Thursday, January 24, 2013

Hubbard and Hummel Trade Hits

Yesterday when the House was passing its LG vacancy change (creating a special election instead of a gubernatorial appointment) they came up one vote short in attaching the emergency clause.  An emergency clause puts the law into effect immediately upon being signed.  Otherwise all laws are implemented on August 28.  That would be too late to regulate this possible lieutenant governor vacancy, predicated on incumbent Peter Kinder winning the 8th Congressional seat this spring.


An emergency clause require two-thirds majority vote.  With Governor Jay Nixon’s appointment of Don Ruzicka, House Republicans now have no margin for error on two-third votes without help from House Democrats.


Republican Rep. Nick Marshall – who displayed maverick tendencies during his first term – defected on the emergency clause.  (See his reasoning below).


Lacking a single vote for the emergency clause, Republican “left the board open” for a bit, that is they kept voting open, hoping for the extra vote.  It came.  From Democratic Rep. Penny Hubbard.


Hubbard – who possess a fancy third-floor office – has a history of helping out the Republican majority from time to time.  She did this during Speaker Steve Tilley’s tenure, sometimes joined by then-Rep. Jamilah Nasheed.


Years before, Hubbard’s son Rodney Hubbard and Ted Hoskins were sometime Democratic defectors to help Republicans.


It is a strategic decision that they can leverage occasional support for the Republican majority into better results for their constituents.  The record on this is mixed.  Nasheed would probably point to some budget items and the local control push as successes to this approach.


In any event, Penny Hubbard was hectored by Democrats for her turncoat ways.  This is not unusual.  Jonas Hughes, for example, was driven to tears during his redistricting vote.


But the abuse this time sent Hubbard over the edge and she sent a letter of complaint to the House Ethics Committee.  See it below.


In retaliation for Hubbard’s insolence, Minority Leader Jake Hummel removed Hubbard from her committee appointments.


The escalation does not appear to be stopping here.


We’ll see, but Speaker Tim Jones appears to be seeking a way to defend his friend, Hubbard, from these actions.  And one Democrat familiar with the situation feels strongly that if Hubbard accepts a seat on these committees after Hummel has taken action, she will be expelled from the Democratic caucus.



What This Is About

With the House Republicans tittering on the edge of a veto-proof majority, this is less about the emergency clause and more about battles to come.  Democrats and Republicans alike are attempting to instill caucus discipline.


For Republicans they need to pick off the occasional Democrat so as to defuse the importance of Nick Marshall-type defections.  If single Republicans start withholding their votes at critical points for some kind of deal, Jones will become mired in herd-dog tactics.


For Democrats, they are living Ben Franklin’s maxim: they either all hang together or they’ll all hang separately.  In their quest to build solidary for the next five months, they need to make an example of Hubbard.



Hubbard’s Letter to the Ethics Committee

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


House Ethics Committee,

This letter is to request action to cease the attacks on myself, State Representative Penny V. Hubbard, from Minority Floor Leader, Jacob Hummel. Today’s attack in the House Chamber was not the first occurrence; Rep. Hummel also inappropriately addressed me several times during the 96th General Assembly. Existing the Speaker’s office today, Rep. Hummel saw it fit to say, “Yeah, Yeah, that’s typically Penny Hubbard walking out of the Speakers office.” I do not feel I should be subjected to this behavior. Rep. Hummel’s actions make me feel very uncomfortable and fearful for my safety as I am uncertain how far he will go with his constant harassment and threatening behavior.


Rep. Hummel’s attacks are unprofessional and present an obstacle to me representing my constituents. His attacks seem to be getting progressively worse and an end to his nonsense is not in sight. Since these episodes continually occur, I strongly feel he is lashing out against me because I am an African American female.


I pride myself on maintaining professionalism in all respects of my daily life. I am State Representative of the 78th District and I am here to serve my constituents to the best of my ability. Rep. Hummel’s attempts to bully, harass, and/or intimidate me should not be tolerated in this body that most closely represents the views of the people of Missouri.


Unsure of the next steps, if this matter cannot be resolved professionally on the House level, I will see it fit to contact the appropriate authorities and pursue legal action.



Rep. Penny V. Hubbard

District #78


Nick Marshall Explains His Defection on Facebook

The Missouri Constitution requires that a real, factual emergency exist to add an emergency clause to a bill. Without an emergency, you, the People of Missouri said in your constitution that a new law is to take effect on August 28th, no sooner.


You, the People of Missouri tell me, did you mean a real emergency like an immediate threat, or a political move to box in the governor? I think you meant a real emergency.



Da Plane

Senate committee hearings yesterday brought forth news that the office of administration had purchased a $5.6 million plane without a clear rationale about the necessity of it.   It threatens it be a problem for the confirmation of OA appointee, Doug Nelson.   Read CDT article here.


Pro Tem Tom Dempsey tweet: Former Sens. Callahan, Kenney, Shields, and Stoll up for confirmation today. OKs expected #moleg Well-liked Nelson is another matter.



Barnes Introduces Bill to Toughen Rape Law

After six months of Republicans being tied to retrograde views of rape, Rep. Jay Barnes filed a bill yesterday headed the opposite direction.  According to his blog, it would close a loop-hole in the law.  See his blog hereSee the bill here.



Burlison In Accident

From Rep. Eric Burlison’s Facebook

Someone driving a black Chevy Avalanche just ran my car off the road on I-44. They are driving westbound. They raced to get to my car and then clipped the tail of my vehicle which sent me spinning into the guard rails (which saved my life). If anyone saw this or has information that might be helpful please private message me.


Later that night KSPR in Springfield confirmed that the Highway Patrol has the driver of the rogue Chevy Avalanche.




The ethics complaint against St. Louis mayoral candidate Lewis Reed was dismissed.  Read it here.



Surfing the web last night, I noticed a Peter Kinder internet ad.  Not used to seeing a political ad out of season I clicked it.  It went to his website which has been updated to highlight his southeast Missouri roots and his candidacy for the 8th Congressional seat.   See the website here.  The implementation of a web strategy seems odd considering this contest has a limited number of voters – 86.



Rep. Bob Burns was elected chair of the House labor caucus, besting Rep. Karla May.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Charles Ballard added Agape Boarding School

Doris Anne Clouse and Scott Penman added March of Dimes Foundation, Missouri Chapter.

John T Frederick added The Boeing Company.

Jon C Gubera added The College Board.

Kelvin L Simmons added Veolia Water North America Operating Services LLC.

Lyndi Munro deleted Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics.



$5K+ Contributions

MO Insurance Coalition PAC - $10,000 RightChoice Managed Care Inc.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $65,000 from Edward Jones.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $37,500 from Peabody Investments Corp.

Civic Progress Action Committee – $20,000 from Schnuck Markets Inc.

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from Express Scripts Inc.




Happy birthday to Crystal Williams and Bill Skaggs (71).