Monday, March 19, 2012

Sifton in Senate 1

According to a strong source, Rep. Scott Sifton will become a candidate for Senate 1 before filing closes next Tuesday.


That’ll move the field to a three-way Democratic primary, though it’s possible some may drop (or more may join) when the Sifton news is digested.


The Case for Sifton

First, the fundraising activity of previously presumed Dem candidate Sue Schoemehl has been disappointing.  Schoemehl has $20K on-hand as of her January quarter (the next quarter ends in two weeks).  Sifton has double that: $44K on-hand


One Sifton supporter describes his base – consisting of his current state representative district plus the school district where he was a board member for ten years – as comprising 40% of the Senate district.  Schoemehl’s old House district amounts to only 14%.


Finally in the intangible category, Sifton is considered a very hard working campaigner, a quality in the front of Democratic minds.  The sense is that Sen. Jim Lembke in his previous House and Senate races has simply swamped Dems at the door.



The Republican side is still unsettled.  Lembke has indicated that he’s mulling a push for reelection despite the tougher nature of the district.  Rumors have Rep. Marsha Haefner as a potential senate candidate as well.  One Republican with good seats says that Haefner is a 30% likelihood; and one Democratic operative insists that if Haefner cedes her seat for a senate bid, Dems will have a good shot at picking up her House seat.



Dokes Gives Himself a Primary?

Republicans caucused last weekend, and in St. Charles County it was a mess.  See some video HereRead Post-Dispatch’s Jake Wagman’s story HereDebacle got national attention Here.


My best understanding of what happened is that St. Charles County Chair Eugene Dokes engaged in utter malpractice – both collecting the kindling for a bonfire and setting fire to it.


Dokes ran the caucus with Soviet-style brazenness, but without the efficiency.  He ordered video cameras off in a brusque manner and for no stated reason.  He refused to recognize any nominations except for his hand-picked chair, Matt Ehlen.  And then called the vote voice in favor of his candidate when he clearly lost.  Then he refused a call for a standing division.  According to one eyewitness, he smirked at times as he ignored the calls from the crowd to play fair.
When Ehlen assumed the Chair, the room erupted, expressing its unwilling to accept him. Unable to conduct any business, they adjourned.


One source says that GOP State Chair Lloyd Smith has contacted the Romney, Santorum and Paul camps.  It’s expected they will set some ground rules and schedule a new meeting.


But Dokes, who filed for House 70, is clearly damaged goods.  It’s a 50-50 district, and he will very likely see a primary now.   If he crawls into the general, there are a lot of angry Republicans who will not vote for him under any circumstances; the district will go Democratic.


Ehlen, too, will be hurt.  He started a campaign committee to run for House 15 (which will become House 106).  That’s represented by Rep. Chrissy Sommer. She already has a primary, but this may sink Ehlen’s chances – if he does get in.



Schoeller Gets Ashcroft

Rep. Shane Schoeller, running in the Republican primary for secretary of state, is the middle of “15 Days of Endorsements.”  A lot of them are regional names.  But this morning Schoeller will unveil John Ashcroft’s endorsement, a name which reaches across the state.


Denizens of Jeff City succumbed to a mini-epidemic of Twitter spam (“Lose Weight... No Special Diet... No Intense Exercise”) over the weekend.



The Springfield News-Leader is looking for a reporter with strong social media skills… See it Here.



4pm today: the legislature returns from Spring Break.



New Candidate Filings

Erik Stafford filed to run as a Democrat in House 23.  It’s a 90%+ Democratic district without an incumbent.  Stafford is the third Dem to file.  He is a board member of Freedom.



Patty Johnson filed to run as a Democrat in House 56.  Rep. Chris Molendorp is the Republican incumbent in that district.



Samir Mehta filed to run as a Democrat in House 84.  That’s where former representative Hope Whitehead and Rep. Karla May are preparing for a rumble.  Mehta is a recent Washington University law school graduate.



Loren Hunt filed to run as a Republican in House 130.  This is now a three-way primary, including Rep. Thomas Long.



Robert Ross filed to run as a Republican in House 142.  Another three-way primary, but no incumbent as Rep. Don Wells is termed.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Mark S Bryant added American Water Services Company, and MAC Healthcare Inc.

Trent Ford deleted Concentra Health Care, Vacation Services of America, Missouri Marine Dealers Association, and Crown Optical.



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Health and Education - $9,781 from American Cancer Society.

Wahby for St. Louis - $10,000 from Joseph Coatar.
Committee to Elect David Wood Represetnative - $10,000 from Cheryl Wood.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from David Steward.

Committee to Elect Josh Jones - $5,000 from Susan Jones.




Happy birthday to PR diva Kim George.