Monday, November 21, 2011

Statewide Musical Chairs

The last two months has been a twisty, turny road.   I usually avoid the fluff of looking backward, but consider this a Monday minute to recap where we’ve come in the last two months…


It started with Robin Carnahan announcing her retreat from public office on September 30, the final day of the October fundraising quarter.  Rep. Jason Kander immediately embarked on a replacement campaign.  And while other Dems floated their names, no one pulled the trigger and Kander, brick by brick, every day continued to build a wall around the nomination.  On the Republican side, pro tem Shane Schoeller used the waves from Carnahan to launch his own secretary of state bid, joining declared candidates, Sens. Scott Rupp and Bill Stouffer.


Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder was traveling the state on a listening tour.  Every once in a while a reporter would ask when his gubernatorial kick-off event would be and the answer was always soon… just around the corner.  Rumors swirled of other Republicans doing some traveling of their own… to the powerful Republican Governors’ Association… to pitch their own candidacy.  Dave Spence was different than the others.  Instead of rumors and whispers, he emerged publicly as an alternative – if Kinder declined to run.


Then about ten days ago, Speaker Steve Tilley announced that he was scuttling his well-coordinated and well-funded campaign for lieutenant governor.  It set off a flurry of floats and declarations.  Sens. Ron Richard, Rob Mayer, Eric Schmitt and Luann Ridgeway all said they were looking at the LG’s job now that Tilley was abdicating his spot.  And two even made formal entry statements – Sen. Brad Lager, and Son of Developer Chris McKee.


Amid the LG chaos – during which Kinder’s team said they were still aimed at the governor’s mansion – Spence took a spin on the media merry-go-round to say that he had decided to run for governor with or without Kinder as a primary opponent.


Then the final twist came Friday with Kinder announcing that the listening tour had concluded; he would seek re-election for LG and endorse Spence for governor.


McKee withdrew his LG ambitions to “explore future options.”  Lager, however, was less accommodating to the incumbent.  He told the Beacon that Kinder’s announcement didn’t change his plans.  Read it Here



September 29 Declared and Presumptive Statewide Candidates

Governor – Nixon (D), Kinder (R)

Lieutenant Governor – Montee (D), Tilley (R)

Secretary of State – Carnahan (D), Rupp (R), Stouffer (R)

Attorney General – Koster (D)

Treasurer – Zweifel (D)


November 20 Declared and Presumptive Statewide Candidates

Governor – Nixon (D), Spence (R)

Lieutenant Governor – Montee (D), Kinder (R), Lager (R)

Secretary of State – Kander (D), Rupp (R), Stouffer (R), Schoeller (R)

Attorney General – Koster (D)

Treasurer – Zweifel (D)



Lesson from the Lobbyist School of Life

“Here is another great reason not to invest big in politicians until closer to the election.  At this rate there will be $3 million, maybe more, given to two candidates that don’t end up running…”




It’s hard to see a way that Sen. Brad Lager overcomes Kinder in a Republican primary.  But he also has to decide and stick to something soon.  The “Lager for (fill in the blank)” act is starting to border on “the boy who cried wolf.”


The view from one Kinder supporter: “Does Lager follow through on running for LG?  Who knows.  Whatever plan he had cooked up is now in ruins.  Kinder running for LG is a game changer for Lager, Ridgeway and every other would be LG candidate.


“$1.5 million cash is a drop in the bucket for a Governor’s race, but a nearly insurmountable lead for an incumbent statewide officeholder down-ticket in what looks to be a decent year for Republicans in 2012.


“The St. Louis business community has never had a greater friend from out-state Missouri than Kinder. Expect them to return to Kinder’s corner now that he's no longer running against Nixon and his sins will be largely forgotten.”



Fundraising Bits

Ann Wagner

The Republican Leadership Circle is usually more about tea and ices, toast and marmalade, but they showed some money muscle recently raising $9,500 for Ann Wagner.



Mike Colona

At a local watering hole in his St. Louis City neighborhood, Rep. Mike Colona’s fundraiser last week had an impressive mix of St. Louis politicos (Norm Sutterer, Brian Wahby, and Gregg Christian), corporates (Enterprise’s Monica Combest and BJC’s Leann Chilton) as well as Jeff City giants, lobbyists Bill Gamble and Jorgen Schlemeier, and MASW’s Bob Quinn.


Stump speech pull quote:  “I don’t know what my district will look like but you will always be my people.”



Ward Franz

And Franz made a stop at the home of Nick and Linda Rallo to drum up some financial support for his state senate race.   On hand to show some love for the out-stater were: candidates Ann Wagner, John Brunner and Dave Spence, MO Bio’s Alex Eaton, Speaker-elect Tim Jones, lobbyists Betsy AuBuchon (nee Ledgerwood) and John Bardgett, and peerless John Combest.




And why wait for a map? Tony’s KC says there a Dem primary brewing for Rep. Jason Kander’s seat… Read it Here.



New way of calculating graduation rates puts St. Louis City Public Schools’ rate at 52%.  Read it Here.



And St. Louis civvies are hatching their plan for the city to re-enter St. Louis County.  One plan would be to avoid a local vote on the issue but instead seek a state-wide referendum.  Look for a resolution to be pre-filed to “start the dialogue.”  They’d like to accomplish the goal by 2014 – the 250th birthday of the city of St. Louis.



$5K+ Contributions

Your Vote Counts - $50,000 from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer - $5,001 from Parsons for State Senate.

Citizens to Elect Kirt Schaefer - $5,001 from Citizens to Elect Mike Kehoe.

Citizens to Elect Kurt Schaefer - $5,001 from Committee to Elect Ron Richard.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Keesag Baron.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from Larry Neff.




Happy birthday to Sanofi Aventis’ John Valenti (42).