Wednesday July 31, 2013

Jones Gives Humdinger of an Interview

Speaker Tim Jones gave an interview to KWMU’s Chris McDaniel and Beacon’s Jo Mannies and mighty Jason Rosenbaum.  It has a lot of interesting bits.  Listen to it here.

HB 253 Outlook

First and foremost, was Jones’ pessimistic assessment of the chances of an override of the governor’s HB 253 – the tax cut bill.  Listening to the interview, some people heard Jones say that he wasn’t going to bring the bill for a vote because it lacked the votes.  (This prompted some funny reaction, this for example.)  And that’s clearly the tenor of the discussion, but I don’t think he was quite as definitive as folks made out.

Here’s my best transcript of it: “We did not have a veto proof majority on the vote in the House; we had 103 votes.  There was a lot of reasons for that.  The vote was called late on a Thursday at the end of a very long budget debate and so some people had to leave the Capitol a little bit early that day so we had I believe six Republicans were absent I believe most of those would have voted Yes for the bill.  But we had three Democrats also joining us on that vote to give us the 103. So we had 100 Republicans and 3 Democrats.  From what I’ve only read and heard and not speaking to them directly, I’m not sure if any of those three are going to vote on the override…

“Jeff Roorda is the only unknown, so I have to presume going into this that I need all 109 Republicans to be in the Capitol on September 11 and available to vote on that bill. That is a huge mountain to climb. You all will remember last year we had an override on the religious freedom bill as we commonly called it, we had to keep the board open for about 25 minutes because we were stuck at 108 and we even had a few Democrats voting with us that time.  People have family illnesses, people have deaths in the family, people have reasons for voting one way or the other.  We are not a monolith as a caucus people have definitely various opinions about every single bill.  I have Republicans who hail from everything from 42% Republican districts to 72% Republican districts in all corners of the state.  So overriding this veto will be monumental if it happens because right now I have to say that I don’t know if we have the members…

“Likely I would not even attempt an override because unless those three or four individuals – and the number sort of fluctuates every day somebody says “well I don’t know” or “yes I am” – unless those individuals and others who have concerns can look me in the eye and say, “Mr. Speaker I’m going to vote for the override” then there is no reason for me to bring it up because I don’t think there’s going to be a single Democratic vote for the override when it comes down to it.  Which is a real shame because I think the bill as a whole is something that will move Missouri forward, out of its 48th place in the nation of GDP growth.  We have a stagnant, we have a good economy, but we seem to be stuck in neutral.  And for this governor to suddenly not support tax relief for all Missourians is a bit perplexing to me…”

I personally think that Jones is playing possum a bit here, maybe hoping that the governor will let up a little if it appears dead.  But what’s really interesting is the notion of only bringing it for a vote if he’s sure he has the numbers.

So far the television contracts haven’t looked like the big amounts one would expect from a $2 million roll-out.  Perhaps it’s all coming, veto session is still five weeks away.  But there has been a theory that the Grow Missouri effort would save some powder for after veto session, and hammer any Republican who defected as a RINO… next summer – in a primary!  For that scenario to occur, they need a vote.

HB 650 Outlook

Jones mentioned HB 650 as having override potential because he could pull Jefferson County Dems interested in the incentive for Doe Run.  I just don’t see that.  19 Republicans voted against, and they’re Republicans with backbone – Jay Barnes, Nick Marshall, Sheila Solon… These folks don’t care what people think of them.  But we’ll see…

Jones for AG

Also in the interview, Jones all but declares for attorney general…

“Many people have approached me.  Many people have suggested I continue my public service. I come from prosecuting attorney background…  The attorney general’s office is something that really appeals to me.  It’s a working office.   I’ve enjoyed being a working Speaker.  I think I’ve helped transform the speaker’s office into a true statewide model…  I think the attorney general’s office would be a real working office that I would enjoy waking up and  working in everyday, whether it’s in consumer protection and consumer finance, whether it’s in the criminal justice world, whether it’s in the financial realm which I have a real keen interest in as well.  That office probably appeals to me the most, Jo.  And it’s one that I’m focused on right now.  Official announcements will probably have to wait for a little later day, but it’s one that I’m heavily focused on right now and intend to definitely pursue.”

Student Transfers Saga

The Riverview Gardens School District named Kirkwood as the second district for which it will pay the cost of transporting its students, assuming that Mehlville runs out of capacity.  See the Post-Dispatch story here.

Although it’s expected that Kirkwood will react in a more kind and gentle fashion than say Francis Howell (see Kirkwood’s statement here), this is the continuing contagion of the failing districts that may bring parties to the table with greater urgency next session.

Boyer in House 113

The Post-Dispatch reports that Bob Boyer, a Republican on the Jefferson County Council will run in House 113 where Rep. Jeff Roorda is exiting to seek the senate seat.  See the article here.

Here was part of his platform when he ran last year: “Why I’m Running: While living in Arnold for the past 5 years, I’ve seen the bad side of government and how progressive ideas can have disastrous results. I’ve seen government seize private lands of a good dentist and give it to a giant corporation, all along making that dentist’s life a living Hell. I’ve seen the tax rate skyrocket to 9.4% due to corporate welfare such as Tax Increment Financing and other tax “incentives”. I’ve seen the State Constitution and the Bill of Rights be trampled on with the introduction of Red Light Cameras…”

On the Democratic side, Sean Fauss, a Democratic committeeman in Arnold opened a campaign committee recently.

According to the redistricting numbers, House 113 is a solid 57% Democratic district.

eMailbag: Follow-up on Who’s Paying for Lawyers in Gordon Parks Case

“Reading Judge Green’s decision in the Gordon Parks case, the judge awarded Gordon Parks ‘costs,’ which usually means filing fees, costs of paying court reporter for depositions, etc. Attorney fees are separate and could be sought, but I’m thinking that may depend on the State’s response to calls from all around not to appeal.

“This case, for the State, surely looks like a loser on appeal. DESE and the AG should also tread lightly because Judge Green's decision applies only in Gordon Parks' case - do they really want a recorded appellate decision that, if they lose again, ties their hands in the charter school realm AND forces taxpayers to pick up an even larger tab for both sides? Senate Appropriations Chairman Kurt Schaefer already has weighed in publicly about DESE and other agencies spending big on hapless and hopeless litigation. Why add fuel to the fire…”

Help Wanted

Missouri Association for Social Welfare seeks a Fund Development and Communications Manager “to increase support and revenue for MASW from individuals, foundations, corporations, religious and other organizations; and to tell MASW’s story through a variety of communications mechanisms in order to attract membership, funders, and positive media coverage.”  See more information here.

The City of Columbia seeks Public Information Specialist.  You know someone who “plans, researches, designs, writes copy and edits information for brochures, newsletters, flyers, posters, programs, reports and other publications in support of citywide and department-specific goals…”  See listing here.

$5K+Contributions

Associated Industries of MO-PAC - $100,000 from Grow Missouri.

MO Freedom - $25,000 from The James Dowd Law Firm.

Safer Families for Missouri - $25,000 from The James Dowd Law Firm.

Missouri’s Future - $25,000 from The James Dowd Law Firm.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $10,000 from Strong Garner Bauer PC.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 Todd Herman added Merck Sharp & Dohme Corporation.

Kate Kulesher Jarecke added Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Polsinelli’s Rodney Gray.