Monday, October 24, 2011

Has the Su-Spence Ended?

Businessman Dave Spence spent part of the weekend making the rounds to GOPers as he mulls entering the gubernatorial race, contingent on Peter Kinder’s expected withdrawal.


St. Louis gossipist Jerry Berger says that earlier in the week Spence had been to DC to meet with the Republican Governors Association.  Read it Here.


Spence, 51, is in the Brunner mold – self-funding businessman without a political paper trail.  According to the company website (See it Here), when Spence bought Alpha Packaging in 1985 (using an SBA loan), the company produced 35,000 bottles a day.  It now produces 2 million bottles a day.


The Case for Spence

In a limping economy, voters might just trust a successful businessman to solve their economic woes instead of a career politician.  And then there’s the money…


Says one Republican, “He will immediately neutralize Nixon’s money advantage… there’s a belief that an outsider with relevant experience can take a fresh look at things.”  Nixon has $4.2 million in the bank.


The Case against Spence

He has no experience either in running a campaign, taking hits, or in governance.  And he’s not exactly an Everyman.  See the absurd trophy house Here.  (Featuring a one-hole golf course?)



DeCola: No Money for Bad Legislators

Mike DeCola, CEO of Mississippi Lime Co, unleashes the St. Louis business community’s anger at the state legislature in an op/ed in the St. Louis Business Journal.


Lead jab: “Our elected leaders in Jefferson City have been so dysfunctional, that our elected leaders in Washington D.C., appear to be doing a good job…”


Closing punch: “Many of these legislators have been or will be arriving in our region by the busload soliciting financial support… I would suggest it is time for the region to make its voice heard… The people who have been elected are not getting the job done: certainly the people who replace them can’t be worse."


But Who Mike?

DeCola never names names.  He doesn’t call out bomb-thrower Sen. Jason Crowell, saboteur Sen. Brad Lager or guard dog Sen. Chuck Purgason.  Rather his accusatory finger fixes on leadership.


“It is failure of leadership in the House, but to a much larger degree, the Senate…”


And one thing is clear: he doesn’t blame Governor Jay Nixon; his ire is entirely focused on the Republican-controlled legislature.



Schoeller Set to Enter SOS

And then there were three… on the Republican side.  Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller will announce his entry into the secretary of state’s race at 12:30pm today on the south steps of the Greene County Courthouse.


We will see how this shakes out, but with the two large caches of Republican votes sitting in St. Charles/West County (Sen. Scott Rupp territory) and southwest Missouri (Schoeller’s base), it would seem to put Sen. Bill Stouffer in the bind as he hunts for his primary voters.


Rupp is given the nod as front-runner due to his grass-roots network fortified by his work on the autism insurance mandate.  Still the next fundraising quarter is pretty important as observers are looking to see who can raise enough money to establish state-wide name ID.



Leara IN for Pro Tem

Following Schoeller’s announcement for SOS, Rep. Mike Leara will announce (later this afternoon) that he’s seeking Schoeller’s leadership post, speaker pro tem.


Leara, a South St. Louis County representative, was elected in 2008, and chairs the Retirement Committee. See House bio Here.



Gov Signs Facebook Fix

Governor Jay Nixon signed SB 1, the “facebook fix” to Sen. Jane Cunningham’s bill which regulates social media interactions between teachers and students. 


Nixon grumbled as he signed, “This bill is not as good as it should be, but to veto it would return us to a bill that would be far worse.”


Republicans were quick to call his signature a concession that he cannot legislate from the governor’s office. 


In his call for the special session, he specifically said he was only calling for a repeal of the provision.  The fact that he’s not declaring the amended bill unconstitutional, but rather is signing it, seems to be an acknowledgment that the governor can only set topics for special session, not decide the action.



Conferees Without a Conference

It’s expected that Pro Tem Rob Mayer will adjourn the Senate sine die on Tuesday.  That means special session officially comes to an end, and our long state nightmare is over!


But on the off-chance that the Senate returns the House’s plead for conference, here are Speaker Steve Tilley’s conferees (note the Columbia-heavy Dems, a nod perhaps to low-income housing titan Jeff Smith): Republicans Tilley, John Diehl, Anne Zerr, and Democrats Chris Kelly and Stephen Webber.



Jeff City Moves

Joe Smith to Return?

Get ready for the return of Joe Smith?  One source says that the former state representative from St. Charles will be playing the part of legislative assistant to Rep. Vicki Schneider.  Her current LA, Don Lograsso, according to this rumor, will move to the campaign side.  Schneider is termed, but would be prepping for a January 2013 state senate run, under the assumption that Sen. Scott Rupp will win the secretary of state race and vacate his seat.


Christian Exiting

Gregg Christian is leaving his post as political director for the State Democratic Party.  He’ll return to the political consulting arena from which he came, perhaps helping his Party boss, Susan Montee with her lieutenant governor bid.


Lodewegen to School Administrators

Mike Lodewegen is leaving the auditor’s office and will go to work for the Missouri Council of School Administrators.  Says one observer: “it gets him out of the auditor’s office and he gains some lobbying experience.” Lodewegen replaces Penny Rector.


Schulze Leaves MO Coalition for Children

Carmen Schulze has left the Missouri Coalition for Children Agencies (see registration change below).  Schulze is headed to Great Circle – the merged agency of Edgewood, Boys and Girls Town, and Meramec Ranch.  Look for the talented Betsy Ledgerwood to hold the fort at MCCA as interim ED.




November 7, Ollie North will headline an event for Rep. Todd Akin’s Senate campaign at the Deer Creek Club…



Ed Martin for gov?  A Tea Party blogger makes the case over at Reboot Congress.  Read it Here.



Who lost China Hub?  KC Star’s Steve Kraske answers Here.   AP’s David Lieb answers Here.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Jessica Renee Crews added Columbia Chamber of Commerce.  

Susan Marie Gardner added Curators of the University of Missouri.  

Carmen Schulze deleted Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies.



$5K+ Contributions

Missourians for Crowell - $10,000 from Noranda Aluminum Inc.

One Zoo for All - $25,000 from UMB Bank.

Friends of Tilley - $10,000 from Environmental Operations.

MO Republican Party - $15,000 from HRCC Inc.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $10,000 from ATT.

One Zoo for All - $40,000 from Hallmark Global Services.

Dempsey for Senate - $10,000 from Noranda Aluminum Inc.

Friends to Elect Jeff OConnell - $5,878 from Missouri Democratic State Committee.




Happy birthdays to Sen. Jay Wasson (55), St. Louis City Democratic boss Brian Wahby (46), and lawyer-lobbyist Chuck Hatfield (45).