Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Leara Mulls New Leadership Race

Rep. Mike Leara, who unsuccessfully ran against John Diehl for the floor leader position last year, is once again considering that position.  If history is a guide, the floor leader position won’t be voted on by the Republican House Caucus until next year.  So there’s plenty of time for the situation to evolve.   Rep. Todd Richardson has been mentioned often as a potential floor leader.  And Rep. Mike Cierpiot, being the currently assistant floor leader, is a possible candidate for the job.

More Thoughts on Speaker’s Race

Where’s the Difference?

From the outside, there’s not a whole lot of policy difference between John Diehl and Caleb Jones.  Both are firmly in the mainstream of the Republican House Caucus.  Diehl’s district is a right-center district while Jones’ is a right-right district.  Diehl’s tends to be less conservative on the social issues than Jones’.  But at this stage in their careers neither is beholden to their district.  Neither would be vulnerable to a primary challenge.

Internally, the difference – to caucus members – will not be their “positions” but rather which positions they will emphasize.  Furthermore some may seek their favorite issues being injected with the juice of the speaker’s office; however, just as many may be motivated by hearing that their least favorite positions will be buried in a future speaker’s agenda.

For example, for those Republicans who made nice with labor to win Democratic districts the prospect of more anti-labor votes would be unappealing; and those who suffered the heavy push of Speaker Tim Jones’ education reform agenda might be looking for some relief from those battles.

Lastly, there is the matter of personality.  Jones can be gregariousness and exhibits more characteristics of an extrovert.  But again, for caucus members, their preference will be determined less by who’s the better backslapper than whether they think they’ll have access.  An “open door” policy for all 110 caucus members is impractical – and possibly impossible.  On this score members’ experience with Diehl as floor leader will likely set the bar for them; will they have better access with a Speaker Jones than a Speaker Diehl?

Is Jones Ready?

A few folks raised the question of whether Jones is “ready” for the big chair.  The knock that’s mentioned is his sponsorship – a few sessions ago – of the resolution supporting Lockheed Martin’s military aircraft which was considered anti-Boeing, a company with a large presence in the state.  That is, will Jones take too much of a “big picture” approach that allows mistakes to slide through the process?

Is Jones Rural?

“Don’t have a favorite dog in this fight, but a good reporter might want to check out how rural Caleb actually is, as in where his law offices are and where he currently resides…” 


KC Labor Backs Down on Prevailing Wage

In the continuing back and forth on HB 34, it’s said that the Kansas City building trades unions still do not like the bill.  They apparently analyze its impact differently from those in St. Louis.

However, they’re now conceding that it’s not politically effective or wise to push Nixon for a veto.  Discussions continue and that could change, but at this point it’s unlikely Nixon will be lobbied for a veto.  As with many bills, how the regulations are written and implemented will be critical to the impact.

St. Louis Regional Chamber Seeks Outreach Manager

“The primary purpose of the Manager of Advocacy Outreach position is to help inform, energize, and engage St. Louis Regional Chamber members about the Chamber’s public policy and advocacy functions. This position will support the Chamber’s active involvement in public policy discussions and advocacy campaigns that affect the business and civic community… Individual will spend up to 10% of his or her time working outside of the Chamber offices. Requirements may include some evenings and extended hours when the legislature is in session.” See ad here.


Steve Tilley’s house in Las Vegas listed for sale.  See it here.

From the peerless John Combest, The Missouri Times previews the coming battle to replace Sen. Scott Rupp in Senate 2.  See it here.


Missourians for Koster - $10,000 from Ameren Missouri.

Missourians for Fair Taxation - $25,000 from Missouri Association of REALTORS.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Joseph Thompson deleted Missouri Coalition of Community Mental Centers, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Consumer Collection Management, Missouri Primary Care Association, Integrity Home Care, Missouri Care, Family Health Partners, Glazer’s Family of Companies, Consumer Healthcare Products, George K. Baum & Company, and Truman Medical Center Charitable Foundation.

Michael Ponder added University of Missouri System.

Jim Farrell deleted Major Brands Premium Beverage Distributors.


Happy birthdays to Sen. Brian Nieves (48), Keith Kirk (49), and Jason Cohen.