Thursday, June 30, 2011


Revenues Finish Year Above Plan

Today is the last day of fiscal year 2011.  Revenues will finish approximately 6% higher than FY2010.  The original consensus revenue estimate was +3.6%.


As of last month, revenues were only 2.7% ahead of the previous year.  Now they’re 6%.  The volatility appears to be the result of some “refund management.”  Refunds were up an extraordinary 187% last month pushing net revenues lower.  Now the numbers have returned to the trajectory they have been on for the past six month – above plan. 


Who Got Screwed

Everyone who was on the withhold/restrictions list should now be asking where there money is and why the withholds were necessary since more money came in than budgeted.  One very big loser was the school districts that had millions of dollars withheld. 


Who Blew It

Earth to David Barklage: Where are you?  Revenues have been ahead of plan since January, and you could have been pounding Jay Nixon (“Holdenizing” was one source’s choice word) for withholding money to school districts.  Instead Peter Kinder, Steve Tilley and the Republicans gave him a pass while superintendents cut their budgets.


Why It Matters

There is an important constitutional issue here.  When the governor withholds money, it’s not subject to a veto override like a line item veto.  It’s an unchecked power, and therefore can only be used – according to the constitution – when revenues are less than the estimates the budget was based on.  By letting the governor use it regardless of revenues, the  checks and balances of the appropriations process is upset.


What It Means

Obviously this is good news of course for the budget going forward.  It creates a larger cushion for the next year as well as kept the baseline lower.  Still the governor recently released fresh withholds for FY2012.  One would expect the folks on that list will question whether they are all needed.



Expectation Deflation?

In addition to being the last day of the fiscal year, it’s also the last day of the quarter.  The speculation in 2-CD has been rampant about what kind of a quarter Ann Wagner will throw up.


The consensus has been that it’ll be an earth-shaking monster, something that would quickly close the door on an entry from Sen. Jane Cunningham, Mike Gibbons, or any other wannabe.


This scenario is based on the fact that she and husband Ray have been doing politics for decades.  This is her first quarter so they should be gathering up all the low-hanging fruit, and are clearly working hard this quarter.


But recently Team Wagner has been trying to temper the expectations.  One source had them cautioning against anything north of $200k.  And another reciting a “six weeks” line, as in she’s only been raising money for six weeks.  That timeline ignore the first month of her committee because it was only “exploratory.”


The race’s narrative is shaping up to be Ed Martin ground strength against Wagner’s money strength.  The latter is much easier to gauge than the former, so she needs to show that she is winning on money.


The bar for Wagner is catching up to Martin this quarter. He put $158,000 in the bank last quarter.  So if he raises $100k, she should come in at $250k.  If he does another $150k, she’ll need to show $300k.



Steelman Won’t Fold Til the Flop

Meanwhile in the Senate race, my suggestion that Sarah Steelman reeling from another lackluster quarter might look for the exit is poo-pooed by one Steelman observer.


He guesses David Steelman will write a check for a few hundred thousand to seed the campaign, and see where it goes.  With the entry of John Brunner, the dynamics of two men and one woman would be naturally advantageous for Steelman.  He’ll be willing to invest some money to see where it goes.



Reps Wait

Only Mitt Romney’s Missouri team has made a strong pitch for endorsements from Republican state representatives.  But a lot of them are keeping their powder dry for now, intrigued by Rick Perry and wary of Romney’s political past.




How KS Got Mars

Some are asking how Kansas was able to lure the first new Mars Chocolate manufacturing plant in the U.S. in thirty years, which will have a $500 million payroll.  According to Hawver’s Capitol Flash, “the plant might be a big first-user of the state’s new expensing provision for manufacturing facilities, in which the full cost of the plant can be written off from Kansas income taxes.”



Capitalization Contagion?

Rep. Paul Curtman asks for donations Here.  But what caught my attention is his email plead included a Nieve-esque capitalization… “In 2010 you helped me send a message to the establishment: ‘You can recruit your liberals to run for office, but you cannot defeat the message of Liberty.’”



eTailing Wars Continue

Amazon fights a Californian front.  Read it Here.



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:

Gamble and Schlemeier added Missouri Workforce Housing Association.  

Lana Ladd Baker deleted American Cancer Society.

Brent Hemphill deleted Overton Group Inc. and Dunn Construction.



$5k+ Contributions

MO State Teachers Assoc Legislative Impact Co - $8,000 from Central Region MSTA.

House Republican Campaign Committee Inc - $15,000 from Realtors PAC –MO.

Missourians for Koster - $8,000 from Eastern Missouri Laborers’ Educational and Benevolent Fund.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from NovaSys Health.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from Cenpatico Behavioral Health.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from Gary Robb.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from Anita Robb.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from K&M Enterprises LLC.

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $6,250 from Robb & Robb LLC.




Today former state senator Pat Dougherty is 63.


Friday: Former state senator Maida Coleman turns 57; former state Reps. John Bowman (55); Ed Robb (69); Connie Johnson (42); and Charlie Norr (67)


Born on the 4th of July: Sen. Ron Richard (64), Rep. Joe Aull (63), and lobbyist Jim Moody.