Friday, July 12, 2013

Sinquefield Drops $1.3 Million On Grow Missouri

Yesterday Grow Missouri recorded a $1.3 million check from retired financier Rex Sinquefield.  Grow Missouri is the coalition working to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of HB 253 which would phase-in a long-term reduction in tax rates, slightly for individuals and more for corporations.  See bill summary here

In Nixon’s veto letter (see it here), he outlines ten reasons that he opposes the bill.  But generally he thinks that the bill “is an ill-conceived, fiscally irresponsible experiment that would inject far-reaching uncertainty into our economy, undermine our state’s fiscal health and jeopardize basic funding for education and vital public services.  At the same time, the legislation would increase taxes on prescriptions drugs and college textbooks, provide special treatment for some businesses while discriminating against others, and make our tax code less economically efficient and less fair.”  Beyond that Nixon seems okay with it…

So what are we going to see from this $1.3 million?  I mean it is still illegal to buy votes, so how do you spend that money when you’re basically targeting a half-dozen or a dozen state representatives?

My guess would be extravagant spending across all media – television, direct mail, internet, radio – focused on those districts where the state representatives are seen as potentially in play.  Build the public opinion, and try to convince the representatives that their careers are in danger if they miscast their vote.  See the first TV ads here and here.

On the Democratic side, the votes are pretty well shored up.  The only nagging worry for Dems is Rep. Penny Hubbard.

On the Republicans side, there are plenty of weak spots.  They’ve won seats with social issues during the past few cycles where Nixon’s economic message resonates much stronger than the Chicago School laissez faire philosophy.

And there are staunch conservatives within the caucus who will vote for the override, but think the bill stinks.  The bungling of the prescription drug exemption for example, in this way of thinking, is an unforgivable blunder when you have super-majority.  Why not just do it over and do it right next session.

Finally, there is the persistent rumor of a Republican appointment.

All in all, it seems a long-shot bet to place $1.3 million on.  But as always, we’ll see….

Coalition for Missouri’s Future

Opposing the Grow Missouri forces is the Coalition for Missouri’s Future which will work “aggressively to sustain the Governor’s veto.  The Coalition has more than 40 diverse organizations throughout the state, and it's growing. Schools, teachers, businesses, health care groups, senior groups, and more – the group has a big umbrella – and all are concerned about the $800 million annual impact that HB 253 will have on the state.”  See their website here.

One assumes that they don’t have $1.3 million benefactor…

Turner Hits Home

Parents at the Francis Howell School District had a meeting last night to freak out that the unaccredited school district of Normandy will soon be sending a couple hundred kids – maybe more to their schools for a better education.  Their fears included safety (they want metal detectors erected), and quality (teachers slowing down for slower students).  See the Post-Dispatch story here.

The school board blamed the legislature for their impending doom, and several legislators were present, but only Rep Mark Parkinson addressed the crowd, until he got into a pretty heated argument with one of the board members.

There are a couple of ways this could go.   

On the one hand, the outrage or fear or whatever that filled the gymnasium last night could be the catalyst for the St. Charles delegation to join in earnest the legislative effort to find a “Turner fix” or guidelines that would give districts a sense of order and predictability to student transfers from neighboring struggling.

On the other hand, by the time the session begins in January, the reaction may have tempered.  Francis Howell will likely be able to absorb the influx of a few hundred Normandy students without as much ado as they now imagine.

Dems Prep for August Meeting

It’s said that Democrats are organizing to hold another state party meeting at the end of August.  The business on the agenda would be the resignation of Mike Sanders and the installation of Roy Temple as party chair.  Despite earlier grumblings, no alternative has been identified, so Temple appears to be it – at least for now.

Bits

Sagging pants get banned in New Jersey town.  See it here.

Nixon appointed Nicole Galloway to the Missouri Technology Corporation. Galloway is the treasurer of Boone County.  She’s the daughter-in-law of Doug Galloway, government relations executive for Century Link.

eMailbag: Hess A Winner Also

“One other SIF winner is Phil Hess with MATA. He proved to be a very honest broker – provided a ton of technical assistance and showed that at times the association can be reasonable.”

$5K+Contributions

Grow Missouri – Rex Sinquefield - $1,300,000.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Randy J Scherr added Jefferson City Area Board of Realtors.

Jeffery N Brooks, Bill Gamble, Cynthia Gamble, Sarah Topp, and Jorgen Schlemeier deleted Mallinckrodt LLC.

Bradley J Ketcher deleted Hawkeye Land Company; and added Jumbo Interactive LTD.

Joe Maxwell deleted Humane Society of the United States.