My plan this week is to do Daily Updates all week except tomorrow (Christmas), but I expect that they will be skeletal as the news cycle goes into hibernation mode until the New Year.
As a fun addition, I’ll be running “Readers Polls” this week and announcing the winners in the following day’s update.
The first one is: 2012 All-Star Political Consultants. Vote on it here.
Now to the usual bits…
Humphreys Gives $25K to Nixon
Heavy GOP donor David Humphreys sent a surprise $25,000 to Governor Jay Nixon’s new campaign committee.
Humphreys has given millions to Republicans (and their causes) over the last several cycles, and now he gives the Democratic governor who has said he’d veto right to work a check? It’s odd.
I asked for explanations on Twitter and received a batch of holiday jokes (“Picked the under on the Bragging Rights game” – Richard Callow; “Inauguration and penance?” – Jane Dueker; “that was what he found in his sofa after the cycle. So why not?” – Jeff Smith; “DINO, maybe.” – Virvus Jones).
Jo Mannies at the Beacon writes that it’s likely to cover inaugural costs – read it here – though that still begs the questions why is Humphreys concerned about helping Nixon celebrate his inaugural.
Sinquefield Sets Up Another Campaign Committee
The sprawling Pelopidas octopus grows a new tentacle…
Rex Sinquefield sent $275K to a new campaign committee, Missourians for Excellence in Government. See it here. The treasurer is Nancy Rice, a St. Louis-based political consultant, who has generally maintained Sinquefield St. Louis political portfolio. For example, she shepherded the effort for local control of the police department to its conclusion last month.
That indicates that this new committee will likely be focused on initiatives in the St. Louis region. There are municipal elections this spring.
More Department Legislative Liaison Shuffles
Emily Kalmer from Senate Research (she worked on Eco Devo issues last year) is the new liaison for Department of Insurance, taking the place of Missy Palmer who went to Blue Cross.
And Ian Dunlap will go to Department of Corrections.
Jones’ House Make-Over
A mini-eruption has occurred in the last week as Speaker Tim Jones’ has started an extreme make-over of the House press gallery. Read Bob Priddy’s laments here.
A few points of interest which have been mentioned to me.
First, there appears to be some friction between Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss and Jones, and building of offices – for Crumbliss and others – in the press gallery is thought to be just one front in that skirmish. Crumbliss apparently was offered a position in appropriations, but demurred and has so far resisted the pressure to exit. Putting up in the gallery was one more insult, according to this view.
Second, Rod Jetton – speaker-turned-consultant-turned-publisher – has taken up on the side of the press. One possible motivation assigned to him is an attempt to ingratiate himself with the press corps which still views him warily. Another is an attempt to distance himself from his career as a Republican speaker by attacking a relatively non-ideological proposal by a Republican speaker.
I would add the possibility that he actually believes the construction of these offices is a bad idea, and freed from the bounds of being politic, he now can rabble rouse at will.
GOP To Go Outside MO For Talent?
As Republicans talk about what and who they want in a new state party executive director, some are pushing the idea of a national search.
The thinking is that it’s time for a real shake-up. The sense of crisis comes from the bungling of the US Senate race – picking the worst candidate, disavowing that candidate, tiptoeing back to the candidate in clumsy half-steps without any strategy – as well as being nearly swept in the statewide races, despite having a presidential candidate win by double digits. Up and coming Republicans want a strong, smooth-running party in place for when it’s their turn at bat.
McCaskill seeks communications assistant. See it here.
Lawyers Weekly seeks reporters; one in KC, one in StL. See it here.
Missouri Healthcare for All seeks an executive director. See it here.
eMailbag: Firing Back on Kelley’s Gun Bill
From the official bio of Rep. Kelley: "In addition to his legislative duties, Rep. Kelley is the general manager of McDonald's of Lamar." I wonder if the McDonald's managed by Rep. Kelley is posted "no guns"? And whether he has expressed to McDonald's any opinion about allowing guns on the premises? Does Rep. Kelley carry a concealed gun during work hours on the McDonald’s premises?
From the Pelopidas website:
Brian K Long deleted Council on Public Higher Education in Missouri (COPHE).
Charles W Hatfield deleted Logan College of Chiropractic.
Richard I. Martin added Saxum, and Dewey Square Group LLC.
Michael A Dallmeyer deleted Carfax.
MO Democratic State Committee - $10,000 from Express Scripts Inc.
Schmitt for Missouri - $16,500 from Missouri Freedom.
Missourians for Excellence in Government - $275,000 from Rex Sinquefield.
Civic Progress Action Committee - $50,000 from Monsanto.
Slat for Mayor - $15,000 from Waste Management Service Center.
A Better Missouri With Governor Jay Nixon - $25,000 from David Humphreys.
Happy birthdays to Reps. John Cauthorn (66), Lindell Shumake (63), and Paul Wieland (50), and Joe Palm.
Christmas: David Christian.