Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Handicapping the House Races

Following last week’s “Special Report,” this morning I uploaded a “cheat sheet.”  Find it here.  It’s basically an easy way to scan through the 81 contested House races.  As I make forecast revisions, I will update this “cheat sheet.”  The first such revision will come with the 30-Day financial reports which are due tomorrow.


An eye-balling of House districts gives me an initial forecast of Dems picking up 1 seat.  In other words, things are pretty even.  This makes sense given the “status quo” nature of the map provided by the judiciary.


Here are some factors which will be at play going forward:  fundraising (normally an advantage for Republicans), organizing/campaigning (normally an advantage Republicans), the impact of Barack Obama (assumed to be a drag on Democrats in rural districts where they might be competitive), and the impact of Todd Akin (assumed to be a drag on Republican in suburban swing districts).


The Obama Factor

Right now the consensus opinion has Mitt Romney beating Obama at the very top, but Claire McCaskill besting Akin, and Jay Nixon ahead of Dave Spence.  If that’s the case then Romney’s “coattails” will be more accurately described as “anti-Obama” coattails than “pro-Romney” coattails – and it will depend on HRCC makes a play to exploit it.


With Akin running weak and Nixon running strong, there’s no wave expected for Republicans, as in 2010.


Where to look for the “Obama Drag”

There are some places which have a Democratic tradition, but never jumped on-board the Obama love train four years ago.  The bootheel is a prime example.  In Dunklin County, John McCain beat Obama 59.9% to 38.6%.  (Statewide, the two essentially tied with McCain polling 49.4% to Obama’s 49.3%).


This is a bad omen for Democrat Tom Todd trying to unseat Rep. Kent Hampton.  And for Terry Swinger, as well, in his race against newcomer, Republican Doug Libla.


Of even greater concern for Democrats is the notion – embraced by many Republicans – that Obama’s peak popularity in Missouri was Inaugural Day 2009.  There are places in Missouri that he competed in four years ago, that are no longer competitive.


For example, is Jefferson County one of these areas?  Obama edged out McCain there in 2008 50.6% to 48.1%.  There are a lot of House seats at stake in that region.  If it replays 2010’s environment with a 15-point drop at the top of the ticket for Dems (Roy Blunt 53.8% to 38.9% for Robin Carnahan), Democrats will be hard-pressed to retrieve those seats.


Buchanan County, likewise, saw a similar shift from competitive at the top to a slaughter.  Obama tied with McCain there; Carnahan was crushed by fourteen points.



Kinder to Spence: You’re On Your Own, Bud

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder backed Governor Jay Nixon’s stance on the auto sales tax issue, over fellow Republican – and gubernatorial nominee Dave SpenceRead it here.


Veto session is next week.



Roundtree’s Retirement Email: Step Raise Came By Stepping on Backs

From: Farrell Roundtree

Sent: Friday, August 31, 2012 1:36 AM

To: _House Members and Staff



I want to thank everyone who sent letters and e-mails congratulating me on my retirement. I realize that some of you knew who I was, but most of didn’t. So I take this opportunity to introduce myself, and tell you about my situation.


My name is Farrell Roundtree (former housekeeping supervisor) that worked the 3rd shift for the past 9 years. I came to The House of Reps. in 1994 with high hopes, a degree in Economics, after graduating with honors. I was promise a quick promotion that never happened; but I stay here and performed my duties diligently.


On July 13th, 2012 my supervisor, Brad Werner graciously came by my office to inform me that my position was being eliminated by his superiors for financial reasons. I was willing to except that excuse and my fate and “just fade away…like an old soldier”. But after reading the August 13th, 2012 e-mail from Chief Clerk Adam Crumbliss titled “Compensation Adjustment,” I was compelled….no, I was forced…no, I was obligated…to write this  letter.

In this e-mail, Mr. Crumbliss states that the House of Reps. now has the funds to give “step salary adjustments” to all remaining House employees (including himself, I guess). While I’m happy that the WORKERS are finally receiving a decent raise, after all these years, I also, think that it’s SAD that the “step raise” came by stepping on the backs of loyal and dedicated workers like Billy Johnson, Phillip Connors, myself, and anyone who was forced out of their jobs due to elimination and/or intimidation.


I’ve talked to both Mr. Johnson and Mr. Connors, you should hear what they have to say, and they are just a phone call away, you might be surprised by what they will tell you. Again, I was informed on July 13th, that the leadership wanted me gone by July 31st, (just 2 weeks) but, since Mosers couldn’t process my information in that short amount of time, I was allowed to continue to work until August 31st.


Because I was given such a short amount of time, I was forced to make lots of quick decisions, that going to cost my family some financial hardships. I didn’t get a chance to seek other employment (even within the House of Reps. itself), I had limited health care choices, and I didn’t get a chance to pay down my dept.  The consensus among some of the workers forced out is, if they, the leadership who was forced to make some “difficult choices” would have included us, or asked us, we probably would have agreed to leave; or in my case, I would have told them 2013, I was planning to leave.


By the way, this kind of reminds me of 2003, when that leadership eliminated the entire house keeping staff for financial reasons (some of those people worked here for 10-15-20 years or more, for minimum wage). It just seem to me, that every time the House of Representatives gets into financial strain, it’s us “nobodies” that becomes the only “choice” that leadership seems to make, and we are the ones left  with all the difficulties.


Hopefully, I’ve made my position very clear, EVERYBODY DESERVES TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT, we are all family and should have more concern about each other; I lost my job, so somebody could get a raise (WOW). The only advise I can give the leadership here, is the same advise Bob Whittler my predecessor, told the leadership in 1994, at his retirement party (@ least he got one); “I HOPE YOU TREAT THE NEXT MAN BETTER, THAN YOU TREATED ME”!!!!   I say, I hope you treat the next Black supervisor (if you get another one) better than treated this one.


You guys have a great life, I have nothing but love for everybody, and I will keep you in my prayers, please keep me in yours.


God bless:

Farrell Roundtree



Lobbyist Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:


Andrew B Blunt and Jay Reichard added Propel Financial Services LLC.

Richard Martin added Logisticare Solutions LLC and Asurion Corporation.

Susie Dahl deleted Highway and Transportation Employees’ and Highway Patrol Retirement System.

Steven Glorioso deleted American Traffic Solutions and IMG.

Rodney R Hubbard deleted Missouri Automobile Dealers Association.

Lynn Ann Vogel deleted The Missouri Bar.



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Health and Education - $15,000 from The Laclede Group Inc.

Missourians for Health and Education - $25,000 from Regional Business Council.

Missourians for Health and Education - $15,000 from HMK Global Services.

MO Republican Party - $10,000 from Centene Management Company.

AGC-MO PAC - $9,700 from Twehous Excavating Co Inc.

MO Petroleum Marketers + Convenience Store Assoc PAC - $10,000 from Rapid Roberts.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $15,000 from Ameren Missouri PAC.

Missouri’s Future - $11,000 from Davus, Buthune & Jones LLC.

Missouri’s Future - $11,000 from Dollar, Burns & Becker L.C.

Citizens for Ed Emery - $25,000 from Sarah Atkins.




Happy birthday to Katie Casas, Matt Teter, Keith Tubbs, and former Reps. Jenee Lowe and Rachel Storch.