The Fetishism of MHDC and Its Secret
It’s said across both sides of the aisle that the real object of the Nixon administration’s attentions in the special session is to maintain the structure of the Missouri Housing Development Corporation.
According to this perspective, all the trash talking of developer Paul McKee, and the foot dragging in calling the special session, and the call itself are to attempt to disrupt the possibility that the appointive power to MHDC would change.
To write an explicit prohibition against the Land Assemblage tax credit was to serve as a distraction from the invisible omission of MHDC.
MHDC administers (or doles out depending on your rhetorical disposition) millions and millions in tax credits, grants and subsidies. That sort of important role in the development landscape attracts campaign contributions.
Critics cast a cynical eye on these arrangements. In the words of one: the money goes from MHDC to the developers, who use part of that money to contribute to the politicians who sit on and/or appoint the MHDC commissioners, who repeat the cycle. Load, wash, rinse, dry, dirty, load, wash, rinse, dry, dirty…
And so the question is asked, why would Governor Jay Nixon really care about the built-in donor base provided by MHDC since he’s nearly at the end of his second term? The answer is that there’s another race coming. Some say that his advisors are angling for a national appointment, but others think it’s a Senate run… 2016.
Meanwhile Purgy Convenes “Study Group”
Sen. Chuck Purgason sent a memo to the Republican Senate Caucus yesterday announcing that he’d be holding a meeting to study the economic development legislation. “Study group” doesn’t exactly have a “done deal” ring about it.
The gathering could be a chance for dissenters to coalesce and reinforce their own concerns about the sweeping legislation (circuit-breaker-philes meet Aerotropolis-phobes). It could also be an opportunity to bring everyone on-board.
I am still of the opinion that the Republican legislative leadership has too much at stake to not smooth the bills through special session with the least amount of drama possible.
Sen. Jason Crowell has been saber-rattling for months, and he has proven he’s about to knot up the Senate at will. But he’s also smart enough to usually come to the well with an exit strategy, that is to say, a ransom price already scribbled on a piece of paper.
“For those of you interested, I will hold a study group for the economic development bill to be discussed during upcoming special session. The study group will meet at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 30, in my office, Room 416. Please let my office know by Friday, August 26, if you will be attending so arrangements can be made.”
Daily Kinder Talk
Conspiracy Theory… From a Democrat comes the notion that the Kinder link had to have sprung from a Republican leak because Dem operatives lack the skills to plant and move a story as deftly as this one has grown. One possible reason for icing LG Peter Kinder? To help take out Sen. Claire McCaskill. The idea is that the GOP could off-load Todd Akin into the governor’s race and ease John Brunner’s path to beat McCaskill next November.
Contrarian Opinion (Kind Of) Emerges… From a Republican, “I can’t help but feel like people are writing off Kinder too early. People are forgetting about Lloyd Smith. Kinder may lose, but I think this will be competitive.”
KC Star explains unconstitutionality of Nixon withholds. Read it Here.
Sen. Jane Cunningham’s super-aide Kit Crancer is working on a “Facebook law” fix. Read it Here.
Congressman Lacy Clay is saving taxpayer money by spending office money on a rental car… Read it Here.
Citizens for Mike Talboy - $12,000 from Simmonds Browder Gianaris Angelides and Barnerd LLC.
Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity - $107,279 from Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity.
Lobbyist Principal Changes
From the Pelopidas website:
Jewell Patek added Trails Properties II LLC
Friday birthdays: former governor Bob Holden, Rep. Anne Zerr (57) and former state representative Ray Salva (64).
Saturday: Rep. Tom Flanigan, Super-aide Kit Crancer, and lobbyist Scott Swain.
Sunday, Rep. John Diehl celebrates #46.