Rep. Jeremey LaFaver was arrested for marijuana possession yesterday. See Eli Yokley’s story here.
LaFaver’s Statement: “I made a serious mistake, I apologize for it, and I am prepared to face the consequences of my behavior. I want to stress that I was not operating under the influence. I deeply regret the embarrassment I have caused my family and the people of the 25th District by this incident. I want to assure my constituents that I have received no special considerations, nor do I expect to be treated any differently than any other citizen in my situation.”
Today, it’s expected at LaFaver will resign from his position as head of the House Democratic Victory Fund, the Dems’ campaign committee. He will not resign his state representative seat. Minority Leader Jake Hummel will take LaFaver’s place directing HDVC.
Reaction varied. Under-forty Dems shrugged, while lamenting the “unforced error.” Older folks were perhaps less forgiving as it reinforces hippie-dippie Dem caricatures from the Vietnam generation.
Dems’ Summer Caucus
Before the LaFaver episode (above) Dems were upbeat about their summer caucus event. Governor Jay Nixon gave a good “rah-rah” talk. But new Party Chair Roy Temple and AG Chris Koster really buoyed their spirits with fighting talk about trying to win legislative seats in 2014.
Dems are feeling confident about HB 253. But HB 650 (Doe Run), they think will be a very close vote. It’s basically a partisan split. But some attorney-friendly Republicans will be with the governor, and some geographic-centric Dems and labor Dems will go against the governor. No one knows which way the scales will tip.
Says one observer of labor’s involvement, “It’s kind of an eerie throwback to the casino fights of a decade ago. Dems used to be the recipients of tons of casino money, then labor overplayed their hand on organizing casino employees. Dems went with labor and the casinos have been Republican Supporters ever since. Labor is pushing some Ds against MATA, and if the veto is upheld it won’t be upheld by a solid D House minority, but by Republicans. MATA is going to realize Dems don’t always have their back and invest even more heavily in Republicans.”
Bits and Gossip
I got a report of someone polling in St. Louis County asking about Charlie Dooley versus Eric Schmitt, and Dooley against John Lamping. The best guess is Dooley testing whether the police board scandal is causing real damage.
And – speaking of that – Rep. Jay Barnes mulls tightening the state’s conflicts-of-interest laws. See his blog post here.
Does former Rep. Rodney Hubbard’s recent lobbyist registration for the Missouri Insurance Coalition raise the red flag for those trying to sustain the governor’s veto on HB 339 (uninsured motorists forfeit tort damages)? The bill passed regular session is 104 votes, including 7 Dems. Can Hub increase the Dem number enough for an override?
Poaching Perry Goes Mainstream
It’s not just lefties complaining about the Governor Rick Perry stunt.
Over the weekend, St. Louis Post-Dispatch business columnist David Nicklaus piled on… “Texas Gov. Rick Perry is bringing his swagger and his job-recruiting campaign to Missouri this week. He’s backed by $206,400 worth of TV and radio commercials that tell Missouri business owners why they’d be better off in Texas. And he has an unusual ally: The Missouri Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber is supposed to promote the interests of Missouri businesses, not expose them to someone who’d like to steal them away. But the Chamber was a big backer of the income tax cut that was vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon, and it is lobbying hard to convince the Legislature to override that veto. Inviting Perry to speak at a Chamber lunch on Thursday at the St. Louis Club is part of that effort...” See it here.
KTRS Passes on Poaching Ads
“Hi, I'm Mark Dorsey, General Manager of KTRS Radio. It has come to the attention of KTRS management that a commercial running on KTRS Radio, voiced by Texas Governor Rick Perry, is asking Missouri business to move to Texas. When the order was placed, KTRS was under the assumption these commercials were going to promote tourism to Texas. Once we, the Management of KTRS realized these commercials were instead focused on stealing locally owned companies away from St Louis, we suspended airing these commercials immediately. We understand people have different viewpoints on public policy and we welcome that debate everyday on our airways. But as one of the few remaining locally owned radio stations in the country, we feel the need to stand strong with other small locally owned business and defend our region. Governor Rick Perry, Don’t Mess with Missouri, and don't mess with St Louis.”
In Senate 2 (Rupp termed), Bob Onder is out and hustling early. He’s already organizing door knocking crews.
In Senate 30, one Democrat wonders if Republican incumbent Sen. Bob Dixon is too likeable for Dems to go after. He hasn’t hurt them as chair of Judiciary, he’s moderate on labor, and he has a good relationship with Missouri State University.
In House 113 (Roorda for Senate) Arnold Democratic Committeeman Sean Fauss announced his candidacy. “Currently Fauss works as an educator in the Fox School District. He is a member of
Knights of Columbus and the Missouri National Education Association. Priorities for Fauss include: creating good paying jobs by getting the port built in Jefferson County, taking the
billions in federal funding Missouri has available for Medicaid expansion and putting an end to Missouri’s pay-to-play political system.”
eMailbag: Pushback on My Saying Diehl Likely Next Speaker
Reader 1: “While I do think that Diehl wins the Speaker race, from my experience at Summer Caucus and talking to members, it looks like the gap has closed considerably and Caleb has the momentum going his way…”
Reader 2: “Telling people you are a lock doesn’t make it true. Just look at the last several leadership races in the MO Senate.”
Columbia Daily Tribune seeks City Editor. See it here.
The Missouri Office of State Courts Administrator (OSCA) announces a career opportunity for the position of deputy state courts administrator. See it here.
Emerson’s Missouri Responsible Government Fund - $30,000 from Emerson Electric Co.
A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $25,000 from AT&T.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Missourians for Tim Jones.
Friends for Debbie Dunnegan - $38,000 from JD Records Searches Inc.
Missourians for Tim Jones - $6,500 from RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc.
From the Pelopidas website:
Angelita King added Missouri Alzheimer’s Coalition.
Brian Bernskoetter deleted Martin Marietta Materials, and Hunt Martin Materials LLC.
Jennifer Martin deleted David Klarich, and all of his clients.
Annette Montandon deleted Pfizer Inc.
Brian Bernskoetter and Randy J Scherr deleted MOGas Pipeline LLC.
James C. Bowers, Jr. added Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter, and PC Homes LLC.
William B. Moore added I-470 Business and Technology TIF Plan.
Bill Stouffer added Cerner Corporation.
Michael T. White added Magna Seating of America.
Happy birthdays to Bob Holden, Rep. Anne Zerr and former Rep. Ray Salva (66).