Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Budget Filibuster

The Senate didn’t get very far on the first day of its “budget week.”  The supplemental budget was filibustered by a coalition of Republican senators who all seemed to be coming with slightly different grievances. Yet they all appeared bound together by a feeling that their petitions were not adequately prioritized by Appropriations Chair Kurt Schaefer.


Sen. Jim Lembke served as emcee and announced that they had a list of demands. “It’s a very short list.  It’s things that we have concerns about and weren’t addressed... The Senate is different… We cannot put all that power in one senator’s hand.”   Lembke called upon individual senators to allow them to air their gripes:


Sen. Jason Crowell wants “global” tax credit reform; and elimination of Jefferson County Port benefiting St. Louis developer Stacy Hastie.


Sen. Luann Ridgeway only referred to a small business in her district getting help.  Later a lobbyist said that it was a picnic table manufacturer in her district trying to get picnic tables in state parks.


Sen. Jane Cunningham wants Kathy Thornburg to be fired for subverting the legislature’s will; and she wants the liberal dream of a “quality rating system” for childcare to be dismembered, burned at the stake and buried on the ocean floor.


Sen. Rob Schaaf wants to defund any computer upgrade that could be used to implement Obamacare.


Sen. Chuck Purgason wants overall austerity, and respect.


Others rounding out the “gang of nine” who didn’t speak but Lembke mentioned as being members of the posse were Sens. Will Kraus, Brad Lager, and Brian Nieves.


The actual list of demands was elusive.  Despite being spoken about on the Senate floor, no one could/would provide it to me.  Here’s my best reconstruction of the demands.


1. SEMO’s early childcare. $2 million?

2. Kathy Thornburg GONE.

3. Stacie Hasty – no port for you.

4. No upgrade to computers that might be used to set up health exchange. $50 million.

5. Defund Sue Shear Institute.

6. No pay raises.  Senate version had only those under $40K getting a bump. Cost: $14 million?

7. Small business in Sen. Ridgeway’s district (picnic table manufacturer).

8.  Preschool funding.

9.  No one-time money from mortgage settlement - $40 million.

10. DED workforce program to community colleges.

11. No money for Mizzou to create new REMI model.

12. Change the booking of saving according to change in managed care contracts.

13. Grand Global Tax Credit Solution?

14. Respect for Purgason…. priceless.


How it Ended

Somewhere around midnight after hours of the Senate standing “at ease” so the factions could try to work out a solution, Sen. Schaefer had the bill laid over.  The word was that leadership was going to sleep on the situation and consider their options.


So I guess we’ll pick up this morning where we left off last night.


Few Thoughts

The gang of nine is not united in their demands.  It’s not inconceivable that leadership – if they wanted – could slowly peel them off one by one.


It’s said that there was almost an agreement last night but that Schaefer couldn’t swallow eliminating the pay raises for the state workers at the bottom of the pay-scale.  Despite the grumbling last night, things are not in terrible shape.


After the laundry list is dispatched with, there’s still Crowell’s wish for tax credit reform hanging like a hurricane off shore.



Second Injury Fund and Workers Comp

House sources say that the governor’s office has finally become engaged on the issues of workers compensation and the second injury fund.  Look for a workable compromise to be hammered out.



Jami: I Lead

Rep. Jamilah Nasheed was giving sneak-shows of a poll yesterday of Senate 5. With a sample size of 368 – the margin of error is close to +/- 6%.  But there’s some interesting data.


First, huge undecided for Governor Jay Nixon in the strongly pro-Democratic Senate 5.


Second, and more immediate to Nasheed’s senate race, incumbent Sen. Robin Wright Jones trails Nasheed amid enormous undecided.  Together with her $12 in cash on-hand, it really looks like curtains for Jones’ political career.


If the election for president were held today, whom would you support?

Barack Obama – 77.4%

Mitt Romney – 7.5%

Undecided – 15.2%


If the election for governor were held today, whom would you support?

Jay Nixon – 46%

David Spence – 10.7%

Undecided – 43.3%


If the election for state senator were held today, whom would you support?

Robin Wright-Jones – 14.1%

Jamilah Nasheed – 18.6%

Jeanette Mott Oxford – 11.9%

Undecided – 55.4%



Jami Lands Joyce Endorsement

Rep. Jamilah Nasheed also is said to have won the endorsement of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. Together with Mayor Francis Slay, that’s a pretty powerful pair of endorsements to help Jami win some votes in white south St. Louis.



Senate 7: Williams Gets Women’s Groups

Crystal Williams announced endorsements from two progressive women’s groups this morning.

They are: The Missouri Women’s Leadership Council (a coalition of groups including the American Association of University Women, Business Women of Missouri, GKC Women’s Political Caucus, Missouri NOW, Missouri Women’s Network, NARAL Prochoice Missouri, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Kansas & Mid-Missouri); and The Women’s Campaign Fund, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing the number of women in elected office who support reproductive health choices for all.



Senate to Schmidty: Score Us

As the budget hits the Senate floor comes word that Brian Schmidt, former staffer to the joint committee on tax policy has been retained by the Senate to provide scoring on bills during the final weeks of session.  Schmidty is considered an honest broker when it comes to estimating economic impact and fiscal notes.



The Power of Combest

Everyday for a week I write about Redditt Hudson not filing his April fundraising on time.  The peerless John Combest puts it on a headline one day… BOOM.  It’s filed.


Hudson raised $6,919 and spent $6,968, and has $1,864 on-hand.  That’s not a confidence-inspiring quarter.  Essentially, the primary is a little over three months away, and he has no money for voter contact.


And some bits from today’s Combest

John Brunner to get US Chamber’s endorsement. Read it Here.


Roger Wilson wanted to come clean with MEC but Feds told him to wait. Read it Here.


Russ Carnahan gets Firefighters’ endorsement in 1-CD deathmatch.  Read it Here.



Friendly Fire Hits Nixon

Republicans were chuckling at a Democratic ad attacking Republican governor Scott Wilson, showing that Wisconsin has the worst jobs record in the nation.  But the graphic streaming across the screen listed Missouri right next to Wisconsin as second worst.  See it Here.



Fish Fry on Wednesday

Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives will host their annual fish fry on the front lawn on the Capitol on Wednesday.


Due the state supreme court striking down the previous ethics bill, the paperwork for such a large-scale event has become near onerous.  As a result, AMEC has to gather information from everyone eating.  On the tickets is a small form to fill out, which will then be compiled into a report to the Missouri Ethics Commission.



Lobbyists’ Principals Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Andrew B Blunt added Jordan Valley Community Health Center, and Northeast Missouri Health Council.

Mary Chant added Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies.

Omar D Davis added MODOT and Patrol Employees’ Retirement System.

Joel Kurzman added National Association of Chain Drug Stores.

Scott Swain added City of Holts Summit, Missouri.

Nathan Dampf deleted Associated Industries of Missouri, and Missouri Transportation Development Council.



Lobbyists’ Registration Exegesis

Yesterday’s registration of Gamble Schlemeier of Southern Wine and Spirits appears to be involved with attempts to changes/clarify the definition of franchise within the alcohol wholesaler industry.  SB 837 and HB 1841 are the two active vehicles for this.



$5K+ Contributions

Lewis & Clark Regional Leadership Forum - $12,000 from Bank of Washington.

Citizens for Ed Emery - $50,000 from David Humphreys.

Fred Sauer Governor - $10,000 from Fred Sauer.




Happy birthday to Sen. Brian Munzlinger (56).