Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Kehoe Ambivalent on Infrastructure Bonding

I wrote yesterday that the inclusion of Infrastructure in Sen. Mike Kehoe’s Transportation Committee was a good development for the bonding issue.  However I was quickly corrected by some readers who say that Kehoe’s position is not like Rep. Chris Kelly’s – a full-throttled pedal-to-the-metal.  Kehoe is more nuanced and less enthusiastic for taking on the debt.


In a Missourinet interview, Kehoe expressed interest in going the tax route instead of the debt avenue to fund transportation needs.  He mentioned, “some type of sales tax increase with an offsetting taxpayer refund, so that would keep it cost-neutral to the citizens.”


The advantage of a taxing stream over a debt stream is that the tax stream doesn’t vanish and leave a bill like the bonds.


More from Kehoe in that interview: “I would prefer a plan that has something that meets the needs of the transportation system that has some type of sunset mechanism so that citizens can feel like there’s an opportunity to check in every so often and make sure that the dollars that they devote to transportation and infrastructure are being spent wisely, and that the projects are being done according to the time and budget needs of the various communities.”


And that’s another issue… everyone getting what they want.  For example in yesterday’s Waynesville Daily Guide Sen. Dan Brown is quoted, “I’ve told (Kehoe) that I would kill any bonding bill that he put forward unless Highway 63 north four-lanes was the first job that got done.”



The headline from the Boston Globe this morning has Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D) also seeking transportation funds, a little over a billion in new taxes and fees.  Read it here.



Squinting A Look at January 2019

Another winner in the Senate committee assignments looks to be Sen. Ryan Silvey.  The former House budget chair landed on both the Appropriations Committee and GAFO (Gov Accountability and Fiscal Oversight).  The only other member with those dual assignments is Sen. Mike Kehoe.  Silvey is vice-chair of GAFO.


Almost as important for those who care about longer term extrapolation is this consideration: Sen. Scott Rupp replaces Sen. Dan Brown as vice-chair of Appropriations.  Rupp is in the final two years of his Senate career.  That will open the vice-chair spot in two years.  If Silvey, by virtue of his experience in the House as well as his two years’ experience in the Senate can land the vice-chair spot of Appropriations, then he would be poised to take the gavel two years after that – when Sen. Kurt Schaefer is termed.


Bottom-line: Silvey for Appropriations Chair in January 2019 should be considered a long-term play.


Let’s hope he gets along well with Governor Diehl….




I know many of you are on twitter, and find it a rich source of information.  Others have held the new technology at an arm’s length viewing it as another distraction.  The usual put-down goes something like, “I don’t care what you ate for breakfast.”  It’s an unfiltered stream for sure, but often contains interesting nuggets, and has become the place where most breaking news appears first.


For those who use twitter, I put up a spreadsheet today in the Special Reports with all the known twitter accounts of Missouri legislators.  Download it here.


For those who don’t, I’d say: try it.  Pick out as few folks, follow them on twitter, read their tweets for a few days and see if it doesn’t add something to your political vision.



MHA 2012 Contributions Leaned GOP

I was forwarded a spreadsheet of Missouri Hospital Association contributions for 2012.  (I spot-checked for accuracy.)  It tells a common tale of heavy contributions to Republican legislators and candidates over their Democratic counterparts.


While this is expected and routine in a legislature dominated by Republicans (and with Republican majorities for the foreseeable future), it was noted how frustrating it must be for MHA.  For it is the Republicans in the legislature who are most vocal about sinking the Medicaid expansion upon which the finances of many hospital depend.


On the other hand, those who worry about the corrupting influence of money can find something to cheer about perhaps: Republicans are clearly not following the cash and their donors’ wishes with regard to this issue.




Sen. Luann Ridgeway’s former LA, Nicole Brown, is now director of community relations for Clay County.



Rep. Jay Barnes posted his thoughts about a reasonable way forward on school safety after the Newtown murders.  Read it here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


John E Bardgett Jr, Andy Blunt, Gary Burton, James Farrell, Andy Foley, Jim Foley, Rodeny Hubbard, Erika Leonard, Chris Liese, Brian Millner, John Parris, Dan Pfeifer, Mark Rhoads, Jay Reichard, Don Soph, and Kim Tuttle added Northside Regeneration LLC.


John Bardgett Jr, Erika Leonard, Brian Millner, John Parris, Dan Pfeifer, Kim Tuttle and Steve Tilley added Missouri Full Employment Group LLC.


Brian Bernskoetter, and Randy Scherr added Missouri Head Start Association.


Lisa Christie added Missouri Eating Disorders Association.


Mark J Rhoads and Trent Watson added United Rentals.


James M. Foley deleted Captech.


Jewell D. H. Patek deleted Midwest Public Risk, and Areva.


Trent Watson deleted Missouri Association of Health Plans.



The Northside Regeneration is Paul McKee’s ambitious but so far uneventful effort to redevelop a large part of the north side of St. Louis City.  As of last night “Missouri Full Employment Group LLC” wasn’t a registered entity according to the secretary of state’s office.


And – by the way – Jason Kander upon inauguration gave the SOS website a facelift.  It now features his face and many shades of blue.  See it here.


$5K+ Contributions

Local 41 Political Action Fund - $11,969 from DRIVE Committee.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $20,000 from Maritz Inc.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $50,000 from Enterprise Holding Inc PAC.

Civic Progress Action Committee - $20,000 from Graybar Electric Company.




Happy birthdays to Virvus Jones (66), and Esther Haywood (73).