Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rex Does It Again

Yesterday Rex Sinquefield contributed a new $750,000 to his campaign to override Governor Jay Nixon’s veto of HB 253.  This time the donation went to the Missouri Club for Growth.

This brings his known total investment in the effort to $2,350,000.

While the huge sums of money may initially create some shock-and-awe buzz in political circles, it’s not necessarily easy to translate $2 million dollars into influencing the few state representatives where this will be decided.

The plan – it appears – is to raise the public’s awareness of HB253, and of course have them view the bill favorably.  Then do polls – the week before veto session? – and tell them that this is the will of their constituents.

But there are serious downsides to this path.  For starters, while there may be different components to the Grow Missouri coalition, the Rex money makes an easy target for supporters of the veto.  As one snarked, “we don’t need a government of Rex, by Rex, for Rex.”

His too visible involvement hardens the Democratic caucus even more, making Republican unanimity critical.

MO Club for Growth Starts Ads

I did a quick check of the networks in St. Louis and Kansas City yesterday and there were no ad contracts on file yet.  But within the next two weeks I think we’ll see them show up for MO Chamber, AIM, and now Missouri Club for Growth.

Here are the MO Club ads… “Compete,”  “Enough,” and a radio spot “Opportunities.”

McMillan to Urban League

St. Louis License Collector Mike McMillan, who a decade ago was thought to be on a sure trajectory to become mayor someday, was hired as the CEO and president of the St. Louis Urban League.

This was a surprise as the talk in previous months had been that he was passed over.  But McMillan, apparently worked the board in spite of the out-going president Jim Buford. 

PR maverick Gentry Trotter tweeted as much: “@MikeMcMillanStL has been elected TODAY as the new President of the Urban League of Metro, despite James Buford opposing him!”

The governor has the power to appoint.  The word around St. Louis City Hall was that Alderman Terry Kennedy was first in line, but it’s unclear whether Kennedy has juice in Jefferson City.

The position is up for election next summer, so the governor could appoint a “caretaker.” 

Plescia for Schupp

In Senate 24, lobbyist Frank Plescia shows up on Rep. Jill Schupp’s report with a $250 contribution.   Plescia ran – as a Republican – in 2008 against Schupp for state representative.

Common Core Rebellion Stifled

A look at how “common core” became politicized nationally, but why the “rebellion” failed to gain traction.  “The establishment or moderate GOP caucus… as the Common Core debate intensified in state legislatures, they rallied business groups that have supported the standards in the past, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable, to lobby lawmakers to keep Common Core because they think it will improve education and thus be good for business. At least in 2013, that argument seems to have won out.”    See it here.

Laclede Gas Merger

From the peerless John Combest, Missourinet has an interview with the Public Service Commission’s Robert Kenney on their approval of  Laclede Gas’ buy of Missouri Gas Energy.  See it here.

Emergency Meeting MCHCP

I got a few calls about an emergency meeting of the Missouri Consolidated Healthcare Plan Board.  See their website here.  It appears that they met to adopt additional high-deductible plans.  See agenda here.

While moving folks to high deductible plans is a way to contain costs, it’s also seen as a way to potentially screw workers.  The devil is in the details.  The trade-off is always premiums being paid versus coverage, and as details emerge this may or may not become a lightning rod.  We’ll see…

Justice Testifies

Rising Republican politico Eddy Justice traveled to Washington DC yesterday to testify against the “Blueway project” (see an article about it here).   See Justice’s testimony here.

$5K+Contributions

MO Cattlemens Association PAC - %,450 from Diane Sites.

Stand Up Missouri - $9,500 from World Acceptance Corporation.

Missouri Club for Growth Political Action Committee - $750,000 from Rex Sinqufield.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $10,000 from David Steward.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Travis Brown, David Jackson, Brent Hemphill, Kristian Starner, Ward Cook, and Dave Berry added Grow Missouri.

Bradley J Ketcher added Results Engineering.

Notes

Meet the first hires by Grow Missouri to lobby for the override.  One imagines more to come.  Unsurprisingly these are all folks associated with Pelopidas.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Rep. Charlie Davies, and IUPAT’s Gary Otten.