Monday, June 24, 2013

Nasheed Gives Great Interview

If you listen to only one podcast today… listen to this interview with Sen. Jamilah Nasheed from last week.

On Campaign Finance Laws: Nasheed recounts the political horse-trading in 2008 which led to her being the 82nd vote in the Republican-controlled House to pass unlimited campaign contributions.  She calls it her “biggest mistake as a legislator.”  She says people “are losing confidence” in the legislature because of it and vows to do “all that I can do to right my wrong from 2008” and bring limits back to Missouri.

On Lobbying: Nasheed says that she doesn’t think legislators should be “allowed to go straight into lobbying after they’re done” in agreement with Sen. John Lamping’s proposal.

Difference Between Being In the Senate and the House: Nasheed – because of her working relationship with the House governing majority – feels that she had more power in the House than in the Senate.  “I learned that the power (in the Senate) comes within the last three weeks of session.  That’s when you really know you have the power.”

On the Democratic Minority:  “We had too many battles. That was part of my frustration.  But we had so many battles.  We had to fight back against the prevailing wage... the paycheck deception, I call it deception.  We had so many pieces of legislation that we had to push back on that we really had to really choose our battles carefully.  Not knowing that the governor was going to veto many of those bills, why are we not fighting?  Why are we not filibustering?  And they were like, ‘Look, senator that’s not how it works over here, calm down, we let it pass and the governor’s going to veto it an so we save our powder for later.”

Medicaid Expansion:  “I don’t want to believe that the Republicans are that cold-blooded (to not expand Medicaid)… I think it’s going to happen when it gets closer to the election… ”

On Sen. Rob Schaaf: “That guy’s very difficult to understand. I don’t know where he’s coming from sometimes.”

On Genetically Modified Foods: Nasheed filed a bill on GMO labeling last session and she blames Monsanto for its death… “So I filed the bill and Monsanto lobbyists, they were all over it.  I didn’t even get a hearing, okay!.. It was on (the California) ballot, and it died because millions of dollars came in the last two years and killed it, but over 85% of the people wanted it but they just didn’t have the money to fight it back… I’m not saying (GMO) is good or bad, I’m just saying the people should have the right to know.”

Coming: ObamaCare for Climate Change?

According to the Financial Post, President Barack Obama is set to deliver a major policy initiative on climate control tomorrow.  “Reuters sources familiar with the plans have said Obama is likely to roll out a number of measures on climate policy, such as a strategy to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants…”    See it here.

The New York Times reports that, “Some Democrats, including those hawkish about climate action, also worry that tough new standards on power plants could slow job growth and raise energy costs, particularly in places like the industrial Midwest that depend on cheap power from coal.  But administration officials signaled that Mr. Obama had decided the risks from climate change outweighed the potential economic and political costs from taking steps to address it.”  See it here.

This will likely scare the bejesus out of conservatives.  This sounds like a major reshaping of the utilities landscape for the coming decades, an issue on which one might expect the legislature to work in order to prepare Missouri for the changes.

But if the reaction on healthcare is any indicator, the Republican majority will devote more attention next session to resolutions bemoaning the policies, and trumpeting state sovereignty.

 

Freedom to Sag

Meanwhile the Freedom Agenda continues to be under assault all across Missouri… the latest battleground is in men’s fashion.  The practice among urban African American youth to wear their pants “sagging” (in order to show what pattern/color boxers they’re wearing) is the target of St. Louis Alderwoman Marlene DavisSee it here.

MATA Conference Bits

The Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys met for their annual conference over the weekend.  Legislators honored were Sens. Bob Dixon and Gina Walsh, and Reps. Jake Hummel and Sheila Solon

Republicans seen in attendance: Dixon, Solon, and Reps. Jay Barnes, Robert Cornejo, Jeff Grisamore, Nick Marshall and Noel Torpey.

Also honored was Amy Gunn, wife of former PSC chair Kevin Gunn.  She’s an attorney at The Simon Law Firm and is the treasurer of the Jason Kander campaign committee.

And it’s said that new MATA prez Steve Garner gave a killer, tear-jerker speech.

Flight Records

The Jefferson City News Tribune reports on the flight records of the Missouri Highway Patrol.  See it here.  

“Gov. Jay Nixon was the most frequent flier of the 125 flights the Missouri Highway Patrol flew last year. Records for 2012 show Nixon and members of his administration used the patrol’s 1999 King Air airplane 104 times — or 83.2 percent of the flights. First lady Georganne Nixon was listed as a passenger on 19 of the flights… By contrast, the patrol’s records show six flights total made last year for the state Transportation department, two on behalf of University of Missouri doctors, one for Attorney General Chris Koster and four for the state Public Safety department and various law enforcement agencies.”

Not So Fast

Kansas City Star reports that last week’s Supreme Court ruling on student s transferring from unaccredited district to better ones is not quite so clear… “A state Supreme Court ruling earlier this month upheld a state law that allows transfers from unaccredited districts, prompting the state to issue new guidelines.  But another case before the high court involving Kansas City-area districts is still pending, and the attorney for the districts said they will wait.”  See it here.

Schlichter Sues

Jerry Schlichter, the St. Louis attorney whose greatest legacy may be the crafting of the historic preservation tax credit legislation more than fifteen years ago, was featured in the New York Times over the weekend.  He’s spearheading a lawsuit challenging the fees involved with 401k plans.  See it here.

“His firm, Schlichter Bogard & Denton, has brought 14 similar lawsuits over the last seven years on behalf of 401(k) plan participants. Typically, the suits claim that the employees were paying too much in fees. Several employee benefit experts have said that Mr. Schlichter’s cases and others have resulted in lower charges as other employers began to fear attracting lawsuits of their own.”

 

SEIU Runs Pro-Immigration Ads

The Service Employees International Union have been running television ads across the nation in support of the immigration bill. 

One of them – Fix It (see it here) – features Mo Costello whose restaurant, MoKaBe’s, in the South Grand neighborhood of St. Louis has been a regular must-stop for St. Louis City candidates for the past decade.

Journo Jobs

The Cassville Democrat is seeking an energetic, hands-on leader who understands the importance of community journalism.  See ad here.

AOL’s Patch is looking for local editors for both its Kirkwood and Mehlville.

$5K+Contributions

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $7,500 from Husch Blackwell LLP.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $12,500 from Right Choice Managed Care Inc.

Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,400 from Jesse Bodine.

Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Robert Blitz.

CWA District 6  Political Education Committee - $19,160 from CWA District 6 Political Education Committee.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Bethanne Cooley added CTIA – The Wireless Association.

Tracey McClard added Campaign for Youth Justice.

Jewell D. H. Patek added Roselein Alternative Energy; and deleted Lefleur Adminstrative Services, Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors, and Hawthorn Group L.C.

Birthday

Happy birthdays to Rep. Kevin Austin (48), MO Chamber’s Alex Curchin (39), former speaker Jim Krieder (58), and former Rep. Dani Moore (67).