Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lamping in Limbo on 2014

Sen. John Lamping may or may not run for re-election in 2014.  His decision will be determined by his family circumstances.

After Lamping narrowly won his seat in 2012, his daughter began competing in and winning gymnastics contests.  She was approached by scouts as a having extraordinary talent with national potential.  As a result, the Lamping family moved to the west side of the state so she could train under elite tutelage.

Lamping has made no secret of his current arrangement which takes him from St. Louis to Jefferson City to Kansas City every week during session.  When Kansas City Mayor Sly James testified in a recent committee hearing, Lamping told the mayor that he’d been spending a lot more time lately in his city – and he was impressed.

If his daughter continues to progress, and makes a run at competing in a national championship, Lamping will likely not run for re-election.  However if she should stop her training, he would likely run for re-election.  Lamping appears to have an Ignatius-like approach to the uncertainty of his future, open to either possibility without prejudice.

One would expect a decision late this year.

And

It’s said that a few state representatives have been sniffing around the possibility of a vacant state senate seat in 2014.  But Rep. John Diehl is not among those.  He has ruled out a state senate run.

House Dems Relevant!

Sometimes the House is derided as the “fake legislature” because the rules allow the Republican supermajority absolute control of their proceedings.   The debates – while they give the minority a chance to vent and sharpen their zingers – have no real impact on the herd mentality which preordains the fate of legislation in that chamber.

Yesterday – however – the Democratic minority scored a few wins.  Some were small, some were larger.  Overall, they were relevant, a true achievement in their circumstances.  

First, Rep. Sandy Crawford was in the chair when she prematurely closed the voting board on an amendment to HB 176.  As a result Republican narrowly lost the vote 76-77.  The bill was laid over, Speaker Tim Jones reassumed the chair.  (Crawford won’t be allowed near the dais for a while, observers predict).  The bill was reconsidered to the Republicans’ favor.

Then in debate on HB343, Rep. Sue Allen’s pro-life amendment ran into trouble when it was assailed as a “Todd Akin” type policy and was withdrawn.

And finally, Rep. Kevin Elmer’s education reform bill (HB 631) was sunk around midnight when nearly all Democrats voted with about half the Republicans.

Ed Reform Doomed?

Education reform has become increasingly difficult in the state legislature. 

The “status quo” organizations – school teachers, administrators etc – seem to coalesce in most issues, circling the wagons.  Over the last half-dozen years of being under attack, they seem to have come to an understanding that they must hang together or all hang separately. 

And together they tend to represent a pretty diverse coalition, drawing strength from all across the state. It creates odd voting patterns, but makes a frontal assault on their incumbent position nearly impossible.

Approps on the Attack

After spending most of yesterday grilling the Department of Revenue officials, look for the Senate Appropriations Committee to be a “bloodbath” today, according to one course.  Public Safety and Highway Patrol are before the committee this morning, and they’ll “be asked to explain the weeks of lying” about the list of concealed carry holders being given to the Feds.

Hospitals Dodge Bullet – For a Year?

In the Obama budget it looks like he is calling for a delay in the previously proposed DSH payments for a year.   See it here.

Pull Quote:  “The move, however, complicates the politics of the Medicaid expansion. Now, conservative states less inclined to expand can decide not to do so, knowing that hospitals in their state may not take a major pay cut. At the same time, though, the cuts are still scheduled to take effect a year later.  So under Obama's proposal, states would have an extra year to decide on the Medicaid expansion, but the cuts that have spurred many hospitals to lobby their legislators on the expansion are still coming.”

ISRS Update

Former US Senator and Ameren lobbyist Kit Bond will be working the halls today “to make the case for the potential $25 billion global SMR export market Missouri could dominate – and pressing improvement in the state utility regulatory climate as one of the key factors for success, including advancing the ISRS legislation.”

After today, we’re at five weeks though, time is melting away…

Axiom Wins Awards

Jeff Roe’s Axiom Strategies won 20 “Pollie Awards” this past weekend.  That was twice as many as their nearest competitor.  The American Association of Political Consultants, founded in 1969 as a nonpartisan organization of political professionals, judges the entries.  Among their winners…

Best Use of Social Pressure – “Scream” for Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future.             

For State Legislature – Republican – “Fakebook” for Kurt Schaefer.

Best Use of Illustration – “Who is John Wright?” for Mitch Richards.

Independent Expenditure Campaign - State Legislature – “Monopoly” for Ryan Silvey.

Best Use of Negative Contrast - State Legislature – Republican – “Dodgeball” for Myron Neth.

Wedding Talk

Congratulations to Kansas City lobbyist Sammy Panettiere who’s set to get hitched this weekend.

The young man’s impending nuptials led to some hallway reminiscing of the Brent HemphillDeanna Borland wedding affair.  During the reception of those lobbyists, Bill Gamble cheerfully helped run up the bar tab by insisting that guests enjoy the Jefferson City Country Clubs finest alcohol.

The final bill by evening’s end… $25,000.  Hemphill thinks this was Ameren’s payback for his work for Noranda in the yearly utility wars in the capitol.

The good news for Panettiere, Gamble is unable to attend this weekend…

And

For the record, $25,000 is also what I paid for my house.

Bits

Help wanted at KIPP St. Louis, looking for a COO.  See it here.

Organized labor unveils a new website today… We Are Missouri’s Working Voices… see it here.

Overheard in the halls: “When I want to communicate with the governor’s office, I don’t talk to Daniel Hall.  I talk to Richard McIntosh.”

A portion of the tape of Sens. Jamilah Nasheed and Maria Chapelle-Nadal hanging in the cop “ride around” talking about fundraising was released.  See it here.  It’s only about five minutes, leading to the prospect that there will be other portions of the tape yet to come out….

Spotted at Pfenny’s last night: former Robin Carnahan staffer Ryan Hobart, back in Jefferson City after a campaign stint in Colorado last cycle…

Over in Kansas…

Yikes!  “Saline County Commissioner Jim Gile said it was a ‘bad choice of words’ Tuesday when he used the expression ‘nigger-rigging it’ in a heated discussion with Commissioner John Price.”  See it here.

But it’s all cool folks, Gile explains… “I am not a prejudiced person,” Gile said “I have built Habitat homes for colored people.”

I did double-check and this article is not from The Onion; it’s the Salina Journal.

eMailbag: Dems for Carnahan?

“Related to the gubernatorial race, there’s a lot I like about Koster. He was a champion for affordable childcare and a truthful income eligibility standard while a GOP senator, and I appreciated that! I do think it would be a shame not to have a woman as our next governor though because it is way past time - and there are many qualified women available.”

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

Rob Monsees added Advantage Capital Partners.

Mark J Rhoads deleted Triumph Foods.

$5K+ Contributions

Friends of Tom Schweich - $10,000 from Rudy Farber.

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to RBC’s Dave Leipholtz.