Thursday, January 5, 2012

Back at the Capitol

From my ear in the hallways to your eyes…



Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence being squired around by top advisor Jared Craighead.  One observer surmised that Spence, a newcomer, has probably never met any of the lawmakers before.  Rather than drive all over the map, the best place to catch them all was in the building.


Constitutional candidate for LG Cynthia Davis holding some kind of seminar in the rotunda?



Talk: The Session

One point in Speaker Steve Tilley’s speech which caught people off guard was his inclusion of “loser pays” rule in lawsuits.  The idea is that there would be fewer “frivolous lawsuits” if the loser of those lawsuits had to pay for the attorney costs for defendant.  It was not a part of Fix the Six before, but appears to have been added into the general “tort reform” category.



The budget rocketed to the center of attention in the building.  But there’s no hard number.  Says one Republican, “Until we know what the Governor is going to carry over in a starting balance, then we will know what the hole really is.”


And as one senator points out, “There will be 57 freshmen representative going up for their first reelection with massive cuts in the budget.”  They’re going to nervous.



HB 2 which deals with education money will be ground zero of the budget earthquake.  The ability of a “grand compromise” dealing with a change to the foundation formula, Turner fix and systemic reforms all start there.  One you have HB2, you know how badly the formula will be underfunded.  Then you work for a foundation fix, trade for suburban votes to pass it with a Turner fix.  And then you trade for that with systemic reform.  It all gets “bundled” into an omnibus bill which plods toward the finish line.  And get there hopefully before it collapses from its own weight.



Finally, another budget showdown will be a balance-of-power battle.  Look for the legislature to “take away all the E's.”  That is the estimates that have given the governor the authority in the past to shift funds around.




Last year the House took the lead on the creation of health exchanges.  Then they got beat up by Obamacare haters.  Not gonna happen this year.  While prudence would dictate that you’d rather have the state be prepared for the implementation of the federal healthcare law, they’ll wait and force the Senate obstructers from last year (Sen. Jane Cunningham et al) to reach to that conclusion.



A good source says that Governor Bob Holden offered Luann Ridgeway a slot on the Public Service Commission in 2004, but she turned it down to run for Senate.  Now it’s said that she’s interested in the current vacancy.



Look for Martin Casas running in House 79 (Rep. Tishaura Jones is running for St. Louis treasurer) to have banked $10K in the 4th quarter.



2010 Watch

Flood, Lord Directs Rehder to House 148

Holly Rehder announced yesterday that she was switching her target from House 149 to House 148.  According to the press release, “With her residence located in the new 149th, Holly intended to run where the lines drew her.  This, however, prompted a flood of calls and urgings of many well-respected family and friends to reconsider.


“ ‘We only knew one thing to do, take it to our Lord in prayer.  After much prayerful consideration, my husband and I feel confident the 148th is the best fit for our family.’ Rehder continued.”


The press release also reveals that Rehder finished the quarter with $27K on-hand.


This puts her into a Republican primary with Josh Bill, former chief of staff to the late Bill Emerson, and it takes her away from a general election duel with Rep. Steve Hodges.


House 149 is a toss-up district; House 148 is solidly Republican.



Clemens Looks for Six to Switch their Votes

Doug Clemens started a campaign committee yesterday.  He’ll be running as a Democrat in House 73.  See his Website Here. The current incumbent is Rep. Eileen McGeoghegan.  Clemens ran against her in Democratic primary (then House 77) in 2010, losing by ten votes.



Kallash Contra Quinn in House 40

John Kallash, a Republican, announced he will run against Democratic incumbent Paul Quinn.  Read it Here.


Quinn’s district butterflied.  He still has the western part from his old district, but now it extends east to Mississippi River, taking in Ralls and Pike County.  It’s a lot of new territory in a toss-up district which makes him vulnerable.  Quinn is heading into his fourth term.  Republicans may be looking to 2014, thinking that if their candidate can run a strong race this cycle, he’ll have a leg up on a new Democratic candidate in 2014.




One good source says that LG Peter Kinder recently laid off a fundraiser, raising – in this person’s eyes – the likelihood that he would not ultimately be filing for the office.  Filing opens February 28.



I’ve heard from a couple of places that Sen. Jason Crowell is considering a bid for state treasurer, but had dismissed it as idle gossip.  It is an office which would afford Crowell a seat at the table to pursue his ancient whale-hunt of reigning in tax credit programs.  But one observer wonders if it isn’t being floated by supporters of Rep. Cole McNary.  According to this theory, nothing would bring in the checks fatser from business groups (Ameren, anyone) than the notion of Crowell as a state-wide office-holder.




The lawsuit against the appellate commission’s redistricting map was filed.  Read it Here.  Although it makes some good points, the problem is that it’s hard to imagine the same supreme court which appointed the appellate commission now ruling against them.  We will see.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Dale Amick added Mid-America Lumbermen and St. Louis Area Health Underwriters.

Andrew Hartnett added Missouri Attorney General’s Office.

Lou Hamilton deleted WMI of Missouri.

Charles W Hatfield deleted Centene Corporation, Wind Capital Group LLC, Delta Dental Plan of Missouri and RH Montgomery Properties Inc.

Chris McGeown and Edward Schollmeyer deleted Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC.

Brian Millner, Kim Tuttle and John Parris deleted St. Louis Public Schools.

Bill Gamble, Jorgen Schlemeier, Cynthia Gamble, and Sarah Topp deleted Comprehensive Neuroscience, Autism Speaks, and Midwest Special Needs Trust.

W. Jason Van Eaton deleted American Century Investments.

Nancy Giddens, Shannon Cooper and Jessica Land added John Britton Associates.

John Britton deleted RYP Cigar Association, Missouri Historical Society and Telecommunications Assn of MO.

Mark J Bruns, Gary Burton, Don Soph, Dawn Heidbreder, Neal English, Andrew Foley, Jim Foley and Chris Liese added Citigroup Management Corp.


Carrie Sherer added Cerner.

Mary Stockmann added BJC Home Care Services.



$5K+ Contributions

MO Democratic State Committee - $5,400 from Missouri House Democratic Campaign Committee.

Missouri American Water Company Employees - $60,000 from Missouri American Water Company.

MO Democratic State Committee - $7,200 from Jay Nixon for Missouri.

Schoeller for Missouri - $10,000 from Menlo Smith.




Happy birthday to Rep. Sara Lampe (62).



MOScout News

We’re back in session, so tomorrow there will be a Daily Update in addition to the Weekly Summary.  And… possibly a new feature… ohhhh can you stand the suspense?!