Tuesday, November 20, 2012


A More Engaged Nixon? (No)

AP’s David Lieb writes about the supermajorities in the state legislatures.  (Read it here).


In the article Speaker Tim Jones is quoted, “The governor will need to understand the importance of true, actual negotiation during the legislative process.”


This has been a common complaint, not just among Republican leadership, but among bill sponsors, and lobbyists.


During session they craft a compromise while the second floor sits on its hands in silence.  Then in June, the governor issues vetoes to their dismay.  I have heard several time from angry lawmakers – if the governor had made his objections known, they’d have worked to implement an accommodation.


Now, Jones imagines, the governor will engage early otherwise the Republicans will just override his veto with their supermajority.


I think an equally likely outcome is that governor changes nothing about his behavior.  His administration has been most interested in avoiding any damaging situations.  The practice of not getting involved in legislation keeps his hands clean.  Then he can make surgical and calculated vetoes.  I think that will remain.


The only thing that changes is the veto calculations.



Will Republican Soul-Searching Lead to Qualified Candidates?

Republicans continue to grapple with nearly being swept by Democrats in the statewide races.


One example of the flailing is Sen. John Lamping’s effort to create an “advice and consent” organization.


Another is Jack Danforth saying in a public radio interview (see it here), Republicans nominated the unelectable. That’s a bit of hyperbole.  Is Shane Schoeller truly unelectable? Or Cole McNary?  Or Dave Spence?


Still, there’s something to it.  Those farthest to the right lost by the most.  Ed Martin and Todd Akin lost by 15 points.  (Martin’s campaign sent an email survey to supporters yesterday as he attempted to piece together the extent of his loss).


I think the underlying illness is that Republican candidates mostly went all-in on ideology, even in positions which Missourians don’t view as particularly ideological.  The Democrats, by and large, ran on competence and professionalism.


The contrast was no more evident than the attorney general’s race. Martin had a cartoonish ambulance drive around the state as a prop in the Obamacare debate; Chris Koster acted like the position was a job, something that worksman shows up to everyday and does with the deliberateness of a craft he was dedicated his life to learning.


In the treasurer’s race, Clint Zweifel’s ads were nothing flashy.  However I do remember what he ran on – keeping Missourians money safe.  Was there a single issue that McNary ran on?  Schoeller?  They seemed to run on being Republicans.  In a different year perhaps that would have worked.  Perhaps.  But I’m not sure 80% of Missourians care if the treasurer or secretary of state is of one party or the other.


In fact McNary and Martin presented to voters no qualifications for the jobs they sought.  The incumbents they ran against meanwhile ran on specific accomplishments.



AFSCME, NEA, SEIU Enter Fiscal Cliff Fray

Yesterday it was the bipartisan “Fix the Debt” group calling for Washington to steer clear of the fiscal cliff.  Today, labor groups will unveil their own push for averting the fiscal cliff, focusing on protecting the entitlement programs in the process.


“The six-figure buy will air in Missouri and four other states (Colorado, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Alaska) and is the opening salvo in the lame duck ad campaign… Americans want Congress to focus on building the economy from the middle class out, not from the top down—and are looking for ‘lame duck’ negotiations that focus on reducing the deficit by putting people to work and extending middle class tax cuts, not by cutting critical programs.”



St. Louis Bits

In yesterday’s large checks, the St. Louis Local 73 Firefighters sent $20,000 to Lewis Reed, who’s challenging incumbent Francis Slay in the spring.  Slay has in a marathon wrestling match with the firefighters to rein in the cost of their pension.  Vince Schoemehl once remarked that in city politics, “you’re friends come and go, but your enemies just accumulate.”  It’ll be interesting to see whether a decade of fights takes its toll on Slay as he goes for an unprecedented fourth term.



Martin Casas, husband to school choice lobbyist Katie Casas, won’t seek the aldermanic seat on which St. Louis City that Damon Jones, son of Robin Wright Jones, has set his eyes.  But Jones won’t avoid a primary.  Former Arch City Chronicle scribe, Chryssi Ingrassia (nee Stroer) is prepping a bid.



Paper Not Dead, But Hiring

Post-Dispatch looks for a business editor: “Candidates must possess well-honed skills in developing watchdog, enterprise and analytical reporting, and they must understand competition and urgency in breaking news on multiple platforms.” See the ad here.



Gatehouse Media wants editors: “We are seeking applicants for editor opportunities at daily newspapers in northern Missouri. Successful applicants will be able to contribute as newsroom leaders… They will also demonstrate an ability to manage a website and direct our increasing social media presence.”  See ad here.



And finally: “National magazine located in South County section of St. Louis is looking for an editor.”  See ad here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Brian E Crouse added Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Jennifer Martin added Mechanical Contractors Association of Kansas City.

Tamar Yudenfreund added Propel Financial Services LLC.




Happy birthdays to Former Governor Matt Blunt (42), Reps. Myron Neth (44) and Sharon Pace, and former Rep. Mike Vogt (49).