Monday, March 5, 2012

Latest Map Twist

What I’m calling the “Cunningham suit” was filed in Springfield near the close of business Friday.  The plaintiffs are: Beverly Ehlen, Mik Chester, Robert W. Wood, Steve Hunter, Dr. John Lilly, Mark Muller and Sharon Hayes.


From the suit: “This is an action to enjoin Defendant from holding any election for the Missouri Senate using a districting plan which is undergoing final approval and which fails to comply with the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and the equal population requirements of Article III, section 5 of the Missouri Constitution. Given the tardiness of Missouri’s approval of even the most recent unconstitutional districting plan, Plaintiffs also seek preliminary relief to allow the 2012 senate elections, for which candidate filing closes on March 27, 2012, to proceed under a plan previously proposed and approved by Missouri’s nonpartisan appellate districting commission, but invalidated by the Missouri Supreme Court for procedural reasons.”


And: “The data show that the six greatest population deviations serve to favor urban areas over rural areas, invidiously discriminating against residents of rural Missouri counties. The three most underpopulated districts are all in urban Jackson County, Missouri, and all involve areas that are heavily Democratic and vote to elect Democratic senators. The three most overpopulated areas are all in rural areas, are Republican, and vote to elect Republican senators. Further, three of the six most overpopulated senate districts—the 21st, 31st, and 12th, are packed with voters and ring the underpopulated districts in Jackson County.”


eMailbag on Cunningham Lawsuit

“Somebody’s ox had to get gored.  I personally like Jane but St. Louis County did lose 65,000 people and Rs do have 2 more senate seats than they should - just look at the county council.”



Rush in the Rotunda?

A tipster reveals that controversial radio entertainer Russ Limbaugh is poised to be joining the Hall of Famous Missourians this year.  See the bust in progress Here and Here.  Dems may not admit it, but anything that keeps Rush in the news is good for them.


McCaskill Raises Money on Rushgate

Email blast from Sen. Claire McCaskill’s campaign:


“I wasn't going to send an email today, but I'm just so offended by what happened that I had to reach out.  On Thursday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh went on a tirade against Claire, calling her a ‘commie babe liberal.’


“The far-right wing of the Republican Party really wants to beat Claire, and we're going to need all the help we can get to make sure they don't succeed.  Please help us raise $10,000 today to help fight back against these vigilante special interests.In addition to attacking Claire, Limbaugh and the Republican Party are engaging in blatantly sexist rhetoric.


“On Wednesday's show, Limbaugh called the law student who was denied the opportunity to speak on the all-male contraception panel a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute.’  We simply cannot let this stand. Even a small contribution today would help us ensure that Limbaugh and his listeners are sorely disappointed come election day.”



The Return of the Jetton?

According to a memo circulated by the Speaker’s office, former Speaker Rod Jetton tops the tentative list of names for the “Blue Ribbon Committee for Missouri's Transportation Needs.”


Rod Jetton, Co-Chairman

Bill Mckenna, Co-Chairman

Jim Anderson

Tom Dunn

Tony Thompson

Duane Michie

Ric Neubert

Dan Mehan

Leslie Holloway

Tom Crawford

Ben Jones

Neil St. Onge

John Nations

Blake Hurst

Brian Meisel

Randy Verkamp

Len Toenjes


Jetton recently won “Marketing Executive of the Year” from the Springfield Business Journal for helping double his firm’s sales.  He speaks about the ups and downs of journey of life.  Hear it Here.



Education Omnibus

The best guess on the House’s omnibus education bill is that they jettison the teacher tenure provision and attempt to win a vote on the floor this week before Spring Break.  In a chamber whose outcomes are usually well-choreographed, this should provide one of the moments of true suspense and drama.



Front-page Post Dispatch today… Turner Case Back to Court.  Read it Here.



For those looking around the corner, look for Rep. Steve Cookson to take the reins of the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee next year… If it comes to be – as expected – that would give him a six year run as the Chair of that committee. Attacks Noranda

In the continuing utilities wars, Missourians for a Balanced Energy Future launched a web ad that takes aim at Noranda.  See it Here.  “Thanks to their lobbyists in Jefferson City, these companies led by Noranda Aluminum already get a special deal on electric rates and now they’re trying to shift even more costs to you…”  They promise TV is next.



Carnahan: Committed to Working For All People

Congressman Russ Carnahan’s email blast last week explains the situation from his perspective.  It was forwarded this to me by a constituent of Congressman Lacy Clay’s who says he’s received no email blast from Clay yet…


“Last Tuesday was perhaps the most pivotal day so far in the coming election cycle for how you will be represented in Congress next year.  I officially filed for re-election on February 28th to run for my 5th term in the U.S. Congress.  As you know, we have been working this past year to ensure we would have three whole districts representing the St. Louis region and at least three democratic seats out of eight in the state of Missouri. But that's not where things stood on Tuesday.


“Based on the maps as they exist now, I filed to run in the new 1st Congressional District, which merged part of my current district in Central and South St Louis into a new district, which includes the entire City of St Louis along with Central and North St. Louis County.


“The new 1st Congressional district is the most diverse in our state and contributes significantly to the vibrancy of the greater St. Louis region. I am committed to working on behalf of all of the people of St. Louis. This is a critical time for effective, accountable leadership which can bridge those gaps which conspire to divide us. Now is the time to focus our time, talent and energy to growing jobs, protecting our seniors, veterans, people seeking quality, affordable education and every man and women who heads off to work each day to keep their families and our region moving forward.


“Will you help to keep my campaign moving forward? With your support, I can continue to reach across the aisle to work with anyone, anytime, anywhere to get things done. I'm about finding solutions….”



Team Tilley Tweaks Team Brunner With Tweet

Speaker Steve Tilley tweets at John Brunner’s campaign manager revealing that Brunner asked for his endorsement before he went with Sarah Steelman… "@TeamTilley: JonSeaton18 You aren't from MO so you probably didn't know, but @BrunnerForMO thought my endorsement meant enough to ask for it! #mosen"



Talbot, Torpey, Others to Join Lee Summit’s Bald Eagles

Saturday, March 10 at 2 the IAFF Local 2195, the Lee's Summit Fire Fighter Association building local pols will get their heads shaved to benefit the Hope House.


“The newest candidates to be in the elite circle called ‘Lee's Summit Bald Eagles’ will be Jackson County's Sheriff Mike Sharp; Greenwood Chief of Police Robert Leslie; Aaron Goff, President/CEO of the K.C. Police Credit Union; Rep. Noel Torpey and his son, 10-year-old Hayden, who is in the fourth grade at Sycamore Hill Elementary; Rep. Mike Cierpiot; Lee's Summit resident Rick Roeber (Barefoot Rick); and Rep. Mike Talboy, Democrat Minority Floor Leader.”



Michelle Does Missouri

First Lady Michelle Obama blows across Missouri today – 11:30 am at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City and the 2:30pm at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis.



eMailbag: Initiative Petitions Unconstitutional?

“Boo hoo for the initiative petitions if, as you suggest, it becomes impossible for any to be on the ballot this year.  According to the U.S. Constitution, Article IV, Section 4, ‘The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government...’


“A republican form of government, of course, is one in which the laws are made by representatives of the people. When laws are made directly by the people, that's a direct democracy, NOT a republican form of government.  To my knowledge this issue has never been fully litigated, but at the very least it is a legitimate argument to explore, that the U.S. Constitution actually prohibits initiative petition lawmaking in the states.”



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Brent Hemphill and Kristian Starner added Missourians for Responsible Government; and deleted A Safer Missouri.

Jim Farrell added Carpenter Council of Greater St. Louis.

John Eggleston deleted MO Corn Growers Assn.

James Bowers deleted McBride & Son Homes Kansas City LLC, Northland Cathedral, State Line Nissan Inc, Cash America International Inc, Gary Holt, Overland Investors LLC, McBride & Son Homes Inc, KGI Towers LLC, MW Towers, D.M. Enterprises, Rod Calvert, Cotl & Garrett LLC, Trophy Homes Inc., MCK Partnership LLC, Kemp Estates LLC, Haines & Associates Construction Co Inc, LaBodega Restaurant, Vantage Homes, Nicholson/Hunter/Thomas, Horizon View LLC.

Bretn Hemphill added The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Patricia Jensen and Michael White added ABC Corp.

Franc Flotron added Missouri Clean Energy Funding LLC.

Neal Hufferren deleted Walker Towel & Uniform Service.

Dale Schulte added Lake of the Ozarks Community bridge Transportation Development District.



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity - $250,000 from Missourians for Responsible Government.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Mark Jess.

MO Republican Party - $14,280 from Rex Sinquefield.

United Food & Commercial Workers Local #655 Elect Political Action Fund - $6,470 from United Food & Commerical Workers Union Local #655 Elect Club.

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from Michael Dierberg.

Your Vote Counts - $12,670 from The Humane Society of the United States.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $12,000 from Pfizer Inc.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $5,000 from Fred Palmer




Happy birthdays to Reps. Rochelle Gray and Paul Fitzwater (53).