Tilley Spikes Right to Work
Yesterday Speaker Steve Tilley called “right to work” a waste of time, noting that there weren’t the votes to override it in the legislature. Read it Here.
This is significant in two respects. First, right to work is organized labor’s death star. They would concentrate all their fire on it until it was destroyed. With Tilley essentially putting the issue on ice, they can focus on other issues that might otherwise slip through.
Second, one of the dangers that Governor Jay Nixon faces is a hostile Republican legislature. One manifestation of that would be passing bills to force the governor to bow to Democratic constituencies in an election year. This still may happen, but the Speaker, it would seem, is following his own compass, not some David Spence or Republican playbook.
The Senate is off to a fast start this session with multiple high-profile bills – workers comp, employment discrimination – getting quick hearings. This leads observers to think that they may be preparing for a lot of floor time on their priority issues.
One former staffer says that in an election year you want to show voters some marque issues so they understand that you can get results.
The House meanwhile seems relieved that the Senate is taking the lead on some of these issues, and may wait to see what emerges before expending energy on them.
MOBudget Estimates Gap at $800 Million
Missouri Budget Project is out with a new estimate of the budget shortfall this morning... $800 million. (Read it Here.) Yowza.
The usual range that folks are talking about has been in the $400-$500 million. The difference is that MOBudget includes “An estimated $346 million in statutorily required increases and/or inflationary costs needed to maintain the current level of state services, including increased costs for education, Medicaid, state employee payroll and benefits, and other services.”
From the press release: “Moreover, the state won't see relief soon. Even if Missouri brings in as much revenue as predicted this year and continues modest growth each year, it still won't reach its pre-recession level of general revenue until FY 2016…
“Though the sluggish economy has been a factor in the state's revenue decline, the state's revenue woes are the result of long-term erosion in state revenue and decisions by state lawmakers to choose tax breaks for big profitable corporations over investing in education, transportation, and safety - investments that boost our economy both in the short- and long-term. Moreover, Missouri's general revenue remains extremely low by historic measures, resulting in a significant decline in the state's ability to invest in services.”
Burlison Bid Melt?
The movement to get Rep. Eric Burlison to run for Floor Leader appears to be in a slow melt with little talk about it, and allies of Rep. John Diehl insistent that he has the commitments locked down.
Kander for Voter ID?
MOProgress’ website quoted SOS candidate Rep. Jason Kander as being open to Voter ID, a hot-button Dem issue.
“One of the big issues they've tried to make, one of the big issues in this in this race is photo ID. My rule is real simple, photo ID, going to vote - if it, if a policy makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat, then I'll be for it. If it doesn't, then I won't.” See it Here.
That brought this zinger from Republican Rep. Ryan Silvey’s twitter-feed: Anon J-town D says tonight: "If @JasonKander & @shaneschoeller are both for Voter ID, now I can vote for @shaneschoeller." #truestory
Schupp Starts Raising $$$
Look for Rep. Jill Schupp to report about $40K on-hand… and she has a Jeff City fundraiser slated for next week (Wednesday, 5:30pm at the MCTA Office).
Wagner Nabs National Endorsement
Ann Wagner this morning announced that she has garnered the endorsement of Citizens United. As she continues to pile on these kinds of endorsements it gets harder and harder for Ed Martin’s team to argue that there’s any ideological difference.
January Quarter Reports
January quarters are starting to get posted…
Rep. David Sater, running in Senate 29 (Goodman termed), raised $24,750 and has $103,394 on-hand.
Rep. Don Wells, running in Senate 33 (Purgason termed), raised $14,225 and has $55,356 on-hand.
Rep. Randy Asbury, running in House 6, raised $17,865 and has $20,071 on-hand.
Kevin Austin, running in a Republican primary in House 136 (Denison termed), neither raised nor spent any money, but has $31,599 on-hand.
Rep. Kurt Bahr, running in House 102, raised $5,718 and has $6,908 on-hand.
Rep. Ben Harris, running in House 118, raised $825 and has $1,583 on-hand.
Tim McKenna, running in House 114, didn’t’ raise any money and has $487 on-hand.
Claire Says Online Contributions Hit $50K
From Sen. Claire McCaskill the email blast: “Thanks to the help of thousands of supporters, we did it. We reached our $50,000 end-of-year goal! Once we finish the paperwork, our final public financial report for 2011 will show that we have the grassroots momentum to run a strong campaign…”
American to Carnahan: Run in the 2nd
The St. Louis American devotes great space this week to the situation of Rep. Russ Carnahan’s political future. They say that Carnahan running against Rep. Lacy Clay in a Democratic primary will jeopardize Sen. Claire McCaskill’s reelection by upsetting the core black constituency. Read it Here.
Pull-Quote: “Meanwhile, next door in Missouri's open 2nd CD, the primary has been held open for Carnahan, national Democratic leaders have offered him lavish money and unlimited support, and the district leans only slightly Republican, about 53 percent. So the math is clear and inescapable – the only congressional run that Carnahan can win in 2012 is in Missouri's 2nd Congressional District.”
Bryan Spencer started a campaign committee to run for House 63 as a Republican. That district covers Wentzville and is without an incumbent in it. It’s a 59% Republican district.
Rep. Eileen McGeoghegan is moving to House 72 and will run against Rep. Mary Nichols.
Lobbyists’ Principals Changes
From the Pelopidas website:
Doyle Childers, Richard McIntosh, Franc Flotron and Larry Rohrbach deleted Insure-Rite Inc.
Jim Cooper deleted Civitas Development Inc, and St. Charles County Coalition of Providers.
Civic Progress Action Committee - $7,400 from Edward Jones.
Happy birthdays to: Rep. Scott Largent (42), Democratic political consultant Jim Ross (54), and lobbyist David McCracken (31).