Thursday, September 22, 2011

Mayer: EcoDevo on Life Support

The mighty Jason Rosenbaum has videos of Pro Tem Rob Mayer saying there only a slight chance for an economic development bill!  See Them Here.


Pull Quote: “(Ending special session) would save the taxpayers of Missouri some dollars, we wouldn’t have to fund some of the proposed economic development proposals.”



Why EcoDevo Happens

After a good night sleep there are plenty of reasons why legislators will wake up and act like adults.


First, the House is acting reasonably.  Despite the “agitated” response from the Senate, House leadership has taken pains to give their partner breathing room.  They sent the new version to the Senate before it has been heard or voted out of committee.  The early look signals a willingness to help the Senate digest the offer and for various factions to sort themselves into a workable coalition.


Second, the Senate’s fiscal hawks would be INSANE to miss this opportunity to cut hundreds of millions of dollars off the tax credit programs.  Forget the Mayer quote about spending taxpayer money, every version of this bill has a positive fiscal note.  And there’s no way tax credit reform comes back to the table next year after this.


Third, the two sides are not really that far apart.  There’s been a lot of focus on sunsets, but there’s no practical difference between no sunsets and sunsets in seven years.  On the one hand, the amount of subsidies that will be doled out in those seven years is absolutely enormous and a sunset after that length is entirely reasonable.  On the other, the notion that there’s not enough political space in seven years to maneuver acceptable reforms and extensions is absurd. 


For both sides to claim that they “can’t live” with other side’s position is something I hear from my six-year old daughter.  I call it blasphemy against “life.”


Finally, the Republican legislature cannot be blind to the huge victory they’d be handing the Democrats if they can’t pass an economic development bill in a 9%ish unemployment environment with historic majorities in both the House and Senate.  If I were HDCC and SDCC, I’d be smiling.



Why EcoDevo Doesn’t Happen

First, the Republican legislature is proving that the last session was not an aberration. It is completely dysfunctional.   


The Senate is devolving into tribalism. One warlord must have sunsets to mount on the totem pole; another wants to drag an aerotropolis sacrifice to the Tea Party altar.  And Pro Tem Rob Mayer stands helplessly by.  He has no tribe of his own.  So he chases the wisps of a deal until fatigue brings desolation.


The House on the other hand is used to negotiations.  You bring in the other side, you cut the deal.  Now they confront a body in which there’s no one to deal with.  They’ve been in contact with several senators trying to foster a dialogue within that chaotic caucus.  But it’s a tall order.


Second, the toll of the last three weeks has been to transform May’s EcoDevo bill.  It’s no longer something that everyone has a stake in.  It now weak enough that folks feel they can walk away from it.  Fiscal hawks would have been hard pressed to let the circuit-breaker saving go; Aero supporters in the House say without some warehousing the freight-forwarding isn’t worth it.



Collateral Damage

Local control, presidential primary et al get drown in the bathtub with the Aero baby, but it’s probably a political wash as there are interested parties on both sides.



House 83 in Play?

Word circulating Democratic circles is that Tracy McCreery will run as an Independent in the special election to replace Jake Zimmerman in House 83.  McCreery sought the Democratic nomination, but the committee-people backed Jeff O’Connell.


One observer summed it up in two words: “sour grapes.”


But more words draw the picture more vividly.  There are deep concerns among Democrats that her bid will put House 83 in play.  And if it slipped through their hands, it would affect the Ds’ ability to sustain the governor’s veto in the House next session.  Every vote is critical in that effort.  Speaker Steve Tilley showed he could summon the extra votes in some cases (redisitricting) but not in others (HB 430). 


No veto protection in the House sends shivers into the Dem caucus, turning complacent dreams into nightmares… right to work, greater abortion restrictions, “basically Wisconsin.”


Is it really in play?  First, in a special election things can take an odd bounce.  Adding in a third candidate whose website (See it Here) describes her as “Democratic Values with an Independent Mind” and offers endorsements from campaign treasurer Joan Bray, Bob Holden and PROMO, definitely creates the potential for Republicans to swipe a seat.  Especially given HRCC’s well-established political savvy. 


Republicans have nominated Patrick Brennan.  In 2010, Brennan won 34.7% against Zimmerman without the robust campaign that Republicans might mount now that the situation has a new edge.   Stay tuned….



Life From Kinder

In the $5K+ Contributions below we see life from Camp Kinder, the result, one assumes, of the Haley Barbour event (See Photo Here.) earlier in the week.  But I’ll need to see more in these final nine days of the quarter to make me a believer.



The RFT point out that despite the political heavy-weights on the Lawyers for Kinder invite, there aren’t a lot of money heavy-weights.  See it Here.



Corey Jackson No Heart Drebes

Pro Tem Rob Mayer’s staffer takes to the twitterverse to cry foul…

CoreyDJackson Corey Jackson

@drebesd Your hypocrisy and bias is incredible.



$5k+ Contributions

Ford Motor Company Civic Action Fund Missouri - $15,000 from Ford Motor Company Civic Action Fund.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $5,001 from Curtis Jared.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from Jerry Hall.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $10,000 from Innovation Homes LLC.

Friends of Peter Kinder - $5,001 from W Patrick McGinnis.