Friday, March 9, 2018

Christian County GOP Quality Control?

One MOScouter on the ground says that the Christian County Republican Central Committee has been pushing the idea of vetting candidates who wish to run as Republicans. This comes as push back against candidates who run as Republicans yet do not follow the Missouri Republican Party Platform.

In February the Committee voted to ask each potential Republican Candidate in Christian County to sign a form agreeing to the entire MO GOP Platform.  On Wednesday of this week, the CCRCC again met to vet those candidates who have already filed.  During that meeting, the incumbent Presiding Commissioner, Ray Weter, was denied.  The CCRCC has refused to accept his filing fee and will not allow him to file as Republican.

The CCRCC believes that they have Supreme Court precedence to deny ballot access in the Republican Primary.  They are also stating that they are prepared to defend their decision in the court system if necessary.

It’s difficult to win in Christian County unless you are a Republican, so Dems often try to run as Rs.  For example Jim Evans who has run for congress as a Democrat for years as a D is running this year as an R.   They can’t stop him since it is a Federal race, but they sure don’t like it.

I am pretty sure that Ray Weter is not going to take this sitting down….”

Weter served as a state representative (Republican) about a decade ago.  See his campaign website here.


Christian County is not an outlier here.  This sentiment – real Republicans versus half-blood Republicans – is an on-the-ground reality among the Party faithful all across the state.  If it holds in Christian County, the practice might be adopted in other central committees as well.


Axios Poll

Yesterday Axios ran a poll that showed vulnerable Senate Dems – including of course Missouri’s Claire McCaskill – doing poorly in the upcoming elections against their Republican counterparts.

The Axios/SurveyMonkey poll had Josh Hawley ahead 52% to 44%.

However, one bit of caution with the Axios poll is that their top-lines appear to be unweighted.  If you look inside their numbers here, you will see that because it’s not weighted, they have Missouri as +15 GOP.

I’m tempted to take everyone along on a long digression at this point – Missourians don’t register by party, Trump won by 19 points, Obama’s not in the White House, Trump is not popular, incumbents suffer in the mid-terms, Dems have shown good energy through the special elections this year, Greitens’ scandal might depress GOP turnout, etc etc etc – but I won’t do that.

Instead I’ll say that how you weight partisan turnout in Missouri is open to debate.  Remington Research, who does my polling and which is owned by Republcian consultant Jeff Roe, has been weighting the 2018 Missouri elections at +8.  Some Dems think that’s too high, but it’s definitely defensible.  +15 GOP is a much harder case to make in this environment regardless of how “red” Missouri has turned.


I haven’t polled it since January.  That poll showed Hawley leading more narrowly 49% to 45%.  I will be polling again this weekend.


More than Low Pay

Will Schmitt reports that “confidential survey results show Missouri's state workforce suffers from entrenched leadership failures… Last summer, Missouri participated in a free research project performed by McKinsey & Company, a consulting firm that specializes in diagnosing the health of public and private entities. About 75 percent of the state workforce, or roughly 35,000 employees, participated in the survey… Survey responses show a need to improve leadership communication with the rank-and-file and to give state workers a sense of purpose and an understanding of how to work toward collective goals, said [Drew] Erdmann, who was employed by McKinsey before joining Gov. Eric Greitens' administration in early 2017…”

One source writes, “Low pay is one thing but the real reason people are unsatisfied with their jobs is when they don't have a locus of control.  It's not just about leadership. But about leaders who empower the people below them so they have some control over their destiny. And I think you would find higher rates of satisfaction in the workers in the general assembly because many of them are tasked to make decisions and handle important stuff…”


This is more or less a Marxist observation.  I know that’s unfashionable.  Folks are either dismissive or threatened by Karl Marx.  But he wrote as much about the means of production as he did about the distribution of profits.  And here we are 150 years later with a capitalist consulting organization basically regurgitating his critique about the alienation of labor.  Go figure.


Confide Lawsuit

Jason Hancock writes about the impact of AG Josh Hawley’s Confide investigation on the Confide lawsuit filed against Governor Eric GreitensSee it here.

Pull Quote: [Attorney] Pedroli said the explanation that the governor’s staff used the self-destructing text messaging app only for scheduling and logistical matters was absurd. “Who goes out their way to immediately shred their logistical and scheduling communications, when these are precisely the communications organizations rely on to function.” he said. “They would be missing meetings and showing up late everyday saying, ‘sorry I scheduled this on Confide.’ The absurdity of this excuse is apparent to most people.”


Dead-Panning Fitzpatrick

The Springfield News-Leader reports that “Missouri House budget leaders say they're willing to cut funding for the director of the state health department, which they say has stonewalled their request for data about a potentially fatal tick-borne illness. Rep. Justin Alferman, the House Budget Committee's vice-chair, announced during a Wednesday afternoon hearing he would propose a 10 percent cut to Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams' office and staff budget. That cut is coming, said Alferman, R-Hermann, if the department does not provide data about how many people have tested positive for the Bourbon virus.  "This is not a veiled threat," he said. "It is a promise."

House Budget Committee Chairman Scott Fitzpatrick, R-Shell Knob, backed the proposal and suggested he'd go even further than Alferman's 10 percent cut. He deadpanned that maybe the Department of Health and Senior Services didn't need to exist: "I'm cool with that too. We can roll 'em into DSS (the Department of Social Services) or something…"

Much of the department's public communications to date about Bourbon virus has been information about avoiding ticks and looking for symptoms after possible exposure to the tiny, spider-like bloodsuckers…”


The House Budget also cuts funding for the Missouri Charter Public School Commission along with language to require the commission office to be within 10 miles of Jefferson City because “it might help them be able to come to budget hearings…”


Ethics Watch

SuperLawyer Chuck Hatfield tweets… “The Federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has set April 10th as the date for argument of the challenge to Missouri’s ban on PAC to PAC transfers. Trial court held it unconstitutional. AG appealed.”


Gubby Appointments

Governor Eric Greitens made the following appointments…

Fred R. Kostecki and Ron T. Darrah to the Missouri State Board of Accountancy.

Jeffrey S. Glaser to the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts.

Michael J. Grewe to the State Lottery Commission.

Opeoluwa Sotonwa to the Missouri 911 Service Board.

Kenneth “Brooks” Miller to the Truman State University Board of Governors.


New Candidate Filings

Teri Hanna filed to run in House 127 as a Democrat.  This Sandy Crawford’s old House seat.

Jeff Porter filed to run in House 42 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Bart Korman, is termed.


I’m going to break one of my rules.  I really try not to repeat rumors that I don’t think are true, but here I am doing it anyway… Claire McCaskill hasn’t filed yet for re-election.  Apparently some people think we might see Jason Kander file on the last day instead.  I think that’s ridiculous, but whatevs.


New Committees

Chouteau PAC was formed.  Its treasurer is Alan Simpson.

James Ripley formed a candidate committee (Ripley For Mo Integrity) to run for House 34 as a Democrat. Republican Rep. Rebecca Roeber is the current incumbent.

Michael McGirl formed a candidate committee (McGirl For State Rep) to run for House 118 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ben Harris, is termed.


Lobbyists Registrations

Michael Alesandrini added Michael Alesandrini, Principal Of Leverage Management Solutions.

Richard Brownlee III added The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA).

John Cozad added Powell Gardens Inc.

Andrew Weber added Defiance Ridge Vineyards LLC; and deleted Catapult Learning Inc., and Wind Country Garden LLC.

Jewell Patek deleted Mylan.

Ward Cook deleted Central Cass Fire Protection District.

Kelly Carnago deleted Google Inc.


$5K+ Contributions

MACFPD Campaign Committee - $10,000 from Rubicon Corp.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Nathan Beard (the big 4-0), and Dave Monaghan.

Saturday: Treasurer Tishaura Jones, Luke Scavuzzo, Eddy Justice, and Matt Jessee.

Sunday: Jay Reichard.