May, 10, 2012

Parson Brokered Budget Deal

Word around the rotunda yesterday was about how Sen. Mike Parson stepped in and fulfilled a critical role in brokering the deal that broke the budget logjam.


One lobbyist described the negotiations as “all Parson with Mayer popping in and out and Dempsey present but mostly silent.”


Here’s an account from within the gang of nine’s camp: “Parson has been doing an excellent job being the middle man in all this. He’s come across as calm and patient. He personally came and visited (with the senators) which is exactly what needed to happen.”


It was seen as the clearest sign yet that the Majority Caucus Whip is in line to take the Floor Leader position next January.


Says that source: “I believe that’s why he got engaged in the middle of all this.  No other reason makes sense.  His normal circle of friends wanted to roll over all the conservatives.”



Floor Leader 2013

The biggest question for anyone looking at senate floor leader is: why would you want the job? After watching all the heartburn of the past week, the question tends to bubble up whether the Senate is ungovernable.


Here’s the case for a tamer Senate next year:

First, term limits will take its toll on “trouble-makers.” Jason Crowell, the mastermind of mayhem, as well as Luann Ridgeway and Chuck Purgason.


Second, Jim Lembke’s return is a coin toss at this point.


Third, the incoming freshmen – assuming these folks win – are all known commodities: Gary Romine (must be relatively moderate if he can win that Dem district), Doug Libla (businessman), Reps. Ellen Brandom, David Sater, Scott Largent and Ward Franz.


Finally, no more wound from Mayer-Enger divide.  Tom Dempsey could be a consensus pro tem, with steady Parson (or Eric Schmitt) running the floor.


The hopes of a more functional senate have a lot of the hallway anticipating more action next year.  We will see…



Court Vote Coming

Look for the non-partisan court plan change to come up today in the House.


It should pass – one Republican predicting 90-ish votes in favor.  Still it looks much tighter than you might expect given all the grief about the judiciary over the past nine months (redistricting etc).


One reason for the close vote is that the new plan would expand the governor’s influence and most people are betting the governor for the next four years is going to be Democratic lawyer Jay Nixon.  Further others imagine that after Nixon, you got a fair shot at having Democratic lawyer Chris Koster as governor for eight years.



According to conspiracy theorists, this change is just the first step to full elections where massive Republican money machines can sweep in their kind of judges.  These folks believe that the court-haters will seize on “some ruling by some judge” in a few years which is wildly unpopular and declare that this plan doesn’t work either and democratic elections are the only option left.


We will see…



Obama Embraces Gay Marriage

“Today, I was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer: I believe that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry…


“What I’ve come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens…


“So I decided it was time to affirm my personal belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. I respect the beliefs of others, and the right of religious institutions to act in accordance with their own doctrines. But I believe that in the eyes of the law, all Americans should be treated equally. And where states enact same-sex marriage, no federal act should invalidate them.”


Ed Martin Taunts Koster

“I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman.  As Missouri’s Attorney General, I will defend the will of the people of Missouri, who voted overwhelmingly against same-sex marriage.  I say to Chris Koster what a Democratic governor just said to President Obama: Time to man up.  Instead of being our lawyer on ObamaCare, Koster took a dive for his President Obama.  Enough is enough.  Koster must publicly say right now he supports Obama’s position for same-sex marriage, or the position Missourians were one of the first states to take in 2004 by over a 10% margin.  Man up, Mr. Koster.  I just said where I stand.  Tell us where you stand.”



Romney in KC

From the campaign early this morning: “Due to an overwhelming response, the event for Governor Mitt Romney this Thursday, May 10 has outgrown Ann Dickinson’s home that she so graciously offered to our campaign. Therefore, the advance team has directed us to move all tiers of the event to the Westin Kansas City Crown Center (1 East Pershing Road, Kansas City, Missouri).”


Honorary Chairs for the event are Adele & Donald Hall.  Co-Chairs (a title which comes with the expectation of raising Romney $50K): Jan & B.B. Andersen, Leslie & George Brett, Cathy Farley & Enrique Chang, Lory & Kevin Childress, Suzanne & Kevin Christian, Michelle & Peter deSilva, Anne & Dan Durrie, Lotta & Jeff Fox, Marilyn & Ambassador Sam Fox, David M. Lockton, Vicki & John Miller, Marilyn & John Mitchell, Zack Pack, Annie Presley & Jay Selanders, Susan & Mark Susz.




It’s picture day again for the Senate.  Apparently last time Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder was absent.



The secret of my success… Read it Here (by the mighty Jason Rosenbaum).



Gina Walsh continues to trot out new endorsements in her Senate 13 race.  The latest is from the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police.



And Jeremy LaFaver gets the firefighters in House 25.



Thanks to the tipster who sent me a copy of Fred Kratky’s LG lit piece.  In between the Facebook address and the website URL, Kratky places the beautiful phrase “Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto.”  Really Fred? Latin on your lit piece?



Tweet of the Morning

Tim W. Jones ‏ @MOLeaderJones: Jeff City. Morning run. All clear, crisp & still. Quiet, whispery anticipation of a momentous, bold day.



Lou Berra Memorial Service

‪It’s said that Lou Berra did more politics behind the scenes than any dozen people fully in the public eye. His passing leaves a big hole in the St. Louis civic fabric.


The family is having a public memorial service on Saturday, May 12, 10am at St. Ambrose Church (in the Hill neighborhood). The service is open to all, everyone is welcome.