Monday, June 4, 2012

Nixon Recess Appointments

Governor Jay Nixon made a few recess appointments on Friday.  The most note-worthy was putting former state senator Steve Stoll on the Public Service Commission.  Republicans had blocked his nomination during the legislative session as they awaited for a Republican counterpart to be nominated also.

 

The most controversial was the appointment of Kerry Messer to the Child Abuse and Neglect Board.  Dems love to hate Messer.  See it Here.

 

 

Straw Poll

Scott Magill, president of the 7th District Missouri Republican Assembly, sent out an apparently rogue “straw poll” taken at the Republican state convention over the weekend.  Results:

 

US Senate

Todd Akin – 55.1%

John Brunner – 30.9%

Sarah Steelman – 14%

 

Governor

Bill Randles – 67.7%

Dave Spence – 31.5%

 

Lieutenant Governor

Brad Lager – 49.1%

Peter Kinder – 48.2%

 

Secretary of State

Shane Schoeller – 75.8%

Bill Stouffer – 13.5%

Scott Rupp – 10.7%

 

 

Asbury to House Colleagues: Go and Sin No More

Sent: Thursday, May 31, 2012 7:31 PM

To: _House Members and Staff

Cc: _Democrat LAs & Staff; _Republican LAs & Staff

Subject: FW: May 30, 2012 Capitol Report from Representative Randy Asbury

 

Sent at the request of Representative Randy Asbury:

 

"He has sent me [Christ] to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed...he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair...they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory." - Isaiah 61:1-3

 

Final Session Thoughts from Missouri House Seat 86

 

As I listened to the final hours of debate of the 96th legislative session, I found my last week in the House chamber to be bittersweet. I have been honored to have the privilege of representing the fine folks of Chariton, Macon and Randolph counties.  It has been a learning experience which I will always cherish.  Many wonderful relationships have been built that will last for a lifetime; and, I have participated in a political and policy process that continues to be the envy of the world.

 

On May 18 at 6:00 p.m., I walked out the doors of the chamber for the last time having seen both the good and bad aspects of the legislative process.  Notwithstanding the greatest of intentions, the one overall thought that continues to stir my heart is that regardless of what we did as a legislative body, it was for naught if God was not the epicenter of the effort.  Each day we sought to address myriad issues that were but symptoms of a root problem:  God and his truth are no longer the focus of our individual or corporate attention.

 

For that reason, we drafted legislation with the intent to address the difficult struggles facing our families, schools, economy and whatever other ails beset us. In many instances, these legislative efforts were temporal because they only touched the symptoms rather than the root of the problem.  It is my belief we will not experience resolution to the problems we sought to address  until such time that we humble ourselves before a loving, jealous and holy God.  That begins within each of our individual hearts.

 

I am not immune to the condition of living a life independent of God. For that reason, I have experienced the heartache of deep wounds and utter despair which resulted from sin.  Though we choose not to use that word in today's culture, sin still exists and its result is destruction.  By turning from the Truth of God's word, we have blindly raced toward independence from God at the expense of our lives and our souls.  I am a sinner in need of Christ's mercy each day.  My sins,hidden though some may be, are as great as those of others.  I say this not to condemn or judge anyone but to admit my need for salvation, transformation and freedom.

 

As I read Scripture and attempt to apply it to my personal life, I find that true salvation and transformation are only found in a relationship with Christ.  The day the people of this nation fully realize that sin separates us from God and his blessings will be the day our nation changes direction and moves towards the blessings he would have us experience.  Until such time that we repent of our sins, legislatures will seek to continue to resolve societal problems via legislative action. It is my hope that in my lifetime, we will humble ourselves and return to God.  Scripture informs us that righteousness exalts a nation and when we know and walk in God's truth, it will set us free.

 

It has been my intent to live a life that causes people to look to rather than away from God.  For that reason, it is not my intent to hold myself up as a man who knows all, has all and is all.  Just the opposite, I am a simple man in love with a living God that continues to heal and free me from the effects of sin.  I am unashamed of that life from which I have been freed and the Lord from which that freedom has come.  It is for him that I seek to live and it is to him that I pray we will all experience the fullness of his love, grace and mercy. Having tasted it, I can tell you that it is good!

 

I look forward to continuing my term as the District 22 representative until December 31.  Your friendship, advice, counsel and guidance have been appreciated.  My home is always open and I welcome you to Yates. When you're in the area, drop by.  It would be my honor to love on and encourage you in your travels and endeavors regardless of your faith, political party, lifestyle or agreement with my personal beliefs.  I love each of you and pray your life is filled with the greatest measure of peace, joy and wisdom which God has for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your lives with me and my family. That is a gift we will always treasure.

 

Randy Asbury

 

 

Senate Grades

Pro Tem Rob Mayer

Some folks argued for an F with varying degrees of sympathy. “Wrong guy for the spot. Put up by people who couldn't win themselves.”

 

But I’m inclined to give Mayer a Gentleman’s C for two reasons.  The first is that he did use the power of his office to kill things he didn’t like.  The second is that he gave me the most memorable moments of session.  He invited me into his office to question me “who my Senate mole” was…

 

Mayer now can focus on his November election.  Says on observer about the coming Mayer judgeship  “I think he'll take the job seriously, but he's going to have one hell of a time coming to a decision….”

 

Floor Leader Tom Dempsey

B+.  Dempsey navigated the poisonous environment with incredible adeptness.  He managed to avoid controversy and seems to have solidified his place as pro tem next year.  His head-down worksmanship give lobbyists hope that next year will be more productive.

 

Random Republicans

Kurt Schaefer – C.  Difficult to grade.  On the one hand, he came out of session with clear victories.  He won the battle over redistricting an got himself a slightly better district.  And he passed the budget complete with more money for higher ed than originally proposed.  On the other hand, he’s in a much weaker position going forward because both successes came at the expense of stature.  He now is considered “maybe most selfish” senator in the chamber.

 

Jim Lembke – C-. Lembke took home a trophy scalp by finally getting his court plan changes out of the legislature. But it hard to credit him with that victory.  And there were continued paradoxical moments brought on by a desire to hear himself read the constitution.  Someone explain to me again why tea party senators were filibustering the budget in order to insert a picnic table earmark…

 

Jane Cunningham – C.  I suppose she should get credit for successfully  holding the floor hostage in order to smite her enemies (Kathy Thornburg and QRS), but other than the charter school bill nothing else materialized.

 

Jason Crowell – Social promotion, just move him along… Lobbyist: “His formula is actually quite simple, read every bill.  If you don’t like something in the bill ask a couple of questions and make it known that you can do that all night.  Since there’s a good chance that you are the only one who has actually read the bill, you can scare your colleagues into conceding to you.”

 

While it works wonders on defense, Crowell must feel some regret that he didn’t pull the trigger on the tax credit deal on that table a year ago.  That is unless he never really wanted tax credit reform…

 

Brad Lager – B. Seemed to allegedly be in the mix on deals without having to take public position.

 

Eric Schmitt – B+. A quieter session after the Aerotropolis circus of special session.  Becoming a go-to guy in the crunch as the number of lawyers in the senate able to work through tricky issue diminishes.

 

Kevin Engler – D-.  His bitterness exploded on to the floor with some regularity. Normally the obvious elevation of personal hatred above legislative decorum would only be cause for a D.  The minus is because he will relive it for the next six years as he and Dr. Rob Schaaf continue their tangle from across the building.

 

Mike Parson – A. Won respect from various corners of the Senate as he worked to bridge impasses without the pressure or leverage of a leadership position.

 

John Lamping – C+.  Took a turn for unpredictable this session between fighting for conceptive coverage to defending the gold standard.  “Seriously don’t know where he is going to be from issue to issue.”

 

Mike Kehoe – B.  Solid session. Well positioned to be an impact player on transportation.

 

Minority Leader Victor Callahan

When you consider how labor escaped these huge Republican majorities unscathed, Callahan has to get an A.  Considering he had only seven other Democrats, it should probably be an A+. In the end, he even got land bank for Kansas City as a final feather in his cap.

 

Random Democrats

Maria Chappelle Nadal – B+.  She same in like a hurricane this session willingly standing up and slowing down the process.  Some Dems worry that she hasn’t learned to pick her battles yet and will incite a PQ if she’s unchecked.  But everybody plays a role on a team.  Hers is energy and spirit.

 

Jolie Justus – A.  She’s a rock start now the Dems as she takes over the Minority Leader role.  She’s a smart, savvy, articulate lawyer who can break down complicated issues, and who charts a path to work with the majority to reach her goals.

 

Ryan McKenna – B.  McKenna picked up her floor presence this year, and he’ll have to do it more next year with the exit of Tim Green and Callahan.

 

 

eMailbag

On 1st Congressional

“What sounds better - pork or bitter grapes?

 

“Carnahan’s been spewing that line about Lacy & the Republicans for at least a month now. Every time I run into him (ward meetings usually) that is all the guy can talk about.  In lieu of accomplishments or priorities, Carnahan delivers nothing but bitter grapes.

 

“Meanwhile, Clay is everywhere. I’ve never seen the guy work harder...probably because he hasn’t.  However, the name ‘Carnahan’ never crosses his lips. In public Clay serves up an unending list of yummy pork, specific projects and dollars amounts he's sent back to his district.  He’s met with everyone in any sort of leadership position, and rank and file neighborhood activists, leaving no stone unturned.

 

“My gut tells me to go with the pork, and I think the rest of the electorate will feel the same way.”

 

 

Lobbyists Registrations

From the Pelopidas website:

 

Matt Hill added John Britton, The Cisar Law Firm PC, and Surdyke Yamaha & Marina

Timothy Coffin deleted Fidelity Capital Markets Services.

Brandon L Fuhr deleted State Treasurer’s Office.

Richard I. Martin deleted Coventry Health Care of Kansas, and Asurion.

 

 

$5K+ Contributions

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $20,000 from International Union of Operating Engineers.

Jay Nixon for Missouri – $8,300 from World Wide Technology Holding Co., Inc.

Pearce for Senate - $5,005 from Michael Kehoe.

Friends of Bill Stouffer - $10,000 from William Jackson.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,000 from Joseph Ryan Hamilton.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,000 from Douglas Hamilton.