Monday, September 19, 2011

Where We Are on EcoDevo

Rep. Anne Zerr’s Economic Development Committee will meet this afternoon and hear the Senate’s ecodevo bill.


Although there are some in the business community who would like for the House to pick up and pass the bill as is – they’re anxious to take what they can – there’s 0% chance of that happening.  Neither will the House make substantial changes to the bill and ask for a conference.


House leadership is loath to have 163 representative milling around away from home while the House and Senate slog through a conference committee.


Rather the current plan appears to be to hit the “pause button” after the hearing, and lay the problem at the feet of the governor.


They blame the governor for the current situation.  In their view, the House and Senate had a deal.  The governor broke it by issuing a “call” which was designed to dismantle the deal.  By including the Compete Missouri package in the call and excluding the MHDC changes, the governor was in effect calling the legislature back into special session without a deal.


This is his mess, they feel.  In fact some Republicans believe that the governor’s office conspired with Sens. Jason Crowell, Chuck Purgason and Brad Lager to sabotage the deal. 


One House source says that they offered a compromise on the Compete Missouri package, but the governor’s office rejected it.  (The Compete Missouri is especially noxious to the House GOP.  One Rep called it a “piece of crap,” and another said that it was viewed as “ten times worse” than any tax credit give-away.  The problem, they say, is that lacks standards for awarding incentives, instead giving the governor the arbitrary power.)


As a result, the House appears ready to depart on Tuesday and let the governor sit in the 8.8% unemployment stew to see if he reconsiders.



Missouri Ethics Fines El Amin Over Half Million

The Missouri Ethics Commission handed down several decisions against former state representative Talib El Amin.  The total fines total approximately $525,000.  El Amin pled guilty to bribery two years ago.


See the Decisions Here – 7480, 7481, 7482, 7483, 7484.


The violations were for tardy filing, unreported contributions, unreported anonymous contributions, cash withdrawals, and cash expenditures above the allowable limit, and a bevy of other disregarded rules.  The list of ATM withdrawals gives the impression that the campaign accounts were used as slush funds.



Congressman Lacy Clay’s finance director David Poger was hit with a fine for his Kirkwood City Council race in 2010.  MEC found that he failed to file timely reports and filed him $4,000.  Read it Here.



Bill Lant Fundraiser

Rep. Bill Lant held a fundraiser last weekend at the home of Glenn Brown.   On hand: Congressman Billy Long, Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, Floor Leader Tim Jones, Sen. Ron Richard, Reps. Tom Flanigan, Bill Reiboldt and Charlie Davis.


Lant reportedly raised more at the event than he did his “entire last cycle.”  That’d be about $20K.

What it Means

First, Republicans in safe seats are diligently raising money.  These excess funds will find their way into HRCC coffers.  Folks like Lant raising money will ultimately help Republicans in competitive seats. 


Second, Republicans continue to cultivate new big donors.  Since the abolition of campaign finance limits, they have sought new large donors from business executives and entrepreneurs.   Brown fits this mold.  He started by driving trucks, then bought a few of his own and built CFI Trucking from scratch until a “capital event,” selling to a larger firm.  He is now a retired multimillionaire with a sharp appreciation for the free market system…



MOScout Weekend Filler Material

Jones Mudfest

Floor Leader Tim Jones’ family farm held “Mudfest” over the weekend.  See it Here.  Hundreds of ATV enthusiasts came through their mud pits.


And where is the Jones family farm?  Here (aka middle of nowhere somewhere in southwest mo).  But the point is: the dude has spent at least a few weekends baling hay and driving a tractor.  He’s not just a St. Louis lawyer.  Something we may be reminded of if he ever goes statewide…



Furey Jobs Tour

7:30 a.m. Saturday, Shawn Furey, brain to Sen. Eric Schmitt, started his bachelor party in the heart of St. Louis City and traveled across the state to Kansas City stopping at watering holes and eating establishments along the way.  The bachelor bus was dubbed the Shawn Furey Bachelor Party Missouri Jobs Tour with accompanying tweets on the economic impact of their pilgrimage.  They employed that magic fairy dust of economists… the “multiplier effect” which seemed to grow as the festivities increased...  



$5k+ Contributions

Missourians for Koster - $25,000 from Strong Garner Bauer, P.C.

Missouri Senate Campaign Committee - $6,465 from QC Holdings.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $25,000 from The Simon Law Firm, PC.




Rep. Michael McGhee turns 64 today, and former representative Rachel Bringer is 40.