Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gun Bill Heats Up

Attorney General Chris Koster issued a blistering letter yesterday dismantling HB 436 (gun nullification bill).  See it here.

Although it’s easy to get lost in the partisan rah-rah, each side on these override bills cheering on their blow-horn put-down, Koster made a very important addition to the debate on this bill.

He introduced the possibility that the bill would not be struck down in its entirety.  While he cited provisions which he argues are clearly unconstitutional, Koster painted a scenario where some portions of the bill remain after the nullification language is thrown out.

This is a real possibility.  And Koster warned in his letter about how the statutes which remain could undermine the basic law-and-order relationships citizens expect.  As one observer remarked to me later, “just wait until the Franklin County meth task force has to shut down.” 

This argument heightens the stakes.  Some conservative Dems who have been expected to defect have hidden behind an “aw schucks, it’ll get thrown out in court” defense.


Dems who know Koster, and the political animal, nay, beast that he is, must marvel that he would wade into a hot-button issue with a clear downside which he could easily ignore.  The conclusion: the potential unintended consequences of enacting this bill are too real for even Koster to willfully sidestep.

Hill for House

Now there are three Republicans with committees started for House 108, where Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger is running for Senate. The latest is Justin Hill. He joins Jamey Murphy and Nina Dean.

According to a quick web search, Hill is a benefit consultant with Visor Benefits.

A vibrant primary in Gatschy’s home district is good news for him, as it will increase turn-out where his name ID is strongest.

Onder’s Invite

But Bob Onder (Gatschy’s primary opponent in Senate 2) is working it hard.  Here’s a list of names on his recent fundraising invite:  Frank Eggering, Chairman of 2nd Senatorial Committee; Jon Bennett, Chair, St. Charles County Republican Central Committee; Sandy Garber, Vice Chair, St. Charles County Republican Central Committee; Cindy Evans, Secretary, St. Charles County Republican Central Committee; Cheryl Bates, Harvester Township Committeewoman; Joe Brazil, County Council, 2nd District, Boone Township Committeeman; Dave Evans, O'Fallon Township Committeeman, State Committeeman; Eva Guest, St. Peters Township Committeewoman; Carole Paul, Dardenne Township Committeewoman; John Wiemann, Dardenne Township Committeeman; David Zucker, St. Peters Township Committeeman; and Nick Guccione, Mayor of Wentzville.

Follow Up on Aboussie Lobbying Bit

From a reader with far greater knowledge of the lobbying statutes than me… “Pursuant to section 105.475, Jeff Aboussie is exempted from the lobbying provisions because he is the Executive Secretary Treasurer at the St. Louis Building Trades.  See provision below.”

Lobbyist exceptions.


2. The provisions of sections 105.470 to 105.473 shall not apply to any member of a union who is acting in either an employment capacity or contractual capacity in association with the union, except if such person's employment or contractual capacity is as a lobbyist for the union.

New Sheriff at MEC?

Meanwhile one observer thinks that James Klahr could stir things up in the Capitol if he is willing to use his intimate knowledge of the legislative process to go after those that work in the “gray areas” of the ethics and fundraising laws. 

It’s been a while since the Missouri Ethics Commission has had someone hat’s spent that much time in the back of hearing rooms and hallways.

Maybe he keeps his head down and status quo is maintained.  Or maybe he is the new sheriff in town since the legislature won’t police itself with stronger laws on gifts, meals, and fundraising... 

America’s Homeowner Alliance Launches

From the press release:

America’s Homeowner Alliance, a newly established national alliance, announced it is officially open for membership today.

The first of its kind in the United States, the alliance is being launched by a team of industry veterans and an advisory board of housing industry professionals, along with prominent consumer groups and fair housing organizations…

The mission of the Alliance is to protect and promote sustainable homeownership for all segments of America.  America’s Homeowner Alliance is a nonpartisan organization structured similarly to the AARP…

Immediate goals of America’s Homeowner Alliance include:

Defending the Mortgage Interest Deduction

Preserving the Low Downpayment Mortgage

Maintaining Availability of The 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Protecting Consumers from Excess Cost and Less Available Mortgage Financing

Reducing Government Dominance of Mortgage Credit / / Encouraging More Private Capital

Addressing the Lack of New Home Construction Lending

Protecting Home Values

The Alliance is based in St. Louis, Missouri and serves as the representative public policy voice of existing and aspiring homeowners. Additional information can be found at

Facebook News

Jeff Roe is infanticipating… “Baby Roe due March 14, 2014.”

Democrat Deb Lavendar, planning for her fourth run for House 90 (Stream termed), has “signed a lease for a home in the district…”

Other Bits

In his interview yesterday Rep. Caleb Rowden sounded like an Aye vote for the override on HB 253.  He said phone calls to his office were about 60% in favor of tax cut…

NEA released ads against the override of HB 253.  See it here.

National think-piece in NYTimes (read it here)… “How did corporate America lose control of the Republican Party? From overhauling immigration laws to increasing spending on the nation’s aging infrastructure, big business leaders have seemed relatively powerless lately as the uncompromising Republicans they helped elect have steadfastly opposed some of their core legislative priorities.”

Help Wanted

Kansas City Life Insurance Company seeks Assistant General Counsel to “preserve and maintain assets of the Company and its shareholders by rendering preventive legal advice to specific Company departments…”  See it here.


United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,405 from

United Food & Commercial Workers.

Citizens for Responsible Research - $50,000 from Brad Bradshaw.

Citizens for Responsible Research - $6,306 from Brad Bradshaw.

Missourians for Tim Jones - $10,000 from Menlo Smith.

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Tyler Deaton added American Unity Fund.

Andrenna L Taylor added Port Authority of Kansas City.

Robert J Hack deleted Missouri Gas Energy.

Zach Pollock deleted Missouri Department of Agriculture.



Happy birthday to former state senator Jane Cunningham.


To Jason and Diana Kander on the birth of their son, True Steven Kander (7 lbs, 8oz, 22 inches).