Monday, October 10, 2011

House Softens on Conference

Last week the House passed its version of economic development.  It maintained the long-standing impasse over sunsets to the historic preservation and low-income housing tax credit programs.  And the House version also opened/re-opened a few more differences – a cut to the corporate tax rate, and changes to the distressed land assemblage tax credit.


Afterwards in press interviews, the House leadership softened on their resistance to going to conference with the Senate on the bill.


The two developments are most likely not unrelated.  The House creates a few provisions in the economic development bill that it’s willing to trade to the Senate in conference in exchange to retain their provision on sunsets.


But the drama now turns to the Senate Republican majority which will caucus on Tuesday to decide their next step…



Back to the Ballot: Renew Missouri

After its successful 2008 ballot initiative was declawed by legal challenges and legislative stalemates, Renew Missouri is reverting to its original strategy to increase renewal energy production.  It’s aiming for a 2012 ballot.


PJ Wilson, the director of Renew Missouri, said the new renewable energy requirement would be clearer and stronger. He said the difficulties the current law has faced means electric rates could go up without the amount of renewable energy sources that are used for electricity in Missouri also increasing.”  Read it Here.



PSC to Figure Costs of Regulation

The Public Service Commission has opened an investigation into the cost of compliance with federal environmental regulations.  Its staff is putting together a working group to draft a report to “be filed no later than May 1, 2012.”


“The first meeting for this working group has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 26 at the Governor Office Building, Jefferson City, Missouri.  It is anticipated that each of the investor-owned utilities will present information at this meeting.  Other participants will be provided an

opportunity to make presentations.  Additional details regarding this meeting will be provided at a later date.”


It seems like a report from the PSC calculating the costs already imposed on utilities for existing regulations will provide nice fodder for those opposing the new 2012 ballot initiative…



Part of the Carnahan Calculus?

Privately, Robin Carnahan is telling people that she’s not done politically.  So, if that’s the case, why not run for what would be a fairly easy reelection?  Maybe the answer lies with what else is going to be on the ballot in November 2012 (above).


Expect Republicans, manufacturers, utilities and other business interests to coalesce and counter the ballot measure over the costs (also see above).  More importantly, expect them to make political hay (again) over the fact that brother Tom Carnahan’s company, Wind Capital Group,  already got a $107 million stimulus grant and now they will be supporting a ballot initiative to make Missourians buy more of their product. 


The new ballot initiative is headed to the ballot at the same time sister Robin (and other brother Russ Carnahan) would have to stand for reelection. 


Wall Street-bashing has become fashionable, which makes Tom Carnahan and his Wind Capital Group prime targets for the opposition to unload on as part of their campaign to defeat a ballot initiative they feel will raise rates and further restrict their business options.


And that might have made Robin Carnahan’s reelection not so easy…



Could Kander Freeze Out the Primary?

Rep. Jason Kander continues to plug away at his secretary of state bid while his would-be competitors idle in vacillation.  New endorsements released last week included labor (International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 2 and 3; United Transportation Union), and more House Dems (Reps. Mike Colona, Bert Atkins, Rory Ellinger, Eileen McGeoghegan, Rochelle Walton Gray, Clem Smith, Susan Carlson, Linda Black, Penny Hubbard, and Ira Anders).  And every day he drops another large check in the bank account (see below). 


While others potential Dem candidates calculate, Kander works, strengthening his position with every day…



Whispers: Rupp $80K

After announcing at the beginning of August, Sen. Scott Rupp used the rest of the quarter to introduce himself to donors in KC and Springfield. He nabbed some top fundraisers (like Joe Passanise) in Springfield who will help him gather money in SW Missouri – Rep. Shane Schoeller’s presumed base – over the next two quarters. 


His number is said to be $80K.  That’s a moderate, but fine quarter considering he announced midway through the quarter and had to work around special session – where he carried a Joplin-specific tax credit expansion that could help him make further inroads in SWMO.


With only one 5K+ contribution recorded, look for a lot of smaller checks consistent with laying the ground work to show the support necessary to garner the larger checks. Expect a few of those in 4Q.



Whispers: Slay $250K

Considering he’s still a year and half away from re-election, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay had a huge quarter, according to whispers.  Look for $250K to be reported later this week.  Matt Lieberman is the fundraiser for the mayor.  Also, his former employee Angela Bingaman has gone to work for the mayor’s political team.



Kraske Disses Brunner

KC Star columnist Steve Kraske says that John Brunner can’t answer “basic questions,” not ready for prime time.  Read it Here.  I mean, could it be that Todd Akin is the most substantive, articulate candidate that Republicans can field for U.S. Senate?  Still for all the down-talk on the GOP field, gotta believe that Sen. Claire McCaskill is vulnerable in this environment.



Claire Drops 50

Tweet from the senator: @clairecmc: GOOAALLLLLLLL!! I did it! Lost 50 lbs. Thank you Team Charles and my new BFF...Mr Treadmill. Healthy food and lots of exercise.


She credits “weight loss guru” Charles D’Angelo for guiding here.  See the Website Here.



Can Things Get Worse?

NYTimes: Relying on a series of proprietary indexes, the Economic Cycle Research Institute correctly predicted the beginning and the end of the last recession. Over the last 15 years, it has gotten all of its recession calls right, while issuing no false alarms… In the institute’s view, the United States, which is struggling to recover from the last downturn, is lurching into a new one. “If the United States isn’t already in a recession now it’s about to enter one,” says Lakshman Achuthan, the institute’s chief operations officer.   Read it Here.



AFL-CIO on Occupy STL

AFL-CIO President Hugh McVey’s statement on the “Occupy” efforts:


“Missouri workers, students and seniors are fed up with politicians working for Wall Street while ignoring the crisis on Main Street. We need good jobs now: Our elected officials need to get to work for Missouri families.? The Missouri AFL-CIO is proud to stand in solidarity with jobless workers, seniors, students and workers from all walks of life, from across the state that have joined those all over America coming together to demand accountability from our elected leaders. In Kansas City and in St. Louis, in Columbia and St. Joseph, Missourians have taken to the streets in protest of the devastating misplaced priorities that have rewarded the corporate CEOs and Wall Street bankers that wrecked our economy and left millions of Americans to suffer while politicians slash what’s left of our social safety net…”



$5K+ Contributions

Friends of Jason Kander - $10,000 from Dollar, Burns, and Becker L.C.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $12,500 from Menlo Smith.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Mikel Gibbons and Tricia Workman added POI, LLC.

George L Oestreich added APS Healthcare Bethesda Inc, National Community Pharmacists Association, American Pharmacist’s Association Foundation, and Missouri Pharmacy Association.

Scott Penman and David Winton deleted Missouri Retailers Association.

Scott Penman deleted National Popular Vote Initiative.

David Winton deleted The Millstone Company.




Happy birthday to Rep. Denny Hoskins, and STL Dems ED Jack Coatar.