Friday, January 13, 2012

Back to the Maps?

According to observers and reports (Read the Beacon’s article Here) of yesterday’s Missouri Supreme Court hearing, Justice Ray Price appeared to think that there are problems with the new 5th and 6th Districts in the new congressional map.  Because he’s a Republican appointee and Democrats are the aggrieved party, speculation is that the high court may act on the matter. One guess is that they send it back to the legislature for modifications.


In this scenario, the whole thing gets pretty thorny pretty quickly.  For example, candidate filing is set to begin in about six weeks.  It’s hard to imagine that the legislature could revise its map and pass it to the governor before filing would begin.   Several folks mentioned to me that the filing dates are not constitutionally set.  They could be revised to bump them backwards as they work through the congressional district changes.


Also, it’s important to note that even if the court acts, it doesn’t necessarily help Dems, the way some might hope.  The legislature could accommodate the Supreme Court’s misgiving on CD-5 without changing the basic political outcome: 6 Republicans and 2 Democrats.


Senate Map

While the consensus of observers was that the Supreme Court will act on the congressional districts, observers are split on whether the state senate map will also find itself open to revision as well.  But, again, if they did do something it would create some crazy kind of havoc.


One observer though noted the extent to which Sen. Kurt Schaefer appeared a driving force in the lawsuit, presumably because he doesn’t like the inclusion of Democratically-leaning Howard County in his new Senate 19.  This person felt that Schaefer was at odds with the bulk of his caucus who rather liked the senate map’s preservation of their majority for the next decade.



Riddle Files ESP Bill

Yesterday Assistant Floor Leader Jeanne Riddle turned in this year’s bill dealing with Early Site Permit to accommodate a new nuclear plant down the road.  Riddle reportedly hustled up 83 co-sponsors.   It’s said the bill is the same language which passed as an amendment last year 121-21.


There is general exhaustion around the issue.  But one legislator predicts that while nothing will happen this year on ESP (and funding for the Office of Public Counsel and for the renewable energy debate as well), 2013 will usher in “the age of Ameren.”  With Speaker Tim Jones at the helm of the House and no Sens. Jason Crowell and Rob Mayer to thwart matters in the Senate, utilities will have a very favorable legislative environment.


That leads another observer to ask whether “opponents will do the smart thing and cut a deal while they still can?  Or will they roll the dice on stopping a supermajority in 2013?  The smart move is to cut a deal.”



Lampe for LG?

We’ve been through this rumor before, but it seems to be back with greater force: Rep. Sara Lampe appears to be seriously considering the lieutenant governor’s race.  Although one legislator thinks it’s akin to a cry for attention, others believe she is sincerely close to pulling the trigger.


It seems almost laughable the way this contest is drawing progressive women into the same race.  While I had imagined an east-side conservative male – Wes Shoemyer or Sen. Ryan McKenna stepping into a four-way race like this, yesterday someone mentioned Sen. Victor Callahan as a possibility with his $530K campaign committee. (That’s as of October, by the way).



May-Whitehead III

Rep. Karla May is running in House 84 now in some kind of grudge match against Hope Whitehead.  The two have tangled twice before.


Whitehead won the special election (to fill TD El-Amin’s seat, House 57) in February 2010, in which May ran as an Independent, but still grabbed 44%.  May then returned that summer to the unseat Whitehead in the regular Democratic primary, winning by 33 votes.


House 84 is a nice district with St. Louis City gems Forest Part and Barnes Jewish Hospital.



Walton Gray to Move?

Rumors have Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray considering a move to avoid a primary battle with Rep. Sylvester Taylor.  Taylor, who was redistricted together with Rep. Steve Webb, had drawn a bead on Walton Gray.  Now it seems that Walton Gray – frightened by Taylor’s access to labor support, is considering moving into House 66 and taking on Rep. Tommie Pierson.



Senators’ Legislation

Sen. Robin Wright Jones leads all senators in the number of bills filed – 23.  Perhaps an attempt to inoculate herself against Rep. Jamilah Nasheed’s attacks that she’s an unproductive senator.  (Her SB 502 would allow public officials to be excused from jury duty.)


Sen. Jolie Justus has yet to file a bill.  And Sens. Brian Nieves and Ryan McKenna only have one bill filed.  Nieves’ SJR 45 would prevent Missouri from recognizing any federals that he disagrees with.  And McKenna’s SB 615 would make beer runs during the Superbowl easier. (I hope there’s an emergency clause on that one).



Quarter Reports

Rep. Terry Swinger, running in Senate 25 (Mayer termed), raised $88,212 and now has $176,800 on-hand.  That’s a good quarter from Swinger and bodes well for his candidacy.


St. Louis City Democratic Chairman Brian Wahby, running for St. Louis Treasurer, raised $72,550 and has $70,578 on-hand.


Rep. Paul Fitzwater raised $350, and has $4,017 on-hand.
Rep. Chuck Gatschenberger raised $8,650 and has $21,722 on-hand.


Rep. Jason Smith raised $6,674 and has $15,346 on-hand.



2012 Watch

Donna Pfautsch started a campaign committee to run in House 33.  It’s a long north-south district with Pleasant Hill and Harrisonville that was drawn without an incumbent.  It’s a lean Republican seat, with a likely Republican primary.



Rocky Stehlik started a campaign committee to run in House 130.  It is one of the Springfield districts.  Rep. Thomas Long will be running here, but there will be a primary.  Listen to interview with Rocky Here.




Happy birthday St. Louis alderman Jeffrey Boyd.


Tomorrow: Rep. Mike Cierpiot (59) and Margaret Donnelly (58).


Sunday: Former Rep. Esther Haywood (72), Virvus Jones (65) and Les Sterman (63).


Monday: Reps. Don Gosen (49), and Mary Still (58).



MOScout News

The legislature is off on Monday for Martin Luther King Day, and so am I.  See you on Tuesday.  Over the weekend of course you can always call, email ( or text me (314-255-5210) hot tips.  And follow me on twitter  @missouriscout as I may tweet January quarterly numbers.