Wednesday, January 2, 2013

And so we return…


Bond Rumor True

The pre-New Year rumor about former senator Kit Bond taking up the KC lobbying mantle is true.  An official announcement will come as early as today.


Here’s an excerpt from a recent letter from Mayor Sly James to the KC City Council: “Former Senator Bond has a proven track record in Kansas City and still has significant local contacts.  He and his team have worked on a number of successful projects in Kansas City, including the IRS Center, the NNSA/Honeywell Project, the Charles Evans Whitaker Federal Courthouse, Sam Rodgers Community Health Center, Swope Parkway Community Health Center, the Guadalupe Center, the KCATA Bus Rapid Transit System and the Chouteau Bridge. As the streetcar project progresses, his experience working with the KCATA on transportation issues will be a tremendous asset.”



One Week From Today

The legislative session starts one week from today.  Here are a few guesses…


First, it looks like both Speaker Tim Jones and Pro Tem Tom Dempsey are well organized.  Thus I expect committee assignments to come early.  The House will likely announce committee chairs on opening day – January 9 – with perhaps full committee assignment then as well.  It wouldn’t surprise me to see Senate assignments also in the first week.  That means we’ll plunge right into committee hearings and gain an extra few weeks compared to two years ago.


Second, there was a news article about the House pushing for educational reforms.  See it here.  While there’s nothing new in the laundry list – the legislature has slogged through these issues for the past several years – Speaker Jones’ rhetoric certainly appears to presage what may be an early and vigorous push.  (Pull Quote: “The public education system is another vestige of an antiquated bureaucracy and an antiquated establishment mentality, and it’s not keeping up with the times.”  In case there was an question, this speaker is more likely to stomp than tiptoe.)


An early House push on education will focus the spotlight on Sen. Sen. David Pearce, the Senate Education Committee Chair.  He has been more sympathetic to arguments from teacher organizations (MNEA and MSTA et al) than other Republicans.  If Pearce gets a House education bill early, what will he do?  Bury it without a hearing?  Start a slow rope-a-dope? Amend it and start the compromise process with plenty of time to get something across the goal line?


Pearce has such a friendly and kind demeanor that folks think he can be rolled.  But that’s not what happens.  Last year he did lose a few committee votes, but he stood his ground throughout his session-long wrestling match with instigator-agitator-tormentor Jane Cunningham.  Now without her presence, and having survived an onslaught of third party money (about $130K from Rex’s Missouri Club for Growth), Pearce is less likely than ever to be pushed where he doesn’t want to go.



Rex Watch

Virginia Young wrote a NY’s story on Rex Sinquefield and the Kansas tax cut.  See it here.


Meanwhile, in the large $5K+ contributions below, you’ll find $100K dispatched from Sinquefield’s newest campaign committee – Missourians for Excellence in Government.


$50K went to incumbent Francis Slay who is in a re-election sprint.  $25K went to Sen-elect Jamilah Nasheed.  (This could be a gift to help Nasheed’s organization work the ground for Slay), and $25K for Sen. Eric Schmitt.



Callahan to Tax Commission

The press release: “Gov. Jay Nixon today announced his appointment of Victor Callahan, of Independence, to the State Tax Commission.  The State Tax Commission supervises assessment and equalization practices, conducts hearings for individual cases from local Boards of Equalization, assesses railroad and utility distributable property, and determines the level and quality of assessments in 114 counties and the City of St. Louis…  This appointment is subject to confirmation by the Missouri State Senate.”


Despite having killed innumerable bills over this tenure, I expect Callahan will win an easy confirmation from his old colleagues.


Callahan would join Randy Holman and Bruce Davis.  See Commission website here.



GOP Chair Race

It sounds like the Tea Party/Ron Paul folks who have recently won committee spots in the Missouri Republican Party are trying hard to find some consensus.  They’d prefer not split their vote between Jane Cunningham and Ed Martin for Party Chair.  They want to oust David Cole.  It’s unclear whether they will accomplish this.


Tea Party Diva Dana Loesch gave Cunningham some love on Facebook: “Would love to see Jane Cunningham win MO GOP Chairman. She has a history of winning elections and helped bring Prop C to fruition.”


But oddly, it may be Martin’s lost races which are his strength.  These folks are outsiders who distrust any scent of establishment.  In this way, Cunningham’s having successfully been a politician for a decade could be a mark against her.


We’ll see….



McCaskill Statement on Fiscal Cliff Deal

“This deal isn’t perfect, but it achieves what’s most important here by protecting middle class families, and it’s a down-payment toward a more realistic economic policy. It also represents a fact that too many in Washington seem to have forgotten—that compromise requires give-and-take. That’s a value Missouri voters strongly endorsed just a few weeks ago. Starting now, Congress has got to do better. We have hard work ahead to address the budget deficit in the type of broader, balanced package I have long fought for. And we need to put an end to these eleventh-hour stalemates that do nothing but endanger our economy.”



Tweet of the Day

Andrew Bemus ‏@andrew_bemus: @ToddAkin voted no on his last vote in Congress.



Grace to Lobbyists: Give it Away

SNR Denton lobbyist Brian Grace took to twitter to challenge fellow lobbyists to start the New Year by adopting a non-profit client pro bono.


@BrianJGrace: For 2013, I challenge all of my fellow MO lobbyists to lobby pro bono for a charitable organization. #probonochallenge


@BrianJGrace: I lobby pro bono for @VoicesSTL - the CASA for abused and neglected children in St. Louis' foster care system. #probonochallenge



KCPL’s Cara Hoover replied that she has a bono client: ‏@Cara_Hoover: @BrianJGrace Midwest foster care and adoption association!


If anyone wants to join in, I’ll report the pro bono list here. And I will do my tiny part by giving a free MOScout subscription to the next non-profit that contacts me.



I can hear you now… No Dave you’re supposed to help the non-profit!



Help Wanted

Cooperating School Districts seeks Marketing and Development Chief.  See it here.


Port Authority of Kansas City looks for lawyer.  See it here.


Rust Communications is hiring a publisher.  See it here.


And the Marshall Democrat-News wants a “nimble” reporter.  See it here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Christopher Cox deleted National Rifle Association of America.

Beverly Ehlen deleted Missouri Roundtable for Life.



$5K+ Contributions

Citizens for Stephen Webber - $11,000 from Solutions 1030.

Schmitt for Missouri - $25,000 from Missourians for Excellence In Government.

Slay for Mayor - $50,000 from Missourians for Excellence In Government.

Citizens to Elect Jamilah Nasheed - $25,000 from Missourians for Excellence In Government.




Happy birthdays to Reps. Lyle Rowland (59) and Diane Franklin (57), and Bill Siedhoff.