Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Carlson-Newman “Do Over”?

In the crazy close House 87 race, news reports yesterday indicated that the St. Louis County Board of Elections will not certify the results.  Read it here.


They uncovered over a hundred instances where wrong ballots were distributed.  One observer says that this isn’t terribly uncommon in the first election after redistricting.  A different observer notes that both the Susan Carlson and the Stacey Newman teams have no shortage of legal minds at their disposal making this an increasingly difficult knot to untangle.


The solution, according to multiple sources, sounds unprecedented to me: a do-over!  It’s said that the St. Louis County Board of Elections has spoken to the secretary of state’s office and will ask a circuit court judge to allow a new election scheduled for the November ballot to settle the race.


This action is based in the Missouri statutes: 115.600. The election authority, if convinced that errors of omission or commission have occurred on the part of the election authority, election judges, or any election personnel in the conduct of an election, may petition the circuit court for a recount or a new election and the court is authorized to order a new election if the evidence provided demonstrates that the irregularities were sufficient to cast doubt on the outcome of the election.


This remarkable turn of events would restart the campaigns of Newman and Carlson for a new three-month sprint.





Shane Schoeller Takes Reins of House

How do I know?  He’s got his picture on the website already.  See it here.



Leara Announces Bid for Floor Leader

Excerpts from the letter:


Greetings Fellow House Members,


This past weekend our annual summer caucus was the most successful on record, raising approximately $600,000. The venue was superb and I congratulate our team for their tremendous effort in making it such a successful event…


It has been rumored that certain leadership positions in our caucus may be voted on prior to the General Election. The next time we will be together as a caucus will be during the 2012 Veto Session, and we may need to be prepared to select two or more caucus leadership positions at that time.


At this time, I wish to announce my intent to seek the position of Majority Floor Leader.  It is my belief that our selected leaders must possess the utmost honesty, integrity and reliability to lead our caucus. With this in mind, I humbly ask for your support and vote to be your next Majority Floor Leader.



Michael A. Leara



Hummel Lock Still On?

With Diehl facing an opponent, I asked whether Rep. Jake Hummel still had his lock on minority leader.   The answer is that he is still the obvious bet.


But for contrarians, the August primary election results could give some legs to alternative scenarios.


First, lots of Democratic incumbents lost.  That, by definition, adds some uncertainty to the process.  Second, the black caucus held up pretty well. Their numbers would position them to be a potential swing vote bloc if there was a contested election.


This is all just chessboard talk though as no names have been mentioned to challenge Hummel.



One Last Thing: Tilley Gives Raises

From: Adam Crumbliss

To: _House Members and Staff


Dear House Members and Staff:


In June, Speaker Tilley made it clear the House should pursue a path that emphasizes an increased investment in House staff. Over the last few months we have identified several areas to cut costs and improve efficiency with the goal of using the savings to reinvest in staff.  In his final act as Speaker, Representative Tilley has directed me to implement additional salary adjustments beyond the recent Cost of Living Adjustment for both Member Office Staff and Administrative Staff.


These adjustments will be first noticed in paychecks at the end of August.   Member Office Staff will each receive a one-step salary adjustment.  A new salary grid will be available on the Housenet in the coming days to assist employees in determining their new compensation level.  Administrative staff directors will be meeting with administrative employees in the coming days to discuss approved adjustments for each employee…




Lower income residents paying lower utility bills? Public Service Commission is mulling the notion.  Read it here.



Missouri now is the only state which doesn’t have a drug-tracking system.  Read it here. This is the legislation that Sen. Rob Schaaf successfully stopped last session



MOJournal reports that the Missouri unemployment rate moved up to 7.2% in July – and he (reporter Brain Hook) continues to have trouble getting timely data from the Department of Economic Development.  Read it here.




Sticky Scenarios for Tilley PAC

Steve Tilley cannot convert his campaign account into personal income. But, can he sign a candidate as a client for say $10,000 and then donate $10,000 from his campaign to that candidate?  If so, wouldn’t that have the effect of just turning his campaign account into income?  Maybe he even throws in a little advice and sends a fundraising letter to his vast e-mail list of donors.


“What about lobbying clients?  Can Noranda give Tilley $50k as a consultant and Tilley, in turn, give $50k in donations from his PAC to candidates that would be helpful to Noranda?  Wouldn’t either of these actions have the practical impact of converting campaign cash into income?”



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Jewell D. H. Patek added Star Development Corp.



$5K+ Contributions

Committee to Elect Dan Wade Circuit Judge - $5,300 from Dan Wade.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc. - $10,000 from Express Scripts Inc.

Komo for Missouri - $10,000 from Martin Komo.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $200,000 from Xcaliber International LTD, LLC.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $50,000 from U-Gas Inc.


Cash Commentary

Money coming in to fight tobacco tax.




Happy birthday to former Rep. Pat Yaeger (70).