Monday, November 26, 2012

Good morning.  I spent about 30 of the last 36 hours sleeping… I’m always amazed how my body somehow knows exactly when to get sick so I don’t miss work.   I feel better now, just had my first cup of coffee…



Rumorville: Palmer to BCBS?

A strong source says that Melissa Palmer will be leaving the Department of Insurance where she’s been legislative director and head.  It’s said that she’ll be the new Director of Government Affairs for Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City.



New Papers Coming to Jeff City?

Looks like SEMO TimesScott Faugh is planning a Jefferson City paper.  He was Rod Jetton staffer long ago who’s created a successful paper down in Poplar Bluff.  Read the ad for a reporter here.



2014 Committees….

Some of these appear to be shells to hang onto campaign cash for now, but others are intriguing.


Rep. Vicki Schneider – Senate 2 – Scott Rupp termed.  Potentially faces Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger.


Rep. Bob Nance – Senate 12 – Brad Lager termed.  Nance resides in the southern part of this district.  Potentially faces Reps. Mike Thomson and Casey Guernsey.



And those which appear to be shells…


Rep. Rodney Schad – Senate 6.

Former Rep. Brian Yates still has a Senate 8 committee.

Sens. Tim Green and Ryan McKenna – State Auditor.

Streamlined Sales Tax Debate Continues

Today is Cyber Monday when Christmas shopping goes online for big deals.  One report, though, had $1 billion in sales online last week on Black Friday.  It’s a reminder that as sales have migrated from Main Street to the internet, states sales tax revenue faces a headwind.


From Politico’s Morning Tech email, possible federal action on this: “Vermont Democrat

Peter Welch, a co-sponsor of a House online sales tax bill dubbed the ‘Main Street Fairness Act,’ told MT that ‘whatever sales tax applies should be collected whether the purchase is made in a bricks-and-mortar store or online. That's a fairness issue, but it's also a community revitalization issue.’ The House bill hasn't advanced since it was introduced last year. Welch said that ‘there's a debate within the Republican conference as to whether this is a new tax or not,’ but he added that support for the idea is growing in the GOP.  ‘I think more and more of our Republican legislators see it's an existing tax and it's a matter of collecting it,’ Welch said. He's hopeful Congress will act on the bill next year, if not during the lame duck, and said that state-level action on the issue lends momentum to federal legislation. ‘You don't want a patchwork system on this,’ Welch said. ‘You want a uniform set of rules that makes it easier for commerce.’


Note: That Republicans continue to wrestle with the chains of “no new tax” rhetoric.  Whether something makes policy sense has taken a backseat to a slogan-turned-commandment.  Republicans – and every mainstream economist – have held that the tax codes can increase behavioral incentives and disincentive.  Yet by adhering to a “no new tax” decree, Republicans have abandoned this view.  They’re hamstrung to level the taxing playing field between online and “real” retailers.


And most recently in Missouri, the opposition to the cigarette tax increase, when this is clearly an addictive and unhealthy habit we want to discourage from a public policy standpoint.




200K fewer deer in Missouri… Read the story here.



Post-Dispatch’s Tim Logan writes about the Paul McKee development plan in north St. Louis city – headed to the Supreme Court – and its implications.  Read it here.



St. Louis Beacon reports that Boeing’s Super Hornets contract is under “scrutiny” over costs.  Read it here.



World Wide Technology CEO David L. Steward will be the featured speaker at 2013 Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Jefferson City.  “World Wide Technology was started in 1990 with a handful of employees and a 4,000 square-foot office, the company now has more than 2,000 employees and two million-plus square feet of facilities contributing to generate more than $4 billion in annual revenue….  Steward is well-known for applying his strong faith to business. He is the author of a book on the importance of faith and values in business, Doing Business by the Good Book: Fifty-Two Lessons on Success Straight from the Bible, with the foreword written by former President George H.W. Bush.”



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Patricia R. Jensen added TUF Flight Industries Inc.

Aaron March added Y Bannister Two LLC.

Trent Watson added American Diabetes Association.



$5K+ Contributions

Romine for Senate - $12,700 from Missouri Republican Party.




Happy birthdays to Jane Dueker and committeeman Damon Jones.