Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nixon Calls Special Session

Governor Jay Nixon called a special session for September 6.  See it Here.  The legislature will address its economic development behemoth, local control and moving the presidential primary.  No CWIP, and no disaster relief (see below).


No McKee Tax Credit Changes

Governor Jay Nixon specifically in his call forbad the legislature from making changes to the Land Assemblage Tax Credit which has benefited Paul McKee’s project in north St. Louis city.  Republican reaction was mixed about the provision.  One shrugged, saying he didn’t care, “it was something Sen. Brad Lager wanted, but I don’t care if it’s in there.”  Another said they would pass it anyway and see if the governor wanted to veto the whole bill over that one item, “which will save the state money this year.”  One laughed that if the governor didn’t want them to change that specific chapter of statutes, they would just stick it in a different chapter.  


Schoeller Writes to Committee About Special

Dear Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery Members,


I just finished a call with the Governor’s office and he has decided to not include accessing the Budget Reserve Fund in the up and coming special session.


As our committee had previously discussed during our last hearing in July, it is premature to think we may know the extent of the costs related to the disasters that have affected, and continue to affect, the State of Missouri and the Governor has adopted our concern.  Including accessing the Budget Reserve Fund in the call to special session was made in good faith that a firmer number would be available from the Governor closer to veto session.


I am pleased the process is slowing down until more information is known.  I firmly believe it is vitally important to include accountability in the process through a joint committee between the House and Senate and by gathering better information that will help ensure every precaution is made to be fiscally responsible with every taxpayer dollar.


Not including disaster recovery in the current call to special session does not remove the possibility that we still may be called at a later date this year or that we will not seek to make a response when regular session begins in January… 




Shane Schoeller

Speaker Pro Tem

Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery, Chairman



Nixon Calls Special Elections

After much hand-wringing from Democrats who worried their governor would leave their House seats empty, Governor Jay Nixon called special elections for the four vacant districts to be held in November.


House 15 – formerly Sally Faith’s seat

The Democratic nominee will be Paul Woody, who worked as a staffer for the House Democratic minority under Rick JohnsonChrissy Sommer is thought to be the front-runner on the Republican side because she’s on the central committee, but it’s up for grabs.  The other possibilities are Matt Ehlen and Carl Maus.


This will be the only competitive election in November.  It has a Democratic index of 49%.


House 39 – formerly Jean Peters-Baker’s seat

Expected to be a free-for-all, but a strong source says Judy Morgan, former AFT leader, is the likely Dem nominee.


House 41 – former Kiki Curl’s seat

A safe Democratic seat.  Sorry to say that Curls didn’t return my call yesterday, so I don’t know what’s up here.  Tomorrow….


House 83 – formerly Jake Zimmerman’s seat

Another safe Democratic seat.  Tracy McCreery, former staffer to Joan Bray, and Jeff O’Connell are vying for the nod.  O’Connell has labor support and will take the nomination.



Kinder Touts Poll: Only Trailing By Seven

How bad are things at Camp Kinder?  So bad that they’re leaking a poll because it’s good news that it only shows them down 7 points.  That’s pretty bad.  See the Memo HereSee the Crosstabs they’re sharing Here.


Meanwhile, because the head-to-head question seemingly appears after other undisclosed questions, there’s a fair amount of doubt that things aren’t really worse.


Says one Republicans, “Nixon +7 my ass.  It was +14 before strippergate.”



The Talk on Kinder

Here’s a sampling of the conversations out there on the Kinder situation:


Who’s Best Vetted?  Catherine Hanaway, aside from her time as Speaker and a state-wide run, is thought to be the most fully vetted of the candidates because of the rigorous background check involved with becoming a US Attorney.   If you’re looking for a candidate who won’t have any surprises, she’s the one.  Meanwhile, Sen. Brad Lager, with state senate races in a rural district and one down-ballot race is seen as least fully vetted of the names out there.



Who’d Be Best?  The folks who are imagined to be best are also least interested: former senator Jim Talent, Speaker Steve Tilley, and Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer.



Why Dump Kinder?  The most compelling reason to jettison Kinder from the ballot and back someone else is that there’s another shoe to drop.   Fear is the background vibe.  And if the next embarrassment happens next spring or summer, it’d be too late to switch candidates.  Therefore preemption is the safest course for the Grand Old Party.


Another reason offered is that the Nixon folks have clearly written their playbook based on Kinder as their opponent.  A change in candidate might throw them a curve…



What’s the New Standard?  Other politicians with ambitions have been unnerved that the Kinder debacle has snowballed out of no real scandal, nothing illegal.  If visiting a strip club fifteen years ago disqualifies you as a candidate for statewide office, what about going to a gambling casino, what about a divorce?  If the MO Republican Party heavy donors adopt a new Taliban standard, they’re going to cull their crop of candidates pretty quickly.



Blame All of Kinder’s Men?  Writes one lobbyist surveying the train wreck, “All these high priced consultants on Kinder’s team gave him this advice?  Political malpractice on their part. Not aggressively reacting to the RFT photo?  Really?  They need a course on electronic media and its power.”



Blame the New World and Her Mysteries?  But a Democrat comes to their defense, saying that hindsight is easy.  It’s nearly impossible to predict these twitterbugs and blogs and the cross pollination with old line media how and when a story will gather the critical mass to leave the orbit of chatter and become a legitimate story.  There’s no guarantee that if you addressed the RFT photo early you’d have ended up in a different place.



Governor Steelman, anyone?  One source says that Sarah Steelman is pushing to make the switch from Senate to Governor.  We’ll see where it goes. But the rule of thumb here is that whoever sticks the knife in Kinder gets jumped by the field.  So if Steelman makes the move against Kinder, he will fall, but she won’t be the one.



Governor Crowell, anyone?  Yes, the Butler County Politburo is “abuzz.”   Read it Here.  Thanks to the singular John Combest.




The Washington Post asks: Is Kinder Doomed?  Their answer: maybe.  Read it Here.


Pull Quote: “If Chapman is able to produce some evidence — or Kinder admits to any more uncouth behavior — his campaign is almost definitely over. For now, at least, he’s hanging on.”




Looking at yesterday’s cash deposit in the Bank of America PAC, one lobbyist points to yesterday’s WSJ article… “Efforts to reach a settlement that would end the long-running probe of foreclosure practices are snagged over whether banks will get broad legal immunity from state officials for mortgage-related claims. Federal and state officials are seeking penalties of $20 billion to $25 billion from Bank of America Corp., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and other financial firms under investigation since last fall. The banks are pushing hard for a deal, but they have insisted on a wide-ranging legal release from state attorneys general.”



Lobbyist Principal Changes

From the Pelopidas website:


Elizabeth Wohlleb added RREEF Americas LLC.



$5k+ Contributions

Schmitt for Senate - $10,000 from Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides and Barnerd LLC.




Swing State Media’s Neil Swanson turns 41 today.