Thursday, May 31, 2012

MO Back in Play?

That PPP Poll from yesterday has President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney essentially tied 45-44.  See it Here.



And The GOP Hammers the ObamaCare Vote Again

According to Politico’s Morning Score, Crossroads GPS starts a $500,000 buy today with this television ad: Obama-Claire.  “McCaskill has voted with President Obama 90% of the time, including ObamaCare… Obama-Claire brought us ObamaCare…”  See it Here.




Rex and Jeanne Sinquefield are hosting a reception at their home for Sarah Steelman on the evening of June 13.



The front page of today’s Post-Dispatch is off the coming massive sewer bonding issue in St. Louis, Proposition Y.  I’ve already received three mailers in favor and every week there are big checks from corporations going into the Clean Water STL committee.  Now comes the start of an opposition, via a Facebook page (See it Here) with a simple message: “Every $1 MSD borrows, WE pay an extra $1 in interest.”



Rep. Wayne Wallingford was honored at Missouri Juvenile Justice Association’s Spring Educational Conference last week. During her remarks, MJJA Executive Director Vivian Murphy commented on Rep. Wallingford’s statesmanship and the fact that he worked collaboratively during the Legislative session with state agencies, such as Division of Youth Services, State Courts and Department of Public Safety.





Speaker Steve Tilley

Steve Tilley – B.  Tilley just didn’t seem to be himself this year.  Whether it was the stubborn steamroller act with the Limbaugh bust, or letting this caucus go center stage with odd-ball and political anchor issues like “don’t say gay” and “gold standard” legislation.


But he has a major legislative success in moving the arch grounds tax proposal to the governor’s desk.  It was the #1 priority from the St. Louis business community and restored some faith that the legislature can actually pass a bill that matters.


More importantly, Tilley leaves a potentially transformation legacy behind – if Speaker-elect Tim Jones continues them.  First, a fairer treatment of the minority.  Democrats were given some committee chairmanships and leadership was exercised to create a more civil House floor.



Writes on legislator: “the speakers’ staff deserves a mention. They did a remarkable job keeping the trains running on time. David Willis and Joe Lakin were huge assets.



Floor Leader Tim Jones

Tim Jones – B.  On the political front, he managed to push all of the right buttons, fortressing his popularity in the caucus.  But he shares on policy stalemates on education reform and the business issues.


But there’s mild dread for what “Speaker Jones” might mean for inter-chamber relations next year.  (Can they really get worse?)  In the words of one observer: “The House held a press conference at Spring Break declaring they had passed 70% or 80% of their agenda, but only one bill had been signed into law, a Senate bill of little consequence.  For next year, Tim needs to go back and watch that after-school special on how a bill becomes a law.  It’s not passing bills out of the House and refusing to compromise with the evil Senate or the evil Governor, while working wonders for HRCC fundraising.  What’s the point of the huge GOP majorities if you donn’t actually get bills signed into law?”


Like always, the House passed a bunch of legislation that either never went to the Governor or was never signed.  Tilley will call it a success, but the goal is to pass bills into law.



Future Floor Leader John Diehl

John Diehl – B+.  Diehl deserves a higher grade than his leadership peers because he demonstrated the kind of discipline which bodes well for his future.  He was purposefully less omnipresent than last year.  He avoided the possible resentment of everything having to go through him, and as a consequence he solidified his position as next session floor leader.


And – with the supreme court upholding the map he helped pass, he can claim a Democratic congressional scalp, a trophy owned by very few people.



Other Republicans

In no order…


Ryan Silvey – Silvey and Democrat Mike Talboy became close friends during their freshman year.  That relationship was instrumental in Silvey’s ability to both partisan bomb-thrower and bipartisan budgeter.  Can he work the same magic in the Senate?


Eric Burlison – “Remains an omnibus bill passing machine.”  Next up, chairmanship of the tangled and thorny Professional Registration Committee.


Sheila Solon – Not yet mellowed.


Paul Curtman – Strong speaker on the floor, but needs to find a way out of the tea party box if he wants a career beyond eight years in the House.


Marsha Haefner – quietly being mentioned as a possible future Budget Chair down the road.


Todd Richardson – Richardson has positioned himself with the business community as a go-to guy on tough issues.  He can handle both the policy and politics.  By bringing in some southeast fundraising muscle – he’s working on the rare triple-threat status.


Scott Dieckhaus – Dashed hopes on education reform for the former teacher. Passing teacher tenure out of the House was a new achievement.  Still the lack of anything but charter expansion, and the new clouds over the Turner case mean it was a treading water (lots of work and no movement) final session for Dieckhaus.


Kevin Elmer – Made more friends, and positioning himself as one of the leaders of his class.


Chris Molendorp – The go-to guy on Insurance issues.


Jeanie Riddle – Next year’s Rules Chair, remains very popular in the caucus.


Gary Fuhr – Big win on the probations reform bill passing.


Noel Torpey – Got Kansas City’s land bank legislation, and the TIF for light rail done.  Labor likes him, KC likes him.  All he needs to do now is get re-elected in a 60% Democratic district…


Dave Schatz – Minor meltdown at the end of session over his stalled pseudoephedrine bill.


Tom Flanigan – His sub-committee came up with $70 million in savings during the budget process.  That steel could buoy his chances at taking the reins of the Budget Committee next year.  It helps, of course, that he’s from southwest Missouri while the speaker and floor leader both hail from the eastern side of the state.


Steve Cookson – His “don’t say gay” bill is making some worry that Cookson’s not quite ready to take over the Education Committee next year.


Caleb Jones – Seems to be poised to be one of the freshman taking reins and separating from the rest of the class.  General Laws Chair next year?



Minority Leader Mike Talboy

“Talboy should get an A for the great parlay he played to his new job.”  Ah, the nothing brings the snark out like a little success…


Mike Talboy – B+.  Played a very weak hand well.  He was Tilley’s dance partner allowing for a more civil House.  He didn’t give Dems a hard time when they accepted committee chairmanships.  He used the governor’s office as a foil when necessary to promote the image of an independent Democratic caucus, but kept everyone together on core issues.


Random Democrats

Again, no order…


Jason Kander – made it through the session without getting pinned in by Republicans to make damaging debate comments on the floor.  (Missed opportunity by pro tem Shane Schoeller). And Kander outraised the Republican SOS field in the meantime.


Tim Meadows – tough exit, as some in his caucus viewed him as “a traitor” for helping Republicans pass their gold standard legislation.


Rory Ellinger – effective liberal advocate who doesn’t play gotcha games on the floor.  He may have “moved some Republican votes on third-tier bills.”


Chris Kelly - some love him; some hate him.  Me?  I await the arrival of Ken Jacob…


Tishaura Jones – didn’t give into pressure from Republican leadership when they to use her education agenda as a point of leverage on other issues.


Tracy McCreery – won very strong reviews in her first year.


Stacey Newman – Kudos for seizing on the Republicans’ war on women to fight, fight, fight everyday.  Next task might be harder: win re-election.


Jason Holsman – The go-to guy for renewal energy issues.  Not a bad spot for someone in the minority.


Jake Hummel – Sounding more and more like he’s the consensus next minority leader.  Well played.


Brandon Ellington – Good reviews from his KC delegation.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Greg N Johnston deleted Southern Real Estate & Financial Company, National Swimming Pool Foundation, Barrack, Rodos & Bacine, American Red Cross Mid-Missouri Chapter, Premier Manufacturing, Cassidy Turley, Wachovia Corporation, and Lewis, Rice & Fingersh LLC.


Christopher Grant added Trinity Industries.


Aaron G. March deleted Susan Brier, Joseph C Mandacina, KC Skelly LLC, Hood Plaza LLC, Fort Point Consulting Inc, Damon Pursell Construction Company, Pershing Building, Pursell Mid-City Development LLC, American Century Investments, River View Central, and Polymer-Wood Technologies Inc.


James C. Bowers, Jr. deleted SPX Cooling Technologies Inc, The Krug Trust, Owens Builders Inc, Foley Industries Inc., Emma Lou Logsdon, Kelly’s Westport Inn, Lutjen Inc.


Dale L. Schulte deleted LDG Development, and PCF Capital LLC.



$5K+ Contributions

Missouri Health Care Association PAC - $6,000 from Hillside Manor Health Care.

Missouri Health Care Association PAC - $10,000 from Rosewood Health and Rehab.

Missouri Health Care Association PAC - $6,000 from Beauvais Manor Healthcare.

Citizens for Swinger - $10,000 from MO Optometric PAC.




Senate grades tomorrow…