Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Updated 2014 Previews

We’re obviously very early in the cycle, but I’ve posted updated 2014 legislative race previews in the Special Reports.  This adds a few new candidates from the last version, and also updates financial information based on the recent campaign finance filings.

See the House Preview here.

See the Senate preview here.

I will continue to update these documents periodically.  But the rubber won’t really hit the road until next year, I expect.

Progressives Hate on Squishy Dems

Over the weekend AP’s David Lieb tracked down some conservative Dems and got them on the record saying they’d vote for the gun bill override.  See it here (thanks to the peerless John Combest).

Now comes the progressive backlash.  Here’s Progress Missouri’s email blast…

From: Sean Soendker Nicholson <sean@progressmissouri.org>

Date: Mon, Jul 29, 2013 at 1:15 PM

Subject: $%&@# $%&@# !!


Not much surprises us in Jefferson City these days. But we were disgusted to learn Friday that Democrats are joining with right wing extremists in an effort to override Governor Nixon's veto of a blatantly unconstitutional nullification bill.


HB436, known in the national press as “the nation’s most extreme gun protection bill,” is a dangerous piece of legislation that would nullify all federal gun laws, as well as allow teachers to carry guns in school and punish law enforcement officers for enforcing any federal gun law.  This dangerous and unconstitutional measure was vetoed early this summer.


But as of last week, Democratic Reps. Keith English, Ben Harris and T.J. McKenna have each indicated they will join their extremist colleagues and vote to override Gov. Nixon’s veto of HB436. These could very well be the votes that allow this bill to become law.


The reason? *A lack of political courage.*


Rep. McKenna actually said, “It’s not worth the fight for me to vote against it,” before admitting, “the bill is completely unconstitutional.”  And Rep. Harris said, “Being a rural-area Democrat, if you don't vote for any gun bill, it will kill you.”



May Jumps into STL License Collector Ring

A strong city source says that Alderman Terry Kennedy and Alderwoman Marlene Davis once interested in becoming the next St. Louis City License Collector, have both dropped their dream, and are no longer pursuing a gubernatorial appointment.

That leaves Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, Alderwoman Donna Baringer, and a new name…  Rep. Karla May.

Here’s the email…

From: Marilyn Williams

Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 1:38 PM

To: _Democrat Representatives

Subject: License Collector Position


Dear Colleagues:


This is to let you know that I am a contender for the position of License Collector in the City of St. Louis, and I am asking for your support.


Thank you for your assistance.


Karla May

State Representative

District 84

Morris Going Squishy on HB 253?

The Springfield News Leader quotes Rep. Lynn Morris sounding not so solid on voting for the override of HB 253:

Morris was among the 103 state representatives who voted to give HB253 final approval, but has since rethought his vote.  “I think there is some merit to that bill and what it could do for our economy. However, I also told you that I don’t think any legislator up there, either party, would have voted for it if they thought it was going to hurt education,” Morris said.    See it here.

The momentum of this veto battle may shift as the $2 million of Rex Sinquefield money begins to hit radio stations, television stations and mailboxes.  But right now there appear to be many more possible defectors against the override than for the override.

Missouri Roundtable for Life Starts Committee

Fred Sauer filed a political action committee for Missouri Roundtable for Life.  During the past year Sauer sent acerbic “open letters” to various legislative leaders accusing them of malfeasances. 

For example, this gem to Pro Tem Tom Dempsey (“Did you go to Israel to find how you can spend Missouri taxpayer dollars on Israel’s scientists? Or maybe you want to invite them to come to Missouri and practice the Black Art of human cloning here, using state funds while Missourians cannot even find jobs…”).

The PAC says it will be in support of the initiative petition to limit campaign contributions.  One motif of his open letters is that legislators only support life science research because of the large campaign contributions.

Save Gordon

The coalition to save Gordon Parks Elementary School from closure won a victory as Judge Daniel Green overturned a decision by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Kansas City Star has the story here.

A few questions from one observer:

Is this another area for JCAR (Joint Committee on Administrative Rules) to address?  “Where the hell were the rules DESE was supposed to be following?”

The alleged sunshine law violation is strange considering DESE General Counsel Mark Van Zandt was in the room.  Shouldn’t he – of all people – have known better?

And what will the final tally be for this fight? Judge Green assessed costs against the state, meaning taxpayers will foot the bill for both Chris Koster’s Army and Chuck Hatfield & Co. down at Stinson Morrison Hecker, as well as the Swanson Midgeley law firm out of KC.

Destefano Goes Digital

Johnny Destefano, son of former state senate candidate John Destefano and brother of former Rupp staffer Melissa Furey, is going digital.   

Destefano, formerly an aide to House Speaker John Boehner, is now president of Data Trust, a “third-party Republican organization charged with modernizing the Republican Party’s digital capabilities and achieve parity with the Democrats ahead of the 2014 mid-terms and 2016 presidential elections.”  See it here.


Lobbyist Franc Flotron will participate in a workshop at Missouri Catholic Conference’s annual assembly (September 28, Jefferson City).  The title of the workshop: Is the Missouri General Assembly Broken?

Former Speaker Rod Jetton and former state senator Jeff Smith will sign copies of their book, The Recovering Politician's Twelve Step Program to Survive Crisis, on August 7 at Pi Pizzeria in the Loop in St. Louis.


House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $15,000 from Xcaliber International Ltd.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer - $10,000 from Jennifer Bukowsky.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri – $5,001 from Barry Aycock .

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Brian Bernskoetter added Jefferson City Area Board of Realtors.


Happy birthday to former state Rep. Bruce Darrough (60).