Monday, January 30, 2012

Senate Re-Redistricting

Both political parties submitted their names to Governor Jay Nixon over the weekend.  (See them below).  The governor will presumably act with speed as they go through the motions of the constitutionally mandated process.


However it is not possible that the process will be completed by the time that filing begins on February 28.   That is, even if the bipartisan commission holds all three mandated public meetings on the same day, and agrees to a consensus map right away etc.  They still can’t make the deadline of filing’s opening day.


The buzz emanating from the secretary of state’s office is that in the absence of new maps they will proceed on February 28 – using the old 2001 maps.


That will presumably be a problem for a lot of would-be candidates who are now running full speed in a district that wouldn’t exist.  Off top of head – Rep. Jeanie Riddle in new Senate 7, and therefore Sen. Jane Cunningham in new 27 or old 7; Rep. Jamilah Nasheed in Senate 5; Rep. Scott Largent in Senate 31…


When February 28 hits then, someone sues.


This much seems to be clear.  But beyond this is murky.


The assumption is that those who sue will do so in federal court.  They will argue that using the old districts would not conform to the constitutional principle of one-person, one-vote.


So, what will the federal courts do when the matter rests in their lap?  Would they let Missouri live with the old maps for one more election, and let the re-redistricting process proceed?  Would they move the filing dates and expedite the redistricting process but otherwise leave the process in tact?  Would they draw new districts themselves?


There are no elegant solutions.  And the fact that we’re going to wait a month for the train-wreck while going through the puppet show of the process again seems a true waste of critical time.



The Names Submitted


Jean Paul Bradshaw II, Steve Ehlmann, Marc Ellinger, Todd Graves, Catherine Hanaway, Jerry Hunter, John Maupin, Nick Myers, Lowell Pearson, Mark Richardson.



Doug Harpool, James Nunnley, Jeff Mazur, Francis Miller, Nicole Colbert-Botchway, Vicky Tarpley, Mitch Elliot, Todd Paterson, Trent Skaggs and Joe Niell.



The governor will pick five from each party’s list.




It’s said that Jeff Mazur – a commission member last time – won’t be picked this time because some Dems are angry/upset/distrustful (choose your own adverb) that his organization, AFSCME, has given money in recent months to Republican legislators (Rep. Ryan Silvey, Sen. Kurt Schafer, Sen. David Pearce and Speaker Steve Tilley).



Bill Watch

HB1361 gets a hearing in the House Utilities Committee tomorrow.   It looks like a “benign” pole-sharing bill designed to help spread broadband in rural Missouri.  But one industry observer warns it could get bogged down…


“I suspect that Farm Bureau and the Trail Attorney’s may not like the language in the bill dealing with property rights compensation. This could morph from a benign pole bill to a property rights bill which will draw howls from a number of folks. Tea party folks engage?”


Read the short Bill Here.



MO Budget on SB 464

Following the Missouri politics of implementing Obamacare, MO Budget writes, “This week, the Missouri Senate passed a bill that would prohibit the administration from upgrading the MO Healthnet (Medicaid) enrollment system in anticipation of the health insurance exchange required by the Affordable Care Act…


“If the legislation becomes law, and the General Assembly fails to establish a health insurance exchange, the State of Missouri could stand to lose over $100 million in federal grants over the next two years. Furthermore, the State would be subject to the enrollment decisions of a federal exchange rather than a system tailor made for Missourians.”




Republicans appear determined to localize the federal healthcare law as much as possible.  And that is thought to be one Judy Baker’s greatest weaknesses as a potential statewide candidate.


It’s said that she inclined to face the issue head-on and defend the law – which according to Sen. Jane Cunningham’s ballot referendum two summers ago is favored by only 30% of Missourians.  While that might be popular in the Democratic primary, it’d be the kiss of death in November.



Akin for Congress?

Tea Party blogger Darin Morley imagines Rep. Todd Akin reverting to the 2nd Congressional.  Read it Here.  “I think that it’s probable that Akin will switch his candidacy to Missouri's 2nd Congressional District. He's got a tremendous base there. In fact, there are some areas of the district that have given him 90+% of the vote in recent primaries…”  I do not share his imagination.



Danforth Donates to Zweifel

Old-time gossipist Jerry Berger notes that Republican Bill Danforth gave money to Treasurer Clint Zweifel during the last quarter.  Read it Here.   “A former St. Louis County state representative, Zweifel is focused on re-election, but many of his supporters say they are looking to the 2016 Missouri governor’s race. So the bipartisan backing of a Danforth gives the affable Zweifel the scent of consensus.”



Gubby Appts

Today – 1 p.m. – Jason Hall comes before the Gubernatorial Appointment Committee.  He’s Nixon’s new Department of Economic Development director nominee.  There’s been some talk that he may find some resistance from Republicans.  This will be a preview for whether there will be floor trouble.


Also before the committee will be former state senator Steve Stoll who’s up for a PSC spot.



2012 Watch

Ed Martin started “Missourians for Ed Martin,” pivoting from congressional to attorney general.  The treasurer is the same as his congressional committee, Randy McArthur.




On Ed Martin

A lobbyist writes, “By my count Ed Martin still has exactly 60 days (or maybe more if the

filing deadline is extended) to switch to yet a fourth race.”



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Doris Anne Clouse, Scott Penman and David Winston added StudentFirst.

David Klarich added Mechanical Contractors Association – Eastern Missouri.



$5K+ Contributions

Let Voters Decide - $1,224,000 from Rex Sinquefield.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Holman Schiavone LLC.

Missourians for health and Edcuation - $217,622 from American Cancer Society.

Spence for Governor - $10,000 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Spence for Governor - $15,000 from Leslie Goldberg.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Spinnaker Real Estate Partners LLC.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $100,000 from Gray, Ritter & Graham, PC.




Happy birthday to KCPL’s Chuck Caisley.