Friday, April 6, 2012

House Battleground Districts

Today under the Special Reports is a “first look” at twenty-eight competitive House districts this cycle.  I am following an additional thirteen districts as potentially competitive.  But most likely the list will probably dwindle from here, not grow, as the picture in these races becomes clearer.


An early projection is for Dems to pick up three seats.  But I would caution that at this early date there are a lot of unknowns.


Read the full Report Here.



Next, later this month, I will look more closely at races – both Senate and House – where the primaries are important.



Another Petition Bites the Dust

Judge Dan Green threw out the payday loan petition initiative.  Read Jason Hancock’s story Here.


One observer writes to MOScout, “The recent rulings from three different Cole County Judges point out the inherent problems with the initiative petition system.  Judge Jon Beetem found the Auditor’s fiscal note preparation to be unconstitutional, Judge Pat Joyce struck down a legislatively drafted summary statement of the Voter ID initiative, now Judge Daniel Green has found both the secretary’s summary statement and the auditors fiscal analysis of the interest rate initiative to be insufficient and unfair.  Many of these initiatives are now being filed by various interest trying to circumvent the legislature.  That is certainly their right, but it is time for everyone to stand down on circulating initiatives and ask the legislature to address this process so that it fair for both those who support the ideas in initiatives and those who oppose them.”



Centene Hits Back

Against the mutterings – which I linked to a few days ago – that Centene’s recent bid win was an example of “crony capitalism” given their campaign contributions to Missouri politicians, one Centene defender happily offered a rebuttal.


First, it’s important to note that three companies were involved in the winning bid – Aetna, Coventry and Centene.  But Molina appears to have targeted Centene because they are new to this bid.


Second, the charges that campaign contributions affect public policy choices is a standard line of attack for losers on an issue.  And while it’s impossible to refute, Molina, Aetna, Coventry and Centene have all given to politicians both Republican and Democrat.  It’s not unusual for members of the business community to contribute to political campaigns.


Third, and most important, are the regional evaluations which I reviewed.  In the Eastern regions Molina scored last.  In the Central and Western regions they scored second to last.  Meanwhile the winning bid was first in two regions and second in the third.


Finally, there’s the home team factor.  Centene is a Fortune 500 company operating health care plan in 14 states, but they are headquartered in Missouri and employ over a thousand Missourians.



Brown to Nixon: The Senate Kept Me From Your Dinner

Rep. Michael Brown wrote Governor Jay Nixon a letter explaining his absence at a recent dinner at the governor’s mansion:


Dear Governor Nixon:

I want to apologize for not being able to attend your recent dinner. Last night I received some very troubling news—which literally caused me to become physically ill—from Kansas City that will have serious repercussions for our state’s economy and future.

TEVA Neurosciences officially announced last evening that it had decided to move its facility out of Kansas City, Missouri to Overland Park, Kansas. With this move our state will lose over 400 jobs…


If the General Assembly had passed tax credit reform we would have been on a path toward revitalizing our economy. Because of our failure to pass tax credit reform, future redevelopment projects are now in jeopardy… Because of the Legislature’s failure, these jobs have been indefinitely delayed and perhaps may never materialize. I cannot express in writing how devastating a loss this is to my district and our state’s economy.


Kansas City and the state of Missouri are under assault as the state of Kansas rips jobs and economic opportunities away from us. This summer you gave the General Assembly the task to create legislation which would have given Kansas City, Missouri and the Three-Trails development district the tools they need to retain and create jobs that may have otherwise moved to Kansas. However, certain elements in the State Senate felt that politics were more important than creating Missouri jobs. Because of their unwillingness to compromise with the House, our state lost 400 jobs and as a result may lose another 6,000.


I personally would like to thank you for what you’ve done for the Kansas City region. Although I had been looking forward to your dinner, I became physically ill after hearing about TEVA’s move and was not in any condition to attend. If the State Senate had followed your leadership and chosen to compromise with the Missouri House, our state would not have lost those 400 jobs to Kansas.



Michael R. Brown

State Representative

District 50



CO’s Online Tax Ruled Unconstitutional

From Internet Retailer: “A Colorado law that required online retailers without a physical presence in the state to inform Colorado customers of their use tax obligations and also report that information to the state’s Department of Revenue has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal court judge.”  Read it Here.



SNL Seeks Social Media Maven

The Springfield News Leader says, “If you live and breathe social media, we have a great job for you.”  See the Ad Here.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Neal English added Americans for Prosperity.

Hank Monsees deleted Innovative Energy Inc.



$5K+ Contributions

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Friends of Tilley.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $10,000 from Citizens for Diehl.




Happy birthday to Rep. John McCaherty (47)


Saturday: American Petroleum Institute’s Ryan Rowden (296).
Sunday: Rep. Mike Thomson (66) and former Rep. Mike Sutherland (47).



MOScout Schedule

No MOScout on Monday (legislature off too), see you Tuesday…