Monday, October 17, 2011

October Quarters

Because the deadline for the filing fell over the weekend, candidates have until 5pm today to file their October campaign finance reports.  Here’s where we are:



Peter Kinder filed a weak quarter.  Among us 99%ers, it’s hard to call the topline of $410K weak.  However in the rarified air of a no-limits gubernatorial race, it is.  Kinder had two high-profile, red-meat stars come into the state for him, and still his quarter will be eclipsed by down-ballot candidate Steve Tilley.


That’s not fatal, though.  The slashing wound in the report is that the campaign spent more than it took in.  It went backwards in the important “cash on-hand” bottom-line.  It now has $1.5 million on-hand, half of what Nixon had on-hand last quarter


Nixon hasn’t filed yet, but I’m looking for a fresh million raised.


The fourth quarter is traditionally viewed as difficult with its twin holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas providing ample hiding grounds for donors who wish to evade the fundraising calls.  That means Kinder will enter 2012 with at least a $2 million+ deficit. 


This, together with Camp Kinder’s perpetually delaying announcement, have moved the consensus of observers toward expecting that Kinder will pass.



U.S. Senate

The Republicans can’t gain any traction here.  If Sen. Claire McCaskill is so vulnerable where are the all the donors to line up and help beat her? 


Rep. Todd Akin raised $285K, nowhere near McCaskill’s $1.2 million.  And Sarah Steelman had another empty quarter, raising less than $100K.  As a consequence she loaned herself $400K.  One observer says this classic David Steelman poker playing.  He wants to buy some time, see a few more cards, and maybe have a playable hand in the end.


Between the two weak twins, one must wonder if self-funding businessman John Brunner’s delayed entry wasn’t too soon.  He’s received lukewarm reviews.  Perhaps if he’d waited until after the New Year, the clamor for a Republican savior would have been so great as to drown out the critics.



Congress 1

Rep. Lacy Clay raised $87K, spent $41K and has $313K on-hand.  His possible Democratic opponent, Rep. Russ Carnahan raised a little more, $137K, spent a lot more, $119K, and finished in the same ballpark, $393K.


In what could be nothing but a slugfest next November, you’d think one of them would want to carry a few more pounds into the ring.



Congress 2

Ann Wagner released yet another stunning quarter: $532K raised with $857K on-hand.  Ed Martin, dutifully digging away in the small donor field, came up with $115K.  He has $270K on-hand, and an intimidating future ahead.


One source says that Martin has floated his name as a possible gubernatorial candidate if Kinder does bow out.  Others think he should look at AG or Secretary of State, and one person offering U.S. Senate as a preferable path to this race.  With all the talk, and the mountain of cash Wagner is sitting atop, I do expect that Martin will find a new race in the new year, if not before.



Lieutenant Governor

Democrat Becky Plattner raised $250, has $14K on-hand; Susan Montee started her committee after the quarter ended, so no numbers there.  And Speaker Steve Tilley hasn’t filed yet, though advance talk has his quarter in the $570K area.



Attorney General

No quarter yet from incumbent Chris Koster, or GOP float Rep. Caleb Jones, though obviously the two will be in different galaxies.



Secretary of State

Rep. Shane Schoeller raised $44K.  He was starting almost from nothing.  So he ended with $38K on-hand.  Because Robin Carnahan made her exit from the race at the end of the quarter, one can’t draw too much on this number as a gauge of the kind of receptivity Schoeller is meeting with donors.


Neither Sens. Scott Rupp nor Bill Stouffer have filed yet.


On the Democratic side: Rep. Jason Kander, a Hilltop client like Nixon, hasn’t filed.  And the still undecided Sen. Ryan McKenna filed a $4K quarter with $63K on-hand.


McKenna’s time is running short to decide as his labor base seems to leaking to Kander one local at a time.  On Friday, AFSCME endorsed Kander.  AFSCME’s Jeff Mazur is tight with Hilltop, but it might also signal that McKenna is giving labor the body language that he’s not in.  Stay tuned…



State Treasurer

Incumbent Clint Zweifel raised $218K, and has $720K on-hand.  This puts the Zweifel campaign over $1 million raised for the cycle.  With this report, the Zweifel campaign has already raised about two-thirds of the campaign’s total from the 2008 cycle more than a year before the election, and with no announced opponent.


Team Zweifel notes that no Missouri State Treasurer has ever lost a bid for re-election.



Cards Win a Ticket to the World Series

Nice pic from TimeWarner’s Jarad Falk’s twitterfeed.




With LG Peter Kinder reportedly is flying around today to raise an issue about the governor’s handling of a state contract gone bad, Nixon’s team may figure this is a good day to announce their supreme court pick. 


Regardless, it almost surely needs to happen before the governor leaves for China on Friday.



Gov. Relations Gone Wrong: Football Fumble

In an interview last week with 610 Sports, Minority Leader Mike Talboy blasts the University of Missouri’s lobbyist Stephen Knorr for stonewalling the legislature about what the possible economic impact of a change of football conference would be.  Hear it Here


Pull Quote: “Unfortunately Steve Knorr has kind of not been very forthright about what information is out there and being able to provide us with that, and that is really disappointing… The person the university has designated who is their ‘lobbyist’ has not been communicative at all in this process… I think it’s simply that he doesn’t want to get involved in the middle of this and has been every uncommunicative to us and has basically been stonewalling us on information.  And I think that’s going to end up in the next couple of weeks be a contentious point…”



Gov. Relations Gone Wrong: Boeing Bumps

The fall-out from Rep. Caleb Jones’ resolution touting the F35 killer-fighter continues.  Lobbyists Dick and Sam Wiles no longer list Boeing among their clients (see below). 


Looking through the lobbyist filings, it’s interesting to note that Boeing’s Jeffrey Sweet dropped his registration last year, which begs the question: who is Boeing’s Missouri point person?


The answer is that no one really knows, highlighting their lack of a presence in the Capitol.


And, in a St. Louis Beacon article, Boeing Veep George Roman makes it sound like the non-engagement is standard company practice.  Read it Here.



Lobbyists Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


William J. Kuehling added IESI.

Richard C Wiles and Sam Wiles deleted The Boeing Company.



$5K+ Contributions

Slay for Mayor - $10,000 from Emerson Electric Co.

Missourians for Fair Taxation - $60,000 from Missouri Association of REALTORS.




Happy birthday to Sen. Scott Rupp (38), Rep. Jamiliah Nasheed (39), and the Plumbers’ Ray Hefner.