Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Targeting With No Common Sense

The St. Louis Beacon’s Jo Mannies wrote yesterday about a new group forming to help sustain Governor Jay Nixon’s veto.  They are called Missourians for Common Sense.  See the article here.  The article raised many questions…

Who Is It?

Who’s behind this new group?  I couldn’t get an answer.  The group hired an out-of-town spokeswoman, and is hiding their donors (see more below).  Speculation varied wildly with no good information.

Why the Odd Target List?

According to the article the group is targeting Republican representatives with a high number of seniors in their district.  But the target list (see below) doesn’t include anyone who is likely to change their vote in veto session.  Zinged one politico to me, “Their target list appears to have been created by someone who pays zero attention to the legislature.  The Governor’s Office perhaps?”

Thus Reps. Nate Walker and Jeff Grisamore who have publicly voiced concerns aren’t on the list; neither is Rep. Jeff Roorda who hasn’t firmly said he’d stick with the governor; nor is Rep. Penny Hubbard who found herself allied with the speaker earlier in the year.

Instead it’s a hodge-podge of Republicans in strong GOP districts, where their first worry would be a primary, not a general election opponent.  There are some in swing districts, but these are Republicans who are strongly in favor of the override like Reps. Caleb Rowden and Noel Torpey.  Then throw-in Rep. Caleb Jones who’s running for speaker? – as if there’s any chance he would change his vote to support the governor on the eve of the speaker-elect election!?

Target List

Here are the representatives listed in Mannies’ article as being targeted by the new group.  I’ve added the Democratic Performance numbers from the courts’ redistricting data:

Lynn Morris – 29.5%

Sue Entlicher – 32.2%

Don Phillips – 32.2%

David Wood – 38.7%

Sheila Solon – 41.8%

Craig Redmon – 44.4%

Caleb Jones – 44.7%

Robert Cornejo – 45.8%

Myron Neth – 45.9%

Caleb Rowden – 48.7%

John McCaherty – 54.4%

Noel Torpey – 60.7%

Also

Missourians for Common Sense hasn’t filed a campaign committee, saying they’re not required because they’re not supporting candidates or a ballot issue.  I disagree.  I think they are attempting to influence actions of voters, but others see it differently. 

Here’s the definition: "Committee", a person or any combination of persons, who accepts contributions or makes expenditures for the primary or incidental purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the nomination or election to public office of one or more candidates

Finally

The timing of this group’s entry into the debate suggests that they are attempting to impact the outcome of the Republicans’ summer caucus next week when the topic of the override will surely be front and center.

The Chess Game

It appears that opponents of the tax cut bill are taking a larger field of play than just the veto session.  Democrats are optimistic that the governor’s veto will be sustained, and they are preparing for the next battle – January – when they imagine the Republican legislature will take back up a tax cut bill – but this time without the prescription drug tax goof.

Can’t Be All Icing

The tax cut override may be crucial to the Republicans’ other efforts during veto session.  It’s a recipe for bad press if the Republican supermajority didn’t take up and pass something substantive, but instead managed override on inconsequential/unconstitutional measures like Agenda 21 and the gun nullification bill.  They need the cake to have the icing.  We’ll see…

Another Transfer Lawsuit Coming

From the CEAM press release: “Three parents of children from unaccredited Riverview Gardens School District (RGSD) are prepared to file suit against Mehlville School District (MSD) if the latter fails to revisit its current policy regarding transfer students and make necessary changes before Thurs., Aug. 8, at 3 p.m., at which time a lawsuit will be filed.  Such changes include expanding the number of student transfers the district will accept from RGSD. 

“The Mehlville Board of Education and the district's superintendent have received copies of the lawsuit, which has already been drafted, as well as a letter explaining the plaintiff's good faith hope to work out an agreement without having to go to court, and in advance of MSD's first day of school, Thurs., Aug. 15.  Riverview Gardens' first day of school is Mon., Aug. 12.”

And

Meanwhile the Kirkwood School District held an informational meeting last night about their transfer situation.  Sens. Eric Schmitt and Scott Sifton were in attendance and while there’s concern, “the tone was good.”

No Bid to KS?

With all the discussion over the last year regarding Missouri competing with the State of Kansas, there’s a rumor that’s turning heads…  it’s said that the Office of Administration has signaled its intent to award the Kansas Department of Commerce a Missouri state contract without any competitive bids. 

The state contract requires the contractor to provide a software package which would track Workforce services via the Internet.  It seems strange to many that, given all the political rhetoric on both sides of the aisle, that the State of Missouri would award a contract to our state’s single largest competitor without a competitive bid, particularly when this contract would provide the Kansas Department of Commerce with some of Missouri’s most valuable information regarding our state’s Workforce training capability?  Stay tuned…

Bondon In for House 56

As I reported a few weeks ago, Jack Bondon will run for House 56 (Chris Molendorp not running for re-election).  He’ll start his campaign committee tomorrow. 

From the press release: “Bondon is a local small-businessman. The Bondon/Berbiglia family has owned and operated Berbiglia Wine & Spirits since the end of Prohibition. Jack has worked his way up the family-controlled operation since earning a business degree from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, in 2004.”

According to the release, Bondon’s wife, Melissa, is a Republican Committeewoman.

Kander Rounds the Bags

At Busch Stadium last night, Secretary of State Jason Kander held a fundraiser hosted by Barry Aycock.  Others on the host committee included: Annette and Alan Mandel, Robert Cimasi, Gary Grewe and Tom Green.

Kander will hold two more baseball fundraisers this week… at Royals game tonight and the Springfield Cardinals’ game tomorrow night.

Bits

Sheri Bilderback, formerly with Pelopidas, has joined VOYCE as their director of public policy.  VOYCE’s mission is “to educate and empower persons and their families for quality living across the continuum of long-term care.”  See the website here.

The American Cancer Society is seeking someone to take Misty Snodgrass’ spot.  See it here.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

John E Bardgett Jr added Ironrock Capital Partners.

James C. Bowers, Jr. added Ranch Entertainment.

Mark S Bryant added Sparrow Community Development Corporation.

Patricia R. Jensen added A.B. May Company.

William B. Moore added Independence EDC.

Michael T. White added Missouri Municipal League.

Eric Blake deleted Merck Sharp and Dohme and its affiliates.

Steven R. Sullivan deleted Ameren.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to St. Louis American’s Don Suggs, and former Rep. Mike Dethrow (61).