Wednesday, August 1, 2012

 

The Return of Ray Salva?

Two sources say that former state representative Ray Salva turned in signatures to the secretary of state’s office on Monday to run for state senate as an Independent.

 

It’s said that Salva seeks to succeed Victor Callahan in Senate 11, but neither observer considered him to be much threat to the Democratic nominee Paul LeVota.

 

The secretary of state’s office will have to count the signature to see if Salva qualifies.

 

 

A Supreme Day

The Missouri Supreme Court handed down several cases yesterday.  They gave the green light to the initiative petitions upholding the role and work of the auditor and secretary of state where they’d been challenged.  Read the opinion here.

 

But what stoked the ire of Republicans across the state was Watts v. Lester E. Cox Med. Ctrs. which overturned the legislature’s 2005 caps on medical malpractice awards.  Read the opinion here.

 

 

The Outrage

Speaker Tim Jones: “This is yet another activist decision by our liberal-leaning Supreme Court. The ramifications of eliminating the cap on non-economic damages are unimaginable. Doctors will encounter difficulties finding affordable medical malpractice insurance, and there is no doubt that many will close their doors - especially those in rural areas, which are already underserved…
“The negative impact of this decision will be enormous and must be reversed. Comprehensive tort reform, including new medical malpractice caps, will be a top priority for the Missouri House in 2013. These caps were meant to increase access to affordable, reliable health care, and without them, both families and physicians will see their health care costs rise.”

 

House Judiciary Chair Stan Cox: “By judicial fiat, the majority have substituted their will over the decision of our popularly elected representatives and governor….  Unfortunately, the fact that the majority of that court would make this decision does not come as a surprise.  We can fix our tort system a million times, but if we continue to allow trial attorneys to control the judicial

selection process, we will continue to get the same result.  That is why the legislature worked to pass SJR51, which will help reform the Missouri Plan to give the people of our state more accountability over the selection process…”

 

 

Ameren Backs Wright Jones

Yesterday Sen. Robin Wright Jones recorded a large contribution (see below) of $15K from Ameren.  (She still hasn’t filed her 8 Day Report).

 

It’s a head-scratching move by the utility.  Not only does Wright Jones have a very minimal chance of winning, it’s possible she will use any resources she has to hurt Rep. Jamilah Nasheed.  It seems like the check may help Noranda’s choice candidate, Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford.

 

 

MEDA Files Complaint

From the press release: “Today the Missouri Energy Development Association (MEDA) filed formal complaints with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to provide Missouri voters with transparency leading up to the Primary Election next Tuesday, August 7th. The complaints cite lack of proper disclosure and violation of tax-exempt 501(c)(4) status by Missourians Against Higher Utility Rates (MAHUR) and Missourians For Low Energy Rates (MLEC) respectively… On July 23, 2012, just four days after the ‘tax-exempt’ MLEC was formed, MLEC contributed $275,000 to the recently dormant political committee MAHUR. Prior to July of 2012, MAHUR had reported no contributions or candidate expenditures during the 2011-2012 election cycle. According to MLEC’s Articles of Incorporation filed on July 19, 2012 with the Missouri Secretary of State by an employee of a law firm that also directly employs attorneys and lobbyists who represent Noranda and others, MLEC was formed a mere four days prior to its contribution to MAHUR. On the same day MLEC made its $275,000 contribution, July 23, 2012, MAHUR cut four very significant checks to out-of-state consulting firms in Connecticut, Florida, and Washington, DC for ‘Voter Education’ per MEC filings…

 

“Missouri law requires that political committees such as MAHUR report the identity of contributors and disclose the persons responsible for funding political advertising on behalf of the committee. Missouri law also requires that a corporation who ‘accepts contributions or makes expenditures for the primary or incidental purpose of influencing or attempting to influence the action of voters for or against the nomination or election to public office of one or more candidates’ must file a Statement of Organization and register with the MEC as a committee. The hurried creation and funding of MLEC (a so-called “tax-exempt” corporation), combined with its immediate transfer of $275,000 to MAHUR and day-of payments to out-of-state consultants, suggests an attempt to evade these disclosure requirements, and also, a possible violation of IRS regulations providing that tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organizations may not be ‘primarily’ engaged in express advocacy for or against candidates for public office.”

 

 

Clay Arms Both Sides

According to the 8 Day Report, Congressman Lacy Clay sent two checks to the Norwood Township Committee, totally $14,500.  (No large contributions reports were filed).  Some of the money was then distributed to some of Elbert Walton’s Unity PAC candidates – Rochelle Walton Gray, Tony Weaver, Terry Wilson and Redditt Hudson.

 

But Clay also gave to Weaver’s opponent Rep. Steve Webb ($1,750).  Why play both sides of a House race?  Turnout.  So the question is: why not play more?

 

And

Clay also sent $7,500 to Rep. Jamilah Nasheed.

 

 

Rumorville: Dems for Spence?

A few Dems have told me that there have been overtures made from disgruntled Dems to the Dave Spence campaign to see if they could help him in anyway against Governor Jay Nixon.

 

When I asked why Dems would do this, here was the two-point answer:

 

First, even if Nixon still wins, it is a heavy handed reminder that he needs to remember who his friends are.  People think that he will be running for the US Senate or even President.

 

And second, if Nixon does lose, there are Democrats that think it could be beneficial for the state.  Unquestionably the biggest challenge facing our state is our lack of revenue.  We are currently in a total stand off on the issue because neither the Democratic Governor, nor the Republican General Assembly wants the political baggage.  If a moderate Republican came in and put some pressure on these guys, we could get some revenue.  Remember that in South Carolina the Republican Legislature overrode the Republican Governor’s veto to increase the cigarette tax.  That sort of scenario isn’t possible in a world where partisan politics is running the show.

 

 

Question of the Day

Why does Brad Lager keep going on St. Louis talk radio?  Every time he does he gets his teeth kicked in.   This time it was McGraw Milhaven asking about a former mob associate who had some involvement in Northwest  Missouri Cellular. Listen to it here.

 

McGraw Milhaven: “Who is Kenneth Matzdorff?”

 

Brad Lager: “Umm - Kenneth Matzdorff was a guy I knew in the telecommunications business back in the ‘90s.”

 

MM: “Was he involved in this Northwest…”

 

Lager: “No.”

 

MM: “…Cellular…”

 

Lager: “He was not.”

 

MM: “He was not? Who is Robert Williams?”

 

Lager: “Bob Williams is a guy who owned one of the companies, used to own one of the companies, who was a partner in Northwest Missouri Cellular.”

 

MM: “So, he was a partner in the company you helped build?”

 

Lager: “Right.”

 

MM: “OK.”

 

Lager: “He sold it a few years ago, but early on in the company he was a partner in it.”

 

MM: “Would it be shocking for you to know that Kenneth Matzdorff and Robert Williams owned businesses together?”

 

Lager: “No. I know that.”

 

MM: “You know that? Kenneth Matzdorff is a Gambino crime family front man.”

 

Lager: “That’s not - my understanding is that, ten years ago, or whatever it was, several years ago, Ken Matzdorff got in trouble, uh, I believe, went to prison, I haven’t followed it. I’ve known Bob Williams for 20 years. As I said, he was the managing partner, actually, so I worked with him day in and day out. I find Bob to be a good person. I don’t believe he ever was indicted or anything like that. But, I will tell you this that – once again, here we go, I assume this information is coming from our good friend Peter Kinder…”

 

MM: “Actually, this is coming from the U.S. Eastern District Court of New York and Mr. Matzdorff’s guilty plea…”

 

 

Bits

The Daily Star Journal’s headline: “Two Give 60% of McGhee’s funding.”  Those two are David Humphreys and Rex Sinquefield’s MO Club for Growth.

 

 

Brunner and Steelman’s SuperPAC tussle over veracity of ads.  Yadda, yadda, yadda.  Keep the lawyers busy.  Read it here.

 

 

Sen. Jane Cunningham endorsed Rep. Shane Schoeller for secretary of state.

 

 

In House 6, Tim Remole gets the endorsement of incumbent Randy Asbury.

 

 

Brad Lager nabs Mike Huckabee’s endorsement.

 

And

Tipster: “Huckabee’s daughter Sarah is married to Bryan Sanders, who managed Lager’s losing 2008 campaign for state treasurer.”

 

 

Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Polsinelli Shughart deleted The Travelers Companies Inc.

 

 

$5K+ Contributions

Friends for Jeff Messenger - $7,000 from Jeff Messenger.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $15,000 from Realtors PAC-Missouri.

Citizens for Brad Lager - $5,005 from Friends for Munzlinger.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $10,000 from Wallis Companies.

Citizens for Bill Puett - $10,000 from Bill Puett.

Wright Jones for Missouri - $15,000 from Ameren.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $40,000 from Missouri Leadership Committee.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from William McGinnis.

Friends for Bennett - $9,000 from Michael Bennett.

Emersons Missouri Responsible Government Fund - $7,500 from Emerson Electric.

Citizens to Elect Jamilah Nasheed - $7,500 from Clay Jr for Congress.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association Political Action League.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from Sheet Metal Workers’ Local No. 36.

MO Republican Party - $25,000 from Wellpoint Inc.

 

 

Birthdays

Happy birthdays to Carpenter’s Shannon Weber (32) and Rep. Bill Reiboldt (64).

 

 

Condolences

To Rep. Chris Carter.  The Post-Dispatch reports that his uncle, Alderman Greg Carter, was killed in a car accident early this morning.