Friday, June 28, 2013

House Dems Hire Executive Director

The House Democratic Victory Fund (their campaign organization) has hired Jordan Overstreet as their executive director for the coming 2014 cycle.  Jordan was most recently the executive director of the Southwest Missouri Democrats. 

House Dems has a big fundraiser, headlined by Sen. Claire McCaskill, in St. Louis County tonight.

Rating on Kansas Bonds Cut

“The rating agency Moody’s downgraded bonds for a Kansas Department of Commerce program this week, citing income tax cuts that are expected to eat into state revenue… ‘Last year's major income tax rate reductions, followed by additional cuts this year, constitute what we expect to be a trend of repeated cuts in the revenues pledged to these bonds,’ Moody's said.”  See the article here.

Of course we all remember 2008, and therefore we know Moody’s is just one perspective.  They can be wrong – and like the rest of us, often are.  The real question is whether the market starts charging Kansas more to borrow, and how much that costs them.

Charter Fight

A charter school in Kansas City is in the middle of a fight for its educational life.  See the KC Star article here.  The test scores of the school have been low, and accordingly – with increasing scrutiny on charter schools – the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education wants to close it.

But one supporter says, “DESE is going to feel the full force of public contrast between bureaucrats obsessed with standardized test results from children who are anything but standard, and the faces and stories of children and families who truly love the school.”

And in fact, media relations guru Scott Charton and his video and web teams have created a helluva website, including heartbreaking video stories about the academic successes and special needs of the poor kids who attend the school. See it here.

Additionally, the school has lawyered up, with the jolly (but fearsome) Chuck Hatfield and super-lobbyist Tricia Workman from the Jeff City office of Stinson Morrison Hecker advising the effort.

Nixon Signs SB126

I was surprised by this but maybe I shouldn’t have been.  Governor Jay Nixon signed a bill which prohibits pharmacies from being required from carrying a specific drug, like “the morning-after” pill, for example. See the summary here.  In the Senate all the Dems voted against; all the Republicans voted in favor (Sen. Ryan McKenna absent); see it here.

Planned Parenthood has made Rep. Jeanie Riddle’s HB 400 its top target for a veto.  See it here.

Senate Medicaid Hearings Coming

The Senate Interim Committee on Medicaid Transformation and Reform has scheduled its first hearing for July 9.  This is going to be limited to public testimony.  Subsequent hearings will have expert testimony from the various interest groups and organizations.  Those hearings will be in mid August/September.  Find more information at the committee’s webpage here.

Bits

In this week’s St. Louis American, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal talks to the Political Eye.  As usual she’s not afraid to speak her mind, and heart.   See it here.

St. Louis Business Journal reports that a federal court case raises concerns among tax-credit investors.  “The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled in August 2012 that Pitney Bowes was not entitled to the tax credits because it didn’t have a significant stake in the project.”  Read it here (may be subscriber only).

Governor Jay Nixon and Speaker Tim Jones in legal slap fight over the scanning scandal hearing.  See it here.

Help Wanted

“Lashly & Baer, P.C. in downtown St. Louis is seeking an associate to add to its Governmental and Public Institutions Practice Group. Qualified candidates will have 1-5 years’ experience in representing clients supported by public funds – specifically school districts, municipalities, or special purpose districts.”  See ad here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

J Scott Marrs deleted Edwards Life Sciences.

William Ratliff deleted Missouri National Guard, and Aimee Jokerst.

$5K+Contributions

Citizens for Rocky Miller - $9,379 from The Club at Porto Cima.

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from Dollar, Burns, & Becker LC.

Missourians for Koster - $12,500 from Eastern Missouri Laborers’ Educational and Benevolent Fund.

MEDA PAC (MO Energy Dev. Association Political Action Committee) - $10,000 from Empire District Electric Company.