Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Crusey to Leave Students First

Lea Crusey, state director for Students First, will be leaving that position over the summer.  She and her husband are moving to Washington DC.

In the last few years Students First has emerged as one of several reform groups in Missouri.  They have generally been at odds with the teachers’ unions as they push for systemic reform.  And they have found the Republican leadership – especially in the House – to be supportive of that effort.

No word on who will succeed Crusey, whether they would hire someone who’s already in the building and won’t need a steep learning curve on Missouri, or if they will transfer someone in from elsewhere in their national organization.

Rumorville: Wagner for Senate?

One rumor – from Missouri, not DC – has Ann Wagner’s path preordained some five years out… According to this talk she will be the favorite Republican to run for U.S. Senate in 2018 when Sen. Claire McCaskill is up for re-election.

If it’s possible for the party apparatus to be mobilized to clear the field in advance, and if such a candidacy can be locked in, it could be a positive for Republicans as they negotiate their 2016 line-up.  It would “open up” that congressional seat for aspiring Republicans. That is, might some Republicans forgo a 2016 statewide race if they knew 2018 offered them a possible ticket to DC?

Rumorville: Other Nixonites Eyeing Exit?

On the heels of Jason Hall’s departure from the Department of Economic Development for a gig at the St. Louis Regional Chamber, there are rumors that other – more senior – staffers are also eying the exits, watching for openings in judgeships.

This could just be idle talk, but it’s spurred by a sense of political drift from the captain of the ship.  Without clear designs on another office, the subordinates – however loyal – naturally begin thinking about their future after this tour is over.

What’s Clint’s Cash For?

In the large checks (below), State Treasurer Clint Zweifel recorded three contributions of size.  What’s that money for?  Zweifel is termed in his current office, and has ceded the governor’s race to fellow Democrat Chris Koster.  The large contributions would be invalid for a federal race, so that seems to eliminate U.S. Senate in 2016.  That would leave one of the open slots in 2016 – perhaps secretary of state if Jason Kander slides over to AG, or – the auditor’s race in 2014.


It sounds like the coalition that pushed for the transportation tax is moving ahead with preparation to go the initiative petition route after the effort stalled in the legislature last session.  The benefit of going the petition route is that they can precisely craft the language to suit both their policy aspirations and the political realities.  The downside of going the petition route is it costs a few million dollars…

Show Me Institute’s James V. Shulsgives an overview of the components of the state’s education “foundation formula.”  Read it here.

JoePAC is the name of the political action committee started by St. Louis Democratic activist Rea Kleeman to honor her late husband.  “My husband, who was with me in our endeavors to help elect Progressive candidates into the Missouri State Legislature, passed away last year. Now I’ve set up a PAC in his honor to continue our work: JOEPAC… We’ll achieve $10,000 by the first quarter, June 30 and $100,000 and more by January 2014.  Our goal is to help elect ten progressive candidates to the Legislature in 2014.  Our financial adviser is Vincent Currao. Our treasurer is Jimmy Loomis.

Team Provel – the informal coalition of those who support making Provel the official cheese of Missouri – got a big boost yesterday when baseball star David Freese signed on tout Imo’s Pizza.  Read it here.   Other prominent members of Team Provel include Sen. Eric Schmitt, and lobbyist Jane Dueker.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Mandy Hagan deleted Walgreen Co.

Lorenz Hart deleted American Conservative Union.

$5K+ Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $15,000 from Ameren Missouri.

Operating Engineers Local 101 Political Fund - $120,000 from Engineers Political Education Committee 1125.

Association of MO Electric Cooperative-PAC – $7,500 from Sho-Me Power Cooperative.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri –  UFCW Local 655 Elect Political Fund.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri – Central Bancompany PAC.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $10,000 from Thompson Coburn LLP.


Happy birthday to Steve Tilley (42).