Monday, March 12, 2018

Q&A #1: What do you call a $6 million campaign committee?

Short answer: We Are Missouri.

 

Over the weekend, two more six-figure checks came into the We Are Missouri campaign committee.  These two checks – like almost every other big check to the campaign – came from labor organizations.  In the past year, the campaign committee has received over $5.7 million from labor organizations. We Are Missouri is trying to beat back right to work at the ballot box later this year.

Right to work was a signature issue for Governor Eric Greitens.  It remains to be seen if his underwater approval ratings could negatively impact voters’ views on this issue.  It would seem to at least limit his ability to positively help the issue y campaigning for it.

Another factor is that the House is considering moving the referendum from the November ballot to the August ballot.  Republicans worry that the question will spike union turnout which could help Senator Claire McCaskill in her re-election.  By placing it before voters in August that would be avoided.  Remington Research polling showed little impact on the RTW referendum outcome by moving the ballot date

 

Rex Returns

Rex Sinquefield has been relatively quiet in Missouri politics recently. But he marked a return this weekend by sending $250,000 to Missouri Club for Growth. This money is expected to be used in the primary election cycle focusing on legislative races and maybe on ballot initiatives.  But it also signals more Sinquefield money coming in the general election.  And it’s no secret at Sinquefield is not a fan of McCaskill.

 

Who’s Running in St. Charles?

Rep. Kurt Bahr writes on Facebook about the idiocy in St. Charles where you have to file a Sunshine request to find out who’s filed for office!?!

“I received a response to my sunshine request. Having information prior to the filing deadline is essential for those making decisions about running for office. I asked for the following public information: the names of filed candidates and the offices for which they filed as well as the title of any office which has no filed candidate in St. Charles County. The response asks for a reasonable time, not more than 14 days, to locate the documents.

Every surrounding county posts this information publicly, in a significantly shorter time, without being asked. The Missouri Secretary of State's office personally informed me they are unaware of any other county in Missouri that does not voluntarily release this public information.

I believe strongly that publicly available candidate filing information is crucial to the election process, and plan to make transparency and public communication a priority when I am Director of Elections….”

 

Greitens Scandal Bits

Post Dispatch reports on how Greitens’ Mission Continues is a new nest of problems for the governor… “Among the issues investigators may scrutinize is whether Greitens or the charity violated federal tax laws that forbid charities from taking sides in elections. Charity insiders also are barred from using organization assets for personal gain. Hawley is expected to focus on two chapters of state law, including one focused on nonprofit corporations and a second focused on merchandising practices… [D]ocuments suggest Greitens' charity may have helped boost his book sales — which, if true, could pose additional legal problems for the governor, or The Mission Continues, if charity resources were improperly used for personal business ventures… It is unclear whether the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat, is investigating the charity. His office would neither confirm nor deny the existence of a probe…”

 

Al Watkins stepped back in front of the microphones again (see the AP article here)… confirmed that his client, the ex-husband, testified to the House Special Investigative Committee. And also mentioned that “the questions posed by the committee to the ex-husband made it clear the woman had testified already.

 

And

Add this to what’s becoming a laundry list of ethical failures… The Missouri Ethics Commission is days away from going on ice.  They’ll lack a quorum on Friday because three members’ terms expire on Thursday, and Governor Eric Greitens hasn’t appointed replacements.  Unlike many other board, Ethics commissioners can’t serve beyond their terms.  See it here.

 

eMailbag on Christian County Purity Test

The concern many of our county parties have about Democrats filing as Republicans is real… so I certainly agree that other counties are likely to follow Christian County’s lead.

In the past, the state party has rejected filing fees in extraordinary circumstances, such as avowed racists. But giving local parties unchecked power to determine who can appear on the ballot is extremely problematic. County parties could eliminate primaries by only allowing a single candidate to file for any given office. They could protect or punish incumbents.  They could purge the ballot and the county courthouse of members of rival party factions (Ron Paul, Tea Party, Establishment, etc)…

[S]tate law may allow candidates to circumvent the county party. RSMO 115.357.2 allows the candidate to pay the filing fee to the election authority, who then forwards it to the county party. There is no provision for what happens if the party refuses to accept it. Has the fee been paid, even if the party doesn’t cash the check?

If this doesn’t work, the legislature should change state law to eliminate the requirement that local candidates pay a filing fee… [M]any legislators go on to seek county office, and the idea that their career could be ended by some power-drunk local party chairman has got to give them nightmares.

Of course, the final irony is that we have a Republican president who doesn’t align with the GOP platform on a number of issues…

 

Nichols Complaints Dismissed

A pair of ethics complaints against Rep. Mary Nichols were dismissed.  See the “fundraising complaint” here.  See the “in-contribution complaint” here.

 

Noren Passes

From Columbia Daily Tribune (see it here): Former Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren, who served in office for 33 years and was nationally and internationally known for her election expertise, died Sunday at age 63. Noren retired at the end of June because of poor health. She was first elected in 1982 and re-elected eight times, usually without opposition… Noren was raised in Jefferson City, the daughter of Carl Noren, director of the Missouri Department of Conservation from the mid-1960s until the late 1970s. She was hired by then-clerk Chris Kelly to be deputy clerk in 1978… During her career, Noren worked at the local, state and national levels to improve election processes. She traveled frequently to Washington, D.C., in 2001 and 2002 to work on the Help America Vote Act, passed in response to the problems that left the presidential election of 2000 in limbo for weeks during legal battles over a Florida recount. Noren went overseas in 1997 as an international election observer in Albania and did so again in Bosnia in 2001…

 

New Candidate Filings

Travis Hagewood filed to run in House 31 as a Democrat.  The current incumbent is Dan Stacy.

 

New Committees

Ron Hicks formed a candidate committee (Friends of Ron Hicks) to run for House 102 as a Republican.  The current incumbent, Kurt Bahr, is termed.

 

Help Wanted

American Cancer Society seeks Missouri Government Relations Director.  “Execute a comprehensive direct lobbying and government relations leadership program for ACS CAN in the state. This includes: actively serving as an ambassador for the Society and ACS CAN at state legislatures and congressional offices and on coalitions, leading the planning and implementation of issue campaigns to achieve progress towards legislative successes, managing grassroots staff in the state as well as contract lobbyists, supporting state/division ACS CAN fundraising goal achievement as directed, and complying with all relevant lobbying protocol including lobbyist registration and reporting, using proper codes and time tracking…”  See it here.

 

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education seeks Coordinator - Governmental Affairs.  “Manage and coordinate all Sunshine Law requests and requests for public records, including emails and records searches, tracking and meeting time deadlines, maintaining a log of all public records requests and the Department's Sunshine Law system in SharePoint for public records; Rotate with other Legal Counsel in serving as Hearing Officer for disciplinary hearings and personnel hearings… Research, compile and analyze complex legal information and data in order to assist General Counsel with inquiries about case law, legislative bills, regulations and statutes (federal and state)… Assist in responding to legal questions from the public, legislators and the Department's staff… Salary: $59,688” See it here.

 

This Week’s Events

Tuesday

Mayor Lyda Kewson fundraiser – Chase Park Plaza at 5:30PM.

Missouri Right to Life, and other pro-life organizations Day at the Capitol.

LAGERS (Local Government Employees Retirement System) Legislative Day at the Capitol.

Library Advocacy Day at the Capitol.

Missouri EMS Day at the Capitol.

Wednesday

Saundra McDowell for State Auditor- Meet and Greet at the American Legion Post 5 at 5:30PM

Disability Rights Legislative Day at the Capitol.

Thursday

Treasurer Tishaura Jones Birthday Party – Exodus Gallery, St. Louis at 5:30PM.

Kickoff for Karan Pujji (House 88, GOP) at Tani Sushi Bistro, Clayton at 6PM.

Legislative Spring Break begins upon adjournment.

Sunday

Meet and Greet (not a fundraiser) with U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill hosted by Michael Butler and Claude Brown at Royal Vagabonds, St. Louis at 1:30PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Doug Nelson, Kurt Schaefer, Jason Zamkus, and Heath Clarkston added MCM Company Inc.

Heath Clarkston and Harry Gallagher deleted Luminus Management LLC.

Jonathan Dalton added Beyond Housing.

Douglas Stone added Ray Jagoda.

Jason Zamkus added World Wide Technology.

Harry Gallagher deleted Missouri Insurance Coalition.

Aaron Baker and Kristian Starner deleted Cheyenne International LLC, and Xcaliber International LLC.

 

$5K+ Contributions

We Are Missouri - $500,000 from Laborers International Union of North America Laborers Local No. 110.

We Are Missouri - $200,000 from Eastern Missouri Laborers' District Council.

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $24,150 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Missouri Club for Growth Political Action Committee - $250,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

MO State Teachers Assoc Legislative Impact Co - $7,500 from Central Region Teachers Association.

Missourians for Patient Care - $25,000 from First Rule.

We Are Missouri - $50,000 from Laborers’ International Union of N.A. Local No. 42 General Fund.

We Are Missouri - $150,000 from Construction & General Laborers’ Local Union No. 660.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Kack Haslag.