Monday, August 22, 2011

Kinder is Bruce Willis

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder refused to call it quits Friday after major donor David Humphreys went public with his loss of confidence in Kinder’s candidacy.


Humphreys emailed Politico to say that he would support incumbent Jay Nixon if Kinder was the Republican nominee.  Humphreys – who together with his mother has contributed $400,000 to Kinder’s campaign this cycle alone – is a major GOP donor.


In case that message got lost in translation, Humphreys asked for his money back as well.


Still Kinder’s team isn’t waving the white flag.  Yet.  



What Humphreys Means

Sometimes a donor is more than a donor.  When Kinder dropped $100K on Tom Schweich, I immediately called the race for Schweich to the disbelief of some, saying it’s just $100K.  But it was an indication of far more below the surface; it was the visible evidence of behind the scenes congealing of establishment money which inevitably led to Allen Icet being out-gunned.


Humphreys is a similar situation.  It’s an indication that Kinder’s support in southwest Missouri is shaky.  It means that donors both big and small have a reason to shut off the valve.  It says things are so bad that people are willing to willing say what is being whispered privately: everyone I’m talking to thinks this race is over. 



Which Willis Movie are We Watching?

Is this Die Hard?  Is Kinder barefoot and bloody and willfully ignorant of the long odds in order to overcome them?  Will he never give up?  Will he fight his way to victory?  Yippe-ki-yay!?


Nope.  This is 6th Sense.  He’s dead and doesn’t know it yet.


So when will he look down and see the big hole in his stomach?  One observer said a few weeks, another said a month.  A third quipped “Rome wasn’t burned in a day.” 


We can argue about the ETA, but I think the destination is clear.




Not to overdo it here, but take a look at that Carnahan poll I wrote about last week.  Deep in the Catanese article is this nugget: in 2-CD, a Republican-leaning district, Nixon leads Kinder by 11 points.


Camp Kinder has argued that Nixon’s support is wide, but thin.  That he is undefined and can be beaten.  Maybe.   But there are two problems with that hope for Republicans. 


First, Nixon will be sitting on $3 million-ish; he’ll have plenty of resources to define himself.  And second, with Kinder as the nominee, there’s now a trove of material for negative hits.


Republicans can’t do anything about the first problem, but they with a new nominee they can change the direction of this race.




Time to start watching the maneuvering.  The next month of fundraising will give some indication of those angling to replace Kinder.  For example, will Humphreys back anyone else?  Will he cut any checks to Sen. Brad Lager, who he’d sent six-figure checks to in the past?  Will Lager put that together with some big money from Stan Herzog?  


One asset so far for Kinder has been no one willing to step forward.  I now expect succession speculation to intensify.  Watch for those who don’t take themselves out of the running when their name is floated.  That’s the list going forward.



Humpreys’ Donations to Kinder this Cycle

9/28/2009 - $50,000 from David Humphreys to Kinder’s Debt Committee.

6/21/2010 - $45,000 from Ethelmae Humphreys

6/21/2010 - $40,000 from David Humphreys

3/28/2011 - $100,000 from David Humphreys

3/28/2011 - $100,000 from Ethelmae Humphreys

6/3/2011 - $25,000 from David Humphreys



Promise or a Threat

Tommy Sowers who spent $1.4 million in his congressional challenge to Jo Ann Emerson and was massacred taking only 29% of the vote, sent out an email last week to supporters explaining that “he had another race inside of him.”


Dems should pray that Sowers picks something more attainable this time, and there’s not a repeat of the donor infatuation which sent money down the political toilet in an unwinnable race.




In a sign of the apocalypse, Missouri Budget Project aligns with Show-Me Institute in denouncing Aerotropolis.  Read their Analysis Here.



That big $200K check (below) is the pay day loan industry ramping up to fight an initiative petition.  Read it Here.



Waiting, waiting on special session… everyone says it’s on track but nothing’s happening…



Kansas City lands on WSJ’s map of “Where the Action Is.”  See it Here.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Berend Koops added Merck Sharp & Dohme and its affiliates.  

Peter Levi added Trails Properties II, Inc.



$5K+ Contributions

Local 41 Political Action Fund - $10,499 from DRIVE Committee.

Bank of America Missouri Political Action Committee - $30,000 from Bank of America Corporation State and Federal PAC.

Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity - $200,000 from Missourians for Responsible Government.

Citizens for Colona - $6,000 from Simmons Atotrneys at Law.