Monday, February 20, 2012

Map Mess

There is still no clarity on the senate map.  I’ll just make a few points.


First, the governor’s office is taking a very active role in the negotiations.  This was evidenced by the engaged presence of Nixon chief of staff John Watson at yesterday’s Jefferson City public meeting of the commission.


However, it is not clear how much sway they actually retain over the process because the situation is murky on two fronts.  The assumption is that they have influence over at least two Democratic commissioners to offer to the Republicans – however that’s not certain.  And there isn’t necessarily one Republican overlord with whom they can negotiate.  They are inserting themselves into a multi-sided mess.



This brings me to point #2 – the general landscape of the mess. This is not a simple tug-of-war.  There are basically four camps at work to influence the map and the commissioners. There are those who are trying to advance the Missouri state Republican Party’s interest for the next decade; there are those doing the same for the Democrats.  Then there are Republicans with narrower interests, either to protect the current incumbents or prospective candidates; and there are Democratic also with similarly narrower agendas.


Obviously these four camps are not necessarily unified within themselves.  Those attempting to protect incumbents are generally sympathetic to one another leading to some coalitions, but that’s not say they would give a second thought to throwing one another under the bus – so long as they have a seat on the bus.


Interestingly, incumbents seem to have formed a bipartisan coalition in the St. Louis area.  But in Springfield, there are rumbling of newfound tensions within Republicans.  One source vents, “Sen. Jay Wasson is screwing up the maps and folks are getting pissed about it.  He apparently doesn’t want any rural counties and wants to take back the 90,000 that he lost in Greene County. He has been calling commission members and the Governor's office in attempts to squash the compromise and get his way.”



Third, the second appellate map is the standard against which most everyone are using when evaluating whether a deal is “good” or not.  Rightly or wrongly, the general assumption seems to be whether it’s through a federal intervention or a second appellate commission, that map (with perhaps some minor adjustments) is the most likely outcome barring a compromise.


Applying this measure then, one can take a guess how a particular interest will view a particular map.


For example, the House Republicans have their pool of prospective Senate candidates that they are attempting to protect.  High on that list are Rep. Jeanie Riddle in a new mid-missouri district, and Rep. Ryan Silvey on the western side of the state.  Because the latest map – “Harpool 2” – eliminates the mid-mo district and slices Silvey up, one can assume that it’s a non-starter for them.


With candidate filing set to open a week from Tuesday the House has managed to find itself in better negotiating position than they were last year at this time.  The bill to move the filing dates is in their chamber.  House sources say that they would open to pushing back the opening of filing.  However they favor a “compressed” filing window and would amend the senate’s bill to keep the end of filing in the month of March.


Furthermore, the House is sending signals that they are disinclined even to move the opening of filing without some assurances that an acceptable (to them) compromise map is within reach.  In other words, “you don’t give them more time if it’s just so that they have more time to screw you.”



Other News

Lager at Lincoln

At Lincoln Days, the absence of “lieutenant governor” from Sen. Brad Lager’s t-shirts led some to speculate that he was fluid on his future plans.   Lager told Virginia Young that it was a case of printer’s error.  Read it Here.


Richard Callow, who has encountered some form of most political disaster in his career weighed in over Twitter in Lager’s defense: “@publiceyestl You scoff. It happens. Ask the printer who made 500 Schoemehl for Congress signs in his governor's race.”


But one pol chortled that the vendor who produced Lager’s banner must have made the same mistake as the t-shirt vendor…



St. Louis American Slashes Montee

In their “Political Eye” column (see it Here), the St. Louis American takes aim at Susan Montee’s kick-off asking why an event in St. Louis City would have such an absence of black people in attendance.


Pull-Quote: The EYE spent some time corresponding with and talking to black elected officials who were not pictured with Montee on her big day. Some had been invited; others were not aware of an invite. No one was surprised at the nearly “Whites Only” turnout.  One state representative said Montee didn’t hire black people to work for her when she was State Auditor or when she was chair for the Missouri Democratic Party. “Why would she do anything different now?” he asked.



Educating the House GOP

As I reported last week, StudentsFirst will address the House Republican caucus today.  So will Cooperating School Districts.  But one observer notes the difference in scheduling: “Go figure... they get public schools in the morning and school choice in the evening ha.  I’ll bet that scheduling wasn’t by accident.”



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Patrick Bonnot added Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association.

Travis Brown added Missouri Society of Interventional Pain Physicians.

Jeff Davis added BNSF Railway Corporate Headquarter.

Michael David Grote added Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons.

Kiernan Keating added Takeda Pharmaceuticals America.

Frank Plescia added The Boeing Company.

Thomas Val Hagar added Missouri Manufactured Housing Association.

Stephen Wells added HNTB Corporation.

Jessica Winschel added Missouri Biotechnology Association.

Jessica Hodge deleted Premier Manufacturing Inc., Cygnus Towers, ES Medical, and F.H. Paschen, SN Nielsen.

Tricia Workman deleted Nextera Energy Resources LLC.



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Koster - $15,000 from CHIPP Political Fund.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman.

Friends of Bill Stouffer - $25,000 from Fletcher Grain Company.

Clint Zweifel for Missouri - $15,000 from CHIPP Political Account.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from Anheuser-Busch Companies.




Happy birthday to former state senator Matt Bartle (47)