Willard Joins Wagner Campaign
Today the Ann Wagner campaign will announce that they’ve hired Aaron Willard as campaign manager. Willard will leave his post as executive director at the House Republican Campaign Committee next month.
From the release: “Over the last eight years Willard has worked with Missouri House Republicans helping them win historic majorities in Jefferson City. In his time at HRCC Willard created a reputation for winning targeted races and beating Democrats.”
Amazingly for a press release that’s entirely accurate and maybe even understated. Willard had proven himself to be one of the best in the state at winning those House races.
This will give Willard a chance to take his skills to the bigger stage of a congressional race. And for Wagner, it’s a very smart hire. If Ed Martin populist appeal was thought to give him the edge with on-the-ground enthusiasm, Willard’s experience and extreme competence will likely level the field very quickly.
Rex Funds Anti-Income Tax Effort
Yesterday Rex Sinquefield continued his quest to reshape Missouri’s political and economic landscape by sending $1.3 million to the Let Voters Decide committee. That committee (See their Website Here) is working to eliminate the state income tax through voter initiative.
A higher sales tax, across an expanded base of goods and services taxed, would replace the revenue from the income tax. Assuming that this “fair tax” type of proposal is on the ballot before voters in November 2012, it will be the center stage on the battlefield.
Against the deep pockets of Sinquefield, a coalition of labor and social service advocates will likely coalesce to oppose the effort. There is debate about the math of the proposal. The initiative says that the sales tax would rise by no more than three percentage points. But critics argue that imposing that ceiling on the sales tax rate, together with the exemptions (health care et al), will result in a “starve the beast” scenario of massive budget shortfalls.
Yesterday in the House Economic Development Committee, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed attempted to offer an amendment to add sunsets to the historic and low income tax credit programs. Chair Anne Zerr told her that they were not accepting amendments. To which, Nasheed asked rhetorically if “this is China?” Then she left the hearing and Jefferson City, driving back to St. Louis in frustration that the House was unwilling to try to meet the Senate’s demand in order to pass the EcoDevo bill – and with it the local control bill especially close to her heart.
Today the House will bring the bill to the Floor. One Rep says that it could be a long day… “Freshmen are all over the map. Some get it. Some clueless. Some scared.”
Well, that was fast. The Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders is out of contention for Secretary of State. Prime Buzz has it Here.
This is very big break for Rep. Jason Kander. It eliminates what would have been divisive to his Kansas City base, and it pulls the race back from the brink of plunging into a free-for-all.
This Way Something Wicked Comes
The mighty Jason Rosenbaum writing at the Beacon this morning asks when the Peter Kinder listening tour will be concluded, and is told that it’s been delayed due to a “wicked infection.” Read it Here.
Martin for AG?
Is it time for Ed Martin to consider yet one more switch in his 2012 ambitions and move his name over to the attorney general slot? Here’s the thinking:
First, everyone is expecting yet another monster quarter from Ann Wagner, so the danger of Martin being at a substantial, perhaps fatal, fundraising disadvantage is very real. Meanwhile, Martin has been unable to strike any ideological distinction between himself and “the ambassador.”
Second, although Caleb Jones’ name was floated a month or so ago, all’s gone quiet there leading to a vacuum on the Republican side to take on incumbent Chris Koster. He could have the primary to himself.
Thirds, despite Koster’s undeniable fundraising ability and shark-like political instincts, Martin would not be without some footholds into the race. In what looks like a good Republican year, he could rally Republican rage against the turncoat politician. Martin’s natural strength of fielding a good ground army would be fortified by the pro-life movement which detests Koster and his stance on stem cell. It might still be uphill, but potentially not as steep as the 2nd Congressional is looking.
“Majority Fund” Update
I am told by a reliable source that the Republican’s Missouri Senate Campaign Committee may indeed hire someone to take David Barklage’s position as head of that organization. While there is no immediate timetable for that decision, it could happen down the road.
Meanwhile when campaign finance reports are filed last this month, look for broad participation from the Republicans senators. We have seen some checks over $5K, but there will be others of lesser amounts from those “on-cycle.” The involvement may be a measure of the increased buy-in among the fractious caucus.
Dave--Your comments re: housing and subsidizing the individual already exists--Section 8. Not a roaring success.
Lobbyist Principal Changes
From the Pelopidas website:
James C. Bowers, Jr. added KGI Towers LLC, Emma Lou Logsdon, Northland Cathedral, D.M. Enterprises, Ideker Inc, and Gary W. Holt. Added KGI TOWERS, LLC
Aaron G. March added CBK Properties II LLC.
Kerry Messer added Missourians for Personal Safety.
Rebecca Nathan and Stephen Szejner added Prudential Capital Group.
Michael White added Visions Building Corporation.
Richard Martin added Infrastructure Management Group LLC and deleted Black & Veatch Corporation.
Let Voters Decide - $1,300,000 from Rex Sinquefield.
Friends of Jason Kander - $5,001 from Sosland Company.
Happy Friday birthdays to Rep. Zach Wyatt (27), Senate staffer Kenny Ross, and MADA’s Sam Barbee.