Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Shadow of Rex

The final month before veto session will likely see lots of evidence of the $2+ million Rex Sinquefield is pouring into the Grow Missouri coalition to override Governor Jay Nixon’s HB 253 veto.

And that’s a lot of money which may have the intended impact and change the debate on the bill meaningfully.

But right now, there’s a case to be made that Sinquefield’s big splashy checks have been counterproductive. 

For certain, Sinquefield is a lightning rod for the left.  Even though Sinquefield has contributed to Democrats, and there are a clutch of Democrats who agree with his pro-school choice agenda, the caricature of him as a proponent of unfettered free market eclipses those nuances. 

He is “the billionaire.”  He “tries to buy” various issues. 

And what’s intriguing is that with regard to HB 253, his financing of the supporting coalition hasn’t just given Democrats extra cause for unity, it’s also made some Republicans uncomfortable.   While it’s not enough for them to change their votes from Aye to No, Sinquefield’s money almost demanding an override strikes them as unseemly.

He is called by some “the fourth branch of government,” and that riles some Republican legislators.

I’m guessing obviously.  But my guess is that the tax cut – which Sinquefield believes in deeply – is so close to becoming law, just one vote away, that he and his team felt compelled to do something.  Human beings are prone to action.  His investment of these huge resources on a veto override seems foolish to some political observers.  It’s unprecedented.   But maybe he just couldn’t stand by and watch.  He had to do something.

And finally, not to overstate the case that his involvement is detrimental to his cause, I should mention that most Republicans welcome Sinquefield’s backing on this issue (and personally).  And for the few who have higher ambitions, they crave it.  Because if you’re thinking of higher office, Sinquefield’s ability and willingness to write six-figure checks in this no-limits state can be a big piece of a fundraising plan.

Roorda to Dem Reps: Stop Shopping at Walmart

From: Jeffrey Roorda <>

Date: August 7, 2013 10:05:19 AM CDT

To: Jeffrey Roorda <>

Subject: WTF!

Reply-To: Jeffrey Roorda <>

WTF! It's not what you're thinking...that stands for "Walmart's The Foe" of Democratic values. That's why I was so disturbed to see purchases from Wal-Mart on the Ethics reports of some of my Democratic House colleagues. Almost everyone in our caucus received campaign contributions from the UFCW, the Teamsters or some other labor organization that represents employees of Union grocers, like Schnuck's, Dierberg's, Shop-n-Save, or Dillon's. Hell, Mike Frame and I might not have won our very close elections except for UFCW 655 devoting two full-time workers to each of our campaigns.

It's a slap in the faces of those unions to see any Democratic candidate spending the money that they donated at union-busters incorporated, aka Walmart.  Is it really worth the $3.73 you saved on your purchase to kick sand in the face of our labor friends? Should we really be supporting a company with the anti-worker business practices of Wal-Mart, Sams or other companies of that ilk? Should we be spending Democratic dollars at a company that exclusively supports Republican candidates in elections?

Think before you shop. Maybe there's not a Union grocer or department store close to you. So what...make the drive. If you can't find what you're looking for at a store that employs union workers, for God's sake, don't buy it at Wal-Mart or Sams.

If Democrats are going to start winning elections again, we've got to stop biting the hand that feeds us. Walmart's The Foe!

See you all at caucus,



Given how few Dems (see below) have shopped at Walmart, one Dem describes this email as Roorda “trying to kiss (UFCW topper) Dave Cook’s ass.”

List of Current Dem Reps with Walmart/Sam’s on Their Reports This Year

Randy Dunn

Charlie Norr

Sharon Pace

Ed Schieffer

And In 2012

Gail McCaan Beatty

Penny Hubbard

TJ McKenna

Charlie Norr

Ed Schieffer

Steve Webb

New Committees

Steve Drake started “Freedom is Liberty” committee.  See the organizing paperwork here.  It’s unclear what the committee will do.  Drake is a former coach who helped on John Brunner’s campaign.  See his webpage here.

First Day

“Student transfers become a reality today.”  See the Post-Dispatch article here.

$5K+ Contributions

Supporters of Health Research and Treatments - $24,900 from Sam Fox.

Holsman for Missouri - $5,001 from Thomas Minnick.

Notes on Lobbyist Registrations

Yesterday’s registrations listed John Bardgett adding the Ironrock Capital Partners.  That is Scott Zajac’s new firm, having left Advantage Capital.


Happy birthdays to Shawn Furey (31) and Robbyn Wahby.