Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Emerson Bits

Emerson Not Playing Favorites

Rebutting my bit yesterday that Rep. Jason Smith had a private dinner with Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson where he received a heads up, a source claiming to know the details says that Smith knew about the move before he had dinner with her.  Furthermore, this source says that although Smith asked for her blessing, she told him she was staying out of it.



Steelman Not Top Tier

One committee watcher thinks that Sarah Steelman might – like a Jason Crowell – have a better chance in a primary situation, but won’t be able to garner significant committee votes.



Counting on Justice

This same source thinks that Eddy Justice is just the perfect person to shepherd the process forward in a fair and impartial manner.



A New Congresswoman Emerson?

What about Tori Emerson?  She is Bill and Jo Ann’s daughter who was born in the district and is now a lobbyist with GM.  No indication of interest, just the rumor-mill casting about for new material…



Engler Making Calls

Sen. Kevin Engler, who told the Beacon a day ago that he was “interested” but didn’t know if he’s pursue it (see it here), has started making calls.



Dan Brown Statement

“It is an honor to represent the residents of the 16th District in the Missouri Senate… While minding the issues of our state, it is difficult to ignore the ominous problems that are facing our citizens on the federal level in Washington, DC… As the 8th Congressional District Committee begins deliberation on who will be the voice for the residents of the 8th District, I want to express my concerns. They are twofold. 1. That the 8th District continues to be represented by a Republican. 2. That there are several good options for a replacement and that the decision for replacement should be made by the committee alone without influence from the establishment and political consultants…. Keeping this in mind, I have been approached by supportive citizens all across my senatorial district, as well as friends in the 8th Congressional District regarding a possible candidacy for this position. This is a weighty decision, but I have decided to give this opportunity prayerful consideration and I will be speaking with members of the committee to discuss all possibilities.”



Disclosure Docs

Kansas City Star links to Emerson’s filing disclosing her employment negotiations.  With thanks to the peerless John Combest.



Rumorville on LG

There are a lot of people working through the scenario of who Governor Jay Nixon would appoint LG in the event that Peter Kinder goes to Congress.  There’s enough chatter about it that it appears Kinder may be the inside track favorite.  In this line of thinking Lloyd Smith’s interest is a feint designed to freeze committee members from committing to the more aggressive candidates of Jason Smith and Todd Richardson.


It’s said that within the Nixon administration, they are gaming out the possibility of appointing Clint Zweifel – out of his term-limited spot of Treasurer – to the LG position and thereby depriving Zweifel of the need to run for governor in 2016 (against Chris Koster).  It’s also a two-fer which Nixon likes because he then gets to appoint a new treasurer.


What’s most ironic about these machinations though is how futile such plans are.  Assuming Kinder remains the favorite, House and Senate Republicans are certain to act – probably with great speed – to write clear and forceful legislation taking the power to appoint the lieutenant governor away from Nixon.


They will be successful.  And because they will do it early, they will override his veto during session, and with an emergency clause it will be in effect by the time Kinder would win the seat.


All this will happen with their new supermajority which is at least partially the result of Nixon’s stinginess with his campaign cash.



More On the LG Replacement

If Supreme Court Gets LG Question

“I’d bet Paul Wilson’s appointment to the Missouri Supreme Court resolves the issue of whether the Governor gets to fill a Lt. Governor vacancy.  Remember that Roger Wilson did it when he became governor after Mel Carnahan’s death (appointed Joe Maxwell early, as Maxwell had just been elected).  No one challenged that.”



Team Maxwell

Joe Maxwell would be a smarter choice for a LG replacement. He knows the Senate and he knows the job!  It would be a win for Dems in the Senate minority to have a checkmate on Dempsey et al.”

And Odd Coincidence?

Fred Kratky files a new committee… for LG in 2016.



Debriefing with Spence

Yesterday I sat down with Dave Spence to review his experience running for governor during the past year.  He avoided any settling of scores, though mainstream media did warrant a few expressions of ire.


Turning Point of the Campaign

Spence saw one major turning point of the campaign come in August.  After winning the primary handily they ran a poll and were within single digits of Nixon.  But they conserved cash, and went off the air.  And during that downtime, Todd Akin gave his famous interview with Charles Jaco. Nixon, meanwhile, ran ads unabated, and by the time Spence came back on the air – six weeks later – they were in the hole again, down 20-ish.


Part of the reason they didn’t keep running ads was because Spence never landed the big contributions from the heavy GOP donors who gave six-figure checks to other statewide candidates.  That’s presumably because they assumed Spence could self-fund – which he did.  When the 30 Day After reports comes out this week, Spence’s total contribution will likely be in the high $6 million range.


Akin Sucks Attention Away

In addition to hurting all Republican statewide candidates, Spence felt Akin’s controversial candidacy prevented a fuller debate about the issues facing the state.  Akin was the primary focus of political writers, and therefore they were less concerned with pinning Nixon down on positions.  In fact Nixon got what amounted to a pass on several issues.  His recent move on Medicaid expansion, for example, was a surprise because he refused to state a position on it during the campaign.  And the press refused to insist on an answer.


The Akin impact changed the trajectory of the race as Spence found it was difficult to raise the issues he wanted.  But Spence was realistic in his assessment.  He was explicit in saying that he didn’t think he’d necessarily have won without the Akin cloud, only that the dynamic of the race would have been different – and more favorable to him.


What’s next for Spence?

One of his favorite parts of his campaign was meeting new people – particularly in rural Missouri – and seeing first-hand the diversity of the state.  Accordingly, Spence is clear that he plans to stay engaged in the future.  The form of that engagement has yet to shape.  It may be in a role within the state party – formal or informal.  And he didn’t rule out a future campaign down the road, but has no plans or visions of that now.




MNEA political director Mark Jones filed to run for a Columbia City Council seat.  Read it here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


LeRoy Grant, Jr. added FP1 Strategies.

Jay Reichard added Grassland Consultants LLC.

Angie Holbrook deleted Pyramis Global Advisors Holding Corp.

Phil LeVota deleted Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.



$5K+ Contributions

Kander for Missouri - $10,000 from Davis, Ketchmark, McCreight & Ivers PC.