Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Court Plan Opponents Pull the Plug

Opponents of the current process for choosing judges in Missouri said yesterday that they wouldn’t campaign to pass their proposal.  They cited the ballot language written by Secretary of State Robin CarnahanRead the Beacon’s article here.


It was at once both a baffling and straightforward decision.


It was baffling because the group has spent unknown amounts of money, and here they are in the red zone, one vote away from their goal and they’re calling it quits.


It was straightforward because the polling on the issue was said to be very difficult.  One source involved in the issue says that polls on the issue ran around 20% favoring a change.  Pushing that number up to 50% +1 became an impossible task when faced with the ballot language.



What’s Next

There’s a chance that the immediate battlefield shifts to the secretary of state’s race.  In this scenario, those trying to change the court plan would install a more accommodating Shane Schoeller, then move a similar bill through the legislature next year and hope for a better playing field in 2014.


But those defending the court plan won’t necessarily shift all their resources to help Jason Kander.  The proposal is still on the ballot, and though they feel confident of its defeat, they won’t take any chance.  Plus if they can beat it 2-1, say 65% - 35% that will bolster their case with legislators next session.  “The public doesn’t want it; why are you shoving it back on their plate?”



The $64,000 Question

How much money have the David Humphreys and others blown on this continuing debacle?  The answer is much, much, much more than $64,000 for sure.  Calculating the cost – the initiative petition effort which came up short on signatures, the high-priced lobbying effort last session, the consultant fees to James Harris, and all the other on-going consultants and salaries – of the year after year failures is hard, but I would guess it’s in the millions.



Senate 3: Romine Internal Polls Says He’s Doing Groovy

Here’s the memo from Republican pollster American Viewpoint:


The following outlines the key findings from a survey commissioned by the Missouri Senate Campaign Committee in Missouri's 3rd State Senate District. Interviews were conducted September 11th and 13th, 2012. The margin of error for the entire sample (n=300) is +/- 5.7% at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error among sub-groups is greater. Approximately 15% of interviews are with voters who have a cell phone that do not have a landline recorded on the voter file.


Gary Romine is in a strong position heading into the final six weeks of the campaign.


• Gary Romine leads Joe Fallert 48%-34%, with 16% undecided.


• Among the key voting bloc of ticket-splitters, Romine's lead extends to an impressive 53%-19%.


• Fallert will find it difficult to grow his vote due to the fact that among the 44% of voters who are aware of both candidates, Romine leads 53%-30%.


Assuming Romine has the resources necessary to continue to grow his definition and make the issue differences know between himself and Fallert, he should win election and keep this district in the GOP column in November.



Sifton Mailers make Lembke Whine

Sen. Jim Lembke may be feeling a little roughed up by the mail he’s seeing from Rep. Scott Sifton.  He went whining on Facebook:


“Is it any wonder that the people are tried of campaigns? My opponant has sent out 5 mail pieces that have not addressed one issue. I have taken the high road talking about the contrast between my vision of good government and his. He has taken the desparate road of personal attack. I know that negative campaigning works, but I would be interested to hear from my FB friends to know if you would like to see candidates talk about the issues that would make our state a better place to live and raise a family. What say you???”


Lembke entered the final stretch with a sizeable cash advantage, but he’s apparently waiting until he sees the whites in the eyes.



The Return of Room 321?

Sen. Jane Cunningham, a victim of redistricting, won’t be back in January.  Accordingly hallway denizens are turning their attention to a serious question looming for next session… will Room 321 return to its former glory as an unofficial lobbyists’ lounge as it existed under Carl Vogel?


The early rooting appears focused on Sen. Jay Wasson as the best hope to let the weary, hungry lobbying masses a place to socialize.


Senators usually convene a day or two after the election to caucus, elect their leadership, find their new floor desks and choose offices.



Peace Pipe on South Grand?

Sighted at South Grand's South City Diner recently was Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal and Sen-elect. Jamilah Nasheed, perhaps beginning a rapprochement.  We’ll see how things go come January, but it might depend on which topics the Senate takes up first.  If issues concerning St.

Louis, women or people of color are the first hot topics, they might forge some common ground.  But if it’s education issues like teacher tenure, they might start off as natural enemies…




Tony’s KC explains why Kansas City Democrats hate Governor Jay Nixon.  Read it here.



The latest Akin oddity: doctor performing abortions on women who aren’t pregnant… huh?  See it here.   And Ed Martin is stickin with Akin.  Read it here.



One reader pointed out that Martin’s new commercial was a near line for line imitation (although reversed for ideology) of Paul Wellstone’s 1990 ad.  See it here.



KMOV in St. Louis says that Nixon’s latest attack ad is pretty much all false.  See it here.



Debate Tonight

Ahead of the presidential debate tonight, Nate Silver says the first debate gives challengers a bounce.  Read it here.



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Steven P Jarvis deleted Missouri Forest Products Association.



$5K+ Contributions

Ameren UE Political Action Committee - $57,500 from Ameren Missoui.

Committee to Elect Reed - $10,000 from St. Louis Fire Fighters P.A.C.

Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Committee - $25,000 from Kenneth McClain.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $39,680 from U Gas Inc.

Doug Libla for Senate - $10,000 from Sterling Bank.

MO Democratic State Committee - $25,000 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC -  $25,000 from DC Inc.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC -  $25,000 from U-Gas Inc.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC -  $25,000 from Hub Inc.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC -  $25,000 from LPC Inc.

Healthy Community, Healthy Economy - $15,000 from Lafayette Regional Health Center.

Doug Libla for Senate - $25,000 from Missouri Senate Campaign Committee.

Missourians for Koster - $5,500 from Sheet Metal Workers International Association Local Union #36.



Cash Commentary

The firefighters are jumping behind Lewis Reed as he announces he’ll challenge Mayor Francis Slay’s quest for an unprecedented fourth term.  Slay has warred with the firefighters over pension issues.



Convenience stores are adding more cash as they battle the impending tobacco tax ballot proposal.




Happy birthdays to Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, Rep. John Rizzo (32), and MCCA’s Zora Mulligan (36).