Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ron Richard Speaks

CDT’s Rudi Keller gets the interview of the week.  He talks to Senate Floor Leader Ron Richard who unloads.  Read it here.  It looks like the gun bill (HB 436) even if it made it out of the House would now have problems in the Senate.

Pull Quotes

On now being against the gun bill: “You take an oath to uphold the constitution,” he said. “Why would you want to vote for something that is unconstitutional? That is where I stand.”

On his tenure as speaker: “Did I ever lose as the Speaker of the House any issue that was appointed to me? No. I will answer it with that question. I never lost one issue.”

What he’s telling House members on HB 253: “I don’t give them (an opinion) and I say, ‘Vote your conscience.’”

On pressure tactics: “There’s a lot of that stuff goes on, but when there’s actually efforts going on saying, ‘Vote for this or you’re going to have a primary,’ you know what I would say? ‘Bring it on big boy.’”

NYTimes on HB 253

New York Times hits the tax cut bill debate this morning, ending with a quote from Republican Rep. Elaine Gannon saying she’s a No vote.  Read it here.

Sex Offender Registry Reform Dead?

HB 301 – the bill to reform the sex offender registry – is said to be losing votes now.  This comes on the heels of an AP story over the weekend detailing that the driving force behind the effort is a donor.  It’s said that legislators, already worried about the potential for their vote to be used by an opponent, are even more skittish now.

The Drift

So… Tax cut bill – well short of 109; Gun bill – falling apart; sex offender – starting to sink… You get the drift.  Still, Doe Run hasn’t lost momentum.  There were only 94 votes for it in the House during regular session and it’s still in the hunt for an override.  Amazing.

House Dems Poke Jones on “Side Business”

Over the weekend KC Star’s Jason Hancock reported about an LLC listed on Speaker Tim Jones’ personal financial disclosure form, Missouri Freedom Alliance.  See it here.

Jones’ vague answers gave critics an opening to question the propriety of the arrangement.

Yesterday, Minority Leader Jake Hummel sent Jones a letter.  Post-Dispatch’s Elizabeth Crisp uploaded it.  See it here.  Hummel writes, “For the good of the House of Representatives, we ask that you take all necessary steps to public clear the air regarding this matter.”

On the eve of veto session it could be an Dem effort to poke the speaker and unify Democrats.  One politico saw this as Roy Temple’s first foray into the scrum as party chair. 

Others saw it as attempts to influence the upcoming speaker’s race.  As one House observer wrote to me a week or so ago, “Does Caleb Jones have a better shot if his last name is not the same as the current speaker?”

Caleb’s Contract with the Caucus

Last week Rep. Caleb Jones, in his final push in the speaker’s race, sent an email to his caucus members outlining his “contract with the caucus.”


Subject: Contract with the Caucus


Dear friends and colleagues,


Through my travels during the past two and a half months, I have had the pleasure of meeting with many of you and discussing your thoughts of where our caucus is heading and how it should work in 2015.


I know that sometimes people will say one thing to get elected and then forget their promises once in office. I want you to hold me accountable. Therefore, today, I am laying before you my Contract with the Caucus.


I pledge to you:

•     I will not run for higher office in 2016 - I have no intentions of using the Speaker’s office as a stepping-stone.


•     I will commit to serving as Speaker for only one term.  Afterwards, I will give any remaining campaign funds to the HRCC.

•     I will ask the Caucus to abolish the Rules Committee.

•     I will hold daily office hours for caucus members only. No staff, no lobbyists, just House members.

•     I will ask the Caucus to eliminate Committee slots. Good policy is good politics.

•     I will make Chairman accountable to the Caucus. We will hold real Caucus meetings and iron out the problems before a bill advances to the floor.

•     I give the Caucus the ability to determine legislation. You will determine our priorities.


This is my pledge to you.  I believe we can function better as a Caucus with bottom up leadership than with a top down mentality.


I look forward seeing you all at the Veto Session in the days to come.


All my best,


Caleb Jones

Poach Alert!

One forwarder of the Missouri Republican Party’s gathering this weekend added the note…

Poach alert!  MRP is having three Governors from other states come in to talk about policy:  KS, OK and MS.

McGirl in House 118

Michael McGirl started a campaign committee to run for House 118 as a Republican.  The current incumbent is Rep. Ben Harris, a Democrat.  His mother held the seat before him.  According to the court redistricting data, the district is solidly Democratic (58% DPI), but these are the kinds of districts that Republicans have been steadily peeling off, as it has a rural/exurban component.

McGirl is the collector of revenue in Washington County.

Busy Veto Session…

Post-Dispatch’s Elizabeth Crisp lists the fundraising functions here.

eMailbag: Memory of a Donkey?

“I was talking with people today about veto session and it is amazes me how limited Democratic memories are.  These people are happy that Nixon vetoed what he did and are thrilled that he has spent the summer fighting to sustain his vetoes. But in reality, he caused the whole problem in the first place!  He sucked up all of that campaign money and selfishly left others to fend for themselves with empty donors. To make it worse, the whole point was ego - he just wanted to rack up the biggest win possible against Spence! If he had helped House Democrats with only 5% of the $15.5 million he spent crushing Spence, Nixon could have spent the summer being productive instead of playing defense.  Democrats need to stop giving the Governor credit for barely keeping his head above water after jumping into the deep end without friends.  Unbelievable.”


UTU-PAC - $11,600 from United Transportation Union PAC.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Jon Galloway added Mortgage Research Center.

Michael Moorefield added Office of Missouri State Treasurer.

Thomas F Richards added University of Missouri.

Frank H Plescia added Bellevue Pharmacy / Pharmacy Services Inc.

Rodney R Hubbard added Mayor’s Office City of St. Louis, and Brown & Associates.


Happy birthdays to lobbyist Erika Leonard (31), and former House candidate Paul Woody (34).