against him again.

McKenna benefits from a strong Democratic district and the strong McKenna name.  But he barely won last cycle (50.3% or 89 votes).

Furthermore, some think Sen. Ryan McKenna could be on the ballot running for Jefferson County Executive, and voter may be reluctant to vote for two McKennas on the same ballot.


One observer remarks that McKenna-type situations are the case for “running up the score,” something Republicans – with greater funds – do more successfully.  They pile in an extra $30K in the final week and drive the winning margin up a few points to make it look harder the next cycle…

House Dems Haven’t Hit Bottom? 

If McKenna ends up with another tough battle in 2014, he won’t be the only Dem in that situation.  And it has some considering that the Republican House’s historic supermajority is not yet done growing.

Other Dems who would be on an early “vulnerable” list: Reps. Mike Frame, John Mayfield, Vicki Englund, Bill Otto, Ed Schieffer’s seat, Steve Hodge’s seat, and Linda Black’s seat (if she would decide not to run).


Midwest Region Laborers’ Political League Education Fund - $5,361 from Laborers’ Supplemental Dues Fund.

Friend of Tom Schweich - $7,500 from Drury Development Corporation.

Committee for Research Treatments and Cures - $10,000 from Polsinelli.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Centene Management Company LLC.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 Sam Barbee deleted Missouri Automobile Dealers Association, and Missouri Association of Sewer Districts.

Shannon Cooper, Nancy Giddens, and Rodney Hubbard added The Doe Run Company.


Happy birthday to A.J. Bockelman.