Health Exchange Politics
Republicans flew into a tizzy yesterday amid rumors that Governor Jay Nixon has authorized the creation of a health exchange by executive order. It is viewed as compliant act toward “Obamacare.”
He hadn’t. But the Board of Missouri Health Insurance Pool was about to vote on accepting a federal grant to begin “technical” work on setting up an exchange. They quickly balked. Read it Here.
The eruption though is a reminder that the volatile and dangerous politics of healthcare looms as a potential factor in the 2012 state elections. It’s an issue on which Nixon’s party will get hit, and on which Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has been vocal and out-front.
Dana Doesn’t Heart Steve
From the Tea Party Diva Dana Loesch’s Facebook status yesterday:
“Since Nixon is doing this, I wonder how MO House Speaker Tilley will take advantage of the diversion. Watch the other hand, folks. Tilley is NO conservative. PERIOD.”
Steve Hearts Michael
Democratic Rep. Michael Brown has been offered a nice floor from Speaker Steve Tilley on the heels of the Dem Caucus’ new rules prohibiting such cross-aisle favors. It’s unclear if the new rules could affect Brown or if it just applies to future Reps.
Ugly Poll for Kinder
Public Policy Polling released a poll showing Governor Jay Nixon leading Peter Kinder by 19 points (50%-31% with 18% undecided). See it Here.
The Bright Spot for Kinder
It’s a dark sky poll for certain, but those looking for rays of light can point near the horizon to the fact that nobody does much better against Nixon (except Kinder-endorser Jack Danforth who actually leads Nixon). Thus there’s no one for Republicans to rally around to oust Kinder.
St. Louis American: Kinder Should Drop
St. Louis’s black weekly the American concludes this week’s editorial (mostly about special session) with a paragraph urging Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder to retire from elected office (Read it Here):
“He can be effective and impactful without being governor; in fact, he can be effective and impactful without being a candidate at all. Public disclosures about his personal life have damaged him as a Republican, and his repulsive flirtations with the far-right tea party contingent have made him anathema even to sympathetic Democrats. However, Kinder has a record that demonstrates that her love St. Louis and knows how to steer risky legislation in Jefferson City. It is time for him to consider taking his name off the campaign sign and moving behind the scenes, where he has much good work to do for this city and the state that he loves.”
Rumor: Bonenberger Wins SLPOA Election
The official tally is expected this evening, but according to one source, the coppers are buzzing that David Bonenberger has scored an upset becoming the new president of the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
The question is whether this will change the will and direction of the SLPOA and whether that will change their stance in Jefferson City, and whether that could derail the long-incubated local control deal.
The guess is no, no, and no. But – if this rumor is true - it will give some talking points ammunition to those forces which remain – for whatever reason – steadfastly against the city of St. Louis retaking control of its police department.
From Bonenberger’s position statement (Read it Here, page 12): “First and foremost I would like you to know that I am against local control of our department. We are in a time of crisis with the realization that local control is inevitable. I am not one who is quick to compromise, however, I realize there may be a need to find common ground with regard to legislation that will provide control of the SLMPD to the city rather than lose control to the city by one of the current initiative petitions.”
Lobbyist Principal Changes
From the Pelopidas website:
Jim Moody and Chris Moody added Coalition for Missouri’s Future.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Thompson Coburn LLP.
Health Care Leadership Committee - $10,000 from McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
MO Democratic Campaign Committee - $10,000 from AT&T.
MO Republican Party - $10,000 from Missouri Hospital Association.
House Republican Campaign Committee Inc – $5,500 from Citizens For Timothy Jones.
Your Vote Counts - $25,000 from The Humane Society of the United States.
Happy birthdays to Joan Bray (66), Jim Kottmeyer, and Nicole Brown (26).
Saturday’s birthdays: Sen. Mike Parson (56) and Rep. Tom McDonald (65).
Sunday’s birthdays: Rep. Chris Carter (30); former Rep. Don Calloway (32).