Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spence Rides Again

Word is that Spence Jackson, former spokesperson for Matt Blunt, is set to return to Jefferson City.  A source says that Auditor Tom Schweich will announce that he’s hired Jackson this morning.  Jackson will replace Gary McElyea who’s headed to handle government relations for Coca-Cola.


Jackson had his whirls on the controversy carousel during his time with the Blunt administration. (Relive it Here).  But the source imagines Jackson will have an easier time on this tour: “I think it will work well – a few years out of the game can cool a person down, plus the auditor’s office is usually above the fray politically, so it will allow him to redefine himself.”



Republican Legislature Plods Along

The House will come back one week from today, theoretically to act on the Senate’s ask for a conference committee on economic development.  On this schedule the actual conference committee would be October 24.


This legislature is defining what it is to be listless. The Senate, which will wait until Monday to makes its conference motion, is also in slow-down mode. 


The Senate could have made the conference motion Tuesday with the House responding and a conference committee yesterday.  Instead we’ll wait a fortnight for that next step.  It feels like no one wants to pull the plug, but no one really wants to move forward.


The danger here for Republicans is that they look out-of-touch with Missourians griped by the 9% unemployment environment. 


Average people I talk to – from Friday evening to Sunday morning to Wednesday evening soccer practice – are both aware of special session and incredulous at the business of doing nothing.


Also, they don’t comprehend the sunset fetish…


Average Joe: So what’s the deal, I mean this China Hub is like a good bet, right?

Me: Well, the senate wants a “sunset,” basically an end the historic tax credit program in seven years.

Average Joe: Oh, they don’t like that one, so that’s the trade for the China Hub?

Me: Well, I think it’s more about saving money.

Average Joe: Well, can’t they just cut them?

Me: Yeah… but they want a sunset.

Average Joe: (silence, head cocked to the right a little) Well, seven years is a long time I guess.

Me: It is. The developers would get another $1 billion in subsidies during that time.

Average Joe: So, why don’t they just say OK?

Me: (silence, head cocked to the left a little).



Mayer to Reporters: Need to Rein in Tax Credits

Senate Pro Tem Rob Mayer talks to reporters giving his views on where things stand on special session.  Hear it Here.


Pull Quote:  “I believe, as many of the members of our caucus believe, that unless we start to reign in and until we reign in the amount of money that we spend on tax credits that sometime in the near future this legislative body will have to make tough decisions that will cause reductions in the amount of funding in K-12 education and higher education and also social service programs where people need that assistance… I told the caucus that there would be nothing passed out of this senate that didn’t have seven year sunsets on low income and historic.”



Doug Libla Knocks It Out of the Park

It’s a ridiculous quarter from businessman Doug Libla in Senate 25 (Rob Mayer termed).  The first-time candidate raised an amazing $180K.  And scanning through the contributors, I only recognized one name. Wait until the J-City money jumps on the bandwagon…


Furthermore, one on-the-ground source says that Libla, despite his reputation as a gruff businessman, is actually an adept retail politician.



Richardson Does $50K

Muscle quarter from freshman Republican Todd Richardson, raising $50,765.  He has $38,849 on-hand now.  The quarter was almost entirely PAC and J-City money, but without the lumps of any huge checks.  (Largest contribution: $2,500 from Noranda).


Where did the $12K in expenditures go? Being a team player… $5K to HRCC and $5K in checks to fellow legislators.



Other October Quarters

Two Dems in Senate 17 (Sen. Luann Ridgeway termed) – Cathy Rinehart and Mike Reardon – file “limited activity” for the October quarter.


Rep. David Sater, running in Senate 29 (Jack Goodman termed), raised $21K and has $84,515 on-hand.


Rep. Anne Zerr raised $14K, has $22K on-hand.


Rep Scott Dieckhaus raised $19K, has $12K on-hand.


Rep. Bill Lant raised $16K, has $15K on-hand.



Van Kelly in 33

Former state representative Van Kelly looks to return to the Capitol, running in Senate 33 (Sen. Chuck Purgason termed).  See the Paperwork Here.




If you’re a healthcare provider, the action is all in DC right now where fear run wild over what the “supercommittee” may do with the deficit reduction plan.



Sen. Scott Rupp, who sponsored the previous bill, promises to renew his effort to improve child care safety.  Cynthia Davis had blocked the bills when she was in the legislature.  Read it Here.



Beacon reports that presidential hopeful Rick Perry back in town to raise money.  Read it Here.



Post-Dispatch editorial dings political consultants playing in policy.  Read it Here.  It’s just a terrible business practice.  When the Humane Society hired James Harris, they just hardened opposition from those who he’d run aggressive campaigns against.  When Aerotropolis Inc. hired David Barklage, they were just asking for Sen. Jason Crowell to read the bill even closer.  



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:

Jeremy LaFaver added Child Care Aware of Missouri.



$5K+ Contributions

Your Vote Counts - $40,290 from The Humane Society of the United States.

Friends of Jason Kander - $5,300 from Jeffrey Fort.




Happy birthdays to Rep. Linda Black (41) today;  Jeremy LaFaver tomorrow; and former state senator Rita Heard Days (61) on Sunday.