Here’s the current rundown on the scramble to fill the void left by Speaker Steve Tilley’s announcement last week.
Peter Kinder – OUT – Let’s get this out of the way. Despite speculation that Kinder might opt to stay at the LG spot, than attempt to wrestle the governor’s mansion from a popular incumbent, he will not. All systems are set for go for the governor’s race, according to those who have spoken to Kinder.
Ron Richard – OUT – I have one source saying that he’s still considering it and a final decision is a day or two away. But two others say with certainty that he’s no longer in the hunt. Presumably seven more years in the Senate and a fat war-chest are giving Richard the calm to wait for the perfect pitch before swinging the statewide bat.
Ed Martin – OUT – There was an effort by the many Friends of Ed to get him to abandon the 2nd Congressional where he looks out-gunned by Ann Wagner’s money machine, and become the consensus replacement for Tilley. My advice to Martin, of course, would have been simple: go ahead and declare for LG, you can always change later if something better comes along…
Eric Schmitt – MAKING CALLS – According to a source close to Team Schmitt, he is seriously considering this race, and may pull the trigger. The case for Schmitt rests on the belief that 2012 will be dominated by the jobs issue. Schmitt knows and fought for the issue are passionately as anyone during the last twelve months.
Chris McKee – MAKING CALLS – McKee is the son of Paul McKee, which in a primary could bring some baggage among those resentful of the subsidies the developer has won in recent years from Jefferson City. But the folks who are talking to me have only good things to say about Chris. “He has charted his own path... He is smart articulate and could raise the money,” texts one source. And from another, equal respect with a touch of snark, “presents well. Assuming he can raise money from the St. Louis business community, he is a credible candidate. David Barklage is his guy and would run his race, just as he did Land Assemblage and Aerotropolis. The Wizard is inept in the Capitol, but knows his way around a campaign.”
Brad Lager – UNKNOWN – The problem for Lager is that he floated his name for a state treasurer rematch with Clint Zweifel, then as a gubernatorial replacement for Peter Kinder and now as a stand-in for Tilley. He gets eye-rolls and also mentions until he actually declares something.
Dave Spence – OUT – Last week he continued to talk up a possible gubernatorial bid, but those watching the field now wonder if he’d do a detour rather than smash head-on with Kinder. However the word is that he is not interest in LG.
Mike Kehoe – ALL QUIET, PRESUMABLY NOT IN – Kehoe was mentioned in Steve Kraske’s piece (Read it Here), but there haven’t been outgoing calls as far as I can tell.
Rob Mayer – NO BUZZ, PRESUMABLY NOT IN – Mayer was mentioned in Virginia Young’s piece (Read it Here), but no one talking about him as a potential candidate.
LG Speculation: Other Thoughts
There’s no one who’s IN yet, but things are moving and I expect we could be seeing formal declarations within two weeks. Assuming we get redistricting maps this week, and a Kinder announcement soon, events will begin to force the ambitions to a decision.
And, looking at the list above, there’s three attorneys Ed Martin, Eric Schmitt and Rob Mayer, but no one talking about attorney general. One can hardly argue that LG has any policy influence. And AG can be a big player in specific areas. The easiest conclusion is that incumbent Chris Koster is feared as an opponent; Susan Montee, not so much.
Finally, the prize of LG for Republicans is significant. With incumbents Jay Nixon, Koster and Clint Zweifel all looking strong right now, their reelection while not assumed is projected. That means, looking to 2016, a Republican who wins LG would be one of two Republican state-wide office-holders (with Auditor Tom Schweich assuming he wins reelection). That means a GOP LG victor is a potential consensus gov candidate in 2016.
New Renewables Initiative
Renew Missouri’s P.J. Wilson began circulating a new draft of a Renewable Energy initiative late last week.
According to a source who reviewed it, it is “a definite fuck you to the utilities.”
Source: “The ballot initiative provides for additional OPC funding, disallows Ameren’s existing renewables and requires 25% renewables by 2025 (up from 15% in 2021)… It caps costs at $3 per month for residential customers, $15 per month for commercial customers and $150 for industrial customers. That sounds good until you realize Ameren Missouri has more than 1 million residential customers and maybe 2,000 industrial customers. Thus, residential customers pay $36 million and industrial class pays approx. $300,000 and nobody’s sure what you do with cost overruns.”
Lobbyist Principal Changes
From the Pelopidas website:
Keith Wenzel added City of Riverside, Missouri; Saint Louis University; Global Cash Access, Inc; International Gaming Technology; Devry, Inc; and Spencer Fane Britt and Browne LLP.
Ford Motor Company Civic Action Fund – Missouri - $17,800 from Ford Motor Company Civic Action Fund.
MO Republican Party - $10,000 from RAI Services Company.
Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity - $150,000 from Missourians for Responsible Government.
MO Democratic State Committee - $7,200 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.
MO Democratic State Committee - $6,650 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from Robert Blitz.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from Rosenblum, Schwartz, Rogers & Glass, PC.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from Holloran, White, Schwartz & Gaertner LLP.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from O’Brien Law Firm PC.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from B & B Boats & Bikes, Inc.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from The Padberg & Corrigan Law Firm.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from Benchmark HM LLC.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Richard Miller.
Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Express Scripts Inc.
Happy birthday to St. Louis City Alderwoman Lyda Krewson.