Monday, March 26, 2018

Quade Mulls Senate 30 Run

Rep. Crystal Quade is reconsidering her decision to run for re-election in House 132.  A poll has been circulating which is apparently part of an effort by Democratic leaders to recruit her to run for Senate 30 instead.  The poll shows her with a lead over the expected Republican nominee Lincoln Hough.  This confirms some Dems’ view of the race: it’s a perfect storm for Dems to pick up a Springfield Senate seat.  They feel that, in addition to Quade’s considerable political abilities, the fact that she’s a woman could bolster her candidacy.  They think the behavior of both President Donald Trump and Governor Eric Greitens have potential to give a bump to women this cycle.

A PAC supporting Hough – Lincoln PAC – has been the recipient of a few large checks recently.  The theory is that Republicans, having caught wind of the possible new twist, are beginning to reinforce Hough’s position.

However, the smart money right now is that Quade still passes.  She is young and will have other opportunities.  Also she feels a desire to continue to help House Dems’ effort to rebound from their historic lows.

 

Senate 14… Stay Tuned?

Candidate filing ends tomorrow, and Rep. Cora Faith Walker hasn’t filed for re-election yet.  Some think she will be a last-minute filer for Senate 14.  We’ll see…

Meanwhile yesterday on Twitter she offered a quote (see it here) and said “stay tuned.”

 

eMailbag on Senate 34 Poll

One Republican isn’t fazed by the close race in Senate 34: Republicans are in a good position here as a competitive primary usually helps in a General Election and Senate Democrats have a terrible track record in winning competitive races even in tough years like 2006. This district has rejected the Rucker family name several times. Given his fundraising abilities and since he hasn’t already held office in the district, Luetkemeyer seems to be in the best position to win in the general as compared to Roberts – a local politician that doesn’t seem to benefit from his current county-wide position in the district.

 

Driving the Day

The legislature returns from Spring Break.

The Greitens legal team is expected to argue for a bench trial rather than a jury trial at today’s hearing in the governor’s criminal case.

Driving the Week

The House will third read and pass the budget bills, handing the process off to the Senate.  Some possible areas of conflict between the two chambers include education funding, and capital improvements funding. Whereas the House fully funded the education formula, the Senate is expected to explore shifting some of the money away from the formula and directing it to the education transportation line.  Governor Jay Nixon was fond of talking about “classroom dollars” while staying mum on his simultaneous cuts to education’s transportation budgets.  The districts were still responsible for getting the kids to and from school, so there’s not much difference in actual budgeting for the schools themselves.  But as a result, the transportation budget line has continued to decline, raising the ire of some rural legislators.

 

Other Budget Bits

It’s interesting to note that the House decimated many of the priorities that the governor’s office had advanced: a revolving loan to expedite tax refunds, $45 million for rural broadband, $25 million for infrastructure, higher education cuts and several new decision items.  And more interesting: how little fight the governor’s office put up during the process.  Aside from OA Commissioner Sarah Steelman and COO Drew Erdmann, one House observer says there really wasn’t much pressure or lobbying from the second floor.

 

The House budget keeps a balance on the bottom line as last year’s budget did.  This prevents an unforeseen event – like the blind pension settlement – from automatically causing withholds from the budget.  For years the legislature has railed against withholds that seem more like re-prioritizing their budget than balancing the budget.  Agreeing to a conservative consensus revenue number and building in a budget cushion are two ways to mitigate that executive overreach.

And

Look for an agreement this week from the universities to limit their tuition increases in the coming year in exchange for the restoration of some of Greitens’ higher ed cuts…

 

Q&A#1: Where Are We With All the Investigations?

Short answer: Time to start a spreadsheet.

I’ve tried to outline where the various investigations appear to be.  We’re about two and half months after the initial revelation of the affair…

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney: Invasion of privacy trial set for May 14.  But Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has indicated that her investigation is on-going which raises the possibility that the invasion of privacy won’t be the only charge coming from her office.  One rumor is that the woman from the affair has also alleged assault.  And KCStar’s Jason Hancock has confirmed that they have sought information regarding The Mission Continues donor list.

House Special Investigative Committee: Report expected April 8, but could be later.  Chair Jay Barnes has said that he will release transcriptions of testimony when they report the facts they have uncovered.  In addition to probing facts of Greitens’ affair and related matters, they are confirmed to have also sought information regarding The Mission Continues donor list.

Missouri Attorney General: AG Josh Hawley’s office completed its investigation of the governor’s use of Confide to criticism that it was “half-hearted.”  The AG’s office is now investigating the Mission Continues donor list.

Sunshine Lawsuit: Greitens is being sued by The Sunshine Project over his use of the Confide app.

Federal Bureau of Investigation: They have spoken to several capitol folks.  Questions have included various angles involving topics beyond the donor list.  It’s hard to tell if the FBI is assessing the situation or actually in a full-blown investigative effort.

 

House Special Investigative Committee Cancels Meeting

The House Special Investigative Committee cancelled their planned meeting on Friday.  Without any official word, conjecture filled the void.  The main rumor line – with variations – for the cancellation had to do with speculation of the governor testifying, cancelling, involved in some negotiation etc.  It’s, of course, totally unconfirmed, just passing along the flavor of the gossip.

And

The next Special Investigative Committee meeting is set for Noon on Tuesday – again at the Jefferson City Police Station.

 

Clarkson Passes

Rep. Nate Walker writes on Facebook over the weeend… Rita Clarkson, my legislator assistant for the past five years, passed away earlier today. For those who visited my office, they know what a wonderful and professional woman Rita was. She welcomed every visitor with a smile and for those, she came to know as friends she greeted them with hugs and laughs. Rita was a top-notch professional in the Missouri State Capitol. Her career here spanned over thirty years, including service with Missouri Gov. John Ashcroft and other leaders in the Missouri General Assembly. While she officially retired at the end of 2017; she returned to work in my office on a part-time basis for the 2018 session of the General Assembly and was here until last week…. The family has requested certain privacy at this time until final details can be worked out. I will update you further at the appropriate time. My deepest sympathy, love, and prayers are extended to Randy and to Rita’s family/friends at this time of loss….

 

Bits

Former Rep. Bert Atkins was fined $17,493 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for multiple violations.  See it here.

 

According to the Missouri Accountability Portal, Scott Turk, director of boards and commissions, and Natalie Fryrear, scheduler, have left the governor’s office.

 

New Candidate Filings

Terry Richard filed to run in Senate 12 as a Democrat.

Edward Thurman filed to run in Senate 22 as a Democrat.

Ashley D. Fajkowski filed to run in House 62 as a Democrat.

Bryan Cooper filed to run in House 102 as a Republican.

Jackie Sclair filed to run in House 106 as a Democrat

Josh Rittenberry filed to run in House 150 as a Democrat.

 

New Committees

Elizabeth Vining formed a candidate committee (Committee To Elect Betty Vining) to run for House 108 as a Democrat.

Mary Coleman formed a candidate committee (Friends Of Mary Elizabeth Coleman) to run for House 97 as a Republican.

David Osborn formed a candidate committee (Osborn Campaign) to run for House 160 as a Republican.

Dorothy Bailey formed a candidate committee (Dottie Bailey For Missouri) to run for House 110 as a Republican.

Arimeta Dupree formed a candidate committee (Friends To Elect Arimeta Dupree) to run for Jackson County Legislature, District 2, as a Democrat.

 

This Week’s Events

Monday

Maverick PAC Happy Hour w/ Special Guest Rep. Kevin Yoder at The Dubliner, Kansas City – 6:30PM.

Tuesday

Final day of candidate filing.

Environmental Lobby Day / Sierra Club Lobby Day – capitol.

Reception for Jolie Justus at 3610 Gillham Rd, Kansas City – 5:30PM.

Joni Perry (Dem, House 3) Kick-Off Fundraiser at Dukum Inn, Kirksville -5:30PM.

Travis Estes (Dem, House 81) Kick-off at Lemmons Restaurant, St. Louis – 5:30PM.

Majority Forward Senate Democratic Caucus at Madison’s Café, Jefferson City – 6PM

Wednesday

Labor Rally – Capitol.

Reception for Jolie Justus at Global Prairie 1703 Wyandotte Street Kansas City – 4:30PM.

Kevin McManus Re-election kick-off at Blue Moose Red Bridge, Kansas City, Missouri – 5PM.

Martin T. Rucker II (Dem, Senate 34) Fundraiser at 5730 Ward Pkwy, Kansas City – 5:30PM.

Cupini's With the Colonel (Tony Monetti) at 1809 Westport Rd · Kansas City – 6PM.

Thursday

Brad Bakker (Dem, House 84) Fundraiser at Pi Pizzeria in the Loop, St. Louis – 5:30PM.

Friday

Kevin FitzGerald (Dem, House 89) Kick-off at 2258 Grissom Dr, St. Louis – 7PM.

Legislative Update with panel (Rep. Bob Burns, Sen. Dave Schatz, Sen. Jill Schupp, and Sen. Bill Eigel) at Doubletree Chesterfield – 11:15AM.

Saturday

Meet & Greet for Brandon Woodard (Dem, House 30) and Sarah Coats (Dem, House 54) at Bier Station, Kansas City – 1PM.

 

Lobbyists Registrations

Carrie Gartner added The Business Loop Community Improvement District.

Tim Green added J&J Ventures.

Dave Berry and Tom Dempsey deleted Renovate America, Inc.

 

$5K+ Contributions

STL Citizens for Safety - $100,000 from Great Saint Louis Inc.

Property Casualty Insurers Association of America Political Account - $16,195 from Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.

Lyda Krewson for Mayor - $10,000 from Michael Kennedy.

 

Birthdays

Happy birthday to Ed Smith.