Friday, March 2, 2012

Mass Extinction for Petitions?

The Cole County Circuit Court ruled yesterday that the auditor doesn’t have the constitutional authority to prepare fiscal notes for petitions.


BOOM!  Just like that every single petition this cycle is suddenly in jeopardy.


Dealing with the specific “Ellinger petition,” aka the tobacco petition, the court said that the “Fiscal Note and Fiscal Notes Summary prepared by Defendant Schweich for the Ellinger Petition are void.”  And further “Defendant Carnahan be and is hereby enjoined from certifying an official ballot title for the Ellinger Petition containing any fiscal note summary prepared by the State Auditor…”


Although the state auditor has been fulfilling this role for about 15 years without challenge lawyer Chuck ‘H-bomb’ Hatfield found the discrepancy between the state statutes and the state constitution.


Schweich is expected to appeal the ruling, but in the meantime the hundreds of thousands of dollars being poured into various petitions – payday loans, renewable energy, cigarette taxes (and the recent stem cell petition Here) – are all on ice.  See the whole list of petitions Here.


If the ruling is upheld, all petitions for this cycle are dead.  There just isn’t time for the legislature to create a new mechanism for creating fiscal notes, interest groups to submit their language, ballot summary and fiscal notes to be written, and then signatures collected anew before the May deadline.


That also means any partisan turnout strategy constructed around a particular issue being on the ballot is now in doubt.


(Is this the most messed up election cycle or what?)



MEDA to MEC: Investigate RenewMO

This is it boys; this is war…


The press release from MEDA (Missouri Energy Development Association):

“(We applaud) a formal complaint filed by a Missouri citizen this week with the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC). The complaint challenges the take-over of Renew Missouri by the Berkeley, California-based Earth Island Institute Inc. (EII), a nonprofit entity which is using Renew Missouri’s name to conduct a political campaign in Missouri.


“The complaint charges EII with multiple campaign finance violations relating to their sponsorship of Initiative Petitions 2012-105 and 2012-129, which propose a new and egregious renewable energy mandate for Missouri energy providers that will have a detrimental impact on families, seniors, and small businesses…


“The complaint against California-based EII states that through a ‘host of activities’ undertaken through the ‘Renew Missouri’ project, EII has effectively operated as the sponsor of these energy initiatives – without registering as a political action or campaign committee, or disclosing any out-of-state expenditures or contributions.


“Such activities include distributing Renew Missouri-branded materials without legally-required EII disclaimer language, soliciting donations, and advocating in support of the initiatives, among other questionable activities…”



Montee to Supporters: Crowded Field Makes Me Stronger

From her email blast:  “I Just Filed For Lieutenant Governor... and so did everyone



“As I exited the Secretary of State building, where filing takes place, someone asked me, ‘How does it feel to be one of six Democratic candidates running for Lieutenant Governor?’


“Six? How did we get here? It was only a few short months ago that, as the Democratic Party Chair, I couldn't recruit anyone to run for Lieutenant Governor. Now there are six. Six!


“You might think this news would distress me…. I know that a crowded field benefits my candidacy. I was the front runner and favored to win this primary when there were two or three

candidates. Now that there are six it only makes me stronger. Having run statewide twice before, I have the highest name recognition and each new entry into the race further splinters the remaining votes.”



Where’s Luann?  Sen. Luann Ridgeway – after doing a round of interviews to launch her lieutenant governor’s bid in December – has yet to walk down to the secretary of state’s office and file for the race.  Meanwhile rumors persist that she has an interest in the Public Service Commission, but observers doubt that’s in Governor Jay Nixon’s designs.



Where There’s Smoke  Speaker-elect Tim Jones held a fundy at the Ritz in Clayton last night with a wide spectrum in attendance – Jeff City lobbyists, St. Louis businesspeople, district constituents, House colleagues, at least one state senator, and family all in attendance.



Silvey’s Subtle Rebuttal  If the Post-Dispatch doesn’t agree with the House Republican’s proposal to eliminate a benefit for the blind, Budget Chair Ryan Silvey’s HB 1835 suggests a way to keep the program… cut newspaper subsidies.  Read it Here.



Money for McNary  Rep. Cole McNary will have an event March 7 at the Bogey Club for his state treasurer race.  Host committee: Ray Bentele, Sen. Jack Danforth, Tim Drury, Jay Henges, Jerry Hunter, John Maupin, Gene McNary, Dave Spence, and Bert Walker.


Money for McCaskill  March 11 “Join us for a Special Day with Senator Claire McCaskill”  “Us”  is Sens. Barbara Mikulski, Amy Klobuchar, Jeanne Shaheen, and Kay Hagan.  Platinum sponsor is $10K (for federal multi-candidate PACs).


LaFaver Adds Operation Breakthrough

Jeremy LaFaver – running in House 25 – landed a new client for his lobbying services in Jefferson City:  Operation Breakthrough.  OB is the state’s largest child care center, serving nearly 600 kids each day, with the vast majority of their funding coming from private donations. It's run by a couple of Catholic nuns and Sen. Victor Callahan’s brother, Steve Callahan.



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Adam Warren - $11,500 from Adam Warren.

Missourians for Randles - $5,000 from Bill Randles.

Missourians for Ed Martin - $5,000 from John Brunner.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


David Barklage and Michael Hafner added Missouri Association of Manufacturers.

James Bowers added MCK Partnership LLC, The Krug Trust, and Foley Industries Inc.

Thomas J Campbell added Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Inc.

Heath C Clarkston, Norbert Plassmeyer and Harry Gallagher added American Wind Energy Association.

Heath C Clarkston and Harry Gallagher added Molina Healthcare Inc.

Aaron G. March and Neal Hefferren added Cosentino’s Food Stores/ Cosentino Service Corporation, and Walnut Creek Ranch LLC.

Scott Penman added The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Franc Flotron added Missouri Clean Energy Funding LLC.




Happy birthday to Greg Harrision (63).


Tomorrow: lobbyist Heath Clarkson.


Sunday: PSRS/PEERS’ Maria Walden.