Wednesday, March 6, 2013

St. Louis Municipal Election

Last night Mayor Francis Slay won the Democratic nomination, virtually guaranteeing a fourth term as mayor.  See results here.


Former state representative Chris Carter easily won his primary, and will become the alderman of the city’s 27th ward next month.



Save Us From Tyus?

The talk which dominated the Slay election party wasn’t about the Mayor’s 4th term however.  It was that former bad-girl Sharon Tyus who graduated from committeewoman to alderwoman.


She knocked off former state representative Quincy Troupe.  Committeemen and women at the party were jubilant – she would no longer be on the City’s Democratic Central Committee!  And then there were the Aldermen and women at the party, they were despondent over the prospect of Tyus being their new colleague.


Tyus’ first brew-ha-ha will be a play to have her prior service on the board counted toward her seniority.  That move will be opposed by those who fear her disruptive abilities.  If she starts at the bottom of the totem pole, they hope her destructive capabilities will be contained.



Some initial winners….

The mayor’s team – it was a sharp and disciplined campaign led by the mellowing evil genius Richard Callow.  Callow is known as a message savant, which was on display as Slay’s clarity was contrasted with Reed’s confusion.  But Callow also was the adult of the campaign, keeping the young guns on target.   Mary Ellen Ponder whipped her field staff into their “relentless” mentality, and her team responded in typical campaign fashion, by falling in madly love with their oppressor…


Hubbards – Not only did Rodney Hubbard and family back Slay correctly, but Tammika Hubbard won her primary for Ward 5 alderwoman.


Jamilah Nasheed – She took the heat and stuck with the mayor despite pressure from her usual north-side allies.  This renews their partnership for another four years.  Mayor Slay is notable for his empathy – he understands when allies take hits for him.  He’s unlikely to forget her support.


The Racial Bridge – I’ll have to wait for the ward-by-ward breakdowns to see what extent the racial divide was bridged.  But the presence of endorsements from Hubbard and Nasheed (above), as well as Congressman Lacy Clay, show that some portion of the city’s political leadership is able to transcend the usual racial barriers.


Lou Hamilton – as the city’s preeminent lobbyist, a weaker president of the board of aldermen only increases his power.  If you want something done, Hamilton has a better chance of securing the necessary fifteen votes than Reed at this point.



And some initial losers…

Obviously Lewis Reed – the talk immediately shifted to who would challenge Reed for President of the Board of Aldermen in two years.  This was explained by one politico colorfully as – “you come after my cat, I’ll gonna kill your dog…”  The early name mentioned is central corridor alderwoman Lyda Krewson.  Geographically, her ward straddles the north and south sides which could enable her to create a potent coalition.  Politically, she’s an adept and skilled professional representing the best fundraising turf in the city.  (She is an even-ward alderwoman, meaning it’d be up-or-out for her.)


Former state senator Robin Wright Jones – she worked on challenger Lewis Reed’s losing campaign.  But additionally her son Damon Jones, running for alderman, was stomped taking only about a quarter of the vote in his three-way primary.


MOScout? – Slay’s team let me feel their displeasure that they never “won the week” during the campaign….




At the Slay victory party – fundraiser Matt Lieberman, former TV personality Mike Owens, City assessor Ed Bushmeyer, Director of Operations Eddie Roth, former comptroller Virvus Jones, Anheuser-Busch’s Ted Powers, ‘pasta king of St. Louis’ Kim Tucci, Armstrong Teasdale’s Winston E. Calvert




There is usually some post-campaign analysis that compares cost per vote.  These tend to imply that underfunded losers could have won if only they’d received more financial support.


This race will fit neatly into that narrative, as Slay outraised and outspent Reed many times over, yet only won by ten points.


However these types of analysis are misleading.  Both Slay and Reed probably started with a firm 40%.  The fight was over the middle 20%.  And grabbing those middle voters or slicing off some your competitor’s base is a difficult (expensive) undertaking.  The first $10,000 spent gets you the first 35%.  The last $10,000 spent might get you .01%.



Jackson Registers as Lobbyist

Corey Jackson, who served on Pro Tem Rob Mayer’s staff, appears to be slated to make a return to the building.


He’s registered as a lobbyist for Concannon Plastic Surgery (Columbia, MO) and Missouri Hand Center (O’Fallon, MO).



Schaaf Staffer Questions MHA Poll

In a tweet yesterday Chris Dunn, staffer to Sen. Rob Schaaf, cast doubt on the American Viewpoint poll being touted recently by the Missouri Hospital Association, and their consultant David Barklage.


Tweet: @4LastingChange: Why can't legislators see the questions and cross tabs from American Viewpoint's Medicaid expansion poll? #uncool #misled


In other words, one polling memo is unlikely to turn hearts of those skeptical of Medicaid expansion.  Republicans created this hot button issue over the course of two election cycles, and you can’t just reverse course in a matter of months.



Medicaid Expansion Coalition Continues

The Cape Girardeau and Branson Chambers officially voted to endorse Medicaid expansion.



Let McCaskill Surf Web During Flight

From Politico’s Morning Tech:  "MCCASKILL MULLS ELECTRONIC DEVICES BILL - The Missouri senator tells MT she is considering introducing a bill to end the FAA’s ‘intransigence’ on allowing electronic devices to be used during the full length of flights - something she raised with FAA Administrator Michael Huerta three months ago. ‘We just had a meeting about that with my staff,’ she said. ‘It may be time to draft legislation.’  McCaskill said it’s ‘premature’ to say what that bill might look like but said she thought of it Monday morning as she prepared to take off and make her way back to D.C., when she had to shut down her iPad before takeoff. MT suggested that sort of a bill might make oft-traveling Congress members more  productive. ‘Absolutely,’ McCaskill agreed."




The Wall Street Journal reports that “tuition at public colleges jumped last year by a record amount as state governments slashed school funding, the latest sign of strain in the U.S. higher-education sector.”



Governing Magazine frets that big money is starting to flow into local school board races.  Read it here.



eMailbag: More Jesuits-Trained Connections

“Further Jesuit connections include Rockhurst University in Kansas City grad Tom



“You forgot John Diehl as an alum of the Palace on Ballas (DeSmet High School).”



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Ann K Covington added University of Missouri Board of Curators.

Keith Hazelwood added DDI Media, Schaefer Family, Schiermeier Quarry Inc., Nicolo N. Serra, Stone Chapel LLC, Thomas C. Yaeger Jr.; and deleted Hyland Green LLC, J&D Investment Group LLC, MJ Developers Inc., McBride and Son Homes Land Development Inc., Glenn Nothum, SJ Progress Point, Summit Pointe LC, Brightstar Development LLC, and Highland Homes of St. Louis Inc.

Corey Jackson added Missouri Hand Center, and Concannon Plastic Surgery.

Peter Kaaloehukai Kamakawiwoole Jr added Home School Legal Defense Association.

Larry Weber added Office of Administration.

James Calpin deleted Merrill Lynch & Co.

Michael Michelson deleted JCR Hotel Inc., W.T. Dawson and Associates.

John A Pelzer added Missouri Retailers Association; and deleted Associated Builders and Contractors.

Tricia Workman added Oasis Legal Finance.




Happy birthdays to Kit Bond (74), Chuck Simino, and Maxine Clark.