Thursday, March 15, 2012

House Grades



Steve Tilley – B+

I got several comments like this one: “Tilley picking Rush?  Really?  That just seems stupid politically.  I thought he was much smarter than that.”


There are two things that I think that Speaker Steve Tilley hasn’t realized yet regarding the Rush Limbaugh debacle.  First, his support for the statue may end up as the most lasting image of his speakership. And second, it’s unlikely that the Limbaugh bust ever makes it to the Rotunda.


But put the Rush bust aside, and the House has continued its Tilley-led path of largely no drama, no surprises.


The omnibus education bill appears to be headed for the ocean floor, but it’s still too early to start calling things dead.


Tim Jones - B

Floor leader Tim Jones – with Tilley – can take credit for the Republican House having passed 70% of its agenda by Spring Break.  That’s not chum change considering a lot of Rs were queasy on the discrimination and workers comp bills.


Still the education bill is proving something against which to measure the future speaker.


One observer says he’s punished members who won’t support the bill by not going to their bills.  If the hammer is his preferred means for forging a coalition it could foreshadow a very different regime next year.


John Diehl - C

Diehl gets the grade he probably wants.  A gentleman’s C, sitting unnoticed in the back of the class.  The smartest kid in the room last year may have gotten a higher grade, but he also grated on his classmates.  He was Rules; he was Redistricting; he was driving EcoDevo from the backseat; he was too much everywhere.


It’s said that he has the floor leader votes locked up, so with his lower profile this session, it seems the smart strategy is not to lose the commitments.



Ryan Silvey - A

Silvey is mystery.  So many unanswered questions. What is it about the Silvey style?  How does he do it?  One of the biggest bomb-throwers in the House passes recession-era budgets with apparent bipartisan ease.  And where’s the Democratic opponent for Silvey in Senate 17?


Anne Zerr – A-

Anne Zerr has come into her own.  Last year it felt like she was reacting to leadership instructions at every turn.  This year she took the initiative to file economic development bills like freight forwarders on her own.


Scott Dieckhaus – Incomplete

It’s pass or fail for Scott Dieckhaus this session.  We’ll see he can get an education bill out of the House, and work with the Senate on a compromise to deliver it to the governor’s desk.


Tom Flanigan - D

Insiders still give Tom Flanigan the slight edge over Rick Stream when Speaker-elect Jones picks his budget chair for next year.  But Flanigan’s session so far hasn’t helped him.  On two fronts he stumbled.  First, the roll-out of the blind cuts took a controversial budget shift and made it worse.  (See Silvey’s bipartisan magic above).  Second, he’s been hostile to education package that is a priority for leadership.



Gary Fuhr - A

Rep. Gary Fuhr was well-liked, but his handling of the House side of the parole reform bill shows he’s well-respected too – on both sides of the aisle.  It’s a shame then that after all the candidate shuffling, Fuhr was one of the only victims of the redistricting map.  Look for him to have a future – perhaps on staff somewhere – in the House next year.


Jay Barnes – B+

Jay Barnes took the gavel, and has been rather impressive in his handling of the Special Committee on Government oversight.  He handled the Mamtek hearings like an adult when it had the potential to become a partisan hack job.   Now can he get those Mamtek bills to the governor’s desk?


Mike Bernskoetter – A-

Bernskoetter has been an advocate for the state workers to see some increases after years of freezes.  In tough budget years, pushing for a pushing a state employee pay raise is never easy, but according to one observer it “looks like it will stick this year.”


Todd Richardson and Caleb Jones – B+

Jay Barnes (see above), Kevin Elmer (recovering from his ill-advised Kinder letter), Lincoln Hough (smart but too impatient?), Thomas Long (has consent bill troubles), and Noel Torpey (in a very tough district for re-election) are all sharp and will be key role-players within the caucus, but it’s Todd and Caleb who are always mentioned by everyone was future leaders.


Everybody loves these two.  But will it last?  Richardson is popular with both Big Biz and MATA, what happens when he has to choose?


Similarly one observer writes, “It will be interesting to see what Caleb Jones does in a position where he actually has to choose sides.”


And finally another says of a potential showdown between the two in some future leadership battle, “Their friendship should prohibit a Pratt/Yates showdown.”


Um, the “two Brians” were best friends before they were sworn enemies…



Mike Talboy B+

Minority Leader Mike Talboy seeks to keep the Dems relevant with strategic partnerships on specific issues, while riding the Rush Limbaugh bust controversy, and even getting a little legislation going also – his angel tax credit with Rep. Tim Jones.


Not the easiest job in the Capitol, but he’s grown into the role.




In the large contributions today, you’ll see the fruits of Attorney Chris Koster’s monster fundraiser starting to hit.  According to the $500+ contributions, over $115,000 has been recorded this morning.



Apollo exits Noranda Aluminum.  Read AP article Here.



One day after filing, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed unveiled her yard signs for her Senate 5 race.



New Candidate Filings

Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson filed for reelection in CD-8.


Adnan Bayazid filed to run as a Democrat in House 27.  There’s no incumbent, but Bonnaye Mims is considered the favorite in that strong Democratic district.



Shere Alam filed to run as a Democrat in House 30.  That’s a Republican leaning district where Rep. Mike Cierpiot is the incumbent.



Tim Hotop filed to run as a Republican in House 94.  That gives Rep. Cloria Brown a primary as well as a tough general election race against former Rep. Vicki Englund.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


David Michael Jackson added Let Voters Decide and Tyco Electronics.

Patricia R. Jensen added Pursell Mid-City Development LLC, Foley Industries Inc, Monahan & Associates, BT Residential, Cosentino’s Food Stores, 1200 Main/South Loop LLC, MD Management, Heartland Apartment Association, Summit on Pryor Development LLC,  Jackson County Sports Complex Authority, Northpointe Development LLC, International World Financial LLC, Hunt Midwest Real Estate, Jetro Cash and Carry Enterprises LLC, NCH Enterprises LLC, Platte County Economic Development Council, Brad Nicholson, The Chas. Ball Market Inc., Kissick Construction Co, Pursell Holdings LLC, Briarcliff Development Company, Harley Davidson Motor Co; and deleted Price Development Group and ABC Corp.

Michael T. White added Harry Rizzo, Kansas City Education Foundation, Valley View Bank, Northpointe Development LLC, UPU Industries LTD, Murphy-Hoffman Company, Bill Knoth, Sutherland Lumber Compnay, Heartland Healthcare, Security National Bank, North 64th Street TDD,, Gipson’s Apple Mart, JD Steel Company, and Platte County Missouri South TDD.

Rodney Boyd and Brian Grace deleted Kansas City Area Development Council, and Joplin Business & Industrial Corporation.

William D. Steinmeier deleted McLeod USA Telecommunications Services.

Harvey Tettlebaum deleted Belton-Cass Road Improvement TDD.



$5K+ Contributions

Yes for Cares - $12,000 from Cottleville Professional Firefighters.

Teamsters Local Union 688 PAC - $10,426 from I.B.T. Drive

Jay Nixon for Missouri - $10,000 from Motorola Solutions.

Ameren UE Political Action Committee - $5,508 from Ameren Fed PAC.

Missourians for Koster - $5,000 from Shaffer Lombardo Shurin PC.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from Polsinelli Shughart.

Missourians for Koster – $5,001 from Rice Strategy Corp.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from Stephen Gorny.

Missourians for Koster – $10,000 from Carey & Danis LLC

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from Taxpayers Unlimited Inc.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from SNR Denton.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from S.M. Wilson & Co.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from Brown & Crouppen PC.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from Schlichter Bogard & Denton.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from Clayco Construction.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from Dealers Interested in Government.

Missourians for Koster – $5,000 from Rosenblum Schwartz Rogers & Glass.

Missourians for Koster – $15,000 from Ameren US PAC.




Happy birthdays to Coca Cola’s Gary McElyea.