Friday, April 12, 2013

The Politics of Privacy

The sharing of personal information has “exploded” as an issue in the Capitol, driven by hearings of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

But yesterday Speaker Tim Jones attempted to wrest the spotlight back from Approps Chair Kurt Schaefer, holding a press conference outside the attorney general’s office.

Tweet from Ryan Hobart: “Most dangerous spot to stand in the capitol today is between Sen. Schaefer or Speaker Jones and a reporter.”

Here are some Combest articles on the situation…

Read Bob Watson’s article here.

Read Elizabeth Crisp’s article here.

Read David Lieb’s article here.

Read Mike Lear article here.

Personally, privacy issues like this stuff don’t rile me.  But I don’t own a gun; I don’t care if the Feds know my eye width etc.  Tapping my phone, snooping my library check-outs, cataloguing my web browsing would be different.  But that’s just me. 

Republicans feel pretty outraged by this, and they seem to think they have a winning issue. It plays into their Second Amendment paranoia.

As a result, we have the almost comical elbowing for the front of the parade between Schaefer and Jones.  (Sen. Eric Schmitt is taking a lower key approach, perhaps attempting to establish himself more statesman.  See his statement below.)

Schaefer, Jones Positioned For Broader Skirmish?

It’s said that this little tussle for control of the privacy issue is poised to broaden into a larger skirmish.  This rumor says that Schaefer – or his allies – would begin to take an interest in the House’s use of “issue development” committees to circumvent the spirit of the lobbyist gift reporting laws.

And with regard to the Leadership for Missouri Issue Development Committee, one source thinks it’s going to get tangled pretty quickly.   Because the regular House leadership meetings would contain a quorum of this new committee, they’ll have to serve notice of their leadership meetings – and make them open to the public.   That would give the press – and Democrats – a ringside seat?  Seems unworkable.

What It Means for the Rest of Us

Trouble.  Unless you’re hoping to stop legislation.  It appears that this 2016 positioning could increase the inter-chamber frictions in a way which has been absent thus far.

The bonding issue, the transportation tax, Medicaid expansion/transformation, ISRS… these could all fall victim to the increased hostilities – and fear.  Fear that an issue could be a vulnerability down the road.

Schmitt Statement

With the ongoing controversy surrounding the Missouri Department of Revenue and its release of sensitive, personal information in violation of state law, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-­‐Glendale, chairman of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, today called on the department to promulgate rules so that the appropriate review by the Committee can take place, as the Department has sidestepped this important process… Last month, a Stoddard County resident filed a lawsuit against DOR alleging the department had scanned and collected the citizen’s private information as part of a new policy for renewing or receiving a driver’s license or concealed carry permit. In response, the Senate launched an investigation into the accusations. Recent developments have shown the department did not follow the rulemaking process in implementing the new policy, a violation of state law…”

Blurb Overheard

“I'm gonna start calling Kurt Schaefer 'The Orchiectomist'. Go look it up.”

eMailbag: Praise

“Absolutely brilliant positioning by Kurt Schaefer on DOR and the CCW inconsistencies. It’s another reason why Schaefer adviser Yancy Williams is simultaneously respected and feared as a strategist who has been scarred and tested in national campaigns…”

eMailbag: Carnahan Snark

“If Dems want a Republican governor. they will put Robin on the ticket. But we don't so it will be Koster.”

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Ward W. Cook added City of North Kansas City, and Grantham University.

Luann Madsen and Phil Wright added Glazer’s Family of Companies.

$5K+ Contributions

Friends of Tom Schweich - $5,500 from John Woodside.


Happy birthdays to Reps. Courtney Curtis (32) and Clem Smith (36), and former Rep. Brad Robinson (47).